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“Staying in an ashtray”

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Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 27, 2006

My husband and I booked our trip through Costco and we chose the Marriott for its location on the beach (at the end of the hotel zone) and our positive experiences with this hotel chain in the past. We stayed from Nov. 17-Nov. 24. We will not stay at the Marriott again. I was shocked at the condition of this hotel and our review is in complete agreement with the review posted on November 25. The price per night is an insult for the condition of this hotel. Staying at this hotel was like living in an ashtray. We are not allergic to smoke, but the smell of this hotel was awful and the smoke penetrated our 4th floor room daily. The pool and beach are overcrowded on a daily basis. Beach chairs around the pool are spaced about 12 inches apart, so if you like some sense of privacy, this hotel is not for you. The beach was one of the nicer beaches on the hotel zone, but not very impressive. Save yourself some money and just go to the Bahamas. You will have access to the same type of beaches there. The one positive about this hotel is the restaurant Simply Fish. The food and service was excellent. If you want to catch a beautiful sunset while you eat, make your reservation for 6:30.

  • Stayed: October 2006, traveled as a couple
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11  Thank WrigleyBlue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5,168 - 5,174 of 5,893 reviews

Reviewed November 24, 2006

My husband and I just returned from a week at this resort. 11/05-11/12/06. We had saved up points and were looking to relax before having our first child this winter. This was not the hotel to choose.

Let me start with the good points. I noticed another review which commented on a dirty pool. I did not notice this. Pool was clean and refreshing. --That is, when the 30-40 year olds were not drunk, horsing around, unapologetically splashing those people trying to read and sit by the sides.

The hotel was clean, but tired. Rooms were comparable to what you would find at a standard Marriott along route 95 up and down the East Coast. -- Yes, those rated tier 1-3. Other than location, I cannot understand how this hotel is ranked tier 7 by Marriott.

Location -- Yes, beautiful beach. But it is VERY PUBLIC. In other words, it is filled quickly in the morning, and lots of people there are not staying at the resort. You'll get people from the cruise ships, other resorts, etc.

Smoke. My title for this review is very truthful. Being 7 months pregnant and allergic to smoke, I made it a point to reserve a non-smoking room. Unfortunately, this exists in concept only. The main rooms are designed to open into interior hallways which are open to an atrium. The atrium is open to the lobby and casino below. Smoking is allowed in all public areas -- restaurants too. People are smoking as they walk through the lobby -- you'll be breathing it constantly. From about 6pm on, when the public casino starts filling up, it is almost unbearable to even walk through the lobby (for a non-smoker, that is.) There is a thick cloud of smoke. The smoke is then pulled through the ventilation system/ AC..and it fills your "non-smoking" room every night. The hallways stink. We found a high concentration of cigar smokers too --- smoking on the beach, in the ocean, at the restaurants...everywhere. It was gross.

The casino -- as opposed to being a casual side note as it is represented on the Marriott website -- completely denotes the tone and behavior of many of the hotel guests. Again, the casino is public and draws people from all over. In general, it is loud, rowdy, and smoky. During the night, we were awoken several times by shouting from the casino. If this is the kind of "bar scene" vacation you are looking for, then this is the place for you. But it does not lend itself to quiet, relaxation, or rejuvenation.

The reason I am so strong with this review is that my husband and I were truly surprised. We have traveled a lot -- at various resorts and spas in the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, USA and Europe -- and never experienced such a discord between the way a resort is represented and the way it truly is. It was a great disappointment. As a final critique, our refrigerator was broken. - We requested it be fixed and a repair associate came very quickly to do so. He told us it had been turned off, and he just had to turn it on. 3 days later, it was still warm on the inside. Albeit minor, it was just another frustration.

A side note regarding the spa -- it was fine. Not great, but fine. It is very small, so I didn't really find it to be a place where I would spend any more time beyond waiting for and having my treatment. The shower/ changing facilities were adequate, no more. Minimal toiletries and no private area for changing. No refreshments other than one bottle of water and one pitcher for tea. There was ONE magazine in the waiting area -- and of course a TV tuned into the hotel casino. Prices were equivalent with NYC. --Without more than the basic "niceties." But -- there's no smoking in the spa, so at least there is one place you can escape to.

On the positive side, the staff truly is nice. We enjoyed interacting with them, and they made for a pleasant environment.

In closing, I would simply recommed that if you are considering this hotel, think carefully about what type of holiday you would like to have. For some, heavy drinking, poorly behaved kids, rowdy adults, shouting, and heavy smoke everywhere is just fine...no problem. But if you are looking to get away from that, have some quiet time, with a focus on relaxation and health of any sort, I would strongly suggest you look elsewhere.

  • Stayed: November 2006, traveled as a couple
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11  Thank ModelMama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 24, 2006

We had a lovely vacation at the Marriott Stellaris from Nov 14 - 21, 2006! The BEST part of the vacation is the BEACH! If you LOVE to swim, in sparkling water with no waves, this is the place! The beach is gentle and calm, and since it is the last hotel on the north side, it is quiet with no real "foot traffic" like the other hotels have. The hotel and the beach are very relaxing! There were LOTS of palapas/huts, and you could reserve a hut for 3 days in a row for $10.00/day....or just take your chances. Honestly, if you didn't get a palapa, there are still lots of beach chairs to move around and find a nice palm tree. The pool is gorgeous, with a swim-up bar, and lots of chairs! Really, it was wonderful. You could get up and stand in line at 7am daily and get a palapa for that day on a first come, first served basis, which was free. They reserve only 50% of the chairs in advance, so daily you have an opportunity to get in line and choose a good location if you are an early bird.

There are good opportunities for food and drink at the hotel, and since you can drink all of the water safely, you don't need to buy bottles unless you are going on an excursion.

I went to the Ocean Club next door where they have a SPA...the deep tissue massage was very good, comparable to a spa in the US...of which I was very surprised. The ambiance is lacking though, and although it was a bit expensive, the tip is included in the price they quote you.

By the way, we had stayed last year at the Wyndham, which is now the Aruba Resort and Casino, which was offering a good price/deal, but we found that there is a lot of construction next to the hotel where they are building a new RIU hotel (which will be awesome when completed) but it infringes on the peace and quiet...so we went for the Marriott. There are 3 Marriotts right in a row (Stellaris, Ocean Club and Surf club) and the Stellaris is the best...the other 2 are timeshares and don't even have their own restaurants, so those guests had to come and use the Stellaris facilities. Also, the Surf Club is constructing a new pier so the beach area is a mess there.

We found the prices to be fair for both food and drink (we expected to pay high prices), but WAVES was a bit pricey for grilled fish, averaging $35.00 plate... There was always a good buffet for breakfast and dinner which was reasonably priced. We went out for dinner to some nice restaurants...took a taxi to BUCCANEER which is a great VALUE, excellent food (be sure to try the lobster bisque) and also a fun location...they have aquariums at every table...lots of ambiance, kind of like a ship on the inside. The other hotel is more "downtown" called the DRIFTWOOD, which was a bit higher priced, but fantastic Aruban style fish and a nice menu.

There are lovely jewelry stores downtown, and the prices are very good for gemstones, and the quality is excellent! The Renaissance Mall area downtown near the cruise ship port is very lovely with great shops and restaurants in the area.

We wanted to go out dancing at night, but there's not a lot to here in the evening, except eat dinner very late. We did go to Carlos and Charlies, and also Mambo Jambo, but the band didn't even start until midnight, so take a nap before you go out! The band plays until 4am though (but bring taxi money - no busses) It's not the place to go if you want nightlife...it's a very "civilized" island and mostly quiet and friendly.

We either took the bus for $2.00 round trip or hopped in a taxi for either $5 or $10 depending on the location...no need for a rental car here. Don't plan on walking to restaurants from the hotel unless you are very physically fit...it is safe to do so, but its a bit far... If you walk on the beach though and cut through the hotels, its a lot faster!

We had been to Aruba before and had already experienced the other side of the island and the caves, "baby beach", and more...that's really fun if you haven't been there before.

BRING THE SUNBLOCK! And a hat! It's very close to the equator here and even those who don't normally suffer sunburns are going to really feel it!

The hotel offered us a free upgrade from a garden view room to an ocean view...but it was a "non-smoking room" which was located on a "smoking" floor??? It was strange that they thought the smoke wouldn't enter that one room...so although the view was awesome, we chose the gardenview room on the entirely non-smoking floor. We were almost never in the room, and they all have balconies and we even had a partial view of the ocean anyway! We were delighted. The casino area at the front lobby tends to be very smoky with cigarettes, so we asked for a room far away from the smoke. The room was clean, and was a 4 star (but not a 5 star). It was very large and the housekeeping staff was very good, so we were happy to leave tips for the service. There is a huge safe in the room to leave all of your valuables..it's great! We have visited the Radisson, and we believe the Marriott Stellaris to be the better value for the money.

There is a lobby bar and also a snack shop with pastries and cappucinos that is open 24 hours. The gift shops were nice too.

We just love Aruba: you can drink the water without getting sick, the food is always fresh and healthy, the island people are very kind and welcoming, the island is very clean, and the beaches are spectacular! We hope you enjoy your trip as much as we did! We'll be returning again next year!

  • Stayed: November 2006, traveled as a couple
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10  Thank Showplace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 21, 2006

My husband and I went to Aruba for our first anniversary. I was a little apprehensive about staying at the Marriott due to some of the reviews, but we found a great package deal that we couldn't refuse. I worried for nothing - the Marriott was beautiful and clean. We stuck with a garden view room, but it was large and comfortable, as was the bathroom. We didn't notice any smoke smell from the casino. The beach area is gorgeous - clear blue water that is very calm with soft sand. We didn't reserve a palapa ahead of time, but there were still many available even when we went in the afternoon. We spent most of our time on the beach, but the pool area was also very pretty and had many lounge chairs for guests.

We didn't eat at any of the hotel restaurants, but we did order from room service a few times, and the food was very good and reasonably priced. We also went to Flying Fishbone, Papiamento, and Gasparito for dinner. We absolutely LOVED Flying Fishbone. You sit outside on the beach and have the water lapping at your feet. We made a 6 p.m. reservation, so that we could watch the sunset and the stars that came out afterward. The food (tuna tataki for an appetizer, the rib eye and sea bass for our entrees, and assorted sorbets for dessert) was superb and the portions huge, the service was impeccable, and the ambience so romantic. We really liked Papiamento as well. You can sit outside next to a pool, and it's very pretty. The food was also really good (try the "on the stone" items). The ravioli appetizer at Gasparito was tasty.

We went on a snorkeling trip with Jolly Pirates, which was really fun. You get to ride a pirate ship, they give you drinks (soda and alcohol), and the staff is really nice. They also have a rope swing that guests can try (I didn't because I can't swim, but the others seemed to enjoy it), and the captain can do some really neat tricks. We also went on a jeep safari with ABC Tours, and visited an ostrich farm, the natural bridge, gold mill ruins, the national park, and got to snorkel in the natural pool. We also went to the Mandara spa at the Marriott (my hubby got the hot stone massage and I had the ocean wrap) - the spa was really nice and the staff friendly.

We also rented a Toyota Yaris from 2 Plus Rent-a-Car for $25 a day. It was definitely worth it to take a drive around the island and see the California Lighthouse, visit downtown, and go to Eagle Beach (which is also beautiful). DON'T rent from American Car Rental. They gave me a quote of $127 for 5 days to rent a Jeep Wrangler, and I made a reservation for an automatic. However, when we got there, they said that they gave us the wrong price and that we hadn't requested an automatic (they only had manual models on the lot). They wouldn't honor the previous quote and wanted to charge us over $300. But they didn't charge us a cancellation fee, so we cancelled our reservation.

All in all, we had an awesome time in Aruba and the Marriott, and definitely plan to return!

  • Stayed: November 2006, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank HappiestWife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 16, 2006

My boyfriend and I recently stayed at the Marriott and had a fantabulous time. From the moment we arrived to the time that we left, the staff was absolutely courteous and sought to do everything possible to make us happy. Upon checking in at the front desk, we were handed drinks by the bell boy. The hotel is situated right on the beach so that when you go out you are step away from the most gorgeous white sand beach with turquoise clear water (Jersey shore, eat your heart out!!!!) The room we got was very comfortable and had the most amazing view of both the pool area, palm trees and beach. The activities card listed fun things for everyone (guests w/ kids, couples, etc).. even though I don't gamble, I found the casino to be quite nice (the jackpot helped me reach this decision), there's a bar in the pool (although we pretty much stayed on the beach everyday) and Waves Bar by the water. Everyday from 3-5 they have happy hours specials at the Waves bar. Once you see the beautiful sunset at 6pm, the Waves Bar turns into Simply Fish, where the staff sets up tables on the beach so that you can have a romantic dinner by candlelight. La Vista restaurant also located in the hotel offers brunch buffets everyday and dinners specials with a theme (Italian Trattoria night one night, Chinese Buffet another night, etc).. Then there is also a very nice Italian restaurant, plus a regular lobby bar, and pastry shop which is open 24/7, along with souvenir shops. As far as the beach and the ameniities are concerned this is by far the best hotel on all of Palm Beach. Everyday we walked along the beach and had a chance to check out all the other hotels and it's clear that we made the right choice. There was another nice one that we may consider the next time called Playa LInda but that's pretty much it. Even if you just stay at the hotel without ever leaving the premises you will not be dissappointed. However, if you do wish to venture out, site seeing tours are available and are set up by the concierge staff. We took a tour of the island and also went to see the capital. The pictures that I saw on-line before booking my stay did not lie. This is really a remarkable resort! We cannot wait to go back. The only thing that we would do differently next time around is book a rate that also includes food and drinks. Other than that, EVERYTHING WAS SUPERB. You cannot go wrong with this one!

  • Stayed: November 2006, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank FREQUENT-FLYAH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 16, 2006

My wife and I vacationed at the Marriott Stellaris Resort from 11/4 to 11/12 and these are my brief impressions. I don't have out photos uploaded yet but I will try to add some as soon as I can from both the Marriott grounds and around Aruba.

We rented a Jeep from Royal and had no problems with it at all. The car was nice, new, and ran well. It wasn't hard picking the car up or dropping it off. I would give them a thumbs up reccomendation and use them again myself.

When we checked into the Marriott we had our room upgraded to a king pool view room because we were Silver Marriott Reward members. The room was nice and had a view of the interior area of the pool and grounds but we weren't up high enough to get a view of the ocean water. The bathrooms are definitely large for a hotel and my wife and I had complaints are anything at all as far as the room itself goes. It was also a big plus to have a small refrigerator in the room. We stopped by the grocer store twice to pick up some beer and breakfast food. We both like to sleep in (around 9:30 or 10:00) so we never ate breakfast anywhere other then bagles or Special K bars in our room.

Our average day goes as follows: headed down to the ocean somehwere between 11 and 11:30. We did rent an ocean front pallapa ($15 per day) for 3 days. 3 days in a row is the max you can reserve a pallapa before having to go rotate to another different pallapa. It was worth it to reserve a pallapa and was nice to have some shade and a place make our home base out of. We carried a small collapsable cooler down with us each day that we would put a couple of waters in and about 4 or 5 beers which we would fill up with ice in the hotel before heading down. We got 4 bottled waters at the grocery store and would refill them in our room and toss them back in the fridge to keep cool. Drinks are expensive at the resort as you would expect so I would ever so highly reccomend stopping by one of the grocery stores and buying your own alcohol and some waters. The water is great on island so it's ok to refill from the tap water.

We ate lunch a couple of days at the Marriott Beach Grill called Waves and it was find and the ususal bar and grill food, cost us about $ 30 to $35 for lunch there each time. We also walked down to Moomba one day and also down to Pellican's Nest for lunch also. Both of those are nice, espcially for a change of scenery, but I wish we had eaten at Pelican's Nest more. It has a really neat atmosphere on a small pier over the water that my wife and I liked. It is about a 10 minute walk down the beach towards the other resorts.

One thing my wife and I did like about the Marriott is that you are at the very end of the resorts on Palm beach. The beach and water is the same all along but at least when we were floating in the water or walking the beach we could look to our rights from the water and see high rises or look to our left and see nothing but sand dune and palm trees with people wind surfing. I know it sounds a little simple but it was nice to feel like you wern't crowded on both sides if you know what I mean. The water is great and there are no waves.

We ate dinner at Flying Fishbone, Pinchos, and Passions and I would rank them in that order as far as our favorites. Although they were all great and I would certainly eat and all of them again, Flying Fishbones is just awesome. We had made reservations ahead of time so we had a great seat at the water with a good view of the Sunset as our feet were getting wet. Sunset is a hair after 6 so we made reservations at 5:30 and while it was a little earlier dinner then preferred it was worth it and we weren't the only people there that had made the same plans.

We did hit the spa Laramar at the Radisson and liked it as well, the massage was $105 per person I believe which was a little higher then I was expecting but we basically had the place to ourselves so that was cool.

We also road down to baby beach one day and that was neat but I don't think I would do it again. It cost 50 cents to use the toilet there, which upset me, but I just missed having a pallapa and a chair to lay down on.

I'll do my best to get some of my pictures posted as soon as I can but I hope this helps.

  • Stayed: October 2006, traveled as a couple
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15  Thank kbgunter1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2006

My boyfriend and I went to Aruba for our 1 year anniversary. Everything was perfect, upon check-in we pushed for an upgrade to an Ocean View room ( orginally booked a garden view ) It took some time and our room wasn't ready but it was worth it - great ocean view and HUGE Bed, extremely comfortable.
The Restaurants were great too, went out to dinner every night to many of the highly recommended restaurant s- TRY CUBA'S COOKING. A must while in Aruba.

The trip was totally relaxing without much nightlife except the casinos which was fine for a few nights and then we retired early, perfect if you want to relax. The beach was beautiful and the water was so calm everydaya. Another recommendation for you is to book your hut for the beach when you arrive and reserve it for the 3 day max. This way you do not have to get up at 6:30am for a hut on the beach. Believe me, I did this 2 mornings in a row and there were about 10 people in line.

We are definatley going to back to Aruba and the Marriott, the locals are by far the friendliness I have ever come across in my travels!!

  • Stayed: October 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
7  Thank KCW1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino

Address: L.G. Smith Boulevard #101, Palm - Eagle Beach, Aruba
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Aruba > Palm - Eagle Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#4 Romantic Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#5 Luxury Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#5 Spa Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#6 Family Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
Price Range: $301 - $974 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino 4*
Number of rooms: 411
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled on Palm Beach, Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino is an essential getaway to your alluring Aruba vacation. Enjoy comfort and relaxation at our oceanfront resort in Palm Beach, Aruba featuring an adult exclusive pool, and the exclusive Tradewinds Club - an upscale hotel-within-a-hotel concept on the top floor of the resort. Savor in the upgraded amenities, five daily dining presentations in the private lounge, a member-only beach area, and full access to the Tradewinds Concierge Service. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Marriott Aruba Resort And Stellaris Casino
Marriott Aruba Resort & Stellaris Hotel Palm/Eagle Beach
Marriott Aruba Hotel Stellaris
Marriott Palm/Eagle Beach
Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino Palm - Eagle Beach

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