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“Good experience, some issues” 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
NJ
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Good experience, some issues”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2012

Stayed at the Renissance Marina since it was for Adults Only. We thought that meant there would be more of a young adult scene but there was really no activities going on and the other hotel looked like more fun in the pool and swim up bar.

We weren't able to make it on the day we were suppose to check in and called to make sure we didn't lose our room. When we got there it took over 20 minutes because they were having "difficulty" finding our reservation. When we got our room it was average. The bathroom was painted in the tub and it was peeling, the light was blinking so much you felt like you were showering in the movie Psycho. Our tv almost never worked but since we didn't plan on spending much time watching it we never said anything.

All the staff was kind, slow service at the pool at times during the day but always nice people.

Very fun experience being above a mall but I suggest getting a high room. On Friday and Saturday there was music playing so loud into the night its almost impossible to sleep. Fun having a boat in the lobby.

Location is wonderful! Walking distance from shops and a few restaurants (most were on the other side of the island). I would stay with the Renaissance again but stay in the Waterside.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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 (469)
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purgatory, mn
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

We stayed 4 nights at the Renaissance Marina (the adults-only side of this hotel) and were very happy with our experience. Even though they're working on renovations in the lobby, it didn't get in our way. The hotel did a great job of minimizing the impact on its guests.

My friend and I loved the pool area and the private island. The pool at the Marina is pretty tiny, but we were able to find a spot (shade for me, sun for him) each day. Poolside cocktail service is attentive, but not overbearing. Usually you have to hunt them down to get your check. The only complaint was there is no hot tub. One might argue, why do you need a hot tub in the tropics? But we always like to sit in one for a little bit at night to relax...ah well.

The private island is a gem. As noted elsewhere, George the boat driver is a riot. Also, one of the other boat drivers stopped underneath the approach to the airport so we could watch a plane landing from underneath - pretty awesome! However, there is a lot of jet noise at the island, which detracts from the otherwise relaxing nature of the island. There are iguanas and flamingos which will beg for food, but they're harmless and it's pretty neat to see these animals up close. The beach is pretty rocky, so it's hard to get in the water comfortably, but once you're in the water is perfect. Since you're sheltered from the ocean, it's calm and easy to swim in. The island wasn't crowded any of the days we were there.

To respond to some earlier reviews - yes, you do have to take a boat, which is a pretty short ride (less than 10 minutes with a stop at the Ocean Suites). But they run every 15 minutes or so, so you're not out much time if you have to wait. In my mind, it's worth it.

Also, the only mosquitoes on the island are in the mangroves on the nature trail. I didn't see any skeeters on the beach.

The island is worth the price of admission - I highly recommend the Renaissance just for this.

As mentioned above, renovations are in progress. They're starting on the rooms soon, and they need it. Our room was clean, if slightly worn. We had a great view of the marina, but that was the best part. I wish we had a full balcony. The bathrooms were the biggest disappointment - so small and the bathtub/shower was lacking in size, lighting and water pressure. Tile floors would be an improvement over the current carpeting - I hope they replace that component. There's even carpet in the area of the bathroom where the sink is. Ugh!

A couple of other notes:

Compared to other Marriott properties I've stayed at, the bar pricing seemed pretty reasonable. There's even a happy hour from 4:30-6 - 2 for 1s! (But do not try to order 2 for 1s at 6:01 - it ain't gonna happen and they won't be apologetic, even if you tried to track down your server at 5:55 and she said she'd be right back. Bypass her and go to the bar!) Try the mojitos! The ones I had at the Blue Bar at the hotel were the best I had on the island! Food seemed pretty decent in price and quality as well (I like the Bento box concept by the pool), but not a lot of options for a vegetarian.

Marriott platinum members - beware. A lot of the things we take for granted are not available here, including a free breakfast. You can get a discounted breakfast if you stay for 3 days and pay in advance, but it's still $15/person. The buffet is pretty good - well stocked, fresh and has a build-your-own omelet station. Also, the business center is a $5 minimum charge, no matter your elite status. I was bummed about this, as email is the only way I communicate with my boyfriend when I'm out of the country - so I hooked up my phone to wifi in the lobby instead (which I didn't want to do - I'm on vacation!)

All in all - I'd stay here again, but will wait until the renovations are done before booking my next vacation!

Room Tip: Note that they have a DJ spinning at night by the pool, which can be loud, so if you go to bed early...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Utrecht, The Netherlands
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2012

We stayed 12 nights in this hotel in november (also Thanksgiving). We stayed here with a little child so we had to stay at the family side (Ocean Suites) at the forth floor (24..). If you want a suite, this is the best price-quality option at the island I think ($190/night incl. charges). We booked the island (parking lot) view because the pool/sea view was 70 dollars per night more and we didn't want to spend that amount of money.

Room: The room itself is quite nice if you have children. They can stay in the same suite but not in your bedroom. The suite has a good size. We looked elsewhere (for example Palm Beach) but other hotels don't have the same concept with the standard suites. Definitely a pro. The bed is terrific and of a quality you should expect in a Renaissance hotel. The pillows are good as well. The bathroom has a good size but is not very well kept. It needs new tiles and new furniture. The living room is large. The "kitchen' is not well equipped, only a coffeemachine (broken), a sink and and a microwave.
So you can't cook there. No plates/knives/forks as well, only two mugs and two glasses.

Cleaning: Terrible. First of all most of the cleaning ladies don't speak English or Dutch. Only Spanish. So I had to use the 10 Spanish words I speak to communicate. But that's not the really the problem, the cleaning quality was. We stayed 12 nights. During this time they didn't vaccum the carpet, replace the bathrobes, use a duster at all and clean the side tables. They only did the trash, the bed and the towels. When we left it was really dusty. I think they clean it very well before arrival but don't clean during your stay. Anyway; not more than 2* quality. Of course it is not the end of the world but it is not what you expect in a Marriott (Renaissance) hotel.

Location: The location is very nice and unique. Everything is easy to reach. The marketplace with a Subway, Starbucks, Haagen Dasz and several good restaurants is perfect. Very clean, attractive environment to spend your time. You can also go to the other hotel (5 min walk), there are a lot of high-end shops and also a nice Starbucks. You can also take the boat to the island there. You can also go the Fort Zoutman for the Caribbean night (5$, nice show and good food).

Facilities: The island is nice. The boat service is good but we had to wait 20 minutes what was too long with a little child and the hot climate. We didn't see a schedule for the boats (should be nice).
I tried the fitness center a few times. It is open 24/7 and has everything you need. Also towels and water. I took a few aqua-aerobics lessons (sunday-thursday); friendly teachers and good exercises. I didn't try Zumba (saturdays), Yoga or the Power walk (tuesdays and thursdays, 5$).

Food: We bought vouchers for buffet style breakfast (15$ each, minimum of three nights). Breakfast at Captain's Corner is very nice because it is outside (at the poolside). They have plenty of choices. Some days there are mosquitos, so be aware of that and bring repellent. We also tried breakfast at the Marina hotel. This is air-conditioned and has more choices. It should be very nice if the orange juice was freshly squeezed, we didn't like the one they have because it is very sweet. We also had lunch once at the Marina hotel (buffet style). It was very good but expensive (30$ each + 15% service charge).

Pool: Nice, enough towel and beds. Also a small beach, so you don't have to go to the island if you don't want that.

Overall I think it was a good hotel to stay with children and as a base for visiting Oranjestad. It is not so overwhelming as Palm Beach is. And the island with the restaurant is a pro. If you want a hotel being perfect and luxurious; don't stay here. But if you want a holiday with all the facilities you could dream of and a lot of things to do in the surroundings and these rooms are ok for you, this is a nice and unique place to stay.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
ontario
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2012

Stayed at this property ( family suites due to three in a room) in November 2012 with two girlfriends. We have all travelled extensively through the caribbean but it was our first time to Aruba. This is what we thought of our stay!

Pros: Food and drink selection was varied and delicious
Staff was very friendly and helpful
Private island was unique and offered beauitul scenery and wildlife
Hotel located right downtown and had a mall across the street from us.
Weather was hot and sunny
Great tours to choose from
24 hour casino on property

Cons: No nightlife or disco on resort
Pull out couch was unacceptable for sleeping, asked for rollaway instead.
Did not have the island vibe, being right downtown, felt very "Amercianized ", ie
Starbucks and Dunkin donuts beside the hotel
Most people staying at property were time share owners and were senior citizens
Had to always sign for meals and drinks and carry room key with us at all times
No beach right outside your hotel.

Not sure I would return to this property but had no real complants. Overall we had a great time!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wilton, Connecticut
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
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.
See more room tips
  • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
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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:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Oranjestad
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Oranjestad
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Oranjestad
#2 Spa 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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