We had another great trip to Aruba. We were there July 28th to August 7th and we stayed at the Radisson. We left early Monday morning out of Newark airport in NJ. Everything ran smoothly and we even landed in Aruba a half hour early. KTS was waiting for us and took us to the Radisson. Check in was a breeze. At first they thought our rooms may not be ready, but Johnny ( a bell captain) said he would walk over to the Bonaire Tower to check for us. He said that sometimes it's not in the system yet. Sure enough our rooms were ready. It's these little things that make me realize why I return here every year. I really feel the staff at the hotel really goes out of their way to help you. We had third floor adjoining rooms (my three daughters were with my husband and I) in the Bonaire Tower. After unpacking we headed down to Gilligan's bar for Happy Hour and just thinking we were at the start of a wonderful vacation. After Happy Hour we took a short nap before dinner being we were up since 4:30A.M.. We decided to do a light dinner the first night. We walked over to Amici's for sandwiches and all of us were satisfied.
Tuesday was a big day. Eight of our family members were joining us at the Radisson. First timers to Aruba upon our recommendation. We met them in the lobby at 3:00 after we had a full day of sun, sand, and of course beautiful water. Helped them settle in and made some suggestions for their dinner plans. The five of us went to Sole Mare's and had another good dinner. Very relaxing and just got to spend some quality time with my daughters. Our time back home is so hectic I really appreciate this time with my family with no interruptions. After dinner we took a walk on the back pathway that connects the high rise hotels. Breezes blowing and palm trees swaying, we couldn't ask for anything more.
Wednesday we really started getting in the wonderful routine of our long morning walk on the beach, some sun, some swimming, lunch at Gilligans, some more swimming,etc. etc. We decided to go to Mirandi's for dinner and really liked the new location. Another beautiful weather night and a very relaxing dinner. Returned to the hotel and walked over to the Westin to try Lady Luck. Played awhile and ended up ahead by $70. That's really good for me, being I usually am not too lucky.
Thursday we pretty much had the same beach routine. This is what we like to do. Eat breakfast at Lagunna at 7:00A.M. (I know it's early, but we are early risers) beach by 8:30, walk down to the Marriot and back , sun and swimming, lunch around 1:00 and more swimming until 4:00. We went into town for dinner at El Gaucho's. My youngest daughter loves steak and eats the whole 16ozs. The rest of us aren't really meat eaters, so it is just ok for us. I think next year we will talk her into having steak at one of the other restaurants we go to. Any suggestions will be helpful (for good steak).
Friday we noticed our first timers family members really getting into the "Aruba Routine" too. All of a sudden we heard them saying things like "next year when we come back". Pretty amazing that it only takes a few days to fall in love with Aruba. Another great beach day and dinner at Blossoms. We needed something light after all our eating. Had some good sushi and then walked to the Hyatt to visit the casino.
Saturday was of course another good beach day. I was so excited because I knew we were going to Madame Jeanette's. Had a great dinner (almond grouper my favorite) and was so happy they still had the special chocolate souffle for dessert. yummy. After dinner we met all of our family members and all 13 of us went to the Hyatt's karioke bar. We had a blast. Took turns singing, none of us are good, except my nephew. I think people enjoyed listening to him, but wanted to pull the plug on us.
Sunday we decided to do the Sunset Sail. We had a good time, but believe it or not the waters were a little rough. Found myself holding on for dear life a couple of times. Just grabbed sandwiches again at Amici's after the cruise and called it a night.
Monday was another beach day and dinner was at Papiamento's . It was great. I know people were asking about it before we left, but I have to say we had another good experience. The service was top notch and the food was delicious. I had the onion soup( to die for) and the seafood casserole. Very relaxing and very pretty and yes the pool was clean.
Tuesday we started to get sad knowing that the end was coming soon. So we stayed on the beach until 6:00 and just enjoyed the water as much as we could. I can stay in that beautiful water for hours and I know I have to wait another year before I can return. We ate at the Chef's Table which was our first time there. We all liked it very much, especially the dessert tappas. Went for a long walk after dinner by the hotels, just enjoying the breezes and sights.
Wednesday we tried not to think what was coming the next day and stayed on the beach again until 6:00. We had dinner at Giannis and then walked to the Marriot to go in the casino. After that we walked back to the Radisson along the beach with our feet in the water. It was bittersweet. It was so beautiful, but we knew we had to leave the next day.
Thursday we had breakfast and went to say good bye to all the wonderful staff at the Radisson. They really are lovely people and can't do enough for you. Packed up, went to the airport and waited for our plane. As it landed, we saw all the 'newcomers' get off and walk through the passageway looking so eager and happy. It's hard not being a little jealous.
What can I say! Another great Aruba vacation again. I love the beach, the water, the people, the restaurants and most of all having the quality time with my family. And yes, I think I now converted my first time family members into Aruba lovers Can't wait for My Aruba Trip 2009!
Lindon, Thanks for a great report... makes me homesick! We still have wonderful memories of our July stay at the Radisson. Great hotel.
Serene 56, Maybe I can answer your questions. Re: Palapas, no problem getting a free palapa every day.... I'm sure it's a bit tougher during high season, but July was simple. We reserved for the next day up until 7 pm and were happy with each one we got.
Re: Gianni's vs Casa Tua... it's tough to compare the two with Casa Tua being very casual and Gianni's being more upscale.... both are great.... good luck choosing!
Serene 56, In answer to your question about palapas, we had no problem getting one either. We got on line at 4:00 and were able to pick out a good spot. The first rows by the water are usually reserved for a fee, but the others are free. We always took a free one. As far as Giannis, I liked it very much. It was just that it was our last night in Aruba so I was a little sad. The food and service were both good. The same owners own Sole Mare which is also good. Dress is casual. You can sit inside or outside. As far as Casa Tua, I never ate there but would like to try it. I only heard good things about it, but did not have enough time to eat there. Maybe next year
Great review, I could hear your happiness of being there in every word.
So, tell me, how was customs leaving? Our flight leaves at 3:00, how early do you have to be there? I also am leaving out of Newark in November. I hope my flight and time goes as well as yours did. I have never flown international before, How was check in at EWR?