Destination Spotlight: Aruba

Part of the ABC islands, you’ll find Aruba just off the coast of Venezuela.  The beaches here are soft, powdery white sand and crystal clear Caribbean waters.  The resort area along Palm Beach is especially pedestrian-friendly, with shops, restaurants, and casinos an easy stroll distance from your resort.  This is one of those destinations where you are fine without an all-inclusive resort, since restaurants are so close and the food quality standards are very high.

A car rental isn’t necessary and you can get around by either walking or taking a taxi.  I recommend an island tour while visiting so that you can see the other, more rugged side of the island — wow, such drastic difference from the calm, sandy side!

 


Palm Beach, Aruba 

 

This is a great destination for families as well as couples and adult friends traveling together.  And being outside the hurricane belt, it is a good destination for travel in late summer and fall, when the tropical storms kick up.  

 

Top resort picks
Radisson Aruba - the first resort built, and lovingly maintained with beautiful grounds and the best location.  For families and adults alike, you can’t go wrong with this 4+ star choice.

The Ritz Carlton Aruba - relatively new, and oh-so-gorgeous.  This is the first true 5 star resort on island.  The food, rooms, service, and ambiance have definite wow factor.  This is the last resort along Palm Beach, so the shops and reataurants nearby aren’t as close for walking.  An amazing destination wedding staff.

Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort - a small, adults only resort rated 4 star but with 5 star service and food.  Perfect for an anniversary or honeymoon couple, and I bet you’ll want to come back next year!  The owner has a real knack for understanding the client (and that goes a long way).

Riu Palace Antilles - a newly rennovated/rebranded property, this adults only all-inclusive is in a great location and a great choice for friend groups, weddings, and getaways.  The neighboring “all ages” Riu Palace Aruba has just closed for rennovations and will reopen mid July.

Divi Aruba All-Inclusive - located on Druif Beach is Divi Aruba, part of a 4 resort complex by Divi Resorts.  There’s a golf course here, and the beach is lovely.  Also, the property has been undergoing some recent rennovations and enhancements and while it’s rated a 3 1/2 star, I’d rate it closer to 4 stars.  Very family friendly, and great for couples as well.

Holiday Inn Resort Aruba - an exceptionally friendly staff. This is an older property that has undergone some major rennovations in some (but not all) areas, so expect overall 3 1/2 stars until everything has been updated.  Still, a great property for the price.  There is an all-inclusive option, but the “no meals” plan is always the best bang for the buck.