Budget Travel Upgrade

Using our powers for the good of the people

By , Tuesday, Nov 21, 2006, 10:30 AM

The Budget Travel Upgrade

(Flynn Larsen)

California native Olivia Neri met her future husband, Jan van den Broek, six years ago while backpacking in Asia. Jan, who is Dutch, was working in Singapore at the time. The couple's relationship was long-distance until September, when they were married near Los Angeles. Olivia planned to move to the Netherlands after their honeymoon on the Dutch-flavored Caribbean island of Aruba. "It seemed an appropriate place to start our life together," she says. She had booked a room at the Renaissance Aruba, which we got upgraded to anocean-view suite. "We were blown away," says Olivia. "The room was beautiful, and we could watch yachts coming and going in the marina." The Renaissance also arranged for massages and cocktails on the resort's private island. "It was Jan's first massage. I told him not to get used to it!" The final surprise: a four-course dinner on their balcony. "We had champagne and caviar by candlelight," says Olivia. "It was really special." Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino,888/236-2427, marriott.com, from $350.