Aruba and Cancun

Jun 5th, 2005, 09:31 AM
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Aruba and Cancun

So is Aruba basically the Cancun of the Caribbean? The reading I've done leaves me feeling like it's just a big, commercial, Americanized strip of hotels and shopping malls. Is that accurate? I find the breadth of the beaches there somewhat attractive, but wonder if the place has any real charm or if there are any smaller charming, romantic hotels, or all just mega-resorts and cheesy shops and restaurants. And I know about Bucuti, but they aren't going to be a realistic option this summer because of the construction that starts in July. Curious if I have a misconception about Aruba.

ftrain is offline  
Jun 5th, 2005, 10:49 AM
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Well, I would not say its as built up as Cancun...IMO but yes you get the picture, its very Americanized, etc. There are some smaller places to stay.

Have you already planned your trip there? or can you go somewhere else?
If you want something more charming I would go to is way nicer than Aruba.

MIM04 is offline  
Jun 5th, 2005, 11:21 AM
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Just curious...where have you stayed in Curacao? I've been to Aruba and liked it very much, but it was crowded and Americanized. Thanks for the info.
iw is offline  
Jun 5th, 2005, 11:39 AM
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In Curacao we stayed at the Princess though since then it has changed ownership and names. It was pretty nice though the beaches in Aruba are alot better. Curacao is perfect for just getting away and relaxing. Its also where my son and I shared our first beers together. He was legal there.
jacketwatch is online now  
Jun 5th, 2005, 11:45 AM
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Karen - I really like the Marriott. But the Avila Beach Hotel is very nice, has overwater rooms etc. But Avila I think would be more expensive (they have several room types) They are different types of hotels though... I would suggest one of those. Curacao has much more culture than Aruba, actually there is an article in May - Islands mag. about the thriving art scene in Curacao, the island has a lot of culture, art, music (Jazz) lots to do. Not as touristy as Aruba , tourism is not the main trade in Curacao.
MIM04 is offline  
Jun 5th, 2005, 11:52 AM
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Hi MIM04:
We corresponded a bit about Barbados. It's for August. The parameters we're working in is that my better half wants an AMAZING beach, somewhere in the Caribbean, but with minimized risk of hurricanes. We don't have time to fly to Hawaii or Asia, so the Caribbean or Caribbean Mexico is it. The trick is that everything you read is that the best beaches in the Caribbean are Turks and Caicos, Bahamas, Anguilla or Aruba. The first three are right in the hurrican belt. They won't do. That leaves Aruba. OR we can go to Mexico, which is less at risk from hurricanes. But she doesn't like Cancun, and that leaves a handful of resorts down the Riviera Maya. The smaller intimate hotels along there are either too rustic and not the "full-service" experience she wants for a honeymoon (see the eco-hotels of Tulum) or they are out of our budget (Maroma). OR there's Bermuda, which is also less at risk than, say, the Bahamas in August, but which is outrageously expensive. The nicest places there are lovely, but all are hundreds (if not a thousand) dollars out of my budget.

I keep thinking about Barbados, but the two hotels I like there most don't seem to have the wide swaths of beach that she's most interested in. I understand what she wants--she wants a big long beach that won't be crowded and that will be great for long walks (Elbow Beach in Bermuda seems to fit). But I can't find it either in my budget or outside the main hurricane zone. This is getting ridiculously frustrating.
ftrain is offline  
Jun 5th, 2005, 12:15 PM
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Having been to several of the areas mentioned, a few comments:

While Aruba feels more "Americanized" than many other Caribbean islands, it has far fewer hotels and rooms than Cancun and seems less like a "tourist trap." The people who work there are friendlier and less pushy.

We stayed at the Manchebo, next door to the Bucuti, and the beach was magnificent. However, snorkeling and water clarity are not strong points in Aruba.

There are many first-class resorts (mostly AI) in the 75-mile stretch from Cancun to Tulum. For someone seeking an expecially nice beach, the resorts on Xpu-Ha Beach are worth checking into (Xpu-Ha Palace, Copacabana, Club Maeva).
The Barcelo Maya also has a good beach.

Aruba would have less of a hurricane risk in August than the Riviera Maya.

Grace Bay on Providenciales is our favorite beach so far, but if you're emphasizing weather risks, probably not the best choice in August.

cdt is offline  
Jun 5th, 2005, 01:17 PM
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ftrain - I hear you. I know its hard to have the best of both worlds during hurricane season. Personally I would go and just buy travel insurance I have been through several. One was my first honeymoon ,lol. But I left on Sept. 8 and peak of season is Sept. 10. you could very well have great weather. That being said (because I know you dont want to do that, and yes I totally understand)

I was going to suggest Maroma - but I know its pricey! I have heard good things about the Blue Parrot ( they have new suites decorated in tommy bahama , anyway it looks nice. You should check that.

The beaches in Barbados are really beautiful, but no they are not the same as the turks and some of the bahamas, etc. I dont think that makes them less beautiful just different. Its still wonderful sand, etc. but no you will not find miles and miles of beachfront there...

I dont blame you for not doing Cancun, not my favorite place...what about the Omni Puerto Adventuras, that place is nice. There are lots of nice hotels on the mexican riviera, look at - they have pics of all the hotels. The beaches in this area are wonderful (better than cancun, less crowded) Tulum and Playa del Carmen are both beautiful....

I wish I could be of more help. I know its hard and very frustrating! Its just difficult in hurricane season because I think it makes you feel so limited.

Are there any beaches in Barbados that you felt met your criteria (besides the hotel itself)

MIM04 is offline  
Jun 5th, 2005, 01:21 PM
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Oh , also did you look at The Crane in Barbados. I have not visited it for a long time, but it was beautiful when I was there before. If you search the posts I am sure you will find something about it...
MIM04 is offline  
Jun 5th, 2005, 06:07 PM
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ftrain, sorry I just thought of something else - what about Intercontinental Presidente on Cozumel. It has a beautiful beach - 1/2 mile long, I was actually just reading an article in Feb. CT&L about it...anyway, it looks really nice. I personally have not stayed at this property, BUT I have always had luck with Intercontinental hotels...anyway, just a thought!
MIM04 is offline  
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