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“Nice but I'd choose a high rise hotel” 3 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 10 hotels in Oranjestad
norwalk, ct
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Nice but I'd choose a high rise hotel”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2012

I traveled to Aruba for my 3rd time this November and stayed at the Marriott Ocean Club, Marriott Surf Club and Renaissance during my trip. In my option, I would stay in the high rise hotel area (marriott, hyatt, westin, etc area). The hotel was clean, in a good location but didn't have a beach. You can go to the private island but this requires getting on a boat and going back and forth and following a schedule. On vacation, I want to relax not plan.

On a plus side for this hotel, the pool area was nice and large. It was rarely full and we had a choice of seats. It was great for sun bathing but had limited shade and umbrellas available. (Aruba sun is very bright and I need the shade to prevent burning)

The rooms (Ocean Suite) were very small and are in need of some updates. The bathroom is showing wear and tear. The bedroom area is in near the front door of the room and does not have any windows to the outside. The living room area is the only space with natural light. Additionally, we found that the bedroom area was a bit musty.

Also, don't plan on arriving any time before 4pm - they will not let you in the room before check in time There are tons of guests in the lobby each day just waiting to check in each day.

Room Tip: Make sure you get a room facing the pool or the ocean or you'll be looking at a parking lot.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 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 (417)
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NYC
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2012

Dingy, boderline dirty rooms. Soiled carpet, holes and stains on drapes, broken bathroom door, finicky room lock and leaky AC soaks carpet in the room.

Room service does not arrive until late afternoon and forgets to refresh your soap and bathroom supplies, forgets to remove dirty towels, forgets to vaccum rug, forgets to do their job.

Spa- tears in bathrobes, broken soap dispensers in shower. Ghetto fabulous, not luxurious.

Don't stay here, subpar overall performance.

Oh and crappy, creaky beds too.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
Canada
2 reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

My wife and I stayed at the Renaissance from November 20 to 27, 2012 and found the hotel to be as good as we had anticipated based on having read many reviews on Trip Advisor and based on our travel agent's recommendations.

It was even better than we had hoped actually, as the negatives reported on Trip Advisor by other reviewers were not an issue at all for us, probably largely due to the fact that we booked last minute and had a killer, all inclusive deal. It's hard to complain when you pay half of what some other people have been paying.

Let me address these negatives first that others had mentioned (not our impressions).

1) There were no mosquitoes (didn't see even one) on the private island.

2) While it is true that there are several iguanas and lizards on Renaissance island (the private island which belongs to the resort and which is accessible to guests by boat), it was not an issue. If you think that might bother you, however, then my tip is to eat your lunch at the restaurant on the island and not on your long chair, as the food will attract the animals and they will "ask" you for food and may even attempt to climb on your chair. The two first days we spent on the private island, we ate at the restaurant, and the critters did not come near our chairs at all when we were at the beach. The third day, we had the food brought over to our chair by the server, and about five iguanas mustered in hoping to get some food, and two even tried to climb on our chair. They are harmless, and once again, this was not an issue at all for us, and seemingly not for anyone else as well while we were there.

3) The bathtubs are in need of an update, fair enough, which I understand is planned to occur at some point in the upcoming future, but they are functional for the time being. Once more, this was not in the least an issue for us.

I forgot whether there were more negatives reported on Trip Advisor, but those are the ones I remember.

To put the above in perspective, once again, we were on an all-inclusive package which we got at a bargain price, and so that is probably why we felt so great about our deal that nothing bothered us; we were just grateful.

On the other hand, if a traveler buys into this hotel because of it's affiliation with the Marriott chain, and expects the same level of luxury as would normally be found for $500/night in a high end hotel, I can appreciate that they would be unimpressed with some things. (And I'm not exaggerating, as we went to Palm Beach for one day and someone told us they were paying $600/night to stay at the Hyatt Regency, food, beverages and flight excluded, from what I understood. (And by the way they loved it).

So it all comes down to perspective and deciding what it is that suits you based on the price you are paying, in my opinion.

Now, I'll give my review, as opposed to simply addressing other people's reported issues.

The check in process went fine.

We were happy with our room. The layout and decor were pleasing to us. The A/C worked great and the mattress was comfortable. We didn't have an ocean view, but could not have cared less. We were facing the atrium overlooking, the lobby right above the Starbucks, which meant that I had free WiFi access right in the room.

The staff was fantastic throughout the entire hotel at all times.

The private island was great, not the best beach in the world perhaps, but great nonetheless. Snorkeling wasn't bad there as well. The restaurant on the island serves typical pub fare, nothing high end but well-enough prepared and adequately cooked for the style of food that it is. We found the soup and the jalapeno steak sandwich to be the best items there, among the ones we had, over the three lunches we've consumed there.

The buffet restaurant was quite good, especially for dinner, for the all-you-can-eat seafood (lobster tails, scallops, shrimps, grouper, etc.).

The LG Smith Steakhouse was the highlight of our food experience during our stay at this hotel. We ate there 3 nights. The steak was really good, contrary to what someone had mentioned in another review. They had said that the pork was the best item at the LG. I had the pork once, and it was great, but the steak was so much better that I had it twice. And the ambiance is upscale, and the prices reasonable --for those who are not on the all inclusive-- about $100 to $120 for two.

Some people have mentioned that, unlike other all inclusives, we have to be invoiced for everything we consume at the Renaissance. That is true and it is because this place is not essentially an all inclusive resort, but rather, an hotel where more than half of the guests pay hard cash for everything they get there. And so all of your purchases get charged to the room, just like at any hotel, but at the end you pay zilch -- zero! It is what it is, and it is just a different experience if you are a hardcore all inclusive fan. For us, it wasn't an issue at all.

The alcohol was just fine, especially that we didn't have to pay for it, otherwise it would be pricey.

The pool at the Marina, the adult side of the two resorts, was just the ticket for us. It's a great pool, in a city setting by the ocean, with a view of the marina and the sunset (except when cruise ships are stationed in the line of sight, which adds to rather than detracts from the beautiful view). We loved the pool so much that we stayed there for two full days, rather than going to the beach.

We weren't as impressed with the Ocean's Suite, the family side of the two resorts, located further down across the street. The pools and the fake beach didn't attract us at this location, and so we didn't spend time there. We ate twice at the Captain' Corner, the restaurant located there, and weren't impressed either. It was just ok. It was good to eat at the Ocean's Suites only to make a change from the restaurants at the Marina.

It was very nice, we found, that the Renaissance is located in a downtown setting, attached to a shopping mall, as well as being 5 minutes away by boat from the hotel's own private island.

Aruba is a beautiful island, the people are great and we definitely want to return, whether we can find a great deal once again, or whether we're willing to spend more and stay at one of the hotels on Palm Beach.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SALEM, MA
Top Contributor
103 reviews 103 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

We stayed 1 night last year before flying home and didn't have any issues but this years 2 nights were different. Is there a management issue or lack of staff? Lobby was always filled with people waiting for rooms. The bellhop staff overwhelmed with storing luggage. Our room was not ready until after 4 pm. And they had to call up cleaning to hurry to finish. We were told it was ready went to our room and maid just finishing up and in the hall with another maid just talking for at least another 30 minutes, We had no facecloths, rubbish was not emptied, 1 robe but an single belt where the other one should be. Wife went to take bath and black hairs in the tub. When the next day maid cleaned room she put in 2 facecloths in the am but when we came back after dinner they were gone with chocolates tossed haphazardly on the head board. Never emptied ice bucket or gave a new bag in it or the rubbish. Electrical junction boxes with no covers. We understand things happen but everything seemed so bizzarre.

We understand that early check in is not guarnteed but something was wrong. Even front desk staff seem distracted and not very helpful,

Never got a good nights sleep. Bed was comfortable like most Marriotts. But could hear all the neighbors loud toilets flushing and the A?C roars. That might just be the risks of an older hotel though

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Concord, New Hampshire
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2012

The Renaissance was unreal. When you get off the plane you take a taxi straight to the hotel. The hotel is a super quick drive. It is the only hotel in the immediate area and you feel special. When we first arrived and waited for check-in time we sat at the bar and had amazing drinks by the pool. We then got our room, which was great. The room was a good size for a couple. They give you amazing robes that I wore any time I was in the room. Each day we took a boat from the inside the hotel to our own private beach. The boat drivers are great. Especially one named George who is hysterical. The private beaches were incredible. They had native iguans and flamingos on the beachs that you could feed. They provide towels for you at the beach. The beach was never overly crowded. The only day it was pretty full was on Saturday. They have chairs for you in the sun and in the shade. There were hammocks available. The water was clean. The prices for food and drinks were not too pricey. The day we left we were so disappointed to be leaving that we asked the hotel if we could do a later check out and that was not a problem at all. Across from the adult only hotel is the family hotel which has a ton, ton, ton of restuarants, shops and features. There is a second casino in that area too. It is a quick, quick walk, but they do provide a golf-cart type shuttle if you do not want to walk from one hotel to the other. There is live music playing at night. We cannot say enough about how great the restaurants were there. We also went to Iguana Joes and the Local Store, which were amazing. I cannot say enough about the area that we were in and the local people who were there. I cannot get over how nice everyone was and how we cannot wait to go back. I would definitely not stay any where else after you have been spoiled with a private beach, private boats and amazing food and entertainment right in your own hotel spaces and within a half mile radius. Stay here!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laguna Niguel, California
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2012

We stayed in the Ocean Suites. (Not sure why they call them suites!) The location was awful, my fault, I didn't realize this was downtown and NOT the happening area to be in! High Rise area is where you want to stay! The room was very old and not maintained at all. The beach and bath towels were so thin you could see through them and had lots of holes. The tile floors were chipped. Their was paint on walls and floors, shower curtain was also torn. The kitchen area was not well stocked at all and nothing worked well. Woke up daily with bug bites. Also, the hotel was very, very loud. If you go through an Interval International exchange, I was told you get the bottom of the list of rooms. Their idea of an "Island view" is the parking lot. We had noisy car fumes and painters under our window. They have a sister hotel across the way and there are add'l amenities but you have to get over there to use them. I have NO desire to ever return to Aruba!

Room Tip: Chose a different hotel and a different location. They say they are part of Marriott, I sure wouldn...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Tobaccoville, North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2012

We recently enjoyed our first visit to the Renaissance, although we have been to Aruba about 14 times. Being recently retired, cost is more of an issue for us so I must shop for good deals in order to continue to travel. I found a great promotion at this hotel, enabling the trip. We spent most of our time by the pool, where the customer service was delightful. Sugary, Jennifer and Nelson took care of our every need, and happily!

We had a great trip out to the beach one day. The pink flamingos were awesome, and the beaches were beautiful.

The room was nice, although the bathrooms are in need of an update. I understand there is a plan in place to do that.

The steak house was great, and having Starbucks there was special as well. It would be nice to have wireless available in the rooms too....as there are so many tablet and smart phone users today.

Sitting in the water at the edge of the infinity pool overlooking the marina...with a green parrot couple protecting their nest in the palm tree next to us is a memory I will carry with me always.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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

Also Known As:
Renaissance Aruba Resort And Casino
Renaissance Aruba Hotel Oranjestad
Renaissance Aruba Hotel
Renaissance Aruba
Renaissance Aruba Resort Casino
Renaissance Hotel Aruba
Renaissance Oranjestad
Renaissance Aruba Resort
Oranjestad Renaissance
Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino Oranjestad
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 Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Oranjestad
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Oranjestad
#2 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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