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.