Just came back from a 4 night stay at the Renaissance Aruba Resort to celebrate our 5th year anniversary.
Got upgraded from a garden view room to an ocean view room in the ocean suites section.
Had sent a couple of emails to the concierge and she made sure to accomodate all my requests. Apparently she was on the marina side of the hotel and there is a different one for each side but she co-ordinated with the one on ocean suites side to make sure everything was alright.
The hotel is pretty nice and since our room was on the top floor it had a nice view of the cruise ship harbour.
The only thing I did not like is the lack of direct beach access, though there is a small lagoon at the back its not the same.
I liked the private island especially the flamingo beach but getting to and back was a bit time consuming. We rented floats on the 2 days we went there as we both dont know how to swim (we keep postponing when to join the classes).
It felt amazing with the water so crystal clear.
Comparisons to our last beach vacation at the Casamagna Marriott Cancun could not be avoided. Cancun edged out Aruba just by a whisker for us.
We dined at the Yemanja restuarant and it was amazing , well atleast for me. I had the seafood medley and tried the Mezcal margarita and despite abundant caution from the waiter and the bar tender I really liked it.
We took a sunset cruise on our anniversary night but it was only so so, again compared to the one we took in Maui it was a dud.
The highlight of our trip was the dinner we took in Atardi. We had reservations at around 6 15 PM so we got to watch the sunset which was amazing. They also accomodated our request for a table by the water. They also gave us free champagne which was a nice touch.
This resort really looks amazing and we thought we should stay here the next time we come back.
We also dined at the LG Smith steakhouse at the marina hotel and even though a bit expensive the Wagyu tenderloin I had was the best beef I have ever tasted. I had a cocktail called the Water and despite my admittedly weird tastes(my fav beer is Guiness ) it was only so so.
Always wanted to taste Wagyu beef and it certainly did not disappoint.
We went to baby beach one day and it was really nice. Did some shopping in a local jewellery store on our way back. Filled up on the water too at a local supermarket as water was pretty expensive at the resort.
Did some cigar shopping at the cigar emporium at the Royal plaza mall and thought it had pretty reasonable rates.
Lunch at the private island was ok, nothing to rave about.
Breakfast at Fresco was pretty good with an omlette station and nice selection of hot and cold items, but we ordered room service on 2 days as my wife had only oatmeal and fruits and it was not worth spending $25 when you can get the same for less than half the price at room service. Also it was nice to dine in the balcony looking at the cruise ships and ocean.
Only issue in the whole trip was my wife was fed up because of the lack of food options, she was sick of eating pasta for 3 continous days so we went to a nice Indian place for lunch before leaving for the airport.
Only 2 minor issues at the resort:
1. There was no hot water the first day, so put in a maintenance request, they fixed it but apparently put the know the other way around so if you wanted hot water you had to put it at cold, so the water was steaming hot when you just stared the shower.
2. My flight back home got delayed for about 2 hours, so I requested for an additional hour past the original time of 12 30 but was only offered till 1 PM. We left at 12 anyways as we had to go near Palm beach for lunch.
All in all a very nice trip.