We stayed in the Renaissance Aruba Resort and Casino in the family oriented Ocean Suites section. The room was very nice, but was showing some wear and tear. They are renovating all of the rooms by November and we really liked the location of our room and the incredible Ocean Front views from the 5th floor. The maid service was exceptional and Lourdes and others very accommodating. We were able to get two very comfortable roll away beds for our children (12 year old boy/10 year old girl) in lieu of the older uncomfortable pull out couch bed (which will soon be replaced). We felt very at home here.
The hotel is being renovated so we are excited to see how everything turns out when everything is done. The overall feel of the hotel is a little more cosmopolitan than the other Marriott properties in Aruba (which we visited for an afternoon). Those properties are on Palm Beach and were great in their own right, but we really liked being right in the heart of Oranjestad and we enjoyed the international feel of this hotel. We also liked how laid back the hotel was with no issues around using chairs by the pools or the lagoon. We weren't all that thrilled with how the other Marriott properties seemed to have very crazy rules around reserving chairs. We walked into town almost every night and enjoyed many of the local restaurants including Que Pasa, Iguana Joe's, The Dutch Pancake House, Pincho's, Casa Tua and others. I felt very comfortable walking around at night as well. We also went to the Bon Bini festival which is right across the street from the hotel. My wife and I enjoyed it but the kids wanted to move along as fast as possible. It's a really nice festival that is sponsored by the local Arubans with singing, dancing, drinks and great homemade food.
The hotel is located on the waterfront but there's no large beach access directly on this property. You can take a boat shuttle to the private island which we did one day, but we really just preferred hanging out by the large pool and lagoon area. The pool bar was terrific with 2 for 1 drinks from 3-6 every day. Julio and Wagner were terrific bartenders and introduced us to some great drinks as well as the wonderful local Balashi and Balashi Chill beers (can't find any stateside yet).
Two small drawbacks to this hotel are the open air lobby and the lack of any real kid's game room or other activities. The open air lobby seems like a good concept, but when I rented a car at the Hertz desk, I was eaten alive by mosquitoes that didn't seem to be anywhere else on the island. There's also not a lot happening in the lobby, but that's okay because the Market Place open air mall is right next door. The kids room had an old ping pong table and could use some updating. Overall the activities were pretty thin if you're looking for that. Luckily there was so much else to do around Oranjestad and the rest of the island. This is probably something that will be part of the many renovations going on there.
Rent a car and explore the island yourself if you enjoy that over taking a tour. It's very easy to get around the island from tip to tip (20 miles long). We enjoyed Baby Beach, the California Lighthouse, Casabari Rock, the Butterfly Farm (second time is free) and the Alto Vista chapel. You can rent a car for a day or two and then keep extending it if you want. We rented one for 4 days during our 7 day vacation. The Butterfly Farm is amazing especially for amateur photographers, kids, parents and anyone else who is seeking joy, beauty and wonder in Aruba.
A week and a half back from Aruba and all that I can think about is how to get back there as soon as possible!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- At the newly renovated Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino, we Live Life to Discover. Here in the heart of Oranjestad, you will find yourself in the middle of the excitement, and our entire staff is ready to inspire you. You don't have to go far to experience the real Caribbean, it's right outside your door. Our luxury hotel in Aruba offers a perfect location steps from Oranjestad's vibrant modern downtown boutiques, giving you endless opportunities to indulge your inner shopaholic. Get the thrill of a hand of poker in one of our two casinos, enjoy one of our RLifeLIVE events and revel in the Aruban culture in a way you can only experience from the heart of the city. The resort offers two distinct experiences, the hip and lively adult-exclusive Renaissance Marina Hotel and the Renaissance Ocean Suites, a sophisticated one-bedroom suite accommodation. Both provide exclusive access to a special discovery, Renaissance Island, with Aruba's only private beaches and a truly tropical experience. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Renaissance Aruba Hotel Oranjestad
- Renaissance Aruba Resort And Casino
- Renaissance Hotel Aruba
- Renaissance Oranjestad
- Oranjestad Renaissance
- Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino