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[VIDEO] The Rising Star of Aruba Hotels

There is a new sheriff in town. A new top rated hotel has manifested itself at the number 1 position of the defacto leadership board in Palm Beach and Eagle Beach hotels.

According to TripAdvisor, the highest ranking hotel in Aruba at press time is Ocean Z Boutique Hotel Aruba. This small hotel exists only since 2015 and has risen to the top of the heap fast.

Screenshot Top hotels in Palm Beach and Eagle Beach mid-November 2017, according to Travelers Choice on TripAdvisor

Small Properties

The top 10 best hotels according to TripAdvisor are the smaller hotels, where an owner or people close to the owners closely guard the operations.

Smaller properties are naturally more manageable and tend to receive better reviews as well. That being said, it is no guarantee that because of the small-scale nature of a hotel, automatically means that a top rating is a sure thing.

Personally,  I can attest to the fact that the staff at these hotels, for the most part, work hard to ensure an unforgettable experience for their guests.

Why it matters

The reason it matters for a newcomer to be able to reach the top spot is significant.

This allows a startup hotel business to reach the upper echelons of critical acclaim by offering innovative and cutting edge customer service.

For larger players, it is a way to stay on edge and make sure the service level remains high.


TripAdvisor has become the go-to resource for information about most things tourism all over the world. A quick FYI, car rental reviews has been noticeably absent from the review boards for some reason.

The propriety algorithm of TripAdvisor is a bit fuzzy. Due to this fact, it regularly brings discussion within the local management and ownership community of tourism operators. It is an ongoing and rather heated debate.

Some argue that how it can be that a relatively new player (#1 Ocean Z has 161 reviews) can overtake an established brand or powerhouse (#2 Bucuti has 4658 reviews) if you will, which seemingly has been garnering consistent 5-star reviews for years.

Again, the algorithm employed by TripAdvisor is unknown, but it seems to favor 5-star reviews that have been posted new, while “old” reviews lose significance. It seems certain that it penalizes non-5-star reviews on the rankings overall.


It is hard to reach the top spot, but it is even harder to maintain it.

Personally, I hope that this continuous silent battle between operators is for the better and pushes the actors to increase their service levels even higher in the benefit of our visitors, who pay good money to come to this island and deserve the very best.

Updated for errors.
Ocean Z is not a sponsor.

By Gabriel

Informing travelers about Aruba since 2007, and trying to provide value to Aruba visitors.

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