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“Don't look for service here!” 1 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
1 review
“Don't look for service here!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

Significant disappointments in just the first half day.
- had to wait until 4pm for our room to be ready, but checkout is at 10am. Never experienced a hotel that needed that much time.
- room is small, very small.
- Extremely disappointing... We needed milk for our baby and arrived at the store in the lobby at the time it just closed. The lights were still on and staff was in the store. To add to it, another hotel guest was also there at the same time and needed milk as well. We were both polite in asking, but they declined to service us by saying the store was closed. We went to the front desk with the issue, where no one was to be found. They came out shortly and were of no assistance, saying that we can put the concern in our survey. What a simple opportunity to satisfy a guest in significant need and they blew it!
- And... They have their cleaning staff vacuuming the lobby and elevators at 10pm. 10pm is prime time to relax in the lobby and they are vacuuming. Simply clueless on service!

Never Again!

Never again!

  • Stayed February 2015
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,802 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 (479)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Detroit, Michigan, United States
2 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

We love the Surf Club. The staff is awesome. The lazy river is the best part of the resort. It is easy to meet new friends. The secert is to wear a hat from your home town sports team. Go blue
I do have one small critique. Normally we do not eat by the pool. We were starving and didnt want to move. I wanted something simple and got the chicken fingers. It was honestly the worst tasting bland food I ever had. Took 2 bites and throw the rest away. Definitely not Madam Janete or Simply Fish. More positive critiques to come. BTW. Jobbe is the best onsite manager I have ever seen. Hopefully he takes our suggestion to make the clock hands by the hot tub slash lazy river black so you can see the clock hands. Lastly, the casino is the best

  • Stayed February 2015, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

We are owners and have been coming to the Surf Club for many years. We come during one of Aruba's busiest times, Christmas and New Year's as well as one week during off season and then again during March (which is busy but nowhere near prime season). This resort is clean and has many wonderful amenities. Lots of staff will go out of their way for customers and happily welcome you "home" for those who are regulars. Cleaning staff is pretty good but I would say that the weakest link at this resort is the front desk and the Marketplace.
The Front Desk is very slow and the organization of this area is horrendous. For some reason the staff are always changing so many times you encounter a new staff which definitely slows things down. People shouldn't have to stand in the same line for new room keys or wristbands as people checking in. This leads to a lot of frustration and negative feelings.
The new and "improved" Market Place is very dark and has improved the placement of things but it still could be better. Staff are generally slow and the new line up for Subway style sandwiches is not a great set up during peak periods.
The grounds are beautiful and clean and one needs to realize that this is a Vacation Club resort not a hotel. More like a condo with some hotel services.
Having spent ten years at this resort and watched many changes on how the pool and beach works with respect to chairs and huts, I can attest that this is as good as it gets. People must remember that any popular place, prime seats at pool or beach are hard to find and people need to go out early to get chairs. Ever tried to get a lounge chair on a cruise by the pool on a day at sea? There is not question that the facility was over built for the pool and beach space allocated but this what one needs to live with.
The issue with room allocation is a very interesting one. Since this resort has a very high rate of return of owners anyone that rents here either through the Marriott or an actual owner must understand how the rules work. For obvious reasons, an owner using their owner week gets priority over anyone else. This is our home resort so we get first crack at the inventory. There is a whole list of how priority lists are sorted out and yes, it is deceiving when you get a request form and you don't realize that if you are renting from someone else or coming in through Interval International you are at the bottom of the list. Oceanview and Oceanside are misleading categories to the people who don't own at the Surf Club. With the exception of the 3rd building (which is considered Oceanview) all the buildings are sideways to the ocean. You only get to see the ocean on an angle unless you are truly Ocean front or are placed in the 3rd building. The 3rd building is in the Spyglass building but it is farther from the beach than the Lighthouse or Compass building. Some people prefer to face directly across the pool and see the ocean so they are happy to be in the 3rd building which is oceanview. Garden View is the 4th building which has no ocean view and gardenview is also the low floors of the 2nd/Compass building. The rest of the building is oceanview. The Lighthouse building (the entire building) is called Oceanside. That is just the name they gave this building as it is closest to the beach. You aren't really oceanside as people think and again it has an angled view of the ocean. The Ocean front rooms are in this building but they are at the bottom of the hall.
The resort has limited number of rental rooms as most people are owners so, depending on how many owners are at the resort, that will dictate how many rooms they have to offer in the higher floor category. I recognize this sounds strange to some non owners but unfortunately, the people who paid the bucks to own at this resort get first priority. If I was placed on a low floor and found out a renter whether it be from Interval, Marriott or a private renter got a high floor I would be very upset. Understandably!
Check in/out is always an issue for everyone. Just as you want to get into your room upon arrival early the people in your room want to leave as late as possible. Check in/out days are not daily and the heaviest days are on the weekends, they are hustling to get rooms turned over. If you got to stay in your room until noon then the people who are coming in after you wouldn't be able to get their room until 5pm. Think about that! Usually, they can accommodate you with the smaller section of your room for an additional hour but that's all. When one gets upset about checking out think about how they felt checking in. Once again, this is not a hotel, it is a Vacation Club resort so its different. People don't get cleaning daily so the number of cleaning staff needed on a regular basis is not as high as a hotel who offer cleaning daily.
I think if people understand how a timeshare resort works then they will come in with a different expectation and won't be so disappointed .
All in all this is a wonderful resort in a wonderful island.

Room Tip: as a non owner understand the limitations that you are coming in with. Don't have high hopes fo...
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  • Stayed December 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Clewiston, Florida
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

This place is great! The rooms are spotless and very well decorated. The lobby is very nice and inviting. The Hotel is on the beach there are plenty of Palapas ( gazebos) and the water is beautiful. The place has a great pool area with several pools and even a lazy river. You can reserve your Palapas and pool chairs for your convenience. The staff is very friendly and work hard to keep activities available in the pool area. They have live music and bingo and have vendors set up in the evenings. Restaurants, casino and shopping are all walking distance from the hotel. Lot's to see and a great place to relax. A great value and the prices are reasonable.

Stayed August 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

We've been to this resort many times & have always been very pleased. This year was no different except..after having dinner one evening at a very nice restaurant in Oranjestad, my husband experienced an extremely severe case of food poisoning. He subsequently blacked out, striking his head on the tile floor, sustaining injuries. It was a frightening scene to say the least. Our friends called for help and members of the Loss Prevention team, Pablito, Mario & Gregory were summoned! Arrival at our unit was within minutes. EMT Mario exuded confidence as he calmly and professionally assessed my husband's condition, gave treatment accordingly and was such a comforting presence! In the days following, phone contacts were made and Mario visited to check on my husband's condition & progress. As an RN myself, I can not speak highly enough of this team! Also, Housekeeping was amazing & the Marriott staff as a whole was outstanding! In our time of need you were there and we thank you!! See you again next year!

  • Stayed February 2015, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MarriottVacationClub, Corporate Customer Care at Marriott's Aruba Surf Club, responded to this review, 6 days ago
Thank you for your TripAdvisor review, Sharon! We are happy to hear your husband is feeling better and appreciate the time you took to share your thoughts online. We look forward to hosting you again at Marriott's Aruba Surf Club!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

The good:
The weather is perfect every day, 85º and sunny.
The physical facility is abundant with splash pools, waterfalls, kiddie pools, the beach and ocean, the Lazy River and other family entertainment, e.g., feeding the iguanas, kids’ clubs, movie nights so that adults can go out for dinner, bingo in the afternoon, live entertainment in the evening etc.
The rooms are nice, of good size and the views from many of the rooms are fabulous.

The bad
Management generally and lack of service mentality in particular.

I have been to many hotels during my life-- and many, many Marriott hotels, and most of the time the hotel or resort is glad to extend itself to accommodate the guest. Fundamentally, the guest is the prize and is being hosted, not to mention paying, after all.

Not so at the Aruba Surf Club.

We have stayed here twice and both times our rooms were not as reserved and paid for at first. So then you have to fool with management and they move you to another room or rooms. Eventually (this time my wife lost a good purse in the process), you end up in a room that is satisfactory, whether within your room reservation or not.

The point however is that satisfaction in this regard is not at all reliable-- it is just a matter of luck. And so it is with other accommodations like late checkout as well: sometimes you’ll get it, sometimes you won’t, but you’ll have no confidence in your host one way or the other.

And it all leaves you a bit frustrated, to say the least.

This is not to say that the rooms are not serviced, they are daily. True, a couple of days I had to ask for service, but it came promptly, and fresh linens and towels are supplied.

The food available leaves a lot to be desired: The Friday night buffet was terrible-- no wonder they give you all you can eat—eating the food is the challenge! The beach service often takes very long and brings food that is cold, but we were there on the busiest week of the year, they said.

I cannot emphasize the lack of service mentality and concern for guests enough. There were three elevators in the Lighthouse Tower-- only two ever worked during our entire 9-day stay—and one went out our last day, causing lengthy lines to get into and out of the rooms. When asked about it on the seventh day of our stay, the front desk staff said they would call—they were then?!?-- and replied eventually that a part was needed from the states. They never heard of FedEx at Marriott Aruba Surf Club? Who knows how many weeks it took to get that fixed. Others have repeatedly complained about similar service failures.

Overall, it’s a great facility with relatively poor service.

Room Tip: The 11th, 12th and 14th floors have the best ocean views.
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  • Stayed February 2015, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
MarriottVacationClub, Corporate Customer Care at Marriott's Aruba Surf Club, responded to this review, 6 days ago
Thank you for visiting Marriott's Aruba Surf Club. We are pleased you enjoyed your overall stay at the resort and appreciate your feedback. Our team apologizes for not exceeding your expectations when it came to service and will share your comments with the resort's management team. We look forward to seeing you again on your next vacation in Aruba.
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Markham
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

After writing my previous review I decided to make special mention of a very special lady at The Aruba Surf Club. Her name is Yenny Damsma. If visiting the Marriott Aruba Surf Club, please do not forget to drop by The Captain's Galley and say hello to her. Her personality, charm, warmth,wit, honesty and willingness to make your vacation memorable is outstanding. A lady whom I believe The Surf Club should highly recognize as she is a valuable asset to them. There are so many like Yenny working there, but Yenny stands out first and foremost and is a pleasure to get to know while on vacation. The Captains Galley where she works is run by Adolfo who is such an amazing individual. It's no wonder they work so well together. He listens to his guests, tries to implement whatever they suggest within reason, makes changes to your liking, and has made the restaurant a pleasure to eat, drink, meet friends, and relax. Thank you to both of you.

Stayed February 2015, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MarriottVacationClub, Corporate Customer Care at Marriott's Aruba Surf Club, responded to this review, 6 days ago
Thank you for your review and kind words for Yenny! We look forward to seeing you again soon at Marriott's Aruba Surf Club!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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
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:
#12 Family Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#16 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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