Good news for anyone wishing to travel to the happiest island in the Caribbean: As of the end of last week, there is no longer a domestic curfew in Aruba and businesses do not need to shut down. at 9:00 p.m., they can now stay open until midnight. If you’ve been waiting to cash in your vacation days until you can maximize your time in paradise, your day has arrived. And if you prefer to bring your maximization to. . . good. . . the maximum, then you might want to stay at the undisputed champion of the island’s superlatives, Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino. Here you’ll find Aruba’s biggest balconies, biggest spa, biggest Starbucks, biggest casino, and most importantly, the biggest standard hotel rooms to make the most of every moment you spend in Palm. Beach. Beyond the impressive list of resort headlines, here are some highlights of Aruba Marriott’s rooms, restaurants and bars, and nearby activities to plan your fall getaway.
You won’t find a larger standard room on the island, with each of the Aruba Marriott Resort accommodations measuring at less 500 square feet, and many of the 414 rooms and suites go way beyond that. Outside each room you’ll find a private balcony with at least 100 square feet of personal escape for morning coffee or evening cocktails with a view. Treat yourself to an in-room spa experience with rainfall showers and toiletries, including the island’s most famous aloe, the soothing export. If you are traveling without children, upgrade your stay by joining the Tradewinds Club for access to a personal concierge (with packing, unpacking and ironing service), access to the Tradewinds lounge, reserved seating on the beach, free snacks and drinks all throughout the day and in-room amenities upgrade for a full dose of extra luxury. You’ll also enjoy priority status for appointments at Mandara Spa and have access to the adult-only H2Oasis pool (although you can enjoy the latter benefit even without a Tradewinds Club membership).
Eat and drink
With ten places to eat and drink across the resort, including two pool bars, a beach bar and grill, a Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, and the buffet that no Caribbean resort is full without, there are a few highlights. which you will want to be particularly careful not to overlook. While a hotel lobby may seem most suitable for cocktails only (and there’s a solid bar scene here with live music and photo-worthy sips), plan to grab a real table and to taste the sushi menu. As well as buns and sashimi that take advantage of the island’s bountiful local seafood, you’ll find plenty of other Asian-influenced bar bites like kimchi wings and Asian barbecue flatbread to complete the experience. When it comes to romance time, a dinner reservation at Atardi’s is a must. This beachfront restaurant is perfect for sunset dinners with your feet in the sand (don’t worry, there’s a shoe check to keep your fancy shoes safe), offering a menu focused on seafood but with both meat and vegetarian options. The Atardi only serves dinner, but the neighboring Waves Beach Bar & Grill cooks lunch a few steps back, away from the shade you absolutely need in the Aruban afternoon sun. . After dinner (or anytime, really), stop by Gelato & Co. for an extensive menu of ice cream and sorbet, or an irresistible selection of colorful popsicles. This lobby hotspot gets especially crowded at night, but don’t worry about the queue, no matter how long it moves quickly. In the morning, you’ll find healthier smoothies and bites here, like acai bowls.
While you will find plenty to eat, drink, and do without ever leaving the Aruba Marriott Resort, there are several area attractions worth checking out. To admire some of the island’s natural wonders, including a desert island, land arches, and secluded beaches, book an all-terrain UTV tour with De Palm Tours. Pay per vehicle for 2 people (drivers must be at least 23 years old) and leave your pretty resort outfits behind; you will get very dusty in this adventure. If you’re looking to snap photos of your most colorful outfits outside of the property, consider the street art tour with Aruba Mural Tours. Tito Bolivar, founder of Aruba Art Fair and the non-profit organization that oversees the lively festival, runs regular tours to the once-forgotten neighborhood of San Nicolas, now teeming with murals and installations worthy of a destination, including innovative mosaics and interactive technological pieces. Indulge in Aruban Dutch influence with a brunch at Linda’s Dutch Pancakes, where an expansive menu of even bigger pancakes offers tons of sweet and savory combos, but a creative option allows for complete customization. Think of them as thin pancakes stuffed or topped like pancakes, and expect your entire plate to be covered with one pancake. Do not hesitate to take your meal over with well-watered coffee drinks. Finally, round off your experience with a dinner at Lima Bistro, where owner and chef Teddy Bouroncle brings his years of experience as the former director of restaurant operations at Aruba Marriott to his own chic space. This harbor side restaurant in Oranjestad serves international cuisine with a strong Peruvian influence and offers a quickly changing menu of fresh local finds filled with plates that are as beautiful as they are delicious.