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“Nice to have your own private island” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino

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Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   L G Smith Boulevard 82, Oranjestad, Aruba   |  
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Ranked #1 of 9 Hotels in Oranjestad
Savoy, Illinois
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Nice to have your own private island”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

My husband and I just returned from a stay at the Renaissance Marina. Overall, we were pretty pleased with our experience. The rooms are fairly small and could use updating, especially the bathrooms. The pool was also pretty small. However, having your own private island makes up for it. Having to take a boat to get to the beach isn't the most convenient, but it was a cool experience. The chairs at the beach could also use a little updating. They weren't the most comfortable. The happy hour at the hotel was nice as was the decor at the hotel. We didn't actually eat at any of the restaurants. It was nice to enjoy getting out in Aruba and exploring different eating options.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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2,432 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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Appleton, Wisconsin
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012

My husband and I just got back from a weeks stay at the suites (beach side). We were a little Leary that there would be too many kids, but were so glad we weren't at the Marina side, it had a small pool, and no beach. Rooms could be updated, and there were water issues with other rooms, wifi only in the lobby. Even though we were there with a timeshare, we bought the all inclusive and it was a little more expensive than we hoped, we drank enough to make it well worthwhile.

Best part of the hotel and our trip were the employees at Sole bar. They were the nicest people. Personable, funny, always willing to help, and do anything to make our stay better. All the employees at the resort were nice, but these folks really made our vacation memorable and fun. The other people we met there all had been there before, and felt the same way. hats off to all of the Sole team, as The Millers loved them all!!

We only went to the private island once, as the adult side smelled, and we really enjoyed the beach right at the resort. Definitely go though, it's beautiful. Shopping and dining at the Marina side was nice, and even in the heat, it's a short and easy walk to and from.

Went to both casinos, thought they could've had a few more lower end tables, as they had people waiting for spots at those tables, and dealers waiting with open tables at the higher amounts. The pit bosses at the beach side made me uncomfortable. They always had scowled on their faces, and just looked mean and mad. I felt bad for their employees.

Overall I would say go. We had a blast.

Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Cambridge, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012

Overall, I'd give the Renaissance (Adult-only Side) a B or B-. It's situated in Oranjestad town, which I preferred to the tourist trip around Palm/Eagle Beach, as I could make use of the better restaurants in Oranjestad.
The problems:
-It's situated over a mall. It's open-air looking over the mall, so the lobby areas (bar/lounge, check-in, elevators, etc) are all non-air-conditioned and therefore HOT.
-It's crowded! I liked that there was an adults-only side, but check-in lines were always long, the wait for the elevator could be long, and there were browsing crowds from the mall downstairs. The bar area could be crowded/loud at times.
-The room was not up to Marriott standards. It was pretty small, and it had no external view - it looked onto the hotel/mall/other rooms. Opening the window/door was useless, therefore, as it just brought in hot air and tons of noise from the Starbucks below.
-No surf/waves at either their own stretch of beach or at the private islands.

The good:
-The private island is pretty, with TONS of chaise lounges. The swimming is on very placid, pool-like man-made bays - so perfect for kids. There's food, drinks, and a beach store on the private island, which is super convenient
-The staff was all really nice. One of the bartenders was incredibly helpful and hospitable; the concierge was awesome and helped me with all of my interests.
-If you're looking for a fun bar/restaurant scene and don't want to travel around Oranjestad a lot, the Renaissance (adult side) is pretty happening, especially on the weekend. Crowd was cosmopolitan, diverse, 20s-30s.
-The spa was absolutely lovely. It had great facilities and I had a wonderful massage.

So depending on what you want, this might be a good option, but it's a little on the expensive side for the crowds and the heat.

Room Tip: Don't get stuck with a room facing the internal courtyard - no fresh air and the mall noise will...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Toronto Ontario
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

This hotel has excellent service and offers more options than most all inclusives. The rooms are average and the bathrooms need updating but who spends much time in their room when there is a private island with a shuttle boat that comes into the hotel lobby.The food is top notch with lots of seafood included in the all inclusive as well as the steak house.

My only issue is there are limited options if you are vegetarian. The soup and tomatoe sauces are beef stock based. I had to eat out a couple of nights but there are lots of salad and fruit. Overall a great location, clean with great service

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Minneapolis, Minnesota
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

The resort is OK; not very big and with very little activities. The beaches on the island are great and the restaurant on the island comes in very handy. I suggest all inclusive option since the food is so great and is the only option on the island. Overall good vacation but more internment and activities would be nice.

Room Tip: Ocean View suits have two rooms for comfortable quit sleep and nice ocean views
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2012

Check-in and check-out at the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino (the suites) can be very time-consuming. Three busses with (apparently time-share) guests arrived just prior to our arrival, causing a delay of approx 45 minutes at check-in. No elite check-in at this hotel, nor elite check-out. On top of that a suite was assigned which was already occupied, forcing another trip to the front desk. Be prepared and be on time!

During our stay we experienced water leakage from the ceiling of our bathroom, including water dripping from the overhead lights. Being afraid this might cause a short circuit (I once experienced a hotel fire and it was not a very nice experience), I asked maintenance to fix the problem. It took two phone calls and one personal visit to the front desk before an engineer arrived (after approx 1 hour). The water drain of the airco unit was clogged, and a vacuum cleaner solved the problem. According to the engineer this was a common problem throughout the hotel. However, water leaked onto a ceiling tile where a terminal block of the lighting was located, potentially causing a short circuit (photo’s available). The engineer explained that this was no problem since the automatic fuse would cut out. This approach did cause some furrowed eyebrows on my part, especially since he insisted on switching off the power of the lighting before tile removal. If someone unfamiliar with the problem would have decided to remove the tile one can only hope the automatic fuse would indeed cut out.

The hotel advertises the normal suite sleeps 4 people. The couch that folds into a sleeper bed is not suitable for normal size adults (springs completely worn out, resting on the framework). My 11-year old daughter was able to sleep in it, but I would not have been able to get a good night’s rest in this ‘bed’.

Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino front desk staff attitude varied. Whilst the majority of staff is still very friendly and helpful, unfortunately an unusual number of staff appeared disinterested (chewing gum, consistently providing inaccurate information, disinterested, etc.).

Housekeeping is very good: friendly, efficient, and clean. Rollaway beds were brought and made promptly.

The island is still magnificent: gorgeous beaches, very well organized, including the transport to and from the hotel. Very nice staff (maybe a bit ‘hungry for tips’, while a 15% service charge is already included in the bill). The only possible comment one might have is that the beds are slightly sagged, but that’s about it. All in all: Very good.

Breakfast was enjoyed at the Renaissance Marina Hotel across the street. An absolute delight: good food, friendly staff, and an absolute joy to start your day. In one word: excellent!

During the last day of our visit the warm water system was malfunctioning throughout the entire hotel. Despite frequent promises of the problem being fixed ‘very soon’, there was no warm water the entire day until our checkout (finally at about half past two). We therefore had to use a cold shower before commencing our long return flight.

I asked for a late checkout as advertised and regularly provided by Marriott (for elite members). I was informed that this was not possible due to hotel bookings (the hotel was full and room was planned for another guest). It was possible however to book a half-day room use in a different room ($138). Having no alternative (children) I reluctantly accepted the offer. IMHO offering a half-day room use for a regular late checkout is not up to the Marriott standards of implementing an advertised late checkout policy. No warm water in this room as well .. a very expensive 2.5 hours.

I do not know whether the problems mentioned are time-share related, but the combination of technical issues, check-in/check-out problems, and front desk staff attitude forces tends me to advise against purchasing a time-share at the Renaissance Ocean Suites.
As a regular hotel guest, I would certainly advise against staying at the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino and would advise to stay at the Renaissance Aruba Marina just across the street instead. I stayed there numerous times for business and have never once had a negative experience.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Prague, Czech Republic
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2012

There was no water in the rooms for almost 24 hours one night! It was only fixed the following day when my wife finally reached the GM’s assistant. She was promised that it would be fixed and that the GM would meet her for coffee to discuss the water issue as well as the following problem.

The staff member that planed the wedding we attended for our friends was ridiculously indifferent perhaps even incompetent and was on the edge of being cruel! In the first few days leading up to the wedding she was unavailable. And, then at the wedding she delayed the wedding for no apparent reason, telling the Groom that the Bride was not there, when in fact she was. They were slow to set things up, and grumbled and shifted blame to the customers for their slowness. Her delay caused the Bride and Groom to have to finish their wedding photos on another day, which cost them more for having to rehire the photographer. Personally I witnessed the most audacious thing I have ever seen, or heard of, out of the wedding planner. When my wife complained that she was being served the wrong food at the reception, the wedding planner went and pulled the Groom away from his bride, brought him to our table and proceed to scold him like a child in front of his guest! Saying, that it was his fault that the order was messed up. To top the night off the wedding planner left the wedding an hour earlier than planned so that she could attend a costume party! Later, my wife wrote a review here on Trip advisor about the hotel and the wedding planner. The following morning the wedding planner went to the groom to ask, “Who my wife was” by name. And, then made the groom feel like he was being strong-armed to stop his guest from complaining anymore. We know this because he asked us to please stop writing complaints until all the things left over from the wedding were done and they no longer need the planner.

Also, the GM never met with my wife. Even after she wrote her complaint on trip advisor and asked the GM's assist for the promised meeting over coffee to discuss this strong-arm stunt the wedding planner pulled with the groom as well as other short comings. Over all there were some bright spots with hotel staff (mainly the bar staff), but Management really needs to take a long hard look at the GM and the wedding planer and staff in general. I would never recommend this hotel for a wedding; at best it is only good for the kind of vacation where one does not ask much of anything of the staff.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino

Address: L G Smith Boulevard 82, Oranjestad, Aruba
Location: Caribbean > Aruba > Oranjestad
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Oranjestad
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Oranjestad
#1 Romantic Hotel in Oranjestad
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Oranjestad
#4 Family Hotel in Oranjestad
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino 4*
Number of rooms: 559
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The wonder of Renaissance Aruba isn’t just white sandy beaches, or crystal blue waters. The chance to discover something wonderful is all over the island, and we can show you the way. Our location in Oranjestad’s vibrant downtown gives you endless opportunities to indulge your inner shopaholic, get the thrill of a hand of poker in our two casinos, or take in Aruban culture from the beating heart of Aruba’s capital city. For an escape within an escape take a water taxi to Renaissance Island, Aruba’s only private beaches. Its pristine, secluded shores offer peace and solitude simply not found anywhere else in the world.We offer two hotels each with their own unique experience, but still allow you to enjoy the amenities of both. The Renaissance Marina Hotel was especially designed to be an intimate couples escape, and features a water launch to Renaissance Island from inside the hotel itself. Renaissance Ocean Suites is perfect for families so the littlest ones can discover the wonders of paradise for themselves. No matter where you go with Renaissance Aruba Resort and Casino we will be your guide to finding everything this happy island has to offer. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Renaissance Aruba Hotel Oranjestad
Renaissance Aruba Resort And Casino
Renaissance Hotel Aruba
Renaissance Oranjestad
Oranjestad Renaissance
Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino Oranjestad

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