Caribbean - Open for Business: Aruba

Aruba
Photo by Nisangha/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

As part of our “Caribbean - Open for Business” series, in which we profile the hottest selling points for Caribbean islands that were not majorly impacted by Hurricane Irma and Hurricane MariaTravel Agent examines Aruba's freshest hotel developments and other selling points for clients heading to the destination this winter and beyond. 

Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino Reveals New Private Island Experience

Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino has announced new enhancements and offerings to its Renaissance Private Island. 

To access the private island, a host welcomes guests onboard a water taxi from Renaissance Marina or Ocean Suites in Aruba and guides them through the various offerings that exist, which include four private waterfront cabanas overlooking Flamingo Beach; five private waterfront cabanas overlooking Iguana Beach; new lounge furniture; water and beach hammocks throughout the island; weekly “Dinner Under the Stars” events; sunset DJ music sessions; crafted cocktails at Mangrove and Papagayo; beach tennis courts and recreation equipment; and a prime snorkeling and diving location by an old airplane wreck.

The new private waterfront cabanas can be rented daily starting at $150 for the smaller cabanas (max capacity four guests) and up to $300 for the large cabanas (max capacity six guests), excluding service charge. This experience includes butler service, water floats, and a selection of beverages, sparkling wine and hors d'oeuvres. 

The cabanas at Flamingo Beach are adult exclusive and ideal for bachelor and bachelorette parties and couples alike. 

The largest cabana on Iguana Beach has a kids’ slide for younger guests. The resort’s concierge team, known as “Navigators,” can also coordinate customizable groups and couples experiences, such as beachfront spa treatments at Spa Cove.

Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino is also working towards continuing this expansion in the coming year with a new wedding venue on Flamingo Beach, yoga and fitness classes and overnight stays on the private island. 

Visit www.renaruba.com

Aruba Marriott Resort Launches New Wellness Retreat Package

The Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino is offering a new "Wellness Retreat Package," in which vacationers can experience a 360-degree wellness approach that takes them on a healthy and rejuvenating intimate journey.

The Wellness Retreat Package includes Premium Ocean View accommodations, a private healthy cooking class with an executive chef, a private yoga class on the beach, a $100 credit to Mandara Spa, and a gift upon check-in. 

The package starts at $328 per night with a minimum stay of four nights or more. Book the package with the code SPA through December 19.

Travel Agent recently visited the hotel and uncovered some tips for clients looking to visit the Mandara Spa. The Massage de la Aruba is just the thing for classic relaxation, while the smoothing the Elemis Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Facial can take years off your complexion.

If you’re looking for an only-in-Aruba experience, try the Aloe and Milk Bath Wrap. It incorporates aloe (Aruba’s top export) from Aruba Aloe, the oldest such factory in the world. The plant’s vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and amino acids work together with hydrating and smoothing milk to leave skin looking and feeling fresh. Spa Director Muriella Perrotte ([email protected]) can assist with treatment bookings, which should be made three to five days in advance.

The resort is a haven for honeymooners, young families and other sun-seekers. And like its clientele, the resort’s room options are diverse. Everyone wins when it comes to beautiful beach views, but for the best bird’s-eye vantage point, opt for deluxe rooms on the eighth-floor, the adults-only Tradewinds Club. There, a private lounge is stocked with complimentary refreshments, and Tradewinds Club guests enjoy use of an exclusive beach.

Originally opening in 2008, this lounge closed for renovation. These renovations offer the lounge a fresh feel with modern aesthetics. The lounge is now more accessible to guests and offers an enhanced seating area.

Visit www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/auaar-aruba-marriott-resort-and-stellaris-casino/

AMResorts to Open Over-Water Bungalows in Aruba

Travel Agent recently got the skinny on AMResort’s plans for a new Zoetry Resort in Aruba that will include the company’s first-ever over-the-water bungalows. 

In fact, all of the roughly 130 rooms at the Aruba resort will be over-the-water bungalows, says Susan Lang, AMResorts’ regional sales manager for the Northeast. Lang told us the Aruba resort will open in 2019

Visit www.amresorts.com

First Hyatt Place Hotel in Aruba to Open by End of 2018

Hyatt Hotels will be opening a 116-room Hyatt Place Hotel by end of 2018. This will be the first Hyatt Place Hotel on the island of Aruba, and will make up 2.1 acres of space – offering guests a mixed usage of office space, food court options, shops and restaurants.

Visit www.hyatt.com

Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort Unveils New Wing Following $5 Million Renovation

Photo courtesy of Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort

Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort recently unveiled the renovations of its oceanfront Tara wing overlooking Aruba’s popular Eagle Beach. 

On July 1, this adults-only hotel debuted the renovations to the Tara lobby, lounge and each of its 44 beachfront suites and bungalows. The $5 million renovation averages $100,000 on each suite and bungalow.

Each new Tara and Bungalow Suite has a wet bar, and the Penthouse Suites have full kitchens. Guest bathrooms are completely remodeled and continue to incorporate vanity mirrors with built-in televisions.

Commissioned Neo-pop paintings from internationally recognized local artist Elisa Lejuez decorate the accommodations. In 2014, Bucuti procured its Zen collection from the artist that is on display in Bucuti Wingrooms. A versatile designer, Lejuez’s latest collection for Bucuti features her signature “colorful, richly patterned canvases” as described in The New York Times.

“We renovate long before wear and tear begins to appear because we believe Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort’s guests deserve the best experience for choosing to spend their vacation with us,” said Ewald Biemans, owner and CEO of Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, in a written release. “The Tara Wing renovation reflects our dedication our guests and to romance, wellness and sustainability.”

Bucuti offers 104 guest rooms, suites and penthouses; sun beds and shade for every guest; a fresh water infinity pool; a spa; WiFi; and complimentary iPad with Skype for use during a guest’s stay. Also, reserved exclusively for guests and their friends, the open-air SandBar on the beach offers top-shelf cocktails and live music daily.

Visit www.bucuti.com

Divi Dutch Village Beach Resort Finishes Phase Two of Renovation Project

Divi Dutch Village Beach Resort recently unveiled the second phase of its renovation project, which includes a brand new pool with underwater music and lights. 

A two-sided bar provides endless libations with a swim up bar on one side and a sports bar feel on the other. Food service around the pool is available from Tiki Tiki Cafe. Surrounding the new expensive pool area are shady palapas in the sand, bringing the neaby beach right up to the pool, luxurious white cabanas, and plenty of comfortable lounge chairs.

Visit www.diviresorts.com 

Cool Hotel Pools in Aruba

The Tamarijn Aruba All Inclusive

Millennials looking for a freshly renovated resort to take a cool plunge in while vacationing in Aruba should check out the stylish pool at The Tamarijn Aruba All Inclusive.

The pool is located in the center of the property. It’s steps away from the beach, and has a trendy pool deck complemented by sun cabanas and lounge chairs.

Advisors should note that the pool area can be used as a venue for on-site weddings, but other than that is not available for rent.

There’s no swim up bar, but the Pizza Per Tutti bar is right next to pool, where Millennials can enjoy a mix of cocktails and snacks. The signature cocktail is the "Aruba Ariba," which includes white rum, vodka, Coecoei and banana liquor. 

Light snacks include a variety of thin crust pizzas, Mexican fries, chicken tenders, onion rings and a variety of sandwiches (Italian club, tuna salad, meatballs and club sandwich).

During the day, you can find pool volleyball competitions, aqua exercises or bingo around the pool. Every evening from 6:30-8:30 p.m. there is live music. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, there are live entertainment shows in and around the pool, including dance performances, water ballet and acrobatics.

The Tamarijn Aruba All Inclusive recently completed extensive renovations throughout the property that include a new, trendy look while providing modern luxuries and views of its signature mile-long beach in Aruba.

Guests will be welcomed by chic new decor as they first enter the reception area and lobby. The contemporary reception space is backlit with LED lighting, and the floor comes to life with a virtual underwater display. Now with more open space, the lobby offers comfortable seating throughout the communal area, as well as private concierge service desks.

Visit www.diviaruba.com

Millennials vacationing in Aruba should also plan for a cooling dip in the 3,364 square-foot H2Oasis adults-only swimming pool at Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino. 

This pool sports a unique shape that provides a long strip of water perfect for taking uninterrupted laps while still offering pockets of open areas on either side for those travelers who just want to soak in one spot.

With no rowdy children in sight, Millennials can put their feet up in the serenity of a stylish cabana with poolside service so they don’t ever have to leave. Millennials swimming here should also note that "Happy Hour" and two-for-one cocktails start at noon daily. 

The hotel is a hot spot among both the Millennial and LGBT markets, which tend to overlap. At the Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, LGBT clients can enjoy luxurious Aruba accommodations that feature spacious guest rooms, upscale bedding and bathrooms, high-tech amenities and some of the largest balconies in Aruba. The hotel culinary offerings are lead by the always-popular Ruth’s Chris Steak House.

There are 411 rooms here, including 23 suites. Each room has a 100-square-foot balcony featuring a view of the Caribbean Sea. For guests 18 years old and above, there is an exclusive, hotel-within-a-hotel, the Tradewinds Club, that sits on the resort’s top floor and has access to the H2Oasis swimming pool and recreational area.

Visit www.aruba.com and keep visiting www.travelagentcentral.com for all your latest travel news. Be sure to follow Travel Agent’s Joe Pike on Twitter @TravelPike and Instagram @pike5260

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