The Mill Resort & Suites celebrated national flag & anthem day with a weekly Sunday brunch in Aruba.
I attended this event and experienced one of the best flag day brunch on the island.
This article recaps the flag day brunch at The Mill Resort & Suites, including more information about the hotel (which is currently being renovated and rebranded to Courtyard By Marriott).
More About National Flag & Anthem Day
The entire island celebrates national flag & anthem day each year on March 18 to commemorate a decision that change the status of Aruba within the Dutch kingdom over 4 decades ago.
The Aruban flag and national anthem (named Aruba dushi Tera) was inaugurated on March 18, 1976 to symbolize the islands own identity after the Dutch Government refused to negotiate a special status within the kingdom.
In January 1, 1986 – a political activist named Gilberto Croes, better known as “Betico Croes” successfully managed to separate the island, as a own country within the dutch kingdom.
Events Around The Island During Flag Day
A strong sense of pride is displayed each year during flag day, as locals wear t-shirts, bandanas, banners, hats and other accessories with the Aruban flag printed on it.
It’s a tradition for families to drive around and seek the different activities.
From cultural demonstrations at Plaza Betico Croes in Oranjestad, to numerous other events in different districts like cultural shows, traditional ribbon dances, and sport tournaments. Of course with traditional food and drinks available.
Next time you’re on the island during flag day, buy your branded Aruba clothes, hit the streets for festive events and celebrate just like a native Aruban.
In the meantime, read more about our local brunch at The Mill Resort & Suites.
New Extended Breakfast Concept
The Mill Resort & Suites offers a new breakfast concept on between 7:00 AM – 12:00 PM.
It’s an extended buffet style breakfast / brunch, including several different stations to set up your plate.
You can choose from toast bread, frikandel, bacon, potato salad, fresh salmon, shrimps, fruits, dessert and so much more. They also have an omelette station, with a private chef to make your eggs just the way you like it. Omelettes are served with toppings like cheese, tomato, ham, green pepper, onions and mushrooms.
Seating was plenty options, with inside dining, outside under a gazebo or in the open air with a beautiful view of the new pool.
It costs $35.00 plus tax – Children between 5-12 pay half price, and locals receive a 10% discount.
Crioyo Brunch With Traditional Dishes
Since it was flag day, their local Sunday brunch had an Aruban flair to it. Locals call it “crioyo” (pronounced as kri-jo-jo) , which means “that which is native, tradition and exclusively belonging to the island”.
The food stations were filled with authentic Aruban foods.
Everyone received a welcome mimosa drink titled “nos bandera” which means “our flag” in Papiamento. And they had juice, tea and coffee available for refreshments.
Besides their normal brunch menu, they had traditional dishes like sopi oester (oyster soup), whole red fish, arroz moro (rice and peas), carni stoba (beef stew), keshi yena (layers of melted cheese, chicken and stuffings).
Side dishes like funchi and pan bati were also available.
The keshi yena and carni stoba was simply divine, a must try!
Other Typical Dishes
Aruba’s food is mixed with different cultures, because of the over 50 nationalities on the island.
But the island has some typical dishes that are tradition and native to the island.
For example, kerie kerie (minced shark meat), Cabrito Stoba (goat stew), and sopi yambo (okra soup) are just a few of the must try dishes if you want to get a taste of the local food.
Spending The Day in The Newly Renovated Pool
After brunch, we headed to the lobby, got our day pass wristbands and headed out to the pool area and spent the rest of the afternoon just relaxing.
As I mentioned before, the Mill Resort & Suites is currently being renovated and rebranded to Courtyard By Marriott.
The pool area is completely remodeled now with two new free form swimming pools, including a kids pool, new towel hut and jacuzzi.
There’s plenty of new palapas and lounge chairs available.
You get a clear view of the pool and plenty of shade no matter where you sit.
New Swim Up Bar
One of the newly renewed pools has a swim up bar called Mango’s.
The swim up bar is surrounded by a waterfall on one side with rock-lounging iguanas on it. And there’s also a terrace in the back of the bar with a BBQ under a mango tree.
You can order grilled food like meat skewers, BBQ, wraps, pinchos or salads.
Mango’s also has happy hour (6:00 pm – 8:00 pm), two for one on drinks, and entertainment with live music and DJ’s.
My first drink at mango swim up bar was the daily special.
Strawberry, cherry, and more rum please 😆
Road To Courtyard
The Mill Resort & Suites started renovations and rebranding it into a Courtyard Resort by Marriott late 2017.
I spent a weekend here during the beginning stages of renovations.
Read the article transformation of The Mill in Aruba to see how the renovations looked like when it first started.
I’m not a restaurateur, but I imagine it’s not easy to renovate a property, while still in business. They are so far ahead in the construction at the moment, and you barely notice the construction works going on.
The Transformation Is Going To Be Worth It.
Not only will the interior and exterior of the resort be renovated, but a new way of offering service will be implemented that are up to Marriott’s standards.
Renovations should be completed before the end of 2018, the wait is going to be worth it!
A separate post for new updates on renovations will be published soon.
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