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“Wonderful 10 Days”

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Marriott's Aruba Surf Club
Ranked #16 of 24 Hotels in Palm - Eagle Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 26 March 2012

We just returned from 10 days in Aruba at the Surf Club. We traded our timeshare for this location and it was a great choice. To anyone nervous about going so far to Aruba, the high rise area is very much like American vacation spots. From American restaurants to almost EVERYONE speaking English, it was very similar to our annual Marriott Vacation Club vacation in West Palm Beach at Marriott Ocean Pointe. If your staying in the high rise area, it really does feel like Florida.

Weather: Fantastic! Mid 80s all week and only one day was overcast. They get very little rain each year, but it will rain for a minute or two every few days. Most people just stay in the pools and ocean. There is just trace amounts of rain. The weather is perfect. You will burn, so be careful.

Surf Club: The lazy river is amazing. A very relaxing river that is perfect for all ages. We brought our own tubes after reading reviews that tubes are sometimes sold out and we didn't want to take that chance. Turns out they had tons of tubes available. 36 inch tubes were $9 and they also sold all types of children tubes. Only bring your own tube if you want an extra large one or a louge tube. The 36 inch tubes they sell are just fine. P.S. They have a sign that the biggest tube allowed is 36 inches, but that is NOT enforced. All loungers, large tubes, noodles, are just fine.

There was a few pools at the resort not counting the lazy river. There was one connected to the lazy river with a waterfall and water slide. There was another near the restraunt (Captains Galley) that had a swim up bar and volleyball net. And there was an adults only pool closer to the ocean. Zero entry pools are at this resort if that's important to you.

There were 2 hot tubs near the pools and they were very nice and big.

Resereve chair at 7 am and you will have no problems. The 2 hour rule isn't enforced strictly. The chairs along the lazy river are the busiest. Try to avoid the chairs farthest from the ocean. It's very windy because of the opening between the towers.

My only complaint at the resort would have to be the pool and spa hours. All the books in the room and the hotel staff say the pool is open till 10 pm, but the not so friendly "security" staff enforce an 8 pm closing. Way to early and really affected evening plans.

The security is absolutely not needed. There is no crime, no unwanted visitors, no problems. The 2 hour pool chair is HARDLY enforced. Marriott is simply staffing 5 locals a day to do nothing. Don't think the resort is unsafe or anything like that because of the secuurity, as Arubans say: its "one happy island". You're right next to the Holiday Inn where tragedy struck a handful of years ago, but that was was an extreme exception to the safety on the island. Just be smart.

The ocean is great. You can reserve palapas up to 3 days at a time for $15. There are plenty of chairs that aren't hard to reserve. Water is very clear. Plenty of activities. There's a subnet cruise for $30.

We stayed on the the 4th and 14th floor during our stay, one week was our timeshare. The views are great on the higher floors. Ocean Front, Ocean Side, and Ocean View rooms can all see the ocean and they won't disappoint. Garden View means Garden View.

Internet is available at the resort with WIFI at the pool and lobby. Ethernet cables are in the rooms if you bring a laptop. Annoying for tablet users, but it gives you something to do when lounging at the pool.

Groceries: As expected, the Marketplace is very expensive at the resort. We eat out every night, so we didn't go to the grocery store. We paid high prices at the Market Place, like $7 for Wheat Thins. The Market Place had a deal on Coffee though. You can purchase a souvenir Surf Club travel mug for $15 dollars and then get refills for a dollar during your stay. Tip: In the Gym, soda and other drinks are much cheaper in the vending machine. Coke was only a dollar.

Ocean Club and Stellarris Hotel: Both are right next to the resort and they had great shopping and food. The casino at the Stellaris is very fun, but it is smoky from cigarettes. They have penny slots, if you don't want to spend a lot.

Restraunts: There is only one restraunt at the Surf Club. Its called Captains Galley and it serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. An all American Breakfast special for 12.95 and a 13.95 pizza special every morning and night provides some cheaper meals. They had a late afternoon happy hour specials if your into that. Other food included was salads, burgers, chicken strips, some fish, etc. Every Marriott has a restraunt like this. Clones of this restraunt are at the Ocean Club (Pavillion) and at the Stellarris (Waves). Champions at the Ocean Club is just like Applebees. And the Steallaris had two very nice restraunts. They had Simply Fish right on the beach for around $40 per entree. Very good fish and steak. They also had a Ruth Chris's near the casino. They have amazing steak. La Vista was also at the hotel and they have fantastic buffets every night.

Other restraunts we ate at we're:

Hyatt's Ruinas del Mar: Great food and a great setting. The Hyatt is the only resort on the island that can give the Marriott a run for its money in my opinion. Very nice resort.

Hadicuari: Right next to the Surf Club beach,which had a good weekend seafood buffett and a great view. Worth going.

Smokey Joes: 5 minute walk, great street view with a fun island feel. Ribs, burgers, and fish. Worth going.

Casa Tua Pizza: 7 minute walk, great pizza, cheap prices. Worth going.

Pelican Pier: You can see the pier from the resort. You're on the ocean, but the food was nothing special. Not worth going.

Activities: We did an ABC tour and we had it to ourselves for some reason. A private tour was very nice and the guide was great. You see the whole island for $90. Your best money spent will be a tour or taxi to baby beach. Amazing water and greats depths. Our taxi to the airport said it would cost $44 each way to Baby Beach. Definitely worth going. The Natural pool is great and has many fish, but it's very hard to get to.

We also did the Atlantis submarine. $100 per person, but you go 150 feet underwater. I'd do it again. It was at the downtown Marina, near Louis Vuitton..

Downtown: Every luxury store your could imagine. Very busy feel and plenty of flea markets with knock offs and other Arubans souvenirs.

Overall, this was a great vacation. It's a long day of traveling if you dont have a non stop flight, customs got long on the way home, but it is worth it. Extremely nice people, a great resort, great food, and great weather.

Room Tip: Ask for a high floor with a pool and ocean view.
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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13  Thank Langgggg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 26 March 2012

Spent five nights at the Surf Club in a one bedroom villa with garden view. If you are on a higher floor (5 and up) you can catch a glimpse of the ocean from your balcony. The lower floors are obstructed by palm trees and vegetation. The place was almost filled to capacity with lots of families with young children. Both the pool areas and the beach were crowded. There are simply too many apartments in three different towers to share too little recreational space. The pools and lazy river are very nice, however, you had to get up early in the morning and put a chair tag on your lounge if you wanted a good location. To float in the lazy river you have to buy a tube for $7.00. The serenity pool (adults only) filled up quickly with tagged chairs and was packed by mid morning. If you want a beach palapa you have to reserve it the day before for $10.00 or take your chances and get up at 7:00 am to get a free one if one is left. There are plenty of beach lounges (some with attached sun shades), however, space is limited so they are lined up very closed together. Again, if you want a lounge in one of the first couple of rows by the ocean you have to get up early and tag it. Who wants to do that on their vacation? There are staff people that walk around and supposedly remove tags from lounges that haven't been used in two hours, but it didn't seem to make much of a difference.

The apartment was clean, well laid out and featured a full kitchen with all appliances, including a washer and dryer. The bed was very comfortable; a bathtub and vanity area are part of the bedroom, the attached bathroom has a shower, toilet and another vanity. There were some stains and nicks and scratches on the furniture, but everything worked. There is a public bus stop right outside the building at the far end of the parking lot. Take the bus to one of the local supermarkets and stock up on food and drink, it'll safe you some money. The elevators were fast, never waited longer than a few seconds. The exercise room on the ground floor was surprisingly large and featured lots of different equipment. If you want wi-fi you have to go to the lobby, none in the rooms. There is a National Car Rental desk, you can rent a car for about $50 a day plus insurance. Be prepared to wait in line, there is only one agent who does all the paperwork and then shows customers to their cars.

The Surf Club is connected via walkways to the Ocean Club next door and then on to the Stellaris Hotel and Casino. The casino is about a five minute walk away. Overall, the Surf Club is a well maintained facility and a good fit for families and if you travel there during the off season it will probably be less congested. For us, it was a so-so experience and we will probably pick a different property next time we return to Aruba.

Room Tip: Get ocean front if you can. If you get a garden view, insist on a higher floor.
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank BeeUpstate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 March 2012

My wife and I look forward to our annual trip to Aruba more that anywhere.The Surf Club is our home away from home for three weeks every year. The three resort (soon to be four) complex provides all the ammenities we could possibly want. The staff is exceptionally well trained and always greet us cheerfully. A special thanks to Jayna and Alix at the hotel's Lobby Bar for your exceptional service and friendship. You bring extra joy to our visits! Make sure to go to Simply Fish on your first night. There is nothing like getting your feet in the sand with an Aruba Ariba to get your vacation rolling!

Room Tip: Don't miss the hotel's Lobby Bar for your favorite cocktail with Jayna and Alix!
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank LakehouseNH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 March 2012

We visited Marriott Surf Club third week in March (spring break) with our adult children, their spouses and 16 month granddaughter. The property was beautiful. We had a 3 BR, 3 BA condo. The place was squeaky clean. We had a great view, furniture was clean and comfortable and the kitchen was stocked with everything we needed. We had breakfast and some lunches in unit – no dinners. Such great food in Aruba there's no need to cook if budget isn't a huge issue. The bathroom lighting it a bit dark. I wished I had a magnifying mirror and/or better lighting. Baby loved the lazy river in her raft and the "beach entry" pools. The pool area near the water slide is in some kind of a wind tunnel between the buildings – so it's best to move to the other end of the pool to get out of the wind and noise from kids on that end. Beach was nice and clean! We rented a palapa for 4 of the 7 days. You can rent for two days, take a day off, rent for two more. I'd happily visit another Marriott time share after renting this one. Lots to do in Aruba for everybody and restaurants/casinos/movies are within walking distance, which was fabulous. Washer and dryer in unit was a great help!

For restaurants, we love-love-love Madame Jeanette's (well worth the cab ride) and always have dinner at Casa Tua for pizza at least twice. Delish!

Room Tip: Higher floors are quieter. 3 bedroom unit had a "wind tunnel" when the balcony in the 1 BR...
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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4  Thank masssunlover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 March 2012

This was our first trip to Aruba As time share owners, we had chosen an efficiency( a deluxe guest room) for just the 2 of us. It was a great fit. Room was clean We had small frig, microwave toaster and coffee pot. We could eat breakfast and/or lunch in. We ate dinner out We had sofa bed and queen bed. We didn't bother tagging chairs at the pool, that was ridiculous. We had no problem going to the pool or beach, the two of us. I would have preferred less kids around, but there were very few adult only areas We walked everywhere and had a great week

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank bicycledoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 March 2012

Had a 1 bedroom and lockout room for 4 adults and 1 toddler. Full kitchen, 2 baths soaker tub separate shower. Was great. We only had the cleaning service come in once (as was included) and tidied ourselves. Our room had its own washer / dryer so we were able to pack less clothes than normal and do our own laundry. So all the amenities of home.
The grounds are like an all inclusive resort in that there was several pools, hot tub, lazy river as well as beach area. I had read many reviews saying the seat tagging (up early to reserve, people tagging and leaving all day) was a mess. but we had no issues with it. And we were there during march break. Maybe I shouldn't recommend it, but when we went down with our 2 year old, we would only be to the pool or beach for an hour to 2 hours. So we just took seats whether tagged or not. If people came (and no one ever did) we would just move our stuff.
The plants are well maintained and clean. Pretty to look at. The sand is great, the beach section is nice, but it is roped off due to all the boat traffic (a marina next door) and to separate you from the adjoining hotels and time shares. One thing to note, while you can walk across the grounds of the other Mariott Hotels, you are not allowed to use their pools.
All beaches in Aruba are public and it is a short walk (5-10 minutes) to get to the public beaches where you wind surf. If you rent a car, the island is tiny and you can get anywhere in about a half hour. So lots of different beaches to go to. One thing to note if driving, many roads are unnamed or have no signage at all, the asphalt also gets sketchy and potted in places. Best to rent a jeep if you do rent. While it is hard to get lost due to the islands size, it is sometimes hard to find where you are going.
The weather was windy to gusty almost all the time. Gentle trade winds is what the brocures say, but Aruba is windy. great for sailing, wind surfing, kiting and all, but was constant. It is good when the sun is beating down as it keeps you cool but on the beach it can whip up some sand at you.
It can get sneaky hot due to the wind masking it, so make sure to pack lots of sun screen and aloe.
Aruba is fairly expensive for food. We were paying 40-50 (without drinks) for alot of our meals. There are some Wendy's MacDonalds and Starbucks even. So you can get stuff cheaper. The hotel pricing in the stores down by the lobby is exorbitant. Milk was a 200% markup over what you would pay at the grocery stores. There are several grocery stores between oranjestad and the hotel, so if staying awhile stock up there. You can take the buses for I think $1.75 if you can handle carrying the bags.
We went around Oranjestad and the mall area close to the resort. Loaded with shops and restaurants for all tastes. We liked a place called Taste of Heaven which had a very chatty chef.
The Balashi beer is surprisingly very good. it must be because of the drinking water on Aruba. It is all deslainated so is very clean.
We went on a few trips to the butterfly farm (2 year old daughter loved it) and the ostrich farm (a little scared but eventually liked it). Otherwise was beach, pool, reading and restaurants. overall a good trip. A bit more expensive to get to, but you feel like you can trust people and feel safe even at night.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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4  Thank nabiclarke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 March 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
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Additional Information about Marriott's Aruba Surf Club

Address: 103 LG Smith Boulevard, Palm - Eagle Beach, Aruba
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Aruba > Palm - Eagle Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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: C$414 - C$911 (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

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