Just off the coast of Venezuela in the Caribbean Sea is a tiny little island that has made a name for itself. In Aruba, the sun is always shining, the beaches are world-class, the water crystal-clear, and the temperature tends to hover around a comfortable 82-degrees — with a light breeze. As idyllic as it sounds, what really makes Aruba unlike any other tropical island on earth is a factor that’s hard to describe, and almost impossible to prove: It’s the warm and happy feeling that seems to spread to every traveler who sets foot on the island. It’s become such a thing, that it’s been named the “Aruba Effect” — a welcoming, relaxing feeling that sets in the moment travelers arrive and continues long after they’ve departed.
And while that unexplainable happiness is one of Aruba’s most standout offerings, it’s far from being the only one. Aruba consistently reports the least amount of rainfall in the Southern Caribbean and sits outside of the dreaded hurricane belt. The result is sunny, temperate, and rain-free weather practically year round.
If you’re ready to feel the “Aruba Effect,” your best bet is to book a room at one of the island’s many all-inclusive properties, where a worry-free vacation has become the norm. You can sit back and enjoy good food, sprawling private beaches, and perks like unlimited Aruba Aribas (Aruba’s signature cocktail) and free kayak rentals.
Not sure where to start? We’ve done the legwork in finding the best all-inclusive luxury properties in Aruba.
Marriott’s Aruba Surf Club
In the heart of Aruba’s Palm Beach is one of the island’s most iconic family resorts. Marriott’s Aruba Surf Club is as close to the ocean as you can get, resting on a wide, white-sand beach. And while access to the water is easily the property’s biggest draw, it shines in its effort to cater to the entire family. There’s a sauna and 24-hour fitness center for the adults and a waterslide and kids’ club for the younger folk. The whole family will enjoy a calming trip around the lazy river followed by umbrella-laden drinks at the poolside or beach bar.
And when it comes time to rest after a long day, guests can opt for a standard guest room or one of the property’s spacious one-, two-, or three-bedroom villas — each with a furnished balcony boasting ocean or garden views. Added perks like a separate living room and dining area, a fully equipped kitchen, and a washer and dryer, make villa living standout — especially for families.
In keeping with their worry-free promise, you’ll get free parking, WiFi, and absolutely no resort fees at Marriott’s Aruba Surf Club.
It may be a five-star hotel, but the vibe at Barceló Aruba is distinctly laid back. The waters out front are clear and calm and there’s plenty of palm trees for a shady, post-swim nap. When you’re not putting up your feet and ordering another round of drinks, there’s plenty to do. The property has a large natural swimming pool surrounded by rocks and trees and two hydro-massage pools for next-level relaxation. There are also tennis courts and an on-site casino.
At the Barceló Aruba each room has a private balcony, but it’s hard to top the Royal Level Master Suite, which has a spacious dining room and living room and a patio with its own hot tub.
As part of Barceló’s all-inclusive offering, guests have access to some of the most diverse (and plentiful) on-property dining in Aruba. There’s an all-outdoor seafood restaurant right on the beach, an Italian spot with an impressive wine list, and a sushi bar with two teppanyaki tables where you can watch your meal being prepared.
At Barceló Aruba, parking is always free, day and evening entertainment is ongoing, and there’s a well-regarded kids’ club for children ages 4 to 12.
In the world of Arubian all-inclusives, the sister properties of Tamarijn and Divi shine. For one, guests staying at either property get full access to the other, making their all-inclusive offerings double of what you’d find at a single resort. And while both properties are well-worth a visit, the fact that every room at the Tamarijn Aruba boasts ocean views and a private patio is not to be ignored.
The Tamarijn Aruba’s beach access is next-level. If you’re on the ground floor, your patio is directly on the beach, and if you’re on the top floor, you’ll get an added breeze and a better ocean view. It’s hard to go wrong. Between Tamarijn and Divi there are 10 restaurants and grills, eight bars, four freshwater pools, and an oceanfront fitness center. Added perks include a 30-foot climbing wall on the beach, e-bike rentals, weekly fitness classes, and ongoing activities and entertainment. It’s hard to get bored.
The Tamarijn Aruba also offers complimentary WiFi, a kids’ club, and a shuttle service between properties.
Hotel Riu Palace Antillas
Like every other hotel on this list, the Hotel Riu Palace Antillas has an array of all-inclusive perks, including three full meals, a la carte dining, and unlimited drinks — including a continually stocked in-room mini bar. But unlike most of the Aruba all-inclusive hotels, which are designed for the family in mind, the Hotel Riu Palace Antillas is an adults-only property. The result is a noticeably quieter, more sophisticated experience, with perks like a welcome glass of cava, a sun terrace, and two quiet pools — one with a swim-up bar.
Room service is available 24-hours a day and there’s an exclusive concierge service to ensure every aspect of your stay meets expectations. The hotel is a five-star property and the service reflects that.
At the waterfront, you’ll find an array of water activities, including windsurfing, kayaking, and snorkeling, and the team can set you up with a bike rental or hiking tour if you want to explore off property. When night falls, guests head to the onsite casino or nightclub for some after-dark fun. One standout activity, that’s well worth the extra cost, is a romantic dinner on the beach — it’s the perfect way to end a sunny day in Aruba.
Manchebo Beach Resort & Spa
If Palm Beach isn’t your scene, head south to the noticeably quieter Eagle Beach. Set right in the center of this sprawling stretch of sand is the Manchebo Beach Resort & Spa. This luxurious all-inclusive property is known for their wellness offerings, which revolve around the open-air Spa del Sol. The wellness center has a fully equipped gym, daily yoga and Pilates classes, and an impressive menu of spa treatments, including mud and aloe body wraps and massage techniques from around the world.
When you’re not enjoying the spa oasis, head outside to the infinity pool, or settle in on a beachfront palapa with a drink in hand. The all-inclusive offerings at Machebo include access to four diverse eateries with an a la carte breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Drinks are on the house and if you stay for four nights or more, the hotel will treat you to an off-property dinner at a local restaurant.
Meanwhile, inside the boutique resort, guests can choose from 72 rooms and suites including the spacious 1-bedroom suite with a dining room area, a kitchenette, and a spacious spa-style bathroom.
Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort Aruba
The bright yellow Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort Aruba is different from most resorts found on Palm and Eagle Beaches — in the best possible way. The hotel has retained its Dutch Colonial architecture, with yellow stucco walls and a red clay roof, and it has a welcome boutique feel. That said, the amenities are what you’d expect to find at a much larger resort. There’s a swimming pool with a waterfall, direct access to the sands of Eagle Beach, and two restaurants. Kids can head to the kid-designated pool or cruise around on one of the hotel’s bike rentals.
Additional all-inclusive perks include a daily happy hour, parking, and property-wide WiFi. Guests who want to take their relaxation to the next level can book an in-room spa treatment or have the concierge help plan a day of island exploration.
After a day of fun, guests retire to a beautiful selection of newly renovated studios and suites. The colorful, airy decor pairs perfectly with the hotel’s historic, beachy vibe, and the sought after penthouse suite has two bedrooms, a living and dining room area, and a huge balcony overlooking Eagle Beach.