This year we brought my sister and boyfriend with us to LaCabana. This was their first visit to Aruba and yes they will be coming back for more :) We received a bonus week from Interval which was also upgraded to a 2 bedroom (I own a 1 bedroom in May and swap for October) in the swap I landed a studio and 1 bedroom connecting units...PERFECT!! I gave my sister the 1 bedroom since it was her first visit and this is the second time I've stayed in a studio and I really love the studio units. The best part about the studio is being able to wake up and have a view from your bed which unfortunately, is not possible in the one bedroom. I scolded my sister for hardly ever entering the living room/kitchen area of the unit - she said "it's too far away" LOL - she liked the layout of the studio better. And when we all hung out together in one room it was always in the studio. It just seemed more cozy and there is plenty of space in the studio, it has a nice open plan so if you are by the kitchen you can talk with everyone on the couch and there is enough seating at the kitchen island for 4 people to sit. This was my first experience on the second floor. I can now say I've stayed on every floor of LaCabana. I was worried about the view being obstructed because I LOVE ocean view. We ended up with a very nice view. The pool was totally blocked by the massage hut which was directly in front of our rooms. No big deal as long as I can see the ocean and I did.
The renovations look great, love the new colors and this is the first time I saw the entire building with the finished paint job - looks so much better than before! Las Ramblas was closed for renovations so there was still work going on but that should be done by now if not, very soon. The small market at LaCabana always came in handy for something except Stroopwafles - I had such a hard time finding them this year and had to buy them at the airport. Checked THREE supermarkets and came up empty :(
We had breakfast at the Islander Grill once an it was very good and we also had 2 lunches there and enjoyed both times. We also indulged in Cinnabon a couple of times in the lobby...funny the only time I've ever ate Cinnabon was at LaCabana. The lobby smells so good with that place being there :) We never at at Sbarro and I kind of wish it wasn't there but whatever, I guess some enjoy it. The massage hut by the pool is so big it takes up way too much real estate. I can't imagine enjoying a massage while next to a noisy pool but then again, people must be enjoying because it is still there. The shop by the pool is also useless in my opinion. Just too many things taking up space.
We are not much for the pool but we did hop in a few times on our way back from the beach. The beach was very crowded during our week (Oct 13-20) but we always found a palapa no matter what time we arrived. The water was so crystal clear for most of our stay, just so so the first couple of days but no seaweed and just a little "blurry" afterwards it was simply AMAZING and perfect for floating around.
We weren't bothered much by the blue green nonsense, just one call to our room inviting us to the tour and we just said no thanks.
Someone in a previous review mentioned it is "impossible to get cold water at this resort" - this is not a resort issue. The entire island does not have very cool running water. The pipes are in the beaming sun so this is no fault of LaCabana. No matter where you stay you will not find very cold water. But the water is absolutely delicious. Buy a few bottles of water so you can refill them with the tap. Keep them in your fridge and then pack them in your cooler so you always have a supply of cold, delicious, and most refreshing Aruba water.
The only real issue I have is the ugly bracelets they make you wear. My sister broke hers off on day 2 and just carried it around in her beach bag but was never questioned. My husband broke his off mid trip and lost it - also was not questioned. I was a good girl and left my hospital looking bracelet on my wrist until I got to the airport.
As for there being an "older" crowd there, we found a nice mix of all ages, but then again maybe I am part of the older crowd and don't realize it. LOL!!
Overall it was a great trip and looking forward to many more to come!