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Instead of hosting another backyard-bbq staycation this Memorial Day weekend, head to Aruba for their 9th annual Soul Beach Music Festival. From May 20-25, the island becomes a tropical Woodstock with five days of concerts and parties held at the Aruba Entertainment Center and popular clubs. The all-star lineup features serenades by crooner Robin Thicke, hip-shaking grooves by Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx and Kanye West’s pal, Estelle, plus an appearance by comic Wayne Brady who’ll show off his little-known Grammy-nominated pipes. Special promo: Buy a three-night concert ticket plus express party pass earning you fast-lane access to five after parties for $243 (original price $280) at www.soulbeach.net. Need a room to crash in after the fun? See special packages from three of the island's best hotels after the jump.
- The Hyatt Regency Aruba on popular Palm Beach has a special “Three for Free” deal valid through the holiday. Book four nights at this mega resort and you’ll get the fifth night free, plus a complimentary one-room category upgrade and daily breakfast for two.
- Eagle Beach is arguably one of the prettiest strands in the Caribbean, and home to the intimate, adults-only Bucuti Beach Resort, known for its extensive green initiatives and low-key vibe. Standard rooms, starting at $250 a night, are sleek and chic and come with free WiFi and breakfast, an island rarity.
- The recently reno’d Westin Resort Aruba, another Palm Beach favorite, with watersports, a casino, and first-class dining in one location. Through September, book one night and the next is 50% off (four-night min).