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  #1  
Old Saturday, July 10th, 2010, 03:55 AM
amarg amarg is offline
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Default Hotel vs timeshare rental advice needed

I'm trying to plan a trip to Aruba for our first time in September. Going will be me, my hubby, my baby (age one) and my adult sister. We are having a bit of an issue planning as we are in Toronto and my sister is in Vancouver, BC and flights from Vancouver to Aruba are difficult to say the least and her best bet is either to fly to Toronto and come with us or fly from Seattle the day before through Atlanta and meet us in Aruba. There are great packages from Toronto but zero from Vancouver which leaves us in a bit of a dilemma. Do we book our packages at the Radisson and then try and add her on as additional person? Is this even feasible? The rooms offered right now and apparently all we can get are standard rooms and I'm concerned about all of four of us in there. I can sleep with my sis and baby and dad can share a bed but I don't want to be on top of each other. Is it possible to get an upgrade on our room through the hotel when we arrive or call them and negotiate? If we book flights and hotel separate from Toronto, the only direct flight from Toronto is by Westjet and runs once a week and since they prefer to sell it as a package and not flight only, it's about $850 each return. Going through the US is not an option for us and our baby. All things considered, I am beginning to wonder if it's not best for us to get a good deal on renting a timeshare as we were not doing all inclusive anyhow. Then my sister could save some money as she can fly from Seattle to Aruba for $600 and save the money she'd be spending if she flew to Toronto and then to Aruba. If she came to Toronto she would buy a package with us and it would be a completely separate trip and additional costs to her coming from Vancouver -very expensive. However, the flights for my partner and I would then be about $1700 alone and the package we were getting at the Radisson for 7 nights was $2561.00. So if we add another minimum $1500 for timeshare, we are at $3200 before any food or activities. I don't know what to do. I don't know if we should try to find a reasonable timeshare or book the package for us and try to add my sister on or if she should fly to Toronto and get her own package. I have spoken to various travel agents here in Canada as well as MCM tours and none of them are much help, they all seem dumbfounded by our situation and just wish we would shut up and book. If we book the hotel separately, of course it comes out to a huge amount so that's why I'm thinking timeshare instead unless my sister can be added at a reasonable rate. Sorry this is so long and convoluted but I need help and I have a headache from dealing with it for over a week now. I need to figure it out and book it already. Thanks for any advice!
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  #2  
Old Saturday, July 10th, 2010, 07:18 AM
LynnS LynnS is offline
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Default Re: Hotel vs timeshare rental advice needed

Having done the hotel room with 4 people-at the time a teenager-girl-and MIL-I would go for a timeshare. I think you should be able to find one for much less than $1500. Many sites to look on

Redweek.com
ebay
bidshares.com
Playa Linda site
Costa Linda
Aruba Beach Club
Casa del Mar
Paradise Beach Villas
LaQuinta
La Cabana
Also check price for Amsterdam manor
Interval International has some great getaways for Sept. if you know a member.
Hope this helps.
Relax and enjoy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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  #3  
Old Saturday, July 10th, 2010, 07:36 AM
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Default Re: Hotel vs timeshare rental advice needed

let's see,

first, welcome to our forum. we are here to help.

i want to make sure i understand since it is very early and i also have a headache but the tylenol hasn't started working yet, lol. it's you, hubby, baby and sister. you were planning to do a package via toronto. you may go to the rad in that package.

your questions are:

1. is the rad going to be comfortable for 3 adults and one child in a standard room
2. will they upgrade you there or can you possibly get an upgrade
3. would a timeshare make sense.

i have a few questions then i can answer you better. what day of the week does westjet fly? although direct is great, can you do any other option that has one stop?

now my answers and all are totally my own opinion (trying to make this concise since the head really is throbbing)

1. if you are used to cramped quarters then it is. the rad is lovely and i really like it. however, 4 people in one hotel room is not my idea of fun unless forced.
2. they may upgrade if they have the availability but you will pay for that upgrade
3. yes! even if you get a one bedroom, they will supply a crib the livingroom will have a sofabed and you will have a kitchen. the money you save having some meals in your room eases the price difference. if your sister is saving that much money flying from seattle, she can contribute a bit to the timeshare. $3-500 from her and you are back to even. a trip to the grocery for lunch meats, bread and snacks along with some beverages such as beer or wine and you are way ahead plus you have no crowding and more creature comfort.

the important factor on this is what day your flight will be. then we know which timeshares are available. also, depending on the day as to what bargains you can find. if you find a deal thru an owner you can save a lot of money. i'm staying at a 2 bedroom timeshare at costa linda in august for $1400. it is friday to friday but it is an example of the prices you will spend for a typical timeshare.

i hope this helps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amarg View Post
I'm trying to plan a trip to Aruba for our first time in September. Going will be me, my hubby, my baby (age one) and my adult sister. We are having a bit of an issue planning as we are in Toronto and my sister is in Vancouver, BC and flights from Vancouver to Aruba are difficult to say the least and her best bet is either to fly to Toronto and come with us or fly from Seattle the day before through Atlanta and meet us in Aruba. There are great packages from Toronto but zero from Vancouver which leaves us in a bit of a dilemma. Do we book our packages at the Radisson and then try and add her on as additional person? Is this even feasible? The rooms offered right now and apparently all we can get are standard rooms and I'm concerned about all of four of us in there. I can sleep with my sis and baby and dad can share a bed but I don't want to be on top of each other. Is it possible to get an upgrade on our room through the hotel when we arrive or call them and negotiate? If we book flights and hotel separate from Toronto, the only direct flight from Toronto is by Westjet and runs once a week and since they prefer to sell it as a package and not flight only, it's about $850 each return. Going through the US is not an option for us and our baby. All things considered, I am beginning to wonder if it's not best for us to get a good deal on renting a timeshare as we were not doing all inclusive anyhow. Then my sister could save some money as she can fly from Seattle to Aruba for $600 and save the money she'd be spending if she flew to Toronto and then to Aruba. If she came to Toronto she would buy a package with us and it would be a completely separate trip and additional costs to her coming from Vancouver -very expensive. However, the flights for my partner and I would then be about $1700 alone and the package we were getting at the Radisson for 7 nights was $2561.00. So if we add another minimum $1500 for timeshare, we are at $3200 before any food or activities. I don't know what to do. I don't know if we should try to find a reasonable timeshare or book the package for us and try to add my sister on or if she should fly to Toronto and get her own package. I have spoken to various travel agents here in Canada as well as MCM tours and none of them are much help, they all seem dumbfounded by our situation and just wish we would shut up and book. If we book the hotel separately, of course it comes out to a huge amount so that's why I'm thinking timeshare instead unless my sister can be added at a reasonable rate. Sorry this is so long and convoluted but I need help and I have a headache from dealing with it for over a week now. I need to figure it out and book it already. Thanks for any advice!
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Old Saturday, July 10th, 2010, 07:50 AM
LynnS LynnS is offline
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Default Re: Hotel vs timeshare rental advice needed

I just saw a 2 bedroom at the Marriott for $900-not sure of your dates-
I think this was for the beginning of Sept.
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Old Saturday, July 10th, 2010, 11:05 AM
JLG52 JLG52 is offline
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Default Re: Hotel vs timeshare rental advice needed

I am from toronto and travel to aruba alot, you can fly usair ways out of buffalo for about 400 ea. also look at www.tug2.net there is a 2bd unit available week 36 sept for 600 at paradise villas which is great property .
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Old Saturday, July 10th, 2010, 02:50 PM
amarg amarg is offline
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Default Re: Hotel vs timeshare rental advice needed

Hi guys, thanks for your replies but I going through the US is not an option unfortunately due to legal reasons. I'm not sure if I forgot to add that in my initial post.
The $600 for a week sounds like a deal to good to be true. The flight would be Saturday to Saturday so Sept 4 to 11, 11 to 18, 18 to 25.
I don't mind paying extra to upgrade the room but just don't want to be stuck in cramped quarters with only two double beds, not even queens if we can't get upgrades.

Last edited by amarg; Saturday, July 10th, 2010 at 05:34 PM.
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Old Saturday, July 10th, 2010, 03:04 PM
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Default Re: Hotel vs timeshare rental advice needed

i think paradise beach is saturday to saturday but check on tug2. many people will rent for the price of their maintenance or maintenance plus a small amount. that is probably the reason it is that cheap because the place itself is lovely. i have friends who own there (aquarius on our forum is one) and have been on the property. understand that a upgrade at the rad is not going to give you a gigantic room. no matter what, it's going to be two beds in a room. if the price for an upgrade doesn't bother you than the price of a timeshare certainly shouldn't. plus what you save on a quick trip to a grocery vs restaurants for breakfast or lunch will certainly make up for it.

check out tug2 and forums for specific timeshares. casa del mar, paradise beach, aruba beach club (they only have one bedroom units), la cabana are a few that will be in a decent price range. google the links for the timeshares and you should be able to find one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amarg View Post
Hi guys, thanks for your replies but going through the US in NOT AN OPTION.
The $600 for a week sounds like a deal to good to be true. The flight would be Saturday to Saturday so Sept 4 to 11, 11 to 18, 18 to 25.
I don't mind paying extra to upgrade the room but just don't want to be stuck in cramped quarters with only two double beds, not even queens if we can't get upgrades.

Last edited by dwippies; Saturday, July 10th, 2010 at 10:47 PM.
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Old Saturday, July 10th, 2010, 07:50 PM
amarg amarg is offline
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Default Re: Hotel vs timeshare rental advice needed

So we have decided to go with a timeshare and so I am actively looking for one. We need to have two real beds, not a sleeper sofa or pullout as second bed. Other than that, we are pretty easy as long as it's reasonably priced, clean, and close to all amenities. I've posted my ad in the timeshare wanted forum but if anyone comes across anything in September from a Saturday to Saturday only, please let me know asap, Thanks.
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Old Saturday, July 10th, 2010, 10:46 PM
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Default Re: Hotel vs timeshare rental advice needed

check casa del mar. they are a good bet. their two bedrooms have enough space for all of you and are lovely. costa linda is more expensive going for about 1400. paradise beach is excellent and very reasonable. the divi properties also are nice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amarg View Post
So we have decided to go with a timeshare and so I am actively looking for one. We need to have two real beds, not a sleeper sofa or pullout as second bed. Other than that, we are pretty easy as long as it's reasonably priced, clean, and close to all amenities. I've posted my ad in the timeshare wanted forum but if anyone comes across anything in September from a Saturday to Saturday only, please let me know asap, Thanks.
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Old Tuesday, July 13th, 2010, 04:00 PM
amarg amarg is offline
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Default Re: Hotel vs timeshare rental advice needed

So I have found good deals on Casa del Mar and the Marriot. Of course the CDM is a 2 bdrm for the price of a 1 bdrm at Marriot but now we are considering two weeks so my options are doing both weeks at one property and same room, it's slightly cheaper to switch rooms but I can get the same room too at CDM. Stay at CDM for a week and Martiott for the other week and get an experience at both. I'm renting a car so getting around is not an issue. I just don't know which property to choose as I'm a Newbie. Any advice? We are fairly young and like to see and do a lot on vacation and not just relax. Access to kids services important.
Also, do you recommend travel insurance and if your Canadian, through who? Thanks.
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Old Tuesday, July 13th, 2010, 04:09 PM
craftygirl craftygirl is offline
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One Happy Island Re: Hotel vs timeshare rental advice needed

Hello! It seems timeshare would be a better bet for all of you and much more accommodating. Check out the Marriott Aruba Surf Club, either through them directly or through craigslist.com. If you do decide, its cheaper to rent from an owner at the surf club who isnt using their week. We did that first time and ended up buying at Marriott Aruba Surf Club. The rooms are big if you get the 2 bedroom, sleeps 8 with 2 bathrooms and a big kitchen and you won't be unhappy and on top of each other. Good Luck!
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Old Tuesday, July 13th, 2010, 10:08 PM
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Default Re: Hotel vs timeshare rental advice needed

Wow, I am dizzy from these postings. I'm glad there are so many people who can help you on this board amarg. When I read your first posting, I thought I might be able to offer some help. But my fellow BBers really outshine anything I can possible offer. My hat's off to you all. I'm sure it will all work out well in the end amarg.
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Old Wednesday, July 14th, 2010, 05:36 AM
amarg amarg is offline
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Default Re: Hotel vs timeshare rental advice needed

Does anyone know if the construction at La Cabana is still ongoing and how bad it is? Is it better to avoid if possible? I think I will take two weeks at Casa Del Mar. It's 2 bdrms for $975 per week. I am thinking this is a good deal?
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Old Wednesday, July 14th, 2010, 05:52 AM
pgsoder pgsoder is offline
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Smile Re: Hotel vs timeshare rental advice needed

Yes, construction is still going on and will be way into 2011. I think they are in phase 8 or 9 now. Been there 4 times since this started and it has not interferred with my time there.
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Old Wednesday, July 14th, 2010, 06:32 AM
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Default Re: Hotel vs timeshare rental advice needed

i think you will really like cdm. it is a very nice and cozy place. the 2 bedroom units are more than big enough to give all of you plenty of space. the fact that there are two bedrooms and two baths gives you privacy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amarg View Post
Does anyone know if the construction at La Cabana is still ongoing and how bad it is? Is it better to avoid if possible? I think I will take two weeks at Casa Del Mar. It's 2 bdrms for $975 per week. I am thinking this is a good deal?
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Old Wednesday, July 14th, 2010, 01:19 PM
amarg amarg is offline
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Default Re: Hotel vs timeshare rental advice needed

I know, this forum is amazing! You guys have so much knowledge and the answers come so quick. I am very nervous about this trip and have a high stress personality (can you tell) so I really appreciate all the help you have all given me and it's made me feel so much better about going to Aruba. I can't wait!
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Old Thursday, July 15th, 2010, 12:27 PM
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Default Re: Hotel vs timeshare rental advice needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by amarg View Post
I know, this forum is amazing! You guys have so much knowledge and the answers come so quick. I am very nervous about this trip and have a high stress personality (can you tell) so I really appreciate all the help you have all given me and it's made me feel so much better about going to Aruba. I can't wait!
We stayed at CDM only once, in a 1BR, and we were happy there. We now own elsewhere so haven't been back in a while. I have never heard anyone complain about the place and there're certainly a lot of people on this forum who own there. So like Sherry says, sounds like you'll be more than satisfied with the 2BR/2Bath. On top of that, their restaurant Matthew's is the BEST. I can vouch for that personally.

Once you book your room, I'm betting your stress goes away, and is replaced only by the excitement of a countdown to your Sept vacation in paradise. That's the way it should be. You're going to have a GREAT time.
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Old Thursday, July 15th, 2010, 01:51 PM
pgsoder pgsoder is offline
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Default Re: Hotel vs timeshare rental advice needed

Agree with everything Ro said, but will add my 2 cents, I think the minute you get into your taxi and head to CDM for your stay, you will be stress free. The island of paradise does wonders for stressed out people. Enjoy every single second you are there.
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Old Friday, July 16th, 2010, 12:15 AM
amarg amarg is offline
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Default Re: Hotel vs timeshare rental advice needed

Flights purchased today and spoke to the TS owner and made payment. She sounds great and very nice. She is going to email me a copy of the confirmation reservation in my name and a personal letter (word document) stating that I have her permission to stay in the suite she owns for the dates specified. According to her, the letter from her and the reservation confirmation is all that's needed to check in at Casa del Mar. I offered a rental agreement but she says it's unnecessary. Is this right? What should I know?
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