Aruba News - Winter 2013 Edition
All the latest from the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba – including hotel renovations, the first ever Caribbean Tram and the key events coming up for 2013!
First Ever Caribbean Tram
Before the end of the year, Aruba will become the first and only country in the Caribbean to implement the service of a tram as a means of public transport.
Designed for visitors disembarking from a cruise ship as well as those staying on island the tram will transport visitors through Oranjestad, the pretty colonial capital. Each tram will carry 70 people, running on a 12 minute circular route, with eight stops connecting key points of interest in the downtown area. This is all part of the government’s plans to rejuvenate Oranjestad.
In a bid for Aruba to become the first destination to be completely carbon free by 2020, the tram will be carbon neutral by running on a rechargeable battery. Aruba is working with Carbon War Room to achieve this responsible status. Other island developments are expected in the coming months.
Aruba Welcomes the New KLM Airbus 330-220
Upgraded from the MD-11, the more efficient KLM Airbus 330-220 made its inaugural flight to Aruba on 30 October 2012.The new plane provides greater comfort for passengers, quieter cabins and the latest in in-flight entertainment. The new routing for these planes has confirmed KLM’s commitment to Aruba with the new winter schedule of five weekly flights.
Aruba Celebrates 10 Years of Papiamento
Aruba has always been a multilingual destination with most natives speaking Dutch, English and Spanish. However the mother tongue and primary dialect of almost all Arubans is a local creole language known as Papiamento. Although in use as the native language for 300 years, Papiamento was only declared Aruba's official language, alongside Dutch in 2003 and so 19 March 2013 will be marked as a 10 year anniversary.
Unique to the ABC islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao, Papiamento evolved from a basic pidgin language, used to communicate among people with different native languages, into the more complex language it is today. At its base, the language is an Afro-Portuguese Creole, which, over the years, has grown in composition and vocabulary with increased borrowings from Dutch, English and Spanish, but still possessing its own unique rhythm and meaning.
Top Ten in the Caribbean
Bucuti & Tara Beach Resorts has been ranked in the top ten of the “Top Resorts in the Caribbean” in the prestigious Condé Nast Traveller 2012 Reader Choice Awards.
Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort is Aruba’s only boutique-style resort that caters exclusively for adults. Bucuti’s awards and accolades include Top Ten Most Romantic Resorts in the World, top ten placement in the Top 25 Beaches in the World for Eagle Beach, and most recently the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence. The resort has also received more than two dozen environmental awards and certifications, including the Highest Achievement Award in the Caribbean by Green Globe Certification.
Radisson has completed its Multi-Million Pound Facelift
The Radisson Aruba Resort, Casino & Spa has undergone a $30 million (£18.5 million) renovation project. Now completed all guest rooms and suites have been completely refurbished, in addition to the property’s open-air lobby, casino and meeting facilities.
The hotel’s trademark Colonial West Indian four-poster, mahogany beds have been upgraded and serve as inviting centrepieces for each room and suite. Tropical-inspired art adorn the freshly painted walls, while terraces have been equipped with state-of-the-
The Holiday Inn, one of Aruba’s biggest resorts has unveiled plans to refresh and renovate the Curacao Tower. Work is expected to be completed by late January or early February 2013, in time for high season.
Aside from the upscale improvements to the rooms, lobby, halls and façade of the Curacao Tower, there will be an additional pool deck and attractive spa and fitness facility installed. The Aruba and Bonaire towers, along with the popular Seabreeze restaurant will also undergo a soft makeover.
The eagerly awaited Ritz Carlton Hotel will open in Aruba on 2nd October 2013. The 320 room hotel will become the last hotel along Palm Beach, taking residence next to the Marriot. This will be Aruba’s premier 5* high rise hotel.
A brand new Hard Rock Hotel is due to open in 2014. Located near the capital Oranjestad, close to “old city” attractions it will enhance the beach landscape of Aruba. Featuring eco-friendly, sustainable energy construction elements, the hotel will include multiple restaurants, a casino and an entertainment experience exclusive to Hard Rock.
WHAT ELSE IS NEW?
Get Married on Board
Pelican Adventures, is now offering a new wedding package for 2013. The “On Board Wedding Package” includes a champagne toast, and romantic sunset wedding on-board the catamaran. This can be complemented with a 3-course dinner with wine at the Pelican Nest Restaurant.
Pelican Adventures was established in 1984 and is still owned by a local family. The custom-built catamarans comfortably take passengers on a variety of exciting sailing cruises, and the friendly crew is fun as well as knowledgeable about the island and its marine life.
Get Local at Local Store
Recently opened, Local Store Aruba, is inspired by Aruban rum shops filled with tradition and culture designed for locals to feel at home and for visitors to feel like locals. Located in downtown Oranjestad the store has a truly unique décor with upcycled pallets and chairs made out of beer kegs. Live local bands play most evenings and the islands Balashi beer is the main drink of the day.