Around this time of year, after my husband and I have spent months planning and organizing family get-together and outings, I start to long for a little escape for just us two. My husband’s preference for warmer climate tends to draw us to the beach and few are as accessible and as quick to get to as the beautiful island of Aruba.
Because Aruba is such a small island, it’s easy for us to map out our trip, rent a car, and cover favorite spots that include romantic little retreats.
Here are some of our favorites.
Where to stay:
Renaissance Aruba Resort and Casino’s 40-acre private island is the perfect, retreat for couples. The resort offers a family friendly area, as well as an adult-only section that give couples that private-island experience. Rooms with private beach views are a must as well as couples spa treatments, followed by romantic diners in any one of the resorts fine dining restaurants.
Another fabulous option for couples is the newly built Ritz Carlton, Aruba. In true Ritz Carlton fashion, the resort delivers in luxury and service with dining options that include everything from a steak house to a Latin-cuisine focused restaurant. It is also a favorite wedding destination on the island with breathtaking sunset views.
For a more intimate stay away from crowds and other guests, couples chose the boutique-style Boardwalk Small Hotel. With 14 villas, otherwise known as casitas, surrounded by lush gardens and only steps from Palm Beach, an Aruba favorite.
Where to explore:
One of the most fun ways to see the island is through an ATV tour making sure you ask a stop at the natural pool of Cura di Tortuga, otherwise known as Conchi. If you are lucky to visit the island during its off-season, you may find this little spot (inaccessible by car) to be one of the most secluded and intimate escapes.
For a step back in time and a view into the island’s indigenous history, head over to the Arikok National Park, home to three caves worthy of exploration. The Huliba Cave, known as the Tunnel of Love for its heart-shaped entrance, is a favorite photo spots for couples. It’s best to organize the cave visits with a guide, who will also provide all the equipment necessary. Just remember to pack water and hiking shoes.
Where to make friends:
Romance is nice, but so is conversation with other adults – no kids involved. Moomba Beach is our spot for its lively atmosphere, parties on the sand, casual feel, and opportunity to dance the night away.
The West Deck located at the Governors Bay on Oranjestad beach is a fun destination for those looking to enjoy a drink with friends, some food, and great views. It’s a great place to people watch as well as this is near where many of the cruises and water expeditions leave and arrive from. It makes for a nice resting spot after taking part in the shopping and museums near by.
Where to dine:
Lastly, don’t miss the chance to catch the sunset by candlelight at Old Man & The Sea. Reserve a table along the water’s edge on a beautiful dock they set up just for such occasions.
Another romantic highlight in dining destinations on the island is La Trattoria el Faro Blanco, at the base of the California Lighthouse on Hudishibana hill along the northwest coast. One thing to note is if you wish to dine during the sunset hours you must make your reservations early, as this italian restaurant tends to fill up quickly.
Aruba is the perfect weekend escape from NYC at only a 4.5 hour flight from JFK airport. Even a short visit is just enough to reenergize, reconnect, fall in love again and again, before taking on the rest of the year with kids in tow!