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“"Enjoy"” 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 #18 of 24 Hotels in Palm - Eagle Beach
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

This is a nice, big resort. It's on a nice beach but the beach isn't good for snorkeling. Kids will be in Heaven with the two pools and the lazy river. Plus the hotel offers many activities which are fun for the kids, and offer the parents some relaxation time. But don't worry parents and adults, there's a serenity pool by the beach where you have to be over 20 to get in. Nice swim-up bar with TV's. Also, try Baby Beach, it's worth the 45 minute drive.

Room Tip: "Garden View rooms are good too."
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1,845 reviews from our community

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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 (491)
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English first
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2013

We are owners at this timeshare location and return every year. During peak weeks, this is a crowded resort - no doubt. As a family oriented location, Spring Break is loaded with kids. So if you choose to stay here, be prepared for either “noise” or the “sound of fun” – depending on your outlook.

Although many complain about the need to tag pool chairs and about the process of claiming a palapa on the beach, local management have worked hard to make it a bit more accommodating. This past year they added 40 palapas. If you want a specific place by the pool or on the beach during a peak week like Spring Break, you will be up early. Frankly we observed many open spots well past 7:00 and even at the peak of the day you will find a spot somewhere to sit and take in the Aruban fine weather. As others have noted, off-peak weeks are far less crowded and availability of "spots" is not an issue.

Villa accommodations are spacious and a major multi-year renovation of the villas is planned starting with the Lighthouse building (first building constructed at this site) over the coming year. Upgrading of TVs and other “soft” amenities continues in other buildings – a process that is overdue. There is also a planned upgrade to Wi-Fi availability (currently only in the lobby). Lessons learned next door at the Ocean Club will hopefully expedite the process.

Beach views of the ocean are extremely limited as the beach front is taken by either local water sports businesses or the “umbrella rental guy”. Note that beach and pool privileges are not shared between the Marriott sites so it is a major disappointment that the Surf Club beach is the “poor sister” of the family.

The main attraction of the resort is the pool area. The kids love the Lazy River and we noted that the kids programs continue to expand.

As with all timeshare locations, you will be contacted upon arrival (if not before) about attending a presentation. Marriott is pushing their Destination Points program. If you do not want to disturb your vacation, simply say “no thank you”. If you succumb to the incentives offered, be prepared for your visit to the sales floor in the Ocean Club to be a minimum of 1 ½ hours. Remember, their job is to sell you points!

As for the personnel, we find them to be friendly and ready to help you. A ‘good morning” greeting is everywhere and the folks here work hard to keep the resort clean and secure.

In sum, we love Aruba and now with grandchildren, we will continue to enjoy our ownership.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Piscataway, New Jersey
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2013

my wife and i stayed at the surf club in december of 2012. no complaints really, only positive memories. we didn't swim in the pool but the ocean was great. they were conducting some sort of beach dredging but it didn't stop us from enjoying the beautiful ocean waters. we didn't dine at the restaurants but got our provisions from a local grocery store as we wanted to keep our costs down. we took a long walk north towards the lighthouse to enjoy some wonderful snorkeling. overall a wonderful trip.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
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South Burlington, Vermont
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2013

I like Marriott resorts and we are even owners in the Vacation Club. Aruba Surf was well situated on the shoreline and the hotel was nicely appointed, The lazy river was delightful and the villa was great. But I hated the whole system of tagging chairs and reserving palapas. We only participated once - went down to the pool at 7:00 am to find the majority of chairs already tagged. People had gotten up and down there at 6:00 am already! People, this is not vacation, to feel pressure to get the "great spot" by the pool or the beach. The beach was not all that conducive to rest either - crowded and loud. We took off for local beaches elsewhere and had a much more relaxing time. I am not sure how Marriott could address this problem but it seemed silly and they have too many people obviously for the space. Marriott - Buy up the empty land next door and build more pools. Also if you needed to take an elevator to get to your room, some times of the day you had to wait in line 15-20 minutes! The stairway was hard to find but positioning access to it better might have reduced crowds. WE climbed 10 flights one day to avoid the wait which was good for our heart rates, but the stairway itself was not very pleasant to be in. Marriott can do better.

Room Tip: High floors allow for some distance from noise.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

Stayed at Aruba Surf Club for a week in March 2013, as I was attending a wedding at the Marriott Stellaris. 4 30yr olds shared the 2 bedroom suite for a week. Do not go to this property expecting a hotel experience. This is a timeshare, the help at the property will not go out of their way to make you comfortable or even show that they care about your stay. The week started off bad when they do not only have a 4PM check-in time meaning you miss your first day in Aruba, but when i did finally check-in at 4:30 my room still had not been cleaned, and they send me to a room with the staff still there working. What can take so long to clean the rooms? After finally checking in i thought i could at least enjoy a little beach time and the sunset on the first day. I headed to the beach, and after the sunset decided it was a good idea to relax after a long day in the jacuzzi. Went to jacuzzi and saw that there was a man passed out drunk in the jacuzzi. Security came by to make sure he was ok but did not ask him to leave or think it was a good idea to get him out of the jacuzzi. After 15mins in the jacuzzi I thought it would be great to experience the lazy river and see what it was like. I took 1 trip around the lazy river, 5 minutes time, and the drunk guy in the jacuzzi woke up and left, but when he left he took all my stuff. My bag with 2 ipods, and iphone, a kindle, my beach speakers, all my sunblock, my flipflops, my towel. He was so drunk there was no way he knew what he was doing. The security guard watched him leave and take all of this stuff, but had no way of knowing it was not his. When i came back from lazy river to get my stuff security guard said that they guy had just walked away with it. He didn't know where he went. Rather than call on his walkie talkie to other security, or really help, he made no big deal of it. I looked around and could not find the guy. I went to front desk since i now no longer had a key to my room, and they also did not care that my stuff had been stolen. Just smiled and said here's your key. At that point i was ready to flip out, I asked if they had any security there that would care that items were being stolen from their pool area, as it does not make for a fun vacation if you can't trust the stuff you leave by the pool for 5 minutes, and said i was amazed they did not even want my information in case items were found. They did not care that my stuff had been stolen, and were not helpful to make it easier for me, or even let me know where i might be able to replace some of the stuff stolen (great when your sunblock gets stolen in Aruba on the first day and it is $20 a bottle in the gift shop). The next morning i was contacted that they found my bag, inside was a couple of things, but ipods, speakers, and other items were missing. The lack of communication meant that someone turned my bag into the front desk in the middle of the night, but they did not get any info, so we could not have follow-up on all the items that were missing. Overall, a horrible start to the vacation. I don't think there is even a general manager of this hotel.
The rooms are spacious, but the furniture and tv need to be updated. The TVs are from the 90s, and the furniture is losing all of it cushion. I understand people come in from beach and pool and they might not want the best furniture, but this stuff has run its course and it is time to update. But again, this is a timeshare, they have already made their sales of the units, it is not a hotel where they care about you coming back and staying with them again.
The pool and beach are overcrowded. I only used the lazy river after 6PM when you could go around without a little kid kicking you. The grounds are very nice, and the lazy river is extremely relaxing when you get a chance to use it. We used the beach more in front of the Stellaris since it is not as crowded. We lucked out that we had friends staying there. They use the color of your towel to decide where you belong. On our 3rd day at the beach we got kicked out of the chairs we were sitting in since we were 5 feet over the line that divided the surf club from the ocean club, even though these were both Marriott properties and the Ocean Club beach was almost empty.
Pros of the Surf Club are that you get a spacious suite, with a full kitchen, allowing you to make meals if you choose and save some money. They also have nice grill areas, and the pool grounds are nice.
Cons are that the staff, outside of the guys working the beach (setting up chairs and serving drinks), do not care if you have a good stay or not. They are not friendly. The rooms are very dated and need updating. There are not many rooms in this hotel with an ocean view, almost all rooms overlook either the pool or the parking lot and are impossible to see the ocean. Do not believe what they say in their advertising.
I would recommend this timeshare to families with kids, looking for a place to stay on the beach. As the pool and activities for the kids would be great, and they have a full kitchen to make some meals. I would not recommend this to any group of 20s, 30s, 40s, and above that is not going on a family vacation with kids.

Room Tip: Do not believe hotel when they say Ocean View, you will not be able to see the Ocean.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Detroit, Michigan
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

This was our 2nd time at this place and we enjoyed our stay. Kids go back and forth between the pool, beach and ice cream. There is the lazy river, slide, multiple pools, even an adult only pool if you want a break from kids, there is more than enough to keep everyone happy. Resort has activities for kids going on everyday and also has kids club, if the parents want an evening to themselves. Some tips...

1. Once you get to the hotel, your room wont be ready most likely. Keep bathing suits, sunscreen and sandals on top of your bags, that way u can change and get into the pool without wasting any time waiting for your room. Room will be ready and waiting for u once you take a break, if you do.
2. To reserve the pool chairs you have to tag them early, but if you tag them before 7, you have to sit there until 7, or else your tags will be removed. This is good time to catchup on reading and calm before the storm.
3. There are good food options between the 3 Marriott properties adjacent to Surf Club, charge everything to your room, that way you collect Marriott Rewards. There are lots of other food options on Palm Beach within 10 mins walk.
4. Gratuity/tip/service charge of 15% is included in the bill, except at Marriott and some other hotels, so pay close attention to you bill.
5. You do not need to rent a car, unless you plan ongoing to other side of island from Palm Beach every day. Taxi from airport to high rise hotels on palm beach is $25 and to the restaurants is about $9.
6. Plan to watch sunset on the beach with the family, keep few nights open as it does get cloudy sometimes.
7. This is a very important, because we tend to forget. Get to the Airport 3 hours before departure. You will not regret it. Even if you just dropping your bags, it is the least of the issue. Between US Customs and putting bags through multiple security checks in a single file takes forever and you might miss your flight and airline is not responsible for delay in security heck to cover another night of accomodations, but they will rebook you on next day.

Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aston, Pennsylvania
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

This was our second trip to the Surf Club. We had a wonderful room on the fifth floor with a great view of the gardens, pool and ocean.

I do want to alert everyone who is in a one bedroom unit to watch their hotel bill carefully. Most of the one bedroom units are part of what is called a " lock off". In other words, there is a master unit ( the one bedroom unit ) and the attached efficiency unit which can be opened to create a two bedroom unit.

It turns out that there is a glitch in the telephone system. All outside telephone calls made by the party in the efficiency unit gets charged to the one bedroom unit. My bill included over $300.00 in additional charges made by my neighbor in the efficiency.

The front desk readily adjusted my bill and told me that this was an unfortunate problem that could not be corrected.

Beware. Watch your bill carefully.

  • Stayed March 2013, 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 7
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
Location: Caribbean > Aruba > Palm - Eagle Beach
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:
#12 Family Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#14 On the Beach Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#17 Romantic Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Marriott's Aruba Surf Club 3.5*
Number of rooms: 450
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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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