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“Nice place, but not worth the money”

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Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Oranjestad
Certificate of Excellence
New Jersey
Level Contributor
1 review
“Nice place, but not worth the money”
Reviewed April 1, 2010

I went to Aruba in July, also known as "One Happy Island", at least that is what is written on the license plates. I went with a group of friends, there were about 10 of us, and we all stayed in the Ocean Suites. Because it had a bigger, and we all wanted the swim up bar access. Our age ranged from 26 - 29. We all just wanted to have fun. We went from Saturday to Saturday.

COMPLAINTS (only 2)

I had a few issues with the resort, first although we paid for the all-inclusive; we had to sign for everything. Since the resort had members that weren’t on the all-inclusive plan, they required you to always have your plastic member card with you. It was quite annoying, because when we were in the pool, and we wanted to get a drink, someone had to get all the cards. They charged the meal/drinks per room, and since there was a limit on how much each room can eat/drink it got really confusing for the waitress and annoying for us. Since we were a large group we would eat together in groups, and most of the time, it wouldn’t be by rooms. Therefore, when we went to out to eat, we had to explain to the waitress (who had a limited understanding of English), how it was to be divided. And when it came to dinner, all 10 of us would dine together, and that was a huge mess.

My second complaints are the animals, the birds and the iguanas especially. They really have no fear of humans. The iguanas are so accustomed to being feed by previous guest that they walk around the outside restaurants, like they own the place. The birds are the worst, while I was sitting down at a table, they will hop on, and start picking at your plate. I ate breakfast at the outside restaurant the first day, and I never when back there. I ate all my breakfast and lunch at the Blue restaurant (located in the Marina resort, across the street), and its indoors away from all the animals. However at night, the animal seem to disappear, and I was more comfortable to eat in the outside restaurant.

Besides those 2 items, I was happy with my stay at the resort. I like the freedom of having access to both resort/building. If you’re into gambling, then you will love this resort and it downtown location. It about 4 casinos to play at, in a 4 block radius.

NIGHTLIFE

The party scene was not like what we expected. There is no night life from Sunday to Tuesday. But, once Wednesday came it was fun. We went on a party bus, it was different. Had a toast at sunset on the beach, ate at the governor (or maybe it was the mayor) house, then we went bar hopping. It was pretty fun, because there was about 3 bus loads, and we would try to one up each other, on being the loudest and craziest bus. We also went to Senior Frog twice, the first time, it was dead, but the second time (believe it was Wednesday night) it was packed and we had fun. We also took a $10 taxi ride, down to the other resorts, and walked around there.

PRIVATE BEACH

What also attracted us to this resort was the fact that it had a private beach, and you took one of the resort speed boat over to the island. If you don’t want to travel over to the island, they also had a man made beach at the Ocean suite resort. But, don’t forget your bug spray, because those mosquitoes can be brutally. The flamingos were refreshing; I like them so much more than the iguanas and the birds.

OVERALL

I had a fabulous time. I was a change a pace from my work week. It's not as tropical The staff, were nice and always willing to talk, and share a funny story. I was a little disappointed that we paid so much for the rooms/package. I expected there to be more, but I didn’t let that ruin my vacation. The shopping was ok, they were really willing to bargain, there prices were all fixed. I would avoid the market that is found by the Ocean Suites, they were a bit pricey, but it you walked a block down from the Marina suite/resort, that market had more selections.

I would recommend this resort for anyone, thay loves animals (espicially iguanas), and just want a relaxing time, with a bit of gambling.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank jamaicangirl0303
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Brooklyn, New York
1 review
Reviewed March 29, 2010

Most amazing hostel in Aruba. There's for everyone (including kids) and one for adults. The company owns a private island you can go to by boat.

Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank GabyK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
Level Contributor
112 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
Reviewed March 28, 2010

Stayed at the Suites for 5 days. The pool and bar there are really nice. The room is also nice. The boat to the Renaissance Island is convenient. The restaurant on the Island is pretty good and the beach area are nice. I really enjoyed staying here. BUT, I can see where some people wouldn't and here's why: the adult beach features an extended family of flamingos that make a lot of noise and if you are unnerved by that sort of thing, you won't like it. The boatride out to the island can be bumpy and wet - though it's only about 5 minutes. The Island is adjacent to the airport and the departing and landing aircraft are loud (though not frequent). If you are looking for a quiet beach, this may not be for you.

So if you are OK with all these potential distractions, you'll have a great time. If not, you might look for something else.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank BCKL78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level Contributor
30 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed March 26, 2010

I truly enjoyed my stay at this hotel with that said the hotel is not perfect. Check in took forever (4hrs) due to a convention at the hotel and people were leaving that day. Loved happy hour at the bar from 4 - 6 but we had one waitress by the name of Ida who was so unprofessional and her service was so bad that we had to complain. My room had a fake balcony that I could probably fit my big toe on and it faced a side street and the noise from traffic was horrible and I'm from New York. I should really be used to it. The bathroom floor was constantly damp no matter what especially with 3 women sharing a room. With all of that said, I had a great time. I enjoyed the hotel. It was a great location for me and my friends. Loved going over to the private island and relaxing on the hammocks watching the iguanas and flamingos. I would say the bar food was not worth trying but if you get a chance do the seafood buffet. Johnathon dishes up quite a selection for you and its all you can eat for $39. We also met other people from all over chilling poolside. It was just a great vibe and a well needed vacation.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mylisa35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lowell, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
22 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed March 24, 2010

Clean, large hotel in the heart of downtown Oranjestad. There is a water taxi that runs through the hotel that takes you to a private island that is amazing. This is not the kind of hotel that you can step out your door onto the beach though. You have to take a boat to it.

There is a 24 hour casino and plenty of restaurants and shops just outside the door.

Hotel location is safe and overlooks a beautiful marina.

Pool is nice but small, which is okay because there are no kids at this hotel.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Travelergrl824
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Asheville
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 24, 2010

The hotel “marina” side which has no kids great for adults only itself was nice and open not directly on the beach but at the main spot where the cruise ships come in. We arrived around 1 but were unable to get into the room until 4 so we had to hang out at the pool. The menu at "Blue" the pool restaurant was limited but the waitress was helpful in getting us what we wanted off the menu which was great customer service "fish burger" great but very expensive $18 each. The room was small but had a great view of the ocean "ocean king". No balcony which you can hang out on only about 6” so you couldn’t sit out and watch the view. The only real complaint would be the traffic noise at night and an alarm that kept going off. The casino was fun and the dealers where very helpful in helping you understand the games they offered. The L.G. Smith Steak & Chop House restaurant on site was excellent if you are looking for great meat just amazing we loved every bite and was disappointed we couldn’t finish every last bite, very large portions. The service was also excellent I would highly recommend it to all “5 stars”. The other restaurant Aquarius had a wonderful breakfast buffet which we highly recommend. Get breakfast vouchers from the front desk to save a few bucks. The hot sauce something papaya was great. The service was also wonderful there was a manager Anaturlina (sorry for the spelling) but she was the best she made sure we had everything we needed and didn’t wait for the waitress to handle it she took care of our needs directly. Their private beach was something else a short ride from a boat that picks you up in the center of the hotel and drops you off on their beach. Very very private and there are two areas one for only adults and one for families so the adult side was quite. The wildlife was something else I’ve never seen flamingo just walking around people before and the fish where beautiful. We had dinner the first night at “Passions on the Beach” which was lovely very romantic. The food was great and service was good. We both had an appetizer and split the fish platter which was plenty of food for the both of us. It was really cool sitting on the beach watching the sun go down, just beautiful. We also ate at the “Flying Fishbone” it was pretty cool as well. It was in a residential area where the house was turned into a restaurant and you sat on the beach as well, some people actually sat with their feet in the surf. We also went snorkeling with the “red sail” group which was a ton of fun, great guys and a full open bar. We got to snorkel in two different spots, one over a sunken ship very cool. All in all we had a great time.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank LovingAsheville
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
1 review
Reviewed March 24, 2010

We are late-twenties from Chicago, and stayed at The Renaissance Aruba (Marina) last week, March 15-21st. We thought the private island was heaven, and the pool, (though small) was nice, quiet, and PLENTY of space for us. The food in general wasn't good, we ate at the Tiki bar on the private island one day and had some appetizers by the pool another and it was truly gross both times. However we did get the breakfast buffet one morning and though it was a total rip off, ($19.99 per person) it was very good food. The food in downtown Aruba was much better than that I had in Palm Beach. Palm Beach is also VERY windy, and I definitely preferred the beach and pool in the downtown area. The shopping area at The Renaissance was really nice also.

The gym was great, we worked out almost every day and the facilities were excellent. I liked the Casino a lot though (like any casino) it was TOO smokey. We played Black Jack a bunch and won almost every time, so I disagree that it is "impossible" to beat the dealer...

The rooms....Are not good though. My room smelled like pee, and the bathrooms were gross, small, and the shower/tub was the tiniest thing EVER, and VERY not well kept. The rooms need MAJOR updating, and I think some tile over ugly smelly carpeting would do them well....

The bartending and wait staff as well as Concierge and front desk were extremely friendly and helpful. Raffi, and Alejandro in the bar were awesome, we had a great time talking with them, and happy hour was always a blast. The hotel itself is nice and clean, however the rooms are icky. They need some balconies as well....I would go back to The Renaissance IF and only IF they gutted and remodeled the hotel rooms....Other than the hotel rooms, I loved downtown Aruba, tons of nice restaurants, and nightlife, and great atmosphere for shopping and lounging

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank wiucookie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino

Property: Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino
Address: L G Smith Boulevard 82 | Aruba, Oranjestad, Aruba
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Aruba > Oranjestad
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Oranjestad
#1 Spa Hotel in Oranjestad
#1 Romantic Hotel in Oranjestad
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Oranjestad
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino 4*
Number of rooms: 558
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
At the newly renovated Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino, we Live Life to Discover. Here in the heart of Oranjestad, you will find yourself in the middle of the excitement, and our entire staff is ready to inspire you. You don't have to go far to experience the real Caribbean, it's right outside your door. Our luxury hotel in Aruba offers a perfect location steps from Oranjestad's vibrant modern downtown boutiques, giving you endless opportunities to indulge your inner shopaholic. Get the thrill of a hand of poker in one of our two casinos, enjoy one of our RLifeLIVE events and revel in the Aruban culture in a way you can only experience from the heart of the city. The resort offers two distinct experiences, the hip and lively adult-exclusive Renaissance Marina Hotel and the Renaissance Ocean Suites, a sophisticated one-bedroom suite accommodation. Both provide exclusive access to a special discovery, Renaissance Island, with Aruba's only private beaches and a truly tropical experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Renaissance Aruba Hotel Oranjestad
Renaissance Aruba Resort And Casino
Renaissance Hotel Aruba
Renaissance Oranjestad
Oranjestad Renaissance
Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino Oranjestad

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