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“Very good stay ... other than check-in”

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Marriott's Aruba Ocean Club
Ranked #10 of 24 Hotels in Palm - Eagle Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 6, 2013

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.

Room Tip: Rooms on the south side of the property facing the Surf Club do not have much of a view, especially...
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank cllgstdva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 5, 2013

This is our 10th time here. We have never been disappointed. The room is updated, Pool & grounds are clean, plenty of pool/huts, food is good and staff is excellent. Its so peaceful here compared to other hotels. If you come go to the comedy show at the Westin. It's $40 per person with no drink minimum & if you show your ticket at the casino they give youn$40'credit at the casino. I played a penny machine for 10 min max bet & won $170! The 1st comic was funny, 2nd ok but third Brian Scott McFadden was as good as they get. The whole room was hysterically laughing. I was laughing so hard my stomach hurt.

Room Tip: 5th floor center
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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Thank jersey9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 4, 2013

On a whim, I decided to take a long weekend trip to Aruba and looked for Marriott properties where I could use my Marriott points. Of the three Marriott properties right next to each other, the Ocean Club fit best into my timeframe and had an ocean view room available. The one bedroom suite was WONDERFUL!! It had a whirlpool tub, king bed, full kitchen, spacious dining/living room area and a balcony. I just wanted a little quiet time and a little adventure and I was able to accomplish both on this trip. I was able to sit on the beach and read, go to the nearby casino, take a tour of the island, and do a little shopping. I initially requested a room not facing the pool but wasn't able to get one on arrival. The next day they offered me another room but by that time I was comfortable and decided to remain. The entire staff was very accommodating and attempted to meet all my needs--from the spa to the bellman to the wait staff in the restaurants. All in all a wonderful trip and I plan to return!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank BFR1920
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 4, 2013

First off,it IS a Marriott, so it's fairly clean and the decor is nice. We couldn't see out of our living room window. Secondly, it IS a Marriott so you are going to get nickle and dimed to death. The rooms are spacious enough so you can actually move around the furniture. The bathroom was small and the shower really unremarkable. There is a big jetted tub in the bedroom. The kitchen is well stocked. You get two starbucks envelopes and plenty of filters. The market is horrendously expensive and has more clothing than groceries.. There are 3 other expensive stores, two clothing and one perfume. You get one free cleaning, no sheets changed. We arrived on Monday and were told our cleaning would be on Friday. The landscaping is totally unremarkable. To see beautiful gardens walk to any other hotel...the Hyatt gardens are nice. The pool is rather lovely and the spa on top the rocks is very nice. The palapa's are always free in the morning. But it won't be in the first row. They were always free in the afternoon too, because the resort was not full. If you want front row, it's $15. Don't sit at a palapa without visiting the towel booth to reserve, you will be asked to move and you can get one for free. The beach worker will unlock chairs and set up for you. Please tip him as we see many who don't and I heard they don't get paid. Marriott needs to discontinue this system, it makes them look bad. What's wrong with first come first serve? Being an interval exchange, we got the worse room in the house. South side facing the Surf with their daily garbage trucks, 2nd floor and absolutely no view. They should be called Garden view, though the strip of land between the surf and ocean club is not much of a garden. The girl checking us in had poor english skills and I think we could have gotten a better room with some under the table cash, but that just rubs me the wrong way. I contacted Marriott before we left to request north side high floor knowing we would not be upgraded to oceanfront. As Marriott owners we are usually contacted for our preferences, but we were not this time around. I contacted Marriott on my return and was told that Destination members are given preference. Interval members are the lowest in line.
Tip 1: Bring your own coffee. Pretty much the only coffee you can buy is Maxwell House decaf and half caf. There was a foreign full caf coffee there but we had no grinder.
Tip 2: Keep in mind that the Marriott employees will recommend to you the most expensive alterative. For instance, it is a longer cab ride to Ling's for groceries. The superfood is much closer and does not significantly differ in offerings. The locals shop at Superfood. The americans are all sent to Lings.
Tip 3: DePalma tours is in the Lobby. If you picked up a bag full of coupons at the airport, you will find ads for identical tours at much lower price. All offer free pickup. For instance, Discover Aruba bus tour via DePalma was $65 (and they cheated and never stopped at the gold mine). The competitor was $35 with the coupon.
Tip 4: Do go to the Stellaris. It is the largest casino on the island (small by Las Vegas standards) and the slots really are pretty loose.
Tip 4: Do make reservations at Simply Fish and enjoy your best meal with your feet in the sand. The sunsets in Aruba though are not spectacular. The meal is $35 per person. With one shared appetizer and two glasses of wine, the already added service charge of which your server only gets 1/2 and a little bit more tip, which I HOPE they give to the server...$120 for 2. Very romantic.
Tip 5: You can walk to Smokey Joes and the mall, but do so on the beach. There is construction and no sidewalks, the road is dangerous. Marriott does not connect to the rest of the hotels with a sidewalk on the beach. The sidewalk starts just two buildings past the surf.
Tip 6: If you can't decide whether to stay at the hotel, the ocean club or the surf, pick the hotel. The surf IS awful and their beach very small. Definately overcrowded. Every single light was on in the surf at night. One large building is behind the other. Horrible atmosphere. You can get breakfast there though. There is a gate between the two hotels.
Tip 7: If you are an ocean swimmer, you might not be happy with the ocean in aruba. It is cloudy and there is squishy stuff on the bottom. It was cloudy at the Hyatt 5 years ago, it is cloudy at the Marriotts and it was cloudy at Baby Beach. No squishy's at Baby Beach. The sand is very rough until you get close to shore. Good for the callouses. I did not see a single fish. There are NO waves.
Tip 8: Go see the Natural Pool. All of the locals love it. My hubby can't swim so we did Baby Beach. Baby Beach is quite large but it is mostly only waist deep. The deeper small section where it is open to the ocean is roped off for snorklers.
Tip 9: Skip La Vista In the Marriott hotel. They serve a different themed buffett each night. We did ala cart from the menu and it was OK, but the place is so COLDLY decorated. No flowers nor candle on the table, no music. All white and sterile. And still expensive.
Tip 10: Try the Pelican Nest at the end of the Pier towards the Hyatt. Easy walk. Delicious. Same service charge thing though. I think the restaurants just want to make their menus look affordable. Then you have a 15% to 18% service charge on your bill and are asked to tip on top of that because your wait staff isn't going to get much of it. Maybe give your waiter cash to be sure he actually gets it.
Tip 11: Another easy walk is Haricurari in front of the Surf. Great food, feet in sand. Ate there twice it was so good and convenient.
Tip 12: We couldn't open our living room door to the balcony for several days until we noticed it has a little round dial you have to turn in addition to the other two locks. Bedroom doors don't have it.
Tip 13: The sign says do not feed the birds or animals. DO NOT!! Picture this. A family with 4 smallish children sitting on their lounge chairs surrounded by 12 very large green iguana's. Children petrified, father stamping his feet to no avail. Ah, which one of those cute little tyke's was sharing his french fries with just one lone fearless iguana?
Tip 14: Ladies it is very very windy in Aruba most of the time. We had two calm days - when it's calm, it is hotter than haides. You need lots of hair ties and clothes that don't blow away..forget the wrap arounds, forget the scarfs and hats.
Tip 15: Most of the people are really nice in Aruba. Cab drivers WAIT for you while you are in the grocery store! Please be good to them. When you take the island tour you will see how much they need your tips. Heck, an avocado is $6.95 in the grocery store. How do they eat?

Room Tip: There are better places to stay than the Marriott.
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank auriasis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 1, 2013

Stayed at the MAOC from June 21st to June 30th. Room are very nice, staff extremely friendly. It was nice you could have rafts in the pool to float around on. Only negative i could say would be having to get up really early to reserve and pay for a hut on the beach. Other than that this is a top notch resort.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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Thank bgmiles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 30, 2013

We just returned from our first trip to Aruba--it was truly amazing!!! Our exchange to this resort made our anniversary celebration one we will not forget!! Everything was great from check-in through check out. Our room was not available when we arrived, but we were quickly accommodated anyway. Our first room was on the 4th floor facing the top of the property next to us with no ocean view. We asked for a different room with a better view and again we were quickly accommodated! Our room on the 3rd floor was facing the pool, but with an ocean view where we could see the sunset from our balcony...beautiful!!! The room was fully furnished with everything you could want...and the bed was so comfortable, I began to critic my mattress at home. I would suggest bringing a scented candle--sometimes the room was stuffy when the air was off and if we didn't leave a door opened for air flow when we stepped out. The wind blows a lot, but it is not overwhelming at all, but surprisingly calming. The ocean and beach were tremendously beautiful and serene!!

We too went to Super Foods and it is pricey but worth the sacrifice when compared to eating out every meal. We did both and found this option affordable. I must say, the Champions Tuesday Burger was fantastic! The bus rides to downtown were also affordably priced ($2.30 per person per trip) and a great way to see the island! We found Aruba to be fun, yet a great place to kickback and relax. We loved this destination resort and we would return again!

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank 164dianeh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 26, 2013 via mobile

I booked an exchange for our first trip to Aruba. I could not have imagined how great the exchange would be. Our trip from the airport was interesting-$25 flat fee and a van ride from the mailman in that Chevy Chase movie. We arrived safely- lol- and upon check-in, we were given a room on the second floor. The desk clerk very politely changed us to the 4th floor upon my request to be up higher. The one bedroom unit we are in is beautiful. It has a very comfortable king-sized bed in a spacious bedroom; a large 2-person jacuzzi tub in the bedroom; a separate bathroom with a spacious shower; a full kitchen; living room with a sofa-bed and balcony accessible from the living room and bedroom. The beach is a short walk through the pool area. The pools are beautifully maintained, with a swim-up bar that is pretty cool. There is security and staff all over the place to help you with anything you need. Everyone we have dealt with has been fantastic! The only down side- we did not rent a car and the grocery store is quite a ways away. You can eat all meals on site, but that is very pricey.

  • Stayed: June 2013
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2  Thank NyTnewbie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Marriott's Aruba Ocean Club

Address: Smith Blvd 99 LG, Palm - Eagle Beach, Aruba
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Aruba > Palm - Eagle Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#6 Spa Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#6 Luxury Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#10 Romantic Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#11 Family Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
Price Range: $449 - $978 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Marriott's Aruba Ocean Club 4*
Number of rooms: 218
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

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