latest news in Aruba

ORANJESTAD (April 28, 2019) – Sundays I write about the most relevant and interesting happenings on the island in my newsletter.

This weeks edition features the top news headlines in Aruba.

Subscribing to my newsletter is an ideal way to stay up to date with what’s going on in Aruba – whether you’re living on the island, miles away or your first visit!  

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

Michelin Star Culinary Week at Divi

Divi & Tamarijn Aruba Resort will host their first and biggest Michelin star pop up dinner and culinary week. Four international acclaimed Michelin starred chefs from the Netherlands will explode your taste buds.

If you’re foodie like me you’re thinking, when, where and how much?

What can you expect at this world class dining experience?

A series of fancy appetizers, delicious second starters, the best cuisines and soothing desserts that will tantalize your taste buds.

All dinners will be presented with 4 or 5 courses and wine pairings.

The participating chefs at culinary week are:

  • Francois Geurds (3 michelin stars)
  • Erik van Loo (2 michelin stars)
  • Edwin Vinke (3 michelin stars)
  • Jermaine de Rozario (1 michelin star)

Combine the talented chefs together and you have 8 Michelin star rating dinner of your lifetime!

Here’s a list of restaurants participating in the Divi culinary week:

  • Red Parrot Aruba
  • Fusion Wine & Piano Bar
  • Windows on Aruba

Culinary week will take place on June 1 – 9, 2019.

For reservations not staying at the Divi & Tamarijn resorts, price is USD $185 per person.

More information about the Michelin Culinary Week can be found at the Divi & Tamarijn Aruba Resort front desk or website.

Experience San Nicolas With New Aruba Island Fest

There’s a new reason to visit San Nicolas besides the stunning mural arts, display of culture, and beautiful beaches – a new street festival.

The new street festival is called Aruba Island Fest and will take place once a month.

It’s a different concept compared to Carubbian Festival. And it’s bigger and better!

Aruba fest is just one of the new additions to the list of activities lined up to start in San Nicolas.

What can you expect during Aruba fest?

Aruban atmosphere that can’t be found anywhere else in the Caribbean with live music local music, local arts and crafts. And ofcourse traditional foods, snacks and drinks!

It’s a perfect event to attend if you want to mingle with locals and catch a feel for the Aruban lifestyle.

Aruba fest will start for the first time in May 29, 2019 (more information will be released at a later date). If you loved Carubbian festival in Aruba, you’re going to go loco for Aruba fest. 

Open House At The Marine Corps

Did you ever wonder how the marines in Aruba look like? Or what they do on a daily basis?

This is your chance to see it with your own eyes as the marine corps organize their annual open house and fundraising event.

Open house at the marines is all about fun and entertainment – a family event!

There’s going to be different booths with souvenirs, tents with food and drinks, live music, rope swings, boat rides, zip lines and various kid friendly activities.

You can even buy raffle tickets and win cool prizes!

The marines are also known to display different demo presentations including K-9 dogs, war ships, coast guards and helicopters.

Last year the marines raised funds for Sgt. Pepper’s Friends, a local non-profit animal welfare organization.

This year they will be raising funds for the heart centered leadership foundation. It’s a non-profit educational foundation dedicated to assisting and empowering schools, youth serving organizations, teachers and parents to serve the youths to live healthy and successful lives.

Open house at marines takes place on May 1, 2019 from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM. Entrance is free. Marine corps base is located in Savaneta.

May 1, 2019 is labor day on the island, a public holiday. Government office, banks, stores and supermarkets will be closed on this day. Restaurants and resorts will not be affected by this holiday.

The First ABC Windsurfing Championship Tour

Windsurf enthusiasts can now enjoy the first ABC windsurfing competition tour in Aruba next month (May 2019).

The ABC Championship is a series of windsurfing events taking place on Aruba, Bonaire & Curacao.

The competition highlights 40 professional and amateur youth windsurfers. Aruba is represented by 21 windsurfers in this competition.

Competitors will benefit from international exposure throughout the tour.

The winner of the competition will receive a sponsored trip to the next international windsurfing competition and local sponsorship deals.

Here’s a schedule for the ABC windsurf tour:

  • Curacao, May 10  – 12, 2019
  • Aruba, May 17 – 19, 2019
  • Bonaire, May 24 – 26, 2019

If you want to watch the windsurf action during ABC tour, head over to the “Blue Highway” which is the beach close to Fisherman’s Hut (next to Ritz Carlton Resort). 

It’s going to be an all day event of watching windsurfers zip through on one of the most beautiful spots in the Caribbean. 

Jazz Appreciation Month in Aruba

April is the month for jazz music lovers as they take time to appreciate this early American artform with all their love.

The love for jazz music in Aruba is also strong as local jazz musicians celebrate with an exciting show on April 30, 2019.

Jazz appreciation month started for the first time in Aruba back in 2006 by one local Jazz enthusiast.

Local jazz musicians will show their talent at Casibari Cafe & Grill on April 30, 2019 starting from 7:00 PM.

If you love jazz music head over to Casibari Cafe and enjoy an evening of the best live jazz music you’ll ever hear on the island.

Tourism Development in San Nicolas

Amongst all the plans for tourism development in San Nicolas, a new project was announced by the tourism minister this week.

A small boutique hotel with no more than 75 rooms. No additional details were released about this hotel project.

The tourism minister also announced that construction works will start for the redevelopment of the entire Baby & Rodgers beach area. New facilities, new restaurants, additional parking spaces and sports: volley ball, beach soccer, tennis and basketball.

secluded beach in Aruba

Redevelopment project at Baby & Rodgers beach will start in July 2019.

There’s also a 600+ rooms all inclusive hotel near Baby beach in the governments vision for tourism development in San Nicolas, but this project is still pending approval.

Baby beach is a long time favorite beach for locals and visitors. It’s going to get better after this beach maintenance project, you might want to put Aruba on your list of islands to visit in 2020. 

Two New Overpasses Under Construction

Two new overpasses are in the middle of construction as part of the new infrastructure project in Aruba called “Watty Vos Boulevard”.

Watty Vos Boulevard is a 4 lane roadway from the Airport until the hotel area.

The construction works involve rebuilding over 7.5 kilometers of roads, upgrading intersections with roundabouts and building two overpasses.

The first overpass in Aruba

According to the contractors, Mota Engil, the first overpass located in the district of Cumana should be completed in August 2019.

The second overpass located in Hato will start construction soon.

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1 reply
  1. Carol Gage
    Carol Gage says:

    I am a ACE agent and read this on the Aruba FB page, I was planning to bring a group their next year but I am rethinking it, below is what I read:
    wanted to share my honest review about the Barcelo Resort now that I’m back home and have actual internet access. I planned this trip for months to celebrate my wife’s fortieth birthday. Although we had an excellent time, the resort was as bad as I’ve ever seen. I paid almost $4000,00 for the week all-inclusive with airfare and although there were many wonderful employees there, the way this resort is managed is beyond reprehensible.__
    These pictures are from my deluxe king partial ocean view room! Notice the two full size beds and nice view of the cement wall. When we checked in there was an irate couple in front of us screaming at the front desk and we couldn’t figure out why. When we got to our room we promptly returned to the front desk and told them there was a mistake, that they had given us the wrong room. After getting nowhere with the first person they told us we must speak with Melissa. In broken English Melissa basically stated that they list all rooms as kings and that we couldn’t have a king room and she would try to get us one the next day. I got the feeling I was being given the run around. I told her this trip had been booked months in advance and that this was unacceptable. Rather than spend my trip in Aruba arguing I decided to give her a chance. Next we went to the buffet as we had spent the entire day traveling and were very hungry. It was the most awful food I have ever eaten. Everything was steal and lukewarm with no flavor or tasted like it was from a can, we compared it to school lunch only school lunch is better. There was not a single appealing thing in this buffet, I mean HORRIBLE!! Next on to the pool! They had one bartender at the poolside bar serving probably twenty people. I waited approximately 30 minutes before the bartender would even acknowledge I was standing there. After finally getting some drinks we were able to enjoy the pool and beautiful beach, kind of made the first few hours of disappointment go away. At approximately 9 PM we returned to our room to take a shower. Only there was not a single towel or wash cloth in our room. Time to hunt for some towels! Someone else was literally complaining at the front desk about their lack of towels as we were asking for ours. We stayed in Room 2122 on the first floor of the south tower. There was sewerage backing up into our tub drain at random times throughout the day. Our toilet would constantly back up into our tub. We didn’t have running water one night and they had maintenance men making repairs at 11 PM. The safe keypad barely worked. The air conditioning unit belt would squeal intermittently throughout the night. My wife and I spoke to numerous other couples that had booked king rooms only to be given a room with two full size beds, one couple had been moved three times during the week, each time to a new room with different problems. I was starting to think maybe it is some sort of shakedown. We spoke to numerous couples that had no towels or who had checked in and their room wasn’t even cleaned yet. The maid service would often show up in the early evening to service the room and would rarely replace our towels or even do a decent job cleaning. The morning of our checkout we decided to sleep in because we had a late departure and the maid let herself into our room at 9 am while we were still in bed. We hadn’t seen a maid before 4 PM all week and now they’re barging in on us first thing in the morning. They knocked on our door four separate times that morning like they were trying to force us out early. We had decided not to confront the desk during the week because I did not want to spend my week in anger and figured we’d just end up moving around all week like they had done to many others. As far as the other restaurants, we ate at the seafood and Mexican restaurants. There food was as bad as the buffet, in fact, I think many of the items were just passed from one restaurant to the other. I would like to compliment the beach servers though, they made this trip bearable, very nice men always attentive to our needs on the beach, the only positive of this hotel. This is the most poorly managed resort I have ever been to, and we spoke to many many other couples that had the exact same bad experience as we did. This resort really left a bad taste in my mouth for Aruba. If we ever return I will never even consider this resort again. It’s a shame, obviously this is a foreign owned resort and corporate has not been paying attention to just how bad this place has become


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