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Expert Advice

Looking For Healthy Vacation Ideas? Here’s How I Made My Aruba Vacation A Wellness Getaway

Your guide to a health-focused Caribbean vacation

Irene C
A divi tree on a beach in Aruba in the Caribbean

Aruba is a great place for a wellness vacation, offering plenty of health-focused things to do. Think long walks on the beach, working up a sweat in the gym and lots of healthy food options. It’s easy to make your Aruba trip a time to de-stress, rejuvenate and recharge — and that’s exactly the kind of vacation we planned. 

So if you need ideas for planning a healthy vacation, keep reading. I want to share how we created our own wellness retreat.

Hilton Grand Vacations Owner posing on beach, Aruba.    

Where to Stay: Aruba Resorts

We split our stay between two resorts: Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino, which we booked with Hilton Honors™ Points, and Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort, booked through RCI Exchange®

Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino

The resort, its amenities and the beach were exceptional. As Diamond Hilton Honors members, we received an upgrade to a nice 1-Bedroom Suite, complete with a kitchenette and lots of space to spread out. We spent three nights at the Hilton Aruba, and I didn’t want to leave. 

Since we focused on wellness, we visited the resort’s large, fully equipped gym daily. Adjacent to the gym is eforea™ Spa, which we took full advantage of during our stay. I highly recommend it. The staff was very professional, and the massage was fantastic. They also use a local line of cosmetic products made of natural ingredients, like aloe vera.

Another highlight of the Hilton Aruba is the walking path behind the resort that connects to nearby small businesses, similar to a private boardwalk, saving you the hassle of walking along the street. And given that it’s pretty hot during the day, it’s nice to be close to the water when you explore Eagle Beach

Insider tip: Book your umbrella at noon a day in advance. You can choose a free umbrella or pay a fee for one closer to the water. 

Point of view shot of healthy foods and smoothies, Aruba.   

While exploring the area near the resort, we came across the locally-owned Garden Fresh Cafe. The reasonable prices and menu — from tasty wraps and sandwiches to a wide range of breakfast options and desserts — made eating healthy on vacation easy. We ate here several times during our trip. The pistachio cake is an absolute must try. 

When we weren’t eating at Garden Fresh, we also enjoyed Eduardo’s Beach Shack. It’s an ideal spot for a quick, healthy meal — plus it’s on the beach. 

After a relaxing day at the beach, we would check out the area near the resort, which came to life in the evenings — lots of local vendors sold trinkets, and there were plenty of dining options. For example, Papillon Restaurant was a pleasant surprise. The food, service and atmosphere were incredible. Take your vacation to the next level by attending a private dining event. The chef cooks for small groups at a private location, such as an outdoor garden. Although we didn’t have an opportunity to try one, we heard great things about the special meal. 

The weather was amazing, and the sea was warm and calm. Because our primary goal was to relax on the beach, we didn’t venture too far. 

Beautiful image of sail boat on horizon and sinking sun overhead, Aruba.    

If you want to explore, consider talking to the concierge about a snorkel, Jeep or ATV tour in the Mondi (Aruba’s desert-like woods)

Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort

We spent the second leg of our trip at Divi Aruba Phoenix timeshare resort, which we booked using our ClubPoints through RCI Exchange. It was a few doors down from the Hilton Aruba. We enjoyed the beach and took full advantage of the gym, sticking with our healthy routine

Insider tip: The beach is much smaller at Divi Aruba Phoenix, so claim your umbrella early in the morning if you want to be in the shade.

We had the opportunity to visit the fabulous Elements Restaurant one evening. The romantic atmosphere and pleasant staff made our evening exceptional. The fine-dining restaurant features natural, organic ingredients in balanced, European-style portions. It was truly an unforgettable culinary experience, even for two well-established foodies like us. 

Insider Tip: The restaurant is cashless and only serves groups of six or fewer. 

For an even more romantic experience, reserve one of the tables in a private palapa on the beach. Plan in advance as there are only three tables that fill up quickly.

Read “Can A Vacation Save Your Life? Here Are 6 Ways To Enjoy A Truly Rejuvenating Getaway” for more wellness vacation inspiration.

 

Hilton Grand Vacations Explorer Irene C.

Irene C

Irene made her home at Tuscany Village, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club,  in 2016, but her heart is in Itlay. Her favorite travel memory is getting engaged while on a trip to Borgo alle Vigne, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club. 

Irene travels with her fiancé and their four teenagers. As a foodie and culture seeker, you'll find her in oceanfront accommodations within walking distance to fine dining, shopping, nightlife with live music and cultural experiences. Irene, a regular on TripAdvisor, says she enjoys inspiring fellow travelers with her stories. 

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