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Thread: My Aruba Trip 2/10/12 - 2/16/12

  1. #1
    Senior Member hatteras's Avatar
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    My Aruba Trip 2/10/12 - 2/16/12

    I can't believe we've been back from Aruba almost two weeks now. The time flies when we are there, and now we have to wait another year before we can hopefully return. We didn't do a lot on this trip. We mostly vegged on the beach. It is just so wonderful being down there, soaking up the warm breezes and sun while listening to the gentle waves lap against the shore. Here's a report of my trip. I'll try to condense it for everyone.

    All of our flights went very well. The only significant thing that happened was at Charlotte Airport on the way down. While we were waiting to board our connecting flight, I ran into Monte from Say Yes To The Dress, Atlanta. He said hi and started talking to me and then suggested that my husband take a picture of us together. I had only slept three hours, had not done my hair (because what was the point, I was going to be traveling 12 hours) and had on very little makeup. He was all dressed up, looking like his stylish self. The picture turned out better than I expected, but nothing like getting your picture taken with a fashionista when you look a mess!

    Bully met us at the airport. There's nothing like seeing Bully waiting for you when you have been traveling all day long. It's like a personal "welcome home."

    Our first week was at Costa Linda. I must say that we fell in love with Costa Linda. We had a beautiful, renovated 2 bedroom condo with a nice view of the grounds and the beach. Everyone there was wonderful. We had no desire to go anywhere while we were there. The only times we left were to go out to dinner.

    We spent two nights at Divi Village during our transition time to another time share. We had stayed in the golf villas several years ago and really liked it. This time, we were upgraded to the Residences Condos. The condo was beautiful and spacious. It was very quiet and we had a nice water view. The only problem was that the water never got hot. We called maintenance and they came over to check it out. They told us that the unit was on the 5th floor, and since we were on the 2nd floor, it took a long time to get the hot water to us. They suggested that we run the water for at least 1/2 hour to let it warm up. Seriously?? Well, we tried this. The water never got warm so we had to take really quick showers. Needless to say, we were ready to leave when our two days were up.

    We then moved to Paradise Beach Villas for a week. We stayed here two weeks last year. It is definitely not as upscale as the other two places we stayed, but I wouldn't refer to it as basic. We had a nice stay and got to see several people we had met before on our last trip. Eagle Beach is gorgeous, and is an easy stroll across the street. We did go to Arashi one day. Bully took us and sent Ivan to pick us up. We got there around 8:30 and got one of the last palapas. There were plenty of chairs available.

    Dining:
    Pizza Bob's - I have read complaints on this board about their service, and that is definitely true. We went the first night, and they were packed. We probably waited close to an hour for our pizza. We also went there on our last night. They weren't so busy, and we got our food fairly quickly. We love Pizza Bob's. It's become a tradition to start and end our trips there. Just don't go there when you are really hungry. You might be starving by the time you get your food.

    Amuse Bistro - We thought that the food was good, but the portions very small for the price. I got the appetizer scallops and my husband got the full size scallops. It was enough for me, but he's a big guy with a big appetite, and he left there hungry. We then headed to Baskin Robbins across the street. Although the food is very good, I doubt he'll ever eat at Amuse Bistro again.

    Barefoot - My absolute favorite on this trip. Loved everything about it. The grouper with mango cream cheese sauce was my favorite meal of the trip.

    Ellioti's - We were seated inside. They have horrible acoustics in the building. There was a woman with a loud, shrill voice that not only talked with the people at her table, but had ear piercing conversations with people at other tables. It was so bad that people were covering their ears and glaring at her. We finally gave up and asked to be moved outside. We noticed several other couples moving outside after we did. One couple came over to us and said they asked the staff to ask this woman to quiet down, but they said they couldn't because they had to be respectful of their guests. Were they being respectful of everyone else that was having to endure that? I don't think we'll be going back there. The food was good, but not great.

    Matthew's- We went on Italian night. The food was delicious. We love the food and the atmosphere there.

    Mulligan's at Divi Village- We've eaten here a lot in the past when we've stayed at Divi Village. The service can be hit or miss, but was very good on this trip. My husband had the mixed grill- chicken, beef, and I think chorizo. He said it was his favorite meal of the whole trip.

    Carambola- We ate here last year when they first opened and again on our first night at Paradise BV. The food was excellent. Service started out great, but really went downhill as the evening progressed. They appeared to be understaffed, but I would definitely eat there again. We were in no hurry and were enjoying an evening outside.

    Tulip - good food at less expensive prices. Not outstanding, but worth going back.

    Chalet Suisse - This is one of my favorite restaurants. We go every year. We love the food, the atmosphere, and the service. It gets incredibly busy, but they handle it very well.

    Smokey Joe's - love Smokey Joe's We go every year. Fantastic ribs and love the Pink Iguana drink.

    Madame Janette- Always one of our favorites. The food was delicious and service was excellent. We were there on a Thursday when a man was singing and really enjoyed it. We love the almond grouper and chocolate souffle with pumpkin ice cream.

    We spent a lot of time with Bully on this trip. He took us to and from the airport, moved us from place to place, and took us to and from dinners. It is always such a pleasure spending time with him.

    Sadly, we returned home. Aruba is now a memory and next year seems so very far away. We'll pass the time looking at our pictures and living vicariously through all of your trip reports!
    Last edited by hatteras; 03-11-2012 at 03:20 PM.

  2. #2
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    thank you for posting.
    i cannot believe the trip is over and done with already

    with the price of water in aruba real high, i am shocked that divi would tell you to run it for half hour. that building is pretty new, wouldn't you think that the hot water would be a non issue?


    thanks again!!!
    Quote Originally Posted by hatteras View Post
    I can't believe we've been back from Aruba almost two weeks now. The time flies when we are there, and now we have to wait another year before we can hopefully return. We didn't do a lot on this trip. We mostly vegged on the beach. It is just so wonderful being down there, soaking up the warm breezes and sun while listening to the gentle waves lap against the shore. Here's a report of my trip. I'll try to condense it for everyone.
    All of our flights went very well. The only significant thing that happened was at Charlotte Airport on the way down. While we were waiting to board our connecting flight, I ran into Monte from Say Yes To The Dress, Atlanta. He said hi and started talking to me and then suggested that my husband take a picture of us together. I had only slept three hours, had not done my hair (because what was the point, I was going to be traveling 12 hours) and had on very little makeup. He was all dressed up, looking like his stylish self. The picture turned out better than I expected, but nothing like getting your picture taken with a fashionista when you look a mess!
    Bully met us at the airport. There's nothing like seeing Bully waiting for you when you have been traveling all day long. It's like a personal "welcome home."
    Our first week was at Costa Linda. I must say that we fell in love with Costa Linda. We had a beautiful, renovated 2 bedroom condo with a nice view of the grounds and the beach. Everyone there was wonderful. We had no desire to go anywhere while we were there. The only times we left were to go out to dinner.
    We spent two nights at Divi Village during our transition time to another time share. We had stayed in the golf villas several years ago and really liked it. This time, we were upgraded to the Residences Condos. The condo was beautiful and spacious. It was very quiet and we had a nice water view. The only problem was that the water never got hot. We called maintenance and they came over to check it out. They told us that the unit was on the 5th floor, and since we were on the 2nd floor, it took a long time to get the hot water to us. They suggested that we run the water for at least 1/2 hour to let it warm up. Seriously?? Well, we tried this. The water never got warm so we had to take really quick showers. Needless to say, we were ready to leave when our two days were up.
    We then moved to Paradise Beach Villas for a week. We stayed here two weeks last year. It is definitely not as upscale as the other two places we stayed, but I wouldn't refer to it as basic. We had a nice stay and got to see several people we had met before on our last trip. Eagle Beach is gorgeous, and is an easy stroll across the street. We did go to Arashi one day. Bully took us and sent Ivan to pick us up. We got there around 8:30 and got one of the last palapas. There were plenty of chairs available.

    Dining:
    Pizza Bob's - I have read complaints on this board about their service, and that is definitely true. We went the first night, and they were packed. We probably waited close to an hour for our pizza. We also went there on our last night. They weren't so busy, and we got our food fairly quickly. We love Pizza Bob's. It's become a tradition to start and end our trips there. Just don't go there when you are really hungry. You might be starving by the time you get your food.
    Amuse Bistro - We thought that the food was good, but the portions very small for the price. I got the appetizer scallops and my husband got the full size scallops. It was enough for me, but he's a big guy with a big appetite, and he left there hungry. We then headed to Baskin Robbins across the street. Although the food is very good, I doubt he'll ever eat at Amuse Bistro again.
    Barefoot - My absolute favorite on this trip. Loved everything about it. The grouper with mango cream cheese sauce was my favorite meal of the trip.
    Ellioti's - We were seated inside. They have horrible acoustics in the building. There was a woman with a loud, shrill voice that not only talked with the people at her table, but had ear piercing conversations with people at other tables. It was so bad that people were covering their ears and glaring at her. We finally gave up and asked to be moved outside. We noticed several other couples moving outside after we did. One couple came over to us and said they asked the staff to ask this woman to quiet down, but they said they couldn't because they had to be respectful of their guests. Were they being respectful of everyone else that was having to endure that? I don't think we'll be going back there. The food was good, but not great.
    Matthew's- We went on Italian night. The food was delicious. We love the food and the atmosphere there.
    Mulligan's at Divi Village- We've eaten here a lot in the past when we've stayed at Divi Village. The service can be hit or miss, but was very good on this trip. My husband had the mixed grill- chicken, beef, and I think chorizo. He said it was his favorite meal of the whole trip.
    Carambola- We ate here last year when they first opened and again on our first night at Paradise BV. The food was excellent. Service started out great, but really went downhill as the evening progressed. They appeared to be understaffed, but I would definitely eat there again. We were in no hurry and were enjoying an evening outside.
    Tulip - good food at less expensive prices. Not outstanding, but worth going back.
    Chalet Suisse - This is one of my favorite restaurants. We go every year. We love the food, the atmosphere, and the service. It gets incredibly busy, but they handle it very well.
    Smokey Joe's - love Smokey Joe's We go every year. Fantastic ribs and love the Pink Iguana drink.
    Madame Janette- Always one of our favorites. The food was delicious and service was excellent. We were there on a Thursday when a man was singing and really enjoyed it. We love the almond grouper and chocolate souffle with pumpkin ice cream.
    We spent a lot of time with Bully on this trip. He took us to and from the airport, moved us from place to place, and took us to and from dinners. It is always such a pleasure spending time with him.
    Sadly, we returned home. Aruba is now a memory and next year seems so very far away. We'll pass the time looking at our pictures and living vicariously through all of your trip reports!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Thank you so much for sharing! The grouper at Barefoot is probably one of my dd's all time favorites as well. Also happy to hear that you enjoyed Costa Linda. We have to get ourselves there one of these years.

  4. #4
    Senior Member hatteras's Avatar
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    Seriously, Andrea, I couldn't agree with you more. We had a hard time adjusting to the idea of wasting all of that water because we live in an area that often has extreme droughts in the summers. What a waste of an expensive resource. I can't believe that they haven't done something to fix this problem. I couldn't wait to get a nice, hot shower, and the water at Paradise Beach Villas is hot, hot, hot! I just don't understand the problem at Divi Village. I can't believe the people that own those condos put up with that.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    hatteras, did you find your CL rental on redweek.com ?

  6. #6
    Senior Member DANNYO's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing,Glad you had a great vacation.12hr flight OUCH!!!!!!!!

  7. #7
    Senior Member hatteras's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arubalisa View Post
    hatteras, did you find your CL rental on redweek.com ?
    We found it on arubarentals.com. They are actually in Canada but we've rented from them several times and always had a good experience. Costa Linda also has a board on their website for members to list their listings.

  8. #8
    Senior Member hatteras's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DANNYO View Post
    Thanks for sharing,Glad you had a great vacation.12hr flight OUCH!!!!!!!!
    Actually, that wasn't all flying time. Most of that was sitting around airports, waiting for flights. If we could fly there directly from where we live it would only take 4 1/2 hours.

  9. #9
    Member bhoffdhoff's Avatar
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    Great report! Really enjoyed reading it.

  10. #10
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    Awesome report...

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