A travel journal
to Aruba by mag&dick
Quote: Sure, ALL Caribbean islands have beautiful beaches and great resorts. So, what makes Aruba special? Wonderfully friendly people. A tourist-friendly environment. Perfect year-round weather (outside the hurricane belt!). And, a good balance between total relaxation and plenty to do!
One of our favorite things to do is walk around the high-rise hotels--you can walk from one to another along the beach path. It's fun to go into all the casinos and watch the action--or try your own luck.
The windsurfing competitions are held in early June.
You have to go to the Natural Bridge because it is cool and it's Aruba's biggest natural attraction. They swear there are signs, but we've been going to Aruba for 15 years and we can never find it! So ask directions at your hotel first.
Don't swim anywhere on the Atlantic side of the island--the surf is too rough!
The Bonbini Festival is fun for a taste of Aruban folk dancing and singing on Tuesday nights.
We like Brisas Del Mar, Chalet Suisse, El Gaucho, and Ventanas del Mar restaurants.
Aruba desalinates the ocean so its drinking water is safe and good! American dollars are accepted everywhere, but in some smaller places you may get Aruban currency for change.
It is adjacent to its sister resort, the Aruba Beach Club, and next door to the Divi Divi. Casa Del Mar (CDM) is newer and more elegant than Aruba Beach Club (ABC). But both have nice pools, and you can use either one.
The suites at CDM were large and nicely furnished. Our two-bedroom suite had a king bed in the master, while the second bedroom had twin beds. The living room couch opened to a queen-size bed. There were TVs in the living room, master bedroom, and second bedroom. They had cable TV.
The living space was open concept, with separate living, dining, and kitchen areas. The kitchen was larger than most timeshares and had a stove, microwave, full-sized refrigerator, and all the comforts of home. Our third-floor unit had a balcony with table and chairs, overlooking the pool and out to the sea.
The resort has a small but adequate fitness center, hair salon, beach shop, members' lounge, and general store. CDM and ABC share a minimarket.
The two sister resorts are located on an absolutely beautiful white sandy beach. The past few years, there have been problems with beach erosion in front of the resorts, bringing the water closer to the seaside restaurant. But they fill in the beach, and Mother Nature takes care of filling it back in from time to time. You can walk the whole stretch of beach up to the end where they hold the windsurfing competitions in early June. It's just gorgeous.
There aren't water sports available right at the resort, but you can make arrangements for them and for sailing and catamaran cruises at the desk. There is also a car-rental facility in the lobby.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 21, 2003
Casa del Mar Beach Resort
L.G. Smith Boulevard 51-53
The resort is only two stories high, and each has a view of the pool or the ocean. If you are on the second floor, you'll have a balcony; if you are on the first floor, you'll have a little patio area with table and chairs.
The ABC pool is great--very large--and there is a kiddie pool. There is also a poolside bar and barbecue that serves lunch. They are talking about bringing back a full-service restaurant to the resort. There is one (The Seagull) at sister resort CDM.
There is a minimarket, and the fitness facility is shared with CDM. There are also a hair salon, beach store, and members' lounge.
The rooms are nicely furnished, and the resort is in the process of re-doing the decor. It's not as luxurious as the CDM, but it is a perfectly comfortable and acceptable timeshare accomodation.
The beach area in front of ABC is wider than at CDM, and there are plenty of huts on the beach with lounge chairs. The beach is absolutely gorgeous, and just walking it from end to end is a joy.
There are not water sports available right at the resort, but arrangements can be made at the desk. There is also a car-rental agency in the lobby.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 21, 2003
Aruba Beach Club
J.E. Irausquin Blvd. 53
Driving up to Brisas Del Mar, it doesn't look like much--in fact, it looks a bit like a bar. But don't be fooled! The restaurant sits right on a sea wall at water's edge, looking out over those beautiful aqua waters. Local fishermen keep their brightly colored boats anchored at the dock beside the restaurant.
The inside of the restaurant is small enough that every table has a lovely view out over the water. The restaurant is open-air due to the perpetually perfect weather in Aruba.
Cuisine is local Aruban fare--fresh lobster, conch, squid, wahoo, or Aruban beef, chicken, or pork. My husband always gets Aruban-style red snapper--the Aruban style referring to the spicy red sauce similar to Creole. I am more of a landlubber, so I always get the Aruban beef with hot sauce. The food is exceptionally good and the atmosphere so relaxed. Service is also always very good. We like to go for lunch or late lunch, so that we can look out at that beautiful water--and the lunch prices are less than dinner, but the food is just as good!