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Reviewed 20 August 2011

We stayed at the divi from 8/14-8/20/11. Initially, we were booked at the Divi Beach & Golf Resort which is across the street from the beach, had no "ocean view" rooms, and was not what we wanted in a beach type resort. When we visited the Pheonix, we asked if we could switch over as the resort seemed to be exactly what we wanted. We had to talk to a supervisor, but she was extremely friendly and cooperative and gave us a couple of options . We had to pay an "upgrade" fee, but it turned out to be well worth it. Every room in the resort is ocean view. The rooms were very clean and we had daily maid service, which is unusual for most time shares. The pool was beautiful, and the beach was even better. There was a good mix of activities and quietness. Compared to all of the other resorts on palm beach, i.e. the "high rise" resorts, the Pheonix was not crowded at all. Someone at our resort said they took a walk at 7am and found a long line for towels outside the Westin, and there was a markerboard for names to reserve a beach spot umbrella and lounge. My wife and I would get to the beach around 9am and usually found the straw umbrella stand that we wanted....the same one each day. Food was good at the 2 restaurants with an amazing sunset dinner on the beach at the "Sunset Bistro" and a nice shaded seating area at "Pure Beach". The only complaint was that there was no waiters from the bar for snacks and refreshments coming around while at the pool or beach. Otherwise, my wife and I plan on taking our respective families there in the future, God willing.

Room Tip: Request a higher floor as lower units have a partially blocked view due to the sales office.
  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
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7  Thank bigegypt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2011

I stayed in the "older tower" where the rooms, equipment, etc are getting old. The view was great, equipment in the room was working. The only complaint is that the bed/mattress seemed to have been made of 2 smaller twin-sized mattresses - it had a "ridge" in the middle and was mildly uncomfortable. The front desk was very efficient and accomodating, the room cleaning was done several times a week, and the repair guys showed up within 1 hr of callign the front desk with a minor problem - and that's after 8pm on Sunday!
The on-site bars/restaurants were efficient, food a bit basic but fresh and prices were ok (except $6 for 1 beer)
The sea... isn't what most people come to the Caribbean for? Well, the water was very warm, very calm, and the color was beautiful. But... it's between knee- and chest-deep no matter how far from the beach you go! Parts of the seafloor are sand, but much of it is "sea vegetation" and some rocks. For a decent swim I walked 4min along the beach to the Westin.
Before the new buildings were there, the beach at Divi must have been one of the least crowded hotel beaches. The palapas are spread out much more than in other beaches, and you don't have to walk "over" the other people. On the other hand, the hotel was at most 2/3 full, and I had a hard time finding available palapas. The were setting up seveeral large umbrellas so that everyone had soem shade. But I think the beach would be very crowded during the high season, much more so than those in the low-rise hotel area.

P.S. IMHO, $50/week internet in 2011 is an outrage, unless you're in the middle of desert in a 4th world country. in a place like aruba it's a blatant rip-off. At least i was getting steady 100mbps and was able to stream some programs from my home dvr.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled solo
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Thank 8_time_aruba_visitor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 August 2011

This was a "honeymoon redo" following an absolute rainout in Jamaica the previous fall. We were two couples this time, and we both had studio suites - ours was on the second floor, my brother and his wife were at the pool level. Note – I’d probably rate this 4.3 or 4.4 out of 5 if I could. In summary – everything was very good, really enjoyed it, would go again. Small minuses include: the location, minor room quirks, and the lack of on-site activities.

ROOMS - The rooms were both recently refurbished, very clean and well put together. Each studio had a full kitchen closest to the door (large fridge, 4-burner stove/oven, dishwasher, 4 person kitchen table, large counter, followed by a king bed, followed by a living area with 2 couches, table & tv. After that our room had a balcony with ocean views, and the other room had a raised patio, from which you could step down to the pool area (really convenient for making drinks/food during the day - even better when someone else has the room, and you just get to use it! :-). Both bathrooms had large jacuzzi tubs and separate shower stalls. I'm 99.999% sure there was a hair dryer as well :-). Everything very good, a couple minor downpoints: the hot water was a bit fluky - we eventually figured out that we needed to run the sink, then the shower, and then we would get hot water, and there was no soap for the dishwasher (the maids would run the dishwasher without soap resulting in still-dirty plates, etc). Overall - very good rooms, especially for the price.

GROUNDS - Excellent pool area and large in-pool bar. No problem getting deck chairs at the pool or on the beach. The beach is just beyond the pool areas, good amount of shaded and unshaded areas, soft white sand, a bit narrow (i.e. not a great distance between the top of the beach and the water - which may be a good thing. The Sunset Bistro is in a great location right on the beach and facing West (technically WSW).

STAFF/ACTIVITIES - although activities were listed on a daily basis, they didn't seem to happen (and no one seemed to care :-). Broken ping pong table, drooping volleyball net, and unlike many of the other hotels in the HR district - no casino. Other than that, the staff were very helpful and polite on the whole.

LOCATION - The Phoenix is the very last hotel at the south end of the "high rise" district. The good news is that you don't get many non-hotel guests walking by (a touch better for privacy / safety), the slightly bad news is that it takes a bit longer to get anywhere.
It's about a 10 - 15 minute walk (depending on speed) either along the beach or along the road to the center of the high rise tourist district, and the pathway along the beach is fairly well lit, though if you want to be in the heart of things, you will need to go 2 hotels further north to be parallel with the beginning of 'town'. The walk back either along the beach or road late at night was completely safe, but as the last hotel on the strip (with an undeveloped plot between it and the next hotel), the last stretch can be a bit unsettling (to be fair, there is a tiny Police Station on that undeveloped plot, so while it could’ve been a touch brighter/busier, it was likely the safest place to be!).

RESTAURANTS - Can't say we had a bad meal or an incredibly good meal - I'm not sure if these names are precise (they're from my CCard statement). We cooked a few nights - these were the other restaurants we hit:
- Daniel Steak & Chop (very big - but good value, great atmosphere (huge outside terrace) - probably the best dinner of the week)
- Aqua Grill (finer dining - good but pricey)
- Salt & Pepper (tapas – personally didn’t enjoy the food)
- Sunset Beach Bistro (on site, on the beach) – Good enough food, but incredibly good location (time your dinner there with the Sunset if possible). Worth doing once if you’re staying here.

NOTES ON ARUBA - Taxi for 4 people from airport: 20 - 25 USD. USD currency used everywhere we went. Felt very safe, night and day walking along the beach and along the roads in town and into town. Virtually no hassle from people selling things or otherwise. The high-rise district has large hotels along the beach (most allow you to walk through the grounds/hotel to the beach), and behind the hotels is a small “village” with a few small stores, several bars and restaurants, all in a compact walking area. For grocery shopping, we were tempted to try one of the local supermarkets (which I’m sure is cheaper), but ended up at the Ling & Sons supermarket (which I think is IGA branded). I forget the prices, but in general, add 50% to US/UK prices. Very flat island which is good for walking, biking, rollerblading, but, lack of sidewalks except in the busiest of areas makes long walks a bit less pleasant. Also, only main roads are paved, so you’d want to use an all terrain bike if you go exploring. The weather was actually pretty bad by Aruba standards, we had warm days (mostly only into the 70’s) – times of clouds and sun (50/50) and one or two odd showers. It seemed to rain overnight a few times, but always while we were sleeping, and the ground was dry by mid morning.

Room Tip: The ground-floor rooms open directly onto the pool making it easy to make drinks/snacks/etc during the day.
  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with family
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5  Thank RRMJR13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2011

We stayed at the Divi Phoenix druing the first week of July. My reservation from Vacations to Go / Go - Go Vacations was messed up. I paid for a one bedroom suite..the reservation came through to the Divi as a studio. Divi honored the reservation the second night. Both rooms were clean and updated. We loved the one bedroom. We are returning next summer.

We took the bus to the grocery store ($2.30 round trip) and bought groceries. The prices are 3 times the price of US groceries. Coors light - 1 case was $51.00.

The beach was not crowded and we were always able to get shade.We walked to the Palm shopping area to eat and tour the shops.

We rented a car for one day and drove to the lighthouse in the evening and Baby Beach for the day. ( Great snorkeling) We used Budget car rental and paid $55.00 for the day which included full insurance.

We loved Aruba and will return to the Divi Phoenix...... It was a great resort and a great location.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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3  Thank travelingteacher9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2011

We stayed here for 7 nights in a one bedrooom suite. We were in the beach tower (new area) and were skeptical because of previous reviews. However, we had the usual "tropical" smell - no mold issues, and the room was spotless. Our maid service was great - she even cleaned off our sandy shoes!

The property is very well maintained, and the staff is very friendly and helpful. We used the concierge and she took great care of us. The beach here is unbeatable - powder white sand, clear aqua water, and barely any rocks or seagrass in the shallows. Very nice breakwaters and one has a boardwalk out into the ocean, it's even lit up at night! The pools are 24 hrs. and are beautifully warm and lit at night. The jacuzzi area is a nice touch.

The restaurant options are very limited here - Pure Beach has a great ambience but the food is overpriced and poorly executed. Eat elsewhere - you are very near fabulous food in this location, both the high rise and low rise areas are convenient. You can go to one of three supermarkets (Americans would prefer SuperFood) and get all kinds of goodies for your fully equipped kitchen here.

We had a washer/dryer in the unit and it didn't work - maintenance was sent up and was unable to fix it, so we had a new one about two hours later. No other issues, and for a timeshare we were happily unmolested - no pressure to buy, which was refreshing!

Would stay here again, excellent value!

Room Tip: Higher floors are better views, beach tower much nicer
  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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3  Thank LeaBedford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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