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Aruba in January - 1st time there

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bmgjrg Jul 18, 2007 12:01 AM

We will be there for 5 days M-F in January 08 and have never been to Aruba. Would love to have basic information like: what's best and cheapest way to get from airport to the Westin in Palm Beach area; local places for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I have heard that the food is very expensive at the hotel and also if anyone has stayed at the Westin, we would love to have the benefit of your experience. Many thanks.

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    Linda VH RE: bmgjrg Jul 18, 2007 05:23 AM

    Several boards for you to use for your trip: www.visitaruba.com and www.aruba-bb.com. Both of these sites have restaurant reviews that are pretty good. We have been going to Aruba for over 10 years. We go for 3 weeks. The food is very good from hot dogs to duck and lots of Argentinian and, oh yes, Omaha steak. They have the chains as well so.... What kind of food are you looking for??? We own a timeshare (2 br) at Costa Linda so we do most of our breakfasts right there but there are bagel places, etc. quite near you. The Westin used to have a nice b-fast buffet but that was when it was the Wyndham and I don't know about that now. I must say that Aruba has, in the main, wonderful restaurants. Linda

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      PeteDelfino RE: bmgjrg Jul 18, 2007 10:53 AM

      We have been going to Aruba for a few years and loved it so much last year we bought a timeshare at the Marriott Ocean Club. We had previously stayed at the Hyatt Regency. The best thing about the Palm Beach area is the number of relatively inexpensive restaurants. Dont eat in HOTELS... across the street from the hotels/beach side are many restaurants. Dunkin Donuts, Sbarros, a Hooters and Benihana opened recently.
      There are great places for ribs and gelato/cappucino/pastry bistros. Several good pizza places.

      All you need to do is walk up and down the strip outside your hotel. Enjoy!

      PS: see the replys to bikigirl on the first page...several hints there as well.

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        bmgjrg RE: bmgjrg Jul 18, 2007 11:46 AM

        Thanks for your replies. Would like to hear how you get to and from the airport. Is there an economical mode of transport that is also safe?

        2 Replies
        1. re: bmgjrg
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          Linda VH RE: bmgjrg Jul 19, 2007 07:56 AM

          Your best bet is a taxi. The taxis are regulated so you won't get ripped off. I'm not sure of the cost as we always rent a car. There is a bus as well but I don't know too much about it - if you go to the websites I mentioned above they'll have tons of info. There are people that rent cars, people that taxi and people who do nothing but take the bus - they'll know if that makes sense or will waste too much time. The dress in restaurants is nice shorts and golf shirts for men (some will have t-shirts but DH likes to wear golf shirts) and I always wear capris. Pack a sweater for the AC especially in the casinos. You really don't need to many clothes as there is only one restaurant that requires long pants (we don't go lol!!) and none that require a jacket.

          1. re: Linda VH
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            bmgjrg RE: Linda VH Jul 19, 2007 05:07 PM

            Great information Linda...thanks for taking the time to help.

        2. phelana RE: bmgjrg Jul 21, 2007 11:42 AM

          I too love local eats and have not had much luck finding such in Aruba. I live in Bonaire so have been to Aruba often. My fav eats are:

          King Rib - cheap ribs and bbq (iguana on some nights)
          Driftwood and Buccaneer for fish
          Mirandi's
          Madame Janette's
          Cuba's Cooking for Mojito's and music
          Jamaican Me Crazy for West Indian Delights
          Black Hog Tavern for BBQ
          Gasparito's has a romantic atmosphere, lovely art and great food.
          Flying Fishbones is hit or miss but when hit it's great seaside dining
          Ventana de la Mer for Wed. fashion show and lunch with stunning views of the lighthouse

          Taxi to the airport..

          5 Replies
          1. re: phelana
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            sherry f RE: phelana Aug 20, 2007 01:09 PM

            Is King Rib open? It was closed last year when we were there.

            1. re: sherry f
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              pushirubiano RE: sherry f Aug 20, 2007 05:34 PM

              King Rib is still open. It has moved to another, not so nice (prominent) location behind the Wendy's on the large new roundabout on the road from Oranjestad to the hotel Area. Don't order the iguana btw. It's a protected species on the island and they're not even allowed to offer it.

              1. re: pushirubiano
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                sherry f RE: pushirubiano Aug 21, 2007 11:51 AM

                Thanks for the information. We will not have any Iguana!

            2. re: phelana
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              aphrodisiac RE: phelana Feb 16, 2009 01:04 PM

              Am going to Aruba next week and renting a house. Do you have any suggestions for local markets and specialty ingredients I should not miss?

              1. re: aphrodisiac
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                Linda VH RE: aphrodisiac Feb 17, 2009 06:53 AM

                The best supermarket is Ling's - you can get Dutch cheeses there as well. The bakery next to Certified - Huchada is wonderful. I'm banned from there as I can't resist their homemade raisin bread - so fresh it sticks together lol!!! I would suggest the following bulletin boards as well - pay attention to SanNic44 as he has a more local perspective living down in Saveneta. www.aruba-bb.com and www.aruba.com.

            3. Miss Needle RE: bmgjrg Jan 2, 2008 08:44 AM

              Not sure if you're still reading this thread but just came back from Aruba and stayed at the Westin. We are Starwood members so we stay at the Westin pretty frequently. This was the worst Westin we've stayed at. Our shower curtain smelled like stinky cheese, there was no do not disturb sign (though we kept requesting it) and were woken up every AM by the maid. There were more issues, but I will not go into it here.

              I would highly recommend renting a car there. It gives you access to better beaches than Palm Beach and gives you a lot of flexibility. Most of the restaurants we went to required that we drive. If you want to try some local places, you would also need a car. Here is my trip report:

              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/268406

              Have a great time there! People are very friendly and the beaches are beautiful. Our favorite was Eagle Beach.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Miss Needle
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                RLColeman RE: Miss Needle Jan 28, 2008 10:51 AM

                Papiamento – in “Washington”. Lovely and must-do. Not particularly “local” food, but local emphasis and a wonderful ambiance. Reservations are a must. Taxi distance from Palm Beach, just East a bit.
                Tulip – Eagle Beach. Nice, inexpensive and Dutch, making it a pretty good candidate for “local” food claim. Kasi Yena was good, salad excellent, Nasi Goreng not very spicy, nice and attractive décor, although the service was no the best (the hostess was weak.) It’s connected to a low-rise, so reservations are needed.
                Hosteria de Vittoria – Palm Beach, just around the corner from “Hooters” and North of Gianni’s. Excellent Italian, lovely Vitello Pizzaiola. Not crowded. Sorta cheesy outdated music like “That’s Amore” but not a problem.
                Gianni’s – Just in the midst of the restaurant group. Excellent It, the Polenta Salsica was great. Tied with Hosteria.

                1. re: RLColeman
                  phelana RE: RLColeman Jan 29, 2008 02:55 AM

                  Mr. Coleman, a good idea came to mind after reading your post. Some of the best places to eat are often where the locals go. I suggest you ask folks where they go for Nasi and Bami Goreng. I know Bonaire has some super little places selling amazing Indonesian fare. I am sure Aruba does too. This cuisine is NOT too miss in the ABC islands.

                  1. re: phelana
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                    Linda VH RE: phelana Jan 29, 2008 04:11 AM

                    Gianni's is not tied to Hostaria (thank heavens) but to Sole Mare and Azzuro. Hostaria is some of the most bland and uninteresting Italian food I have ever eaten. Good to hear about the Kashi Yena (love it!). There are really not alot of local "little places" in Aruba. I have not had Nasi there (prefer my sisters to anyone elses so far) but I'm sure the Aruba websites would address that.

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