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


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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

Thai Square Spa London

Tucked away along the busy streets of London lies the perfect spa getaway everyone needs in their lives to chill and have some time out. Thai Square Spa is about a five minute walk form Charing Cross station which is perfect!

When you enter the spa peace and tranquillity hits you straight away, your shoulder automatically lower and you feel at peace as you’re greeted by soft music and the most amazing scents. The staff are so friendly and make you feel welcome, when shown to the changing rooms we were provided with white comfy dressing gowns, Thai Square Spa’s own flip flops and throw away knickers which are supposed to be used before treatments (but don’t forget your bikinis). We were guided down spiral stairs and entered a different world… literally. The dim lit lighting, soft spotlights and candles were sprinkled around the spa area that was exquisitely decorated with a mix of Roman, Thai and Turkish interior. In a row stood the masseuses and masseurs who stepped forward calling our name and introducing themselves to us, they then guided us to our treatment room.

Thai Square Spa has five Thai massage treatment rooms including six ritual massage rooms and one VIP suite treatment room. We both chose the same treatment which was the Thai Herbal Healer this particular massage is known for its traditional Thai herbal therapy to soothe, tense, stiff muscles. They massaged us with a warm herbal poultice which contained a variety of therapeutic herbs and spices. The technique was followed by a full body ritual massage with Jasmine massage and body oil. The treatment was for an hour and we were so relaxed we could have stayed on that massage table for at least another hour!

After our treatment we were taken to the relaxation/chill out area and was offered water or tea. We chilled there for about ten minutes before entering the spa area. Everything about this spa is top notch and just kept getting better and better. The spa boasts an incredible Jacuzzi which is very warm and toasty. It’s quite a deep Jacuzzi with stairs leading into it and the bubbles are so powerful which soothes your aches and pains. You can choose between the Sauna and steam room but being Shelley and Michelle we obviously tried out both! We began in the Sauna then finished in the steam room which is surprisingly large. Luckily for us the spa was empty so we had the facilities to ourselves. Next to the Jacuzzi there is an ice fountain that’s there to cool you down, stimulate circulation and eliminate toxins.

When we were finished chillin’ and taking full advantage of the spa we showered and made our way to the chill out area again and was greeted by a friendly member of staff who offered us more tea which is the most tastiest herbal Chinese tea. We relaxed on the comfiest white chaise and just chatted and took in the scenery and peaceful environment.

If you’re in need of some rest and relaxation why not try Thai Square Spa (here) it’s in a great location and was voted World Luxury Spa UK Awards Winner 2017.

You can follow Shelley on Instagram here

You can follow Michelle on Twitter  here

Shelley & Michelle xx