Responsible Glamping on Aruba at the Aruba Airstream
By Riselle Celestina
It was a Wednesday afternoon when I drove up to this remote location on Aruba.
I followed the voice on my Google Maps until I reached the general area in which I had to be. I then pulled over to check the further directions from Katrin, the owner of the property. She is detailed and precise. Her directions come complete with photos and are totally lost-safe. As a female traveling alone, I truly appreciate that, especially when staying in an isolated location in the middle of Aruba’s wilderness.
I followed the directions from my host until I drove up to a sign saying parking. “You have arrived” I heard the mechanical voice say from my Google Maps app. I looked up and whispered to myself: “Indeed, I have”, as the corners of my mouth curled up into a smile. That smile is still plastered on my face as I’m writing this article. Glistening in the Aruban sun was the silver airstream I was to call home for the next three nights.
I quickly got my belongings out of my little rental car and proceeded to the deck on top where the Airstream is perched, overlooking cacti for miles and all the way in the distance, the ocean. My travels have taken me to some beautiful locations but nothing prepared me for this.
A pergola sits in front of the Airstream and in front of that is the pool and Jacuzzi. I was tempted because by now the sun was blazing hot. But I had more exploring to do before allowing myself the leisure of a refreshing dip. After all, I was here to experience and report back on my findings. What a terrible job I have.
Off to the left was a little pathway begging to be followed. I obliged of course and found myself in the outdoor shower. Now, this outdoor shower is no ordinary outdoor shower. It is a full bathroom, complete with a sink and mirrors, but completely in the outdoors. It sits in a cordoned off space that the owner filled with plants for extra privacy. Next to the outdoor shower is a different little area. Here, under a tree is the outdoor toilet and next to the airstream the BBQ area, complete with benches, a sink and large BBQ grill.
It was time to explore the inside of the airstream. By now I was already blown away by all the amenities this unique accommodation comes with. I opened the Airstream door and walked in and drew a breath. Wow!
Inside the Airstream
In anticipation of my arrival the air-conditioning was already turned on and the Airstream was a welcoming cool temperature. The surround sound filled the silver RV with soft music in the background. The owners know how to welcome their guests without actually having to be there to do so. They take extra precautions to keep their guests and themselves safe in this pandemic. I already told you about the precise directions but before my arrival I also received instructions complete with instructional videos of how everything in the Airstream works and where to find what.
The owners Katrin and her husband Jacky are meticulous, with a magnificent taste in décor. Colorful throw pillows broke the otherwise neutral tone of the interior. Straight in front of me was a seating area, to my right the main bedroom, with white soft sheets and colorful accent pillows and a small TV for entertainment in bed.
To my left was the dining booth, the kitchen, the bathroom and another bedroom, this one, with a bunk bed on top.
Upon entering the bathroom I understood the owner’s rationale behind the outdoor bathroom facilities. The outdoor shower and toilet weren’t just cute concepts, they are there for those who want a more memorable shower experience with a lot more space.
The kitchen is well equipped with everything you may need, including a variety of herbs. The owner sends out a questionnaire prior to your arrival so the fridge was stocked with my must-haves: almond milk and organic honey for my coffee in the morning and a bottle of rosé for a sip and dip day by the pool.
I love pool days just like the next person but unlike most, I have a really hard time shutting my mind off. The thing about the pool and Jacuzzi at Aruba Airstream though is that it is surrounded by nature and nature has a way of forcing you to put aside your stress and worries and make you focus on what is truly important. Work is momentarily forgotten and for just a few blissful minutes it is just you, the birds and Aruba’s unique nature. It’s bliss, really.
The pool has something for everyone. If you want to swim you can, if you want to sit and drink adult drinks, there are built in benches. It’s an adult haven. Run around naked if you want. Take a hike, literally. It’s a whole new level of freedom here. I have an unhealthy fear of geckos, which denies my adventurous soul a lot of experiences. But even I couldn’t pass on a chance to use the outdoor toilet. Believe me, it’s a whole new experience when you’re sitting there under a tree with a Trupial, a local bird, and some ground lizards for company. Next is the outdoor shower. I mustered up some courage for that too as it is an experience that I could not deny myself. It was heaven. Geckos and lizards be damned.
Those of us with a high regard for the environment will find Nirvana at the airstream. From herbs growing in the garden to solar panels being installed (they will be going 100% solar soon), reusable water bottles for guests and no disposable plastic in sight, the owners really have thought of everything.
No expense was spared to keep the beautiful Aruba fauna and flora surrounding the property safe. And speaking of the Aruban fauna, the area surrounding Aruba Airstream is the habitat of many birds. Amongst them the Barika Hel or yellow belly, the beautiful Trupial, the impressive Warawara or Crecent Caracara and the Aruban Burrowing Owl, called Shoco.
Waking up early in the morning is a pure delight. You’re greeted by songs sung by a hundred birds (or so it seems) while the sky to the east goes from lavender to a deep purple before bursting into a fiery orange as the sun welcomes you to another perfect day on beautiful Aruba.
Deliveries and other special services
A new day at the Airstream is definitely not boring, even if it is in what seems to be the middle of nowhere. There is of course the pool and other amenities that one can enjoy, but there are also hiking trails starting from the property and a few nearby and some of Aruba’s most popular natural wonders and tourist attractions are a short drive away. As for shopping, your Airstream hosts are more than happy to stock your fridge for you prior to your arrival and there is a small supermarket just a stone’s throw away. But you don’t need to leave the property at all, if so you wish. The owners have established great connections with organic and sustainable small businesses around the island. You can get pretty much anything delivered to the Airstream’s door, from Sourdough Bread by T2Pan and a complete farm box with organically grown local produce from Petite Green to homemade wines, liquors, organic honey and eggs from Cunucu Mondi Fierno. But it doesn’t stop at deliveries for their guests; Katrin and Jacky can also set up experiences like a workshop with a local artist and more.
The owners built this luxury retreat to provide an experience like no other on Aruba and did so without destroying any nature in the process. The pool was designed by Katrin herself and built by a local contractor and for every cactus that had to be moved to accommodate the pool, she made sure to plant a new tree.
I was so happy to see the lengths that Katrin and Jacky have gone to ensure not only a unique glamping experience but also a sustainable and eco-friendly one.
The goal was to be the number one glamping experience in the Caribbean. If you ask me, they have achieved that hands down. Just how thoughtful she and her husband are and how they make it their priority to make each guest’s experience to be the best experience they have ever had, is so admirable and fresh.
The Airstream is for everyone looking for a getaway in nature and who want a luxury experience without feeling that they are missing anything even if they are in a remote and private place but that comes with plenty of peace, quiet, seclusion, nature and hiking.
Aruba Airstream Facts
– Minimum stay: 4 nights in high season, 3 nights in low season.
– Average price per night: Around US$325 per night, including taxes
– Bookable only via Airbnb. No direct booking.
– Airstream location is not shared to guarantee peace and privacy of guests.
– Aruba Airstream merchandise is now available. 100% of proceeds go to the Happy Cadushi Nature Reserve, a foundation set up by Katrin and Jacky to maintain the bird population and the native flora of the area.
To book your experience at Aruba Airstream, visit the listing on Airbnb.
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