Aruba Trip Reports

31st trip to Aruba - Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort

December 30, 2014 - January 6, 2015 by ~Amy~® and Mike

Aruba Forum Profile: ~Amy~®

On our way to Aruba to celebrate New Years Eve...
Easy flights on the way down using Delta (and Medallion comp upgrades to First Class), went through immigration, got our luggage and we were out the door within about 20 minutes from getting off the plane.

Rented a car from Optima (used to be Payless but they changed their name last fall) and got a decent Hyundai Accent.

Traffic was backed up downtown (as usual) but it didn’t take that long to get to the hotel (Amsterdam Manor.)

Pulled into the hotel parking lot and it was full... checked spaces in front and it was full - this is definitely not like off-season. Mike dropped me and the luggage off at the front desk while he parked in an overflow lot on the side near LaCabana. During the time I was checking in it started to POUR. Luckily, Mike was smart enough to wait it out in the car and within 10 minutes the one rainy, gray cloud had passed and it was sunny again.


The bellman took us to our room with the luggage. Since we booked so late the only rooms they had left were standard studios in the back which was fine. But we stopped at a different room by the pool. I told him “no, this is not our room, we’re in B1”. He said “no, this is your room”. I argued and showed him my papers from checking in which had B1 written on them. He finally asked for my cardkey and it worked in this room which was a one bedroom just off of the pool. They had upgraded us at the last minute and decided not to tell me. As we unpacked Julio from the front desk called to make sure our room was okay – little stinker! I love those guys – it was a great surprise!


Our first night we headed to Horizons (Amsterdam Manor’s pool bar) and met up with friends Lisa and Jerry from the bulletin boards. Had a great chat with them over some ice cold Brights and then headed to dinner at Barney’s. Barney’s fish special that night was Wahoo so that was all I needed to hear – asked for it grilled with lemon and it was perfect. Mike got the schnitzel with the eggs on top. Stayed awhile after dinner and chatted with friends at Barney’s and then crawled back to the room since it had been a long day of being up so early.


Woke up bright and early on the morning of the 31st. We should have gone to the grocery store the night before like we usually do but got too caught up in having fun. So Super Food was first on the agenda for the morning. Got there by 9am and it was already looking pretty busy since after the 31st they would be closed for 2 days. On the side of Super Food was a tent and a line for oliebollens (Dutch fried doughnuts). After getting champagne, breakfast food, etc. at Super Food we got in line….bought a couple of oliebollens for breakfast and a Dutch apple flap (kind of like and apple turnover) hot from the oven. The only thing Super Food did not have that day was Amstel Brights so had to make a quick run down the street to Cheng’s – and it was good luck that we did because we ran into a good friend on our way out the door. Back to the patio for a breakfast of high calorie (but tasty) food and then headed to the beach for a few hours. As we hung out on the beach we remembered that The Wine Room was doing their pagara at 2pm. So we changed clothes and headed over there – they set it off in the parking lot and it was so loud that it set off some of the alarms in the other stores. After the pagara we met the owner’s family and toasted with Prosecco and snacks at The Wine Room. Going back to the hotel but we got sidetracked by a small canon in the parking lot with the word “Rum” on it. So we had to venture into a shop called Arubian Taste. They had so many different flavors of rum and a lot of samples to try. The owners were very nice and we spent more time there than planned. Finally back to the hotel and as we drove by Super Food we could see their pagara in their parking lot ready to go (store had closed early that day.) We debated on stopping to watch but went back to the hotel which was only a couple of blocks away. As we got out of the car we could hear it….we timed it and it lasted an entire 15 minutes. We would be deaf if we were any closer. LOL!


New Years Eve dinner was a 5 course menu at Amsterdam Manor with tables poolside and live music. Dinner was great and we shared a table with Lisa & Jerry and their family and also Nancy (Eagle Beach Boy’s wife.) Had a great time! At midnight they were pouring champagne at Horizons for everyone as we watched the fireworks over the beach. Really a great night to spend with a lot of great friends. Mike and I took a glass of Bollinger to the beach at around 2am, star gazed for a bit and toasted the new year.

One morning we had breakfast (wonderful pancakes and mimosas with fresh squeezed OJ) at Diana’s Pancakes Place. After that we walked over to the Bird Sanctuary and climbed the tower for a little bird watching.

We also tried the new Quinta del Carmen. Beautiful atmosphere with seating either inside or outside. The backyard is very pretty. Some of our dishes were very good and other were just a little on the bland side – but we’ll go back and try it again on the next trip.


Mango’s at Amsterdam Manor also has a new Asian buffet night which was great. A help yourself bar of sushi and Asian salad and also a counter where you can get a few things made to order (you pick out your meat, veggies, etc.) Loved it - it was a nice change of pace from the usual meat and fish in Aruba.

We went to a lot of our usual favorites like Bugaloe, Bingo’s, Barney’s, West Deck, and Tulip for drinks and/or a bite to eat and just mainly relaxed and enjoyed seeing friends. Also spent some quality time at Horizons (Peter serves the best, coldest “bubbles” around!)

NYE is always a lot of fun in Aruba! Looking forward to trip #32 later on this year...