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“Nice resort complex but nothing exceptional/unique” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Marriott's Aruba Ocean Club

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Marriott's Aruba Ocean Club
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   99 LG Smith Blvd, Palm - Eagle Beach, Aruba   |  
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Ranked #14 of 24 Hotels in Palm - Eagle Beach
Raleigh, North Carolina
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
“Nice resort complex but nothing exceptional/unique”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

I went with a friend to Aruba for "mommy break" 2012 to unwind for a few days prior to the holiday madness. Full disclosure: this was not the best trip ever, as my wonderful aunt died while I was down there and I had to cut the trip short. My opinion may be influenced by the negative experience (nothing to do with the resort).

This was my first time in Aruba. We chose it because neither of us had been and it seemed relatively safe. Pros: easy customs (you actually go through US customs in Aruba, which is really nice)/entry/exit, you can actually drink the tap water (desalination plant offshore), everybody speaks English (along with several other languages). Cons: I wasn't there long enough, but it didn't seem unique or special in any discernable way, unlike St. John, Provo, and even Haiti. No real culture - although I didn't try very hard. Just another tourist trap - should I go so far as to say the Myrtle Beach of the Caribbean? And that's not a totally bad thing but something travelers should be aware of. Also, the beach was sort of muddy mucky and the beautiful water was cloudy when I tried to swim it, but I didn't have time to explore beyond Palm Beach. Other beaches might be nicer.

The Marriott Aruba Ocean Club is part of three Marriott resorts on one property. It is a timeshare so beware to avoid the sales pitch or take the discounts and endure it (we ignored it and weren't hassled - probably b/c we weren't traveling with our husbands). As other reviewers have said, non-owners seem to be placed on lower floors - we were on the first, but I didn't mind. Lovely porch and view of the pool, nice ocean breeze. Our condo was lovely - two bedrooms (one a lockout so you can rent as one-bedroom or hotel room too), one with a king and one with a queen. Two nice baths and a full kitchen. Three TVs. Would be a nice set up for a family. We chose it so we could have some privacy/our own room but still stay together. I thought the price was very reasonable.

The property was well maintained. We were allowed to use the Surf Club pool (family scene) and the main resort pool (more of a party scene) but not the adult only pool, which sucked since we were on break from our kids. Pools are clean and good temperature, no real way to swim laps or anything though. Plenty of chairs and umbrellas with slow but full bar service on site. Bar staff was friendly enough. There were lizards (from tiny to gigantic) and birds everywhere and they were not afraid of people. I enjoyed them, but the abundance of large reptiles might creep some people out. On the bright side, it wasn't buggy at all I'm sure in part due to the wildlife.

Everyone has written about the beach and it is completely crowded with chairs/umbrellas that have to be reserved in advance for a fee or you take one at the back - we just used one at the back. I could still see the water/feel the breeze and it was closer to the bar/restrooms/pool, so that was a plus but there's no getting around that the beach was only so-so by Caribbean standards. You can only use the one associated with your resort, which was weird, since it's all Marriott. Also, there is a towel limit per day, which might be problematic if you have kids.

The things I liked about the resort were the staff was by and large very helpful. When my aunt died, I was a complete wreck and concierge was very good about calling US Airways, getting me on the next flight out, canceling my spa appointment, etc. There seemed to be a lot of resort "rules" with little flexibility, though.

There are quite a few dining options as well. I really liked the sushi in the main hotel. The breakfast buffet in the main hotel was way overpriced but at the pool by the surf club, they made a very nice omelette at a very low price.

The resort offered fitness classes each day. I didn't get to check out the spa, unfortunately. I also noticed they had water sports activities hut on the beach so it would be easy to schedule excursions. Went in the Casino briefly - that and the hallway of the main Marriott hotel were the only things that were smokey. I'm not much of a gambler but it seemed like a decent small casino.

Other things: cab to and from the resort to airport $30; cab into town is $11 each way, but town was just a lot of shops (and not really "duty free" since they have a very low sales tax). As best I could tell, the regional cuisine is Dutch - I think a lot of heavy, cheesy dishes. There is also probably great seafood, and they were unloading fresh tuna from a boat to the restaurant we stopped at in town.

The resort has a very small market Tuesday and Thursday evenings at the Surf Club - got some nice stocking stuffers for my kids. I liked the vendors, as they weren't pushy at all. Also, the shops in the Ocean Club were nice - not cheap, but also not too bad in terms of typical Caribbean resort prices.

All in all, I would recommend the Ocean Club and probably the other two properties, especially for families not on a really tight budget who are looking for a very low hassle beach vacation.

Room Tip: You can choose hotel style or one-bedroom or two-bedroom condo accommodations - two bedrooms would b...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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742 reviews from our community

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  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (193)
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English first
Top Contributor
509 reviews 509 reviews
67 hotel reviews
Reviews in 110 cities Reviews in 110 cities
233 helpful votes 233 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 25, 2012

We stayed for a week at the Marriott's Aruba Ocean Club. We spent most of the days on the beach. The room was nice and spacious. Our view was partial ocean, which got better after they trimmed the palm trees. It was nice to look out the window and see the iguanas climbing up the tree. We reserved a free beach cabana every day. The odd cabanas were free and you just needed to get down early to the towel hut and reserve them. The even cabanas could be reserved in advance for a fee. We had lunch on the beach most days, it was good. There was always free water from a cooler up by the restaurant. There is a bus stop out front of the surf club where you can ride to the supermarket or town. You can also walk to several restaurants and shops nearby. We enjoyed our stay.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Centreville, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2012

Just got back from the Ocean Club (first time) and it was wonderful! No complaints from me! The property is perfectly located...walk along the beachwalk to all the best places to eat/shop, very safe, and no rental car needed! The rooms were very clean (and I'm picky), and the staff was extremely friendly. The concierge will set you up with anything you want to do on the island. The pools were beautiful and quiet...the swin up pool bar is currently under construction, but we didn't hear any construction noise at all, and it will be even nicer when it's complete! (In the meantime, they are giving out $5 frozen drinks to compensate for the lack of pool bar...not a bad deal when you consider they are regularly priced at $11!) The only reason you MIGHT want to consider the Surf Club over the Ocean Club is if you have kids that will want to use the lazy river. Ocean club guests cannot use Surf Club pools, and vice versa. That being said, we NEVER had an issue getting a chair by our pool, or reserving a hut/palapa down on the beach, whereas the Surf Club pool seemed a little more chaotic. For an even quieter/secluded experience, the Marriot Stellaris Resort/Casino seems to be for adults only. But all three resorts are inter-woven and connected. Be sure to eat at La Vista (at the Stellaris) at least once! Amazing! We'll definitely be back to the Ocean Club, no question!

  • Stayed December 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester, Michigan
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2012 via mobile

First trip to Aruba, Marriott Ocean Club is a really nice resort. The pool is nice but if you have kids the Surf Club next door is a better option (could not use that property this week which was a bummer for our 12 year old son). We did use the Marriott Hotel pool quite a bit since they allowed our son to throw his football (no ball throwing of any kind at Ocean Club and this was strictly enforced by security). The beach area is probably the nicest we have seen and the snorkeling is excellent. Food at the resort is very expensive (lunch for 2 adults and 1 child with one round of drinks was on average $65 with tip) but there is a really nice supermarket 5 mins way called Super Foods if you want to buy groceries. Service was very good and the rooms were in great shape. Island is very safe and easy to drive (very pleased with National Car Rental). We will certainly be back!

Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Washington, PA
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2012 via mobile

I'm writing this on our last of 7 days at the Marriot Ocean Club since its the first day in a week that we haven't awakened to a beautiful sunny day. Nonetheless less its been a terrific stay. Upon our arrival, checkin was smooth and easy, our two bedroom ocean view was on a high floor and well located not to mention clean and perfectly maintained. I'm a stickler for little things in hotel rooms, like chipped tiles, worn carpet, moldy shower grout etc... And none of these were present. As a matter if fact, although the feeling at the Ocean Club is more condo than hotel, I really couldn't find fault with any of the facilities. It seems that management is really on their game.

We have never stayed in a timeshare before and really didn't know what to expect. Our preferred travel accommodations are higher end 4 and 5 star traditional hotels but I must say that I was pleasantly surprised. Not only were all of our needs met but the price was considerably less and since we were traveling with our two sons but two of their friends as well, this was welcomed. As a side note we also rented a one bedroom lock off unit in addition to our two bedroom.

If I could say there was one downside it was the price of meals and drinks but this is always expected. We had planned to go food shopping and this would have dramatically reduced the cost of meals but when it was all said and done it was easier to eat out. The restaurants we visited off site were fantastic including Madam Jeanette's (5star) , Papiamento(4+), Aqua Grill (4.5) and Smokey Joes for great BBQ. The La Vista Restaurant at the Marriot Hotel next door was terrific for buffet brunch.

Here are a few tips that you may find helpful. Visit the Marriot Vacation desk and request a "Blue Card" as this will save you 10% at a number of the Marriot restaurants. Consider renting a car from Hertz in the hotel lobby during your stay as cab rides can get expensive if you go off site often as taxi fares add up. If you find a beach umbrella/hut that you like, consider paying the $10 fee to reserve it for the next day since the prime locations go fast. We did not experience any issues with getting decent beach chair locations as have been mentioned elsewhere in these reviews.

Last but not least, we were here during week #50 and today started the arrival of the week #51 guests that included large families and plenty of young children. If this is not your cup of tea I suggest avoiding the Christmas Holiday weeks. Additionally, you can get very attractive sublet rates from timeshare owners who are renting their units on redweek.com. We paid $2200 for our two bedroom ocean view and $1100 for our one br for the week. Comparable rooms would have been at least twice that via Marriot or one of the popular travel sites had we stayed in the hotel.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2012

Stayed here with a friend and the property to clean and comfortable. The 1 bedroom apartment was nicely sized with a full size kitchen. We were able to purchase groceries in town and cook most of our meals in the apartment. The patio was great with a side view of the beach. It was nice to be able to use "most" amenities at the adjoining Marriotts. One big negative as far as I was concerned was that beach chairs (2 chairs with a shaded hut) were $15 a day to reserve OR you could get up at the crack of dawn and get in line for a chance at getting one of the "free" chairs.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Palm Bay, Florida, United States
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2012

First of all, please note that the Marriott & Stellaris Casino, the Marriott Surf Club, and the Marriott Ocean Club are all on the same property. If you are staying at any one of the three, you will have access to most amenities at the other two except there is a lazy river and large pool at the Surf Club that only surf club visitors can use and another "adult only" serenity pool at the Marriott Hotel that only those guests can use. Besides that, all visitors can feel free to go to any of the three properties if they choose. Marriott Surf Club has only a pool bar and I don't think they have any other restaurants - we barely went through this property.

Stellaris Casino: This casino is just ok. It seems clean and nice enough but it's mostly filled with slots. I saw a few $10 blackjack tables and one or two roulette tables but no craps and the electronic poker/blackjack machines were limited. However, the casino had a special going on where if you sign up for the VIP card and play for at least 30 mins on the slot machines then the next day they will reimburse you for up to $50 of losses per person. We both lost $50 the first night so we were down $100 but then the second day we cashed out around $175 so it wasn't a bad deal for free entertainment.

On Property Food: The food on property is pretty expensive. The first day here we spent $26 just to get two bagel & egg sandwiches with a bottle of juice. I strongly recommend driving down the street to the Super Food grocery store and stocking up your fridge with breakfast and lunch supplies. There's a sports bar with decent (but still expensive food), a sushi bar (around $12-$15/roll), a Ruth's Chris steakhouse, an oceanfront seafood restaurant and a few other places you can get sandwiches.

Beaches & Views: The beaches here sure are beautiful and clean! The sand is very fine and soft yet somewhat hard packed near the surf so it's easy to walk along the beach for a while. All the beaches in Aruba are public beaches so you can go wherever you want. This also means there are many vendors for snorkeling and such all along the beach - these are not affiliated with the hotel but most of them seem really good. The views from this hotel are on the side of the island such that the sun SETS over the water so you don't have to get up early to watch the sunrise, yay!

The Rooms: The lobby and hallways at the Ocean club are in the process of being remodeled but right now they aren't very impressive and the hallway was a bit smelly. Approaching our room I was a little nervous but I was pleasantly surprised when we entered. the rooms are nicely remodeled with clean updated furniture. The couch isn't the most comfortable but the beds and pillows were fine. The kitchen appliances are new and clean and the cabinets were all stocked with pots and pans (we are in a one bedroom interval timeshare exchange room - not sure if all the rooms are like this). However we sadly have no view, our windows look out onto a sidewalk between two resorts and we are on the ground floor. Try to ask for a room higher up, it's a bit noisy from the ground floor (although it is nice not having to wait for an elevator).

One more note about the resort: don't feel obligated to go through the hotel to book anything. You can easily find pretty much everything you want to do either online through Trip Advisor or right on the beach. I do recommend renting a car here if you don't want to have to take a $30 cab ride to and from the airport plus to each activity.

Overall a pleasant resort, Aruba is a fun and safe place to visit

Room Tip: Try to get higher up so you can see more and oceanfront is best!
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Marriott's Aruba Ocean Club

Address: 99 LG Smith Blvd, Palm - Eagle Beach, Aruba
Location: Caribbean > Aruba > Palm - Eagle Beach
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#9 Spa Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#14 Family Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#15 Romantic Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Marriott's Aruba Ocean Club 3.5*
Number of rooms: 311
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Also Known As:
Marriott`s Aruba Ocean Club Hotel Palm/Eagle Beach
Marriotts Palm Eagle Beach
Marriotts Aruba Ocean Hotel
Marriott Palm/Eagle Beach
Marriotts Aruba Ocean Club
Marriott's Aruba Ocean Club Palm - Eagle Beach

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