ARUBA ARRIBA, ARRIBA ARUBA
Ahhhhhhruba. The thought of Aruba conjures up images of Divi Divi trees leaning over vast white sand beaches and crystal clear waters. Aruba is all that and more, a desert island, it offers both the beauty of the beach, and stunning desert vistas. Just a short drive from the palm trees and turquoise Caribbean water of Aruba’s high-rise hotels can land you in the middle of a cacti laden landscape replete with red-rock formations reminiscent of the American West. And if the geographic diversity isn’t enough, locals of Aruba speak four languages: Dutch, English, Spanish and Papimentu,a language that is best described as the result of putting the other three in a blender.
Ahhhhhhruba. The thought of Aruba conjures up images of Divi Divi trees leaning over vast white sand beaches and crystal clear waters. Aruba is all that and more, a desert island, it offers both the beauty of the beach, and stunning desert vistas. Just a short drive from the palm trees and turquoise Caribbean water of Aruba’s high-rise hotels can land you in the middle of a cacti laden landscape replete with red-rock formations reminiscent of the American West. And if the geographic diversity isn’t enough, locals of Aruba speak four languages: Dutch, English, Spanish and Papimentu,a language that is best described as the result of putting the other three in a blender.
Aruba is a small island — just 19.6 miles long — and boasts ideal temperatures year round thanks to the constant trade winds (which makes the heat bearable and limits the annoyance of mosquitoes, and mosquitoes really love me). Our taxi driver actually informed us that Aruba’s average precipitation in a year is under 15 inches, so no need to look for rainy day alternatives on your trip. Also Aruba boasts a crime rate of under one percent, one of the safest Carribean Islands.
We arrived at Queen Beatrix Airport in Oranjestad and jumped in a taxi. In hindsight I would recommend a rental car to get around. Taxis in Aruba are super expensive, and we probably would have explored even more of the island had we had our own transport. Some of Aruba’s stunning natural sights are accessible only by dirt road, so, if you go the rental route, it’s best to choose a 4×4!
Where to Stay:
Aruba, being an island nation whose economy is rooted in tourism, has no shortage of options when it comes to accommodations. There are 2 main hotel regions; the low-rises along Eagle Beach, and the high-rises along Palm Beach. The high-rises are your best option, especially if you’re not renting a car and want to avoid paying for taxis. Palm Beach stretches over a mile and is entirely walkable, either on the fine white sands along the ocean, on a paved boardwalk path that stretches the entire length of the beach, or along L.G. Smith Blvd, a road that runs North-South and is bordered by the high-rises to the West and shopping centers and restaurants to the East. Should you stay at one of Palm Beach’s high-rise resorts, you’ll find bars, restaurants, night spots and great shopping right at your doorstep. The dining, drinking and shopping options near the high-rises are plentiful and varied enough that you won’t need to leave the area during your stay.
Palm Beach in Aruba is home to over 10 resorts, each boasting their own restaurants, attractions and amenities. No two hotels/resorts are alike, and, differences between them vary widely. Considering that we stayed at the Aruba Marriott Resort and Stellaris Casino, It may seem biased to say that I found it to have the best combination of beach, pools, food, gambling and island luxury (which I think of as having everything you could want plus the ability to feel comfortable and at home while on vacay), but after visiting friends staying at various other high-rises, it was clear that the Aruba Marriott has the best combination of atmosphere and amenities among the resorts of Palm Beach.
Sparing no expense on luxury, the Aruba Marriott Resort and Stellaris Casino is the ideal base for excursions to the various natural wonders and sights of the surrounding area. With an atmosphere that perfectly achieves the elusive balance of fun and tranquility, the Marriott Aruba is the perfect Resort for couples, families, or groups of friends and provides the ideal experience that you’re looking for, whatever that experience that may be.
The Hotel:
The Aruba Marriott’s location really couldn’t be better. Situated on Palm Beach’s white sands and turquoise waters, it’s only 20 minutes from Aruba’s International Airport. The hotel is a beautiful 8 story building designed in contemporary architectural style with a lobby boasting soaring ceilings. The resort offers an unparalleled level of service. Aside from being wholeheartedly friendly and welcoming, the staff (shout out to Roberta! Who even had an engagement gift delivered to our room) made every effort to provide absolute comfort and peace of mind to each of its guests. The hotel has astounding attention to detail, offering everything from fresh-squeezed passion-fruit juice welcome drinks to daily personal concierges who will help curate the perfect Aruba experience for you. There are two pools, an adults only oasis and a large pool that welcomes everyone. The latter has a swim up pool bar and, should you be lucky enough to stay at the Aruba Marriott, don’t be alarmed when the bell rings at 12 and 3 pm (no, someone didn’t pee in the pool), it’s just letting everyone know that it’s happy hour! When you are ready to get off your feet and out of the sun for a bit, there’s plenty to do inside. For those who like to workout on vacation (I am, unfortunately, not one of those people, but the fitness center looked so cool that I had to check it out), the Aruba Marriott has a huge, modern 2 story fitness center that has windows facing out towards the ocean, overlooking the adult pool. The resort also has shops, a spa and daily activities for children (which Shane and I very much wanted to participate in). Also, the Stellaris Casino is definitively one of the nicest on the island! Let’s be honest, island hotel casinos can be a bit depressing at times. This is not the case at the Stellaris. A lively atmosphere with high ceilings, new machines, varied table games and live music starting at 10:00 pm all combine to create a stand-out island gambling experience and a definite departure from the dark, lonely casinos you may find at some surrounding establishments.
The Aruba Marriott’s location really couldn’t be better. Situated on Palm Beach’s white sands and turquoise waters, it’s only 20 minutes from Aruba’s International Airport. The hotel is a beautiful 8 story building designed in contemporary architectural style with a lobby boasting soaring ceilings. The resort offers an unparalleled level of service. Aside from being wholeheartedly friendly and welcoming, the staff (shout out to Roberta! Who even had an engagement gift delivered to our room) made every effort to provide absolute comfort and peace of mind to each of its guests. The hotel has astounding attention to detail, offering everything from fresh-squeezed passion-fruit juice welcome drinks to daily personal concierges who will help curate the perfect Aruba experience for you. There are two pools, an adults only oasis and a large pool that welcomes everyone. The latter has a swim up pool bar and, should you be lucky enough to stay at the Aruba Marriott, don’t be alarmed when the bell rings at 12 and 3 pm (no, someone didn’t pee in the pool), it’s just letting everyone know that it’s happy hour! When you are ready to get off your feet and out of the sun for a bit, there’s plenty to do inside. For those who like to workout on vacation (I am, unfortunately, not one of those people, but the fitness center looked so cool that I had to check it out), the Aruba Marriott has a huge, modern 2 story fitness center that has windows facing out towards the ocean, overlooking the adult pool. The resort also has shops, a spa and daily activities for children (which Shane and I very much wanted to participate in). Also, the Stellaris Casino is definitively one of the nicest on the island! Let’s be honest, island hotel casinos can be a bit depressing at times. This is not the case at the Stellaris. A lively atmosphere with high ceilings, new machines, varied table games and live music starting at 10:00 pm all combine to create a stand-out island gambling experience and a definite departure from the dark, lonely casinos you may find at some surrounding establishments.
The Beach:
Most beach resorts on Aruba have palm-frond palapas, catering to those who prefer to have a home base in the shade near the ocean, and the Aruba Marriott is no exception. Where the Marriott differs from most other resorts is that it allots a number of complimentary palapas for its guests (just make sure to get up early to reserve yours!) in addition to ones that you can reserve for a reasonable fee if all the Divi Divi trees are taken. The beach itself is an oasis of white sand and crystal clear caribbean sea. Also, there’s no slimy algae in this ocean (which makes this girl’s feet very happy). I actually dragged my lounge chair into the shallow part of the ocean, and got the best of both worlds, a tan in the water. All of the activities, or water sports you could possibly imagine are also available to enjoy on the beach (wave runners, water jetpacks, banana boats, you name it, Aruba has it) and they’re not a trek to get to, literally just steps from the Marriott.
The Restaurants:
La Vista – An oceanside Italian Restaurant with a terrace to eat and enjoy the ocean breeze.
Atardi- Nestled on the beach, it is the perfect place to eat and catch the sunset. Kick off your shoes and grab a table in the sand! Shane and I actually celebrated our engagement with dinner here, and it was unreal to see the skies change to a pink that you only usually see in movies. The food was amazing and predominantly seafood, but this non fish eating girl had a delicious steak, and shane enjoyed the grilled octopus and blackened Mahi Mahi. Save room for desert as the Creme Brulee is delish and feel free to have a ro
Waves Beach Bar and Grill- What is better than eating at the pool bar? Not much to me, but for those who do not like to eat in the pool, pull up a chair on the other side of the bar. Oh, and on weekends, enjoy the live music!
mantic dance to live music!
Ruths Chris – Shane and I didn’t go here as we have eaten many times in nyc, but always a solid option and rated one of the best steakhouses on the island.
Starbucks- Hello coffee, I walked into the lobby of the hotel and litterally screamed for joy that my coffee fix could be satisfied here everyday.
Gelato and Co – The perfect place for a refreshing afternoon snack, or delicious nighttime desert, with many flavors of Italian style gelato.
The Rooms:
The rooms feature all the bells and whistles you’d expect like luxe bathrobes, free Wi-Fi, and satellite TV. Our bathroom boasted his and hers sinks and a walk in closet this NYC girl could only dream of having. Unlike most other resorts on the Island, every one of the Aruba Marriott’s rooms offer an outdoor balcony, most with full or partial views of the pool and/or ocean. Our room had a beautiful balcony overlooking the pool and the ocean, and it also came in handy when drying your wet clothes (until we found Shanes boxers in a bush on the property, OOPS!). Also, there’s turn down service every night (Give me all the chocolates!).
The Aruba Marriott Resort and the Island in general definitely lives up to its motto, “One Happy Island,” and this girl was “One Sad Erin” when she had to leave.
#ARUBA #THEMARRIOTT #BEACHFRONT #BEACH #WHITESAND

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