This is our first time in Aruba and we were leary a first to stay in Marriott Surf Club because of the negative reviews. However, after our one week stay, we loved this place. We were warned that there will be long lines during check-in. We arrived in he morning and we checked if we can do an early check-in to avoid the lines at 4pm. We were allowed to do that, and we were given our bracelets so that we can use the facility while we waited for our rooms to become available. We just have to store our luggages in their storage and then went to the Express check-in to get our keys once the room became available. No falling in line. We also got an email from the coordinator asking for our preferences, and we wrote our room preference (higher elevation, Spyglass, ocean view, quiet, away from elevators) and we got what we wanted. eautiful voew of the Lazy River and ocean. Had master bedroom, full kitchen, safe, washer and dryer and living room. This is the newer tower; carpet is clean and every furniture looked brand new. It is farther away from the beacj compared to Lighthouse but the walk did not bother us. The location of the hotel is great because it is easily accessible to bus which we use to go to downtown Oranjestad. It is cheaper to take the bus for two people than a taxi. For bus, we paid $2.30 one way per person. A taxi costs about $11 or $12 one way. We used the taxi to and from the airport and paid $25 each way. The bus stop is right behind the Skylark Tower close to the parking lot. We used the bus to go the grocery store (initially, we planned to go to Ling and Sons, but after asking the locals on which is a better and cheaper grovery store, they recommended SuperFoods), Superfoods is also along the main road where the bus stops infront of it. Just cross the street. After grocery shopping, we went to the bus stop again, which is a few feet to the left of SuperFood. This worked for us because we only had few items to carry. Brought our backpack and extra bigger bags to put the smaller grocery bags. The bus ia marked "Marriott" so it was no-brainer on which bus to use. It stopped right across Surf Club. Downtown Oranjestad also hold the Bon Bini Festival every Tuesday nights from 7 to 8:15pm where we enjoyed Aruban food for sale, crafts and wonderful cultural/folk dancing. There was also steel pan drum playing while waiting for the door of the Fort to open. To get to the Fort, we stopped at the bus station and walked few blocks lined with department stores. The hotel is also close to the Palm Beach Plaza Mall, Between Skylark and Compass towers was a sign pointing to the direction of the Mall; just a 5 minute walk. This mall has all kinds of shops and restaurants. The mall has choreographed water show at night; we saw a free acrobatic show also. Check the newspaper for events.
We loved the Lazy River; brought our own tube; can be inflated by the towel hut. It was calm and peaceful early in the morning (7 tp 9:30am) and it got crowded later part of the day. In Nov. 3 to 10 where we used the Lazy river, there were kids in the area, but not as much to create too much noise. we stayed mostly in the Serenity Pool where only adults are allowed.
The food served at the resort are reasonably proced. Big serving, and we split our order or bring the left over in the room.
By attending the timeshare presentation, we got a $125 voucher which we were able to use in several restaurants within the Marriott area (including Stellaris and Ocean Club) as well as Papiamento.
To be able to use a palapa along the beach, need to fall in line before 7am to get the palapa for free. I went there at 6am and there were 6 people already in line. By 7am, there were about 25 people lined up to reserve a palapa. To reserve one, the staff shows a map of which palapas are taken and which are available. Once you pick your palapa, the staff gives you a card that you put through a nail underneath the palapa to indicate that it is reserved. Lounge chairs will then be unchained and setup for your use. We put our chair tags also on the lounge chairs. The same is true for the chairs by the pool. If you want your favorite chair under a shade with breeze, you can tag the chairs before 7am and stay there till 7am, otherwise, you can pick other chairs that you may not like the location.
The resort has free yoga, zumba classes and other activities.
We enjoyed our stay. Check out was quick, Housekeeping was middle of the week.
Higher floors more quiet, pick ocean view
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.