My dh and I stayed at the Surf Club for a week, Saturday to Saturday. The resort is massive. Our first night we got a little turned around and ended up asking for help figuring out exactly where our room was. Disclaimer there, we had been drinking, and it was only our 2nd time even walking to the room. We rented a studio lock off from an owner on redweek. The room was just what we needed for the two of us. Our room was on the 7th floor of the building furthest from the beach, overlooking the pool with the little waterslide. All rooms are non-smoking, and the paper when you check in says that includes the balcony, so my dh had to walk down to the smoking area a few times during our stay. He didn’t mind and as a non-smoker, I loved it! The furnishings and beddings were all up to Marriott standards and very comfortable. Our studio had a queen bed and a sleeper sofa. The room description says sleeps 4, but I would not recommend more than 2 adults and 1 child (not teen, but child) in a studio unit (also called the lock-off unit). You would be very cramped with 4 people or even 2 adults and a teen. Think of the studio as a slight step above basic hotel room. There would not be enough closet space either. We had a sink, small fridge, microwave, coffee pot, and toaster in our room.
The Surf Club property is very nice, clean, and well kept. I really can’t say anything bad about the resort. The staff is very friendly. There is a noticeable security presence, which I found comforting. The marketplace store near the lobby has everything you need, but you do pay extra for the convenience of purchasing it right on property. I wouldn’t do a week’s worth of shopping here for a family but it was nice to get a few things here and there. The restaurant near the pool was just okay, we ate there for convenience when we didn’t feel like walking but like most hotel restaurants, the food was overpriced and just okay.
Every morning the beach was cleaned and raked while we were there. This is a nice stretch of beach. The water was a little cloudy, I assume from the boat traffic but it was still such a pretty blue color. I think Marriott has one of the best palapa reservation systems. You have options, you can wait in line and reserve in the afternoon for the next day, I believe this line forms around 3pm, but I am not sure as we are early risers and chose to go down around 6am to wait in line to get a front row or 2nd row. Reservations start at 7am. If you don’t want to wait in the afternoon or the morning for the free palapa reservations, you also have the option to pay to reserve 2 days at a time. I think this gives an option for everyone. There are also plenty of chairs for people who don’t care if they have shade or want to find a spot under a tree. They also have some chairs with shade attachments but they must be kept on the back row at the beach. We saw beach attendants asking people to move them back a few times when people tried to move these shade chairs up close to the water. It was also nice having the option of ordering food and drinks from servers who made their rounds on the beach.
We don’t usually use pools much at the beach but we made an exception for the Surf Club. The pools are great. We usually eat dinner fairly early, so a few nights we came back when most people were out at dinner and ended up having the lazy river and hot tubs almost to ourselves. Keep In mind this was late April/early May and not peak season. We did not go to the adults only pool, but appreciated the option. We never used the pool during the day, except to go to happy hour at the pool bar one day. We enjoyed the happy hour drinks in the pool but some of the other guests were really into a basketball game on tv and a little annoying so we didn’t stay long. We had no problem finding a chair, but I could see where this would be an issue during peak times at the resort. I do like the chair tag system that is in place. Guests should be more considerate with chair reserving but what can you do, people sometimes feel entitled on vacation with no concern for others. I don’t know what it was the week we were at the Surf Club but there we a lot of people from NY and NJ who just had harsh attitudes and a sense of entitlement and were just plain rude to staff and other guests. That is not a reflection on the resort, but a few times it was embarrassing as an American. I am not coming down on all NY and NJ folks, but the ones that we encountered on our trip definitely were not relaxing and pleasant to be around. We are from Virginia near DC, so we do identify more with a laid back southern lifestyle, with just enough urban experience to know what to expect.
I did love the Surf Club and if we ever have children, we will stay there probably every trip. Also if we went with a group of family or friends, I would stay at the Surf Club again. I liked the option of the grills to cook out as a group. But for us, traveling as a couple, I am not sure the Surf is for us. We don’t cook on vacation, so we really don’t need a timeshare unit. We don’t drive on vacation because we like to drink and also we don’t want to even think about where to go and how to get there, and without a car you either walk a lot, or spend a lot on taxis. The Marriot properties seem a little cut off when you want to walk on the street side of the hotel row on Palm Beach. The Beach side walk is fine, once you get around Moomba and the Holiday Inn you can get back on the paved walkway. In the hot afternoon sun it can feel like a long walk just to get off the property and down to the areas we wanted to be. Granted, I am not in the best shape, but even my husband felt that way a few days near the end of the week. He got to a point where he just didn’t want to walk anymore, and he is used to being on his feet all day every day. So after all this, my final thought is, if you want to be pampered and lazy and be in the middle of the action, maybe rethink the Surf Club. But if you want a family vacation on a budget where you do some or most of your own cooking and just want nice pool, activities and a beautiful beach - this is the spot for you!
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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