Escape to a Caribbean paradise on the Dutch island of Aruba, famed for its white-sand beaches and turquoise water. Explore secret coves by SUP board, bounce through Arikok National Park in a 4WD, and finish the day with an ariba rum cocktail in the capital, Oranjestad.
Aruba is an idyllic escape for sun- and thrill-seekers. This Antilles island off the coast of Venezuela is only 20 miles (32km) long and 6 miles (10km) wide, so it’s easy to explore the casinos, beaches and hiking trails from wherever you stay. If you want excitement, entertainment and unequalled R&R, check out these vacation homes along Aruba’s northern coast – now bookable with Culture Trip.
Marriott’s Aruba Ocean Club makes it difficult to dare leave your oceanfront villa. Each of the one- and two-bedroom suites is just a beach-ball toss away from the property’s pool, spa and beach loungers. Pamper yourself with a massage, body treatment and facial, before hailing a cab 10 minutes south for a shopping spree at Renaissance Mall. If your beau would rather sit out the shopping experience, send them 5 minutes down the road to Guillermo Prospero Trinidad Stadium to catch a football match.
Sip mai tais in the shade of a private palm-frond canopy in this eight-person villa, only 10 minutes from the beach. No matter which of the four bedrooms you call dibs on, you’re only a hop, skip and cannonball into the backyard pool. If you don’t want too many lazy days on your schedule, feel the ocean breeze in a new way with lessons at Vela Windsurf & Kitesurf or at Skydive Aruba.
How do you define a stay in paradise? Perhaps a private villa for nine, with a swimming pool, a sun-drenched terrace and three cool bedrooms to soothe your sunburn. If you want a change of scenery, you can flip-flop your way from poolside to oceanside in less than 15 minutes. This vacation home is fully equipped with a kitchen, a barbecue grill and an outdoor dining area, perfect for cooking out all day with groceries from the Ting Wei Supermarket across the street.
This luxurious two-bedroom condo for six proves that you don’t need to be on the beach to enjoy Aruba to its fullest. Located in Noord, approximately a 10-minute drive from Palm Beach, you can hop on a shuttle to the shore or stay at the condo for a swim in the pool. A kitchen and outdoor barbecue area make cooking a breeze, but Cafe 080 around the corner always has a plate of Dutch-style french fries, ready for you in a pinch.
Up to eight high-rollers can hit the jackpot with this condo near the casinos. Four bedrooms let you wake up and stroll to Palm Beach within 15 minutes. Furnished patios and separate living rooms provide plenty of privacy for you and your guests. When you’re feeling lucky, hit up Stellaris, the Hilton or one of the other casinos along the beach, then spend your winnings on a sunset cruise with champagne.
This adults-only studio apartment for three lets you live the Palm Beach lifestyle with an Aruban twist. Within 20 minutes, you can walk away from its nautical decor onto the shores of Palm Beach. Rain won’t ruin your day, as the baccarat and blackjack tables at the Hyatt Regency Casino are only steps from the sand. If you’d rather steer clear of card sharks, the snorkelling tours with Octopus Aruba will get you into the deep with a few friendly dolphins.
Get wild with a studio stay in Little Jungle Apartments. Three separate one-bedroom apartments feature minimalist kitchens, private bathrooms and either patios or lanais. A three-bedroom house is also available for up to four guests. Though only service animals are allowed on the property, you can get up close and personal with the island’s exotic inhabitants at the nearby Bubali Bird Sanctuary and Butterfly Farm.
Wake up in a king-sized bed at this picturesque, periwinkle-blue studio on the fringes of Arikok National Park. Inside, it’s all burnt-orange tiling, and tall glass doors, flanked by hanging plants, open onto meandering pathways that lead to a crystal-clear swimming pool surrounded by towering cacti. Guests can admire the stunning views – and spectacular sunsets – from the comfort of the deck or get a taste of adventure hiking in the national park right outside. To make the most of the island, renting a car is advised and will not be a wasted expense, when the opportunity to channel your inner John Wick awaits at the Parkietenbos Paintball Field nearby.
This gorgeous, one-bedroom sun trap is far from the hubbub of touristy areas and welcomes guests with its sunshine-yellow walls and palm-shaded pool. Inside, wooden floors and oak doors lead to bright spaces in a variety of sunset shades and off-whites. The stunning shared outdoor space has plenty of seating and a picnic table perfect for romantic, home-cooked meals. Framed by sandy shores and woodland, the apartment is situated in Savaneta, a 4-minute walk from Baby Beach and a stone’s throw from a range of seafood restaurants, including the highly recommended Zeerovers.