Aruba Hotels and Aruba Resorts are practically synonymous, since most hotels in Aruba tend to be mega-resorts with a lively ambiance, including casinos and shops.
Even timeshare resort properties mingle between the hotels and resorts without being conspicuous.
It takes a little probing, but, you can also find a few smaller and more intimate hotels, guesthouses and villas. Our favorite is a “boutique” hotel called the Boardwalk.
Most Aruba hotels are classified by their location as High Rise or Low Rise. Technically it is the number of floors that the hotel has that make it a High or Low rise. However, the location of each resort dictates the number of floors each building is allowed to have.
There are also a few hotels in the city of Oranjestad.
Hotels, restaurants, and nightlife are all in close proximity. The atmosphere of Palm Beach and the High Rise Hotels has been compared to the glamor and activity of South Beach, Florida, with its open-to-the-beach restaurants, shops and beach bars.
Each hotel has its own beach front lobby and lush gardens. Inside, are plenty of upscale and trendy shops and boutiques.
It is the "glitter and glam" (or as my younger brother says, "Bling-Bling") area of Aruba's resorts.
The Low Rise hotels are not quite as large, and a bit more spread out. Many of these buildings are no more than 3 stories tall, and some even offer private accommodations, separate bungalows or cabins.
These hotels are considered to be located on Eagle Beach, Aruba, although many of these resorts spread across Eagle, Bushiri, Druif, and Manchebo beaches.
Usually a little less expensive, the Low Rise Hotels are also a little less posh than the high-rise hotels. But the low-rises offer more space, and privacy. The area has the feel of an unpretentious beach town.
Oranjestad is Aruba's capital and has served as the island's main port since 1797. It is a bustling waterfront marketplace. There are only a few hotels in town since most of the waterfront here is reserved for a marina for the cruise ships and fishing or cargo ships.