Serving up a delicious platter of hotels, resorts, golf courses, spas, water sports, casinos and delectable cuisine, Aruba aims to please every couple arriving on her sandy shores. With stretches of the finest beaches in the Caribbean and the most coveted US pre-clearance at the airport, Aruba has earned legions of loyal fans who return year after year. With more flights from the US than most other Caribbean countries, Aruba is also below the hurricane belt with temperatures year round at the eighty degree mark.
For those couples who are planning their first trip to the island, the “One Cool Honeymoon “is too good to miss. Newlyweds are given the regal treatment by dozens of hotels, resorts and restaurants, not to mention a bottle of bubbly upon arrival, souvenir gifts from their resort, discounts for spa treatments and reduced rates for water sports excursions. And to sweeten the deal, one gratis room night for a return anniversary visit is the piece de resistance. Without a lot of red tape, newlyweds need to only identify themselves when booking a hotel stay in order to take advantage of the program.
At Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach, summer packages for twosomes include breakfast for two, seaside dinner by candlelight, turndown service with white candles, bottle of bubbly and chocolate covered fruit. Priced at $1359.00 per couple for a 5-nights, the weeklong stay includes beds for heads in an ocean view one-bedroom suite.
Through September 30, ‘Soak up the Savings’ with Paradise by Marriott invites with nightly rates starting from just $215.00 at the Aruba Marriott and $182.00 at Renaissance Aruba. “Traditionally, summer months are when kids are out of school and families take time off to spend quality time together,” said Kevin Schwab, general manager, Aruba Marriott, “In Aruba, summer rates range 40 – 50% lower than in the winter, providing great value.” At the Renaissance Aruba with the upscale Renaissance Mall, six cinemas, upscale L.G. Smith’s Steak & Chop House and the largest convention center on the island, the ‘Escape! Inclusive’ package starting at $438.00 per night, double occupancy is tempting for travel through December 21 and includes all meals, discounts on spa treatments and a casino match play coupon. Renaissance Aruba Resort >>
There’s more brand reliability at the Aruba Westin Resort with its first-ever inclusive-light option. “More and more consumers are watching their budgets and want to know up front what their vacation will cost,” said Michele Frank, director, sales & marketing. “Our inclusive plans provide this clarity and add value to the leisure experience without sacrificing quality and service.” Fronting the snow white sands of Palm Beach, the 481-room resort offers eight restaurants and lounges, casino, spa and nearby golf. The ‘Eat, Drink & Be Happy’ meal option includes breakfast in the Bon Bini restaurant, lunch in The Terrace and nightly rates starting at $439.00 per room, double occupancy. The ‘Premium All-Inclusive’ option includes dinner at Pago Pago, Baci, or Azull, one-time $25 credit for dining at Blossoms and nightly rates starting at $599.00 per room, double occupancy. The Westin Resort & Casino >>
Romance Rocks – The High Five
- A sunset sail on a luxury catamaran with island specialists Red Sail Sports.
- A seaside moonlight dinner for two at the Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach
- A rollicking night out aboard the Kukoo Kunuku party boat
- A couples massage at the Larimar Spa
- Horseback riding for two organized by De Palm Tours
Making it Legal
Civil marriages are conducted at the Civil Town House in the late morning or early afternoon on Wednesdays, Thursdays or Fridays. For an additional fee of $150.00, civil marriages can take place Saturday mornings.
Necessary documents for American couples include copies of both birth certificates, passport picture page, two witnesses which can be ‘rented’ for $50.00 per day and divorce decrees, if applicable.
The documents must be faxed for review and then submitted by courier, such as FedEx, at least one month prior to the wedding date.
A Feast of Festivals
August 24 – 26: Professional and amateur golfers from the U.S., Venezuela, Brazil, and Holland team up to showcase their skills in this 36-hole tournament at Tierra Del Sol.
September 30: Saluting the full moon, Nikky Beach welcomes hundreds of fashionistas and trendsetting wannabees. www.nikkybeacharuba.com
October 5-6: Aruba’s Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival invites with A-list performers, street theater and fine food.
December 27: One of the biggest traditional musical events, Dande Festival lights up the island with concerts that, according to legend, will bless the New Year with prosperity.
A Click and a Call