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Aruba

Bon Bini! Welcome to Aruba!

aruba-sollMy husband and I recently took a second trip to Aruba in April to celebrate our anniversary, and to just get away after this long, cold, Michigan winter. This was my second trip, and my husband’s fourth to the island. Why Aruba? There are MANY reasons that I will explain in the next few minutes, but mostly because it is always sunny and at least 82 degrees or warmer! The highlight of our trip last year, we met 2 other couples that we met again this year, and will continue to meet up every year in Aruba!

 

We LOVE warm tropical weather and sunshine, so you are guaranteed perfect weather on your vacation. It only rains about 2 inches a year, and if it’s cloudy or sprinkles, just wait 20 minutes and the trade winds blow away any clouds. The island is about 19.6 miles long, and 6 miles across, making it easy to visit most any part of the island. From certain points on the island, on a sunny day, you can see Venezuela- pretty awesome.

 

Most resorts on the island are all-inclusive, and some that are not. We personally love the RIU Palace resort, and we might be biased since this is where we met our AWESOME new friends. The RIU recently bought the old Westin, next door, and remodeled it to make it the adult-only part of the resort, RIU Antilla. You can still book the RIU Palace, it’s kid friendly, and still just as beautiful! Since they were remodeling, we weren’t able to book Antilla and stayed at the Occidental Grand. This resort was just as nice, but a lot smaller.

Pros of RIU Cons of RIU
Bigger Resort More Exoensive Kid Friendly & Adult Only All Inclusive Perks Of
Better Food NO Beach Bar-Pool, Only Bigger Pool Area / Private Pools
More Nightly Entertainment Beach Is More Windy
All Inclusive Make Restaurant Reservations Daily
We Reall Had No Complaints  
   
Pros Of The Occidental Grand   Cons Of The Occidental Grand
Great Friendly Staff Smaller Pool / Beach
Slightly Less Windy Small Buffet Area for Breakfast / Lunch Beach
Great Views For Sunsets @ The Restaurant     Not Much Nightly Entertainment
You Can Make Multiple Reservations NO Real Complaints, We loved it!
Beach Bar  
All Inclusive  

If you want to venture outside of the resort, I have some amazing restaurants you NEED to try! There is a little downtown area within walking distance of most of the resorts. If you travel al little further there is a large outside shopping center with lots of restaurants to get your American fix if you wish. Check out the link for more details! http://www.aruba.com/things-to-do/palm-beach-plaza-mall

sunset-beach
My husband loves to dive, I like to snorkel, and both are worth the trip in Aruba. We recommend the Sunset Cruise, nothing better than sitting on a catamaran with an Aruba-Ariba drink, music, the ocean and watching the sun set. Other trips worth taking are Baby Beach, Off Road excursion with ATV’s, and somewhere, sometime, I will find out where all of those beautiful Flamingos hide out! Excursions are always a blast, but they don’t stop here. Click the Aruba logo at the top for more information about the island!

 

Restaurants

dine-on-Aruba

Gianni’s Group Restaurants

I’ll start with the closest restaurant within walking distance of both resorts, and most all of them, Gianni’s Italian Restaurant. You MUST try their Spaghetti al Formaggio Parmigianino! It’s cooked right at your table in a huge wheel of Parmesan, flaming whisky, and spaghetti with fresh tomatoes and basil. You can add shrimp, lobster, chicken, or meatballs… it’s simply amazing! You can also walk next door to Daniel’s Chop & Steak house, or Amore Mio Pizzeria, and end up at Gelatissamo for Gelato! Click on the link for more information: http://www.giannisgroup.com/

gianna-spag


The Flying Fishbone

This is by far our favorite restaurant, just for the view alone! It’s about a 30 minute cab drive, but it’s absolutely worth it! You will want to try and make reservations as soon as possible, and before the sun sets so you can take the opportunity for some amazing sunset photos. You take your shoes off and sit in the sand, or a tab for 2 in the water! They offer a variety of items on their menu, and their martini’s are served in little fish bowls and very colorful.

Click on the link for more information: http://www.flyingfishbone.com/

flying-fishbone


El Gaucho-Argentine Grill

If you are craving a good steak, this is the place to go! They offer seafood and steak, each room has different décor, and you might get serenaded by a guy with a guitar. You have to try their Conch appetizer, and you can’t go wrong with any of the entrees! Just remember to bring your appetite, the portions are big! Check it out: http://www.elgaucho-aruba.com/

El-Gua-coll

 

Zee Rovers

If you happen to know some locals, we know the Chief of the Aruba Polis Canine Unit, and he brought us to Zee Rovers, Dutch for “Rovers of the Sea”, or Pirates. It’s a bit of a drive, but located right on the water and the freshest fish you will eat, unless you catch it yourself! You order Shrimp or Fish at the window by the pound, with sides of Plantains, Fries, Onions in vinegar, and cornbread ‘pancakes’. It’s definitely a local place, and prepare to eat with your hands, but it’s worth the trip! http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g1158886-d2170599-r136080876-Zeerovers-Savaneta_Aruba.html

Other restaurants worth checking out :

La Trattoria - El Faro Blanco Restaurant, this is a great restaurant for a sunset view on their patio! http://www.aruba-latrattoria.com/

Madame Janette’s http://www.madamejanette.info/joomla2/

Papiamento http://papiamentoaruba.com/

Dinner on the beach… We highly recommend spending a little extra money, it’s absolutely worth it! The Occidental Grand offered this at the resort, but I think if you ask the front desk at other resorts, they would be more than willing to help you figure out how to make it happen.

beach-dinner-2


We made a point to try every drink on the list, and I will be re-creating my favorites this summer, so keep an eye out on my website! In the meantime, check out some of my favorites;

Aruba-drinks


No matter where you end up in Aruba, you will have the best time. The weather is always consistent, the people are friendly, the resorts are beautiful, the ocean is aqua blue, and there is something for everyone on the island! #Aruba #OneHappyIsland #ArubaTaHot #ArubaTourism #DiscoverAruba.

                           riu   occidental

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