Frequent travel is definitely one of my job’s perks. And although business travel is VERY different from pleasure travel, I’d still rather explore than not explore, so I consider myself very lucky to be able to travel for business.
And if that wasn’t great enough, my colleague Melissa is a gal whom I also call a friend. Recently she and I went on a super-quick business trip to Aruba… also known as “one happy island.” (Literally, we weren’t even on the island for 48 hours and for all of it we were in a dress. Definitely the most over-dressed gals on the entire island!)
-> Case in point – Melissa rocked that dress, though! <-
As quick as it was, I got a taste of the island’s charm and definitely plan on returning – next time for at least 72 hours!
Hilton Aruba was our “home away from home.” Recently converted from a Radisson, it’s a nice hotel located on Palm Beach, which is thought of as the best stretch of beach on the island. The Morris Lapidus-designed building (Lapidus designed Miami Beach’s famed Fountainbleau) was sporting a fresh coat of paint, and the bright, airy lobby had been refreshed since the Hilton takeover as well.
My room was also airy-feeling, with tropical decor, a spacious balcony and lots of natural light. But as is usually the case in tropical destinations, it’s all about the view – and my room could not have offered a better view.
Mt. Hooiberg, known to American tourists as “Mt. Haystack” was to my left, and glancing over the hotel’s lush landscape and three pools, the sparkling sea made up the rest of my view.
Hiking Haystack is supposed to be fun, and apparently on a clear day hikers can see Venezuela from the top. Next time!
And seeing all the points of interest and their corresponding distances from Aruba was fun.
-> Oh hello, Connecticut! <-
Reptile fan? You’ll love Aruba! I thought Florida had an abundance of lizards – but Florida’s got nothing on Aruba! Aruba’s reptiles are bigger and more colorful than the critters I’ve spotted in Florida. Even Melissa, who lives in South Beach, had never seen a teal reptile!
Hilton Aruba has a pretty large flock of exotic birds that live in large cages on property. A few times a week they offer a “bird experience,” where guests may learn about the birds and may even snap a photo with the Macaws perched on their arms. (OF COURSE we did that!)
As quick as our trip was, we did squeeze in a beach walk and were able to watch the sun dip into the ocean. Both musts when on the “happy island.”
-> Excellent (drinking &) dining options, like Bugaloe, are just steps away from Hilton Aruba. <-
-> How spectacular is this sunset?! <-
After my quick visit, I can see why Aruba is called the “happy island” – the locals were incredibly friendly, the vistas were spectacular and the temperature stays within a five degree range all year long. Plus, it’s outside of the hurricane belt, so travel during hurricane season doesn’t come with the same risks that it does to a destination such as Puerto Rico, Jamaica and the Bahamas.
I’m sure I’ll return at some point. But until then, peace out Aruba!