The Mill Resort and Suites in Aruba announced that they signed a long term management contract with International Promo Hotels.

IPH is in charge of renovating the hotel and re-branding it into a Courtyard Resort by Marriott.

The Mill Resort and Suites in Aruba

I enjoyed a weekend stay at the resort during the month of September, 2017 – so this article is an update about the transformation of The Mill in Aruba.

The resort is partially operational during the renovations, construction works will be done phase by phase until renovation is fully completed.

Previous to this visit, I stayed at The Mill about a year ago. The room I stayed in this time was outdated compared to one I stayed in back then.

So I’m looking forward to stay in the renovated rooms from Courtyard by Marriott.

During my visit they were still in the first phase of the renovation project (enhancement of the pool), which can be inconvenient for their guests.

The Mill has 2 free form saltwater swimming pools and a children’s pool.

Pool constructions started in June, 2017 and should take about 4 months to complete. The pools will be worked on one at a time, with a time frame of about 2 months to complete each pool.

Before the 188-room tropical oasis started construction, the pool side looked like this….

The Mill Resort and Suites in Aruba

Two beautiful free form swimming pools.

The biggest pool (on the right side in the picture above) is currently being reconstructed into a new design and is properly closed off, which keeps guests at a safe distance during the renovations.   

Construction workers managed to keep the noise on an acceptable level during their working hours – the noise didn’t really bother me at all.

The Mill Resort and Suites in Aruba

The pool is being reconstructed into a new design.

There’s only one pool available for guests, which is already partially renovated. The pool has several seats in it, indicating that there’s going to be a swim up bar here 🙂 – a great upgrade if you enjoy drinks by the pool.

The Mill Resort and Suites in Aruba

Did you notice the seats on the bottom left?

Extra Services During Renovations

The resort’s mini market and fitness room were closed. Both of these facilities still need to be reconstructed, which should happen in the next phase of the renovation project.

Because of the inconvenience renovations can bring with them, the resort had some extra and special services available for their guests.

For example, a free shuttle to the beach side (and to an alternative swimming pool at Tropicana Beach Resort) and daily “two for one” happy hour from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM and 6:00 PM and 8:00 PM.

Both the restaurant and bar are open, so happy hour is still on!

Vodka cranberry and Aruba Ariba, please – one for each hand, of course 🙂

I enjoyed entertainment by popular local artist Claudius Phillips and his band Oreo. In case happy hour at Bang Goza Bar isn’t enough fun for you and want to venture out to some other cool beach bars, you should visit Bugaloe Beach Bear and Grill, which is just minutes away from The Mill.

If you’re interested in other offsite activities, you have all the options. Because there’s plenty of fun things to do in Aruba during your stay.

It’s All About Positive Changes

A new management has been appointed and they are guiding the renovations step by step.

According to the General Manager, every inch of the hotel will be renovated.

The new resort will feature a renovated lobby, new room interiors, a renewed restaurant, multiple bars around the property, a new business room, a new pool deck, a brand new spa area, fitness rooms and a kids activity center.

Not only will the exterior of the resort and the interior be renovated and re-branded, but a new way of offering service will be implemented that are up to Marriott’s standards.

What You Should Expect?

Be aware that staying at a resort that’s in the midst of renovations can be inconvenient.

Expect the Courtyard by Marriott to be completed within a year from now and revealed to the public.

Here are some more pictures of renovations from The Mill Resorts and Suites in Aruba to Courtyard by Marriott.

Here’s a map of the resort….

The Mill Resort and Suites in Aruba

We stayed in room 118, close to the tennis court.

The picture below is the Bang Goza bar, the ambience is alive and well here during happy hour. It’s also a favorite hang out spot for locals.

The Mill Resort and Suites in Aruba

Bang Goza Bar.

The palapas that were used to offer guests shade have been placed in the yard, next to where the towel huts used to be.

The Mill Resort and Suites in Aruba

Some of the palapas that were on the pool deck.

Every square inch of the resort is being renovated. From top to bottom.

The Mill Resort and Suites in Aruba

Everything is being renovated, even the roof.

The rooms are being renovated, section by section. Expect a 5 star room at the Courtyard by Marriott.

The Mill Resort and Suites in Aruba

There’s no access to the right wing of the resort.

The Mill Resort and Suites in Aruba

A view of the pool at the moment.

Related Articles

Vacations By Aruba Newsletter

Did you enjoy reading this article? If so, sign up for more updates about Aruba and my weekly newsletters with the latest news topics on Aruba.

Just type your email in the signup form below.

If you sign up today, I will send you my eBook “Aruba on a Budget” filled with money saving tips during your vacation on the island.

Are you looking for a place where you can do some wine tasting in Aruba?

A place where you can get away from the crowds and just relax…

If so I have to tell you about one of the most perfect places to do so – it’s truly a hidden gem on the island.

I didn’t know this place exist, until I accidentally bumped into the owner, now it’s one of my favorite places for wine tasting in Aruba.

This place I’m talking about is called “The Wine Room” and it’s a charming place that brings wine lovers together.

So let me tell you more about “The Wine Room in Aruba” and what you should expect on your visit…

wine tasting in Aruba

Pin wine tasting in Aruba on your to do list!

Wine Tasting in Aruba at The Wine Room

The wine room is located in the downtown area, tucked away from the crowds.

It’s owned by native islander, Monrick Croes, who turned his passion for wines into a chic bar for wine tasting in Aruba.

The wine room is a place where you can escape the daily tolls of life and just relax!

A candlelit atmosphere greets you as you enter the wine room.

The walls are decorated with beautiful wine paintings, vintage wine art and a wine rack with over 200 bottles of the best wines in Aruba.

wine tasting in Aruba

A view from inside of the wine room.

One of a Kind Wines

The wine rooms list of wines covers various exclusive brand names from different vineyards around the world.

All wines are self-imported by Monrick, so you won’t find any of them for sale in a supermarket or any wine stores in Aruba.

You can also buy wines at the wine room, they are sold by bottle or case.

wine tasting in Aruba

Wine and steak, two of my favorites!

Wine Tasting & Food Pairing

You can’t just drink a Merlot or a Pinot, and pair it with cheese or olives, there’s so much more to it.

Monrick is not only the owner of the wine room, but he’s also going to be your host.

He has a broad knowledge in the world of wines – so he’s the perfect sommelier to show you the fine points of wine tasting and food pairing in Aruba.

The food at the wine room can be described in one word – Delicious!

Monrick does the grocery shopping, prepares all the dishes, sets your plate and serves it to you in a friendly and entertaining fashion.

The wine room’s menu has different cheese platters, vegetarian tapas, from the oven dishes like champignon Au gratin and escargots a la bourguignon, succulent steak dishes, dessert and coffee.

Wine Not? Book now!

Take a break from the ordinary while in Aruba and relax while you tempt your taste buds with a wine tasting and food pairing at the wine room.

The ambiance is perfect for friends coming together, business meetings, or a romantic night of sipping great wines and having endless conversations.

I recommend you to visit Monrick at his wine room and indulge into an explosion of flavors in your mouth and great experience with a touch of Aruban hospitality.

Make Your Reservation

If you want to know more about the different packages for wine tasting at the wine room, please send me an email by filling the form below.

[contact-form-7 id=”4896″ title=”Untitled”]



Once a week (on Sundays) I make a recap of the most recent Aruba newspaper headlines for you in English, so you can stay up to date with what’s happening on your home away from home.

If this is your first time reading my newsletter – welcome!

Recent Aruba Newspaper

If you want to keep up with what’s happening on the island – you’re in the right place!

Until this day, the newsletter is free.

Why I am not charging, yet?

It’s all because of generous and loyal readers newsletter who love Aruba and want to stay in touch with the island that don’t mind supporting the newsletter by giving a small donation that covers all the costs of running a website (which are mainly maintenance, hosting fees etc.)

So, let’s start with the first headline of this week….

New Algae Pilot Plant

The government officially opened a pilot plant near the refinery to cultivate algae on the island.

The project is a sustainable one, also innovative and commercially good for Aruba, because the algae market is a 100 billion dollar market, which can potentially grow our economy.

According to the strategic adviser of the pilot plant, the project is still in its first phase.

This means that they are currently investigating which type of algae is the best to cultivate in Aruba.

Most likely they will be growing a micro algae called spirulina arubensis.

This type of algae is not easily visible to the eye and can easily be grown during the whole year in Aruba using carbon dioxide.

The next step of the project is to optimize the cultivation process, to maximize the amount of algae that can be produced within a specific period.

The first batch of algae will be sold and used by local businesses that are interested.

After they scale up the production of algae, they will start exporting the end product internationally.

Watch Out For Fake 100 Guilder Bills

The central bank of Aruba made a public service announcement to warn the public that there are fake 100 guilder bills in circulation on the island.

It’s important that locals as well as visitors take notice of these fake bills, and know the difference to spot them right away.

According to management of central bank of Aruba, the fake 100 guilder bills are easy to spot, if you know what to look for.

The main difference between a real and fake 100 guilder bill is the quality of paper used to make these counterfeit bills and the green which is not identical.

You can also spot a fake 100 guilder bill by checking out the serial number, if the serial numbers are 0822322538 and 0836336552 they’re fake.

False 100 guilder bills don’t have a watermark, and the logo from central bank Aruba isn’t visible.

When you hold a real 100 guilder bill against the light you notice a divi divi tree or watapana tree, however the fake bills have these trees directly printed on the paper bill.

If you get caught counterfeiting money in Aruba, you can get a prison sentence of up to 9 years.

recent Aruba newspaper

Fake 100 guilder bill.

Gas Price on the Rise

The price of gasoline and diesel increased again on September 13, 2017.

Gasoline is now 5,4 cents more expensive – 183 cents per liter ($1.00 is valued at 1,75 Aruban Florins – 175 cents).

Diesel will now cost you 147.6 cents per liter – an increase of 6 cents.

If you’re renting a car, take note of these changes for the price for petrol into consideration for gas money budget.

Don’t have a car yet for your vacation in Aruba?

I can help you find a good car for a good price and arrange a pick up free at the airport to your rental car in Aruba.

Use this link to contact me for car rental quotation and I will email you back as soon as possible.

New Office For Refinery Of Aruba

Refinery of Aruba makes some major moves by establishing their own office in San Nicolas, close to the refinery.

It’s the first time in over 75 years that the government and local people own the refinery.

The name of the company is RDA (refenaderia di Aruba) and the government is leasing the refinery to citgo to boost our economy.

There’s different departments in the RDA office, such as fuel marketing and supply Aruba, Aruba Safety Council, department of labor and government.

The new office gives locals who want to work in the refinery to easily apply for jobs.

There’s already over 500 people working in the refinery at the moment.

During the last couple of weeks 39 more locals have been hired for different positions like unit supervisors, area maintenance supervisor, shift supervisor, administration, and other technical functions.

At the moment engineers are busy with inspection of the all the machinery in the refinery, before they partially startup the refinery.

New Office For Public Ministry

The minister of justice officially opened a new building for the department of public ministry.

They nicknamed the new office for the public ministry “safe house”.

The safe house is considered as a new system of working to combat crime on the island, but it’s also the “house” where all the departments that work together to combat crime are located.

According to Aruba’s general prosecutor they got the concept and method of combating crime from the Netherlands.

The new system for the safe house is to focus on people who break the law, domestic violence, youths that show violent tendencies, people with mental issues and people who have already been detained once.

Moving Into The New Hospital

Aruba’s hospital got expanded with two new buildings, which are ready to use, but the patients need to be transferred from existing hospital building to the new ones.

That’s why all nurses are following series of training to successfully transfer all patients from the existing hospital the new ones.

The staff at the hospital have to learn the correct way to transport different type patients.

They trained different scenarios, like entering and exiting the elevators, testing out the new nurse calling system, figure.out how the new beds work and how to receive patients in the new emergency rooms to name a few of the long checklist that they have to cover before actually making the move.

According to a manager the nurse training sessions are to make sure that the staff gets used to the new buildings, get orientated with all departments and rooms and to introduce them to a new method of working.

The difference between the two new buildings and the existing one is that the new buildings are bigger and more spacious and have newer equipment.

Because the buildings are spacious, the distance between patients and nurses are are bigger. This means that the nurses also have to get used to and practice to get to the patients as soon as possible.

Before the end of 2017 all patients will be transferred to the new hospital buildings and the existing one will be renovated.

Funding Dog Sterilization Campaigns

Stimami steralisami (which means if you love me, sterilize me) is a organization that helps other foundations with the sterilization of stray cats and dogs in Aruba and they received good news from their sponsors.

They have been funding the costs to sterilize these stray animals for about 2 years now since they started their awareness campaign in 2015.

The main sponsors for stimami steralisami during these 2 years have been Aruba Tourism Authority, Aruba Tourism Product Enhancement Fund and Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort.

They recently announced that they will be continue to support the efforts of stimami steralisami to stop the stray animal situation in Aruba.

Since stimami steralisami opened its doors they already sterilized 4.500 dogs and cats.

Their goal is to sterilize 11.000 stray animals within 5 years.

Ley Seco in Aruba

The government approved a temporary law on government election day –  supermarkets and bars can’t sell alcohol during election period.

This law is known locally known as “ley seco”.

Ley seco officially starts on September 21, 2017 until September 23, 2017.

All bars and supermarkets that are located inland are prohibited to sell alcohol to locals.

Some bars are even forced to close, because they only sell alcohol. Supermarkets are allowed to stay open, but they have to close the alcohol section.

Places that have exceptions to sell alcohol are restaurants, mini markets and bars within the low and high rise area.

Ley seco doesn’t count for visitors, so you can buy alcohol at supermarkets like price smart, superfood, ling & sons with no problems during ley seco.

The Fight To Protect Nature

Since the government announced that 16 areas around the island will be protected by Arikok, they only made one of these 16 areas officially under the protection of the national park.

To get more areas under the protection of Arikok, the organization Aruba bird life conservation sent 2 petitions to sit with the government and discuss the status of the rest of the 6 nature area’s that should be protected by national park Arikok.

According to the director of Aruba bird life conservation they made the first petition on July 4, 2017 and the second on August 23, 2017.

However, they haven’t heard a response yet from the government….

I am sure the government has our nature at mind, because without it Aruba wouldn’t be this beautiful. But with the current elections, the government is distracted by the current  political campaigns and their focus is different.

After the election which is (September 22, 2017) is when all other priorities, such as the areas still needed to be officially announced under protection of Arikok.

According to ABC, these 16 areas are very important to Aruba for many reasons, as well as locally and internationally.

For example the mangroves are important for birds during migration.

The government made plenty positive choices after voting to protect these 16 nature areas. For example, they stopped destroying nature areas around the island and are more green conscious.

Aruba bird life conservation also received support by the locals by getting got over 11.000 signatures to protect these nature areas.

The only area officially protected by Arikok at the moment is spaans lagoen.

Charity Dinner At Tango Argentine Grill

Local artist Edith Mensonides and the chef at tango Argentine grill are preparing a delicious charity lunch paired with wines called “taste of art”.

Edith Mensonides is a local artist who specializes in abstract and figurative paintings.

She will be decorating and painting plates for everyone attending the charity lunch as a memory.

You’re invited to attend the charity lunch on September 29, 2017 at 12:00 PM – 15:00 PM.

The menu for the taste of art charity lunch, is an appetizer of escargots, green shell mussels with lemon sauce and cherry tomatoes.

Followed by salmon, croutons and cream cheese.

For the main dish, one can enjoy a savory land and sea plate, served with halibut, steak, sweet mashed potatoes, grilled vegetables and gravy.

There’s going to be chocolate and vanilla ice cream for dessert.

The price for taste of art culinary experience is $60.00 plus 15% service charge.

All the profit of the charity lunch will be donated to an elderly home in Aruba, called SABA.

For reservations email [email protected]

Support Vacations By Aruba

I invest my personal time to make this newsletter available to you for free, because I know how much it means for you to stay up to date with what’s happening on your home away from home.

If you want to support me with maintaining the website costs or want to buy me a beer so I can stay creative (because nothing great was invented by drinking water) – please make a donation of your choice.

Click on the amount you wish to donate and you will be directed to pay pal on the next page.

You’re awesome! 


Vacations By Aruba Newsletter

Did you enjoy reading this week’s important Aruba news recap?

If so sign up for my newsletter to get future news updates out of Aruba straight to your email – for free.

Join my newsletter today and I’ll email you my “Aruba on a Budget” e-book as a gift…


Once a week (on Sundays) I make a recap of the most recent news on Aruba in English that’s relevant to you.

If this is your first time reading my newsletter – welcome!

Recent News on Aruba

If you want to keep up with what’s happening on the island – this newsletter was made for you!

The newsletter is free thanks to generous readers that donate money to cover all website costs (maintenance, hosting fees etc.)

Free WiFi in Downtown Area

The government started a new project to install free WiFi in the downtown area.

During a press conference in the main street, the prime minister introduced the new WiFi project. The press, minister of economy, the president of Oranjestad business improvements were present during the ceremony.

The vision of the prime minister is to make the downtown area digital – adding offers, deals, promotions available via websites and apps. According to him, the new WiFi project connects good with the vision they have for commerce in the main street.

WiFi is going to be free for locals and visitors in the downtown area, this includes entire Caya Betico Croes and Plaza Daniel Leo.

The government partnered with Setar (a local phone provider) to install WiFi in the main street.

With the new WiFi project the prime minister hopes to attract more people to visit the downtown area.

According to the prime minister the downtown area of Aruba has a bright and positive future, because of the recently renovated main street and the addition of new technology in the form of WiFi.

The prime minister also explained his vision for the downtown area during his speech, for example transforming the second floors of certain stores into apartments and condominiums.

He also wants to add more restaurants and bars to attract more people to the downtown area.

There’s aso plans to add colorful canopy style cloths to provide shade in the downtown area and music provided by surround systems.

Restoring Important Church Document

20 years of historical documents from the protestant church in Oranjestad are going to be restored.

The department of national archives started a project named “20 years of Protestantism”.

It all started when the national archives of Aruba decided to restore all the archives of the protestant church in the downtown area.

They are going to be restoring documents dating back to 1822 (about 195 years old), which totals about 154 boxes full of papers.

The restoration project has 2 goals – first to educate the public on how important it is to value and conserve documents that are part of our history, culture and heritage.

They also want to successfully restore the all the church documents and conserve them for many more years.

The project is funded by Prins Bernhard Culture Fund Caribbean, which will buy all the materials necessary to restore the old documents.

After they restore the documents, they will be place them into a digital format.

Expect an exposition of all the restored protestant church documents as soon as they are finished.  

Update About CITGO

Engineers and contractors are performing a crucial part of the start up phase this month in the refinery.

Last week they started inspection of all the machinery in the refinery.

The inspections are being done by an international contractor called YTT, which is an association of Technip France and Y&V Engineering and Construction.

During the next months they have to complete the inspection of the plant successfully, to find out which equipment are in good conditions and which ones not.

They will be repairing all equipments that are of high priority and order parts that take a long time to deliver.

All works are on schedule, within a few short years the refinery should be completely rehabilitated and running as a up-grader for crude oil.

Local Fishermen Concerned

Aruba’s local fishermen are concerned with a new law that the department of environment wants to implement.

The law that has these fishermen concerned is the banning of catching various species of fishes.

After hearing the news, the department of agriculture and local fishermen organization hadicurari also don’t agree with the new law, because they weren’t involved in the decision to create the list of endangered fish species.

Management of hadicurari had a meeting with the president from the department of environment to discuss the new rules they plan to implement.

The result of the meeting was that the law hasn’t been approved by the government yet, so the law isn’t official yet.

Local fishermen want a meeting with the prime minister, to demand that the department of environment sit with them to consult and ask for advice to create a fair list of endangered fish species that will be protected.

Aruba Helps St. Maarten

The government sends members of red cross and the military to give a helping hand to those affected by hurricane Irma.

They will be giving assistance at shelters, ambulances, elderly homes and hospitals.

All red cross volunteers form part of the national intervention team and have different expertise like, vulnerability capacity assessment, psycho-social support, water and sanitation team and emergency medical technicians.

The military will stop people from looting and give assistance and order where necessary.

Hurricane Irma caused enormous damage to St. Maarten, and reportedly left over 10 people dead.

Locals in Aruba also gave a massive helping hand by donating food, clothing, kids toys and other necessary products.

A total of 67 dialysis patients from St. Maarten have came to Aruba by plane to receive proper care, because the hospitals have been partially destructed.

Practically every building has been destroyed during hurricane Irma, there’s also nearly no communication possible at the moment in St. Maarten.

Kiosk Owners Are Concerned

Kiosk owners near the central bus station are concerned about their chances for moving to the newly constructed kiosk area near the cruise terminal.

The government didn’t inform the kiosk owners when they will move into the new kiosks since construction has been completed.

They are concerned that the government will transfer the new kiosk to other people, which wouldn’t be fair.

So, what’s the hold up with the opening of the new kiosk?

One of the representatives of the kiosk owners explained that they reached out to the prime minister and other concerning departments, but haven’t heard any reply from them as of yet.

According to the kiosk owners they have been living like nomads, because they have been relocated numerous times during the years.

According to the government, the newly built kiosks are still closed, because they still have to finish up on contracts and paper works before they open them.

Law Against Expired Products

The government just approved a new law that will give the department of public health more authority while they regulate products in supermarkets.

With the introduction of this new law, workers of the department of public health have more flexibility and authority to apply sanctions against supermarkets who don’t make use of proper packaging or sell expired products.

The issue before the introduction of the new law was that when a auditor from the department of health recognizes a expired product in the supermarket, they can’t take it off the shelf if the product still has a label on it.

Another issue that the department of public health had was to take measures against product that have been recalled. Because supermarket vendors (especially Chinese stores) remove the serial numbers from products and when a certain product gets recalled, it’s hard to recognize it and take it out the market.

Now it’s possible for auditors to take action.

They can now identify and stop the circulation and elimination of expired products in supermarkets on the island.

New changes in the law include that it’s not possible for supermarkets to promote expired products, or sell products without their original packaging.

If the language on the packaging of a product is not common in Aruba, a label (in English, Papiamento, Spanish or Dutch) containing additional information about the origin of the product and who imported it has to be added.

It’s also not allowed to alter the label or expiration date of any product without a valid reason.

According to the minister of public health the new law will take effect in 2018.

Want to rent a car in Aruba? Click here to ask me for a car rental quotation.

Air Navigation Services Aruba

This week Aruba’s airport inaugurated a new radar system to regulate air traffic.

All guests that were present for the revealing of the radar system got a glimpse of the new air traffic surveillance system on two big screens in the control tower.

This new radar system has advanced features that standard radars don’t have and it’s the only one in the Caribbean and Latin America.

According to the director of air navigation services Aruba, the new radar system will bring more security in our air traffic.

It also gives the air traffic controllers more tools to safely guide and allocate more planes, even during high season.

The project started in 2015, when local air traffic controllers went to Spain to follow courses on how to work with the new radar system.

In 2016 they started installation of the new system at the airport after signing a contract with the manufacturer of the radar.

During the month of May 2017 management started with theoretical lessons, management and supervision of the radar.

In the following months all local air traffic controllers will be receiving extra lessons and trainings by a certified professional.

At the end of January 2018 all local air traffic controllers will be certified to work with the radar system.

New Orthopedagogy Clinic Aruba

This week the minister of justice officially opened the new orthopedagogy clinic.

After several years of planning and construction, the new clinic is finally opened.

During his opening speech, the minister of justice explained that the clinic is a benefit to the community, because it’s the only place where youths who have social, mental and emotional issues and who form a risk to the community can go for help.

The new clinic is opened in the district of Dakota.

Accident At Natural Pool

Yesterday a man drowned at one of Aruba’s most popular attraction conchi (natural pool).

The police received a call that someone was in trouble at the natural pool.

When the police arrived at the scene, they found a man with no signs of life.

After a doctor arrived, they confirmed that this man drowned during swim at the natural pool.

At first it wasn’t clear who the man was, but after investigation, the man turned out to be a local born in 1970.

The exact reason why drowned isn’t clear, because the police didn’t release any information.

So why would I publish this news about natural pool.

Take this a warning to be cautious and alert when visiting the natural pool or any other beaches near the rough coasts of the island

Because the natural pool isn’t dangerous by itself, but if one is careless, accident can happen

Don’t do anything dangerous in these areas and always pay attention to your surroundings, and take care of yourself when visiting the natural pool.

Support Vacations By Aruba

I invest my personal time to make this newsletter available to you for free, because I know how much it means for you to stay up to date with what’s happening on your home away from home.

If you want to support me with maintaining the website costs or want to buy me a beer so I can stay creative (because nothing great was invented by drinking water) – please make a donation of your choice.

Click on the amount you wish to donate and you will be directed to pay pal on the next page.

You’re awesome!


Vacations By Aruba Newsletter

Did you enjoy reading this week’s important Aruba news recap?

If so sign up for my newsletter to get future news updates out of Aruba straight to your email – for free.

Join my newsletter today and I’ll email you my “Aruba on a Budget” e-book as a gift…

Once a week (on Sundays) I make an Aruba weekly news recap in English with news that’s relevant to you.

If this is your first time reading my newsletter – welcome!

Aruba Weekly News Recap

If you want to keep up with what’s happening on the island – this newsletter was made for you!

The newsletter is free thanks to generous readers that donate money to cover all website costs (maintenance, hosting fees etc.)

Renovating Centro Deportivo Libertador Betico Croes

The outside of one of the oldest sport centers in Aruba (located in the district of santa cruz) received fresh new paint job.

Lotto Aruba (the island’s lotto company) worked together with Aruba sports union and sponsored to paint the outside of this historic sports center and repair certain area’s of the walls that have deteriorated over time.

The sport center is dedicated to Aruba’s ex minister who fought for the island’s status aparte (special status).

At this venue different sport events have been organized, from fighting sports, to basketball, volley and ping pong.

The sports center is frequently used and maintaining it is essential.

Aruba’s lottery foundation (Lotto Aruba) supports sports on the island, they do this by sponsoring teams, renovating sport centers and also creating new places to play sports.

Ready For Elections

The census bureau printed and sent poll cards to all registered voters on the island.

A total of 69.803 poll cards have been sent over to the local post office in Oranjestad to be handed out all over the island.

According to the director of the census bureau, they are already received some poll cards back, because the voters probably moved to another address (or don’t live on the island any more, but still are registered in the system from the census bureau).

Everyone who is registered to vote also received a flyer along with their polling cards, which indicate all the rules and steps while in the voting booth to avoid invalid votes.

If you live on the island and are going to vote, remember to take your polling card with you and your identification.

Rituals in Aruba

There’s a new store on the island where you can buy home and body cosmetics.

It’s called rituals, a popular European store that sells a variety of scented candles, make up, creams, lotions and bath products.

The store is located in the downtown area (near plaza daniel leo), which can easily be reached with a free ride in the electric streetcar.

Lawsuit Against Company That Caused Oil Spill

The government started a lawsuit against the company who caused the oil spill.

All the organizations that helped clean up the oil spill have to make an expense report and deliver it to the government.

The expense report was scheduled to be finished on September 1, 2017 – but the government hasn’t received the report yet, so they can’t finalize the claim.

During a recent press conference, the minister of economic affairs explained that the expense report has to be revised before sending the final version of it, so it may take a while before they can continue with the lawsuit.

The beaches on the north coast of the island that have been affected by the oil spill are looking great again, however some areas still have some oil patches that are visible on the beach and coves.

According to an international company (oil spill response limited) that was hired to examine the oil spill, no one should try to remove any tar balls on the beach without the proper protection, because they can be toxic.

Funds For Developing Aruba

During a meeting in the parliament the government decided to allocate more money from a special fund called FDA (fondo desaroyo Aruba) – to invest into the betterment of quality of the departments within government.

For example the department of taxes, sustainability projects, safety projects, make certain education material digital and protection of our coral reefs are among the projects that the government wants to invest in.

A total of 9 million dollars is available, which of 5 million has been sponsored by the dutch government and the rest by the local government.

Green Corridor Bridge Finally Done

The bridge in spaans lagoen has finally been opened this week.

With the blessings of a pastor and cutting of the ribbon by the prime minister, everyone welcomed the new bridge into official opening.

With the help of elite productions (a local sound and lighting company) the bridge was turned into a concert arena with performances by local bands and a special guests band from Curacao.

The bridge will be available to drive on tomorrow (September 4, 2017).

Want to rent a car in Aruba? Click here to send me a car rental request.

Drilling For Gas & Petroleum

The minister of energy announced that they will be drilling for gas and petroleum in 2018.

It all started 7 years ago in 2010 when the current government first conceived the idea to explore gas and petroleum under Aruba’s water.

In 2011 the government approved certain laws so they can work with other partners in this project.

Then the government successfully signed a product sharing contract with a company named repsol.

In 2012 the government signed a mou with a dutch energy company that would give them technical and economical advise.

Since then they have been doing seismic activity research under Aruba’s waters.

After all the research the government decided to start digging a well in 2017. In 2018 they will start drilling and exploring the well.

All partners including repsol will be investing 50 million dollars in exploring gas and petroleum in Aruba.

They will be exploring 4 areas in Aruba’s waters, beginning with the first one they nicknamed “bon bini” (meaning welcome in English).

Walking Tours Monument Day

Get to know the oldest district of Aruba during international monument day.

On September 9 – 10, 2017 you have the chance to get to know the oldest district of Aruba named – Rancho

Walk through the hanchis (alleys) of Rancho, also known as the origin of fishermen on Aruba in the 1980’s.

If you want to do something unique, take part of this tour that goes through alleys of rancho with a knowledgeable tour guide.

There are two tours on both days – starting at 9:00 AM until 10:00 AM and 10:00 AM until 11:00 AM.

Tours start at J.G Emanstraat 9, in the downtown area.

Entrance is completely free!

Citgo Upgrader 2019

At the end of 2019 the refinery must function as a full fledged upgrader.

Citgo recently gave an update about their plans for the refinery of Aruba.

During a press conference management explained their plans for start up sequence and human resources for the coming months and years.

This month (September, 2017) they will start inspecting the facilities around the refinery.

They are also building a man camp to house all the expats that will be working in the refinery. At the end of October 2017 a total of 400 rooms will be constructed and at the end of 2017 there will be a total of 1500 rooms available for expats.

The government signed a contract with citgo, following a 80/20 policy, where 80% of workers have to be locals and the rest can be expats.

The plan is for the refinery to partially startup at the end of 2018 and transformed into a full fledged upgrader in the end of 2019.

Downtown Area Temporarily Closed For Innovation

The downtown area will be temporarily closed for vehicles starting September 4, 2017.

Reason being that the department of public works is going to be removing tiles from the main street to install WiFi cables and surround sound installations.

They will start at the beginning of the main street, which is near la linda store and move to the end of the main street.

All works will take place from 8:00 AM in the morning until 4:00 PM for 6 weeks long.

The department of public works apologizes for any inconvenience.

Support Vacations By Aruba

I invest my personal time to make this newsletter available to you for free, because I know how much it means for you to stay up to date with what’s happening on your home away from home.

If you want to support me with maintaining the website costs or want to buy me a beer so I can stay creative (because nothing great was invented by drinking water) – please make a donation of your choice.

Click on the amount you wish to donate and you will be directed to pay pal on the next page.

You’re awesome!


Vacations By Aruba Newsletter

Did you enjoy reading this week’s important Aruba news recap?

If so sign up for my newsletter to get future news updates out of Aruba straight to your email – for free.

Join my newsletter today and I’ll email you my “Aruba on a Budget” e-book as a gift…


Some people say Aruba is expensive, but it doesn’t have to be costly for you – because in my opinion you can experience Aruba on a budget if you wanted to.

You just need the right tips to save money in Aruba.

With the following tips you can save yourself a few hundred dollars or more guaranteed!

How To Visit Aruba on a Budget

So what are the different ways you can save money in Aruba?

Here are my top recommendations….

Pick The Right Season To Visit Aruba

You can save a lot of bucks if you travel during the low season, because you get better prices for airfare and accommodation.

Low season starts around May and ends in November.

December is high season.

Prices for airfare and accommodation go sky high during the high season, because a lot of people want to escape the cold winter weather and the airlines and hotels know this, so they raise their prices.

So how do you get a better price on airfare?

There are different ways you can do this….

  • Search for flights that depart on weekdays rather than weekends
  • Consider flight layovers, it takes longer to reach paradise, but you save money.
  • Check for last minute offers
  • Try different airlines to find better deals
  • Search for rates incognito online and reset your browsers history.
  • Check airfare rates constantly, even if it means waking up during the night.
  • Use travel points if you have them saved

Finding a place to stay in Aruba

Now that you’ve found the best price for your flight, it’s time to find a place to stay.

Finding an inexpensive accommodation is the way to go – if you’re visiting Aruba on a budget.

Here’s a few tips for finding a cheap place to stay….

  • skip all inclusive packages & rent a timeshare
  • follow hotels on social media, and lookout for their deals and sales.
  • rent a beach house
  • check & to rent from locals.

The price for accommodation in Aruba is based on location.

If you’re close to the beach, expect to pay more money – the more inland you find a place to stay, the more money you will save in Aruba.

How To Save Money When You’re Actually In Aruba

Now that you’ve got two of the most important things covered (airfare & accommodation) – what can you do so you don’t go over your budget while you’re on the island?

Most of your money will go to transportation, food, drinks, entertainment and some tips – if you’re generous.


There are three ways you can get transportation in Aruba, you can either take the bus, catch a taxi or rent a car – you can also walk or ask for lift, but no thanks 🙂

Picking the cheapest way to get around the island, depends on the duration of your vacation, the location of the place you’re staying, and what you actually want to do in Aruba.

If you’re staying near the hotel area and don’t plan on leaving your resort for either going to the beach or visiting a few restaurants, you’re better off taking the bus or a taxi.

The bus fare in Aruba is really inexpensive (less than $5.00, good for 2 rides).

Taxi’s can be really expensive – up to $15.00 or more per ride, depending where you’re going.

If you plan to explore the island and still want to save money – renting a car is the way to go!

Renting a car will cost you around $40.00 a day during low season, and about $50.00 during high season.

If you want to rent a car, click here to request a quote directly from me.

Eating in Aruba on a Budget

Aruba is known for the best restaurants in the Caribbean, but you’re not going to save money if you eat out everyday (breakfast, lunch and dinner)

You can save money by buying groceries at the supermarket in Aruba (at superfood – if you’re staying at the hotel area), or at any other local supermarket if you’re staying inland.

The key to saving money on food is to find a place to stay that has a kitchenette – everything you need to prepare your breakfast and lunch.

You can save money to spend on dinners at restaurants during the night.

Here’s a few other tips to save money on food and drinks….

Having Fun in Aruba on a Budget

Aruba has plenty of things to do, however most activities you need to pay for.

For example, if you want to see the pink flamingos on a private island or visit a water park it’s about $100.00 per person, but you might find that expensive.

If you want to explore the island on a budget you have two options – book a tour to take you sightseeing, which is around $70.00 per person or more – the more expensive choice, if you’re with a big group.

Or you can rent a car for less than $60.00 a day and explore the island yourself, which is more economic than going on a tour.

Here’s a list of fun-activities that are free or inexpensive that you can visit on your own.

  • climb California lighthouse (around $8.00 per person)
  • visit alto vista chapel
  • bushiribana gold mine
  • natural bridge
  • natural pool (only accessible with jeep)
  • Snorkel at mangel halto, baby beach, tres trapi, boca catalina
  • Butterfly farm
  • National park arikok
  • Philip’s animal garden
  • Lourdes Grotto
  • Visit the downtown area (museums, walking tours, ride electric tram)
  • Tour around aloe factory
  • Bird sanctuary & donkey sanctuary
  • Bon Bini Festival
  • National Park Arikok
  • If you enjoy fishing, share a boat with someone else to split the costs
  • Visit a private beach

There’s definitely more things you could do in Aruba that are very inexpensive, this is just a tip for what’s available….

Conclusion For Aruba on a Budget

Getting the best price on airfare and accommodation in Aruba is important if you’re on a budget. To get the best price on airfare, check the prices online 24/7 – to find the best deals.

If you don’t know where to find discounts or the best price on your everyday expenses, you can quickly go over your vacation budget.

Pick up flyers that offer discounts at the airport for different activities on the island.

When you enter the local supermarket, check out the flyers for deals on groceries at the moment.

Eating out at popular restaurants sounds delicious but it can be costly if you’re on a budget. Cooking some of your own meals, and save a few bucks to spend in restaurants that you’ve looking forward to try.

If you follow my recommendations you will be sure to save yourself some serious cash during your trip.

Vacations By Aruba Newsletter

Did you enjoy what you’ve just read?

If so, sign up to my newsletter to get more similar articles and the latest news about Aruba via email for free.

Sign up today and I’ll send you my “Aruba on a Budget” eBook via email as a gift – it contain more tips on saving money in Aruba not mentioned.


Are you wondering where you can buy souvenirs from Aruba? Not just any souvenirs, but the ones made by local artist?

Let me tell you, because I know one of the best spots.

Where To Buy Souvenirs From Aruba

This place I’m talking about is called Cosecha, an art gallery in the downtown area.

Cosecha means harvest in Papiamento (language spoken in Aruba), and the artwork found here are made by local artists – representing the heritage of Aruban craft.

The art gallery is managed by a non-profit foundation, with the goal to develop and encourage Aruba’s local artists and their handmade products.

Genuine & Authentic Local Products

So how can you be sure that you’re buying authentic art made by local artists?

All of the artwork in Cosecha are certified by a seal of craftsmanship called – Seyo Nacional pa Artesania. Which is a “seal for local artistry”.

The seal was established by the government and the department of culture of Aruba, as a way to recognize local handmade products.


The seal of craftsmanship received with every purchase

Souvenirs from Aruba

The Aruban artisan community is BIG!

Local artist create intriguing art from scratch – recycled glass, plastic bottles, rocks, driftwood, metal, leather and many other materials to make these unique items.

More About Cosecha Building

The art gallery is located in a more than 100 year old building, which has been declared a monument.

It was built in 1910, as a government office for different departments (and also served as the archaeological museum for many years).

The current building has been restored in 2015. Since it’s a monument, the remodeling had to be completed at a high level – maintaining most of the original structure.


Cosecha – art gallery store

A look inside the gallery

The store offers different artworks, from jewelry, sculptures, paintings, pottery vases, leather craft and more.

Take a look inside of the art gallery….

Miniature Aruban Tree of Life


The miniature divi divi tree artwork is handmade with copper wires, on a milky stone quartz that has special healing abilities.

The combination of the copper divi divi tree and milky stone quartz can…

  • Help release overwhelming feelings
  • Enhances tact and cooperation
  • Links to deep inner wisdom, when used in meditation
  • And has many other healing qualities.

This artwork is said to relax you, making you feel like you’re in a beach in Aruba….

Shoco of Aruba



Aruba has it’s own native owl called – burrowing owl.

It only exists in Aruba, and was declared the national symbol.

Mosaic Art


Wooden crosses with pieces of tiles, shells and other materials.

Other Art


Clay necklaces, made by authentic Aruban clay (fired) called “clayAdorables”



Isn’t this amazing?

This piece of art is made with different materials found on the beach.



A beautiful painting to remind you of Aruba.



This rock was found at black stone beach, and turned into a beautiful paperweight for your desk, to remind you again about Aruba.

Miniature Cunucu Houses


Here’s one of the many miniature Aruban Cunucu houses made of clay available at Cosecha.

They are all based on existing traditional houses of Aruba, in all common colors (available in two sizes – 1: 50 and 1: 100).

More Souvenirs at Cosecha

There are plenty of different souvenirs available at Cosecha than I’ve showed you….

  1. glass art
  2. big paintings
  3. driftwood art
  4. Christmas ornaments
  5. beads
  6. and many more one of a kind pieces of art.

If you like the idea of supporting local artistry, you should definitely put Cosecha on your to do list for your next trip down here. Read more articles –

Buy Souvenirs from Aruba online

The souvenirs at Cosecha are only available at the store, and can’t be bought online.

However, if you want something to remind you of Aruba, until you can buy souvenirs at Cosecha – here’s a few recommendations of Aruba souvenirs available on Amazon.

More Articles

Want to read more articles like this?

Read more15 must have items to bring to the beach.

Read morelocal news in English.

Cosecha Website –

Vacations By Aruba Newsletter

Did you enjoy reading this article?

If so sign up for my newsletter to receive more similar articles.

By signing up for my newsletter you also get updated on the latest local news, every Sunday, for free straight to your email!

Sign up today for my newsletter, and I’ll send you my “Aruba on a Budget” eBook for free via email.