We just got back from our honeymoon in Aruba. I think I’m in love with that country 🙂 We stayed at the Renaissance Marina Hotel. This place certainly wouldn’t be for everyone – it’s located in Oranjestad and isn’t directly on the beach. That part aside – they have their own private island that you can go to, and that was gorgeous. We spent most days there, and then in the evenings we’d go in the pool at the Marina Hotel or the pool at the Ocean Suites.
We did take a taxi up to the other resort areas and beach, and honestly, having seen the beaches at the Divi (or maybe it’s Tamajarin?) I wouldn’t have been happy there. There was virtually no shade, so although there is a nice breeze all the time, it wouldn’t have been pleasant spending 6 hours outside midday. Aside from this, the beaches are gorgeous. 🙂 The water is amazing for swimming.
We did an all-inclusive, which with the vacation package we booked really only worked out to an extra $300 each for the 7 days. I’m pretty sure we came out ahead on that deal, even though we ate at a few other restaurants while we were there.
I also have a few other tips for anyone planning a honeymoon/vacation here:
1) The sun is hot – seriously hot. The people who live and work here tell you to wear sunscreen for a reason. Even with SPF30 sunscreen you will tan – trust me. I saw so many people who were burnt and bright red from the sun. If you do burn, they sell Aruba Aloe Lotion in some stores. Anyone I asked said it worked well for taking the sting out of a sunburn quickly.
2) You can drink the water from the tap. It actually tastes quite good too 🙂 It’s also the same water they bottle in Aruba, so if you buy bottled water it’s the same as the tap. (In other words, don’t waste money on bottled water.)
3) Do some excursions: we did an island tour and a sunset cruise. Totally fun and worth it.
4) Some beaches have coral and lots of shells. If you don’t want your feet to be sore, buy a pair of water shoes. We got some before we left for Aruba for about $20/pair. It was well worth it for the few times we needed them.
5) The airport (or at least the area after security on the non-US side) only has 1 washroom. You will have to wait, so plan accordingly. I thought I heard someone say there was also only 1 washroom on the US side, so the same would apply.