Sea Sand Sunsets And Smiles Travel Guide: Our Trip to Aruba

We travelled to one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean….Aruba ‘One Happy Island’ and had a week relaxing and exploring in paradise. The sea is crystal clear and made up of different shades of blue. You could literally bathe in the sea all day. But don’t be mistaken…Aruba has so much to offer, from stunning beaches, to rugged landscapes and tasty authentic cuisine. We can certainly say that Aruba was the perfect getaway for the sister duo!

Where We Stayed

We stayed at the all-inclusive resort, The Hotel Riu Palace Antillas (here) that is located directly on Palm Beach. It is an adults-only hotel that boasts a gym, spa, casino, swimming pools, nightclub and a variety of restaurants and shops. All hotel guests also have access to their sister hotel, The Hotel Riu Palace Aruba situated next door which is more family friendly (here). This was not our first time staying in one of the Riu hotels but this particular hotel is definitely top of the list! The staff were friendly and we felt very looked after. There was so much to do within the resort there was never a dull moment!

Things To Do

Aruba is the perfect destination whether your a couple or on a single girls/boys trip and has something to offer everyone. From submarine tours, to horse back riding on the beach to deep sea fishing you can be as busy or chill as you desire.

One of our favourite trips has to be the Baby Beach Safari tour. You have your own personal tour guide (shout out to Sherman!) who takes you in his jeep on the bumpiest off-road adventure through the Arikok National Park of Aruba. You drive through what looks like a desert land, made up of lava formations, quartz rocks and fossilised coral at full speed. So buckle up and be prepared for windswept hair, dust and a crazy ride. Perfect for any thrill seekers!

Our first stop was the east coast of Aruba to the California Lighthouse, followed by a pit stop at the Natural Bridge, then headed onto the donkey sanctuary (where Shelley fed the donkeys), onto the Fontein Caves and ended our day at Baby Beach that is located in the south east of the island where you can clearly see the coast of Venezula across the waters which was very cool to see.

Natural Bridge
California Lighthouse
Shelley feeding at The Donkey Sanctuary
Fontein Caves

We also recommend other ways to spend your time on the island from taking a cruise across the sea in time for the sunset on a catamaran, watersports and going on the karaoke party bus (which is a lot of fun).

 Food we ate

We ate so much delicious foods on the islands, from fresh fish to tasty soups, with our favourite dish of the menu being steak and lobster. The combination of the two foods work so well together!

Also, you have to try the cream of conch soup, finished with two stuffed pastry’s. A very tasty, Aruban dish that should be finished with the famous Aruban rum punch. This was certainly our favourite cocktail on the island.

Aruba is an expensive place and is certainly an island that appeals to honeymooners and retired people. However, it is still a great place to experience no matter your age as there is so much on offer, including the incredible scenery.

We would certainly suggest having a budget so if you are renting an apartment and eating out daily you will probably have a daily spend of 130 USD. If you are staying at an all-inclusive resort (like we did) your daily budget will be a lot less. So bear that in mind.

Daily activities such as the Baby Beach tour will cost around 110 USD, water sports vary from 20 USD up to 85 USD and sailing on a catamaran is around 65USD.

Aruba is also known for their designer shops located in Oranjestad, so if you want to fit in some shopping, make sure you have enough spending money to splash out a little bit.

You can follow Shelley on Instagram here

You can follow Michelle on Twitter  here

Shelley & Michelle xx


Madeira Travel Guide

We did not know what to expect from Madeira, Portugal, but all we can say is WOW!

Madeira is one of the most beautiful islands that we have visited, with stunning gardens, amazing landscapes and picturesque views.

The scenery is absolutely amazing and we wanted to share with you our own guide of where to go and what to see when you visit Madeira!

We stayed in a boutique style hotel, The Savoy Sensimar Gardens in the capital city of Funchal. This was about thirty minutes away from Funchal airport (also known as Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport). It was a lovely hotel and we had an amazing sea view as well as a mountain view from our room.

The hotel even boasts a heated Jacuzzi on the rooftop with sun loungers and beds as well as a pool on the ground floor.

When staying in a hotel like this it is tempting to stay and get pampered all day but this is an island you have to explore. So get your walking shoes on!

One of our favourite days in Madeira was our trip spent to the west of the island. We went to one of the highest sea cliffs in the world, Cabo Girao which is 580 metres above sea level. We were a bit nervous (considering we are both scared of heights). As you step onto a transparent glass platform which allows you to look straight down you see the most breath-taking views of the mountain and sea. It is almost as if you can physically touch the sky!

Further west, we arrived at Sao Vicente which is a beautiful village with quaint local shops and the prettiest houses on cobbled streets.

We headed on to Encumeada, which is in the mountains and you can see fascinating views of the north and south of the island. As we drove up through the mountains, what was so fascinating were the clouds sloping around the trees. The temperature dropped so you did feel a chill. However, once we reached the top of the mountain, the sun was shining and it was back to summer temperatures. It was a truly spectacular experience.

There are an array of places to go and see when you travel to this amazing island, it would be a challenge to mention everything in one post!

Definitely visit the underground caves, the volcanic pools and we would certainly recommend taking a cable car up to the gardens. Also try the toboggan runs, very nerve-racking but a lot of fun!

We would certainly suggest that you go an experience this beautiful island for yourselves.

You can follow Shelley on Instagram here

You can follow Michelle on Twitter  here

Shelley & Michelle xx

Afternoon Tea meets glamour at The Waldorf Hilton Hotel

You can probably tell by now, we are both afternoon tea enthusiasts! There isn’t anything more relaxing then spending your Saturday afternoon sipping on great tea and eating a selection of delicious cakes and finger sandwiches.

If you want a 5 star service and a memorable experience then look no further than The Waldorf Hotel.

Situated in Aldywch, in the heart of London’s theatre capital, the Edwardian style hotel is the perfect place to enjoy a little downtime.

Greeted by a waitress, we were taken through to a magnificent white room where a harpist serenaded guests with soft music in the background.

We began our afternoon tea with a glass of the finest champagne followed by a lemon posset with a raspberry coulis. It tasted incredible, setting the tone for some more tasty treats to come.

The sandwiches included oak smoked salmon and chive infused cream cheese, baked ham and with a hint of Dijon mustard, chicken coronation, egg and watercress and tuna mayonnaise with chilled cucumber. Afternoon tea is not the same without warm scones (straight from the oven) along with clotted cream and the tastiest jam. Not forgetting the homemade delicate pastries, cakes and macaroons.

The Waldorf Hilton has the most gorgeous historic interior and the chandelier above us was extraordinary adding to the regal theme. The decorative pillars add to the stylish design of the hotel which has an old Hollywood glam feel to it.

We can not recommend visiting The Waldorf Hotel enough. We absolutely loved it. We ate and drank while relaxing in one of the most magnificent hotels in London. It does not get much better than that!

For more information head over to the website www.hilton3.com

You can follow Shelley on Instagram here

You can follow Michelle on Twitter  here

Shelley & Michelle xx