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Thread: My Long Aruba Trip Report

  1. #1
    Junior Member isimpo's Avatar
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    My Long Aruba Trip Report

    I vacationed in Aruba for the first time in mid January this year, and I must say this is the only Caribbean island that I have visited that keeps calling me back for a revisit.

    My husband and I rented a beautiful villa with another couple near the hotel zone with a private pool, and rented a car from the airport. Thanks to Andrea J. and SanNic44, we had no problem navigating the new roundabout at the airport, and it was a smooth drive to our house rental.

    The house we rented was just minutes from the beaches, restaurants, shopping, supermarkets and casinos. The private pool was wonderful and we spent a lot of time chilling there. We didn't have to fight for beach chairs or umbrellas like at the hotels. We also made most of our breakfasts at the villa. The BBQ was very useful. We drove to Zeerover's in Savaneta to buy fresh fish and prawns, and grilled them for dinner. SanNic44's video on how to get to Zeerover's was very helpful!

    The first night we arrived in Aruba, we went to Le Bistro because we figured it would be easy to find. Can't fault the location of this restaurant, overlooking the courtyard of Paseo Herencia. We got to walk around the plaza after dinner, shopped a bit and bought cupcakes at the really cute cupcake stand.

    I must say the steamed grouper at New Wei Taai was the best meal I had on the island. They did it authentic Cantonese style with ginger, onion and soya sauce, and the price was very reasonable. With the 2 pound fish steamed whole, it brought out the freshness and delicate texture of the fish. Having had chinese steamed fish in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Toronto, I must say that New Wei Tai ranks up there with the restaurants in these chinese culinary centers! Deeeeelicious! Totally recommend!

    Pelican's Nest was my second favourite restaurant. I loved the casual, laid back atmosphere, the friendly service and the wonderful food there. The sunset dinner on the pier was wonderful! I believe I saw reviews on this site for Pelican's Nest, and that's why I went there. Loved their grouper sandwich and mahi mahi cerviche.

    Linda's Dutch Pancakes & Pizza was conveniently located on Palm Beach Road near my rental. I loved their pancakes and freshly squeezed orange juice. My favourite's the pineapple-coconut-rum pancake. They also let you mix and match the toppings, and I also had the gouda-bacon-apple pancake for brunch.

    We went to Zuzuroh but were very disappointed. We went in at around 6 pm when the small restaurant was empty. The 3 people working there were chatting at a table, saw us come in, and stood up. We said hi and asked for a table, then one of them said hi , and then turned to use the phone. The other two then kept talking to each other and totally ignored us. We stood there looking at them and waited for 5 minutes and felt we were not welcome. So we left, and once out of the door, one of the employees came out and asked us back in....strange ! The food was OK, but that first impression totally took away any pleasant dining experience we might have had at the restaurant.

    Being so close to Wacky Wahoo, we went one night for an early dinner. The lobster and wahoo that my husband and I had were really good, but our friends complained about the sword fish which they said tasted like gasoline. Just wondering...would the BP Gulf Oil Leak have anything to do with it?

    OK. enough about food : ) So now about our activities....we swam in our private pool every day, and some times night. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

    We rented a car so we went beach hopping during the week.

    Our house rental was just 2 minutes' drive to Hadicurari Beach where we tried Stand Up Paddling. Amazing!

    We were also a couple minutes to Malmok Beach where the snorkeling was great. I even brought my own fishing rod and went fishing from shore at Malmok ...after all the snorkelers had gotten out of the water : )

    We also went to Arashi Beach but since all the palapas were taken and the waves too strong, we didn't stay for too long.

    Of course we had to check out Palm Beach. We tried beach tennis and rented chairs at Moomba's. It was a great afternoon, but I wasn't impressed with the sand at Palm Beach.

    Eagle Beach had much nicer powder fine sand, especially in front of Amsterdam Manor and Oceania Condos. We parked near the famous divi trees, and we couldn't believe our eyes ...there was nobody under the divi tree!!! We grabbed our beach towels from our car and raced over there like little kids and had a very enjoyable afternoon under our own divi tree!

    The drive to Baby Beach at the southern tip of the island took about 45 minutes but was well worth it. The shallow water was perfect for my husband who's still learning how to swim : ) Again, thanks to the posters here, I warned my friends and my husband not to venture out to the inlet area. I read about the drownings there and stayed way inside the bowl.

    I must say I have thoroughly enjoyed my stay in Aruba...and hopefully I will be back

  2. #2
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    terrific
    thanks so much for posting

    funny (not haha, but odd) about the gasoline taste of swordfish. we were at a seafood place recently at clearwater beach with a friend. he ordered swordfish kabobs and said it tasted like motor oil, sent it back and got grouper instead.
    bizarre and coincidental!!??

    stand up paddle boarding!!! bet it was fun.

    how did you go about renting the house? which rental co. if any did you use?

    again, thanks for taking the time to post your story.

  3. #3
    Junior Member isimpo's Avatar
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    I rented through Aruba Happy Rentals. The rental experience overall was great. Geraldine from the rental company was wonderful to deal with.

    We felt very safe at the rental house, but I read about home break ins while planning for my trip, so I did take precautions which might be useful for other visitors as well:
    1. not disclosing my house rental address to the car rental company.
    2. choosing a rental house which had an enclosed garage so that we always parked our car with the visitor licence inside
    3. not going out for dinner every night, and when we went out for dinners, we did not go at set times. One night we would go for early dinner at 5:30 pm, another night late dinner at 9 pm.

  4. #4
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    thanks for sharing your rental co's name and that you had a great experience with them!
    you are one of many that have told of how wonderful geraldine is.

    good points about being proactive re: house breaks.


    i really do wish that the aruban government would not label "visitors" so obviously with the scarlet letter on the license plates/tags.

    again, thanks for your trip report.


    Quote Originally Posted by isimpo View Post
    I rented through Aruba Happy Rentals. The rental experience overall was great. Geraldine from the rental company was wonderful to deal with.

    We felt very safe at the rental house, but I read about home break ins while planning for my trip, so I did take precautions which might be useful for other visitors as well:
    1. not disclosing my house rental address to the car rental company.
    2. choosing a rental house which had an enclosed garage so that we always parked our car with the visitor licence inside
    3. not going out for dinner every night, and when we went out for dinners, we did not go at set times. One night we would go for early dinner at 5:30 pm, another night late dinner at 9 pm.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Pegmeister's Avatar
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    What a wonderful report. I especially enjoyed the visual of everyone running for the divi tree.

  6. #6
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    Aruba is the only island for me

    We took our first trip to Aruba ten years ago and it is always calling me to return. Since that time we have return 5 times our 6th trip is just 3 weeks from today. I love everything about the island but the things that keep me coming back are: The amazing Aruban people, the beaches, the sun, the casinos and the most important thing no one is trying to sell me anything. I have friends who come home from other islands saying they were harassed by people trying to sell them anything and everything on the beach. We have never been approached on the beach. The only thing that anyone has ever tried to talk us into was a time share but no one was agressive when we said we were not interested we were wished a nice day.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Traceyd14's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing your report. We also loved the grouper and the atmosphere at Pelican Pier. Stand up paddle boarding does sound fun, now you have me thinking maybe we should try it. Was it difficult to balance?
    Not sure when, but we will be back

  8. #8
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    We loved your trip report-many thanks.
    Sean and Susan

  9. #9
    Senior Member cpjones's Avatar
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    Really great report... and never too long. Thanks for helping feel like I was there.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for sharing. Sounds like you all had a great time. Odd how companies can vary. We rented through Aruba Happy Rentals and I would not recommend them to anyone.

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