Honeymoon in Paradise

Honeymoon in paradise is all that I can call this experience because Aruba was paradise. It can be total relaxation or total adventure. It's your choice.


Hyatt Regency

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Bzoom1 on June 7, 2003

The resort is located six miles from the airport. It is located on 12 acres on beautiful Palm Beach. The hotel contains 360 luxurious rooms. All rooms have either an ocean or island view and are exceptional. The standard amenities are alarm clock, bathroom amenities, cable movie channels, ceiling fan, air conditioning, coffe maker, hair dryer, iron, mini bar, mini safe, iron and ironing board, and voice mail.

The resort contains four restaurants, a juice bar, room service (of course), TCBY, and a swim-up bar and grill. Don't miss Sunday Brunch at Ruinas Del Mar or Fajitas and Ritas on Friday nights at the Palms.

My husband and I originally booked a ocean/pool view room and were very excited to find out we were upgraded to a petite suite which actually contained a step-out balcony with an ocean/island view. It was magnificent!!! I have been to Aruba three times prior and this was the best trip ever. We stayed for 12 days and 11 nights. I was hoping it would never end. The restaurants were fabulous and nightlife was even better. There were casinos, entertainment, and even party buses you could go on and have fun. Or if you just wanted to relax and take it all in you could just dine outside under the stars at a restaurant or even on the beach.

Even though it was a honeymoon I would also recommend this resort for families. They had a Camp Hyatt for children that set up activites for children every day. There was always something to do.

The best part of it all was the spa. My husband and I booked a couples massage and it was fabulous. We had a 50-minute session and we enjoyed every minute. I would definitely recommend a massage even if it is alone.

The service was impecable. We had turn down service every night and newspaper under our door every morning. The concierge was our lifeline to all the restaurants and services. We rented a car because we wanted to venture out on our own to the other side of the island, which was amazing. If you're not that adventurous, take a jeep tour. There were sights that if you miss them, you will regret it. I could not beleive it was my fourth time there and I never went sightseeing the other three times. I can't wait to visit again next year.

There is also the Copa Cabana Casino on the premises if you do not want to venture out of the resort.

Hyatt Regency
J E Irausquin Boulevard #85
Palm Beach, Aruba
+297 86 1234

El Gaucho (Argentine Grill)

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Bzoom1 on June 10, 2003

"El Gaucho" is located in downtown Oranjestad. They are open dailt from 11:30am to 11pm. They are closed on Sundays. They accept Visa, Mastercard, and Amex. There is a standard service charge (gratuity) included on your check in the majority of the restaurants, so read the fine print before you tip too much or don't tip at all. The restaurants decor is a bit rustic with memorabilia of the Argentine cowboy. There is entertainment nightly in which guitarists stroll through the rooms of the reatuarant.

El Gaucho is an Argentine Grill that serves Argentine Steaks, the famous 16 oz. Gaucho steak, Pincho Torro Caliente (the biggest shishkebob ever served), vealchop, chicken, shrimp, and other seafood. All the entrees are served with a mixed salad and choise of dressing, potatoes or rice, vegetables, corn on the cob, and garlic bread. Bring you appetite because they serve a lot of food.

Appetizers range in price anywhere from $6 to $14. My husband and I split the Chorizo and Mocillas (sausages). They had a great distinct taste. The entrees range in price from $19 to $29. We both had the Argentine Grill, which was huge. It consists of 5 different selected meats. Our dish included ribs, steak, pork tenderloin, beef short rib, and another type of steak. You could probably split this dish since it is so much meat. The cost of this dish was $24.

For the Cigar aficionados they also offer a Cigar and Cocktail Lounge right across the street called Garufa.


Le Dome

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Bzoom1 on June 10, 2003

Le'Dome restuarant opened in 1997 and is now regarded as Aruba's top restaurant. It has four unique dining areas: "L'Orangerie" for Mediterranean ambiance; "La Galarie" for outdoor seaview terrace; "The Old World" filled with exquisite antiques, and "Salvador Dali Room".

The service is impeccable. My husband and I were looking for a romantic and elegant night out and the concierge at the hotel reccomneded Le'Dome. We took her advice and have now found the restaurant we will return too every time we visit Aruba. I actually went to the concierge the next day to thank her for her great reccmendation.

Their wine lists consists of over 250 wines.

Their menu offers Belgian and French cuisine and their own specialties such as for appetizer Shrimp Le Dome. They offer soup, cold appetizers, warm appetizers, and salads. The entrees consist of any of the following: fish (tuna, mahi mahi, sole, shrimp, lobste,r and salmon), meat (filet mignon, T-bone, or beef tenderloin), poultry (chicken, ostrich, or duck), pasta (lasagna, spaghetti), and their specialties (veal sweetbread, veal chop, rack of lamb, lobster tail, and sea wolf). We chose a warm appetizer; cheese croqettes (cost $8). They were simply delicoius. We then had a ceasar salad (cost $8.50 each)and it was a very large portion. You can actually split it with someone. I chose the chicken ($16) and my husband chose the Filet mignon ($25). Again, it was absolutely delicious. Yu have a choice of sauces and we both chose the mushroom. It was magnificient.

We had to try dessert since the food was so good. We tried a dessert for two lovers since we were on our honeymoon. It was perfect. It was a pedestal with two bowls and a heart in the middle of the two bowls that said LOVE. The dessert consisted of three different ice creams, fresh cut up fruit pieces, and whipped cream. It was again delicious.

If you are looking for a romantic restaurant with impeccable service and exquisite food Le Dome is where you need to go.


Texas De Brazil

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Bzoom1 on June 10, 2003

Texas de Brazil is based on the tradition of offering slow roasted meats over an open pit and seasonal vegetables and greens as well as rice and beans performed in Brazil. The restaurant is located in the high rise hotel area directly across from the Playa Linda resort. They are open seven days a week. Sunday - Thursday 5pm - 2am, Friday and Saturday 5pm - 4am. Kitchen open until 11pm every night. The restaurant offers a lounge which has nightly entertainment.

The restaurant offers a pre fix menu including a forty item bar which contains appetizers, soups, salads, and side dishes. Your main course consists of "freshly" carved selections of beef, lamb, pork, chicken, and Brazilian sausage by the carvers right at your table. The main course is accompanied by garlic mashed potatoes and fried bananas. One thing I forgot to tell you you need to turn the card on your table to green so that they will serve you the meat. When you need a break or have had enough then turn the card back over to red. They also offer an ala carte of Lobster tail and shrimp cocktail.

Then comes the desserts which are not included in the pre-fixed price. But they are worth every extra penny. I tried the Brazilian cheesecake and it was amazing. I cut out some of the meats so that I could have dessert. If you have the salad bar and all the meats offered I don't think you will make it to dessert. It is a lot of food and you really need to pace yourself. It was very good. The only bad thing was that we forgot to make reservations and had to wait approximately 15 mintues and this is during low season in Aruba. I would definitely recommend reservations.


French Steakhouse

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Bzoom1 on June 10, 2003

The French Steakhouse is located in the Manchebo Resort right by the Alhambra Casino. It is open seven days a week from 5:30pm to 11pm. The garden terrace in the steakhouse is open for breakfast from 7am to noon. The terrace is also available in the evening and the tables are setup surrounding one side of a pool, which is lit with different colored lighting. It was a wonderful atmosphere.

They offer a special called the Ambassador's Five-Course Dinner and a free bottle of wine per couple for only $29.95 per person plus 15% service charge (gratuity). If you want to order from the menu there are plenty of choices. The appetizer choices ($3.95-8.95) are fruit cup, fried calamari, mushroom caps, escargot, seafood crepes, shrimp cocktail, etc. They also offer French onion soup, New England clam chowder, or soup of the day. They range in price from $3.95 to $5.45 offering a choice of cup or bowl. You then have a choice of a large tossed salad ($3.95) or Caesar salad for one ($5.45).

The offer a nice selection of entrees ($12.95-31.45) which include filet mignon, beef tenderloin, churrasco, salmon, shrimp, calamari, red snapper, ribs, chicken, pork, pasta, and a vegetarian platter. The entrees are served with fresh vegetable and potatoes or rice. Your final choice would be dessert if you can fit it!!! The offer ice cream, flan, apple strudel, fruit cup, chocolate cake, cheesecake, and their daily special. The price range for desserts is from $3.95 to $5.45.

My husband and I tried the special five-course dinner. The free bottle of wine was okay. I have tasted better wines, but the food was great. The five-course special includes appetizer, soup or salad, entree, dessert, and coffee. I had the seafood crepe (seafood morsels wrapped in a paper-thin French pancake covered with hollandaise sauce) and my husband had the mushroom caps (stuffed with crabmeat and topped with Dutch gouda cheese). We both ordered salad but with different dressings. I had the vinaigrette and he had blue cheese. I did not like my dressing it was not a traditional vinaigrette dressing. There was some diced cucumber or pickles on the salad. My husband said the salad was fine. So if you order the vinaigrette, you will now know what to expect.

For the entrée, I ordered the 12 oz. churrasco (lean tenderloin seasoned and grilled) and he ordered the twin tournados (two medallions of beef tenderloin, seared in butter and topped with broiled shrimp. They were both delicious. I only ate about a quarter of my steak. My husband also took a quarter of it and we left half of it. It is a very big steak and a delicious one at that. Our last and final courses were dessert and coffee. We both ordered the apple strudel a la mode. It was just delicious.

The white glove service was impeccable and I would definitely return on my next visit.


Valentino's

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Bzoom1 on June 12, 2003

Valentino's Ristorante is located in the spanish styled Caribbean Palm Village resort. This 5 star restaurant has been in business for approximately twelve years. The service is impeccable and the cuisine is authentic. They are open for business Monday to Saturday 6:30pm to 11pm. The appetizer price range is from $3.95 to $13 and entrees are priced from $17.95 to $34.95. They accept Visa, Mastercard, Amex, and of course cash. I don't think they include gratuity either.

The menu has a great selection offering appetizer, salad, soup, pasta, beef, veal, pork, fish, chicken, and vegetarian dishes. For an appteizer we had the Calamari Fritti. It was crispy and yet not greasy(even though it was fried). It was delicious. It is my husband's favorite dish and he is very picky about the way it is cooked. He loved it.

I then had lettuce hearts with gargonzola cheese and my husband had a ceasar salad. My salad was delicious. Everyone was asking what I ordered when the waiter brought it to the table. It was a very hearty portion as well. My husband enjoyed the ceasar salad as well.

At this point we were almost full and dinner was still to come. My husband had veal parmesan and I had risotto vegetarian. We shared our entrees with each other and the veal parmesan was just as delicious as the risotto. The risotto was very filling. I actually left about half of the portion. The portions were larger than expected.

I have always been told to come to Valentino's and I am very happy I listened and visited. I will be visiting Valentino's the next time I am in Aruba, hopefully next year.


Kukoo Kunuku

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Bzoom1 on June 11, 2003

The Kukoo Kunuku is a trip to remember. It starts between 5 and 6pm when they pick you up at your hotel.The trip includes transportation, dinner, and one drink at each stop.You can hear the bus from blocks away with it's godfather theme horn. A wildly hand painted 1957 chevy bus with no windows pull up at the hotel with music blasting and the people on board screaming and shaking maracas.

The bus was packed and everyone was very loud. It was great. Our first stop was at the California lighthouse for a sunset champagne toast to start the night off. We met another bus from the same company here. Everyone poured off the buses and had some champagne.

The view is beautiful from the lighthouse and we took some pictures with some of the other passengers. It was very windy at the lighthouse. Our next stop was dinner under the stars at a local Aruban home. It looked like a restaurant from the outside but it was magnificent on the inside. There was an actual furnished house on the inside. I don't know wether it was a museum or the owner's living quarters. It was very interesting to see.

Dinner was ok - it wasn't the lost luxurious dinner but they wanted to prepare us for what was ahead the rest of the night. We also purchased drink holders for $5 so that we could take our unfinished drinks on the bus. I think almost everyone purchased it and everyone was drinking.

Our next stop was the La Ronda (a local bar). We drank and danced here for about 45 minutes. Everyone was dancing to whatever they played. There was also a portion of a costume that looked like they used in Carnival that everyone was taking pictures with.

The next stop was U Wanna Beer. This was also a local hang out but it was closer to downtown that the first stop. Again everyone drank and danced to the music and then thay try to get people involoved and asked people to dance on the bar and then the driver and some of the workers from Kukoo Kunuku got up on the bar and danced.

Our last and final stop was Carlos n'Charlies which is located down town. And Again we drank and danced for a bit. It was very crowded but everyone was pretty much drunk at this point. The refills with the portable cup were like $2.00 so people were drinking very fast.

At midnight the DJ announces that the buses will be departing and you can return to your hotel with the buses or take a cab back. It was alot of fun and some people were too crazy to even mention on this public document.

If you are in the mood for alot of fun and laughs don't hesitate to reserve your seat on the "PARTY BUS".


Let's Go Latin!

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Bzoom1 on June 15, 2003

The Let's Go Latin show is performed in the Seaport Crystal Theatre located next to the Renaissance Hotel in Oranjestad. The show is performed Monday thru Saturday. The phone number is (297) 583-6000 or contact your concierge.

The price for an adult ticket is $39 and children under 12 cost $19. The tickets include one welcome drink and a $5 match-and-play coupon in the Crystal Casino (but they gave us a hard time when we used it).

They also offer two dinner show packages. The first is with "L'Escale" restaurant which offers a four course meal which includes soup or salad, fresh fruit sorbet, main course, dessert, and coffee. This restaurant is located right next to the theatre. This dinner package costs $68 p.p. Dinner seatings are at 6, 6:30 and 7pm. They also offer a dinner package with "Le Dome" restaurant (one of my favorites). Le Dome offers a three course package which includes soup or appetizer, main course and dessert. A cab ride to the theatre is required. The package price is $75. I am not sure if it also includes the cab ride. Reservations are taken until 7pm for the restaurant.

The doors to the show open at 8:30 and the show starts at 9pm. Get there a little earlier because it is first come seating. We were there at 8:25pm and there were a lot of people already seated.

The production consists of 26 performers that dance and sing songs by Gloria Estefan, Marc Anthony, Carlos Santana, Christina Aquilera, the Gypsy Kings, and mony others. It is a strong and fast paced performance that keeps you out of your seats for most of the performance. There are also three magnificent gymnasts that perform on stage during the show. The were fantastic.

*** There is a coupon also available for the show either $4 or $5 depending on the tourist book you pick up so look for it.***

Make the most of it and Let's Go Latin!


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