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“Had a great stay in the Spyglass Tower! But no wifi? In 2012? People with individual sound docks on the beach - annoying” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Marriott's Aruba Surf Club

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Marriott's Aruba Surf Club
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   103 LG Smith Boulevard, Palm - Eagle Beach, Aruba   |  
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Ranked #17 of 23 hotels in Palm - Eagle Beach
Tennessee Ridge, Tennessee
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Had a great stay in the Spyglass Tower! But no wifi? In 2012? People with individual sound docks on the beach - annoying”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012

We love Aruba and our time there so much that we overlook a lot of things that might annoy us normally. I've read reviews about screaming kids and stressed families and while I did see some of that, it didn't bother me because I expect that on vacation. I also go to Aruba to swim, snorkel, and hike so hanging out at the pool or beach is not something I will really comment on. I do agree with one review that the "Jersey Shore-type" has overtaken the place. These family or couple groups were loud and obnoxious and the two times we did get a palapa on the beach, this type of couple/family was inevitably beside us with their sound dock blaring (and the women would be doing makeup on the beach! Really! I don't care but it was funny to watch). I do wish listening to music should be reserved to ear buds on the beach and I hope the Surf Club will make some kind of rule about individual sound docks on the beach.

The staff made our stay wonderful. Kay at check-in was very helpful and even helpful us with our iPhone settings since I had neglected to update my roaming capability before leaving the US (be sure to *228 your phone right before leaving . . . or you may not be able to use both phone and email while in Aruba). Meldrick helped us to our room and gave us lots of tips on things to do and see. There was a ton or early morning sun in the Lighthouse Tower and we enjoy sitting outside with coffee so we requested a move to the Spyglass. Jane helped us with that and ensured that the move was quick and efficient.

Our room was spacious and comfortable, although we spent most of our time exploring and swimming and generally being active. My big complaint is the lack of wifi in the rooms. I brought my iPad to stay connected and to do some journaling. I was shocked that we could not access the Internet (except by a hard connection modem available in the kitchen) in our guest rooms. I have not carried a laptop in several years so there was no way to connect with the iPad since my cellular data option also did not work (and would have been exorbitantly expensive). I called Verizon while in Aruba and they were unable to help with that problem.

The other issue I had was the bed. It was incredibly hard and interfered with quality sleep. If you don't mind hard beds, this won't be an issue.

We enjoyed snorkeling at Baby Beach, the Donkey Sanctuary, stand-up paddling with the place in front of the Ritz-Carlton (horrible service, separate review), and SkyDive Aruba (completely wonderful experience -- separate review). We rented our Jeep from More4Less -- great Jeep, low miles, super clean. The Marriott Aruba Surf Club provided us with a relatively central location for what we wanted to do. We'll be back!

Room Tip: If you don't want early morning sun in your room or balcony, avoid mid- to high floors in the Li...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (417)
Date | Rating
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English first
Lansdowne, Pennsylvania
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2012

I stayed at this hotel with my sisters in July 2012, we exchanged through our timeshare. Overall this is a great place, the hotel staff was super friendly, and they were nice enough to give us a room early since we had arrived several hours before check-in. The room was clean and room service was great. There are several pools, and one thing we particularly enjoyed was the 21 and over pool/Jacuzzi area, the bigger pools were great, but it was nice that you have an option to go somewhere quieter and away from all the kids if you wanted.

The hotel is practically a 10 second walk to the beach, which is GORGEOUS and has a ton of beach chairs for hotel guests. We did not find it hard to get chairs at the beach or pool area, and everyone respected the tags (You are given tags to save your beach chairs). The tubes for the lazy river are supposed to be purchased, however you can easily just grab one that isn't being used (Or bring one from home and blow it up when you get there).

There are buses that take you to the "downtown" areas where you can go shopping and buy groceries etc. Many of these buses are more like minivans, so don't be scared if a minivan pulls up with a bus sign and offers you a ride lol. There is also a small mall and shopping area walking distance that has a bunch of stores, restaurants, movie theater etc.

The only warning I have is that the hotel store and food areas are RIDICULOUSLY overpriced. Even with the currency difference, you should not be paying $5 for a vitamin water or $10 for a hotdog. You would benefit much more by heading to the grocery story and buying all of your food, though it is hard to resist when one of the pools has a bar right next to it. Most of my money ended up being spent on food which was pretty annoying, however the hotel itself is fantastic and and staff were all great. Just be prepared to spend a lot more on food than anything else lol.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
State College, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2012

We traded for this time share and were here the last week of the Gold season. As usual, the Marriott met or exceeded all of our expectations for our stay. We loved the lazy river and really enjoyed our time in the "over 21" Serenity Pool. For whatever reason, almost all of the people who lounged around the Serenity Pool readily engaged in friendly conversations. That did not seem to occur in the other pool areas. Rent a car and make your first stop at the Super Food to stock up with breakfast and lunch items. Use the money you'll save on those meals and taxi fares to enjoy one of the fine restaurants away from the High Rise area for dinner. If you want to spend time at a relatively quiet beach, take a trip north, visit the California Lighthouse and then relax at Arashi Beach. Otherwise, enjoy the pools at the Surf Club. They are the best! By the way, we never had a problem finding two chairs together by the pool, although we did see that it could be a challenge for groups of four or more. One last bit of advice is to be sure to arrive at the airport 3 hours before your scheduled departure. Enjoy your stay!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Delmar, New York
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2012

We reviewed this last year and the findings haven't changed; this is a very nice property well run by Marriott in a complex that has everything----pools, beach, snack bars, shops, spa, restaurants and the like. It's primary appeal is to multigenerational families because the villas are very large and well appointed. For us, with children and grandkids, it's ideal and we're clearly not alone as most everyone there the week we were there ( Dec 8) had at least one stroller in tow and generally several grandparents and adult siblings as well. The "down" side is that this is neither chic nor designed for the adventurous. If you like sitting in a swim tube and floating down the lazy river or parking yourself on a chaise by the stunningly pretty beach, it's about perfect. Best thought about the property is that Aruba is a place with a genuine culture and middle class so there is little tension between tourists and citizens and this year we were particularly struck at how thoughtful and pleasant the staff are.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2012 via mobile

My husband and I spent 2 weeks at the Marriott Surf Club. We had a wonderful time. We used our lockout and 1bedroom villa. Our stay was paradise. We budget our money wisely so we could enjoy great meals and drinks in the evening. Mostly hung out at the adult pool, which was so relaxing. Rent a car for our stay and travelled the island. Tried different foods at grocery stores, we really liked Super Food. Went jogging prior to sunrise, felt very safe. For those visitors to this gorgeous island who have silly complaints and vow never to return again, please keep the promise. Aruba is beautiful and remember we are visitors for only a short stay. Have fun, relax, enjoy the sunset. Most of all lets be respectful to those who work really hard to make our stay a happy one. I LOVE ARUBA.

  • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manhasset, New York
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2012

If you are looking for a family friendly place this is it. Unfortunately my husband and myself have passed that stage and look for peace and quiet. Lovely lazy river. Not close to anything finding a chair is a chore. Beach far and too busy.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Erie, Pa
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2012

My wife and I traded a platinum Palm Desert (Shadow Ridge) time share for 1 week at the Aruba Surf Club. That was a mistake! We have been going to Aruba for 20+ years (10 times)and have stayed at the Hyatt, The Marriott Stellaris, The Marriott Ocean Club and the Marriott Aruba Surf Club in the past.
The Surf Club has really gone downhill! The check in process was off-putting. We were off in a little corner- not very friendly. We asked for an ocean-view but were told that since I had used Interval International for my trade, we had no choice. We got a 8th floor view of the dumpsters and the parking lot.
The pool area looks very nice but using it is difficult. You have to run down to the pools every morning at 7AM to mark your seats only to find most already taken. If you can't find two good chairs with sun protection away from the screaming kids and caribbean rap music, then you're out of luck. The demographic has changed too- it now feels like the Jersey shore where you are surrounded with loud, obnoxious, tattooed boors who are used to being a lot closer to each other than we are. You're sitting in your chair trying to read and two old ladies plop down next to you and proceed to yammer about their grandkids and their meal plan for the next five days. The rest of the crowd sit around the pool complaining about the new "points" program. (Another story!) And this is at the "Serenity Pool"!
The staff in the Mini market and gym are sullen and unhelpful. This is reamarkable because we have always felt that the Arubans were helpful and friendly- I hope that this change is just at the Surf Club and not all over the Island.
There is no place to eat at the Surf club other than the pool bar where we got a pretty good pizza for dinner one night. Otherwise we ate at the Stellaris or the Ocean Club. The buffet at La Vista is very good- Lobster night is incredible! The food and service at Simply Fish at the Stellaris is excellent. We had a very nice meal at the Ruth's Chris - the staff were helpful enough top move us away from a large family with poorly behaved children. Why do resaturants that charge $40 an entree allow misbehaving children and men with baseball caps in the dining room? We have always enjoyed the Ketsu sushi bar at the hotel.
BTW, The Casino at the Stellaris was also disappointing. There was only one Blackjack table. There were no craps tables. The slots are overwhelmingly multi-lined penny/nickel machines. Annoying at best!
All in all, we were very disappointed and will rethink our decision to trade to Aruba in the future. We will use the Stellaris or the Ocean Club or perhaps consider one of the low rise places on Eagle Beach.
We have always expected much more from Marriott. Too bad!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
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Additional Information about Marriott's Aruba Surf Club

Address: 103 LG Smith Boulevard, Palm - Eagle Beach, Aruba
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Aruba > Palm - Eagle Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#14 Family Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#15 On the Beach Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#16 Romantic Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Marriott's Aruba Surf Club 3.5*
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Also Known As:
Marriott`s Aruba Surf Club Hotel Palm/Eagle Beach
Marriotts Palm Eagle Beach
Marriotts Aruba Surf Hotel
Marriott Aruba Surf Club
Marriotts Aruba Surf Club
Aruba Surf Club
Marriott Palm/Eagle Beach
Marriott Surf Club Aruba
Marriott's Aruba Surf Club Palm - Eagle Beach

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