Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort and Casino Hotel Review

Living well while traveling

Upon first entering the Hilton Aruba Resort and Casino in Noord, Aruba, you’re greeted with an open air lobby. It immediately feels less hotel and more tropical paradise. Hilton Aruba is located on the Palm Beach Strip, centrally located to several restaurants and nightlife activities. However, truth be told, in my five-night stay, we only left the resort a handful of times because it felt like we already had all we needed.

Being that wellness is such a large part in how I mindfully live my life, it’s always important for me to stay at a property that integrates activities that help me further along my wellness journey. Travel and vacation time for me means living a continuous balanced life. Eating well for my body to nourish me, moving my body to help energize me throughout the day, resting enough to recharge me – these are all important attributes to my wellness journey that have become non-negotiables. That’s why it’s pretty cool that Hilton Aruba has Wellness Journeys listed on the activity board with fun and active ways you can incorporate wellness into your travel.

Dine + Drink

After checking into my suite overlooking the ocean, I made my way down to Mira Sol, the lounge and bar that features live music at night. This was a central meeting location for many of the resort guests and I can see why – it is surrounded by palm trees, overlooking the beautiful Caribbean ocean.

At Hilton Aruba they also have several onsite dining experiences that my friend Jo and I took full advantage of. 

We regularly ate at Gilligan’s Seafood Shack for lunch after spending the morning in the water and under our palapa. We had our share of calamari and ceviche but they also offer non seafood items on the menu as well. I had the veggie burger (with fries, of course!) and they also have meat options if you’re in the mood.

Dinners were spent at Sunset Grille. Located directly across from Mira Sol, Sunset Grille has a wide selection here ranging from pasta primavera to filet mignon to pan-seared scallops. If you have dietary restrictions, such as being gluten-free or plant-based, be sure to let your server know because there are options for you and they are happy to accomodate. Also, unlike many restaurants, they cook their food in oil and not butter, which helps if you are more dairy-free like me.

Most of our meals were spent on the resort property but we did manage to venture just a block down along the strand, to a very cute shack called Eduardo’s that had some very refreshing poké and acai bowls.

Move + Groove

While there is a gym onsite, I like to break the routine up and get creative with how I incorporate movement into my day when I travel. There are built-in water activities such as stand-up paddle boarding that are complementary as a guest at the Hilton Aruba. We decided to paddle board two times on this trip because it was just so fun to be out in the warm water. Have you tried SUP? It’s an effective approach to work your core and lower body. It’s also such a fun way to beat the humidity!

If you want to go snorkeling, kite surfing, or a myriad of other water activities on your trip, you can work with the staff at the hotel for recommendations and booking services.

Hilton Aruba also has beach cruisers and a more extensive bike excursion you can take to go visit the California Lighthouse. It is named after a steamship that was wrecked nearby back in the 1890’s!

As for nightlife, we asked several locals and the young staff recommended Gusto’s which is located across the street from the Hilton Aruba. On our last night, Jo and I checked it out and while crowded, it’s a fun place to dance, listen to music, and people watch the eclectic group of tourists and locals. At the time of the writing of this post, cover is $5 per person.

Play + Explore

As a part of the Wellness Journeys programming that Hilton Aruba offers, they also have on-site activities that are family friendly if you happen to be traveling with children. One of the activities that I participated in was making s’mores! Anything chocolate based always piques my interest. With a resort employee handing out all of the essentials needed, this was a great way to wind down at night and connect with other resort guests.

Another fun aspect to explore on the property is the bird interactions they have on site. There are beautiful tropical birds throughout the property that you likely won’t be able to see where you are back at home!

Relax + Refresh

Back home, I rarely get massages. I didn’t grow up thinking that’s something that I needed, so it’s never quite been a huge part of my life. While I still don’t believe it’s needed, it’s very much a nice-to-have financially speaking for me, but when I’m out of the country and after I’ve traveled for quite a few hours, it’s nice to be able to treat myself. Having an onsite spa really helped me lean into my need for some body care.

I received a 50 minute spa massage from Eflore Spa at Hilton Aruba and asked them for an aloe-based lotion to use. Aloe happens to be a huge part of the Aruban culture, as at a certain point, prior to the hospitality industry entering the island, Aruba was two-thirds an aloe plantation. Due to this large aloe history, there are aloe infused products and services at the spa and as a part of the wellness journeys that the resort offers, you can also make your own aloe scrub.


Overall, my visit to Aruba was wonderful. It’s so great to see that large hotel groups, like Hilton Aruba are incorporating wellness activities into their programming!

Thank you to Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort and Casino for partnering with me on my stay. All opinions and reviews are 100% my own.

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  • Tiger came into my life one month before I was diagnosed with cancer. I had to rest so much in the early days when I had her. I would get tired and have to sleep or lay down for most of the day leading up to my surgery.

On surgery day, I was terrified. I thought I wouldn’t wake up. So on the surgery room table, before I could feel the anesthesia, I told the surgery team my “final” words, ‘Tell my mom and Tiger Lily I love them’. She was always my priority. Always my family.

When I eventually woke up the first thing I asked my mom is ‘Where is Tiger Lily? How is she?’ I was even trying to get my mom to sneak her into my hospital room but security stopped her. I couldn’t wait to have her in my lap.

I eventually got discharged from the hospital and I had to spend weeks on the sofa downstairs because I couldn’t make it to the bed on the second floor. So on a narrow sofa, Tiger and I slept together, all day. I felt so bad for her since she seemed so bored and she was only sleeping next to me because her mama was recovering.

I made little promises to her though, I would make it to the patio and sit down there for a few minutes so I could throw her toy with her (she would only play fetch with me). Then eventually I was able to take slow walks with her and sit down on a park bench while she played.

She helped me focus my energy on getting better for her. No one else could take care of her, like I could. I got stronger for her. Tiger Lily gave me purpose each day. Baby Tiger helped me heal.

Maybe this is part of why the pain is unbearable. We’ve been through so much, even in our short time together. The pain today feels just as excruciating and suffocating like it did a week ago. Praying tomorrow will be better. 💔
  • The story of how my baby Tiger Lily came into my life

March 2018 my family and I lost our family Pomchi, Puffy. She had been with us for 13 years. She was my parents baby and I was the fun sister that got to come hang with her.

When we lost her I felt an emptiness and wanted some doggy energy around. I thought fostering seemed interesting. It’s temporary. I’ll foster a dog for a couple days and then that’s it.

One day I scrolled and found Dogs Without Borders. I came across a little Tiger Lily. What a funny name, I thought. There was something about her that I was drawn to. I think it was the ears.

I was still nervous about it and didn’t know if I could handle it but one day I went out to dinner with friends and we were talking about it. There just happened to be Tiger hot sauce on the table and it said TRY ME. We laughed, I had never seen that type of sauce before! It was definitely a sign.

So I fostered her and I remember I kept her blocked off in an area of my house. There’s no way I was just letting her run free where ever she wanted to go.

Then I started seeing how scared she was. She would regularly shake; so confused as to where she was. ‘I’m a good girl why is my life like this’ she probably thought.  So I became more lenient so she could feel more at ease. I guess fine she could be on the sofa once in a while when I was around but only on her pillow. I guess fine she could be on my bed but only if she stayed on her side. Boundaries only really lasted a couple days. I’m weak.

Then after just less than a week, her former foster family wanted to adopt her. I had been thinking of adopting her but then thought it was better for her to go with them. They were a couple with other animals in the house so it felt like a fun, full home for Tiger to be in.

After just two days, the couple told me they changed their mind. If I didn’t want her then they’d end up returning her back to DWB. I was livid. Once you commit to adopting a baby, there is a no refund policy. Baby adoptions are not merchandise to exchange for another fit. I missed her and didn’t want Tiger to go through another transfer so I decided to adopt her myself. (contd in comments)
  • Rest in peace my love. My little baby Tiger Lily. I don’t know what happened. It was so sudden. You were fine on Friday! Maybe a little stomach upset on Saturday and then Sunday you could barely wag your tail when you saw me. I wish I noticed more signs so I could know how sick you were. Were you telling me something sooner and I didn’t know? You left me and my heart is not broken in half. My heart is completely shattered. I am so sorry for letting you down. I was trying to save you like you saved me. I tried to be the very best mama to you. I barely left you alone. I never wanted you to feel abandoned and lonely because that’s what you grew up knowing. (Don’t worry I won’t tell anyone I would sneak you into places you weren’t supposed to be in.) I always played with you (Stay. Stay. Find it!) I always bought you the best food - nothing but organic, all natural, and premium quality for my baby! I remember I would be so tired sometimes but I’d go out to Whole Foods to buy you steak just as a treat for being you. I wanted you to know how loved and OBSESSED I was all the time. I know you were obsessed with me too. Your grandparents would always call you “piece of gum on mom’s shoe” because you were just stuck to me like glue! You always had to be touching me, no matter what. If you didn’t see me in eyesight you would panic!

When I first got you I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would you like me? Would you be a lot of work? I could not have asked for a more perfect baby. You always listened to your mama, except for when it was bed time and you insisted on taking my side of the bed. I always pretended to be annoyed but what did I tell you every night? I said ‘Little baby Tiger Lily I love you, you’re the very best girl. I’m going to see you tomorrow and I hope you dream about all the yummy treats we’re going to eat’. Sweet baby, you were so strong. You struggled all day yesterday and when the doctor said there’s not much hope I took you home so you could be comfortable. You were so brave to be strong enough to be in the car in my arms and to make it all the way home. I didn’t let you go and you took your last breath in my arms. Snuggled with all your blankies. (contd)
  • 💔EMERGENCY: Is anyone a vet or a homeopathic animal doctor? Tigers condition has worsened over night. Doctors don’t know what the cause is, they’ve thrown out words like sepsis, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, anaphylaxis, they just don’t know.

Facts: Swollen gallbladder, low body temp, stomach is fluid filled, slight water in lungs, now in an oxygen cage... - doctor says her stomach and gastrointestinal system is not working. I don’t know what to do. Maybe another opinion or doctor would know. I have a copy of blood results to help.

Please forward to anyone who might have another opinion. My heart hurts I can’t breathe and I need to save her like she saved me. 💔🙏
  • Currently at the emergency animal hospital where I had to admit Tiger Lily for overnight observation and testing. She had been feeling ill since yesterday. Little stomach upsets usually go away quickly but today she started also having slow reactions, not blinking and experiencing heavy breathing. The vet said she is “pretty sick” with low blood pressure. She may have pancreatitis or some type of gastric complication.

Pancreatitis is what my 13 year old family dog, Puffy, passed away from back in 2018. So to hear that Tiger Lily may have this... 💔 Pray for Tiger please. Anyone that knows me even a little knows exactly how much she means to me and I just can’t have her be sick because I need her. ❤️
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  • What is your approach to food? I try to eat mostly plant-based but I allow myself the freedom to eat what my body craves that day. All foods fit over here!

Today on the blog I’m breaking down an easy approach to changing mindset around food choices. 🥑 #intuitiveeating #eatingwell #allfoodsfit #healthyliving
  • There is chaos everywhere. The turmoil can be easy to ignore sometimes because it feels so far away and quite honestly, we all just have our own individual lives to live and most of us feel like we are not directly affected by it. But we are.

This isn’t the typical content I generally write about but I think it’s important to make a difference in some way. As much of a health advocate as I am, I’m really an advocate for change; change for the better. We are all capable of so much and collectively the possibilities for positive change in our communities are limitless. But change comes when there is action behind it.

I’ve been politically active for years. I’ve traveled, canvassed, phone banked, fundraised for the candidates/issues I support. It’s tough, invigorating, gratifying, and eye-opening all in one.

Rather than speak about partisan politics (there’s enough of that out there) – I wanted to give a PSA to remember to register to vote! Your voice can make a difference when you show up for yourself and for others. I listed a state by state breakdown with voter registration deadlines up on the blog today. I encourage you to check it out. ❤️#bethechange #advocacy #registertovote #positiveimpact
  • In my reader feedback form (that’s still up in my profile!) the majority of people said they’re interested in skincare and beauty. So I listened and did a round up of my favorite nontoxic, natural cleansers up on the blog. ☺️Do you have any favorites? Some brands listed are @indie_lee @biossance @100percentpure @oseamalibu @cocokind // #naturalskincare #cleanskincare #cleanbeauty #holisticwellness
  • I’m really excited to make this my healthiest year yet! Will you join me?

We all have dreams and goals we want to achieve but it’s just going to be that much more difficult to reach them if you don’t have your health! 🙏 I wrote a blog post on how often you should be seeing your doctor as a general guideline to help you. Remember to feel empowered to ask questions, listen to your intuition and get a second opinion if you need it!

Set aside half an hour today to track down phone numbers, check your calendar, and schedule those appointments.

This year, I want us all to not just survive but to THRIVE. 💕🙌
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#selfcare #newyearbetteryou #healthfirst #wellnessjourney
  • I hope everyone had the best January 1! Tradition in my family is to make homemade Korean potstickers/dumplings and put them in a rice cake soup, so I spent all afternoon making these with my mom ☺️ Do you have any traditions? #떡국 #떡만두국 #familytradition #happynewyear
  • 2019 - You’ve come with a lot of deep emotions. I found myself struggling with my mental health more than ever before. I was more anxious, more triggered, more depressed. Things felt really messy and broken for a lot of the year.

But like with most things - I found a path toward healing and growth once I allowed myself space for reflection and exploration.

More 2019 reflections and a final giveaway for you, on the blog. ❤️
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Thank you to everyone for the continued support throughout the year! Sending you all health, love, and growth as we approach a new year and new chapter! 🥳 #happynewyear #2019reflections

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