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Marriott's Aruba Surf Club
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Reviews (2,937)
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1,738 - 1,743 of 2,937 reviews
Reviewed March 26, 2013

Stayed at Aruba Surf Club for a week in March 2013, as I was attending a wedding at the Marriott Stellaris. 4 30yr olds shared the 2 bedroom suite for a week. Do not go to this property expecting a hotel experience. This is a timeshare, the help at the property will not go out of their way to make you comfortable or even show that they care about your stay. The week started off bad when they do not only have a 4PM check-in time meaning you miss your first day in Aruba, but when i did finally check-in at 4:30 my room still had not been cleaned, and they send me to a room with the staff still there working. What can take so long to clean the rooms? After finally checking in i thought i could at least enjoy a little beach time and the sunset on the first day. I headed to the beach, and after the sunset decided it was a good idea to relax after a long day in the jacuzzi. Went to jacuzzi and saw that there was a man passed out drunk in the jacuzzi. Security came by to make sure he was ok but did not ask him to leave or think it was a good idea to get him out of the jacuzzi. After 15mins in the jacuzzi I thought it would be great to experience the lazy river and see what it was like. I took 1 trip around the lazy river, 5 minutes time, and the drunk guy in the jacuzzi woke up and left, but when he left he took all my stuff. My bag with 2 ipods, and iphone, a kindle, my beach speakers, all my sunblock, my flipflops, my towel. He was so drunk there was no way he knew what he was doing. The security guard watched him leave and take all of this stuff, but had no way of knowing it was not his. When i came back from lazy river to get my stuff security guard said that they guy had just walked away with it. He didn't know where he went. Rather than call on his walkie talkie to other security, or really help, he made no big deal of it. I looked around and could not find the guy. I went to front desk since i now no longer had a key to my room, and they also did not care that my stuff had been stolen. Just smiled and said here's your key. At that point i was ready to flip out, I asked if they had any security there that would care that items were being stolen from their pool area, as it does not make for a fun vacation if you can't trust the stuff you leave by the pool for 5 minutes, and said i was amazed they did not even want my information in case items were found. They did not care that my stuff had been stolen, and were not helpful to make it easier for me, or even let me know where i might be able to replace some of the stuff stolen (great when your sunblock gets stolen in Aruba on the first day and it is $20 a bottle in the gift shop). The next morning i was contacted that they found my bag, inside was a couple of things, but ipods, speakers, and other items were missing. The lack of communication meant that someone turned my bag into the front desk in the middle of the night, but they did not get any info, so we could not have follow-up on all the items that were missing. Overall, a horrible start to the vacation. I don't think there is even a general manager of this hotel.
The rooms are spacious, but the furniture and tv need to be updated. The TVs are from the 90s, and the furniture is losing all of it cushion. I understand people come in from beach and pool and they might not want the best furniture, but this stuff has run its course and it is time to update. But again, this is a timeshare, they have already made their sales of the units, it is not a hotel where they care about you coming back and staying with them again.
The pool and beach are overcrowded. I only used the lazy river after 6PM when you could go around without a little kid kicking you. The grounds are very nice, and the lazy river is extremely relaxing when you get a chance to use it. We used the beach more in front of the Stellaris since it is not as crowded. We lucked out that we had friends staying there. They use the color of your towel to decide where you belong. On our 3rd day at the beach we got kicked out of the chairs we were sitting in since we were 5 feet over the line that divided the surf club from the ocean club, even though these were both Marriott properties and the Ocean Club beach was almost empty.
Pros of the Surf Club are that you get a spacious suite, with a full kitchen, allowing you to make meals if you choose and save some money. They also have nice grill areas, and the pool grounds are nice.
Cons are that the staff, outside of the guys working the beach (setting up chairs and serving drinks), do not care if you have a good stay or not. They are not friendly. The rooms are very dated and need updating. There are not many rooms in this hotel with an ocean view, almost all rooms overlook either the pool or the parking lot and are impossible to see the ocean. Do not believe what they say in their advertising.
I would recommend this timeshare to families with kids, looking for a place to stay on the beach. As the pool and activities for the kids would be great, and they have a full kitchen to make some meals. I would not recommend this to any group of 20s, 30s, 40s, and above that is not going on a family vacation with kids.

Room Tip: Do not believe hotel when they say Ocean View, you will not be able to see the Ocean.
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Sedona89123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 26, 2013

This was our 2nd time at this place and we enjoyed our stay. Kids go back and forth between the pool, beach and ice cream. There is the lazy river, slide, multiple pools, even an adult only pool if you want a break from kids, there is more than enough to keep everyone happy. Resort has activities for kids going on everyday and also has kids club, if the parents want an evening to themselves. Some tips...

1. Once you get to the hotel, your room wont be ready most likely. Keep bathing suits, sunscreen and sandals on top of your bags, that way u can change and get into the pool without wasting any time waiting for your room. Room will be ready and waiting for u once you take a break, if you do.
2. To reserve the pool chairs you have to tag them early, but if you tag them before 7, you have to sit there until 7, or else your tags will be removed. This is good time to catchup on reading and calm before the storm.
3. There are good food options between the 3 Marriott properties adjacent to Surf Club, charge everything to your room, that way you collect Marriott Rewards. There are lots of other food options on Palm Beach within 10 mins walk.
4. Gratuity/tip/service charge of 15% is included in the bill, except at Marriott and some other hotels, so pay close attention to you bill.
5. You do not need to rent a car, unless you plan ongoing to other side of island from Palm Beach every day. Taxi from airport to high rise hotels on palm beach is $25 and to the restaurants is about $9.
6. Plan to watch sunset on the beach with the family, keep few nights open as it does get cloudy sometimes.
7. This is a very important, because we tend to forget. Get to the Airport 3 hours before departure. You will not regret it. Even if you just dropping your bags, it is the least of the issue. Between US Customs and putting bags through multiple security checks in a single file takes forever and you might miss your flight and airline is not responsible for delay in security heck to cover another night of accomodations, but they will rebook you on next day.

Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
7  Thank S B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2013

This was our second trip to the Surf Club. We had a wonderful room on the fifth floor with a great view of the gardens, pool and ocean.

I do want to alert everyone who is in a one bedroom unit to watch their hotel bill carefully. Most of the one bedroom units are part of what is called a " lock off". In other words, there is a master unit ( the one bedroom unit ) and the attached efficiency unit which can be opened to create a two bedroom unit.

It turns out that there is a glitch in the telephone system. All outside telephone calls made by the party in the efficiency unit gets charged to the one bedroom unit. My bill included over $300.00 in additional charges made by my neighbor in the efficiency.

The front desk readily adjusted my bill and told me that this was an unfortunate problem that could not be corrected.

Beware. Watch your bill carefully.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank aferg1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 24, 2013

Has anyone tried any of the fishing charters located on the pier directly in front of the Surf Club?
I talked to the concierge today and she only recommended charters in town. I would prefer to use one that is 2 minutes from my room, but only if someone can recommend them.
I absolutely did not want to go to Aruba, but my wife talked me into it a few years back and we stayed here at the Surf Club and we love every minute of it. I cant wait to get back in April.
Looking forward to drinking beer in the lazy pool...........i bought a floating cooler just for the occasion.
Anyway, any recommendations?

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank kris b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 23, 2013

Great resort, we have been here about 5 times. A couple of tips:

1. Palapa huts are available to rent and free. Free reservations begin around 4 pm the day prior, get there early and bring a book or visit with fellow guests.

2. Rent a car. Aruba is very easy to navigate and this gives you access to all restaurants without paying for taxis. Also the best part of the island IMO, is the east coast's rocky and wild surf. Lastly, since you probably are staying in a villa with a kitchen, you can avail yourself of the Super Food very close to the hotel.

3. Bring a float from home and inflate at the pool with their compressor. (Dollar Store vs resort prices)

4. Bring a folding(soft) cooler to bring food and beverages to the beach or pool. Again, helps reduce those resort prices for a drink or sandwich.

5. There are little shopping carts in the lobby to help cart groceries up to your villa.

6. Prepare for a great vacation in paradise and leave the cell phone in your room safe.

7. The staff is very friendly and accommodating. Although, there can be crowding issues during full occupancy weeks. We have never noted insufficient number of chairs at the beach.

Room Tip: Higher floor levels have better views. This is fairly predetermined by the Marriott staff as these are timeshares.
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank arguseyes6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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