My wife and I trade our Marriott timeshare weeks for different destinations so we're well aware of what to expect. The Surf Club is no exception - friendly and efficient staff, well kept up facilities and lots of pools alongside the beach. The Surf Club is one of three Marriott properties along this stretch of beach and appears to be the largest with 900 units, half full apartments and half "lock out" units which are essentially hotel rooms with a kitchenette (small refrigerator, microwave, coffeemaker, toaster & a very small assortment of dishes). Cable television but the property hasn't converted to flat screen tv's yet.
If you visit their web site you'll see that very few rooms have a real ocean view, most look out on the pool area but are referred to as "ocean views" because if you stand on the porch in just the right way you can see the ocean in the distance. We're here in high season so the place is crowded but it really doesn't feel that way - there have always been enough beach chairs to go around but you can reserve your favorites if you use the tags they give you and go out first thing in the morning and tag the chairs you want.
This is a family resort and there are a lot of families with a lot of young children. Lots of special activities for kids. I would expect that when school is out the age range of the kids gets older than we're seeing. There is an over-21 pool area along with other large pool areas and the 'lazy river' pool which is basically a pool formed to look like a river with the water cycled to push you along on a raft, inner tube or other flotation device. The river can get congested but everyone seems to be enjoying themselves on it. The beach area is gorgeous, the water is generally clear enough that you can see the bottom. Interestingly, there are rarely many people swimming in the ocean which I find hard to understand.
The restaurants are numerous between the three adjoining properties and some have days with 'sale' pricing on food - two hamburger dinners for $15, two drinks for the price of one during happy hour at the pool and etc. The pricing of the restaurants isn't bad for a captive resort and range from poolside sandwich shops to a Ruth Chris Steakhouse. There is a beachfront Nathan's Hot Dog stand and a smoothie shop that makes fresh, all fruit smoothies.
The Marriott Complex adjoins the stretch of high rise hotels along Palm Beach and along that stretch are a lot of shops, restaurants and even a mall with a good movie theater. We saw "True Grit" one evening for $4.50 a ticket. There was a place that sold fairly decent bagels which were great for breakfast. It's an easy walk to that area if you know the shortcut through the Marriott property - ask someone to point it out to you. Fifteen minutes tops if you saunter. Basically you cut through the garage near the designated smoking area of the pool complex, take a right and walk down a road that leads right to the mall and movie theater. Lots of people were doing it, no need for a cab.
Food prices at the supermarket are similar to what you find on most of the islands - you pay a premium for imported items from the U.S. and find good deals on more local items. There are gas grills available to cook on which were often being used when we walked by.
All in all we enjoyed our week in the sun but a good part of that was being lucky and having mostly sunny weather. If the Marriott could control the weather it would. We didn't find a need for a car, a public bus comes right to the Marriott and for $1.25 you're carted off to downtown where the cruise ships drop of entire villages of people apparently to shop for jewelry. Other than shops there's not much downtown.
One more note of interest to many: The rooms have a cabled internet connection, WiFi only in the public areas. For my purposes that was excellent but people with iPads or with laptops that apparently lack an Ethernet port were all over the lobby. The speed of the connection was incredible - 22 down, 12 up. I don't get that kind of speed with Fios stateside. OTOH, you can't stream movies or television shows because Netflix, Amazon and even some other websites can see that you're not in the U.S. and simply post a response that they can't stream to your geographic location.
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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