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Thread: Small trip report

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Small trip report

    Back to Aruba after 20 years, which was for our honeymoon. Trip postponed three times since March 2020. I thought I post a small update on our trip so far. We have been here since last Sunday and will be here until Friday.
    Flight was easy (SAN - PHL-AUA) and we were out of the AUA airport within 20 minutes. Had all checkmarks printed out and there were no lines. Much easier than expected.
    We rented a car from Drive 4 Cheap. It was inexpensive for two weeks. The car is small, a little used but perfect for our needs. Fits 2 adults, one teenager, two suitcases and 3 backpacks. Rental process was easy and so far no surprises.
    Stayed the first three nights at Manchebo Beach Resort which is a great place. We had a garden view room, unfortunately on the first level. I think the ground level units looked a bit nicer, as they had an extended patio, but we did get a partial ocean view from our balcony which was also overlooking the resort next door (ABC?) and the spa (amazing massage!).
    We mentioned that it was our 20th anniversary when we booked but no special treats, congrats during check in etc. I guess no big deal but a little lack of attention to detail. I work in the travel/hospitality industry so maybe I am just picky and aware. Room was great for our needs, great selection of toiletries, loved the spa and massage, the beach, the palapas, beach staff and the relaxed vibe. No loud people, not crowded , all outdoors. Felt very covid safe. Brought an HDMI cable so could connect my laptop to their TV and watch our shows later in the PM (with VPN Express). Very convenient.
    Dinner at Ike's was ok, good service but a little disappointed in the food.
    After 3 nights we checked into our townhouse at Gold Coast and we love it here. All through Air BnB. Host was great, had welcome breakfast basket, very safe. Three pools and two tennis courts. Played one round of tennis so far. It's crazy hot to play and the balls fly totally unpredictable due to the wind, great fun though.
    Restaurants we have been to so far:
    Salina (at Gold Coast) - amazing food (!), we had a variety of sea and land dishes and everything was super. I had an Teriaki chicken dish which was superb. I think they grill the chicken over a grill so tasted really good and smoky. My husband and son had the grouper and raved about it. Great service too and not too expensive.
    West Deck - We had appetizers, all were good, good value for money. We sat in the back garden which felt safer and more spaced out
    Bingo - Loved it! Had the smaller plates (they offer small and "normal") which were plenty of food for dinner. Great outside seating, felt safe, great service and again, food was really excellent. Had the pork loin with pepper sauce and was so good. Small portion was plenty for me. The rest of my family had sea food but can't remember the specifics, they loved it too.
    Salt and Pepper - wanted to go back there as we ate at S&P 20 years ago. Understatement to say that the area changed. Felt like little Las Vegas to me. Too many people, too little masking and distance and just too loud and obnoxious for our taste. Palm Beach to us is now on the list of "do avoid".
    Yanti - Someone here recommended this place to me and OMG - how good is that place!!!!!! I wish we could take it back home. We got takeout at around 5pm and took it back to our Air BnB and heated it up later for dinner on our patio. Everything was super amazing. I recommend the curry chicken and potato roti, super tasty. We bought 5 different dishes and apps and it was just around $50. More food than needed but we wanted to taste it all. Highly recommended.
    Flying Fishbone - went back there for dinner last night, after 20 years, and it was jut as we remembered. Good food, great scenery, great service. Lovely evening.
    So far we did a snorkeling lesson with Fins and Feet, since it was our sons first time snorkeling properly. Rob, our local guide and teacher, was very professional and showed us a lots of tricks and tips. We went to Tres Trapi and saw an array of underwater life, corals and even a turtle! Highly recommend this local company.
    Did a trip with the Tranquilo and also loved that. The drift snorkeling is something I will never forget. Amazing!
    We have a few more days and wondered if anyone can recommend another boat/snorkeling tour? Black Pearl was solidly booked for weeks and we want to avoid the too crowded and rowdy tours. TIA.
    Hope to do another update later this week.
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  2. #2
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    Thanks for the trip report. Sounds like you are totally enjoying yourselves. I can't wait to get to Aruba this winter. Where is Yanti? I haven't heard of it.
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  3. #3
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    EXCELLENT, thank you for posting!!
    You may want to check out the Octopus catamaran for a nice snorkel adventure.
    We have gone with them a few times and they are almost as great as Tranquilo.
    OR
    Check out Arubabob it is a snorkel adventure that uses handheld propulsion devices.
    Great fun!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Anja D. View Post
    Back to Aruba after 20 years, which was for our honeymoon. Trip postponed three times since March 2020. I thought I post a small update on our trip so far. We have been here since last Sunday and will be here until Friday.
    Flight was easy (SAN - PHL-AUA) and we were out of the AUA airport within 20 minutes. Had all checkmarks printed out and there were no lines. Much easier than expected.
    We rented a car from Drive 4 Cheap. It was inexpensive for two weeks. The car is small, a little used but perfect for our needs. Fits 2 adults, one teenager, two suitcases and 3 backpacks. Rental process was easy and so far no surprises.
    Stayed the first three nights at Manchebo Beach Resort which is a great place. We had a garden view room, unfortunately on the first level. I think the ground level units looked a bit nicer, as they had an extended patio, but we did get a partial ocean view from our balcony which was also overlooking the resort next door (ABC?) and the spa (amazing massage!).
    We mentioned that it was our 20th anniversary when we booked but no special treats, congrats during check in etc. I guess no big deal but a little lack of attention to detail. I work in the travel/hospitality industry so maybe I am just picky and aware. Room was great for our needs, great selection of toiletries, loved the spa and massage, the beach, the palapas, beach staff and the relaxed vibe. No loud people, not crowded , all outdoors. Felt very covid safe. Brought an HDMI cable so could connect my laptop to their TV and watch our shows later in the PM (with VPN Express). Very convenient.
    Dinner at Ike's was ok, good service but a little disappointed in the food.
    After 3 nights we checked into our townhouse at Gold Coast and we love it here. All through Air BnB. Host was great, had welcome breakfast basket, very safe. Three pools and two tennis courts. Played one round of tennis so far. It's crazy hot to play and the balls fly totally unpredictable due to the wind, great fun though.
    Restaurants we have been to so far:
    Salina (at Gold Coast) - amazing food (!), we had a variety of sea and land dishes and everything was super. I had an Teriaki chicken dish which was superb. I think they grill the chicken over a grill so tasted really good and smoky. My husband and son had the grouper and raved about it. Great service too and not too expensive.
    West Deck - We had appetizers, all were good, good value for money. We sat in the back garden which felt safer and more spaced out
    Bingo - Loved it! Had the smaller plates (they offer small and "normal") which were plenty of food for dinner. Great outside seating, felt safe, great service and again, food was really excellent. Had the pork loin with pepper sauce and was so good. Small portion was plenty for me. The rest of my family had sea food but can't remember the specifics, they loved it too.
    Salt and Pepper - wanted to go back there as we ate at S&P 20 years ago. Understatement to say that the area changed. Felt like little Las Vegas to me. Too many people, too little masking and distance and just too loud and obnoxious for our taste. Palm Beach to us is now on the list of "do avoid".
    Yanti - Someone here recommended this place to me and OMG - how good is that place!!!!!! I wish we could take it back home. We got takeout at around 5pm and took it back to our Air BnB and heated it up later for dinner on our patio. Everything was super amazing. I recommend the curry chicken and potato roti, super tasty. We bought 5 different dishes and apps and it was just around $50. More food than needed but we wanted to taste it all. Highly recommended.
    Flying Fishbone - went back there for dinner last night, after 20 years, and it was jut as we remembered. Good food, great scenery, great service. Lovely evening.
    So far we did a snorkeling lesson with Fins and Feet, since it was our sons first time snorkeling properly. Rob, our local guide and teacher, was very professional and showed us a lots of tricks and tips. We went to Tres Trapi and saw an array of underwater life, corals and even a turtle! Highly recommend this local company.
    Did a trip with the Tranquilo and also loved that. The drift snorkeling is something I will never forget. Amazing!
    We have a few more days and wondered if anyone can recommend another boat/snorkeling tour? Black Pearl was solidly booked for weeks and we want to avoid the too crowded and rowdy tours. TIA.
    Hope to do another update later this week.

    THINK.. is it Thoughtful? Helpful? Inspirational? Necessary? Kind? SIDTM
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  4. #4
    Senior Member cpjones's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting..... I'm reading a great start to a wonderful trip! Big changes in 20 years!
    A little nonsense now and then is relished by the best of men!
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  5. #5
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    Great report....and good to hear another positive for Salina! Enjoy the rest of the week!
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  6. #6
    Senior Member ArubaAce's Avatar
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    Nice trip report. What didn't you like about Ike? I never ate there but was curious. I had them on my list for 2 trips but never went. I was interested in their Monday evening Lobster specials. Never been to Salt N Peppa after over 20 years going to Aruba. I don't like crowds whether it's covid spikes or not.
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  7. #7
    Super Moderator WaltVB's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing your trip with us. Great restaurant reviews. I've heard good things about Octopus tours, they are in Palm Beach so might not work for you.
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  8. #8
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    I highly recommend Missy's Private Watersport at https:/MissysWatersport.com Fabulous, private, customized boat tours all to yourselves. Open bar, snorkeling or diving. They were wonderful, friendly and knowledgeable hosts. We snorkeled in 30 feet deep, crystal clear water, surrounded by fish. Will be using them again when we return next year.
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  9. #9
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    I highly recommend Missy's Private Watersport at https:/MissysWatersport.com Fabulous, private, customized boat tours all to yourselves. Open bar, snorkeling or diving. They were wonderful, friendly and knowledgeable hosts. We snorkeled in 30 feet deep, crystal clear water, surrounded by fish. Will be using them again when we return next year.


    Quote Originally Posted by Anja D. View Post
    Back to Aruba after 20 years, which was for our honeymoon. Trip postponed three times since March 2020. I thought I post a small update on our trip so far. We have been here since last Sunday and will be here until Friday.
    Flight was easy (SAN - PHL-AUA) and we were out of the AUA airport within 20 minutes. Had all checkmarks printed out and there were no lines. Much easier than expected.
    We rented a car from Drive 4 Cheap. It was inexpensive for two weeks. The car is small, a little used but perfect for our needs. Fits 2 adults, one teenager, two suitcases and 3 backpacks. Rental process was easy and so far no surprises.
    Stayed the first three nights at Manchebo Beach Resort which is a great place. We had a garden view room, unfortunately on the first level. I think the ground level units looked a bit nicer, as they had an extended patio, but we did get a partial ocean view from our balcony which was also overlooking the resort next door (ABC?) and the spa (amazing massage!).
    We mentioned that it was our 20th anniversary when we booked but no special treats, congrats during check in etc. I guess no big deal but a little lack of attention to detail. I work in the travel/hospitality industry so maybe I am just picky and aware. Room was great for our needs, great selection of toiletries, loved the spa and massage, the beach, the palapas, beach staff and the relaxed vibe. No loud people, not crowded , all outdoors. Felt very covid safe. Brought an HDMI cable so could connect my laptop to their TV and watch our shows later in the PM (with VPN Express). Very convenient.
    Dinner at Ike's was ok, good service but a little disappointed in the food.
    After 3 nights we checked into our townhouse at Gold Coast and we love it here. All through Air BnB. Host was great, had welcome breakfast basket, very safe. Three pools and two tennis courts. Played one round of tennis so far. It's crazy hot to play and the balls fly totally unpredictable due to the wind, great fun though.
    Restaurants we have been to so far:
    Salina (at Gold Coast) - amazing food (!), we had a variety of sea and land dishes and everything was super. I had an Teriaki chicken dish which was superb. I think they grill the chicken over a grill so tasted really good and smoky. My husband and son had the grouper and raved about it. Great service too and not too expensive.
    West Deck - We had appetizers, all were good, good value for money. We sat in the back garden which felt safer and more spaced out
    Bingo - Loved it! Had the smaller plates (they offer small and "normal") which were plenty of food for dinner. Great outside seating, felt safe, great service and again, food was really excellent. Had the pork loin with pepper sauce and was so good. Small portion was plenty for me. The rest of my family had sea food but can't remember the specifics, they loved it too.
    Salt and Pepper - wanted to go back there as we ate at S&P 20 years ago. Understatement to say that the area changed. Felt like little Las Vegas to me. Too many people, too little masking and distance and just too loud and obnoxious for our taste. Palm Beach to us is now on the list of "do avoid".
    Yanti - Someone here recommended this place to me and OMG - how good is that place!!!!!! I wish we could take it back home. We got takeout at around 5pm and took it back to our Air BnB and heated it up later for dinner on our patio. Everything was super amazing. I recommend the curry chicken and potato roti, super tasty. We bought 5 different dishes and apps and it was just around $50. More food than needed but we wanted to taste it all. Highly recommended.
    Flying Fishbone - went back there for dinner last night, after 20 years, and it was jut as we remembered. Good food, great scenery, great service. Lovely evening.
    So far we did a snorkeling lesson with Fins and Feet, since it was our sons first time snorkeling properly. Rob, our local guide and teacher, was very professional and showed us a lots of tricks and tips. We went to Tres Trapi and saw an array of underwater life, corals and even a turtle! Highly recommend this local company.
    Did a trip with the Tranquilo and also loved that. The drift snorkeling is something I will never forget. Amazing!
    We have a few more days and wondered if anyone can recommend another boat/snorkeling tour? Black Pearl was solidly booked for weeks and we want to avoid the too crowded and rowdy tours. TIA.
    Hope to do another update later this week.
    0 0
     

  10. #10
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    Yanti is in Oranjestadt - maps will guide you :-). It's Indonesian/Surinamese food and I only saw locals in there. Super friendly staff and like I said, the food is amazing and very budget friendly. They close at 6pm, that's why we did take out as we were not just hungry enough yet for dinner. The inside was very clean and nice too, tables well spaced apart and they followed all hygiene rules to a t. My son had a chicken dish with spicy coconut (that was also addictive, kind of like a spice coconut trail-mix that you could sprinkle on top), peanut sauce and half and half bami- and nasi goreng as sides.......just typing these makes me want to go back there now haha.
    I checked the Octopus catamaran and they are also booked, looks like it's going to be a busy week for all the vendors. Will check Missy's next. Thanks for the recommendations.
    That Italian place by the light house looks good. I read the owner is from Calabria so I assume real Italian food rather than American Italian? I think tonight we'll give Café 080 a go. It's local to our place and looks good and cheap. Just made myself a pretty good pre-dinner Painkiller but getting hungry now :-).
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