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“Great time!”

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Marriott's Aruba Surf Club
Ranked #16 of 24 Hotels in Palm - Eagle Beach
Certificate of Excellence
New York, New York, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Great time!”
Reviewed 31 October 2012

Stayed from Saturday to Saturday October 6 to the 13. Travelled with 75 year old parents, plus wife and 4 year old son. Had a great two bedroom suite on the top floor with an "oceanside" view. The levels are ocean front, ocean side, ocean view (which might better be called ocean glimpse in many cases) and garden view. I expected and got Ocean side since I'm a timeshare owner still nice to have it happen. Aso close to the elevator which made for a shorter walk for my parents. There are some very long corridors at the Sur Club!

We were in the building closest to the beach which I believe is the Lighthouse building. The resort and room were immaculate, and having a ktchen and washer/drier saved us a lot and was very convenient.

Basic plan was to stock up on groceries and enjoy breakfast and lunch in while dining out each night. Plan worked well. Everyone got up when they wanted and then spent the day in and around the various pools, the beach, or on a couple of day trips all of which we enjoyed immensely. Brought some staples and pool floats from home though I could have gotten all at the resort or in close proximity. Place is big, but didn't feel too crowded. I imagine other times of the year it might though.

Its important to remember the place is a timeshare not a standard hotel. This means, in our case, a full kitchen but it also meant we got one cleaning per week unless we paid extra. Didn't need it as we're adults and kept the place reasonably tidy with minimal effort.

I'm from New York so the prices didn't shock me at all. And seriously, aren't things always more expensive in resort towns? Since I'd stocked up on food and potent potables at the super market and had brought a small folding cooler my costs for drinks and meals were minimal. Restaurants were all nice - El Gaucho, Trattoria Faro Blanco, Swiss Chalet, Aqua Grill and yes... McDonalds (the four year old couldn't go a week without a happy meal!) cost about what I thought they would.

It was a bit hard to find groups of chairs together as we didn't rush down to the pool every am. Didn't bother me though - we weren't there to sit around the pools. We were there to go IN the pools. Spent lots of time in all of them and met lots of friendly people doing the same. Same with the palapa system. No trouble reserving one when we wanted though we did have to plan ahead a bit. I don't like sitting around all day so I spent about half the day under the palapa (sort of a beach umbrella type structure) or in the ocean and then played golf at Tierra del Sol (decent course but pricey!)

I imagine checking in at or close to 3 would be hectic since that was when everyone was checking in so I didn't. We checked in at about 5 though we'd been at the resort since about 2. Took about ten minutes and was pretty straightforward. Fairly long walk from the lobby to our room but we did ask to be close to the beach and high up so can't blame Marriott for that. Being near the elevator mitigate that for the most part.

All the staff were very nice. Lots of hellos and good mornings. Lots of smiles. Plenty of security for no reason I could see. They didn't seem to be too worried about chair tags or bracelets. Probably because it was the low season.

I didn't eat on site except for one evening at "Champs" which is a sports bar next door at the Marriott Ocean Club time share. Predicitbly packed on Sunday due to abunadance of fans of both kinds of football but Monday night was easy to get a table and we had a good burger and chickem wing kind of meal at a reasonable price. Also had a couple of pizzas delivered the first night. A little expensive, and not up to NYC standards, but it worked for us.

Wife and mother went to the spa for massages. It was expensive, but hey.... its a spa at a resort. They seemed to enjoy themselves so it was worth it to me.

My father loved the TV - basically everything he got in NYC so he got to see all his standard shows and the news.. I got NY sports and there were several kids channels as well so everyone was happy.

One warning though, Its got nothing to do with the Surf Club but do plan to get to the airport early on the way out if you are leaving on a weekend. Everyone is leaving at once, and they have a unique system. You go through US Customs at the airport in Aruba NOT in the US so its a long, slow process. You check in then walk to Aruban customs then Aruban airport security then get on an amazingly long line to pick up your luggage and then go through US Customs and US airport secuirty. For an afternoon flight you better be there three hours ahead!

Room Tip: I asked for a room high up and facing away from the pool. Had a nice view up the beach toward the o...
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  • Stayed October 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank Patrick B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Midwest
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62 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 October 2012

A great Marriott experience. You know what to expect at a Marriott, and this property delivers. New, modern, and spacious rooms. We stayed in a two-bedroom unit in the Lighthouse, which is the building closest to the beach. The water is as beautiful as the pictures suggest. With the exception of St John's in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Anguilla, this is the best water and beach combo in the Caribbean. The beach is crowded, and you have to get up at 7:00am every morning to get the best palapas on the beach or pay $15 to reserve one for two days. It has every amenity that most U.S. travelers expect.

Room Tip: Request an upper floor room in the Lighthouse Building.
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  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank William Randolp... W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 October 2012

I go on vacation to Aruba often and have a time share in the Marriott. It is my favorite hotel out of any in Aruba and not only are the rooms great and spacious, the views are usually amazing and to add on is the staff. I was at the pool early one morning and one of the staff members Daniel from the Surf club pool made sure I had enough towels and offered to bring more chairs over for me and my friends. He was friendly and very sweet. Also another member Vicky from the towel hut was very curtious and made sure me and my friends had the best stay possible and even gave us information where the best spots to go out are. She is very professional and a super sweet girl. I look forward to seeing Daniel and Vicky my next stay at the Marriott.

Room Tip: If you're older and do not want to walk far in the heat I suggest to stay in the Lighthouse towe...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
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3 Thank Reilly S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
167 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 October 2012

Just got back from the Marriott. I had no complaints. It was a beautiful, clean resort. Full kitchen, two baths, Two bedrooms. Very comfortable bed. Enjoyed the last river Loved relaxing and floating on it. That was different have.g that at the resort.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank COLEVILLE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wendell, North Carolina
Level Contributor
37 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 October 2012

The hotel staff was very nice, villa was spacious, linens comfortable, and service was great. Numerous pools to choose from. We enjoyed the serenity pool(over 21) and the hot tub and the lazy river. The property is lush and pretty. ONLY negative was having to buy a float to enjoy the lazy river. Will go again!

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Sandra H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
new jersey
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 October 2012

I recently traveled to Aruba and stayed at this hotel with my husband and two infant children. I was very alarmed by all the negative reviews on this site so I was bracing for a disaster.
I arrived on a Wednesday (late afternoon) and as soon as we set foot off the plane it was “island time.” The luggage took about 30 minutes to get to us and the rental car took about another 45 minutes to get. Be prepared for a-lot of airport time. The drive to the Marriott was about 20 minutes at most and it’s basically a straight shot from the airport. It’s one of the last hotels in the high rise area a little difficult to find at first but you’ll figure it out. Upon arrival there were only two people at the counter when I checked in. Each was helping another individual. I saw the nightmare of a line that people wrote about here on Saturday and Sunday when I walked through the lobby. I had called multiple times in advance to make sure I had the cribs, and high chairs that I needed for my stay and I also requested a room close to the beach and on a high floor. Once I got to the counter the woman who was helping me was lacking in customer service skills to say the least. She took my name, disappeared for 15 minutes and finally came back with a packet for me. I asked about upgrading to a two bedroom suite, paying more for it etc. and she was unable to help me advising me to go online to re-book. Really? Absurd.
We got the whole run-down on reserving chairs at the pool, tagging them, wearing wristbands and a list of activities. Basically if you have an infant under 4 you are SOL as their program is geared for older kids. They have iguana feedings at 10AM which is cool but that’s about it. We were on the 6th floor in the Lighthouse tower- The room was suitable for our needs – kitchen, pull out couch for our toddler and we got a pack and play style crib for the baby which worked out good. Remember to keep the AC at a higher number as our little one got the sniffles by day 3 from the temperature changes. The view was nothing spectacular (construction everywhere) and the balcony was very small. The have a huge bath-tub in the master suite which your kids will love. The only negative is that if you have a little one crawling the main living space is that it’s all tile floor (no carpet) so dangerous and dirty. Not to worry there are plenty of kid channels on the TV too. We were up very early anyway and did the chair tagging system as advised. It was no big deal though– go down, pick your spot and stay there. The one area of the pool is zero entry so it’s great for the little ones. They also have a small waterslide and a playground (nobody was in this a plastic and 105 degree weather isn’t a good combo) Make sure you get them water shoes as the pavement is very hot to walk on and put them in a hat as well. Be prepared for iguanas everywhere – I did not like this. They walk under your lounge chairs, under the bushes, up trees etc... They’re everywhere. We listened to other reviews and brought our own pool floats which I think is ridiculous that they can’t supply them but whatever. We did eat at the pool a few days – yes it’s expensive – it’s a hotel what do you expect. Frozen drinks are $15.00 and they melt before you get back to your chair, lunch options – burgers, quesadilla’s, sandwiches are in the $15.00 range . There are no lifeguards, no life vests; no staff around to help you and we rarely saw anyone coming around asking if you wanted a drink or anything. I felt at times that that the staff went out of their way to not be courteous to guests. There were security guards everywhere but not once was I checked for my pool wristband which I never wore. We sat down at a table near the pool for lunch with our two little ones and there was no wait staff. We had to go up to the window to order and it was quite obvious that we had planned to eat there but when they brought out our food it was all in to go containers. This happened to us more than once. – Here’s your food – get out of here. It’s like they don’t want you to sit down and eat!
The beach area was huge but it was toooooooooo crowded. There were umbrellas everywhere that had to be reserved in advance and no accommodations/closer to the water considerations for families with infants. I brought my own beach blankets. The beach towel situation at the hotel is pretty ridiculous too. The walk to the water was far and the water was very crowded with people. There is also a lot of boating activities going on in the water. I did see stray dogs roaming down the beach at times which was weird (this is better than iguana’s I guess LOL ...) this was not the ideal tropical scene I was looking for – felt more like the jersey shore. They do sell shovels and pails in the gift shop (of course) but we didn’t need it. There are no real dinner restaurants at this hotel – everything is at the other properties and you can take a golf cart to these places. I would recommend LaVista which is a buffet where infants eat free and they have a little kiddie section to occupy them. It’s great, not a lot of people were there, and we enjoyed it. It was expensive (as is everything else) but it’s quick and easy with kids. There is a tour office in the hotel, a bunch of menu’s for local restaurants you can look at and a small gift shop/café with over-priced food items. If you don’t have a rental car then bring your baby food from home – baby food selection in the store was limited (mostly fruits) and Milk is $8.00 for a half gallon – yes a half gallon. Obtaining milk was not easy as we went to the market and the market told us to come back Friday when the milk came in. All in all the hotel was just ok. The staff is atrocious and really contributes to my negative feeling of this property. They are pretty annoying too as they call you all the time (especially when your kids are napping) and try to sell you timeshare. We were there for 5 days – spent a lot of time in the pool, dropped a small fortune on watered down melted drinks, milk and lunch and got our fill of Aruba. Been there done that – didn’t get the t-shirt. We did the sights – regret that as the sights are very boring and as far as family activities for those with infants you’re limited. Don’t go to the butterfly farm – sounds good yes – but it’s boring. Lastly - Brace yourself for a horrible day at the airport on the return trip home. Two security checkpoints, lugging your bags around, lack of a decent food selection and forget about getting milk for your kids!

Stayed October 2012, travelled with family
Helpful?
5 Thank erin7791
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jekyll Island, Georgia
Level Contributor
425 reviews
87 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 263 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 October 2012

Just got back from a week's stay at this resort with my husband - 14-21 Oct. I read all the reviews so I knew what to expect. The property is beautiful with several pools, one for just kids, a main pool, a over 21 pool and a lazy river that runs around the main pool. There are lots of chairs on the property and we had no problems finding some no matter what time of the day we went out. We exchanged through Interval for a 1 bedroom and our room was #6612. Unit was very nice and we had a side view of the beach, with the main view of the Ocean Club building next door. The Market Place inside the Surf Club is really a store and cafe combined into one. It opens at 7am daily and doesn't close until 10pm. Check in and check out were a breeze. Checkout is throughout an automated system if you are satisfied that your account is accurate that they give you the night before. Staff were very friendly. This resort is within walking distance of many restaurants and shops. The beach is nice, but does have a pier in front. Recommend walking down to the left of the resort for more pristine water and less people. Resort does charge a daily tax. There are 3 computers but you have to pay $.25 per minute, minimum $5. Happy hour with 2 drinks for $15 begins every day at 2pm; there's a all you can eat BBQ on Friday nights for $24.95 that includes two rum punches. Once checked in, all your purchases throughout the resort can go on your room bill.

Room Tip: The Surf Club calls you a few days prior to departure. You can request a specific room location - h...
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  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank cathyd
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

Property: Marriott's Aruba Surf Club
Address: 103 LG Smith Boulevard, Palm - Eagle Beach, Aruba
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:
#14 Family Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#14 On the Beach Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#18 Romantic Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
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
Marriott's Aruba Surf Club Palm - Eagle Beach

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