Aruba Trip Reports

Playa Linda Beach Resort

May, 2001 by Joanna

First let me say what a bonus it was having surfed a bit and gotten some info about Aruba before we left. As first timers it's always nice to hear someone else's perspective. I think the best way to tell you about our trip is to break it down by category as opposed to by the day (it's hard to remember every daily details as they are mixed with Rum Punch and Brown Ladies).


We stayed at the lovely Playa Linda. We had traded time on our condo in Maine. We found the resort to very nice. They are in the process of redecorating portions and doing a wonderful job at that. Our housekeeping staff was by everyday to change the towels and pick things up. Our room had a nice private little balcony that over looked part of the beach in front of the Holiday Inn. We sat here most nights after going out and had a cocktail before turning in. The pool area was very nice tons of chairs and plenty of shade if necessary. We traded in our towels as often as we wanted for fresh ones. The beach area was great! We never had a Chickee (that's a small shade hut with a table around the base) however we never had difficulty getting a Palm tree that was set up about the same. There were always plenty of lounge chairs and people to give you good advice on where to eat and what to do next. There is a beach right by the pool and another by the beach - happy hour is 3-5 on the beach and 5-7 by the pool how can you go wrong? Drinks are 2 for 1 at $5.75 US. I bargain in my book! My only complaint - the restaurant/bar by the pool closed VERY early (by 10pm) and so last call was always on our own balcony (actually it turned out okay - it's nice to have a nightcap in your jammies)

Eating Out

I must preface this by telling you that there were 2 of us, we always had 2 if not more cocktails a piece, and we never had dessert. As far as we were concerned we found the pricing VERY reasonable.

Tony Romas - Okay we had just gotten to the island and were looking for something quick - probably would have eaten someplace else if we'd known better but . . . the food was still good. George (I have a habit of remembering waiters names - especially when there not too good) was very slow. We both opted for a chicken dish. They were good - maybe we were just REALLY hungry from traveling though.

Le Petit Café (right at the Playa Linda) - This was recommended by a man on the beach. What an experience - it was awesome! If you've never cooked on a hot stone before you have got to try this. We both ordered beef and enjoyed cooking it to our liking. The service was excellent although I'm not quite sure just exactly who waited on us - here along with the next few restaurants we found that all wait staff cover for one another. What a novel idea, places in the US should do this more. My water glass was never empty and all I had to do was look up from my plate to catch the eye of a server.

Ruinas Del Mar (at the Hyatt) - Once again another great meal topped off by excellent atmosphere. Good wine, music. Considered dessert but there was just no room. The serve was wonderful.

Salt and Pepper - We ate outside, music started at 8pm, small shops to by trinkets near by. The food was good, service so-so. Eating here broke my heart. A small group, of what I am assuming are wild dogs hung around while we ate - I felt horrible. They were so skinny. Hostaria da Vittorio (across from the Hyatt) - We loved it so much we went twice! The service provided was great! The food better. Tons of flavor. Only item missing from the menu, chicken Parm, my favorite, oh well!

Things to do

Parasailing - First time for me, I really enjoyed it. Nice views of the island and I noticed that they dip some people in the water too.

Deep Sea fishing - Rented a boat for just the 2 of us. $250 for 4 hours. The captain and 2 crew men were very nice, especially when I was throwing up off the back of the boat. Our 4 hour adventure lasted only 2. Unfortunately my other half only had the chance to catch some "whimpy" barracuda fish that he said "Really don't count" And by the way I did take something before we left and I did have a light lunch. We own a boat and I have never been sea sick in my LIFE!

Snorkeling - Another first for me. We took the 2 hour trip with Pelican Tours (in between the PL and the HI). Went to the Antilla Shipwreck and a shallow spot off the coast. Saw some cool fish. The water was a little rough by the Antila but it was a lot of fun.

Sunset Sail - Don't leave Aruba without at least one of these. Again sailed with Pelican for 2 hours 5-7pm. That sun drops like a stone between 6:45 - 7:00 It was fun and romantic at the same time. Wish we had done it every night!

Gambling - Excelsior, La Cabana, Hyatt, Radisson. Top pick Excelsior at the Holiday Inn. Close to home, great service, friendly dealers. The Hyatt may look nice but you have to beg to find someone to bring you a drink and the Radisson and La Cabana love to take your money. The Excelsior had live entertainment every night (2 different acts both 1 woman 2 men) they were good.

Trip into town - Journeyed into town just one day to do some shopping. Grabbed a couple beers and a snack at Carlos n' Charlie's. Looked in a ton of shops and carts. Ended up buying my Jewelry at the store in the Hyatt.

All in all it was a wonderful vacation. We thank everyone whose posts we've read! Hope that anyone reading this will have just as good a time as we had if not better.