Advantages Friendly people, great food, fantastic beaches!
Disadvantages Long flight time
|Value for Money|
|Ease of getting around|
I had fancied going to Aruba since hearing about it on an episode of Friends (sad, I know, but there you go!) My husband and I finally decided to go in July 2003 for fortnight.We booked to stay at the Tamarijn Divi resort, all inclusive.
So lets start from the beginning .........We booked through Kuoni who could not have been more helpful if they had tried. Their online booking facility is fantastic and telephone staff always strive to do their best for you. As Aruba is a dutch island, the flights that we had went from Manchester via Amsterdam and then onto Aruba. We had 5 hours to kill in Amsterdam so went from Schiphol (I think that's how its spelt!) Airport into Amsterdam itself and had a wander round. Transport from the airport was via train which was punctual, clean and cheap (British Rail take note!). After our wander, back to the airport for our 9.5 hour flight to Aruba. By the time we arrived at our hotel we had been on the go for 26 hours!
The hotel - absolutely fantastic! The rooms are literally on the beach. Amazing to wake up, step out of your door and be on golden sand with palm trees all around and pelicans diving in the sea in front of you! Absolute paradise. There are some rooms that are on a more rocky part of the beach but its only a stones through from the sandy parts so even that isnt much of a hardship. The hotel is all inclusive with fantastic buffets for breakfast, lunch and evening meal. There are also two additional restaurants - Italian and more traditional dishes that are also part of the all inclusive deal. Entertainment was put on every night but it was only a short taxi ride to the capital of Oranjestad where there was a wealth of restuarants and bars.
If you pay slightly extra you can also use the facilities of its sister hotel the Divi Aruba resort which is just further along the beach and can be reached by a linking walkway. We did this and it was lovely to have the option of using either hotel.
Because of its location, Aruba has guaranteed sunshine and is outside the hurricane belt. It is also the best place I have ever been to get a tan because it is always windy so I could stay out in the sun longer! But dont forget the sunscreen! One of the biggest attractions on the island are the iguanas - they are everywhere! From cute little ones, to huge adult size. I think I had more photographs of iguanas than anything else by the time we left!Things to do ....... our hotel had free bicycle hire so we had a couple of trips up the coast. Again, because of the breeze you kept cool so it was a very pleasant day out. Also did a 4x4 trip round the island and saw the rocky coast first hand. A trip to the natural bridge is worth it and the snorkelling is fantastic. Oh, and you can't say you've been to Aruba unless you have been to Iguana Joes. The best restaurant on the island! Located on the main street of Oranjestad and serves the best food and cocktails ever!
The island is filled with Americans as to them its a weekend destination! Lucky things!Downsides ....... we did get quite a bit of hassle regarding timeshares. Fortunately, they were a bit less aggressive than the type you get in places like Spain and backed off when we explained we were not interested.
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