When you find a place or a situation that you like in life, repeat it. This was our third wonderful stay at the Tradewinds Level at the Marriott. We were greeted by Roy upon arrival- he is a delightful man- he escorted us up to our personal check-in at the Tradewinds Level. There we had the pleasure of seeing Margaret again. Margaret is so personable and has a great sense of humor. She is an asset to the Marriott. She confirmed some restaurant reservations that we had made at home. We arrived at about 6PM so Roy took our luggage to our room while we had our dinner at the lounge during the 'discovery hour'. As it was our first night, we chose to eat in the lounge. There is more than enough food to make it a dinner- sushi, salads and at least 2 entrees plus cocktails and dessert. After unpacking and settling in, it was off to the casino. I always get a Player's Club card so that I earn points towards my stay.
Breakfast is served in the lounge until 10AM on weekdays and 11AM on Saturday and Sunday.There is always a nice variety of foods- including omelettes, eggs benedict, bagels, pastries, yogurt, cereal etc. Prior to breakfast, my husband reserved our palapa at the private Tradewinds beach. The palapas are on a first-come, first-serve basis so it is always a good idea to get down early and then have your breakfast after. It was great to see Hermina again- I don't know how the Tradewinds beach area would run without her- she is amazing! She puts the towels on the chaises for us and is so pleasant and cheerful. During the course of the day, she tends to our needs and always reminds us about lunch- served between noon and 2PM.
This year we experienced something new- we rented a cabana at the Adult Pool. What a great thing to do! There was an unusual amount of rain for Aruba this year and we were able to hang out in the cabana and not get wet. Included in the rental are the towels, ice water and a fruit platter. We did this 2 days during our stay and were so glad we did. The Adult Pool is quiet and quite beautiful.
Lunch at the Tradewinds is a nice break in the day. Most people go there in their pool attire- with shorts and tee shirts over their bathing suits or 'cover-ups'. 'Sliders' of various types are served and/or mini-wraps of turkey, tuna, seafood etc. There are also salads and soups. Waters,
juices and beer are available all day.
My only criticism is about the floats which are free at the Tradewinds section of the beach- they really need to be replaced as they are starting to look shabby.
After a great day at the beach and the pool it is 'happy hour' at the Tradewinds lounge. As I previously mentioned, 6-7PM is the 'discovery hour'. Depending on what your evening plans are, you can surely make dinner from what is offered to you. We typically would have what we called our 'appetizers' there and a few cocktails and then go on to eat dinner at some of Aruba's great restaurants.Cocktails are served until 9PM.
The ambience in the Tradewinds Lounge is very friendly. We find ourselves talking to people- it is almost like an 'exclusive club'.We ran into 2 couples that we had previously met there last year.
Next I would like to mention the rooms. Nice size and quite adequate for a couple. We had a king-sized bed, sofa with a coffee table a desk where I had my laptop- as a Gold Marriott Rewards Member, I had free wifi. The bathroom has 2 sinks and a great magnifying make-up mirror. The balcony has 2 chairs and a table with a terrific view. There is also a nice-sized walk-in closet with a large safe. The Tradewinds Level is on the top floor- the 8th so naturally the views are the best in the hotel. We prefer to stay in the South Tower.
Also during our stay, Maria and Kiemisha were very helpful in the Tradewinds Lounge. There are computers in the lounge also.
. The hotel staff is great and very helpful. Alexis at la Vista ( one day we chose to eat lunch there instead of coming up to the Lounge), Cliff at the Adult Pool, Davika who I was eamailing with at reservations prior to arriving.
The Marriott is at the end of Palm Beach. I find it to be quiet and a perfect fit for my husband and I. We take taxis to any place we want to go. The taxis don't have meters but have fixed rates. As the island is only 19 miles long, it is never too costly to go anywhere. The doorman at the entrance to the hotel helps you get a taxi.
The gift shop in the hotel has all your basic needs plus some nice souvenir items. There is a 24 hour place to grab a bite in the lobby.
I am already thinking about next years trip here. Naturally , we will be on the Tradewinds Level again. It is really nice to get up in the morning and walk down the hall to have your breakfast which is served buffet style. It is great to get out of the sun for a bit to come up and have your lunch. It is easy to arrange any site-seeing or shopping around the Tradewinds schedule.
I looked forward to my evening cocktails.
In summary, as this is quite a long review, you feel very special at the Tradewinds Level. I did not mention that you must put your key in the elevator and press '8' in order to get up to this level.
It is truly a 'hotel within a hotel'- well worth the extra cost. You really do get what you pay for here.