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“Repeatedly Disappointed and Not Handicapped Friendly”

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Marriott's Aruba Surf Club
Ranked #16 of 24 Hotels in Palm - Eagle Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Hartford, Connecticut
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Repeatedly Disappointed and Not Handicapped Friendly”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 21, 2013

When we reserved our room, we requested a handicapped accessible room. Upon arrival, we learned that they either gave our room away, or did not reserve us a handicapped accessible room in the first place. The front desk clerk acted as though a handicap accessible room was like requesting a high floor. They did not seem to care about the difficulty a non-accessible bathroom presents and that we should make do with what we get. Incredible. Why would anyone vacation at a resort like this? I am sure that there are some redeeming qualities about his place, but the hardship we faced while on "vacation" made it very difficult for us.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank Justin L
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, August 24, 2013
We are sorry to hear that you did not have a positive experience at Marriott's Aruba Surf Club. This is not typical of the guest experience at our resort and we would appreciate an opportunity to personally address your concerns. Please contact us at customer.care@vacationclub.com or at 800 860 9384. We look forward to hearing from you.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,629 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (757)
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Northville, Michigan
Level Contributor
24 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 20, 2013

We took advantage of a timeshare deal (4 nights/$400) with our two teen daughters. The room was a studio so it was cramped but not unbearable. The beach was fine. Yes, there were rocks at the water line but the complaints I've read go a bit far in this area IMO.

If I don't sound excited it is because this is not a hotel. It is a timeshare and you will get tons of people with small kids in tow. Everyone seemed to be from Jersey. It is loud - the adults, the kids, the elderly, everyone seemed to have to scream.

The chairs were claimed by 8:00 am. The best by 7-7:30 am. Follow the 'process' for beach palapas. I don't like to have to do this but it is required here. We also stayed at the Radisson (which was much more suited for us) and you have to do it there too.

The presentation didn't last too long. After presenting our case how the numbers don't work, they let us go. Didn't even have to take the tour.

The pool drinks were rather weak but good. They have a swim-up bar which we like. The food was very expensive, even compared to the Radisson. Went to there poolside BBQ. It was ok. Plenty of ok food, weak planters punch. The band was fun. It said it lasted from 5:30 to 9:00 but it was all wrapped up by 8:30, including the band. There were a few that were disappointed.

The area is a bit north of the central area. It is easier to walk there via beach as the road to the Marriotts (all of them are next to each other) goes inland somewhat. All of the high rise hotels are close which was unexpected.

Seemed like everyone was in there room by 7:00. Not a lot goes on here - go elsewhere for dinners, strolling around, shopping, etc.

I must say, even though our daughters are older, they loved the lazy river. Very relaxing. Bring your floaty thing from home. They have an air compressor onsite. They were out of them when we looked and probably were not cheap anyway. We got some noodles which we actually preferred.

Never ran out of things to do. It was fun. If you like a lot of loud people and tons of kids, this place is for you. If you like it a bit quieter, have older or no kids, the Ocean Club would be preferred. Our tastes leaned toward the hotels. The Marriott Stella Solaris (?) was very nice but didn't stay there, the Radisson was very nice as well and preferred by us.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank nvilletraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vienna, Virginia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 20, 2013

I visited the Aruba Surf Club on August 11-15, 2013. I came away with mixed opinions about the property as outlined below.

Pros
--The hotel sits on a section of Palm Beach that is lovely, particulary the section stretching from the right side of the property over to the Ritz Carlton (still under construction when we were there).

--The rooms are spacious and very well-appointed.

--The staff were friendly and courteous throughout our stay.

--The restaurants at the nearby Marriott resort are quite good and, while pricey, are not nearly as expensive as other high-end resorts in the Caribbean.

--The pool complex is great for families (albeit very crowded - more on that below).


Cons:

--The Surf Club's common facilities (pool, palapas, reception desk, etc) are insufficient to handle the volume of residents at this property. The common areas felt claustrophobically crowded throughout our visit.

--As well documented in previous posts, the elaborate system for securing pool chairs and beach palapas (explained in painstaking detail in a full-page memo provided at check-in) needs to be completely overhauled. I spent 1.5 hours each day waiting in line for a palapa, which is not how I want to spend my vacation time. When I tried to pay to reserve a palapa, there were none available until the last day of our vacation. In addition, people were arriving at the pool before 6:00 in the morning to reserve pool chairs. I do not blame this problem on the hotel staff. Rather, the problem stems from the fundamental fact that there are simply not enough palapas and pool chairs to accomodate the volume of guests. In my opinion, this Surf Club does not have the necessary infrastructure to support its guest capacity.

--The clarity of the water at the beach is marred by the large number of watercraft permitted to operate in the area. In the middle of the Surf Club's ocean swimming area is a 20-30 foot-wide pathway designated specifically for watercraft to access the beach. Boats were in and out of this area all day - making constant noise and making the water cloudy by stirring up the sand. Some of these boats would pull into the beach at prohibitively high speeds, generating an excessive wake. The beaches are public in Aruba, and as a result, the Surf Club may have no authority to police these watersport operators. If they do have such authority, they should exercise it.

--The resort does not have adequate food service facilities on property. The bar/grille by the pool was overcrowded and subpar. Guests electing not to cook in their villa kitchens will likely need to walk over to the Marriott or go off-property to access a good full-service restaurant.

If you are not a Marriott Vacation Club owner, I strongly recommend that you stay at the Marriott Resort or the new Ritz Carlton (when it opens in November) rather than the Surf Club. If you are an MVC owner, I would recommend the Ocean Club over the Surf Club. While it lacks the lazy river pool complex , the Ocean Club felt considerably less crowded and less chaotic than the Surf Club.

Room Tip: Top floors in Lighthouse Tower have best views
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Maeh123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marana, Arizona
Level Contributor
38 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 20, 2013

Been visiting Aruba for about 15 years and purchased time share here around 6 years ago (4 weeks). We love, love, love going back for our 1 or 2 times a year. We have also shared our place with so many others who have in turn purchased time share or continue to enjoy ours. In fact, our past visit in June we had a group of 26 of us. Our kids and we have made so many life long friends there. Our first child is getting married and guess where he and his bride will be honeymooning??? Can't say enough about this Happy Island......the food, phenomenal, the people are the friendliest, and the weather is always perfect! A special shout out to Jasmine at the Marriott hotel pool and Rosy at the front desk of the Surf Club....these two are a permanent asset to our lives! Can't wait to return in September!

Room Tip: South side rooms are quieter because they do not overlook the pool area....but who stays in their ro...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank janetcastle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Metuchen, New Jersey
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 19, 2013

I want to start this review by saying that I stayed here from July 26, 2013 to July 30 2013 then moved to the Ocean Club as I had previously booked- not because of any problems at the Surf Club.

First, remember Aruba is expensive for everything. If you go to Aruba knowing that you will pay more for food here than at Disney World, you will be fine. If you come to Aruba with expectations that food is just a little expensive, you will be in for a shock.

Okay, that is out of the way, down to the resort. I booked both the Surf and Ocean Club because I wanted to have an idea what both resorts are like. I am still considering Marriott vacation ownership- on that note, yes the timeshare people are around the resort but they do not hound you. They have their various stations throughout the resort so I never felt pressured or hounded with phone calls which has happened in other resorts.

My family- myself, husband, an almost 18 year-old daughter and and almost `16 year-old son stayed in a one bedroom in the spyglass tower which overlooked the pool- no ocean view (on second floor) and probably the furthest tower from the lobby.

Check in- we arrived from New Jersey (lots of people from New Jersey- had no idea there would be that many new jersey and new york people) in the late afternoon. There was only one family ahead of us and let me tell you that when you read reviews of long waits, they are true. I really do not understand why it took so long to check in. You are given bands to wear to use the pool and tags for your chair to save them by the pool. The lobby itself is nice but truthfully on the small side for such a large hotel- it does not necessarily want to make you linger. The people at the desk were very friendly and attentive so even though things took a long time, it was nice to speak with pleasant people.

BTW, our first room was a garden guest room with 2 queen beds. View aside, with 4 people, it would have made a most unpleasant trip. The hotel quickly accommodated our request for a one bedroom and we were given a room in the spyglass tower.

Room: Again, second floor overlooking the pool. The one bedroom is very large- king bed, access to the balcony- double sink in the bedroom with a whirlpool tub. The safe is in the closet- safe has a key. The one bathroom had a shower with a double sink. There is a hair dryer in one of the drawers.
Full kitchen, with electric stove, dishwasher and washer and dryer. Comes with one box of detergent for the washer and for the dishwasher. The plates are marigold fiestaware. There is also one small bag of coffee and coffee filters. We used the pitcher to keep water in the refrigerator. Yes, it is true Aruba water is outstanding. I grew up in NYC where the tap water is divine and moved to NJ where the tap water is horrible.
The couch is a pull out- not the most comfortable, so my son said. There is also access to the balcony- we used the balcony to dry our towels and bathing suits.

Free WiFi- Yipee!!!!!!!!!!

The pool: First, we came, I suppose, in the off season. I never used the chair tags. It was not important for me to be right by the pool and I was always able to get shaded chairs. I never reserved hut by the ocean; I used the ocean every day which I loved but just walked from the pool to the ocean. The lazy river is very nice. I did not use floats or buy them. I agree with the other reviewers- if that is something you want, buy them at home then bring them- they will inflate them for you. The lazy river can get crowded but my favorite time was in the morning or towards the evening. A zero-entry pool at one end is a nice feature. There is a volley-ball net set up at the other end. The swim up bar is also nice. Great size pool for this resort (the Ocean club is MUCH smaller- I will submit a separate review)

The gym is well equipped but it can, as you can imagine, be very busy in the morning. It was nice to use it then jump in the pool. The arcade was okay- the air hockey and pool table was busy.

The shop off the lobby carried basic items, including basic snacks, milk, juice, etc. Again, VERY expensive. We did like to get frozen yogurt at night.

Restaurants- We went to Superfoods to get supplies. Honestly, we spent almost two hundred dollars with meat only for one night- OUCH! We did see a lot of people use the grills. We ate breakfast in our rooms every day and usually had lunch in, unless we walked into town. We ate dinner several times at Champs in the Ocean Club or went downtown so I cannot comment on the few restaurants.

In all, I would definitely come back. This is definitely a family atmosphere- I would not suggest this as a honeymoon location. It was nice to be able to walk along the beach to other hotels- Ocean Club, Holiday Inn, Radisson, Costa Linda, Hyatt Divi Phoenix, Westin, Occidental, etc. You can also walk easily into the mall area- Starbucks!, Quissnos. I highly recommend A Taste of Belgium for any meal- Most stores open later in the day. You can also continue walking along the strip to the Chinese retaurants, Italian restaurants, gelatto, etc.

All in all, we are still considering Marriott points; we will see what deals may come up.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Wendy A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rockaway, NJ
Level Contributor
23 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 18, 2013

We stayed at the Marriott Surf Club in Aruba to celebrate our 25th anniversary and really enjoyed our stay! We were there in September which is the "off" season, so it wasn't very crowded which was a plus! The beach was wonderful, the resort is beautiful, the pool was very, very nice! The resort is clean, neat, well maintained and very comfortable! Right next door is the Marriott Stellaris which has a casino which was very convenient. The only negative I found was the Iguanas in the pool area. I found it disturbing to have iguanas sunning themselves on the pool deck, under peoples pool chairs, and even jumping in the lazy river for a swim....yuck! And if you have food, they are there begging like a dog would do! I would recommend the resort highly despite that negative, I hope to visit again someday!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank northernSue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 13, 2013

Linda, Gregory, Vanessa and Claudette were so kind and helpful during our stay (August 4, 2013 to August 9, 2013) at the Surf Club. They should be recognized for their expertise in their working environment. It is truly "One Happy Island".. We would love to come back!



Cara and Kristen from Philadelphia

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Cara C
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 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 On the Beach Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#14 Family 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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