Aruba has a slogan: “one happy island”. I also call it my favorite island. I have had the pleasure of spending multiple family vacations at this destination and have very fond memories. After a 5 year hiatus, I was happy to hear that I would be representing VIP Vacations at the RIU Awards in Aruba at the RIU Palace Aruba.
Right when you step out of the airport, you know you have reached Aruba by the trade winds. No one’s hair or hat is safe from the gusts of wind! However, the breeze is refreshing. If not for the trade winds, it would be too hot for comfort.
The island is small (only 6 miles wide!) so everything is “close by” including the resorts on the left side of the island. From the airport you are guaranteed a drive through down town Oranjestad, the capital of Aruba. You’ll pass by colorful, pastel colored buildings, shops that arrange from local crafts to high end merchandise like Gucci and Prada. You might be lucky enough to see a docked cruise ship at the marina. This part of the island is definitely well worth coming back to for shopping, dining, sightseeing, and meeting the “happy” locals.
After a 20 minute drive, I arrive at the RIU Palace Aruba. Everyone is greeted with a champagne beverage during check in and escorted to their room. Getting to the room on the 8th floor, I immediately saw the doors to the balcony and couldn’t wait to see the ocean view I was so fond of. It was just as I remembered it. There is something about Aruba’s ocean that is so serene. It could be the turquoise blue water, the fact that the catamarans floated so effortlessly, the travelers relaxing on the beach chairs, or all of it together that makes Aruba’s Palm Beach so memorable.
Finally inspecting the room, I realized there was a lot of space for 2 people! Walking in, you have a spacious closet in front with the beds to the left and bathroom to the right. The mini fridge is stocked with sodas, large water bottles, and beer. Plus there are full size liquor bottles hanging on the wall! With the all-inclusive feature of the RIU hotels, you can take advantage of it all. The beds are unique in a way that if you want a “king bed” you will get two beds pushed together. If you wanted “double beds” you will have two beds separated. Either way, the beds are certainly enough space for two people. There is also a small sitting area with table and chairs for two and a sofa. I was happy to call this my home for the next few nights. I’m always one who is interested in seeing the bathroom and I was very pleased to see a walk in shower with rainforest shower head and also a detachable shower head. Two vanity sinks give two girls a lot of room to groom. However, the bathroom and the entire room didn’t really provide a lot of outlets needed for the various electronics. My only true complaint about the room was the fact that the entertainment stage was directly below us. If you are looking to sleep in, bring your ear plugs or request a room farther away from the stage.
If you are looking for either a family vacation or adults only vacation, the great feature about the RIU properties in Aruba is that there are two hotels which are connected by a short walkway. RIU Palace Aruba is family friendly. RIU Palace Antillas hosts adults only, perfect for honeymoons or a getaway from the kids. Plus, they have exchange privileges (expect kids cannot go to RIU Antillas).
Everyone’s main goal in Aruba is “fun in the sun!” If you like the pool, the RIUs pools are the biggest out of any hotel in Aruba. The stunning Palm Beach is perfect for all ages. The waves are very small, the water’s temperature is warm, and zero rocks make walking easy. Beware of that wind! You will get sand everywhere because of it. As a side note, and this is for almost all hotels in Aruba, pool chairs and beach chairs are limited. If you are interested in getting the “perfect spot” for a chair, getting up early is necessary to reserve it. Plus, the location of the RIUs are ideal. It is at the end of the hotel strip on Palm Beach so it isn’t a crowded location and you will most likely be seeing only other RIU guests.
People are encouraged to explore and dine outside of their resort. However, for those who like to stay put, the RIU’s all-inclusive packages make dining easy. Don Nicolás is a beautiful inside buffet restaurant for breakfast and lunch. It has a wide arrange of dining options. One of the biggest buffets I’ve ever seen. Nautilus is another lunch buffet area that is more pool/beach side dining. I had one free night to enjoy a restaurant of my choosing for dining and picked Krystal, RIU’s gourmet fusion eatery. Delicious food all around!
Overall, my 5th stay on the island was fabulous and so was the RIU. I could go on and on about the island itself, but I would much rather you experience Aruba for yourself. As the Aruba specialist at VIP Vacations, it is my pleasure to help you fall in love with Aruba just like I have. Like the Arubans say in their native language of Papiamento, MI DUSHI ARUBA!
Written by Alison Murphy