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“Nice property, the consistent quality of Marriott with Aruba's sun”

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Marriott's Aruba Surf Club
Ranked #16 of 24 Hotels in Palm - Eagle Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
76 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
“Nice property, the consistent quality of Marriott with Aruba's sun”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 15, 2011

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.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
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5 Thank don15215
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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
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English first
Scituate, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 14, 2011

Alot Of People In One Place.. The Saff is LOVELY. We Asked for a king size bed and were told we would receive it but did not.. The room was clean and efficient. If you are an adult looking for peacce and quiet stick with the serenity pool It would be nice if the surf club had a bar/restarant but the Marriott resort is not bad of a walk. Probably not enough chairs for all the people at the surf club. quite crowded.The rooms at the marriot resort Stelaris are much much nicer. Ruth's Chris was fabulous and perfect time and again. We loved the staff wherever we went but esp. at Ruth's Chris Steak House. The food and service was stupendous.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank fittysgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alaska
Level Contributor
41 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 1, 2011

We discovered Aruba 5 years ago and we have gone back every single year at the end of November and we usually stay the first 3 weeks of December. We ran into alot of rain this trip. This is the first time in 5 years that we have ever seen that much rain there. We still enjoyed it though. It usually cleared up enough every day to get some good sun.

We have stayed at Bucuti, Marriot Ocean Club, the Hyatt, the Westin, the Radisson, and unfortunately the Holiday Inn over the years. The Bucuti has the absolute best beach hands down. The rooms are nice but not near as nice as the Marriott rooms. If you want a real quiet place go to Bucuti. I guess my husband and I like the Ocean Club and the Surf because the rooms are immaculate, look brand new, and they are close to town and the atmosphere is just fun here. We like the beach better at the Ocean Club because it is less crowded and seems more private. The Surf Club is crowded but we love it there too. The lazy river is so refreshng and fun and the pool is awesome. We like the smoothie stand on the beach, they make their smoothies with only fresh fruit. There is a hot dog stand in fron of the smoothie stand that serves grilled hot dogs for $5 and they are huge. We love the cafe's at the Surf and Ocean Club where you can get any kind of coffees and from the Marriott's you have a real easy walk to the town where there is shopping, dining and movie theatres.
My favorite thing to do in Aruba is get up early and walk the beach every day from one end to the other. It is expensive here. I read a review about how expensive the grocery stores are but I live in Alaska and I think the grocery stores were about as expensive as where we live. Actually they seemed affordable. There are also specials around the Marriott. One night they had pizza night for $10 and my husband and I were super hungry. We shared a pizza and there was still a slice left when we were done. At Champions they have specials. One night they have burgers 2 for $15. Another night they have a steak special for $10. It was not the hugest steak but it was sufficient.
Our favorite resturaunts are Amazonia, Texas Brazil, La Trattoria for Italian. We need to venture out and try some new ones. Plan on spending at least $21 per person. at any resturaunt you go to. There are early bird specials at most dining places.
The beaches are nicer as you get toward the Radisson and the Hyatt. The farther you walk in the opposite direction of the Marriott's the beaches are nicer. Just less crowded, maybe more sand, and the water is more clear. Can't really explain it but while the Marriott's have a real beautiful beach and we are happy with it because overall we think it is the best place to stay the beaches are just more of what you dream of further down.
Another thing we love is the Iguana's, every size running around at the pools. I so much want to bring my little grandkids there one day I thinkthey would love to see them. At 10AM ,there is brick wall diving the property of the Surf and the Ocean Club, and that is the time you feed the Iguana;s. the staff brings a bag of lettuce and I noticed other guests brought fruit etc and you can feed them They come down from the trees and all over to eat. So many of them . I noticed the kids LOVED feeding them.
Regarding the spa. One thing I discovered one of my first trips there is that the Marriott has a spa and the prices are outrageuos. There is another spa called Intermezzio. That spa is in the Bucuti, the Holiday Inn and the Westin. The prices are like 1/3 less expensive that the Marriott spa. They also charge less for the gratuity/service fee they add on. I think the Marriott adds 18% to every service while Intermezzio charges 15%.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank AlaskansNeedtotravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Albany, Indiana
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 30, 2010

We loved our room at the Marriott Surf Club. The full kitchen and living room area separate from the two bedrooms allowed for a very comfortable stay. The staff were very friendly. Rooms were very clean and the kitchen had all the necessities you needed to cook. They provide you with detergent for dishwasher and laundry too. The pool was very nice. We have 3 teenagers so the slide was small and the lazy river not a strong point for us, but were nice. We brought our own tubes from home, but did not use them much. The beach is nice, but I would prefer less huts on their property. It takes away from the view. We had no problem finding lounge chairs at the pool or the beach and we were there the week before Christmas. I would strongly recommend taking a snorkeling adventure and we also did the Go Green Zebra Adventure and had a blast. Although we did get some rain it was mostly at night and the temperature was in the 80s every day. We had an awesome time! We stayed 5 nights.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank MSBNA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level Contributor
44 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 28, 2010

Stayed here in November 2010. Rained every day, but Nov - Jan is apparently rainy season as we quickly learned. Nice weather when the sun did come out and we did get in some decent beach time in between the rain showers. Hotel is clean, and rooms are average. Quiet at night with no major issues. Beach is lovely and it is not a far walk in my opinion. Down side was that we couldn't sit in the covered beach chairs past a certain area of the beach. Mostly because I think they wanted people to pay for palapas in order to be closer to the water. Another annoyance was they expected us to wear rubber bracelets identifying us as guest in order to use the pool area. I didn't come to aruba to sit by a pool, so we never used the bracelets and none of the staff ever questioned us about it. The" lazy river" looked very crowded, and the pool areas in general were very loud, but since we stayed on the beach it didn't matter . They also give you chair tags to save a chair by the pool or beach - kind of ridiculous as well, but being rainy season, it was never a problem getting a chair anyway. Time share pitches by staff also not welcomed, but that is sort of expected no matter what island you vacation on. Drink prices are crazy high - look for the happy hour specials at around 3pm. Overall, not bad, but also nothing to rave about. Staff was friendly and helpful. Hotel gym was decent. I wouldn't rule out staying here again, but I think if I return to Aruba, I may want to try a different time share exchange in the low rise hotel area, Tip - Rent a car if you can. Glad we did since we would drive into the city and shop/sight see when it was raining. The car was great for going food shopping and going to restaurants away from the hotel as well. Do NOT buy anything in the little market in the hotel!! Everything way over priced. The local supermarkets just down the road have everything you can want for the same or less than you would pay in the US.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank TravelNY1300
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ottawa,ontario
Level Contributor
106 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 22, 2010

Beautiful grounds, lots of facilities, wide beach front and good retaurant choices right in the three Marriott properties that are all next to each other. There is a cheap bus system and reasonable clean courteous cabs throughout the island, The ocean is a nice aqua color although murky, on two days there were tons of debris and weeds as the surf was a bit rougher. A sewage type smell could be faintly detected one day, and the harbor in the capital Oranjestad had a pungent sewage smell. I am not an ocean type of guy so the claen resort pools and lazy river were great.

Big attraction is the constant heat wave, never went under 85F for daytime highs. All in all a wonderful vacation, oh yeah some good restaurants too! And good golf courses.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank norman18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, NJ
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 10, 2010

We were at this property from 12-2 thru 12-9-2010. On Tuesday, 12-7-2010, @ approx. 5:25 pm, entire complex lost power. Staff initially said outage would last a few minutes. How does 7 1/2 hrs. sound ? As time went on, it became apparent no staff member really knew what was going on. Their answer to the question, when will power/lights be back on ?----was standard answer " in a few minutes ". To add insult to injury, no flashlights were available ( we were given 3 lite-sticks for the duration ) and many of the emergency lights in rooms did NOT WORK. They were not installed properly by service staff members. Will not go back there on a bet.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank birdie068
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 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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