2017 - Aruba
I have just returned from a lovely trip to Aruba. Located in the south Caribbean, north of South America, Aruba is a year-round haven with gorgeous, white-sand beaches, cooling trade winds and warm, friendly people. Aruba is located below the hurricane belt so visiting all year long is good. They only get around 16 inches of rain the yearly mainly October through January where temperatures average mid 80’s and a bit lower December through March.
Oranjestad, Aruba’s capital, is a historic port city with a colorful, Dutch colonial charm. Its harbor village is home to breathtaking natural wonders, designer shopping, glittering casinos, lively nightlife and great golf. Aruba’s countryside is dotted with colorful, country-style houses amid a cacti-studded desert landscape.
I found the island to be very safe and you can get a taxi mostly anywhere for under $10.00 so an all-inclusive is not necessary. Palm Beach on the west coast is where many of the resorts are located and the waters are very calm on this side with a breeze most days.
Several resorts were visited but my favorite was the Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino. This was formally the Radisson Resort and was the first one built on Palm Beach. The plus to that is they have the best largest and longest beach of any. The grounds are fantastic with many palm trees and greenery. Hilton did a multi-million dollar renovation in 2015-2016 and brought it up to modern day standards. The lobby is a wonderful welcoming open air one with a huge lobby bar and coffee shop. It has a large winding pool with a sandy zero entry section. They have a kids club 4-12 years and do things with them off the property like bike riding and the Butterfly farm.
They have family connecting rooms where one king will connect to a two double bedded room. They are changing the bathrooms so that they all will have new showers and are taking out the tubs. Most are already done. This property has no resort fee and they have beach bar service. Seventy percent of guests are Americans. I would highly recommend this property for families or couples – it will not disappoint!