Last month I told you about my “20 Dollar a Day Vacay,” where I’m saving $20 a day until mid-April for week-long jaunt. Well, I’ve kept my promise of cutting back on my excessive blowouts, cab rides and Starbucks visits; and I’ve booked a trip — to Aruba! It’s no secret that I’m a sucker for sand and sun, even the fabulous Bridal Guide travel editor mentions it in her post touting the The Glam Globetrotter. So, I’m heading to one of the only islands I haven’t visited in the Caribbean. Aruba is known for its near-perfect weather, blindingly white beaches and turquoise water. And after a winter in NYC, that’s what I’m looking for.
I found a good airline deal on Continental, non-stop from JFK to Aruba for $350 round-trip. Now, the tough part (and the most fun!), where to stay…
I combed the internet, spoke with friends, and of course, threw it out to my Facebook and Twitter networks. I received a lot of good feedback and the three hotels that continued to score were The Hyatt Regency Aruba, Aruba Marriott Resort and Stellars Casino and Bucuti Beach Resort. So, how did make the final decision? I logged onto TripAdvisor, the holy grail of hotel feedback.
TripAdvisor is the bain of existence for many hotel managers, but love it or hate it; it can’t be ignored. While some reviews are helpful, others are way too long and petty, (I mean who writes 3 paragraphs about flat diet coke?!) but one thing’s for sure; it’s raw feedback from real travelers. And I like that.
I chose Bucuti Beach Resort because it is listed as the #1 hotel in Aruba by TripAdvisor. I’d already loved the fact that it’s in an independent, boutique property on a 14 acre beach, but the glowing reviews on TripAdvisor sent me over the edge. “The best place to stay on Aruba,” “Amazing,” “The Perfect Escape” — how could I go anywhere else?
Rates start at $382 per night through April 5, and $263 a night after that. A full breakfast is included.
T-minus 2.5 months until my trip but who’s counting?
XOXO Travel Girl