ARUBA

I first discovered Aruba via Instagram having seen a picture of a blogger alongside flamingos on the beach and I knew I had to go!! Flamingos have long been one of my favourite animals and they also have a strong family significance, as my Gran and Granddad founded ‘The Flamingo’ ballroom in Northern Ireland in 1960 which hosted iconic acts such as The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Dusty Springfield and Lulu but to name a few. I was so excited to visit the exclusive Flamingo beach on the Renaissance Private island and it didn’t disappoint!

Getting there

We booked our trip via Destinology https://www.destinology.co.uk (I’ve used this company for a couple of multicentre trips and they’ve been fantastic!) They booked our flights via Miami (where we stopped for 3 nights) with American Airlines.

Stay

Oranjestad is the main town in Aruba and it is here where the Renaissance hotel is located https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/auabr-renaissance-aruba-resort-and-casino/ This hotel owns the Renaissance private island, (where flamingo beach is located) so as a resident here you get complimentary and unlimited access. There is no beach at this hotel so a boat runs regularly back and forth throughout the day directly from the hotel to the island. You can still gain access to the island as a non resident, however, there are a limited number of island day ‘passes’ which cost $125 each. Residents are prioritised and you can’t book in advance so you can turn up on the day but there’s no guarantee you will gain access.

Dine

There are lots of reasonably priced casual dining options around the marina and in the main town. There is also a bar/restaurant on flamingo island (that do amazing frozen mango margaritas!). My three favourite dinner dining options were Pinchos restaurant (my absolute favourite-a romantic restaurant situated on a boardwalk out at sea), L.G. Smith’s steak and chop house which was situated in the Renaissance Hotel and Wilhemena’s in the main town, an eloquent restaurant, offering simple but delicious options.

 

Explore

We spent the majority of our time on the Renaissance Private island as it was just so beautiful-don’t forget to check out iguana beach too! We also enjoyed wondering around the main town, with its Dutch inspired colourful buildings. It’s also not short on designer shops too.

We visited the Eagle beach area which Conde Nast Traveller named one of the world’s top beaches. It was easy to see why with its pristine white sand and turquoise waters. There are plenty of low rise top hotels along this beach, so this would also be a great area to stay if you didn’t wish to stay in the main town.

Essentials/tips

Book a private cabana for the day on the Renaisaance island for the VIP treatment.

Take some change for the flamingo feed machine.

Get there early-its worth getting the earliest boat (around 7-7.30am) to get pictures as the beach can get crowded (also the flamingos may not be as interested in being fed later on in the day as they will have had their fill provided by the earlier visitors!)

On your boat trip over to the island, make sure you sit in the covered area on the boat, otherwise it can’t be guaranteed your hair won’t be ocean sprayed and soaking wet by the time you get there!!