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Reviewed September 10, 2009

We arrived on 8/29 and stayed until 9/6. It was sad to leave. The Marriott's Aruba Surf Club was such a wonderful facility. It was very close to the aiport. When we arrived the Surf Club, check-in did take a while. The line was long, but we finally made it and our room was ready on time. There are not many restaurants in the Surf Club. We went next door to Champs at the Marriott Ocean Club (but it is pricey). As we arrived on Sunday, we walked towards the beach and next door was Moomba Beach and they had a DJ and people were dancing and drinking (This is only on Sunday's - good times). The Surf Club has a great lazy river and easy access to the beach. We never had any issues with finding a seat both at the pool and beach. They give you these cards that helped you somewhat reserve your seat. Our things were never taken. The beach, if you don't mind the sun, we were able to get chairs right next to the water at anytime of the day.

The Surf Club is so close to the other hotels, you can walk. We pretty much at breakfast and lunch in the room and ate dinner out as it could get very expensive. We bought groceries at Ling & Sons (a bit expensive but cheaper than the market at the Surf Club). It was about $10 to get there and $12 to return because of the trunk usage. Many restaurants close by not so expensive: Tony Romas, Hooters. Fishes n' more is wonderful if you like seafood.

We did a few activites. We pre-booked a few. We did the Kukoo Kunuku bus (really fun if you like partying; the bars are so-so, but you make the best of it with the people that go with you), Tattoo Cruise (very fun!), and the jeep tour by ABC if you like an adventure as you do drive through many rocks half of the trip. But, it was very fun!

It was a great trip and we can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank mamo2677
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 8, 2009

I was nervous after reading other reviews but found the hotel to be wonderful. We had no problem getting pool chairs and the beach was not over crowded. There was no unpleasant smell at beach as others had reported. Our room was not ready but the manager found us one that was. It over looked the pool and straight out to the ocean. It is very windy around the lazy river which makes it hard for small children and the elderly if they are carrying rafts. (TIP; Take your own rafts. The hotels are expensive.) I have stayed at both the Marriott Stellaris Hotel and the Beach Club. I enjoyed the Surf Club the most. Champions Sports Bar is over priced for average food and the staff are uninformed. Walk over to the main hotel for ice cream..much better choice and price. Saved alot of money by using kitchen and taking my own drinks to pool in a cooler.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled with family
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4  Thank caddi123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 28, 2009

My family and I went to the surf club on Aug.14th for a week. We had 2 efficiencies for 7 of us. It was very crowed. I would NOT do that again. We had the furthes building from the beach and there was a funny smell. Overall the grounds were very well manicured and it looked nice. The were not enough choices for food. We had 2 teenagers, one 10yr old, 2 elderly and my husband and I. There is only ONE restaurant at the surf club. It's by the pool. The food is about the same as you would get in a theme park. (expensive and tastes like crap) They do have a market in the lobby for those of you who want to make stuff in your villa. It's RIDICULOUSLY expensive. I paid $10 for a tiny square of cream cheese and 1/2 gallon of milk. There are supermarkets you can go to. The taxi will be about $16 (RT) Well worth it IF you have a full kitchen. THe beach was not that great. The floor was very murky, lots of rocks and crushed shells made it painful to walk without water socks. You cannot see to the bottom like in St. Marteen or the BVI's but it's okay. Bring your own air mattresess you can inflate them for free at the towel hut. We did not need to use the silly chair tags they give you. The towel hut thing sucks. You will have to exchange your dirty towels daily. A few times when we went to go do that the towel hut was out of CLEAN towels. Once at 10:30 in the am! There are only about 25 shaded huts for the 2000 guests so you do the math. You can pre reserve the day before for $10 or take your chances. I must admit the timeshare sharks were not as
pushy as in the past. I think they know they are not selling a good product.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled with family
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1  Thank pdavilalopez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 27, 2009

Me and my boyfriend have just returned form the Marriott Aruba Surf Club and we had a great time. I was a little worried because I read previous travelers' reviews, and because we were a young couple going, I was starting to worry that the crowdedness and many kids at the resort would be annoying. Also, we were staying there under my mother's timeshare as we did an exchange through Interval International and peole complained their rooms weren't that good. Wellllllllllllllllllll.....I HAVE NO COMPLAINTS!!!! The resort was nice and VERY clean. The staff was helpful. We arrived on a saturday afternoon around 2 and there wasn't a long line at all. We walked straight up to the front desk and was checked in with no problems. When we cheked out, we used the express check out and did it over the phone...SIMPLE. The room was very clean (I think we were given one of the renovated rooms) as we stayed in a studio which was fine since it was just us two. There was a mini fridge, dishes, a microwave and a toaster so that was helpful also when storing snacks and drinks. Too save some money on lunch we brought bread and sandwich meat, etc from the local deli in the mall area and made sandwiches for lunch. We always slept in past 10 so we never had to worry about breakfast. As for Dinner, yes...it is true...the prices at the Aruban restaurants are pricey BUT we never spent more than $65 on a meal. The people who order, wine, drinks, dessert..the whole 3 course meal..are the ones who result is ridiculous bills. We just focused on drinks and our entree (thats all that was needed).

RESTAURANTS: I recommend for dinner Flying Fishbone (went there for my birthday and it was GREAT). Romantic dinner on the beach. Make reservations ahead of time at their website. Also the Ruinas Del Mar at the Hyatt Regency resort was GREAT as well. Another romantic dinner. This restaurant is just BEAUTIFUL. Especially at night. You must sit outside by the water. Great ambiance. Iguana Joes in downtown was great as well. They had a extensive selection of food for lunch. Iguana Cantina at the mall across the street from the Marriott had GREAT Mexican food. And lastly, the Captain's Galley on the Marriott property near the pool was great as well. We ate there for lunch almost everyday, and ate breakfast there the day we were (sadly) leaving. As I said, the food is pricey, but definitely good.

As for the pool chair issue, we never REALLY had a problem finding chairs at the pool, just make sure you always tag your chairs. And we reserved a palapa the first morning at 7am and got it for free. Thats the ONLY day we REALLY relaxed and LAID out on the beach for a few hours. If you really don't care for having a palapa protecting you from the sun, then you can just ask for a beach chair without having to pay for a palapa. The palapas you do have to pay for if you come at 8am, but if you reserve them at 7am or 4pm, they are FREE.

ACTIVITIES: The Jolly Pirates tour was alot of fun..snorkeling, food, music, tanning, drinks, swimming, rope swing. It was I believe $55 and it was worth it (9:30am-2:30pm). There are ALOT of water sports options right on the beach so be adventurous and try some. We rented a speedboat and drove it for 40 minutes ($130)...but there are other water sports that are much more inexpensive. There are many places along the beach to sign up so you have many options (jetskiing, speed boats, boat cruise, party boats, banana boats, wind surfing, parasailing, scuba diving and much more.)

TAXI: I used Bully (the Auban taxi driver) for transportation. Google him and you can find his contact info. He is VERY NICE, INFORMATIVE, and CHEAPER than the other local taxi drivers. $20 from the airport to the Marriott. Just contact him ahead of time. And if he is unavailable, he will send one of his other family members who is in the taxi business with him. There's night life along the strip, which is walking distance so you do not need to take a bus or cab unless you are going into downtown ($11 taxi ride).

Aruba was great. The beach water in front of the resort is nice but not as crystal clear as other places I have been too. And I have come to the conclusion that the reason being is there are always people in the water and speed boats, jetskis, etc in that part of the beach. But when we went snorkeling on the Jolly Pirates ship...the water was crystal clear. Probably because those areas have less activity. I wanted to go to baby beach (supposed to be the best beach in Aruba) but according to our cab driver..its all the way at the opposite end of the island and kind of far...so we skipped it as our beach was just fine.

Lastly, just be aware that the Aruba Surf Club is definitely a family oriented resort with alot of kids. We were a 25/26 yr. old couple looking for a fun filled, relaxing, romantic trip. If you like kids, then stay here, but if you don't...stay at one of the Marriott resorts next door (Marriott Ocean Club or the more high end Marriott..the Stellaris Casino). We did not let the many kids affect our stay. Actually, it was kind of entertaining to watch them enjoying theirselves. They brought energy to the resort. I know this is long but hopefully this will help someone decide on their Aruba trip. Next time, I go to Aruba though..I would like to stay at either the Hyatt Regency (SUCH A BEAUTIFUL RESORT) or the Riu Palace. But thats only because I like to stay at different places when I travel.


***People have such high expectations, you just have to enjoy yourself as things will not always be PERFECT!***

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Luv2vacay82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 27, 2009

Just returned from Surf Club and had at fabulous time with our four "young adults" with us. We own at Marriotts Ocean Watch in Myrtle Beach and this was our first trade to Aruba. Our villa was awesome--in the Spyglass Tower overlooking the pool on the 5th floor. I have to agree that the check in took much longer than we would have liked especially after a long day traveling there. I wish they had taken the time to explain a little of the surrounding area to us. We had no idea until midweek about the mall area within walking distance of the Surf Club that has tons of restaurants and things to do. We discovered it on our own. We did not rent a car and are glad we didn't. We did take a cab out to Flying Fishbone one evening and it was well worth the $26 each way to get there. We also ate at Wacky Wahoos, Smokey Joes, Madame Jeanettes, Moomba Beach, Casa Tua and Champions. I would highly recommend all of those except Moomba Beach--food was terrible there, but atmosphere is nice. Our kids did parasailing and LOVED it and we also had a blast on the Jolly Pirates morning cruise with a good lunch included. The older kids really liked doing casinos at night and liked the one at the Holiday Inn property next door. We spent all of our time on the beach and did not have that much trouble getting a free Palapa each day, even though they were back from the water--it was not bad. You definitely need a Palapa--the sun is scorching hot. We did not even try for pool chairs but saw people out there at 7 am claiming them for the day. We did the lazy river, which is awesome, mostly late afternoon or later at night. The Surf Club was extremely crowded last week, but it was okay. We slept 6 of us very comfortably in the villa. We only had one problem--our refrigerator froze everything we put in it, so we had a lot of ruined food. Shopped early in the week at Ling and Sons, which was a smart move, even though the prices are very expensive--we would have spent a lot more buying beer, wine and food on property. On a side note, our daughter ended up going to the hospital midweek with a throat infection and we were very happy with the service we received. FYI--you pay cash at the hospital, but get reimbursed at home by your insurance company. The prices were nothing like I expected--cheap for an emergency room visit, specialist care and medicine ($220 total) The weather was gorgeous, but HOT, all week. Everyone had a blast, despite our foray to the hospital!!! Checkout was painless and quick.. You need to get to the airport three hours ahead during the busy days (Saturday being one of them). You have to go through two security checkpoints, two customs and checking in with the airline--a hassle! We would definitely go back to the Surf Club.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled with family
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2  Thank thegreendoor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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