A Week of Paradise in Aruba

Spending a week in Aruba is being in paradise: beaches, fun, exploring, eating, and drinking!

A Week of Paradise in Aruba

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by golfntennis on February 13, 2004

If you have never been to Aruba before, my top five suggestions are:
1.Take a tour of the island. You have many choices for this sightseeing. You can either take a traditional bus, or the jeep tour, or the Banana Bus tour. You can also rent a car (or jeep) and take the tour yourself. However, I would recommend having a professional show and tell you all about the sights.
2.Snorkeling. There are many great areas for snorkeling on Aruba. On the other hand, if you do not like to get your face wet, the Atlantis is a sub that allows you to see the coral and reef from a dry seat! Of course, several boat options combine eating, drinking, and snorkeling!
3.Beach hopping. Besides the beach that may be just steps away from your room, there are other beaches to see and enjoy. The Palm Beach (the main beach of the high-rise hotels) and the Eagle Beach (the main beach of the low-rise hotels) are long stretches of white sand. I went on many walks on Eagle Beach. The south has several beaches, such as Baby Beach, and the Hadikurri Beach had many windsurfers.
4.Partying! The Kukoo Kunuku party bus was an absolutely wonderful way to visit several bars (and leave the driving to someone else). Plus, lots of fun! However, there are many other bars, discos, evening cruises, etc., to enjoy. Of course, if you like to gamble, there are numerous casinos to choose from.
5.Dining out. There were two restaurants that had an AAA four-star rating and many other fine dining choices. Try something different from what you are used to! ${QuickSuggestions} Information on the web:
Click here for a general website with lots of information. From this website, you can find information about restaurants, entertainment, attractions, etc.
Click here for information about a discount card.
Click here for an Aruba report by one visitor. ${BestWay} We did not need a car for most of the week, since we were able to walk from our condo to many restaurants and beaches. However, if you want to do any sightseeing on your own, you will need to rent a car for at least part of the week. There is a bus shuttle also, but we didn't use it.

French Steakhouse

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by golfntennis on February 13, 2004

The French Steakhouse was wonderful!

I liked the restaurant so much we returned another evening! In fact, I only have positive feedback on this restaurant.
Location: Excellent. It is conveniently located next to Aruba Beach Club. We were able to walk!
Menu: Excellent. The menu includes at least six entrees, a house specialty (12-oz. certified churrasco steak), and the ambassador’s five-course dinner.
What is included in the five courses: A choice of appetizer (I chose the seafood crepe), soup or salad (I chose the salad, which was very different from the normal bland garden salad), a choice of entrée (of course, I selected the churrasco), dessert (I chose the apple strudel), coffee, and a bottle of wine.
Quality: Excellent. The steak was tender and what I would describe to friends as mouth-watering. Even the wine was good quality (not the bargain wine from a supermarket).
Price: Excellent. The five-course dinner was $29.95!
Other positives: The restaurant had a choice of indoor or outdoor seating. The décor was very nice, with pink tablecloths with a red tablecloth down the middle of each table. There were numerous statues placed around the dining room. The waiters were very friendly and attentive and entertainment was provided to give us a very relaxing dining experience.

French Steakhouse
Manchebo Beach Resort & Spa. J.E. Irausquin Blvd. 55
Oranjestad, Aruba, P.O. Box 564

Informal dining at the Turtle Nest

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by golfntennis on February 13, 2004

We were able to walk to this restaurant, which is located at the Costa Linda Timeshare. Eating at one of the tables on the deck overlooking the ocean was very enjoyable and relaxing. I ordered a seafood casserole, and there were lots of shrimp, calamari, and mussels in the dinner. I believe the addition of mushroom soup (one of my favorites) added a positive touch to the dinner. My wife enjoyed the very tasty (and meaty) chicken wings. In addition to the great food and good atmosphere, the waitress did not try to hurry us as we leisurely ate our dinner and enjoyed the wonderful ocean view. The sound of the waves was very hypnotic.

Next to the deck area of the restaurant is the bar (which we visited later in the week), a small dining area beyond the bar, and a huge pool.

Happy Hour at a different bar each evening

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by golfntennis on February 13, 2004

One of the happy times at Aruba was our quick evening stop at various bars on the island. Almost every bar we visited was conveniently located right on the beach. After a day of relaxing and before heading out to dinner, we would select a bar to visit. Each bar had a large menu of specialty frozen drinks as well as the old standards.

The bar we visited the most – Sandbar
This beach bar was conveniently located for us (two "hotels" away at Bucuti’s), and we stopped at least three times. Happy Hour was from 4 to 6pm, and the frozen drinks were ½ off (approximately $4.00 each during Happy Hour). I sampled several, including mudslide, banana colada, and my favorite, Anne Bonny! Most everyone loved the friendly atmosphere of the bar, and most evenings, the bar had more patrons than other beach bars in the area. Each evening, we enjoyed listening to the steel drums entertainment. Management also provided free munchies. What more can you ask for?
The most unusual bar - Charlie’s A friend of mine had told me that if I went to Aruba, I had to visit Charlie’s. This bar was not convenient to where we were staying (it is outside San Nichols), but on one of our sightseeing trips, we made a slight detour to find the bar. Unusual is one word to describe the bar. While we were sipping our beers, we had plenty of stuff hanging from the ceiling to look at. I have never seen so much memorabilia in a bar! Every spot of the walls, ceiling, bar, windows, etc., is covered with something. Lots of signs are prominently displayed and they are funny. Even the signs outside the bar are hysterical. I took a few pictures of the interior and exterior because only a picture can truly describe the uniqueness of the place. One final note - the jukebox is very old.
The closest bar for us – Tortuga (at Aruba Beach Club) One nice element of this bar is that it is Happy Hour all the time! I sampled quite a few of the frozen drinks, including a pina colada, Nutty Monkey, and strawberry daiquiri. The bartender, Andre, was very friendly, and I especially appreciated that he turned the TV channel to the President’s Cup (golf) so I could continue watching the sudden-death playoff. After several holes, the captains agreed to end as a tie!

Sign up now for the Kukoo Kunuku Party Bus!

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by golfntennis on February 13, 2004

Is the Kukoo Kunuku Party Bus worth $55? Absolutely! I had one of the greatest evenings of fun that I have ever had.

While my wife and I were waiting at our hotel, we wondered if we would recognize the transportation vehicle. If you look at the picture of the bus, you understand why you cannot miss it. I only wished I had my video camera to take pictures of all of the witty sayings painted in the interior. The craziness of the bus was indicative of the entire night.

At the beginning, most people are reserved, with only some people singing along with the blaring music and shaking a maraca. The driver makes stops at the major hotels and then drives to the lighthouse area. At this point, most people are now more festive and singing more as the hosts pour champagne. You toast to the evening (as you watch the sunset). The hosts (two drivers and two other persons with the company) explain the evening. In a nutshell, we are told that we will go to a restaurant for dinner (and a free drink) followed by four separate, but quite different, bars for some singing and dancing, entertainment, lots of fun, and a free drink at each bar. They also sell some T-shirts to remember the evening (and for some, remembering may be impossible at the end after more than five drinks!). The hosts also sell a portable plastic cup for cheap drink refills. We may have been the only people who kept to only the five drinks!

Top five reasons I would sign up for the party bus next time:
I laughed and laughed and laughed all night.
Everyone was singing (even the tone-deaf people) and shaking the maracas.
I want to take a video of my wife dancing on the bar! (Which would have been better than the attached picture.) Can you believe that just about every woman was up there?
I want to participate more in the festivities, such as dressing up in the carnival costumes instead of just watching others dress up. The picture shows some of the colorful costumes!
The hosts were very personable and their happiness was infectious. They made the evening a night to remember. They really were party facilitators. The last picture is of two of the hosts at the last bar (Carlos 'n' Charlie’s).

We have recommended this "attraction" to our friends and told them it is a "must do" event.


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