Our Aruba Vacation-A Review

If you’ve been following along on social media you are probably well aware of our recent island vacation. You’re also probably cognizant of the fact that the last couple of months were particularly challenging for our family. So even though we had a late spring and mid-summer trip planned, an earlier respite was just what we needed.

I reached out to our travel guy when we were ready to plan. He does a wonderful job of handling all of our travel and he came back quickly with a few options (you can find Al here).

We’d narrowed it down to Cabo or Aruba but since we’d already visited another beautiful resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico (though I’m sure those locations are very different), we decided we wanted to try something completely new. We chose Aruba.

Before I delve into it, I’d like to start by apologizing for my absence here. But at the risk of sounding like a broken record I will follow that up with the honest confession that until my book makes its newborn baby way out into the world, my posting may still be sporadic- as all of my writing energy is directed towards that right now.  

I appreciate your patience with me and promise that it will all be worth it- at least that’s what I continue to tell myself (wink).

Okay, back to the topic at hand. I’ve shared plenty of photos and even a couple of short videos posted as Instagram reels (here and here). As a result, I have gotten a lot of DM’s and personal text messages with questions about the trip, so I thought it might be a good idea to post all of my thoughts about traveling to Aruba here.

Here is where we stayedThe Renaissance Wind Creek hotel. You can check out the video here but as a quick rundown here are a few things I loved about it. It’s an adult-only location but they have another family friendly property right across the street. You can visit either property (if you’re staying at one) for swimming, shopping, or dining. They also have a private Island that they’ll transport you over to as often as you like. The video shows all three properties.

The Renaissance boasts an infinity pool (I thought it was a little small but it worked and there was a DJ) a large bar with pool service, one of the best steak restaurants we’ve visited (George’s steak was presented, cut and seasoned table side) and a very nice seafood restaurant with a station that cooked up red snapper, lobster, shrimp, clams, and salmon seasoned to your liking on a grill right in front of you. There was also a casino and lots of high-end designer stores right downstairs- Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Ralph Lauren and more.

Here are a few things we did- We signed up for a few excursions. The first one was a snorkeling trip on a catamaran. We typically do some sort of water experience whenever we travel to an island and George often does a snorkeling adventure as well. I don’t typically snorkel- (60 feet is too many feet in my opinion) but I did do it in the natural pool (it dips down to about 20 feet) which was amazing, but I’ll get to that later.

The great thing about the catamaran trip was that it was still fun to hang out in the hammocks, listen to music, and enjoy the food and drinks that they prepared for us. And of course, I found plenty of people to chat with. As you can imagine the water was so clear you didn’t really need snorkel goggles to see them. The view from the boat was pretty spectacular.

We also did an ATV Adventure which took us to three different locations. We visited the California Lighthouse, The Natural Bridge, and The Natural Pool- which you have to travel up and then down a mountain to a very remote location to get to. Aruba is number 9 on the list of The Top 10 Natural Pools in the World. Needless to say, it did not disappoint. I can’t even imagine that there are 8 more breathtaking than the one we visited here.

I loved every minute of this trip and my snorkeling experience at the natural pool was so magnificent I might actually brave the 60-foot depths on our next snorkeling excursion. This trip was definitely a bucket list check for me that I didn’t even have written down.

We also booked Dinner Under the Stars on the private Island at the suggestion of our concierge, which was as spectacular as you could imagine. Actually it was probably better than you imagined, unless you already had beautiful flamingos, a saxophonist and the prettiest sunset ever rolling through your thoughts. We dined with about 6 other couples and there was a marvelous four-course dinner served to us right on the beach (toes in the sand and all). This was George’s Favorite booking.

And speaking of sunsets we ate at too many amazing restaurants to name but Pinchos’ deserves its own mention. Pincho’s is described as a bar and grill but that’s a bit of an understatement- it’s a fine dining restaurant right on the beach (that you will need a reservation for). It’s illuminated by blue lights in case you forget the name but happen to stumble across it. It was actually recommended by a friend in my Instagram DM’s who couldn’t remember the name. We were already seated by the time I swiveled around and noticed the glowing blue lights, and smiled.

There are separate dining/seating areas- one larger area closer to the shore and one smack dab on the extended pier hanging right over the ocean. We were lucky enough to get option two. I’ll never forget how spectacular it was to watch the sunset there. If I wrote romance novels I’d definitely recreate that scene. Actually, I probably will anyway. Every book could use a little romance in my opinion. The tagline on their website is Aruba’s Most Romantic Sunset Restaurant. Need I say more?

Here is my overall review– Aruba is probably the first Island we’ve ever visited where we enjoyed both the laid back atmosphere of a tropical island (Aruba is actually a desert Island by the way) combined with the walkability of a big city. Aruba is tiny at 69.5 miles but it boasts so many restaurants and shops in the downtown vicinity that it felt like being in Miami. It’s also very safe for wandering tourists- as they have a 1% crime rate. And the people were just as friendly and kind as any other Island we’ve visited.

The only thing I might change on our next visit is the hotel. The adult-only location is inland (the family friendly one across the street is beachside). Though we loved staying there- they’re both situated in the middle of the downtown area which gave us a lot of options, but for a subsequent visit we may choose something in the Palm Beach area for a typical relaxed island feel. The Riu might be one to consider. Overall Aruba is at the top of our list for a revisit. It certainly earned its nickname of One Happy Island.

Have you been? And since we’re on a bit of a wanderlust journey right now, where do you recommend we visit next? I’d love to hear from you!

Until Next Post, 

Tonya Parker


Posted by

Tonya Parker is a counselor, author and certified life coach who believes in helping women look and feel their best! Ambassador for O, The Oprah Magazine and author of Single Mom Chic

4 thoughts on “Our Aruba Vacation-A Review

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s