Aruba Trip Reports

25th trip to Aruba - Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort

Sept. 23 – Oct. 2, 2011 by ~Amy~®

Aruba Forum Profile: ~Amy~®


This trip I flew First Class on US Air since I had some United frequent flyer miles to use up (MSP-CLT-AUA) and arrived in Aruba around 3:30pm. First Class on US Air was fine (a ton of extra leg room) but the drink and food selection is better in Delta’s First Class. Still…much better than coach!

Met my girlfriend at the airport (she arrived earlier on a different flight from NY) and saw Hans from Tropic Car Rental within minutes. Got our rental car in the airport parking lot and we were on our way to Amsterdam Manor.

Amsterdam Manor

Checked into Amsterdam Manor and had a complimentary rum punch while they did the paperwork. Was happy to see Illis back at the front desk at Amsterdam Manor, too! A slight snafu on the room – they saw I was booked for 2 people and they thought my husband was with me (I was traveling with a girlfriend on this trip) so they gave us a nice upgrade to the honeymoon suite. Well, it’s a nice upgrade when you’re with your husband but not so much when you expected two separate bedrooms/baths. LOL! So we spent the first night in a two bedroom but not "our usual" two bedroom located at the end of the resort. We moved rooms the following day and all was back to "normal". It’s funny what you get used to and which room you’re used to being in every year. In hindsight, we should have just stayed in the first two bedroom they gave us because it was a bit of a pain to not be able to unpack the first night and get settled in, etc. – kind of wasted a vacation day to move rooms. But all was good! Loved being back at our "home away from home" and seeing the wonderful staff/friends we’ve made over the years.

Mahi-Mahi Fishing Charter

I had always wanted to do a fishing charter. We (myself and friends Melvin & Kim) did a ½ day with Mahi-Mahi Fishing Charter on their new boat the Sea-iesta. Had a great time and Captain Peter was a pleasure to meet! We had a nice mahi-mahi that they filleted for us when we got back to the docks. Took it to Mango’s at Amsterdam Manor and they prepared it for us that evening for dinner – grilled with a lime sauce along with a salad and some side dishes. It was wonderful!!

Philip’s Animal Garden

Philip’s Animal Garden / Philip’s Pet Collection Foundation is a non-profit organization that focuses on rescuing exotic animals in Aruba and other regions. We arrived after breakfast but saw a sign that said they were closed for the day...we proceeded into the driveway anyway (sign? what sign? LOL!) We saw Philip and asked if we could just walk around and take some photos instead of the tour. He said sure and then eventually joined us and gave us a nice tour and explanation about each of the animals and how they "arrived" at his foundation. It is definitely worth it to take the tour because it has alot more meaning when you learn about each animal. He has quite the collection, too – monkeys, all sorts of different types of birds, large (very large) snakes, turtles, alpaca, an ocelot, kangaroos, goats, horses, a and a fun little smiling pony. We will definitely be back again to make another donation.


Eagle Beach at Amsterdam Manor was amazing as always. Most mornings I would go out to the beach before 9am with my mimosa and slice of toast and have breakfast with the pelicans. Usually there are only one or two pelicans eating fish in the morning but this year there were about 8 pelicans hanging out on our beach, eating fish, and just floating on top of the water right next to you as you swam – almost close enough to reach out and touch them. We’d always grab a couple of free floats from Amsterdam Manor and just relaxed and floated around all day - the water was warm, calm, and clear - you could see small schools of silver fish right below your feet.

Aruba Foundation Cas Animal Sanctuary

Went to their 2nd Annual Fundraising Golf Tournament at Tierra Del Sol. No, I did not golf but I did partake in the party after the tournament was over. Met alot of nice people who try to donate their time and money and energy to the Foundation. Tierra Del Sol did an amazing job on the fundraiser/party – very well done!


  • Carambola – new restaurant located at Paradise Beach Villas and we loved both the food and ambiance. Will definitely be back again.
  • Mango's – cooked our mahi-mahi to perfection
  • Bugaloe – always a great afternoon just hanging out on the pier, having a few drinks and a bite to eat
  • Screaming Eagle – had the most amazing Wahoo Carpaccio here! Always great service and food
  • Tulip – one of my favorite casual places for dinner or lunch. Their ambiance at night keeps improving and the staff is the BEST!
  • Tandoor – tried this place for the first time and loved it! If you’re in the mood for curry, this is THE place. I’ll definitely be back again.
  • Marandi - One that we will be taking off of our list - the food was good but not great - too many restaurants with "great" food that are alot closer without the drive. They do have a lovely atmosphere though - just wish the food would have "wowed" me.
  • Amadeus – Goulash Soup and Wiener Schnitzel are the best! Also love the ambiance and their special after dinner drink
  • Bingo – always the perfect place to go for drinks, soup or salad, a light bite, or a dinner entrée – they have it all and the food and prices are great!
  • Caribbean Store Bar – this is a little bar located along the side of the road across the street from Kong Fui. Standing room only in the bar or in front of the bar near the road - cheap, cold beer. A lot of fun on a Friday night for happy hour – think we were the only non-locals there.


Dropped off the rental car at the airport and since I had a later flight (4:40pm) I missed most of the crowds from earlier flights. I was checked in, through security and customs within about 40 minutes. Flight home was in First Class again and uneventful (my favorite kind of flight.)

Thank You.....

to the wonderful staff at Amsterdam Manor who always go out of their way to make your vacation a good one! Also, a special thanks to Hans at Tropic Car Rental for taking care of the car rental situation (someone tried to steal the rental car in the middle of the night) so professionally and quickly.