Aruba is known as the Happy Island and for good reason. Located outside the hurricane belt, the weather is almost always perfect. The beaches are spectacular and they have the highest return visitor rate in the entire Caribbean. That means more people go back to Aruba after visiting than any other island in the Caribbean. You would be hard pressed to browse images of Aruba on social media without a picture of Christian Bendek popping up.
The self proclaimed “Caribbean King” and his risqué images with playful props and jaw-dropping backdrops have become synonymous with Aruba and have even inspired a legion of spinoffs. Christian’s Instagram profile alone has amassed almost 100k followers, all living in paradise vicariously through the King. This tremendous following has caught the attention of big brands world wide and global companies are clambering to team up with him. We caught up with Christian Bendek to gain some insight into the life of a Caribbean King:
1. With over 100k followers you are certainly the most interesting man in the Caribbean. What do you attribute the interest to?
My life is like a constant vacation, that’s something that people love and want. And I also look good in Speedos *laughs
2. Speaking of which, rocking Speedo’s daily would make most of us extremely self-conscious. Staying in shape must be a big part of your daily routine. What’s the secret?
No mystery here my friend, diet and working out. Recently I started running too. I just drop the fork once in a while, avoid too many sugary drinks and regular sex helps *laughs
3. Sugary drinks are the best part of vacation, right after the beach and the sun. If the Caribbean King were a cocktail, what would he be?
I would be something sweet with coconut rum for sure and maybe a citrus twist. Maybe even something with passion fruit.
4. Being a public figure has to have its benefits. What is the best perk of being the king?
The joy of always running into people on vacation you know? People vacationing are really happy people. Everyone is always in such a great mood. Oh and the free drinks!
5. Yeah people are happier on vacation. Are people ever toooo happy? What’s the weirdest interaction you’ve had with an Instagram follower on the beach?
Nothing weird really, mostly selfies you know? People are very nice. Believe it or not I can get shy when I’m caught off guard. Sometimes I’m wearing really tiny speedos that are only meant for my pictures or private tanning sessions. I don’t want to be talking with followers wearing that you know what I mean?
6. I think we all assume that you’re in a Speedo 24/7. What does the average day of the Caribbean King look like?
A good breakfast with coconut water of course! Morning light is the best to capture the beauty of the beach, so I go to the beach early, update my social media, photo-shoots, hang out with friends, work out, watch the sunset, evening cocktails at Gusto…
7. You take a mean selfie, but the question everyone wants to know is; Who’s the Caribbean King’s royal photographer?
8. What are your guilty pleasures?
Swimwear, Desperate Housewives, feel good movies and stupid comedies, gummy bears and Gusto.
9. Most people dream of being the king. What does the king dream about?
Fall in New York. This year I’m taking a month and just forgetting about social media. I need an assistant. I dream about a full-time assistant, world peace, my own swimwear line, open a bar or restaurant…I don’t know. Some might say I’m living the dream. Maybe that’s why I don’t know what to dream about. I like dreaming of the past sometimes. I love my past.
10. We have 24 hours in Aruba. What should we do?
Grab breakfast at Pastechi at 7am. Then head to the Renaissance Marina and get day passes from the hotel to visit the flamingos. By 8:30am the light is perfect and they’re waiting for you to play with them. Around 11am drive by Eagle Beach, it is amazing! It’s a wonderful beach; white sand & turquoise waters. There’s also Druif and Tamarijn Beach right next to Eagle, gorgeous!. Have lunch around Palm Beach, why not? Walk the boardwalk and find a nice restaurant in the “high rise” area.
In the afternoon take a catamaran or a speed boat to the Antilla Wreckship, it’s AMAZING. It’s like the titanic. You can book a private speedboat on palm Beach. I went with 3 friends not long ago, totally worth it! Best money invested. Sunset by Boca Catalina, Tres Trapi or Eagle Beach is great.
The Fofoti trees in front of Amsterdam Manor are so beautiful and the silhouette pictures in the sunset make the perfect post card pic. For dinner if you want something fancy but with local flavors then Papiamento Restaurant hands down. Make reservations 1 month ahead though!