We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Trip report (longish) 7/29-8/5

Massachusetts
Level Contributor
231 posts
12 reviews
Save Topic
Trip report (longish) 7/29-8/5

We are a family of 4, teens 16 & 18 from MA. Hubby and I came 21 years ago for honeymoon but first time back....not sure why we waited so long!

Will break down into categories and try to be brief.

Hotel

Playa Linda, was lucky enough to book from an owner for a deal but even though he said no additional fees we paid quite a bit when we left for environmental tax, some other tax and a daily tax. Wasn't thrilled about that. We had a 2 bedroom in Phase 3 right next to Carlito's. Loved the Playa Linda but a couple drawbacks were that you really can't see from the balcony unless you are standing. The edge is the roof for the unit below so I didn't have a view while sitting/lounging. Other bummers were that my bracelet stopped working and had to go down with all 4 to get re-programmed and while we were there they needed our unit one day to haul mattresses from our balcony to other floors and another day they needed to spray for pesticides so that was super inconvenient but other than that we loved the place....all the shops, food, location and staff were awesome. Also never had problems getting spots when we wanted to hang out....

Food

Is there even bad food in Aruba? We only had reservations one night and it was date night dinner at Elements-which was amazing. You can't beat that beach or view. I can see why you would stay there-it was gorgeous.

We like to wing it based on when we are hungry...ate at Smokey Joe's, Gianni's, Dutch Pancake house, Diane's pancake house (we all agreed that Dutch in town was way better), Texas de Brazil, Moomba's, Dushi beach bar, pool lunch from Azzuro, amazing sandwiches on the Black Pearl, Chicken and Lobster...couldn't go to Wacky Wahoo since they seemed to be on vaca. We tend to be late breakfast, snack and dinner people. Oh and LOTS of Eduardo's...the coco whip was awesome and daughter loved the smoothies and bowls.

Everywhere we went the drinks were great but always a bit strong!

Gambling

Went into a few....Crystal casino in town, Hilton, Hyatt and Ritz. They really aren't very big and I really wanted to play Caribbean stud poker since it's not really near me anymore. Was only able to play it at the Hyatt one night ...never saw an open table with people at it any other time. Lots of machines I have at home and some wins and some losses but nothing too exciting.

UTV trip..

We didn't do a tour, we rented two and went on our own tour. We rented from Arubiana and had to pay cash. Ended up with a flat tire and they were there almost immediately! Thankfully it wasn't our fault so we didn't have to pay for that.

Went to lighthouse, beach where you build rock towers, baby natural bridge, real natural bridge, goldmines, natural pool (that was so flipping scary!) and just stopped at other really cool places. It was hot and harrowing but totally worth it.

Jeep/day stuff

We booked the trip super last minute and there really weren't a lot of options for rentals so rented a Jeep through Top Drive. They picked us up and dropped us off at the airport and the jeep was great, newer condition and very clean. We took it out pretty much every day and went into town, around the island, to the caves and Dos Playa

Shopping

After 21 years of looking for a tanzanite ring that I wanted I finally bought one on this trip. It's perfect and Aruba is the first place I ever saw one so kind of fitting, lots of tourist stuff purchased by teen daughter and prices seemed consistent with other tourist destinations.

It was an awesome trip and we all agreed we would come back even though we don't duplicate a lot of locations...never made it to Arashi beach which was on my list but there's always next time.

Mentioned in this post
Playa Linda Beach Resort
Playa Linda Beach Resort
1,310 Reviews
Aruba
Aruba
Aruba
Caribbean
Smokey Joe's
Smokey Joe's
4,292 Reviews
Aruba
Chicken and Lobster
Chicken and Lobster
519 Reviews
Aruba
Wacky Wahoo's
Wacky Wahoo's
2,327 Reviews
Aruba
Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino
Hilton Aruba Caribbean...
1,479 Reviews
Aruba
Caribbean
Caribbean
North America
Arubiana Inn
Arubiana Inn
382 Reviews
Aruba
Arashi Beach
Arashi Beach
2,497 Reviews
Aruba
13 replies to this topic
Massachusetts
Level Contributor
231 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Trip report (longish) 7/29-8/5

Forgot to add that we got to the airport super early for a 12;54 flight on Sunday....prob 3 1/2 hours early because it didn't take as long to return the jeep as we expected...we were at our gate within a 1/2 hour and we were all shocked...kids were mad I made them leave so early, I don't think they believed me how bad it could be.

jl
Waltham...
Destination Expert
for Aruba
Level Contributor
6,623 posts
34 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Trip report (longish) 7/29-8/5

Great trip report, thanks for posting! So glad you and your family had such a great time

Boston...
Destination Expert
for Aruba
Level Contributor
5,458 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Trip report (longish) 7/29-8/5

I am glad you guys had a blast. Thanks for taking the time to write your report. Don't wait so long before booking again.

Mahwah, New Jersey
Level Contributor
595 posts
39 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Trip report (longish) 7/29-8/5

Sounds like a great vacation! Thank you for sharing!

Boston
Level Contributor
4,046 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Trip report (longish) 7/29-8/5

thanks

Hull, Massachusetts
Destination Expert
for Palm - Eagle Beach
Level Contributor
2,267 posts
67 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Trip report (longish) 7/29-8/5

Sorry for the surprise check out taxes. I think us owners are so accustomed to them we think everyone is aware of them.

Glad you had a good vacation.

nyc
Level Contributor
271 posts
34 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Trip report (longish) 7/29-8/5

So glad you enjoyed your return visit even with the tax issue. Thanks for sharing. Now start planning trip # 3.

new jersey
Destination Expert
for Palm - Eagle Beach
Level Contributor
2,601 posts
76 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Trip report (longish) 7/29-8/5

Thanks for a great Trip Report.

Amelia Island...
Level Contributor
1,195 posts
52 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Trip report (longish) 7/29-8/5

Thanks for sharing. Sounds like a great trip.

Sudbury, Canada
Destination Expert
for Aruba
Level Contributor
3,262 posts
85 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Trip report (longish) 7/29-8/5

Thanks for sharing! Enjoyed reading your report!

Reply to: Trip report (longish) 7/29-8/5
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted