This site uses cookies. Some are essential while others improve your browsing experience and allow us to advertise. For more info visit the privacy policy page.

Allow inessential cookies for:

Your preferences have been updated.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13

Thread: Trip Report 9/11-9/21 back to paradise after 2 1/2 years

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Posts
    339
    Post Thanks / Like

    Cool Trip Report 9/11-9/21 back to paradise after 2 1/2 years

    Finally getting to posting my trip report. Although I know many of you prefer reading these daily, here is my summary. First of all - a big thank you to all of you who were so helpful and patient with all the prep to-do’s (testing, ED card, etc). This was our first time going back since the pandemic so the process was intimidating but much easier than expected! My husband, Larry, and I took the Abbott ID Now test and got our results in 2 hours. So I was able to do the ED card, get our green check, and complete the United travel ready requirements all in one day.

    Our flight out of Newark was at 6:18am so we got into Aruba at 10:45am. We were the only flight in. Went through to the process so quickly. We were at the Marriott Stellaris in less than an hour from touchdown. Our room was ready so we unpacked quickly and went to La Vista for our usual delicious steak salad on arrival day. We were on the beach by 1pm. Palm Beach at the Marriott Stellaris was not crowded for our entire stay which was great. It was a little more crowded at the time share properties with lots of floats in the water. The water was crystal clear as many of you indicated probably due to less boat traffic and less tourists. In fact Larry went parasailing twice and was able to see the turtles swimming from up in the sky. I stayed in that turquoise water for 10 days! We are so very happy we went on this trip. There was much hesitation at times but we had an amazing time and felt very safe. Weather was perfect for September. Hot but always a breeze! Sometimes there is no breeze during hurricane season. We got lucky. The Marriott staff and management always make us feel so welcome; the new GM asked to have breakfast with us which was so nice.

    We took a walk over to Ritz. It was so empty. I do hope they make it through this rough time. Also when went downtown to window shop we noticed stores more empty than usual with less product - all a result of the pandemic of course. But I am sure things will pick up as more and more people go back. The Marriott is expecting a 20% increase in guests in the next 2 weeks. Here are my restaurant reviews:

    Sunday night - went to Elements for sunset dinner. I had the crab cake app and spicy shrimp entree (amazing) and Larry had the beef app and duck entree. We shared their delicious chocolate cake for dessert. Dinner & service were flawless. We actually canceled another reservation and went back Friday night.

    Monday night - Madame Janette - we give the food a 10 and the service a 4. Our waitress came over and apologized she was overworked and put the manager in charge. They sent us 2 glasses of champagne, comped our wine and gave us free dessert. We both ordered the rack of lamb which is always delicious! They have a new singer which was a definite good addition. More 2021.

    Tuesday night - Matthew’s for rib night (always great) although Larry ordered seared tuna also good.

    Wednesday night - Barefoot for sunset dinner. We ordered drinks and the waiter asked the table next to us how their vacation was going. I heard someone saying it was their first full day. Well I turned around - what are the chances it would be MikeG from the forum with his wife. What a coincidence and nice surprise! It was great meeting them. Food was great. We shared the goat cheese cold app, I had the blackened mahi-mahi and Larry had medallions of beef. We shared snickers cheese cake. Amazing!

    Thursday night - Oak - Ricardo owns this restaurant who we have followed over the years. We both had the peppercorn steak. It was good but not earth shattering. So I don’t understand the hype of this place. We sat outside and it is not well lit so we even with candles we could not see what we were eating. Don’t think we will go back.

    Friday night - Elements again!

    Saturday night - Wilhelmenia - always flawless. We shared short rib ravioli, yum. I had the Indonesian pork and Larry had the short ribs. Sooo good.

    Sunday night - Quinta Del Carmen - skipped apps. I had the lobster thermador and Larry had a stuffed beef dish. Both delicious but a little heavy. Think we shared creme brûlée for dessert either at Quinta or Wilhelmenia. Lost track! Drinks were great.

    Last night - Monday - Yemanja - we love the goat cheese filo dough app so we split that. Very good. Then we ordered the flat iron steak. Bad choice. If I were home I would have complained but not in Aruba! The steak was chewy/a little tough. Unusual for Yemanja. The truffle tots were way too heavy too. We could have split this dish. Don’t remember portions this big. Service was decent compared to other reviews I read. Really like how they extended the outdoor seating. Will always go back to Yemanja. Sometimes you just order the wrong thing!

    Tuesday - travel home day- always sad. We allowed way too much time at the airport. We got through the lines and customs without global entry in less than an hour. Upgraded to first class round trip which made trip even better. All in all a wonderful relaxing Aruba vacation at our home away from home. So happy we went! One of our best trips for sure! Thanks again to everyone!
    1 4
     

  2. #2
    Aruba since 1979
    Moderator
    Andrea J.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    40,284
    Post Thanks / Like
    Thank you!
    All sounded so wonderful and delicious

    Your Oak experience is not unusual. I have read that often.

    Ya the airport wait is long and annoying but I guess we have to
    all continue to follow the guidelines and especially on The weekends.
    It is a pain I know.
    Last edited by Andrea J.; 09-27-2021 at 07:51 PM.
    THINK.. is it Thoughtful? Helpful? Inspirational? Necessary? Kind? SIDTM
    0 0
     

  3. #3
    Senior Member cpjones's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Eagle Beach, Glitz Casino, Manchebo Beach Resort
    Posts
    6,077
    Post Thanks / Like
    That was a great time..... so glad the travel was easy. We faced the same concerns over requirements when we went down in July and were pleasantly surprised at how easy it all was! Love your dinner choices.... 'cept Barefoot has always had too many young people for us to go back. Elements is always a star with us...dependably good. So happy you went....!
    A little nonsense now and then is relished by the best of men!
    0 0
     

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    95
    Post Thanks / Like
    Your restaurant reviews are awesome!! How great that you were able to meet up with another BB member. I will be back in Aruba in February and I appreciate your update. Sounds like you had a relaxing time.
    0 0
     

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Posts
    339
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea J. View Post
    Thank you!
    All sounded so wonderful and delicious

    Your Oak experience is not unusual. I have read that often.

    Ya the airport wait is long and annoying but I guess we have to
    all continue to follow the guidelines and especially on The weekends.
    It is a pain I know.
    You are right Andrea. Always better to allow ample time at the airport since it’s an unknown - can change from one day to another. I would never go home on a weekend even pre pandemic but we arrived on a Saturday and it was fine early. Thanks for all your help!!!!!
    2 0
     

  6. #6
    Senior Member LisaGrn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Posts
    1,578
    Post Thanks / Like
    Sounds like you had a wonderful vacation! Thanks for sharing it with us! Except now I'm hungry...
    0 1
     

  7. #7
    Aruba since 1979
    Moderator
    Andrea J.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    40,284
    Post Thanks / Like
    You are most welcome!!
    Quote Originally Posted by Colette M View Post
    You are right Andrea. Always better to allow ample time at the airport since it’s an unknown - can change from one day to another. I would never go home on a weekend even pre pandemic but we arrived on a Saturday and it was fine early. Thanks for all your help!!!!!
    THINK.. is it Thoughtful? Helpful? Inspirational? Necessary? Kind? SIDTM
    0 0
     

  8. #8
    Senior Member Laura in NH's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    399
    Post Thanks / Like
    Thanks for the update. I'm supposed to go to Oak some night this week. Now I'm having second thoughts.
    ​Laura from NH/Divi Village

    0 0
     

  9. #9
    Super Moderator WaltVB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Surf Club
    Posts
    6,319
    Post Thanks / Like
    Thanks for the trip report. Sounds like you ate well, and we really like the Marriott Stellaris.

    0 0
     

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Posts
    339
    Post Thanks / Like
    Walt, you were so helpful with all the info on the Abbot ID Now test - thanks again! I even tried the lobster roll you recommended at Waves! Yes the Marriott Stellaris is great and love one of the singers in the lobby in the evenings. Her name is Amy Sorinio for the next time you go. She’s there 2 nights a week - Tuesday & Friday.

    Here is her website for anyone else who is interested. Very good performance

    https://amysorinio.com/events-amy-sorinio/
    Last edited by Colette M; 09-28-2021 at 12:59 PM.
    0 1
     

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •