Aruba Marriott properties

Discussion in 'Marriott | Rewards' started by Sweet Willie, Oct 24, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Sweet Willie
    Original Member

    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    by Nov 2013, with a Ritz-Carlton opening up, there will be 4 Marriott properties to choose from in Aruba:

    Ritz Carlton
    Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino
    Marriott's Aruba Surf Club
    Marriott's Aruba Ocean Club

    Who's been & which property did you choose?
     
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  2. brucewil

    brucewil Silver Member

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    I've been to both the surf club and ocean club. We own at the surf club. It's about what you expect from a Marriott. Nice, but nothing spectacular. Lots of kids and families at the surf club. Best thing there is the lazy river. LOTS of people. Beach chairs may be hard to come by in high season. The beach at both the ocean and surf clubs have gone downhill. Too many boats. Water sometimes smells of diesel.

    The ocean club is more adult oriented. Much quieter than surf club, but NO LAZY RIVER! I love floating around with a drink in my hand chatting it up with everyone. When we go in nov! there aren't as many families.

    The ritz was just completed, so no info on that one. It's next door to the ocean club. As far as the downtown Marriotts, I think we had dinner at the renaissance. I think there might be another option across the street. We don't spend a lot of time in that area as it's REALLY touristy due to the cruise ships.
     
  3. brucewil

    brucewil Silver Member

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    Ritz Carlton is not open yet. Supposed to open next month. Water at the Ocean and Surf Club has improved somewhat over last year. No diesel smell in the water this year. The ocean floor is still slightly slimy though.
     
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  4. anileze

    anileze Gold Member

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    If it is the beach one wants, Renaissance is not the place to be. It was over run by cruise connected guests. It is in the middle of the town/city. Though the boat to the private island had a nice touch.
     
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  5. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    I have to say, being in the middle of town intrigues me as I despise being stuck in "resort row" and the generally mediocre dining options that come with many resort rows. I understand that anyone who stays at the Ren is able to get to the private island. Off of Puerto Rico, the private island which the Hilton El Conquistador & WA Las Casitas properties operate is quite nice. So despite the overwhelming cruise guests, I might have to give it a try (but won't be spending the majority of our nights)
     
  6. anileze

    anileze Gold Member

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    Much different in ambiance than El Conquistador which is really at the far corner of the island. This is more like Hilton in Old San Juan next to the Cruise ferry docks.
     
  7. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    Hi, Willie,
    It's been a few years since we've been to Aruba, but, FWIW, brucewil and anileze are providing very good information about the Aruba resorts. As you know, it's always best to go for the quality at the hotel resort you'll be staying at. It's quite easy to get to downtown Oranjestad from the hotels just about anytime, whether one the "Arubus" http://arubus.com/, a hotel shuttle, or a taxi (I recall that you decided against a car rental). Enjoy!
    Newscience
     
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  8. brucewil

    brucewil Silver Member

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    I don't think this will help you, but I might be able rent you my timeshare at the Marriott Surf Club if there is space available. My season ends in the middle of December though. Week 50 is the last week I can book. I'm sure it would save you lots of money. You could probably rent from me for the week for as much as you will pay for 2-3 nights at one of the hotels.

    PM me if you are interested.
     
  9. dmel

    dmel Gold Member

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    Ritz is still planned for 11/22 open. I have a stay booked for Jan (doesn't help @Sweet Willie as I think he's there at the same time) and will certainly review afterward.
     
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  10. brucewil

    brucewil Silver Member

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    As far as I heard, The Ritz will not open on time.
     
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  11. dmel

    dmel Gold Member

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  12. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    some feedback on the Ritz:

    While in Aruba the first week in Jan 2014, we stopped by the Ritz for some drinks in the evening.

    On the way into the Ritz, I noticed the concierge and decided to ask a few questions. Wow was her knowledge pathetic. I asked what I thought were some basic questions about restaurants, a blank stare was all that greeted me back. Finally when I asked about Indonesian cuisine, she responded "oh, there is a nice restaurant called Tandoori that serves Indonesian." Problem is we went to the Tandoori and it is an Indian restaurant. So at this point, at least with this one particular concierge, knowledge wasn't quite there. (Personally I was amazed that the Ritz would hire someone like her, certainly wasn't up to the standards I associate with RC)

    We ended up at the outdoor bar at Madero Argentinian Grill. Someone/somehow thought that placing a 6' long intake vent for the kitchen would be fine right above the bar. So imagine the VERY LOUD constant whoosh of air being sucked in. We asked a bartender if that noise is constant, he said from the morning through the evening, that sound happens. He did go onto say that enough people & employees complained that they are going to move the intake to the side of the building. But c'mon, that is horrible planning, how does this happen at a place like the Ritz?

    The above said, the young bartenders were a pleasure to interact with, some real first class employees. They still were reading off of recipe cards for some of the cocktails but again, hats off to these guys, they were a pleasure to deal with.

    We didn't venture out onto the beach, although the staff said they would accommodate our request for chairs if we wished. Apparently the mosquitos are bad if on the beach.

    Of the pool areas we toured (Ritz, Westin, RIU, Hyatt, Marriott, Radisson, Occidental), the Radisson by far had the best pool area.

    I also had the chance to speak with the chef of Madero, a chef they picked up from a local restaurant Windows On Aruba. Really nice guy, we talked food and more specifically where the steaks come from for the Argentinian Grille. Currently they are corn fed USDA steaks from the U.S. I asked about grass fed Argentinian, sadly he can't find a consistent vendor to provide him with such steaks, he said one order would be amazing, the next junk. He is still looking though.

    On a personal note, I don't like spending most of my dining dollars at a resort, the Ritz currently is removed from most of the restaurants that other Palm beach hotel guests can walk to. I'm sure this will change as the area becomes more built up.
     
  13. brucewil

    brucewil Silver Member

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    Personally I'm a big fan of the lazy river at the Marriott Surf Club. I can float in that for quite a while. At least until my drink runs out! Change happens VERY slowly in Aruba. I wouldn't count on that area being built up any time soon! Lol.
     
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  14. dmel

    dmel Gold Member

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    We walked over to the surf club one day and my son and I uses the slide about 6 times until the attendant asked where my yellow bracelet was. Spent a few minutes in the small children's pool before walking back. Didn't partake in the lazy river but it did look nice.
     

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