Sunday, May 3, 2009

Dining at the Tamarijn Aruba All Inclusive

Aruba Bound
Food at the Tamarijn Aruba is very very good. There is always something for everyone, including the children. Breakfast buffet at the Cunucu Terrace opens at 7 a.m.and is more than satisfying. There is a problem if you could not find something to your liking. Offerings included: yogurts, small platter of meats and cheese, chunks of fresh fruit: pineapple, orange, mango, melons, eggs cooked to order, hard boiled eggs, French toast, pancakes, pastries and breads, corned beef hash, scrambled eggs, sausage links, sausage patties, bacon, grilled tomatoes, Dutch potatoes (baked cubed potatoes with onion) and juices: fruit punch, orange, grapefruit, tomato and cranberry among others.

Dh did not particularly care for the coffee, but then again we have never traveled where he liked the coffee as much as he does his own at home. Dh and I decided to head to the Divi’s breakfast buffet one morning and in addition to the above, they offered lox as well as egg’s Benedict and poached eggs. Overall the breakfast was a little more upscale, but if you do not like the walk or the even longer wait for the golf cart shuttle there from the Tamarijn, it is not a huge deal if you skip it.

Aruba Bound
Pizza per Tutti, the grill, bar and snack bar, stayed open until 1 a.m. For a quick snack during these hours, there is always popcorn or self service ice cream. Popcorn is made throughout the day at per Tutti and dished out fresh in small paper bags. Our favorite selection is pizza-- Margherita- tomato and mozzarella cheese, Pepperoni, Verduce- Vegetarian with mushrooms, tomato, peppers, onions and olives (my personal favorite), Tutti's- ham, pineapple, jalapenos and mushrooms (dd's favorite minus the ham and jalapenos). My niece complained the pizza at the pizza bar had a "plain" sauce and was "not like the NY pizza she was used to.” She was supplied with oregano and red pepper- - problem solved.

Other offerings at per Tutti include: Chicken nuggets, Mexican fries with tomato salsa, sour cream, cheddar and guacamole, Onion Rings, Garlic bread with marinara sauce, Club Sandwich- cheese, turkey, lettuce, tomato and bacon, Italian Club- mozzarella, salami, onions, tomato and oregano, Tuna Salad sandwich, Meatballs in tomato sauce on French bread.

We were totally taken by surprise by some of the more upscale offerings on the lunch buffet such as scallops in wine sauce and paella complete with shrimp, mussels and crab meat (though I think that may have been imitation). I have a full description of the Tamarijn lunch buffet offerings here.

Aruba Bound
The Red Parrot at the Divi Aruba is our favorite ala carte restaurant. Any of the guests at the Divi or Tamarijn would most likely tell you that this was their favorite as well. It is a beautiful beach side setting with indoor or outdoor dining.

Steaks at the Red Parrot were better than the ones we have been served on Princess and Celebrity Cruise Lines and in my opinion, the Churasco was better than El Gaucho's. The portions were also more than plentiful. If I had to say any part of the food was lacking it was the cakes for dessert, though there were a couple of chocolate cakes that were not half bad. Is anyone going to allow his vacation to be judged upon desserts?

I am often asked how the reservation system works at the Divi and Tamarijn.

  • Upon arrival you are able to make reservations for the first three nights of your stay.
  • Reservations the first day work out essentially, you get whichever seating's are left for the night you arrive and, except for those who have checked in already before you that day, you have first dibs on the next two nights.
  • Then the following morning beginning at 8 a.m. you can make reservations for your fourth night's dinner and so on for the successive days.
My husband is an early riser so was there at 8 a.m. each morning. We have been at the Tamarijn when it was at full capacity for some of the nights we were there and we were always able to get a reservation if dh was there at 8 a.m. to make the reservation. It definitely helps to be flexible on not only your choice of restaurant but reservation time as well. Red Parrot is the most popular restaurant. It was very sad arriving at the restaurants, which were supposed to be booked solid, and they sat half empty. From talking to the staff, they explained that from drinking all day, people get tired, take a nap and then sleep right through their dinner reservation.