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Everyone Loves Aruba

Bring Your Valentine to a Fun and Romantic Getaway!

Are February's cold, dreary days demanding an escape from Bergen County to a toastier climate? There's no better cure for what chills you than sipping a cocktail on the beach and strolling on white sands while dipping your toes in crystal-clear turquoise waters. Sprinkle in some top-notch culinary dining, vibrant nightlife, and plenty of opportunities for adventure—and you've almost made your decision. Aruba is beckoning. It's less than a five-hour non-stop flight from Newark, and it's not just a "beach" vacation.

Along with Bonaire and Curaçao, Aruba is part of the Dutch Caribbean known as the ABC islands. Aruba's official languages are Dutch and Papiamento (a hodge-podge of Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, and various West African languages), and English and Spanish are widely spoken.  

The capital city of Oranjestad is bright with architecture that echoes the influence of Dutch colonization, but the buildings' vibrant colors have a definite Caribbean lilt.

Located on Palm Beach, The Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino is sitting pretty on some of the most desirable real estate on the island. The eight-story beachfront complex features 414 rooms and suites, two pools, and ten restaurants and bars, jam-packed with daily entertainment and endless activities.

Dining outlets span every preference—from fine dining to beach chic ambiance. Shoes get kicked off and reside in a cubby during dinner at Atardi, a toes-in-the-sand-watch-the-magnificent-sunset dining experience. Waves Bar & Grill is perfect for light bites and casual pool fare. The resort's Lobby Bar offers fine cocktails, sushi and sashimi, and live entertainment, while Ruth's Chris Steak House fits the bill when one feels that a prime cut of beef is in order. The property's newest restaurant, Mercát, features a casual Mediterranean flair accompanied by a perfectly curated list of wines to complement any choice.

If you enjoy curated cocktails, relax with an elegant drink in the Lobby Bar accompanied by incredible live music, or raise a glass "swim-up" style in the pool. The Marriott will serve up whatever suits you and their mixologists are constantly developing new imbibements. I highly recommend an Aruba Mule or a Dirty Pickle!

Book your own palapa on the beach or a cabana by one of the Marriott's two sparkling pools. Snap a QR code as you revel in the sun to order a drink, lunch, or snack--a friendly staff member will deliver it pronto. Arrange an intimate breakfast picnic on the beach with the resort's concierge for a bespoke (and quite romantic) treat! The mosaic blues and greens of the sea will surely tempt you for a post-muffin dip.

If you want to get physical, Aruba's got it all wrapped up. Windsurfing, kiteboarding, SUPs, small sailcraft rentals, fishing, parasailing, tubing, horseback riding, biking, and hiking are easy hops from the resort (most a quick walk down the beach). The concierge desk will be pleased to help you with bookings and transportation, and DePalm Tours offers adventures for every heart's desire and ability with incredible excursions from submarines, catamaran trips, and romantic sunset sails to Jeep, UTV, or bus tours (for those who prefer dry land). We explored both "wet" and "dry" options.

Catamaran snorkeling trips are always a fan favorite. They usually include a 3-4 hour sail, snacks, an open bar, and multiple snorkeling stops where sea turtles, shipwrecks, and a wide range of sea life abound. The crew will supply all of the equipment and instructions. Snuba and scuba are also available.

Consider taking a ride on the wild side and visiting the island's northside on a UTV tour. In direct contrast to the manicured resort side of the island, this rugged landscape to the north is rife with crashing waves and moon-like topography. Aruba is a desert, which is why it has more sunny days than any other Caribbean island (only about eight inches of rain per year).

Off-roading on a UTV takes no special training, just a valid driver's license and an adventurous spirit. Add in a snorkel stop, and be sure to explore the California lighthouse on your excursion. I guarantee it will top Six Flags any day!

If you are in the mood for an off-campus dinner, try the West Deck Island Grill and Beach Bar. Taste some traditional Aruban dishes while relaxing on their deck overlooking the sea. The vibe is tranquil, serene, and full of Caribbean flavor--and their margaritas are not to be missed!

Whether you wish to crash on the beach, pull out all of the stops for fun and adventure, or enjoy a combination of both with the one you love—make this shining gem of an island your go-to. Aruba sees more return visitors than any other island in the Caribbean. With its abundance of island hospitality and sunshine, you'll see why Aruba's signature slogan is "One Happy Island"!