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Reviews (3,027)
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All reviewslazy riverchair tagsspyglass towerserenity poolcaptain's galleychair taggingpool chairsbedroom villaocean club next doorfull kitchentime sharemarriott hotelwasher and dryergrocery storeocean viewbaby beachqueen bed
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Reviewed March 26, 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.
  • 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 March 24, 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!
  • 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 March 22, 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 unit was opened – someone could get hurt with wind vacuum, so be careful. I'm writing to Marriott to make the notification about this phenomenon more clear.
  • 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 March 21, 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 March 21, 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
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