Renaissance Aruba Private Island

Forget Disney... Renaissance Aruba's Private Island is THE most magical place on earth!

An aerial view of the private island source: Marriott.com

An aerial view of the private island source: Marriott.com

This 40-acre tropical paradise is truly paradise. These are the only private beaches on Aruba, and they are only accessible to guests of the Renaissance Aruba Resort and Casino. No worries if you are not staying at the hotel. Day passes are available! While they are pricey ($99), the way I look at it, if you would spend $100 + on a massage or a round of golf, then $100 to relax on a secluded beach surrounded by wildlife is well worth it!

The island is about a 10 minute complimentary water taxi from the main hotel in Oranjestad. When you arrive on the island, you are not only greeted by a smiling face welcoming you to the island but also by giant iguanas! 

Boat ride to the island

There are two beaches, one for families and one for adults only. The family beach (a.k.a Iguana Beach) has a restaurant and a Red Sail sports facility right on the beach where paddle boards and beach toys are available for rent. 

Photo Credit    Jacob K   .

Photo Credit Jacob K.

The swimming area is a sheltered cove which protects the beach from the open seas. The water is crystal clear blue and the sand feels like you are walking on cotton!

The other beach is Flamingo beach where 6 flamingos frolic in the water. You can have a flamingo literally eating out of the palm of your hand! If you are looking for a more "party" atmosphere, Flamingo beach is for you!  There's a bar and a DJ and they do allow topless sunbathing (I didn't do that but my teenage son enjoyed the view ...insert eye roll here!) 

There is so much to see on this island I don't think I spent 5 minutes on my lounge chair! There are hammocks suspended over the water with pelicans swimming below. 

On the end of the peninsula separating the two beaches is the spa cove. {  Photo Credit    Jacob K   . }

On the end of the peninsula separating the two beaches is the spa cove. { Photo Credit Jacob K. }

Of course, the highlight of my day was that I was honored to have the opportunity to teach a beach yoga class at sunset. 

My kids have never been to Disney. They can go there one day with their own families. What #RENARUBA offers is a respite from commercialization, technology, and junk food! No long lines and no cotton candy. Sorry Mickey. 

Adults Only: Miami

Where we slept:

Fountainbleau

Where we ate:

Scarpetta - Fontainebleau Miami Beach
A Fish Called Avalon

Where I Yoga'd:

Yoga Journal Live
 

 

We live in a small-town in Southeast Minnesota. Well, I guess it's not a small town to sound but to me, having lived in New York city, it's a small town. It's small, and it's cold, and there are certainly no Yoga Journal conferences here! One of the perks of my husband's job is that he can pretty much select where in the world he wants to go for a business conference. So, when I saw the Yoga Journal Live event in Miami I asked if he could find a meeting to go to at the same time and we could go for the weekend. The plan was that he would go to his conference and I will go to mine. It was a win win!  We stayed at the Fountainbleu in Miami where his meeting was. The yoga Journal event was about 30 minutes north in Hollywood.

I love the history of the Fountainbleu. My husband's parents had stayed there in the 50's. It's very glamourous!  This hotel is located in the quiet end of Miami Beach but still a short taxi ride from the action in South Beach. We had an ocean view room with a king bed (320 sq. ft.). The hotel has everything; fine dining, various pools to choose from and a beautiful staffed beach. I think my only complaint is that the pool (and the pool bar!) closed at sundown. I asked for a drink about 15 minutes before they were closing and the server never came back!

Scarpetta: Overall, this was an impressive meal with attentive service - and a gorgeous setting!

A Fish Called Avalon: If you want to feel like you have stepped back into the art-deco era and dine on fabulous food while watching vintage cars go by this is the place! We arrived slightly before our reservation and started on a bottle of wine at the bar. The bar is tucked into a corner but still comfortable. I had reserved a table outside (when you live in Minnesota you ALWAYS reserve a table outside when traveling somewhere warm!) and while it was a bit crowded, the service was excellent and the food superb!