Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino

Superlatives reign at this massive Palm Beach resort. Among the outsize offerings? The biggest casino in Aruba, with more than 500 slot machines and 26 gaming tables, as well as the island’s largest spa. Its 414 accommodations aren’t lacking for space either: Each room has a walk-in closet, double-sink bathroom, and private balcony; the highest-end suites are so palatial their balconies alone measure up to a sprawling 500 square feet—with ocean views to sweeten the deal. When you’re not playing roulette or indulging in a moisturizing coconut-milk wrap, kick back in one of the beachside palapas, or practice your breaststroke in the free-form pool, complete with cascading waterfalls and a volleyball net (a serene adults-only pool features a swim-up bar if that’s more your speed). In keeping with the more-is-more theme, guests are spoiled for choice with seven on-site restaurants, bars, and cafés, including a Ruth’s Chris Steak House, where the 500-degree plates ensure another best—the hottest meal in town.

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Taking time off and living the high life on Aruba

Aruba is a popular beach destination, especially amongst North Americans. That means there are a lot of resort options from which to choose, but one of my favorites is the Marriott Aruba Resort. Located directly on the beach and enjoying prime waterfront access, this resort is a personal favorite thanks to its luxurious and relaxed comfort. I was especially surprised by the Tradewinds Club; a concierge/club level that includes upgraded rooms and complimentary meals throughout the day. The Marriott does a great job in providing world class comfort and is a great alternative to the standard beach resorts along the strip.

The perfect romantic dinner on the beach in Aruba

Many hotels and resorts around the world offer oceanside dinners, perfect for couples in love. But none are quite like the experience at Atardi at the Aruba Marriott Resort. Every evening this restaurant sets up dozens of tables right on the sand where, if you time it just right, you can watch an incredible sunset. The restaurant is about much more than the ambiance though, the food here is fresh and delicious as well. No matter where you stay on Aruba, be sure to include an evening at Atardi in your dining plans.

Cultural Adventure in Aruba

During my trip to Aruba, I spent three nights at the Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino. Despite it being part of a chain hotel brand, the Aruba Marriott feels very unique in terms of decor, layout, and ambiance. I visited during the beginning of high season, so while there were plenty of other guests around, it didn’t feel overly crowded. That probably has a lot to do with the size and scope of the property. The Tradewinds Club basically functions as a boutique hotel within a large hotel: it offers customers extra perks like access to an exclusive lounge (with complimentary food and drinks) and a suite on the eighth floor. There are also two main pools that allow for a bit of separation between couples and families. The main pool has plenty of lounge chairs and a swim-up bar while the adults-only pool has a bar on-site as well but is much quieter. So, whether you’re in the mood for laid-back Caribbean tunes or eager to catch up on a good book, there’s a pool for you. In terms of restaurants, there are several offerings. La Vista is a popular spot for breakfast, as their buffet brunch features dishes like Eggs Benedict along with fresh fruit smoothies and mimosas. I’d recommend snagging a table outside if you can. It’s in the shade yet still close to the ocean. Atardi is another top spot, especially for dinner. Several tables are set up right on the beach so you can have a sand-in-your-toes fine dining experience.

SUP Yoga at the Aruba Marriott

During my stay at the aruba-marriott-resort-and-stellaris-casino/">Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, I made sure to spend as much time in the great outdoors as possible. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to do here, especially if you’re staying on property. Hands down my favorite soft-adventure activity in Aruba was SUP Yoga. Having taken plenty of Yoga and Pilates classes back home in San Francisco, I was up for the challenge. My class was taught by Island SUP and I met my instructor right on the beach. Feeling a mix of nervousness and excitement, her calm demeanor immediately put me at ease. Our class had five participants, all with varying levels of flexibility and experience, and yet we all managed to stay on our boards during the duration on the class. To keep us from drifting away, the instructor tied all the boards together with a rope and also attached each to a buoy. Rachel Brathen is co-founder of Island SUP and both Rachel and Olivia co-founded 109 World, a charity that leads various mission trips around the world and helps developing communities. As a travel blogger myself, it’s quite admirable how she’s using her social media influence to do much more than teach classes. SUP Yoga isn’t exactly easy but it’s also not nearly as hard as it looks. The wind was fairly calm during our class so we didn’t experience many waves that might make us lose our balance. If you’re curious about giving it a try, Aruba is the perfect place to do it. Blue skies and turquoise ocean definitely make for an inspiring backdrop.

Paddleboard Yoga in Aruba

The beach activities outside the Marriott Resort in Aruba are much the same you’ll find at any beach resort—tubing, waterski, jet ski, stand-up paddleboarding. But what you won’t find at many others is a certified yoga instructor ready to teach newbies how to practice the art of vinyasa atop an unbalanced paddleboard. Rise early and head down just as the activities shack opens to catch the morning rays before the ocean fills with the day’s adventures. The added complication of staying on your board tightens and tones parts of your body previously unreached. And the peace you’ll feel drifting under the Caribbean sun is one unreplicated in your local yoga studio.

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