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“Could not say enough on Aruba”

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Marriott's Aruba Surf Club
Ranked #16 of 24 Hotels in Palm - Eagle Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 11, 2010

Ok, here goes...lots of detail. Marriott Aruba Surf Club in May is great because it is the beginning of their slow season so not as many people are there and it is the newest of the Marriott Resorts there. So, your chance to get the pool chairs, beach covered chairs and sun is plentiful. Remember to wear strong sun block. I wore 50-60UV sunblock and still got a nice tan. The Hotel itself is like most Marriott resorts with the floor plan, the amenities, etc. They are quite busy at the front desk and have the concierge contact you prior to your arrival to start making reservations or bookings on things you would like to do...and get you to see a timeshare presentation...with no pressure. So, that said and done, the facilities are clean, the staff friendly enough and your needs met. But, the big sell is the Beach, the lazy river at night (almost empty of people), the wonderful weather in Aruba, etc. We rented a Jeep and were able to travel anywhere, at any time and enjoy eating where we wanted or simply shopping at the super market for snacks and some basic groceries to keep costs down a little. Aruba is pricey for food either way. There are markets downtown with products that are moderate in cost up to places downtown and in Palm Beach that are high end stores for you to spend your money. The Casinos are small, smoke filled, yet good for those who care to gamble. The Food at the restaurants is simply wonderful. Namely we visited Iguana Joe's, Madame Janette's, The Old Fisherman and Flying Fishbone. My Favorite was the Snook Fish at The Old Fisherman, mild with a garlic cream sauce and my husband's favorite was an almond crusted grouper at Madame Janette's. The meals were often large enough to share or take home left overs for a 2nd meal. The Sunsets were gorgeous, the people were friendly and the opportunity for romance or a family filled fun vacation was plentiful. We highly recommend Aruba and plan on going again and would definitely stay at the Surf Club again.

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank travelrusNewMexico
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 11, 2010

The Property was OK, The People were OK when you could get them to understand what you were saying. The Prices were outragious, The Power went out at 4am and didn't come back on until 11:00 pm, They offered us ice at 8 PM but by that time all our food was spoiled. (WITH NO COMPENSATION), so we were out all that money . We will never come back here again. We have been here only 3 Days Can't wait to see what the next 4 days are like. They don't follow the rules about chair tagging at the pool, 7am is the time when we can tag your chair, we saw tags on chairs the night before, The Pool Police didn't want to remove tags before 7am She was scared to get hollered at. If you like paying $58.00 apiece for a buffet, or $14.00 for a hamburger this is the place for you.

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled with family
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4  Thank paczski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 9, 2010

My wife and I are Marriott owners and traded to the Surf Club. We were not there during peak season which may have something to do with the fact that the pool facilities were never overcrowded. All phases of the Surf Club met the high standards we've come to expect from the Marriott Vacation Club . We divided our time between the beach and the pool complex and loved both. We went to the Bonbini Festival at Fort Zoutman and would recommend it highly if you want to experience some Aruban culture. We rented a car and enjoyed driving around the island including snorkeling stops at Baby Beach and at Malmok Beach. We found the grocery stores to be sorely lacking despite reviews to the contrary but Balashi Beer and the great Aruban water made up for that. If you want a great dining experience on the beach, I'd recommend a six pack of Balashi, a pizza and a nice spot on the beach to watch the sunset.
As it snowed for Mother's Day in Syracuse , the sun and warm breezes in Aruba will bring us back in the near future.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Steve L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 8, 2010

this is a massive property. i went off season and the place is still packed. i went solo, and the hotel is designed for families, with lazy river etc for kids. i did the time share preview package......$ 500 for 5nites! i sat for a 90 minute preview with a very nice sales lady and almost bought, though in the OCEAN CLUB which is the smaller property in the middle of the resort hotel and the surf club which is a madhouse....but a fun one if that is what you are looking for

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank jerseyman123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 5, 2010

We were gifted a week at the Surf Club for our wedding, and it was a great place to stay. We had a guest room, which unlike the villas, did not have a full kitchen. We did have a mini-fridge, microwave, toaster, and sink along with dishes, bowls, cups, and utensils. The room was comfortable, with a queen bed, small sleeper sofa, small table and 2 chairs, and a balcony with another small table and 2 chairs. If you want a view, request a high floor, we were blocked from seeing the water by trees. Be aware that they do not clean the rooms everyday, included was a tidy service that emptied trash and replaced bath towels midstay, but we ended up adding 2 more towel services and upgrading the midweek tidy service to a full room cleaning, including replacing the bed linens. Wired internet in the rooms is free, and when you log in you are given a passcode that allows you to access free wireless in the lobby and pool area.

We did find that the hotel is probably more geared towards families and retirees, but we still had a good time and wouldn't discourage anyone from going. Just be aware its not a luxury hotel. The beach is excellent, flat and wide, and the water is extremely calm. The water was not perfectly clear, but was a nice shade of blue and when going on a snorkel trip just off the beach, the water turned clear. It may be due to all the boat traffic around, but the water was still very nice.

As this seems to be a point of contention at the hotel, here is the way it was explained to us how to reserve the palapas (beach huts).
Option 1: Get in line at 630 AM and you can get a hut for free that same day. They open the stand at 7 AM, and you get to choose a hut, but most that are left were typically ones farthest from the water. We did this twice.
Option 2: Get in line at 3 PM so at 4 PM you can reserve a hut for the next 2 days. This is when you are able to get the huts closer to the water. The first 2 rows cost $15 per day to reserve, everything else is $10 per day to reserve. We did not do this as we didn't want to waste the afternoon standing in line and we had other activities planned so we didn't have 2 consecutive days on the beach ever.
Option 3: Check anytime about reserving a hut for the next day only. We did this one day that we knew we would want to be on the beach the next day, went about 1 PM and asked if any were available for that same day (none were) but she said there were a few we could reserve for the next day for $10, but they were all in the back. We didn't mind so we ended up doing it one day.

Also something to note, some of the huts are much smaller than others, so if you want shade for more than 2 people, look for the larger ones.

The pool is very nice, and basically has 3 sections. 1st, the kids oriented area that is furthest from the beach, it has a waterslide (for adults too!), a waterfall, and a sloped "beach" entry. This pool connects to the lazy river which is the second section. It is a decent length, goes under some bridges, and at the one end is the adult oriented pool, although you have to get out of the lazy river to get into the other pool. The adult area has a volleyball net, the pool bar, and another "beach" entry. The seating around the pool was often very crowded, especially during the middle of the day. At check-in, you are given a chair tag for each person in your group. At 7 AM, you may go to the pool and tag your chairs. There are umbrellas around the pool and these chairs are most often taken first. By 8 AM, the most desirable sports were taken. Now, if not used after 2 hours, the staff are supposed to remove the chair tags but we never saw this happen. It did get frustrating when 80% of the chairs had tags but were empty, and you were looking for a place to sit. We were lucky that it was just 2 of us, so if we couldn't find shade, we would grab whatever we could get then jump in the pool and keep an eye out for a better place. We talked to some other people that said during the busy season its even worse, but we managed to deal with it fine. Also, you are allowed to use the pools at the other 2 Marriotts in the complex, but they are not allowed to use the lazy river. You get a wrist band at checkin to let you into the lazy river. Each hotel has different towels though, and you are not allowed to use the chairs at the other Marriotts. Also, while there they were building an adults only pool, between the existing pool and the beach. They were making quick progress while we were there, it doesn't look to be a huge pool, but looks like it will add another 50-75 chairs and a place away from the kids.

The pool bar has a happy hour everyday from 3 PM - 5 PM. Each day they had 3 "Drinks of the Day", one frozen and two on the rocks. All day the drinks of the day are 2 for $13. Most other drinks on the menu are $9-$10. During happy hour, only the 3 "drinks of the day" are discounted, at 2 for $11. Since they had 3 options, we were usually able to get one of the specials for the cheaper price. It is very nice to get your drinks at the pool and just float around and have a drink. *(At the Ocean Club next door, they had a happy hour from 2:30-4:30, and the regular menu drinks and drink specials were almost always the same. At the Marriot Stellaris, they had some other drinks on the regular menu but usually the same specials, with happy hour from 3-5)

The Marriott complex is quite nice, and consists of 3 hotels, The Surf Club, the Ocean Club, and the Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino. The Surf Club and Ocean Club are the timeshare buildings, and the Marriott Stellaris is a regular hotel. All are connected by a beach pathway, and there is a golf cart shuttle that runs between the three. From the outside, it appeared the Surf Club was the newest (or most recently renovated) our of the three. The Marriott Stellaris has more food options than the Surf or Ocean club, which only have pool bars that also had some food, appetizers, sandwiches, pizzas, etc. You are able to use your room charge anywhere in the Marriott complex which is nice, as we sometimes ended up wandering over to the other hotels and either wanted to grab a drink or bite to eat and didn't have to worry about bring money. The Marriott complex is at the end of Palm Beach, but its a short walk to the main area with shopping and other restaurants.

Overall, we found it to be a great hotel, it had most anything you really needed, but don't expect it to be luxurious. If you go during the offseason, its quite relaxing and you are not overrun by kids. All the staff we encountered were very friendly, and made an effort to say hello whenever you cross paths. We definitely would recommend the hotel to anyone looking for a nice place to stay in Aruba.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank bmorechris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 29, 2010

Our stay at the Marriott Surf Club was a last-minute decision my husband and I had to make after a bad initial hotel (Bucuti Beach Resort). We checked out of Bucuti the day we arrived in Aruba and reserved the rest of our honeymoon stay with the Marriott. Right from check-in the service was excellent. The front desk was so helpful and understanding and accommodating. We ended up booking an Oceanside Villa which was clean and spacious and had a great view of the ocean. The pool area and lazy river are awesome and so was the beach. There are so many things to do right around there (definitely check out Simply Fish!) and the casino is a short trolley trip away. We also ended up going to the market and buying food for the free gas grills they have on the property.

The only negatives would be we had loud neighbors who played music very late (think 3:30am) and drinks are very expensive and mostly watered down. Other than that, I would be happy to stay at the Marriott again on my next trip to Aruba.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank MayB23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 26, 2010

stayed at my dads timeshare with my fiance (we;re 25 yrs) at the marriott surf club! totally amazing place! lazy river is to die for! bring tubes from home... give away to some people u meet up with at the end of ur stay... food on the island is amazing.. eat on the water every night in the sand!
snorkeling is amazing!
go on jolley pirate !!!
rent a jeep for a day 80 bucks.. drive on the dunes and along the coast.. so amazing!
go on the kukukonoko for some laughs!
beach is just beautiful.. sunsets every night.. everyone lines up on the beach.. take pics.. so gorgeous!

we;ve been to many islands.. this one is by far the greatest.. maybe planning our honeymoon there next year!

enjoy!!!!

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank asoterop
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

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:
#12 Family Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#14 On the Beach Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#18 Romantic Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
Price Range: $338 - $721 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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