Aruba News - Summer Edition 2014
All the latest from the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba – including the latest hotel developments, international star performances and key events coming up for 2014!
Sea Jazz Festival stars confirmed
Another of Aruba’s world-class entertainment events is gearing up for further success in 2014.
The first acts confirmed for the Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival, being staged on October 3 and 4, include popular Latin singer Prince Royce and top saxophonist Candy Dulfer & Band.
The line-up at the Renaissance Festival Plaza in island capital Oranjestad will also include LiV Warfield & The New Power Generation, African jazz star Richard Bona, Colombian band Gualao and local bands Tsunami and N’Fuzion.
This will be the eighth Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival, with up to 6,000 visitors a day expected, using tickets available at various prices. General admission is US$55 (approx. £34.50) per person per night, with VIP areas also available.
Performances take place on three stages, two outdoors and one indoor. On Friday October 3, the so-called Latin Night, Prince Royce will perform on the main outdoor stage.
The Festival Plaza features a food court with various stands offering local dishes and snacks. Various bars are also available, including a cocktail bar and a wine/champagne bar. A local art exhibition will be staged at the festival’s indoor gallery.
Rev up for island tour with a difference
Forget the mini-bus or rented car: If you want a tour of Aruba with a difference, try it from the back of a Harley Davidson.
These legendary motor-cycles are available for daily, morning or afternoon small group tours, with experienced tour guides, through Aruba Motorcycle Tours.
Joint owner Arjen Hof, who opened his Bike Clinic shop in 2011, explains: ‘Our tour guides keep visitors out of busy traffic but if guided tours are not your thing, and you prefer to tour the island by yourself, that’s not a problem with our rental offers. Either way, you will enjoy riding through the endless variety of island landscapes Aruba has to offer, with stunning scenery all along, paired with the comfort of our Harley Davidsons.’
Four types of machine are offered – the Roadking, ideal for the experienced rider; Heritage Softail, which offers easy handling; the powerful Dyna, with sporty riding position; and the Sportster, with 1200cc of power, easy to handle and a shorter build, making it ideal for women riders.
Helmets are, of course, provided and a free pick-up and drop off service is also available.
Tour fees are from US$20 (£12.50) per son and half-day bike rental is from $US25 (£78).
Bucuti’s breath of fresh air
Award-winning Bucuti & Tara Beach Resorts is extending its environmental credentials with a new programme which includes further enhancing air quality.
The adults-only property is currently completing LEED (Leadership in energy and Environmental Design) certification, a set of rating systems for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of green buildings, homes and neighbourhoods.
Part of the certification process requires the property to implement some additional measures to ensure a healthy environment and clean air for guests. It has already installed air purifiers and dehumidifiers in every room to guarantee air quality. Smoking is no longer allowed on room balconies and smokers are now asked to use designated areas in the hotel gardens and public beach.
New Riu named
Riu Hotels & Resorts is to name its new Aruba property the Palace Antillas. The 482-room resort will open on Palm Beach next winter.
Formerly the Westin Aruba, the Riu Palace Antillas is undergoing a US$60 million (£37.5 million) renovation and will become an adults-only all-inclusive resort. Facilities will include a buffet restaurant and three speciality restaurants, bars and lounges, a 24-hour patisserie café, live entertainment, nightclub and casino.
It is adjacent to its sister property, the Riu Palace, and guests at both resorts will have access to facilities at each hotel.
Holiday Inn completes renovation
Following the refurbishment of all its 597 rooms, Holiday Inn Resort Aruba has launched a new website. Guests can now find all the information they need about rooms, facilities, location and activities at www.holidayinnarubaresort.com.
Located on Palm Beach, Holiday Inn has also refurbished its restaurants, bars and leisure areas. The resort features shopping, dining and evening entertainment, a spa, casino and children’s club.
Aruba Marriott goes mobile
Check in and out on the move at Aruba Marriott Resort, with the chain’s launch of a new mobile app.
Marriott rewards members may now use the newly-launched facility to check-in for their stay up to 24 hours in advance, select and update their anticipated arrival time and receive automatic notifications about when the room is ready. When arriving at the hotel, guests simply collect their key at a dedicated desk. They can also bypass reception when checking out.
WHAT ELSE IS NEW?
Additional helping for Dine Around
Sprinkling extra spice for visitors’ taste of Aruba, the island’s Gastronomic Association has added a further 12 restaurants to its popular Dine Around programme.
Available online (http://arubadining.com)
With the new members, more than 30 restaurants now feature in the scheme. Various options are available, starting with a three-dinner certificate at US$120 (approximately £75). Five-dinner deals are offered at US$200 (£125) and seven dinners for US$276 (£173). Alternatively, a five-breakfast or lunch plus four dinners is offered at US$236 (£148). Gift certificates start at US$45 (£28) and give a US$50 (£31) discount from the bill at all participating restaurants.
Diners are asked to present their Dine Around coupon when ordering their meal and advance bookings should be made for the most of the restaurants. Some offer a three-course dinner from their full menu while others serve a special AGA dinner, including coffee, or give a US$40 (£25) discount on the bill from a standard menu.
Birthday celebrations with a swing
Birthday celebrations – or any excuse for a party – go with an extra swing aboard of the Kukoo Kunuku buses.
Their dinner and nightlife tours – and now their pub crawls – have been entertaining visitors who love to hop on the music-filled, colourfully-
Every month scores of birthdays, anniversaries, honeymoons, engagements, hen parties and all kinds of creative milestones are celebrated.