The One happy island welcomes new hotels, travel enhancements, and celebrates major anniversaries
ORANJESTAD, ARUBA – Coming off of a year of record on-island visitation, the Aruba Tourism Authority (ATA) is sharing new enhancements and developments elevating the visitor experience on the One happy island in the new year. From major hotel openings to an innovative travel resource and a notable cultural anniversary, 2024 will be a year of exciting tourism developments in Aruba.
“2024 will be a landmark year for Aruba as a destination, and we are thrilled for the enhancements that will make The Aruba Effect stronger than ever,” said Ronella Croes, CEO of the Aruba Tourism Authority. “With new property developments, technological innovations, major cultural moments, and more, we’re sure the feeling of rejuvenation that our visitors experience while on the island will continue long after returning home.”
The noteworthy developments are led by two major hotel openings. First, The Iberostar Grand Aruba will celebrate its grand opening and welcome guests for the first time this summer. Featuring 240 premium suites and located across from the award-winning Eagle Beach, the adults-only resort will be the first Iberostar property in the Dutch Caribbean and represents the further diversification of hotel options available to visitors. Outside of the suites, guests will enjoy access to the Tierra del Sol golf course, three restaurants, five bars, two pools, and a spa.
Next, the St. Regis Palm Beach Aruba Resort is set to open at the end of 2024. The St. Regis brand will make its highly anticipated debut on the island and expand its luxury product with 220 luxurious rooms, 5-star amenities and top-class dining, spa, and pool offerings. Ideally located near top attractions in Aruba, the hotel will be just the second St. Regis property in the Caribbean.
In addition, the culinary offerings available at hotels and in nearby Oranjestad have heightened throughout the island due to a handful of 2023 openings and enhancements that will elevate the 2024 experience:
Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino debuted its newest restaurant, Mercát in the fall of 2023. Featuring Mediterranean cuisine made from fresh ingredients and influences from Spain, Italy, Lebanon, and Greece, Mercát combines Mediterranean design with Caribbean views resulting in a relaxed atmosphere with a strong connection to the land and sea.
Boardwalk Boutique Hotel Aruba introduced a brand-new restaurant, The Coco Café, in the summer of 2023, offering a Caribbean-inspired menu that ranges from breakfast to dinner and features tropical bar bites, salads & bowls, vegan options and popular entrees from the land and sea. Featuring a covered patio nestled amongst the hotel’s colorful casitas, the venue features a colorful and tranquil ambiance.
Divi and Tamarijn Aruba All Inclusives redefined their culinary offerings in 2023 with additions and renovations, including:
Le Café, the newest dining venue at Divi Aruba All Inclusive, opened its doors in the summer of 2023 and features freshly brewed gourmet coffees, teas, and breakfast in open-air seating overlooking the Caribbean.
Pure Lime Restaurant, the first full-service Mexican restaurant in Aruba, experienced a full upgrade in the fall of 2023 including fresh designs, new decor, an expanded menu, and an inviting outdoor space with 5 tables seating up to 24 guests.
Ginger, Asian Flavors now features a more modern, industrial look with indoor and outdoor seating where guests can enjoy the delicious menu created by Executive Chef Paul Zijlstra.
Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort Spa and Casino recently unveiled a full revamp of their feature restaurant, Ruinas Del Mar, including a complete renovation of the dining room and the introduction of a new menu from its new Director of Culinary Experience, Chef Yvan Didelot. Inspired by the Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins, the restaurant pays homage to this iconic piece of Aruban history and features a variety of delicious land and sea options.
KOAL is the newest chef’s table experience in Aruba, featuring a vintage setting in a historic monument building in the heart of downtown Oranjestad’s historic district. Sixteen guests are seated around the open kitchen as Aruban-born Chef Albert Raven showcases his flair over a five-course dinner.
Additionally, 2024 features a major milestone for the celebration of Aruban culture with the 70th anniversary of Aruba’s Carnival. Now through mid-February, locals and visitors alike will take part in the biggest Aruban Carnival yet with festive block parties, spectacular parades and musical events lighting up the One happy island. The festivities will then culminate with the Grand Carnival Parade on February 11.
These enhancements and cultural moments are complemented by new resources being implemented to streamline travel to and from the island. Slated for March 2024, Aruba will roll out the Aruba Happy One Pass, a digital travel credential system that will allow travelers to complete pre-boarding verification, share their information directly with immigration officials, and smoothly cross border checkpoints without providing their physical passports.
Additionally, travelers can take advantage of new flight options to Aruba in 2024 such as:
Spirit Airlines is offering daily service to Arbua from Fort Lauderdale for the winter 2023/2024 season, up from twice weekly. The airline is also using larger aircrafts by deploying its Airbus A321. The expansion represents 1,140 additional seats per week for the FLL – AUA route.
Southwest Airlines is increasing its service to Aruba for the summer of 2024, ramping up its service from two weekly flights to five from Baltimore-Washington.
Air Canada has restarted its service from Toronto to Aruba, with three weekly flights.
Westjet has also increased the frequency for the winter 2023/2024 season.
Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.
She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.