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Reviewed March 18, 2012

First, while I've given an overall rating of Very Good, in our opinion it varies from Average to Very Good.

Just a heads up for owners or renters....when you get to your room check cleanliness of the sheets and pay attention to how the room smells as soon you walk in the door...i.e. a fresh clean smell vs. musty or wet order.

I bring this up as an owner as we believe if you are paying good money for the Marriott name and expectations of service and you've given up hard earned money for them to invest, you should expect them to recognize and perform the basic levels of cleanliness and maintenance.

Specific example: Don't know if they rectified this correctly since our visit last year, but if anyone gets room 7723 in the Compass Tower, check the ceiling of the bathroom and around the vents in the living room over the kitchen counter. I have a very sensitive nose and can pick up on things quickly. When we walked into this room I immediately noticed a damp feeling to the room which is unusual (we've been going to Aruba for six years now). Granted the Compass Tower is one of the older buildings, but after looking around I noticed black marks in the ceiling of the bathroom, lightly visible and it looked like they just tried to wipe it off/or sand it. Around the vanity and baseboard it looked like things were not in line (base board) and ceiling vent was out of place. Then we noticed the visible mold around the vent and obvious attempt to cover it up with paint. It appeared there was a leak in a room above (maybe someone let the tub overflow or something), but anyone who does have asthma or other respiratory issues especially (as we happen to have) should not be exposed to this at all. Based on past experience, I went into action right away and went downstairs and asked for a manager to come up stairs. I had to be persistant and he did come up with someone from maintenance. Basically, they should have cordoned off that room and made some major repairs, costly to them, yes but your customers should be #1. They tried to deny there was anything wrong until I pointed it out to them and they shook their heads and agreed that the proper way to fix it would be to cut out the bad wallboard and replace with clean. Needless to say we did get another room to our satisfaction but it took away four hours of our day. We purposely planned our flight to get in early because of past experiences like this. However, and as we expected they would do, they put someone in that same room that week. Disgraceful to me.

The sheet situation occurred about two years ago now. I'm not going to go into detail but we found dirty spots on the sheets and the floor as well like someone had changed a baby...if you get my drift.

In both these situations, after pointing out the evidence, they did turn around and rectified the situation.

While we do enjoy our stay at the Aruba Surf Club, I'd say that 50% of the time we've found something that didn't meet the standards that they say they meet. I'm not a princess....far from it but I expect to receive the same quality as what I provide for my family at home. We've been trading one of our weeks and have gone to other non Marriott resorts and so far have had good experiences there....St. James Club, Antiqua and Royal Resorts in Curaco. Granted they've only been one time experiences and you can always find an unsatisfied customer at these other places, but we especially enjoyed St. James Club Antiqua.

Overall, if you do have an issue that you feel is important to address take care of it right away and don't rely on calling from the room phone to get a response. Go downstairs to the desk and make yourself known in as pleasant a fashion as possible.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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7  Thank TDNJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 11, 2012

We bought our Timeshare last year and we are very satisfied of the amenities of this club. E beach is great, food is awesome, people are friendly BUT we bought a Premium week oceanview 6 th floor or higher and got the 3rd floor this week!! View of palm trees...NO OCEAN!! We were told that there is never a garantee but another timshare owner had it written on his contract!!!!!!

Plus, 4 days prior to our arrival, we got a call from the salesteam to ask us if we had a special demand so we said that we wanted a high floor and she said she would write it down in the system. Upon arrival, No notes whatsoever....so there you go guys!

Room Tip: Of course anything higher than the 6 th floor!!
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Sloyer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 10, 2012

This is the third time I had been to Aruba and the first traveling with my almost one year old. We stayed with my in laws in a 2 bedroom unit that has a kitchen,dining room and washer/dryer. All of these things make a family vacation SO much easier. The room was pretty nice and very clean. They were able to provide both a crib and a high chair, so that was really helpful.
The pool chair situation is a bit strange. People waking up at 4 am to go sit on chairs till the 7 am reserve time?! My mother in law went down at 6 or 6:30 everyday and sometimes we ended up with chairs with no shade, which doesn't work so well with a baby. Other than that it was nice, kind of crowded. The beach has palapas that you can reserve as well. The food at the hotel was alright. We ate at Ruth Chris which was very good, the pool bar was pretty decent and Champions to watch a basketball game one afternoon.It was nice that you could walk between the Stellaris, Ocean club and the Surf Club. The adult only pool at Stellaris looks really beautiful with all the open air cabanas. All in all if I was just with my husband I doubt we would stay here, lots of families with kids and/or older people but it works really well if your traveling with family.
If you say you want an Ocean view room, they will say they have it but every room is listed as ocean view apparently, we overlooked the parking lot, but if you stood on the balcony and looked to the left you saw part of the Ocean. Be specific if you want a full view, or pool view otherwise you will end up overlooking the parking lot!

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank Amy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 8, 2012

We recently traveled to Aruba and stayed at the Marriott Surf Club. We truly enjoyed our stay. The lazy river was awesome, We played tennis, beach volleyball, grilled steaks, did shuffle board. The rooms were neat and clean, the beds were amazing. The staff was very friendly and helpful. We absolutely would stay here again.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank RonGrub
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 8, 2012

I just got back from a week trip here with my wife and 17 month old. We had a fantastic time.

We had the 1 bedroom unit. It was very spacious. The bathroom is separate for privacy if you have young children while they are sleeping. The kitchen is well stocked with plates, cooking utensils, etc. The kitchen is new and very clean. There is also a washer and dryer stacked in the closet. It has a dining table that can fit 6 people, and a living area with tv. We also had a nice deck with access from the living area or bedroom We were on the 9th floor in the garden view room, but still had a nice view of the ocean if you position your chair properly.

Upon arrival we went to Long and Sons groceries. They had just about everything you would need. The prices were more expensive than in the us, I would say by about 50%. We bought fruit and breakfast foods since it was easier to stay in with the baby. The hotel serves breakfast. It costs $13 for an “American style breakfast” and coffee was $4. There is also a starbucks and dunkin donuts about 8-10 minutes up the road by foot.

They sell laundry detergent near the ice machine for $1.25. it is expensive at the grocery store so you can buy it as you need it, or bring it. We paid $13 for a small bottle before we realized they sold it.

You can walk to a bunch of restaurants and the other hotels from the hotel which is very nice. You don’t need to take a taxi if you want to stay close by. A taxi down town was about $12. The most expensive was from the airport at $25.

Champions in the hotel: Sports bar theme, food was bland. I would skip this place.

Giannis: Average Italian at best and the most expensive meal we had in Aruba. Walking distance. I wouldn’t recommend it.

Simply Fish is in the hotel: Reserve early and get a table on the sand for the sunset. Food was great and the setting was beautiful.

Mi Casa: Thin crust pizza, very inexpensive, walking distance

El Gaucho: need to take a taxi, but well worth it. I am a big steak person and this place was top notch. Reasonably priced. Don’t skip this place, you will be sorry…

Madame Janette: you need to take a taxi. This was the best meal we had on the island. This is a must

Pelicans nest: This is next door to the hotel on the water. Cheap lunch spot, $7-10 sandwiches

Mamma Waba: Also next to the hotel on the beach. Same price as pelicans

Hadicurrari: On the beach at the exit of the hotel. Good lunch, reasonable prices

In general drinks ranged from $8-12 dollars. Every day the pool bar has a special on something. Usually its $8 and they offer 2-3 different drinks

The pool and lazy river are great. Lots of area for the kids to play. You can buy tubes in the resort for a few dollars more than buying them at walmart. Sometimes you can find them left behind by others as well. We brought them, but next time I would not bring them if I didn’t have the room in my suit case. There are lots of children at the resort so if your looking for something quite this is not the place. The only thing I did not like which was mentioned by others here is that the chairs get taken quickly. I think people go out at 5am to reserve them. it is a terrible system they have. I went down early one morning as the baby had me up and I found people reading books with book lights in the dark, and had already claimed there chairs at 6am. I always went around 7-7:30 and found somewhere for us to sit. Also at around 2pm people leave or move and you can find something. This is the only negative thing I can say about the place, that is why I gave it 4 stars.

People will be asking you to sign up for the time share. We told them we didnt want to, and they still gave us the 10% off card. it can be used for antyhing in the resort. This was a nice offering. It seemed like everyone had one.

I cant believe we never went to Aruba before. Leave your jeans and long sleeve shirts at home, you will never wear them. This island is safe and laid back. We will be back next year for sure!!!

Room Tip: Garden room high up gets you some water view.
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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10  Thank doms1214
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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