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Thread: Why do you stay where you stay? Has it changed over the years?

  1. #1
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    Why do you stay where you stay? Has it changed over the years?

    I am heading back for my second trip to Aruba. I know many of you have lost count! How have your accommodations changed and why?

    My husband and I went years ago and stayed in the hi-rise area. The island and hotel were suggested by the travel agent. The hotel is not something we remember (The Americana) except our room was occupied when we went to it. Aruba was memorable. We loved walking from bar to bar and renting a jeep for a day. The weather too!

    This next trip has us going with college age boys and a high school age girl. Planning an island trip for the first time, we figured we would go back to one that was good to us. I really struggled with where to stay because I am no longer in my twenties and its been a long time. Will it be the same? I am going to try the Palm Beach area again with the Hilton and hope it works for everyone. The Hilton had the best price for 2 rooms. I didn't want a kitchen because I want a vacation from that.

    I am already planning my 3rd trip if only in my head. Manchebo Beach Resort has been tugging at me. So, this is in the lead for first choice next time.

    I would love to hear how your vacations have evolved and how decisions have been made over the years.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Aruba4ever's Avatar
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    We have been going to Aruba for twenty years and we have been 21x in total. Our first trip was our honeymoon 20 plus years ago. We stayed at the Hyatt and loved it. We returned for our 5 year anniversary, our 7th and for our 10th all at the Hyatt. On our 10th anniversary the Hyatt was doing a "soft" remodel so they called it...we woke up to them using a jackhammer to remove the floor in the lobby. We were on the top floor celebrating our 10th anniversary so you can imagine my displeasure. The Hyatt was amazing though, they had us checked out and into the Radisson within 90 minutes. They also credited our bill the 600 that we had charged...1st class move IMO.

    We fell in love with the Radisson because of the full balconies, the Hyatt rooms we had stayed in always had a french balcony. We stayed at the Radisson more times than I can count. We switched to the Ritz when the Radisson went up for sale. We had reservations to celebrate another anniversary and we did not want to worry about who would own it or what our service might be like so we switched to the "new" Ritz and we we are thrilled we did. The Ritz has become our home away from home and I have losing count how many times we have stayed there, I think it will be 8 this summer. The hotel is very nice, classy and quiet for palm beach. We also LOVE the employees, they treat us like family and have created so many priceless memories for us.

    We have also stayed at the Holiday Inn and LaCabana. All of our future trips will be at the Ritz, we have 2 more planned this year. Aruba is great all on its own, and the Ritz makes it even better for us.

    The island itself is busier and the palm beach plaza area has exploded in the last 10 years or so. All that said, I love Aruba more today than I did 21 years ago when we started our adventures to Aruba.
    Last edited by Aruba4ever; 03-18-2017 at 02:23 PM.

  3. #3
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    great topic...........

    our aruba vacations have changed markedly since 1979.
    i was in aruba briefly in 1979 pre and post a scuba trip to bonaire.

    my strongest recollections were : men and women selling fruit/vegetables and souvenirs outside at the airport, which was an open air airport!
    goats...everywhere.
    huges open beaches and not nearly as populated with hotels, vehicles, people as it is today.

    our next trip to aruba was a stop on a cruise. we were supposed to stop somehwere else, maybe curaçao and we wound up in aruba for reasons that i cannot remember. we walked to the bushiri hotel, and bought a day pass that included liquor and food. our son was under age 5, so that was in 1991 or earlier.

    fast forward to 1998.......our friends had become annual aruba visitors and we decided to plan a trip with them to aruba.
    it was a TNT (charter from boston). our son was about 12 and he brought his friend ben with us. aside from our friends being difficult and crabby (wanting us to all combine funds $$ for food beverage, impatient with our son and his friend and treating my husband and i like we had just fallen off the turnip truck) the trip was good. while there we bought a few timeshare weeks at lacabana. and knew that we'd be back often!

    during those first 3 trips over a span of 19 years, the transformation was amazing. resorts, infrastructure updates, people, traffic, cruise port expansion, restaurants ethe island was booming with EXPANSION and GROWTH.

    more years pass til today...... dear son is educated, grown, married, and a parent..........paul and i now are retired and our needs/wants are different.
    we love the quiet side of aruba.
    we are frequent beach goers and less pool goers.
    we eat lighter and eat in more often.
    we stay for 2 weeks at a time instead of a week during school breaks.

    last november, we had our son and his wife and children (age 1 and 2) and it was wonderful, however exhausting !

    i hope that our son and his family enjoy aruba over the years as much as we have.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Aruba4ever's Avatar
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    I totally forgot about getting off "outside" and feeling the hot air rush in as they opened the doors and we slowly filed out. I loved the TNT charters out of Boston! They were a great deal and we did them many, many times.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea J. View Post
    great topic...........

    our aruba vacations have changed markedly since 1979.
    i was in aruba briefly in 1979 pre and post a scuba trip to bonaire.

    my strongest recollections were : men and women selling fruit/vegetables and souvenirs outside at the airport, which was an open air airport!
    goats...everywhere.
    huges open beaches and not nearly as populated with hotels, vehicles, people as it is today.

    our next trip to aruba was a stop on a cruise. we were supposed to stop somehwere else, maybe curaçao and we wound up in aruba for reasons that i cannot remember. we walked to the bushiri hotel, and bought a day pass that included liquor and food. our son was under age 5, so that was in 1991 or earlier.

    fast forward to 1998.......our friends had become annual aruba visitors and we decided to plan a trip with them to aruba.
    it was a TNT (charter from boston). our son was about 12 and he brought his friend ben with us. aside from our friends being difficult and crabby (wanting us to all combine funds $$ for food beverage, impatient with our son and his friend and treating my husband and i like we had just fallen off the turnip truck) the trip was good. while there we bought a few timeshare weeks at lacabana. and knew that we'd be back often!

    during those first 3 trips over a span of 19 years, the transformation was amazing. resorts, infrastructure updates, people, traffic, cruise port expansion, restaurants ethe island was booming with EXPANSION and GROWTH.

    more years pass til today...... dear son is educated, grown, married, and a parent..........paul and i now are retired and our needs/wants are different.
    we love the quiet side of aruba.
    we are frequent beach goers and less pool goers.
    we eat lighter and eat in more often.
    we stay for 2 weeks at a time instead of a week during school breaks.

    last november, we had our son and his wife and children (age 1 and 2) and it was wonderful, however exhausting !

    i hope that our son and his family enjoy aruba over the years as much as we have.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Traceyd14's Avatar
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    We have fewer than visits than a lot of posters here but we've been going for 6 years. We started out not knowing anything about timeshares and only considered hotels. I saw some notes I made about my first trip where I recommended all inclusive to a friend. My how times have changed in just this short number of years! Now we prefer to rent a timeshare, rather than a traditional hotel. We enjoy our trip to the grocery store. We've gone from daily bar hoping, to more do it yourselfers, but still make our way to enough happy hours to get our fix. Through this forum, we've learned ways to stretch our dollars so we can stay longer. It would be hard for us to go back to a 7 night stay.
    Our most recent visit made us realize we actually like the low rise area just as much as Palm Beach, but for different reasons. I can see us doing 2 week trips and splitting them between the areas.

    You mentioned Manchebo, it really is a beautiful place. Stop by on your next visit and if they have a room available they will let you see it. We will almost definitely spend nights there on a future visit.
    7 trips in and still finding things to love. #8 will be great in November!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Pegmeister's Avatar
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    My husband's first trip was in 1973 (young and single) he didn't go back until 2009 when I started to show an interest. We stayed at the Divi where I absolutely loved the beach. The food at this AI was never consistent but it was all about the beach, and cheap enough that we went off resort for dinner. After awhile we started extending our trips and trying a few days at other resorts to see if we wanted to switch and then our last trip we knew we had outgrown the Divi. So we have moved on to the adult only Bucuti as we start a new chapter.
    Last edited by Pegmeister; 03-18-2017 at 07:59 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member cpjones's Avatar
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    When we first started looking at Aruba we considered the Manchebo as a primary choice, but went with the Hyatt for 3 years in spite of the balconies. One of the motivators for me was the on property casino. Love the property and especially the lobby.... great for people watching and relaxing. We took a walk to the Radisson (now Hilton) a couple of times and checked out a room and DW decided then that it was our new Aruba home....and we stayed there for the next 8 years and loved it.

    After reading some wonderful reviews on the Amsterdam Manor we decided to check it out.... loved the property and stayed there the next year. During our trips we would frequently check out other properties and rooms. We absolutely loved the relative quiet of Eagle Beach with minimal water sports and would have stayed at AM again except for the flies at the Beach Bar.....! A beach bar is an essential for me for lunch with Amstel Brights......!

    We moved to Manchebo last year and it's the best property for us....! Lotsa quiet... few kids and a huge beach with lotsa space between the palapas. No more exploring for us. Manchebo is our resort of choice going forward.

    Palm Beach has changed a lot since your last visit... but I think it's a good choice with your young people.... especially the Hilton... it's in the middle of everything and has the nicest stretch of Palm Beach.

    A tip for you..... when you choose a palapa... stay in the Gilligan's area to avoid the onslaught of 'day trippers' from the cruise ships. It's the quieter end of the Hilton beach.

    My other tip for you.... get over to Bugaloe for lunch... great atmosphere and icy cold beer.
    Last edited by cpjones; 03-18-2017 at 08:06 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member coldsteel337's Avatar
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    Our first trip was 1990 or 91. We left a cold NY and arrived at the open air airport. What a wonderful welcome!. We stayed in a duplex at Divi Divi. The pools and beach were great. There were time share hawkers everywhere and we actually attended a few of the tours to get the free stuff. I told my wife NEVER again and we never did. We did not get back for about 10 years and stayed downtown at the Renaissance. Another great trip. Less time share hawkers but more buildings were going up.We have now done 9 or 10 trips in the past 16 years and typically stay for 2 weeks. 1 week just doesn't satisfy us. We stay at CPV in a 2 bedroom. My wife loves the pools but is not a beach person. i am out fishing & drinking pretty much every day. We spend most of our time together but have 4 or 5 hours to ourselves daily. Usually we have children and grandchildren along. The time share hawkers seem to be gone! Probably my favorite "new thing" is that I discovered the local bars up in NOORD about 15 years ago. Locals and ex pats and a few tourists like me. Less crowded, less expensive and i can walk to a bunch of them! Whats still the same and never gets old is that we drive around the island again and again. It's a small place and we return to familiar spots every trip but seem to find new places to visit or explore all the time. there are so many little beaches off the tourist trail! We both love Aruba and would go back even more except we also love Italy, Sweden and Thailand!

  9. #9
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    CPJones - I feel a connection! Beach bars & Casino for now and Manchebo in my future. I also planned on Bugaloe as the first day's meal! Thanks for the palapa tip. I registered for the Hilton's online booking system and have been scoping out the side near Gilligan's. It seems handy for getting those much needed drinks.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Aruba4ever's Avatar
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    Bugaloe is a great way to get into vacation mode. I can't think of many better settings to start the vacation off.

    Quote Originally Posted by Susan&Sunshine View Post
    CPJones - I feel a connection! Beach bars & Casino for now and Manchebo in my future. I also planned on Bugaloe as the first day's meal! Thanks for the palapa tip. I registered for the Hilton's online booking system and have been scoping out the side near Gilligan's. It seems handy for getting those much needed drinks.

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