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Reviews

Travel Writer explores Tierra del Sol for Non-Golfers

 

“I have been visiting and writing about Aruba for many years, but though I had driven past Tierra del Sol and viewed the magnificent scenery surrounding it, I had never really taken in-depth interest in the resort since I assumed it the entire club and community revolved around the Robert Trent Jones designed golf course, and I don’t golf. But after I heard that Mary J. Blige, and Jennifer Hudson had chosen this spot to stay during the Aruba Soul Beach Music Festival, -and I’m fairly certain that both of these celebs are not big golfers-I was curious to explore what else might be there. I asked for a property tour and booked a massage and light lunch. 

First, I must say that even non-golfers will adore the exploring the course on foot- the vistas from high upon its rolling hills onto the sea and out to the California lighthouse are postcard perfect. You can also see a panoramic view of the high-rise resort area from the other side. I was also delighted to encounter some shoco owls (their nests are marked to alert golfers to steer clear) all around the course. They are Aruba’s official national bird – rare burrowing owls that are such fun to watch. I was also delighted to stumble upon a bird sanctuary I didn’t know even existed right off the course! It is a big salt marsh teeming with terns and egrets and all kinds of sea birds, a place that serious birders would really enjoy on an island known for its desert aridity.

The properties- condos- rental-villas- and full estates, are all gorgeous, many with personal dipping pools and Jacuzzis and all with über luxe amenities and services available like in-room spa treatments, personal chefs and more.  They are a perfect hideaway for the rich and famous seeking anonymity. I was also surprised at the size of The Body & Soul Spa and fitness centre cresting the main pool- 4000 sq. feet of treatment space including a very private nook for couples- private changing rooms, shower sauna and Jacuzzi for two- I imagine that little oasis is very popular for honeymooners. But I was there solo for a massage.

As a travel writer, I have the opportunity to sample many spas and a wide range of treatments, and though there are some outstanding spas and therapists on Aruba, this particular one really stands out for me for many reasons. First, my therapist Arelia seemed to have a sixth sense as to where I really needed work. Beyond expert Swedish massage technique she honed in on areas with extra finesse and additional treatments like a facial muscle massage, eucalyptus oil, ( I was very congested,) and pressure point treatment on areas that have always been problematic for me like my sciatic nerve and constantly aching neck. By the time she was finished I felt like a brand new person and ready to enjoy the gorgeous pool and sauna and steam… you can spend an entire day there after spa treatments.

Unfortunately my time was limited, so lunch had to be fast, though I really wanted to try the Goat Cheese Pizzetta-puff pastry, roasted pumpkin, asparagus, frisee salad, chives, toasted pumpkin seeds and vanilla oil- I figured soup would arrive faster so I opted for their signature Corn Crab Chowder that comes in an edible toasted bread bowl. It was a perfect choice, hearty and delicious. I will have to return for dinner another time, and they also have Sunday brunch where they allow dining guests the use of their main pool afterward which includes a separate children’s area. There is also a lovely outdoor pagoda where they hold yoga classes that non-guests can also sign up for., and oh yes, they also have golf!

Susan Campbell

Canadian-based travel writer specialized in the Caribbean. Follow her journeys via twitter @suectravel.

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