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“Family atmosphere 4 stars, would bump to 3 stars for solo”

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Marriott's Aruba Surf Club
Ranked #16 of 24 Hotels in Palm - Eagle Beach
Certificate of Excellence
new york
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Family atmosphere 4 stars, would bump to 3 stars for solo”
Reviewed July 6, 2013

If you want quiet time to relax then you may want to select a different hotel. The Surf Club does offer a serenity pool for adults but does not compare to the main pool. Random thoughts...
*if you booked your room directly with the Marriott then upon check in go straight to the concierge counter- we had gone the third day and missed out on three days of 10 to 20% discounts for the store and restaurants on site. The concierge will provide a blue discount Marriott card
*hit the dollar store before coming to Aruba for a 36" tube for the lazy river. the hotel has an air machine by the towel replacement/compass tower. You have to stay at the Surf Club to use the lazy river...front desk provides you a special bracelet upon checkin.
*if flying internationally, purchase the booze in the duty free shop because everything is double in price when you arrive to Aruba.
*take a cab for 23 round trip to pickup water and some basic food/snacks.
*bring the off belt clip to avoid getting mosquito bites
*bring a black sharpie marker and a different beach towel from home. This will help you remember where your chair is by the pool.so many people walking in circles. Was actually funny!
*get up by 530am to sit and flag your chairs by the pool. Bring the coffee, iPod or newspaper because you have to stay in the chair until 7am and then the security will only permit you to be gone for two hours before removing your tag. Think this was the most challenging since I got up at 6:30am and 75% of the chairs were gone.
*security at the hotel was everywhere at this hotel.
*stay at the lighthouse tower, high floor for beach views
*hotel had free wifi for up to 5 devices

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank btravelernyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Boynton Beach, Florida
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed July 6, 2013

We have been going with our boys 10 and 12 for the past three summers and we love it. The resort is safe and secure. The security staff is amazing. We let our kids have run of the resort. We met a few families that go the same time each year, so the anticipation of seeing our Aruba friends is amazing. The rooms are perfect for families. My husband and I went a few years ago alone without the kids, before the adult pool was built and we still had a great time. If you sit by the volleyball net in the pool there aren't too many kids, they are usually down by the waterslide and lazy river. It is a family resort and geared for that. We stayed at the Ocean club one year, that is definitely more adult oriented. We love the Surf club and highly recommend it for a family trip.

Room Tip: Either side of lighthouse tower is fine.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank travelmom014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stone Mountain, Georgia, United States
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 6, 2013

Traveled with 3 adults and 4 kids/teens and had a 2 bedroom villa. Great time was had by all. Appreciated the reviews prior to the trip suggesting we bring clothespins and tubes. Great family friendly property with age appropriate activities. The Zumba classes were a major hit -- the instructor, Dwayne, was good looking and amazing. Our concierge, Bryan, was the best!! He suggested the sunset cruise, the De Palms Island Tour and gave us several pointers to make our trip fun, safe and reasonable priced. We've been a lot of places but this was one of the best family vacations ever. I can imagine that it can be pretty crowded during busy season but it was perfect at the end June. I was anticipating problems reserving lounge chairs but we got chairs in a decent location everyday. Loved going back and forth from the pool to the beach. Somedays the lizards and iguanas by the pool were more bothersome than others if food was around but to be expected. We are planning to return next year. Seriously hope Dwayne and Bryan are still around!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Ricia T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marshfield, Massachusetts
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed July 5, 2013

This is a beautiful Marriott property with all of the amenities that you expect at a timeshare. Thankfully there is an adult pool because there are lots of families with small children. The weather in Aruba is amazing! Warm everyday with a lot of wind; there is always a great breeze in Aruba. It is a perfect place for a relaxing beach vacation.

Room Tip: Our room was beside the activities center, if you want an afternoon nap, beware. It was on the seco...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank mc141663
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Level 6 Contributor
428 reviews
88 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 179 helpful votes
Reviewed July 5, 2013

When I first arrived at the resort I thought to myself "this is the Long Beach Island of the Caribbean." Those of you who grew up in New Jersey will understand the reference. LBI is a very family friendly beach area that tends to cost a bit more than other alternatives because it is nicer. So too is Aruba and this particular property. I would say at least half the guests during 4th of July week had children ranging from toddlers to teens. I think at least half the guests were from NJ, NY, or CT so the LBI reference was even reinforced with East Coast accents.

With all the children, the beach and pool areas are a bit louder than an adult may want. However, the property does have an adults-only pool, which was quiet enough for me, and the beach is large enough that a quiet spot can easily be found. The lazy river connected to a pool is equally fun for adults and children. I imagine if traveling when school is in session, the resort is as relaxing as one would expect from an island.

Other notes:

- The beach here truly is wonderful. The water is extremely calm. Most guests bring or purchase flotation devices for the ocean and lazy river.

- We had a rental car to visit the National Park and Natural Bridge, which were well worth it for a couple hours of non-beach activities. I reviewed both separately.

- The restaurants and shops on Eagle Beach are a short 5-10 minute walk so a rental car is not needed for dining. I separately reviewed JH Yee's, Gianni's, Aqua Club, and Amazonia, which are at Eagle Beach.

- There are non-Marriott bars and restaurants on Palm Beach if you want night life without walking too far.

- The casino at the adjacent Marriott hotel has plenty of machines and tables.

- The suites have typical Marriott timeshare amenities. We stayed in building 6, which is closest to the beach.

- The adjacent Marriott Ocean Club seemed to have less children - probably because the property does not have the lazy river. This may be a better choice for adults. It is also right next to the Marriott hotel, which definitely has a quieter vibe.

- You will pay slightly more to eat at Marriott restaurants for lunch and shop at its convenience store, but the prices are not outrageous compared to off resort alternatives. I also felt the lunch food was higher quality.

- There are several water activity stands on Palm Beach offering jet skis, parasailing, snorkeling, etc. We booked a snorkeling trip to the Antilla ship wreck, which was well worth it, and something I reviewed separately.

- The Aruba citizens are very friendly and helpful. This island seems to understand tourism better than most.

- A complaint: the resort's towel, chair, and cabana policy is a bit complicated. If the resort is crowded, it may get on your nerves. However, despite all the rules, we got our cabana and chairs with little aggravation. I wish a guest could just pay for a cabana for the entire week, but they do not have a "money talks" policy.

Bottom line: you will not feel like you are someplace exclusive or special if you come here, but you will have fun especially if traveling with children. Even if childless, only true grouches will not enjoy Aruba and this property. If money was not an issue, I would prefer pricier vacations on the Virgin Islands or Hawaii, but Aruba and this property offer good value. I really think the overall vacation experience is above "very good", but I cannot quite give it an "excellent" given some of the more exotic places I have visited and enjoyed.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank jongable
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Antonio, Texas
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed July 4, 2013

Our family/party of seven stayed at the Surf Club for seven days mid June 2013. We booked a 3 bedroom, thinking more family members would come, but didn't.
Check in was long and hectic to put it nicely. FYI, 3 BR suites are only available in the Compass Tower, on the end of the building between Compass and Spyglass. Ther are only 2 sides, one OceanView, which predominantly faces the pool and some ocean, and the other side faces the parking lot. At check-in, one suite on the 4th floor, and a not ready suite on the 10th flr were available. We had previously requested a high floor, and 4th floor is considered "high floor", but beware, the view is the top of the palm trees, not really ocean view. So we waited, and waited for the 10th floor(rooms 7001/7003) Note, this was a Disability Accessible suite also. SO we traded Accessible suite for the views. It was eventually about 530PM before the room was ready, some issues with Housekeeping final inspections before room could be released?? To Marriott's credit, we were comped 7 drink vouchers for the unacceptable delay in 4PM promised check-in time.
Room- the suite was adequate. Showing some wear though. We had to call maintenance twice, once to check the fridgre/freezer, and once the master br TV; note very prompt maintenace. The suite was clean, and kitchen well-stocked. Everything else was in working order. NOte in Accessible rooms, the showers do not have doors, so there is water leakage onto bathroom floor. Therefore, housekeeping does change towels daily, so that is an added bonus for staying in one of these rooms. This room/part of Compass Tower was close to the pool, little further from beach though. Can't speak to the other towers, though Spyglass furthest from the Beach, and Lighthouse closest to beach. A final room note, 3 BR are HUGE. Do not reserve a 3 BR unless you are going with >10 people. A 2 BR would suffice for up to 8 guests. PLus, 3 BR are restricted to one tower, and one section of the tower as well, resulting in limited views availabilities.
Pool/Beach- The pool/lazy river was amazing. Always clean and refreshing, the kids loved it. We brought round tubes. Note, they don't enforce the 36" tube rule, large asymmetric tubes and rafts were abundant. Pool chairs were plentiful, I guess because of "low-season"..The first day I did the 0700 thing, got up and got 5 pool chairs right in front of the pool, but didn't have to on subsequent days. The beach palapa rental is a different story. These are available to rent in advance. Note, there are only SIX true front-row palapas available, and SIX second row palapas; the rest are scattered 3rd row and beyond. Furthermore, 3 are available to reserve at 4pm day prior, and 3 available for "early AM/same day rental". You have to show up hour in advance, around 3PM, to have a shot. I was #4 in line at 305PM...guess what, I got first pick of 2nd row Palapa! Same day AM reservations apparently have to be there at 0600 for 0700 release!!! Beach was very nice though.
Food- Stock up for the week at Superfood! You are in a condo-type timeshare with full kitchen, right? I say this because food in general is VERY EXPENSIVE in Aruba, if you should choose to eat out every day! A nicer restaurant will run over US$200 for seven, a mid level TGIF will run over US$115 without alcohol for seven. (See other restaurant reviews) Note also, alcohol very expensive, even at the supermarket. Ex., case of beer approx US$42, 750ml of Bacardi rum US$21. Drinks at the resort run US$8-12 range, but happy hour specials daily run US$5-7.
Transportation-we didnt try the taxi or Arubus. Due to our large party, we rented a minvan for the week, approx US$375-450 range. Diesel gas approx US$4.50/gal. More economical to rent if you plan on sightseeing on your own or making multiple market runs, plus to and fro airport.

Overall, we had a great time in Aruba, and Marriott Surf Club was good to very good in quality and experience. ( I deducted point rating based on Check-In experience and age/wear and tear of suites as noted above). As we are MVC points owners, we will likely return here for any future family trips to Aruba. For large families with children, I would recommend the Surf Club. For couples, there are likely better options such as Ocean Club or the Marriott Stellaris.

Room Tip: COmpass Tower, high floor, facing pool/beach
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Christopher M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed July 3, 2013

This is a great resort. We have been here 7 times.... If you want a great vacation spot, this place is a good spot. The facilities are great. The beaches superb..... Marriott is known for first class customer service and accommodating the customer. That's the Marriott way. We have become spoiled at the service the have provided us over the years. Because of that they have gotten many (buying) referrals to their program. But in our last visit, it appears that the smile from the workers was missing, the workers a little less friendly and accommodating. Maybe a sign of the times (less workers, more work) but the Marriott way has Took a hit. front desk was less accommodating and not as welcoming.. Maybe it was the day...... We noticed A lot of physical improvements to the facility which is good. The facility is always a cut above others. but please Mr. Marriott, send one of your trainers down here to return the service to your level of expectation...... we will return .....

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Doug C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MVCI_Executive, Customer Care at Marriott's Aruba Surf Club, responded to this review, July 12, 2013
We are sorry to hear that you did not have a positive experience at Marriott's Aruba Surf Club and are disappointed to hear the staff was not as fiiendly as in the past. As you know, this is not typical of the guest experience at our resort and we have addressed your comments with the resort manager. Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Marriott's Aruba Surf Club

Property: Marriott's Aruba Surf Club
Address: 103 LG Smith Boulevard, 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 Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#14 Family Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#14 On the Beach Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#18 Romantic Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Marriott's Aruba Surf Club 3.5*
Number of rooms: 450
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Also Known As:
Marriott`s Aruba Surf Club Hotel Palm/Eagle Beach
Marriotts Palm Eagle Beach
Marriotts Aruba Surf Hotel
Marriott Aruba Surf Club
Marriotts Aruba Surf Club
Aruba Surf Club
Marriott Palm/Eagle Beach
Marriott Surf Club Aruba
Marriott's Aruba Surf Club Palm - Eagle Beach

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