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“Love the hotel, hate using internet in the lobby” 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 #2 of 9 hotels in Oranjestad
Vancouver, Canada
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
“Love the hotel, hate using internet in the lobby”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

We stayed for ten days at the Marriott Renaissance Aruba and really enjoyed it. The hotel is located in the heart of Oranjestad above an exclusive shopping mall and is close to restaurants, bars and various types of shopping (there is a Kong Hing Supermarket across the street at the rear of the hotel). Keep in mind most shops close at 6:00 pm and are not open, or have limited hours on Sundays.

The infinity pool off the lobby looks over L G Smith Blvd. but can give you the feeling of being on display for those in the lobby and on the street. The sister hotel, Renaissance Ocean Suites is located across the street on the beach side and guests can use the pool facilities at either location. This hotel has has two larger and more private pools, plus a beach area that has been enclosed by a jetty to prevent heavy ocean swell. The hotels also have their own private island and boats jet you out and back throughout the day till 7 pm (a 7 - 10 minute ride depending on the seas). Both hotels have small casinos that serve free drinks while gamboling.

The rooms in the hotel are standard sized with flatscreen TV and decent movie channels. If you are staying any length of time and don't want to pay for an upgrade, request a corner room for the same price and you will be surprised by the extra space you'll have. All rooms have a small fridge (empty) so you don't have to juggle around mini-bar items to store your food and drinks. There is a good sized closet and plenty of drawer space to pack away your things. Maid service every day is great and they always leave enough bath and hand towels; and even face cloths which are not in most hotels in the Caribbean.

We did not go for the "all inclusive" and did not eat in the hotel. They have food service at the lobby bar and only one restaurant which provides the daily all inclusive package for each meal. I would find that tiresome after a few days, especially since there are some quite good restaurants within walking distance. Try out Cellar 23, just outside the rear mall entrance, you won't be disappointed but go before 7:00 pm. The Paddock across the street also has a lovely outside table area overlooking the ocean and they have specials almost every night.

The desk staff and, Lynda the concierge, we very friendly and always helpful to arrange tours, etc. We were there during Hurricane Sandy and they worked very hard trying to accommodate the wishes of all the stranded travellers.

My only negative remark is that I dislike having to use my computer in the lobby. If you want internet access in your room, it is hard wired and comes at a cost of $15 USD per day. I just hate that big hotel chains charge for this service while the smaller chains and private hotels provide wi-fi for free. The lobby is always extremely humid and it makes for an unpleasant way to catch up on your computer business. There is a Starbucks just down the lobby escalator which provides free wi-fi to their customers. It is a little cooler and more comfortable there.

My last comment: the taxi to and from the airport will cost you $18 USD cash only.

Room Tip: Ask for a corner room. All rooms have doors that open onto a tiny balcony but provide lots of fresh...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (441)
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Savoy, Illinois
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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Somerville, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
34 helpful votes 34 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto Ontario
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
18 helpful votes 18 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
12 helpful votes 12 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.

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Additional Information about Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino

Address: L G Smith Boulevard 82, Oranjestad, Aruba
Phone Number:
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:
#2 Spa Hotel in Oranjestad
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Oranjestad
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Oranjestad
#3 Romantic Hotel in Oranjestad
#5 Family Hotel in Oranjestad
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino 4*
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 Resort And Casino
Renaissance Aruba Hotel Oranjestad
Renaissance Hotel Aruba
Renaissance Oranjestad
Oranjestad Renaissance
Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino Oranjestad

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