Aruba; an oasis looking out onto perfect shores, palm trees with glistening white sands as far as the eye can see. We’re not talking about the tiny island at the heart of the Caribbean, we’re talking about one of the coolest beach clubs in the UK, Bournemouth’s very own slice of paradise: Aruba. Castaway any doubt, you’ll be Robinson Cru-so glad you did, for Aruba is one venue you certainly do not want to miss the boat on. Who said summer had to be contained to June, July, August eh?
You can find Aruba’s small cavernous entrance nestled within the ancient arcade of Bournemouth’s Victorian pier, which stands on stilts above Bournemouth beach. With palm trees lining your entrance and dreamy pink lights illuminating the space where the revellers party, the cravings for having a cocktail to hand is ever increasing. The centrepiece to the venue, marooned in the centre of the room, is Aruba’s island bar, giving easy access to those looking to anchor up after surfing through a sea of clubbers. Aruba stands out like a lighthouse, guiding its clientele to the shores of Bournemouth whilst also boasting the ability to take the party outside with 180° decking overlooking the magnificent tide. The look of this venue makes you feel as though you are spending your night in the biggest of all beach huts- all that’s missing is perhaps a hammock or two.
Music: Chart, Commercial, House, Hip Hop
Dress Code: Smart/Casual
Train Station: Bournemouth
Address: Aruba, Pier Approach, Bournemouth, BH2 5AA
True to it's Caribbean roots, this club serves rum by the treasure chest. We’re serious. You can literally drink sharer cocktails from mini treasure chests- they’re perfectly sanitary we promise, so fill your boots with some of Aruba’s brilliantly fruity booty. It’ll come as no surprise that the scallywags that run this joint are experts in the art of mixology, specialising in the use of that old Caribbean flavour. The cocktail menu is extensive, with our personal favourite being that of the Rum Runner, a tangy tropical number sure to knock your stockings off sailor. Taking it that extra step further – Aruba also offer the chance to get cosy with the bartenders and learn a bit more about how to shake your cocktails as well as your tail feathers. Aruba’s resident DJ takes centre stage on a Friday and Saturday night playing the perfect playlist of pop and mainstream House. The focus here is definitely on having a good time though- not unearthing the latest Electro prodigy. Although having said that, for a peak at the local rising talent be sure to check out Aruba on Thursdays for some of the best live bands on the beachfront.
Despite being a beach club, there’s sadly not much of a place for your board shorts although there is almost certainly bound to be one prat in a Hawaiian shirt. Instead, Aruba opts for a smart-casual vibe so slightly more formulaic than your standard holiday, but we’re not talking coat and tails. Being one of the most popular tourist destinations in the UK, due to miles and miles of premium coastline, expect to see the London day-trippers and holiday-makers attracted to the hive of Bournemouth. This place is so laid back it’s almost horizontal though, with the 2-4-1 deals on cocktails and £2.50 pints for savvy students, helping the masses truly channel that holiday feeling.
Aruba is as fun and relaxing as any seaside holiday and maybe it’s the sea breeze but this place really puts the wind back in your sails after a hard week slogging it at the office. The sight and sound of the waves seem to act as a natural stress ball, releasing any angst like a tiny little dove flying off into the sunset. Plus, their cocktails are without doubt, the best in town: super colourful, loaded with fresh fruit and plenty of the good stuff. Who doesn’t enjoy a drink with a tiny umbrella anyway? Here, you can watch the sun go down whilst washing away your weekday worries on the beautiful shores of Bournemouth beach. Set sail to Aruba – your ticket to the Caribbean. Just a lot bloomin’ cheaper.