Category Archives: Aruba

The Aruba Nightlife

No wonder Aruba is such a happy island.  Day or night, there is no shortage of things to do while in Aruba.  So many travelers who return to Aruba again and again have a list of favorite things about Aruba, be it a pool to languish by, a beach for savoring a sunset or a certain shop.  And, yet, it’s always fun to discover something new.  If you haven’t yet had a night out at Fusion, make a note.  Since opening last season, this one-of-a-kind establishment has – in less than a year – become a go-to place for those on their Aruba vacation as well as locals out for a nice evening.

The full name is Fusion Wine & Piano Bar and it is situated in the newly revamped Alhambra Plaza.  And, to borrow from the vernacular of the day, it is what it is:  that is to say, a fusion, in just about every way.  It is restaurant and lounge, dinner and tapas, cocktails and wine, live music and cigar bar.  It’s also a mix of inside and outside, with a bright lights/big city circular bar plus table seating inside and a cozy living room-like arrangement out under the stars where you can sink into comfy couches and let the music gently waft over the summer breeze.

Fusion is a place for doing your own thing.  Got a favorite wine?  The wine selection is the most extensive on the island and continues to expand.  Fusion also has Aruba’s most extensive cigar collection.  Live entertainment is offered six nights a week, and has variety, too, ranging from jazz, pop, soul and a little R&B.  Sunday night, Angelo Koolman (Love the name.) sings and plays guitar, Monday night Angelo Kock tickles the ivories and Tuesday, Mister Martens plays sax.  Fusion Wine & Piano Bar’s Facebook page posts the upcoming schedule: https://www.facebook.com/FusionAruba.

On the Facebook page, you will also find comments and reviews, like this one from Liliana Erasmus, writing for 10Best.com, “It’s here at Fusion, where laidback evenings are filled with the indulgence of the senses and where signature cocktails, a generous selection of global wines and premium cigars are complemented by French Executive chef Gerard Coste’s reinvented menu.

EJ Schanfarber, CEO of Divi Resorts, says that Fusion is a nice place to relax at the end of the day. “It is a new concept for the island, and we’re so pleased that it has struck the right chord with our guests and locals alike.

See you there!

Aruba Ariba!

Whether you see it printed on the menu or not, saunter up to any bar in Aruba, ask the bartender for an Aruba Ariba, and guaranteed, you’ll be obliged.  What makes the Aruba Ariba so ubiquitous?  It’s unique to Aruba.  And why?  Because every Aruba Ariba is made with coecoei, a liquor made from the sap of a local agave plant.  The deep red sap is then mixed with rum and cane sugar.  It not only adds a distinctive taste and color when used as an ingredient, coecoei also packs a punch with its 100-proof alcoholic content.

It surely must be a seductive cocktail because plenty of message boards evidence a search for coecoei by travelers once they return home from a trip to Aruba.   Sorry.  The only place to buy coecoei is Aruba.  So there you go:  another reason to go to Aruba.  (As if you needed another one besides sugary white beaches, blue skies, friendly people, endless activities or a beautiful place to do absolutely nothing while sitting under a palapa.)

Though the recipe varies a bit, the end result is universally described as delicious, refreshing and fruity – very apropos to the tropics.  A clear glass mug is recommended as an appropriate vessel in order to show off the rainbow of colors.  Make that a tall, clear glass mug to accommodate the liquors, liqueurs and juices.  Yes, you need all three to make a proper Aruba Ariba.

Here is the most often published recipe for the Aruba Ariba:

  • ½ ounce of vodka
  • ½ ounce of 151 proof rum
  • 1/8 ounce of coecoei
  • 1/8-ounce crème de bananes
  • ½ cup of orange juice
  • ½ cup of cranberry juice
  • ½ cup of pineapple juice

Directions: Pour into a glass.  Stir slightly. Splash with grenadine.  Top with Grand Marnier.  Garnish with a slice of orange.

I’ll have mine while enjoying the sunset from one of those cushy white couches at Pure Lounge over at Divi Phoenix Beach.

You can find other famous Aruba cocktails here at Visit Aruba.

Enjoy!

A Caribbean vacation in summer? Yes, let’s go!

Did you know there are over 7000 individual islands in the Caribbean?  Who’s ready to spend a few days on one this summer? The Caribbean in summer?  Yes!  It’s when the best deals are.  Especially after April 1, when kids eat and stay free at Divi Resorts.  June is when most Divi Resorts offer the lowest rates, but there are deals all summer long.  Vacation dollars go further, spacious suites are available and there are plenty of palapas for a quiet snooze on the beach.  There are also as many activities in summer as in season.  This is sounding like a vacation made in heaven.  But, it’s the Caribbean.

So, just where should you go for a Caribbean beach vacation?  I’m giving an “A” to Aruba.   First of all, there are few worries about hurricanes.  Aruba is technically out of the hurricane zone.  The temperature is only slighted elevated in the summer months due to the ever-present trade winds.

Aruba has too many temptations to list.  But, just consider these:

Divi Village, Divi Aruba Phoenix and Divi Dutch Village offer all-suite accommodations, an ideal set-up for families.   Not only are the suites spacious with modern amenities, but also they feature fully equipped kitchens. That’s handy for keeping kids satisfied with a little snacking and refreshment throughout the day, and an excellent way to stretch the family’s vacation dollars.   ‘Because you will want to do this vacation again next year.

If the brood is just too tired to go out at night, it couldn’t be easier to settle in for a night at home.  Slide open the balcony doors, plop onto a comfy couch and hit the remote for the flat-screen TV.  You can also gather ‘round the dining room table for board games.

Staying in won’t feel like a letdown after all there is to do during the day.  If you opt for the Druif Beach area, you’ll have your pick of multiple pools (enough to choose a different one just about every day), lighted tennis courts (weekly tennis clinics, too), poolside games and beach walks every afternoon, a water sports center with enough free activities to keep families entertained no matter how long the stay.   Aruba’s only 30-foot rock climbing wall is located on the Divi beach.

There are more than a dozen restaurant choices for the entire family when you do feel like dining out together.   (Remember:  kids eat free April 1 through December 21st.) Divi Village Golf & Beach Resort also has a nine-hole golf course and pro shop.  Parents might also like an evening at the Alhambra casino, which can be reached by a free shuttle bus from the resort.

Over at Phoenix Beach, the curvaceous pools are a big hit with families, as is the cool and comfy Pure Beach restaurant.  For a convenient diversion, go across the street and roam the Butterfly Farm.  Buy one ticket and go multiple times.

It’s just a shame you have to go home at some point.  I guess that’s why it’s called a “vacation.” Be sure to check out Divi’s discounted Summer rates!

Knock, Knock. Holland Has a King!

Today promises to be a very colorful day in certain parts of the Caribbean – all stemming from the rise of a new king in Holland. His Royal Highness The Prince of Orange ascends to the throne that day. Hear ye and welcome King Willem-Alexander.

The investiture of the new king is taking place on Queen’s Day. Confused? If you’ve ever found yourself in The Netherlands, on St. Maarten, Aruba or other Dutch provinces and states around the globe, you know that April 30th is huge holiday, called Queen’s Day. When Queen Juliana ascended to the throne in 1949, she marked her monarchy with an annual celebration on her birthday, April 30. Her daughter, Beatrix, who became queen in 1980, didn’t think January 31, her birthday, was a good day for outdoor parades and merry-making, so she kept her Queen’s Day on April 30th.

Note to travelers: Queen’s Day next year is cancelled. Lest you think an uprising is about to occur at the loss of a national holiday, no worries. Starting in 2014, King’s Day fittingly will replace Queen’s Day; but the celebration will move to April 27th, which is the new king’s birthday. The king has already concurred that April is indeed a splendid time of year for a day off and grand party. This decision continues a long line of service to the people and practicality by the Dutch monarchy. (They’re also known for abdication, too. Queen Beatrix is handing the reins to her son, as her mother did for her, believing it is time for a new generation to lead the monarchy.)

Of this you can be certain: the national holiday that celebrates the monarchy – be it king or queen – is a great day for the wearin’ of the orange. Orange is the national color of The Netherlands because the Dutch royal family is known as the House of Orange-Nassau. The dynasty traces its lineage to the marital union of the royal house of Nassau-Breda in Germany with the Chalon-Orange line from France Burgundy in 1515.

The soon to be King Willem-Alexander is the first male heir to the Dutch throne in over 100 years. He and his wife have three daughters. And, you know what that means: King’s Day will become Queen’s Day once again.
The historical signs at Fort Amsterdam in St. Maarten, which are a very special part of the grounds of Divi Little Bay Resort, already have been repainted – with a fresh coat of orange, of course – to note the change in leadership of the Dutch Kingdom. At a ceremony there on April 27, SIMARC, an organization that works to preserve the island’s heritage, was awarded an Orange Bow, a very special honor indeed since it is the last bestowed under the reign of the outgoing queen.
Orange you glad you read this?

What are you doing for Memorial Day?

Pack your bags and your groove and hip hop on down to Aruba for the 13th annual Soul Beach Music Festival.  It’s five days of beach parties, nightclub events, big name concerts – and laughs, too.  Comedians Sinbad and Damon Williams, well known to Comedy Central audiences and beyond, entertain on Friday night.  And, Divi Resorts has sumptuous suites waiting.  Is there a better way to kick off summer?

The musical line-up for this year’s Soul Beach Music Festival will either stir your soul or soothe it – or both.  Elle Varner, D’Angelo and Tamia are among the music makers for the weekend along with Ne-Yo, who’s the big closer of the festival on Sunday night. Motown  artist, crooner and songwriter for his own recordings and others soulful stars – among them Queen B, otherwise known as Beyoncé – Ne-Yo’s songs win Grammys (three) and are huge crowd pleasers. If his Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself), has a certain ring to it, that’s because it has had a spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for the last 28 weeks.

Of course, there is nothing like being there to really feel the beat. Enjoy amped up nightclub events, sizzling beach parties, warm temperatures, fun people and party after party after party.  And, travel deals, too.

Divi Resorts is a travel sponsor of the Soul Beach Music Festival, and is offering Soul Beach Music Festival special rates at Divi Dutch, Divi Village Golf & Beach Resort as well as Divi Phoenix Beach.  Studio suites start at $129; one-bedroom suites start at $149.

Whether or not Aruba is your Memorial Day weekend getaway, right now is the time to enter to win a seven-day stay at Divi Resorts in Aruba.  The prize is good for any time of year. Find out about the Divi Resorts specials and enter to win a seven-night stay!

Did He Pop the Question?

According to the latest edition of Advertising Age, six million people were expecting to make or receive a marriage proposal this past Valentine’s Day. That’s two million more than last year. Were you among them?

Ah, love is in the air. Soon, we will hear, “…in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer.”

Are those the vows or was someone referring to the wedding planning when they penned those words? Nothing says stress like the phrase, “planning a wedding.” Experts say satisfying everyone’s expectations — the bride’s, groom’s, their parents’ and guests’ – leads to significant stress, to say nothing of sorting through myriad details and countless decisions.

And, then there is the overall quest for the perfect wedding – with something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. That is actually a good description of a destination wedding in the Caribbean. A couple can have the old with the new, the tradition but with a twist – like a barefoot walk down an aisle in the sugary sand of a beautiful beach. You can borrow a local custom or too, like tossing a shell into the gorgeous blue Caribbean Sea.

A Caribbean destination wedding has perks for everyone: wedding and honeymoon for the happy couple, beach vacation for the happy guests.

Aruba is among the Top Ten places for a destination wedding for American couples. Warm but always kissed by a breeze, it beckons lovers all year round. And, doesn’t an on-site wedding planner sound really appealing, too? Leave the stress up north. Divi makes it really easy. Aruba Weddings For You is located on the premises of the Divi Tamarijn and produces weddings of every scope, size and style on the grounds of all five of the Divi resorts in Aruba. Want to get married on the 7th hole of the Links at Divi? Under a fresh floral canopy on Eagle Beach? Or maybe at the new Pure Ocean restaurant at Divi Aruba Phoenix on Palm Beach?

Here is a proposal: A wedding planner will make the planning go happily ever after. Do you want to contact the wedding planner now? I do.