Aruba Trip Reports

Radisson - 14th Visit to Aruba!

August 18 - 25, 2009 by Darryl and Gail

Aruba Forum Profile: Darryl

Darryl and Gail

I know that we say the same thing every visit: "This was the best Aruba vacation ever!" This time was no different. Gail and I spent our 48th wedding anniversary week, visiting our favorite spots and meeting with many friends with whom we've developed friendships over the years. Ursula Schreiber of Players Choice came through like a champ in having the Radisson provide great accommodations.

The staff at the Radisson was their usual friendly selves, from the front end registration folks to the wait staffs at Laguna, Sunset Grill and Gilligans. It was like 'coming home' again!

To start with, our Continental flight from Newark was uneventful. We did take off a bit late, but the crew was able to make up most of the lost time. Denis of Tropic Car Rental greeted us and walked us to our Toyota Yaris. We checked into the Radisson earlier than expected and the room wasn't to be ready until 4PM. So we spent our free time roaming the beautiful grounds and having a drink at Mia Solo. When the room was ready, we were shown to room 1705, not the Presidential suite but the view wasn't terrible this time since we were on the 7th floor, high above the air conditioning units between the hotel and the Occidental.

Dinner that first night was at Chalet Suisse where Benny and his staff were more than accommodating. The service couldn't have been better. They weren't very busy and we had wait persons hovering nearby to take care of our every request. Gail had the Viener Schnitzel and I had the steak. Both delicious and very satisfying. The fact that we were in time for the 'early bird' specials menu was a plus, too. From there, we went to what I call the 'new downtown', the area north of Playa Linda and the new Herencia mall and enjoyed mingling with the crowds. A relatively brief visit to the Marriott lobby presented us with some wonderful entertainment by a karioke singer. He was extremely entertaining. We were disappointed at the new decor in the Marriott lobby, which, we thought, looked more like a contemporary furniture store than a 4 star hotel lobby. We made our daily donation to the slots in the Stellaris Casino and thus completed our first day's activities.

Caribbean Sea Featured Guests at the Radisson Texas de Brazil

Breakfast at Laguna was the usual fare made all the more appetizing by our waitperson, Cecelia, who is one of favorite people at the Rad. She is sweet, most accommodating and like having an 'aunt in the business'! From then on, it was spending time at the pool, at the beach, back to the pool, etc. The beach, unquestionably, the finest on the island. The pools, amazingly comfortable and well cared for. For lunch each day, Gilligan's filled the bill. The waitpersons here are sweet and accommodating as well, and the smiles that each one has for guests is heartwarming. This week, we were selected to be "Featured Guests" at the Radisson! One of the highlights of the week!!

Darryl and Gail

We had the rest of our dinners at out favorite spots: Papiemento; Madame Janette; Sunset Grille; Sole Mare. Our one disappointment was at Wacky Wahoo, which had come very highly recommended. We asked the waiter to simply serve the snapper with head and tail removed and he refused, saying it wasn't served that way!! We ended up ordering something else that was not memorable. We do not intend to re-visit this restaurant. One highlight was Texas de Brazil, however. We had a 'two for one' coupon for our anniversary. Not having dined there before, we were pleasantly surprised at the quality of the meats and the variety of the salad bar. Service was excellent, as well. We will certainly return to Texas de Brazil our next visit.

The only rainy day was Sunday and, for the first time in all our visits, we spent time at the flea market between the low rise area and downtown. It was a most pleasant experience. We bought some t-shirts and jewelry for the grandchildren.

We are looking forward to returning in 2010, at that time, hopefully, bringing our children and grandchildren with us! Won't that be something!! Certainly, Gail and I are Arubaphiles!!!

Best wishes to all!!

Darryl and Gail