It seems appropriate for this trip that one of my favorite dining experiences to date would be had solo in a restaurant fit for honeymooners. It may even be half the reason. Papiamento, family-owned and operated by the Ellis’ since 1983, has a stellarly romantic dining ambiance and an attentive wait staff and food quality to match. Set inside a 175-year old Aruban manor house, each room is carefully decorated with antiques and outdoor seats surround a sparkling pool underneath twinkle lights from lush, low-hanging branches. papiamento-aruba

Faint jazz plays in the background and the whimsical nature of it all is what dining fairytales are made of. Phenomenal wine list. Don’t even get me started on the food.


Frans Hals: Premium Dutch goat’s cheese naturally matured for 6 months served with ginger in syrup.


They’ve captured every detail from start (hand-strewn and printed menus) to finish (hot towel and tri-layer Aruban coffee).

Order cheese. Pop bubbly. Ask for a tour of the wine cellar. Don’t be deterred if you don’t have company. Seriously, this is a place to enjoy.

What’s your fairytale dining experience like!? Similar? Completely different?