As a meeting coordinator at Direct Travel, we are always looking for the best location to host our corporate meetings and incentives. There are many things to consider in choosing a destination for these group events: airfare, transfers, weather, and a more recent concern – Zika Virus. All things considered, Aruba is the perfect destination.
Aruba is a tiny Dutch island off the coast of Venezuela in the southern Caribbean Sea. The island is dry and sunny year-round with constant trade winds that bring nice cool breezes. The island has a great mixture of European and Spanish cultural influences. The languages you will find spoken throughout the island are English, Dutch, and Spanish, as well as their local tongue, which is called Papiamento. The island has beautiful architecture that features the tropical pastel colors.
Getting to Aruba
You can find many nonstop flights directly into Queen Beatrix International Airport, located in Oranjestad, Aruba from major airports such as Boston, Newark, and JFK in New York. From the airport, we were met and greeted and within 20 minutes we were transferred to our hotel, the Hilton Aruba Resort & Casino, which recently underwent a multimillion dollar renovation. It sits on Palm Beach, which is the main strip of beach located in front of most of the high rise hotels in Aruba. It is a beautiful blonde beach with many things to do. Right from the beach you can rent a variety of watersports equipment, catch a sunset cruise, or schedule snorkeling/scuba diving. All hotels offer palapas for their guests. Directly across from the Hilton are many shops and restaurants to explore and enjoy. No need to worry about currency exchange because although the currency is Aruban florin, the island widely accepts American dollars and many of the banks will exchange Euros.
Many reasons to choose Aruba as in incentive destination
Aruba can accommodate meetings and groups for both larger conferences and banquets, or smaller events with the multiple resorts and facilities available throughout the island. During our stay, we worked with the local specialists to coordinate a private snorkel sail adventure, which accommodates up to a group of 80. This is a three-hour excursion with three different snorkel stops and lunch provided. There are more adventurous activities to explore the island such as 4×4 guided off-road tours to the island’s natural pool located in National Park Arikok, horseback riding, and ATV excursions. There is a great variety of sightseeing attractions on the island that you wouldn’t want to miss.
Another great reason to choose Aruba is the delicious cuisine all over the island. With the European and Spanish influences, it is easy to eat something new somewhere new every day. Our first group dining night was buffet style from the Hilton Resort, featuring everything from gluten free, vegan, to multiple meat options. Having a relaxing first night at the hotel gives our attendees a chance to catch up with old friends and colleagues. They have had a long travel day, although looking at them on the dance floor you would not have known it! Our second night we switched over to the BLT Steak over at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, which is less than a 10-minute drive from the Hilton. We enjoyed an amazing meal that was served family style. Everyone was able to try everything and, trust me, you will definitely want to try everything! We finished off the incentive trip with dining at the Sunset Grille overlooking the ocean at the Hilton Resort. All staff throughout the island are easy-going, accommodating and all work with one another, especially within the hotels to ensure your guests have a memorable experience.
I plan on returning again in the near future. Contact me for assistance in planning your next corporate meeting incentive trip. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 781.326.7800×207.