Aruba Honeymoon Questions

Sep 15th, 2004, 09:03 AM
  #1  
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Aruba Honeymoon Questions

I am trying to plan a honeymoon for August 2005 and we are starting to seriously look into Aruba, almost by default. After discovering that the South Pacific is too expensive, the mainland of Mexico is too hot and the bulk of the Caribbean is too stormy (especially this year), we are rethinking Aruba. Origianlly we wrote it off because of the desert aspect and the Las Vegas Strip like feel. That said, we realize the beaches are gorgeous and we like the near-guarantee of sunny weather. We are starting to look into lodging options; our top choice is Bucuti, because we like the smaller hotel feel, but we are also looking at the Radisson and the Hyatt. Our interests are centered on enjoying the sun both by the beach and by the pool. Can you order drinks or food at the palapas at any of these hotels? I have read that the pool at the Bucuti is pretty disappointing, is this true? Despite the strip of 26 hotels, does Aruba still have a romantic feeling to it? Do any of the resorts have more luxurious/sensuous rooms than the others? How long would you recommend for a trip to Aruba? We have two weeks scheduled, but I wonder if that is too long.

Any adive you can give would be much appreciated.
tyler is offline  
Sep 15th, 2004, 03:41 PM
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We just got back (we survived Ivan). Food in Aruba was outrageously expensive. More so than many other islands. Our food costs for one week was $1500. Typical meal with two drinks and 15% tip hovered aroudn $100. We only did the grocery store for snacks. We're not big drinkers either.

We stayed at the Wyndham. I would recommend. They did a great job during the hurricane. The rooms, pool, beach, restaurants were very nice.

We rented a car from Tropic. Great company.

I didn't get the "las vegas" feel you speak about. It more reminded me of Miami.

The beaches are fantastic. The shore snorkeling was great. Rent a car and drive up to Arashi and Malmok beaches to snorkel. Very good.

Hope this helps you.

Peace, Greenie
greenie is offline  
Sep 15th, 2004, 05:48 PM
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Tyler, my fiance and I are in the exact same situation as you! We were ready to book our reservation in Grand Caymans right before we heard that Ivan was on his way. Hopefully others will share their insights on Aruba so that we have a better idea. Bermuda is another alternative, although I am finding everything to be VERY pricey. We are intending to have a small wedding (15-20 people) in addition to making it our honeymoon. Thanks in advance to all who give their input.
meece is offline  
Sep 15th, 2004, 05:48 PM
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We just got back from Aruba 9/10 & were sad to leave. We LOVED it & plan to return next September. We stayed at Bucuti & will go back for sure. It was super romantic! Most were honeymooners, we were not. Bucuti is way smaller than most hotels & is in the low-rise section. We drove around in the high-rise section & it seems more for families or people who want a ton of activities at their disposal. We were there for the beach (Eagle Beach is one of the top 5 in the world) & to relax. The palapas are always available at Bucuti since the beach is huge & you get a red flag to stick in the ground for ordering drinks/food on the beach. Happy hour is nice with a steel drum player, Lee. This resort is smaller so the staff even gets to know your names.
I disagree with greenie about the food costs. I thought meals would be about $100/night, but we only spent that much at Madame Jeanettes (highly recommended). El Gaucho was amazing too but even with multiple drinks, steaks, desert it was only $70. We ate at Bucuti's restaraunt a lot for sheer convenience. Lunches were good & btw $5-$10/person (chicken sandwiches, BLTs, salads, etc). Dinners were good, too. Salmon is great, steaks ok. Dinners with multiple drinks & sometimes desert averaged $60/night.
Due to the month you are going, Aruba is a safe choice. It only rains a couple days/year & even then rain is minimal. The desert makes it beautiful, especially Natural Bridge area. We rented a Wrangler for a day & drove in the mountains & went sightseeing. That ended up being the most amazing day of the trip.
As you have probably gathered by my rambling, we highly recommend Aruba & especially Bucuti. We stayed in an ocean-front room & found it to be comfortable & very clean. Next time, we are thinking of trying the Tara Suites, which look exactly as they appear online (bucuti.com).
If I missed anything or you have questions, I would be happy to respond. Enjoy your honeymoon.
MeganandJ is offline  
Sep 15th, 2004, 05:51 PM
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Meece- Aruba would be a fabulous destination wedding location. It is so much more affordable than Bermuda. My mom went to Bermuda for her honeymoon several years ago & found it unbearably hot. Caymens are raved about for weddings but weather is iffy that time of year. I would not risk it for a wedding. Aruba has the most amazing sunsets every night! Your photos would be gorgeous. Good luck.
MeganandJ is offline  
Sep 16th, 2004, 07:01 AM
  #6  
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Thanks for the reply. How is the pool at the Bucuti, or does it not matter because the beach is so nice? Do you think two weeks is too long? Should we stay on Aruba the whole time, or try to spend 4 or 5 nights on Curacao?
tyler is offline  
Sep 16th, 2004, 07:38 AM
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Hi Tyler. From what I have heard, the Bucuti's pool is small. But I don't think you would even want to use a pool anyway! If yoy choose Bucuti, try to get a Tara Suite.

Also, consider the Radisson. It is a great hotel on a gorgeous beach. The grounds are beautiful and tropical. They also have a zero entry pool.
Kristen1206 is offline  
Sep 16th, 2004, 07:58 AM
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If you want a more luxurious hotel, go with Hyatt or Radisson. Bucuti is a quieter hotel geared for couples who want a relaxing vacation. It will not be the plush hotel. That said, I hear wonderful things about Bucuti because it is a small hotel. The Hyatt is a beautiful property and I do not think you will be dissappointed. Every hotel will probably have children at it everywhere in the Caribbean unless you pick an adults only place. The Hyatt and Radisson are on Palm Beach. Palm beach has calmer waters and all the watersports activities you can dream of. The Wyndam is the windiest hotel on the island. I would not stay there.
Cost of meals- Greenie may have thought it was expensive, I did not. I thought it was cheaper than places like Bermuda, Bahamas, etc...The food is excellent and there are many places to dine. The water is clean and you can drink right from the tap. I never felt unsafe anywhere on the island.(it has a very low crime rate) I would not pick Aruba by default, but because it is a wonderful place to go. It is an arid island, but all of the hotels like the Hyatt, Radisson, Marriott, will have lush grounds with beautiful pool areas. The sand is white and the water is that light green. There are casinos if you want to try your luck. I chose Aruba because I wanted an island that was safe, I can drink water from the tap, good food is a must, sunny weather(it never rained while we were there),beautiful beaches, and some water activities for my husband (the big kid). I would return tomorrow. It did not feel like Vegas. We stayed at the Marriott which was a very nice hotel. I believe the Hyatt and Radisson are probably a little nicer. I personally like a big hotel with all the amenities...I like being spoiled on vacation. Oh and one more thing. WE were there for a week. I think 10 days would have been better to get out and move around the island more. There are usually good package price deals you can get to Aruba. I would only get a breakfast plan if you get a package...too many good restaurants. Good luck!
girlonthego is offline  
Sep 16th, 2004, 08:37 AM
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Tyler-

Bucuti's pool is small, but there were never more than 2 other people in it. I barely used it b/c the beach is so amazing. I would only go into the pool to cool off while tanning. However, we would go for swims at night & it was only the two of us in the pool every time.
We went for 8 days/7 nights & plan to go for 10 days next time. I have not been to Curacao so can't comment, but a lot of couples had short trips planned to Curacao & from posts I have read it is beautiful also. If you have 2 wks, why not go for 2-3 days.
Next time we will stay in Tara Suites. I would recommend that for honeymooners. Let me know if you have more questions. I love to talk about Aruba!
I know there are a lot of die-hard high-risers, but I still would always say Bucuti- especially for a honeymoon. It is a whole differant vibe- more relaxed & quiet, good for couples. Saw maybe 3 kids the whole time. Not that I have anything against kids, I just don't want to vacation & listen to other peoples kids. Bucuti is made for a romantic honeymoon. Good luck!!!
MeganandJ is offline  
Sep 16th, 2004, 08:41 AM
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Tyler~

I posted a more detailed answer in response to your question under your Anguilla post...
Kristen1206 is offline  
Sep 16th, 2004, 08:49 AM
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"....Aruba is a safe choice. It only rains a couple days/year & even then rain is minimal".

Well, no.
Aruba has 130 "wet days" per year according to a local travel and tourism website, with a total of 16 inches of rain per year. Wet simply means any rain, and the rains are usually very brief showers. But Aruba still has its days with dark overcast skies and a heavy shower here and there.
Aruba is not actually a desert island by climatologic standards (<10 inches per year). Santa Fe and Salt Lake City get the same amount of rainfall as Aruba.
travleis is offline  
Sep 16th, 2004, 09:53 AM
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Tyler,
Aruba is a great place. There are two sections, low rise and high rise. The nicest hotel in the low rise is the Bucuti. Like Megan said it is geared toward adults and people love it and return year after year. The high rise where we stayed is more action oriented. Some of the hotels are more plush and have more amenities. It all depends on your personality and what you prefer. I don't think you would be dissappointed in staying in either place. Aruba is a small island....
girlonthego is offline  
Sep 16th, 2004, 10:30 AM
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After many trips to Aruba we still love this island. We now stay at the Bucuti because it's quieter and there's plenty of room on the beach. Hotel staff are very nice and there is more of an intimate feeling.
The Radisson is a large tropical hotel with wonderful pools and nice grounds. The beach is much more crowded and sometimes you have to get up early to reserve a palapa. The location is ideal to many restaurants and other hotels. We stayed in a garden view room at the Radisson a few years back and it was decorated very nicely--pale yellow and green colors with dark wood shutters. Aruba is a small island and there is not much distance between the low-rise and high-rise areas.
Dining can be expensive depending upon where you dine and how many drinks you order. For good deals, Tango serves terrific ribs and has an early bird special along with tango dancers. The French Steakhouse at the Manchebo offers an Ambassador's Special with a bottle of wine included. Tomato Charlie's makes good pizza and large salads.
Breakfast is more affordable at the Manchebo or pick up bagels at a stand walking distance from the Bucuti.
Happy Hour is really fun at the Bucuti and the Manchebo. We were always talking to someone at HH.
We were in Curacao for one day on a cruise and it was similar to Aruba. The underwater park was fun and in a very nice beach setting. I have read very good reviews on the Curacao Marriott.
You could also split yout time between 2 hotels. The Marriott Renaissance downtown Aruba is unique. They have their own private island a short boat ride from the hotel. There you will find a watersports center, several beaches, place to eat, spa etc. We stayed there when it was the Sonesta. Only drawback is you can hear airplanes once in awhile but no big deal and it can get crowded in town when the cruise ships are in. The plus is there's really good restaurants like El Gaucho in the area, shops and you have your own beach.
Don't miss our favorite restaurants Madame Janette and Marandi.
You might want to rent a car for at least a few days--driving is easy and you'll want to explore.
Good luck with your plans.
Maureen is offline  
Sep 16th, 2004, 11:29 AM
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Thanks again for all the great advice. As we watched the news last night and saw Ivan batter the Gulf Coast, I think we both got the feeling that we would rather not have our honeymoon interrupted by a hurricane. So, right now we are basically trying to decide if we want to split time between the Bucuti and either the Hyatt or the Radisson, whether we want to spend the whole time at the Bucuti, or whether we want to split time between the Bucuti and Curacao. All of the advise has been very helpful thank you. I know the dining isn't cheap, but we enjoy going out for good meals and are prepared to pay accordingly. We definitely will plan on renting a jeep for a couple days as it sounds like htere is some great exploring to be done.
tyler is offline  
Sep 16th, 2004, 12:51 PM
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actually the dining in Aruba is quite reasonable compared with other islands.

let us know what you decide!
Kristen1206 is offline  
Sep 16th, 2004, 06:02 PM
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Thanks for all of your helpful advice regarding where to stay and your viewpoints about the island. In your opinion, how is the snorkling? Has anyone attended a wedding that was held there? Where would you recommend? (It would be a small one 15-20 people.)
meece is offline  
Sep 17th, 2004, 04:00 AM
  #17  
 
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Try aruba-bb.com It is a bulletin board of posters that love Aruba and know it inside and out. I found it very helpful and asked many questions before I went. My trip went a lot smoother and I felt like I knew the place before I went!
girlonthego is offline  

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