We recently took our first trip to Aruba and had an incredible time – and staying at the Tradewinds Club at the Marriott went a long way towards our enjoyment of the week.
As soon as our driver pulled up to the hotel, we were greeted by Manny, one of the bellmen at the resort. As he walked us in to the lobby with our bags he asked if we had been there before. When we said no, he stopped for a few moments to familiarize us with the hotel, pointing out the locations and hours of the shops, restaurants and bars, as well as the various exits to the pools and beach – basically giving us the lay of the land. He then took us up to the Tradewinds lounge on the top floor to check in; as we sat down at the desk, he asked if we needed anything to drink and brought us a couple of beers. At the desk, Maria checked us in and also spent several minutes reviewing the amenities of the resort and the schedule for the lounge. She also offered to recommend restaurants and make any reservations if needed. Once we were checked in, Manny (who had waited for us) then showed us to our room.
The room was quite nice: spacious and well appointed, with a sitting area (couch, chair, coffee table) next to the balcony windows, as well as a sizeable bathroom with double vanities and plenty of counter space. They also had a “pillow menu” listing 4 different types of pillows we could request if we wanted additional pillows for the bed. We were in the south tower overlooking the adult pool, which was nice as we did not have any real noise on the balcony coming from down below, and we had a great view of the beach and the ocean as well. We also liked that they had included external wall-inputs for the TV so we were able to hook up our MP3 player and put on some tunes when we were staying in the room.
Of course the main reason for going to Aruba (at least for us) was to relax on the beach, and we were able to do exactly that every day. They have a section of the beach reserved exclusively for guests staying on the Tradewinds floor with a good number of palapas, which we were able to easily procure every morning. However, they do need to be reserved every day (unless you’re camped out in the Governor’s Suite, as that room has its own, always-reserved palapa). On the couple of mornings I walked down with my coffee to reserve one just before 7:00, there were never more than two or three other guests waiting to get one as well, as opposed to the rather long lines we saw at the palapa hut on the main part of the hotel’s beach. And on those mornings that we came down a bit later, it was not an issue then either; I do not think there was a single time during our stay there where every palapa on the Tradewinds section of the beach was taken. In fact, we had the same one (#6) every day.
As other reviewers have mentioned, the Tradewinds beach section was primarily overseen on most days by Hermina – who was simply awesome! She would make sure our chairs were set up under our palapa each morning by the time we returned from breakfast, and would check in with us throughout the day, asking if we needed anything, reminding us when it was time to go up for lunch, and sometimes just hanging out for a bit and shooting the breeze. She also had the task of occasionally having to deal with people who wandered over from the main hotel beach (or elsewhere) and sat themselves at an unused / temporarily-vacated palapa. Each time, she handled this in a totally courteous and professional manner. During the few times she was not working on the beach, Jeremy readily took over these tasks.
The last real amenity of the Tradewinds level worth mentioning is their concierge lounge. They provided both breakfast and lunch every day. The former was fairly substantial, usually offering eggs and / or panckaes, potatoes, bacon and sausage, as well as fresh fruit and assorted breakfast pastries and muffins, coffee and several juice selections. Lunch was usually a bit lighter and typically consisted of a salad bar and two or three types of small wraps or slider-sized sandwiches, and light desserts. In the evening they had hors d’oeuvres available from 6:00-7:00, along with a well-stocked open bar from 6:00 until a bit later (I believe it was 9:00). In addition, sodas, bottled water, juices and beers were readily available in the lounge throughout the entire day. All of the food and drinks offered in the lounge every day were free (well – free in the sense that they were covered by the cost of the room and did not have to be paid for separately). And having these amenities was great – while we went out to dinner every night (usually after a cocktail in the lounge before heading out), we never had to go to one of the hotel restaurants for breakfast or lunch, and we had a constant supply of soda, water and beer to take down with us to the beach.
We did not spend much time at the pool, but on the few afternoons where we wanted to take a quick dip, the adults-only pool was nice so that we did not have to deal with a bunch of kids playing and splashing around us (nothing against said kids, but as were there by ourselves, it made for a bit more relaxing time in the pool). Also, although we did not take advantage of them, guests on the Tradewinds floor are able to rent a cabana at the adult pool for a discounted rate. By the same token, we did appreciate that all guests on the Tradewinds floor had to be at least 18.
A few people here have complained about the lack of WiFi in the rooms…not a big deal for us as we try to turn everything off while on vacation, but they did have wired internet access in the room and, on the one or two occasions where we did fire up the laptop to look up a couple of restaurant menus, it worked just fine, and the lack of in-room WiFi was not a negative at all as far as we were concerned.
In addition to the comfortable room and plethora of amenities, every single staff member we interacted with (including those mentioned in this review) was great. Always with a smile on their face, always taking a moment to ask how our day was going. And, unlike at resorts and hotels in other parts of the world we have traveled to, it felt very genuine every single time.
This was our first trip to Aruba; we fell in love with the island, and plan to return next year. And when we do, we plan to again stay at the Tradewinds Club – it was perfect, so why bother looking anywhere else?
(Note: We hired a car in advance through Wixtours.com to take us to and from the airport – I could not find them listed on TripAdvisor, but we wholeheartedly recommend them for anyone looking to hire such a service while on the island).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nestled on Palm Beach, our Aruba getaway is essential to your alluring Aruba vacation. Enjoy comfort and relaxing Aruba accommodations featuring the resort, adult exclusive pool, and the exclusive Tradewinds Club - an upscale hotel-within-a-hotel concept on the top floor of this Aruba resort. Savor in the upgraded amenities, five daily dining presentations in the private lounge, a member-only beach area, and full access to the Tradewinds Concierge Service ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Marriott Aruba Resort & Stellaris Hotel Palm/Eagle Beach
- Marriott Aruba Resort And Stellaris Casino
- Marriott Aruba Hotel Stellaris
- Marriott Palm/Eagle Beach
- Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino