Tristan Ralston

Aruba’s amazing Papiamento Restaurant

Published on Wednesday, September 9th, 2015 by Tristan Ralston

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The ambiance at Papiamento Restaurant is just as amazing as the cuisine


The setting is magical, with twinkling lights and a lush garden ringing around a sparkling turquoise pool. The décor of the 126-year-old Aruban country manor house is complemented by lovely antiques from Europe, the oldest dating back to the early 1800s. Special touches include fresh flower arrangements, polished brass utensils, polished chandeliers and sconces, and crisp linens. Antique wall and floor tiles, high vaulted ceilings, small windows and low arches characterize the colonial period.

Papiamento Restaurant was founded by Edward’s parents Eduardo and Lenie Ellis in 1983. First located in downtown Oranjestad, the restaurant moved to a sprawling landmark home in a quiet neighborhood minutes from the hotel area, where the four Ellis children grew up.

Siblings Edward, Jaap, Antoine and Annelotte, one of Aruba’s best pastry and appetizer chefs, dug the pool and helped plant the gardens. The house had been a former riding school and there were just two trees on the property. Eduardo and Lenie are still very much involved in the running of the restaurant, making this a true family business.


The wine cellar at Papiamento Restaurant was once actually a store room and cheese factory. An extension of the original house, it has been completely transformed. The thick walls of that time still help to insulate the room which is kept at temperatures ranging from 61-64 degrees Fahrenheit. Designed by Chef/Owner Eduardo Ellis, it was created by a local carpenter from imported cedar wood. When fully stocked, the cellar boasts as many as 200 labels and 1800 bottles of international vintages.

For more information on Papiamento Restaurant visit their website here

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