My first time in Aruba was an absolute blast! I've been to plenty of exotic islands and beaches, but this one I must say truly took the cake. If you're thinking of traveling to Aruba, here's a few suggestions on where to stay and what to do!
Where to stay in Aruba:
I highly recommend the Renaissance Aruba Windcreek Resort & Casino. The resort is fabulous and offers several luxury amenities from a roof top bar and pool area to high end retail shopping and dining options.
The resort is connected to a casino downstairs as well as several well known retail stores like Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors and more. There's also patio dining with a spectacular view of the ocean. The resort was clean, well managed and the staff were super friendly and accommodating. The proximity of the resort to other amenities such as beaches, restaurants and other attractions is literally within minutes. Across the street from the resort you'll find sit down eateries, souvenir and gift shops and taxis that'll take you wherever you want to go.
There are other great hotel options to choose from, but because I stayed at this one, I can only speak of their service and hospitality based on my own experience.
What to do in Aruba:
As if the description of the resort wasn't good enough- the Renaissance also has their own private island called Renaissance Island. It's about a 10-15 minute boat ride across the water and it is absolutely stunning! White sands, crystal clear waters and plenty of lounge chairs for everyone to get a seat. They also have cabanas for rent, 2 restaurants to eat at and margaritas to go around. Did I mention they have live flamingos? Yes! Real, tall, hot pink squawking flamingos. Although they're wild animals, they were very gently and docile creatures. They stayed to themselves and didn't come near you unless you went to them.
You can feed them, take pictures and share the beach with them as they like to dip in the water looking for things to munch on. Don't worry though, they don't attack you- at least I didn't see anyone getting attacked by them during my stay. The best part of all though is that the flamingo side is adults only. So no small kids running around the island splashing or knocking over your drinks. They also have a family side as well- so if you're traveling with kids, no worries- there's a special side for you all too.
The Iguana side is just a nice with the same beautiful white sand and clear waters. It too has cabanas, a restaurant and for added fun for the kids, an entire water obstacle course with slides, swings, hammocks and more! Honestly, the family side was much more relaxed and enjoyable since it didn't have the flamingos on the beach. However-- I advise you to tread lightly. It's not called the iguana side for nothing! There are hundreds of 3 to 4 foot iguanas that wander around the grounds freely. I even saw some climb up on people's chairs looking for food. That was where I tapped out and returned to the flamingo side! Lol!! Each side is about 1-2 minutes away from each other so you have the option to check out both sides to see which one fits your style more.
The best part of all though is that the resort has it's very own lake that runs through the lobby and directly into the water. They provide boat service every 15 minutes that picks people up and takes them over to the island. You simply go down to the lobby and wait for a boat to arrive. The rides are round-trip so you aren't stuck trying to figure out how to get back to the main island. You can enjoy your stay for as long as you'd like on the island and go back when you get ready. The Renaissance island is only accessible to guest of the hotel.
It is not open to the public without a valid day pass so you don't have to worry about there being hundreds of people crowding the island. Only people from the resort and those with day passes are allowed access. Day passes are $125 and include lunch and 1 drink. You can find them here: Flamingo Island Day Pass. They typically go on sale on Saturday morning at 9am. If you aren't planning to stay at the Renaissance hotel, I advise you get your day pass early because they sell out fast! If you are staying at the hotel, access to the island is free by showing your hotel issued wristband.
Flying into the airport:
If you're flying into Aruba's Queen Beatrix International airport- the Renaissance hotel is located approx. 8 minutes away. A taxi will cost you about $20 USD while a bus will run you around $9 USD.
Arriving on a cruise ship:
If you're visiting Aruba on a cruise ship the hotel is approx. a 7-10 minute walk from the cruise port. You can also take a taxi for roughly $9 USD, but I recommend walking if you aren't carrying a lot of things with you.
Hopefully this blog helps a bit with planning your next trip to Aruba and provides you ideas on what to do and where to stay. Always do your own research before planning as things change everyday. Since we are still in the Covid-19 era- Aruba does still have indoor mask mandates. You will need to wear your mask when entering places like restaurants, hotels, shops and closed spaces like elevators and buses. You will also be required to show proof of your negative Covid test in order to visit the island.
When to go to Aruba:
The people are friendly, the weather is great and island is beautiful. The best time of year to visit Aruba is between April and August. That's when you'll find the best rates for hotels since the tourist season usually takes a small break during that time. January through March are the highest times of the year to go since the rates are nearly doubled during that time of year. The weather in Aruba is sunny with an average temperature being in the high 80's and 90's. However, the humidity is low and the winds are cool so it's not as hot as it sounds. Aruba is the perfect island vacation for the entire family!
Be sure to put it on your to-do list!
Happy travels and thanks for reading. If you enjoy this blog, feel free to share!!
xoxo- Ashawna Lane