The check-in process at the Ocean Club was a bit disjointed - they didn't have our reservation under the correct name, our room wasn't ready despite the property being at well short of full capacity and one of the front desk staffers seemed especially unpleasant and unhelpful. Being that we were using Marriott Rewards points for the entire stay, I was not expecting any sort of special treatment, but I would have expected a higher level of service at check-in from a Marriott property for a platinum customer.
Once our room was ready, we walked through a dimly lit corridor littered with mops and buckets, racks of bedsheets and various other housekeeping materials only to find our room keys did not work. Needless to say, our expectations for the the rest of the stay were not very high and we began to regret choosing this property.
Fortunately, things immediately improved once we entered the 1 bedroom suite. It was spotless and overlooked the pool area with a distant view of the beach. The kitchen was very well stocked, though we made use of very little of it during our stay. The balcony was larger than we expected. So was the bedroom.
While many of the reviews tend to speak neutrally at best about the pool area, we felt it was perfect for our purposes, though we did need to claim our chairs by 9 or 10am. I felt like the layout and size of the pool area was much more appropriate for the size of the property than either the gigantic Surf Club or the Stellaris resort. The beach had about 6 rows of palapas - or about 1/3rd of the amount at the Surf Club - and it was easy to reserve one. The beach itself is not the best and feels crowded with the various watersports vendors occupying fairly large chunks of land.
We mostly stayed in and around the Marriott properties for the entire week for breakfast, lunch and dinner, which was a costly choice, but we had particularly good dinners at Simply Fish and the breakfasts at La Vista and the cafe in the lobby of the Ocean Club were adequate. The food selection for lunch at the pool bar was very good and generally well-prepared, though it ought to be for the prices they charge. Service was generally very good and a notch above what we found at restaurants off-site.
The fitness facility between the Stellaris and Ocean Club was especially good, though it does tend to get crowded between 7am and 10am, with a large number of treadmills, citrus-flavored water and free fresh fruit - you'll want to take advantage of the latter since, as other reviewers have mentioned, Marriott makes sure you pay the price for convenience at almost every other turn.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set among beautiful Palm Beach is the immaculate Marriott's Aruba Surf Club. With a variety of on-site activities, filling your day with fun is no obstacle. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Marriott`s Aruba Ocean Club Hotel Palm/Eagle Beach
- Marriotts Palm Eagle Beach
- Marriotts Aruba Ocean Hotel
- Marriott Palm/Eagle Beach
- Marriotts Aruba Ocean Club
- Marriott's Aruba Ocean Club Palm - Eagle Beach