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Trip Report Hyatt Aruba Trip report 9/2002

This is a trip report that I posted pre registration back in 2002 under a different name and I'd like it to be listed under my trip reports.

Our flight on US Air from Philly to Aruba was fine with no problems. Cabs are plentiful at the airport, so we chose to get our own cab to the hotel to avoid having to stop at numerous hotels along the way. The Hyatt is a great resort. We had a regular room which was nicely decorated in usual Hyatt standards. The odd number rooms face the pool/ocean and the higher the room number, the closer you are to the ocean. The staff was attentive and always helpful. The hotel has a nice casino and they have a nightly live band. We ate at the Hyatt our first night outside on the deck at the Palms restaurant. We both had seafood and enjoyed our dinner.

On Friday we hung out by the pool and then ate dinner at Gasparito's. I highly recommend this restaurant. This was one of the best dinners from appetizers to dessert that I ever had. We ate inside and walked around to view their art on display. We had an early reservation time and for about 20 minutes it was like we had the place to ourselves which was very cool.

Saturday - We went downtown to do some shopping. If you like to buy unique items on vacation, then go to the Mopa Mopa shop or to Art and Tradition. They both show a video describing Mopa Mopa art. It is made with vegetable dye and they stretch it using their mouths.

On Sat night we had a dinner on the beach at the Hyatt. Our waiter, Bennie, was such a nice guy. We asked him to take a picture of us and he ended up taking about ten. We even ran out of film. We chose our dinner from a limited selecton menu from Ruinas Del Mar. The food was delicious. It was an incredible experience - very romantic. The area was decorated with tiki torches. Our reservation was for 6:30 so we were there for sunset. A passer-by even stopped to take a picture. I felt like a celebrity! They only do one each night so reserve early if you are interested.

On Sunday we went to St Franciscus Church in Oranjastad. If you are Catholic, you should check out their mass. The priest spoke Papiamento but the music was lively and inspiring. On Sunday night we ate at Amazonia across the street from the Hyatt. It is a Brazilian Steakhouse. They have a fixed price menu. First you go to the salad/side bar. Then when you are ready you flip the green side up on your table marker. The waiters bring skewers of various meats to your table and if you like them, they cut off piece for you. You flip over the marker to the red side when your plate is full. If you want more flip it back to green and start all over again. I would recommend getting very small portions of the meats so you can sample them all. The quality of their meat was very good and their side dishes were great too.

On Monday we did the Kukoo Kunuku party bus. It was wild!! We are in our mid thirties and enjoyed it immensely. If you liked to party in college, you'll love this. The first stop is the Lighthouse for a champagne toast. Then they take you to the Minister of Protocol's house for dinner. They had good food - nothing fancy but still okay. This is your chance to buy their CD of songs that you'll hear all night. It is fun to listen to at home and remember the evening. After dinner, they take you to two small local bars where you can dance, led by a very fun hostess. The last stop is Carlos and Charlie's. Then the bus drops you off back at your hotel.

Tuesday - We ventured down to the Bucuti Resort today to try topless sunbathing . It was something I had always wanted to do, but never had the nerve. There were two other women on the beach who did it also which helped immensely. We tipped the attendant a twenty and were able to use their chairs and order drinks. Tuesday night we ate at Driftwood. We had asked a lot of people in Aruba for the best seafood place and almost everyone recommended Driftwood. We were incredibly disappointed. The seafood dishes were boring with nothing exceptional and the atmosphere looked like a place at the shore, not like a Caribbean island. When we asked about the dessert selections, the waitress, who seemed very proud of herself for remembering them, said ice cream, cheesecake or apple pie. This was not what we expected from the "best seafood place on the island". This was our only disappointing meal in Aruba.

On Wednesday we went to the Watapana Festival between the Hyatt and the Allegro. They had a great live band, but there were tons of mosquitos so we didn't stay long. We ended up eating dinner at Salt and Pepper. They have a wide selection of tapas. It was fun with good margaritas but was very crowded. Our flight back home was okay too. Now we just wish we were back in Aruba!

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