Aruba Trip Reports

Renaissance & Divi Aruba

July 2004 By Walt and Wendy

Four People, Two Vacations, One Happy Island

sunset sea horizon

What do you do when your summer treks have taken you to Bermuda, Nassau, Negril, Curacao, Antigua and twice to Aruba? When, along the way, you find friends who love the adventure as much as you do? When you have two weeks and want the excitement and activity of an in-town high-rise, the fun of dining at different restaurants and still crave the laid-back relaxation of an all-inclusive low-rise? What do you do? You return to Aruba of course, since it is the place that offers all these options and more.

Zipping through Immigration and grabbing our bags, we were waved through customs and greeted by the so-familiar Aruban breeze. Like an old friend, it whispers Bon Bini to us. The Deplam bus drops us at the Ren for an easy check-in. We purchase the Drink Card and are so glad we did. From coffees to nightcaps, we were covered.

Room 1629 was a gem. With vaulted ceilings, a view of Hooiberg to the left and the Marina to the right and just enough balcony to fit a chair, we settled in. We loved being in the center of activity and within walking distance to many great dining spots. El Gaucho, L'Estancia, The Paddock, Waterfront Crabhouse and Iguana Joe's were all worth the reasonable costs. Each provided a unique view and experience. Shopping was fun and the cruise ships were spectacular.

The boat trip to the private island from the hotel's grotto was quick and the island itself was beautiful. A busy family side, a quiet adult side, iguanas, flamingos and more provided much interest and entertainment. Drink and food service was top shelf.

The hotel pool was clean and refreshing. The view of the Marina and the city below was fun. With the fitness center to the side and Blue, the cocktail lounge below, you could indulge you habits, good and bad, in an instant.

On the sixth day, we bid "Ayo" to the Renaissance, to hustle and bustle and caught a cab to our old Aruban favorite, the Divi. After a warm welcome back from Raymundo, we checked in our bags and shucked off our stress.

We were very pleased with the improvements made to the Divi and the Tam. Vista 2 rooms, second floor, 509 and 511, were spectacular. Large rooms, large bathrooms with double sinks, enormous patios and breathtaking views were ours for our stay. Maid service was excellent and the entire staff was friendlier than ever.

The new buffet at the Tam was exceptional, as was the Palm Grille. The Paparazzi provides a more formal, Northern Italian meal and the Red Parrot was even better than we remembered. Full occupancy and many families with children tended to fill the Divi buffet and tax the resources of the staff. The secret was to use the Tam on nights you desired a buffet meal and to choose a table on the water. The sunsets alone are worth what you have paid.

Thank you Stephanie at Aruba Brokers for the great deals, Lisa at the Divi for the wonderful room, thanks to the staff at both the Ren and the Divi for making us feel welcome and at home. Thanks to the Aruban people for being themselves and for providing such a safe country that we shared so easily. Thank you for putting up with some visitors who couldn't seem to relax, slow down and remember they are guest in another country. For those folks, I apologize as I am sure they will not.

Ayo for now Aruba. But not for long.

Walt and Wendy Zientek