Where are we today? If you are just joining us, check out our last installment of TC Travel Diaries, which follows our team of experts and top travel professionals to the desert shores of Los Cabos, where they experienced this dual-destination in ultimate style.
Today, our TC Travel Diaries brings us to the Caribbean islands of Aruba and Curaçao. Located in the southern Caribbean Sea, at one point Aruba and Curaçao were both part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (now it is only Curaçao), however the difference in atmosphere makes them each very unique – and the perfect combination for a casino, cuisine and culture-filled escape.
Pictured above (left to right): Roberta Saltzberg- Great Escape/Tzell New England; Vera Mecca- Island Destinations; Carol Biskup- Island Destinations; Dianne Hagopian- Platinum Travel Group; Julie Ann Miller- Unlimited Vacations & Cruises; Deborah Schoppa- ProTravel.
First up was the sunny island of Aruba, which offers a dry climate (less rain than most of the Caribbean!) and miles of powder white sand beaches that have been named some of the best in the world. The first stop on the island was the timeless Ritz-Carlton, Aruba. Placed on the island’s exclusive Palm Beach, there is a 15,000 square foot casino, superb spa and level of service that the resort chain has become celebrated for.
ID’s Insight: After a day of travels, we suggest you treat yourself to some R&R with a signature Ritz-Carlton facial treatment. The 15,000 square foot oasis is as large as the casino, with a range of herbal-inspired natural body treatments that will put you in an island state of mind.
Our next stop was at the Hyatt Regency Resort, Spa & Casino, located in the heart of Palm Beach shopping and nightlife. Upon arrival, we were greeted with a vivacious ambiance equipped with an abundance of indoor and outdoor entertainment and endless activities for families and couples alike.
ID’s Insight: We highly suggest doing a luxury catamaran snorkel sail with Red Sail Sports. We visited the Antilla Ship Wreck – one of the Caribbean’s largest – which has been inhabited by corals, lobsters, sea turtles and eels, making for a very unique snorkel experience! Afterwards, explore some of Palm Beach’s famous nightlife – Brickell Bay Sand Beach Lounge, Gusto and Kalin’s Bar are all a five minute walk from the property.
The next morning we were off to catch our inter-island flight to Curaçao – a short 40 minutes from Aruba. Although many islands in the Caribbean are either Dutch-owned or influenced, this one stands out as far as architecture. Walking through the Punda/Pietermaai area will have you feeling like you stepped foot into a sunnier Amsterdam, while a swim in the crystal-clear waters will bring you back to the shores of the Caribbean.
Our first (and only) stop on the island was at the tranquil Baoase Luxury Resort, located near Mambo Beach. This property is an intimate hideaway aimed at couples, with enough lush gardens and secluded spaces to make it feel like your own private estate. Many of the Balinese-styled rooms have private pools and full outdoor showers, creating a totally renewing and refreshing experience – you can find a full post on the property here.
ID’s Insight: The dining at Baoase was unmatched. We suggest you start off the night (or afternoon- wink, wink) with the resort’s signature drink, a Blue Curaçao. Sunday night is Asian-themed, with a variety of delectable tapas-style dishes perfect for sharing. In the morning, you will be treated to a heavenly breakfast of fresh-baked bread, pastries and healthy juices – we are still dreaming of the food here!
That’s all for now… join us next time as we explore the island of St. Lucia!