Aruba?

Old Oct 12th, 2022, 11:13 AM
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Aruba?

We are just beginning to think about taking a family beach vacation in Spring 2023.

Our dates are open, but probably end of May to first of June, to celebrate anniversaries and birthdays.

Aruba comes up as an interesting option. We want only one stop for people traveling from Denver and SFO. Don't need all-inclusive. Don't want a casino. We like that Aruba is out of the path of hurricanes.

There would be five adults and two children: ages 73, 72, 34, 37, 38, 2 and 4. All adults are experienced travelers, healthy and interested in scuba/snorkeling, beach walking, swimming pool, relaxing without a crowd, dining, and investigating the island.

Can anyone help with pros and cons of Aruba, and also resort choices?

The Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort looks good. We like that it emphasizes sustainable tourism.
https://www.amsterdammanor.com/resor...inable-tourism

One dream I've always had, is to stay in some type of a room that sits over the water. The drawback to the Amsterdam Manor Resort is that it is across the street from the beach. We'd prefer to see/hear the ocean from our room.

Thank you!

Last edited by MoBro; Oct 12th, 2022 at 11:23 AM.
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Old Oct 13th, 2022, 02:09 PM
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Hurricanes are very rare in Aruba and pretty much throughout the entire Caribbean during May and early June so hurricanes shouldn’t be a major factor in choosing your destination.

Aruba has plants of casinos and while it’s easy to avoid them if you are not a gambler, if you want a casino free island you might want to go elsewhere.

Can’t comment on your choose of hotel as I’ve never stayed there.

Lastly, many people think Aruba is an “Americanized” island with many US style fast food restaurants, etc.
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Old Oct 14th, 2022, 12:27 AM
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Originally Posted by RoamsAround View Post
. . . , if you want a casino free island you might want to go elsewhere. . . .
Lastly, many people think Aruba is an “Americanized” island with many US style fast food restaurants, etc.
Thank you, RoamsAround—
Both of those points are enough to steer us away from Aruba.
Back to the drawing board.
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Old Oct 14th, 2022, 09:37 AM
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Consider Grand Cayman 7-mile beach. Great walking/swimming beach, very good to great diving/snorkeling (around the island, not necessarily 7-mile beach), very good restaurants, plenty of nice 2 & 3 bedroom condos right on the beach. Also, a variety of things to do like Stingray City and Starfish Point for the kids.
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Old Oct 14th, 2022, 10:01 AM
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Scuba is pretty good on Aruba, surprisingly. Several good wreck dives. Snorkelling is quite good around Malmok Beach. If you like exploring, the east coast of the island is rugged, with a natural pool which you can swim in, its in a national park which is worth exploring. I don't think Aruba is as bad as it sounds, there are casinos but why would that bother anybody, they are mostly in hotels and if you are not staying in that hotel you won't see them. The beaches are great, not as clear as T&C or Anguilla but they are perfectly good. As for Americanised, I think most of the Caribbean is in some way or other being so close to the US. Take Grand Cayman and TCI, you'd hardly know they are UK overseas territories. I enjoyed both times I've been there. I can't say how crowded it will be, if you are renting a car there are other beaches to go which are as nice as the more well known ones. Aruba isn't the typical island, being flat, arid, lots of cacti and iguanas but it is fun, Oranjestad has nice architecture. There are fast food places but equally there are local pretty decent restaurants, its not all McDonalds.
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Old Oct 15th, 2022, 06:02 AM
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Personally I quite like Aruba, and the Eagle Beach area is beautiful. From the Amsterdam you can walk several miles north or south along a walking/bike trail. A full service supermarket is a 5min walk from the hotel.

I like it that it's not in hurricane zone, but as stated above nowhere gets hurricanes in May.... I like it that it's not muggy and humid. I much prefer the modern Dutch/Americanized feel to isolated all-inclusive resorts on many other islands, full of loud drunk American tourists, and nowhere to go to escape them... On Aruba I never felt accosted by hawkers the minute I walked 100 yards left or right on the beach.

One downside to the Amsterdam location is that it's located quite close to the wastewater treatment area. When the wind blows the wrong way you know you're nearby. It's not pervasive, but it is a risk. We've not stayed at the Amsterdam, but next door at the Eagle with a 1 or maybe it was a 2br condo. For the most part we loved the location, but not that property itself.

There are a lot of condo's available on Aruba - look on VRBO or AirBnB for options. For our next trip, we're looking a short distance south on Eagle Beach, further away from that wastewater plant.


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Old Oct 19th, 2022, 11:37 AM
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Thank you, RoamsAround, Dave S, balthy, and J62!
Sorry I haven't been back to check on the thread. Your comments are very helpful.

Aruba seems like a long way to go, if we're not sure about it.
Flights aren't especially convenient, leaving around 5am or midnight, with looooong layovers.

I found this VRBO, which looks great: https://www.vrbo.com/394537?adultsCo...&unitId=394537

But we wonder if we want the services & amenities of a hotel/resort.

A lot of things to consider. We might also look into Portugal's Algarve and Nassau.

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Old Oct 19th, 2022, 08:54 PM
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Don't know your location but for me to get to the Caribbean from Seattle I do an overnight/redeye flight into Atlanta (or Miami) then transfer for a shorter morning flight to Jamaica. And yes it's a lot more 'hassle' to go there than Mexico or Hawaii from my home airport on the west coast USA. But worth it to me for Jamaica.
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Old Oct 20th, 2022, 01:37 AM
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Originally Posted by MoBro View Post
Aruba seems like a long way to go, if we're not sure about it.

I found this VRBO, which looks great: https://www.vrbo.com/394537?adultsCo...&unitId=394537

But we wonder if we want the services & amenities of a hotel/resort.

A lot of things to consider. We might also look into Portugal's Algarve and Nassau.
Yes it is a long way to go if you are not keen on Aruba in the first place. I can only say that I wasn't too keen either but I ended up liking it. The VRBO looks very nice and it is close to Malmok which has the snorkelling beach with the wreck of the Antilla.

If you are looking for non Americanised, I would say Nassau is not the place to consider. Is it Paradise Island that you are considering? Can't comment about the Algarve as I have only been to Lisbon/Oporto but I'm sure that could work.except that it would not be non crowded as it is a popular place for European tourists and not sure what that area delivers in terms of scuba/snorkelling, sea temps will be rather cool for sea swimming in May/June.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2022, 12:10 PM
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Thank you, suze and balthy.

We might be shifting focus to places easier to reach from California. DH and I are in Denver, but our adult 'children' and their kids would fly out of LA and SFO. I was forgetting about the travel logistics.

Right now, we are researching Tahiti. It seems relatively easy to get to, prices look reasonable, and we've always been interested in it. My own dream is to stay in a room over the water.
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