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.
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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