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(2013 - Winter/Spring Issue)


Squint really hard.

See those tall narrow buildings with quintessentially Dutch gables? You could be on any street in Amsterdam.

Open your eyes. These buildings are painted corals and pink and turquoise.

Turn around. No canals here: just a glittering expanse of aquamarine water.

Now comes the epiphany. To be sure, the architecture is Dutch, and that’s hardly surprising.

Aruba is a member of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, administered and occupied by the peripatetic Dutch since 1636. And the town you’re strolling through—Oranjestad—was named for the country’s royal family.

But the only colours you’d see this vibrant in Amsterdam might be splashed across a Van Gogh masterpiece.

This is when it hits you that you’ve discovered the nicest Netherlands of all.

Feel Welcomed

You know that the minute you step on the plane. No six-hour time lag, no overnight flight. Air Canada Vacations gets you to those omnipresent trade winds about five hours after take-off from Toronto, refreshed and ready to explore Aruba: go caving, visit a donkey sanctuary, explore a sun-kissed beach, shop for cheese.

But be forewarned. Once you enter the airy lobby of the all-inclusive Occidental Grand Aruba, strategically situated on Palm Beach, you will check into your room with your own concierge and experience in-room dining as part of your Royal Club package. Air Canada Vacations is the only Canadian provider offering this exclusive level of luxury, which includes many personalized services, such as nightly turndown service in addition to their value-added Privileges program. You may never want to leave.

And Why Would You?

Tempt fate at the completely renovated casino. Learn to cook poolside—and pair your repast with a personally selected wine. Explore Aruba’s history and enjoy a dose of fun during an evening musical extravaganza.

Catch the essence of this melting pot island every time you dine. Ninety-two nationalities live here, a unique and tasty mélange. Go for Asian tonight, Mexican tomorrow, sample local Caribbean cuisine. Then pay homage to the island’s European heritage—do Italian at L’Olio. Just before you hit the nightclub.

But don’t have too much fun. Tomorrow you will swim up to a pool bar decorated in natural stone, then find a curtained daybed on a great beach on an island known for them. Take a scuba lesson, book a tee-off time, be pampered in the spa, go for a sail.

Take time to explore the island—check out some quintessential Dutch architecture, indulge in a Genever or two.

Feel the welcome of the nicest Netherlands.

Just make sure to spell it “Welkom.”

Travel Planner

For information on how to enjoy the very best Aruba has to offer, visit aircanadavacations.com and occidentalhotels.com.

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