I’ve had the good fortune to have been to Aruba a dozen times or so as a port of call while working on the ships but i’ve only now spent a longer time there. I’ve just come back from a week long stay on the island and have some recommendations for anyone who might be flying down there. Aruba is simply incredible and no matter what you end up doing you’ll have a great time. (unless you are one of the rare people who hate sunshine, nice weather, and fun in general!)
Dining out in Aruba offers a surprising number of really excellent choices. Many places offer fish that were swimming that morning and other delights. My favorite place to eat on the island is not a fancy seafood joint or a hip and modern sushi place, it’s a shack on the beach called Scott’s Brats. Scott’s is run by a couple of midwestern snow-refugees from Wisconsin who might actually be the nicest people on the island. Maybe it’s a midwest thing but these guys actually remembered me and weird small details about a trip I was planning over a year ago. Anyway, aside from great people, the real reason I go to Scott’s Brats is for the bloody mary bar. They have a build-your-own bar right on the beach. How great is that? I can’t really think of a better way to start the day than a bloody mary and a grilled cheese. (by the way, does anyone know how to spell the plural form of bloody mary?)
Scott’s Brats is located at Palm Beach, just in front of the Playa Linda resort. Get there early, as they close up shop around 3 in the afternoon. Also, a little tip: these guys will be opening a new blues bar soon called Aruba Blues. They’ve always had good tunes on when i’ve been at the beach bar so i’m sure this new one will be cool.
Finding an affordable accommodation in Aruba can be pretty tricky. The island has had several moratoriums on building new high rises. This is great because things are relaxed and not overdeveloped. The sun isn’t totally blocked out by condos and timeshares. The downside is that there is a huge demand for rooms and not a lot of supply meaning high prices. The Arubianna Inn is a tiny place with really nice, simple accommodations and is actually affordable. It’s not on the beach but Eagle and Palm beaches are an easy walk in the morning and Super Food is just down the road on the way back so you can get some snacks for your apéro hour. The hotel has a courtyard with a pool as well as some chairs and hammocks. It’s a great place to chill out.
If you like high rises and can afford it, by all means, go sick and stay right on the beach. I’ll be at the Arubianna.
My third recommendation might sound a bit odd for the Caribbean. Get lot’s of cheese! You might think that eating a lot of cheese in the Caribbean sounds strange but keep in mind that Aruba is a Dutch island and the Dutch make really nice cheese. I’d recommend getting a couple of different kinds of gouda and some champagne and chilling out for an hour before dinner every night. It’s pretty much the perfect way to transition from sandy feet to dinner time!