I'm a platinum member and recently booked a 7 night honeymoon stay with points plus cash for 7 nights at the Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casion. I'm hearing mixed reviews on the Tradewinds Club. On one hand people say absolutely, on the other hand some say it's not worth the extra $175 per night. Does it make sense to do this or should I book a nice room and pay for the upgrade when I arrive? I have a feeling it may be cheaper on site. My fear is I risk a bad experience or the best rooms with views being booked trying to save money.
dttaylor10 - Congratulations on upcoming honeymoon! Since you're Marriott Platinum, I'd suggest calling Marriott to book your room, and just a conventional room rate. But, tell the agent you're on your honeymoon, and I'll bet you'll get an room upgrade - perhaps ocean view - along with perhaps a bottle of wine, cheese and crackers awaiting you in your room. This has been my experience when I booked rooms for my grandchildren on their honeymoons at Marriott stays.
If so, this will save you $. If you're staying at a Marriott Resort, you'll probably have to pay a "resort fee" ($25-150) for beach chairs/umbrellas, snorkeling privileges, etc. in addition to room tariff. Everything in these V.I. resorts is expensive! If you decide to rent a car check with concierge desk at hotel, rather than renting at airport, and also ask about safety of venturing into town on your own.
Congratulations! I agree with fschumpert. I would absolutely call and speak with the platinum line and inform them of the special occasion. I have in my experience also received upgrades and bubbly for special occasions. I think you are right in that you are almost guaranteed to be offered to purchase an upgraded room at check in if it isn't already done by the property ahead of time.
dttaylor10 - With your Platinum level achievement have you thought of perhaps also joining Marriott Vacation Club to see if you might be able to secure a villa in Aruba using either MVC points, or your Marriott Rewards points? If you're not a MVC member, you might also be able to obtain a few free nights there by attending 90-minute presentation about Aruba MVC Villas.
Your honeymoon date might not allow you to change at this time.
Hello and welcome. First, the Marriott Aruba Stellaris is an awesome hotel! We have stayed there a number of times and heading back there in November. The first time I went I also struggled with the question of whether the $175 was worth the Tradewinds. I have some people at work that loved it and others that said it was not worth it.
My two cents. IUnder normal cirumstances don't think it is worth it at all unless you really plan on eating there breakfast, lunch and dinner. For lunch we always found ourselves at the outside restaurant and it was great. Love that place and I would not want to leave the beach area to go in the Tradewinds lounge for lunch. For breakfast we just had something at the little cafe in the lobby and for $10 -$15 we were set. There are so many great places for dinner that I can't imagine wasting it in the Tradewinds lounge.
There are some other benefits to the Tradewinds lounge. The separate beach area looks nice and I hear there is a great attendent there that will take good care of you. However, it is not in the best location on the beach (right near where boats launch etc..) and it is a small area with limited palapas. So you have to get there early. On the other hand, the main beach area has a lot more palapas and you can simply pay a few bucks there to reserve a palapas for the next three days.Well worth it for us not to have to get up early. The private Tradewinds beach does not have a reservation system.
The Tradeiwinds floor is on the top floor and is adult only so that is a nice feature.
Now, having said all that ..since it is your honeymoon I take everything back and probably would go to Tradewinds. Why not! It's your honeymoon and you may as well have the best the hotel has to offer. So for you, I would do it!! Not sure how many points you have but you can use more points without the cash upgrade to reserve the Tradewinds.
One more thing, I would not chance waiting until I check in to try to get a cheaper upgrade to Tradewinds. It does sell out and I doubt you would get it any cheaper.
You will love Aruba ! Our favorite place !
I agree with taxman193 (anyone ever notice how many taxman we have on Insiders? ha) if you're hanging out at the property eating all of your meals and doing all of your imbibing there, then Tradewinds is a worthwhile consideration. But Aruba has a lot to offer and even lovebirds like you and your mate may want to get out and about, if so, save the Tradewinds nightly charge and invest it in the island's offerings (here's some stuff put together by Insider input)
The non-kids benefit, to me isn't worth paying for, in that when I went it was quite enjoyable, very few children (they seem to go with their families to the timeshare with the lazy river, which you can use as well) and those that were there just added to the 'happiness' of the resort.
Whatever you do, congratulations and have a great time.
ps - NathalieF Nathalie - I couldn't remember where my post was buried, so I typed in Aruba Marriott Resort and was disappointed to see that more than half of the links on the first page were reviews (we have a specific review box for that purpose). I sure hope they're not clogging up the links, like they use to dominate the forum when they first came out.
(anyone ever notice how many taxman we have on Insiders? ha)
Come on now, there is only ONE taxman !!!!
I agree with everythign you said except, I don't think you can use the Surf Club lazy river while staying at the Marriott Stellaris. They are pretty strict with only allowing access to the pools if you are staying at that particular property. Surf Club has wrist bands and if you don't have one, you can't use their pools and lazy river. No need though. The pools at the Stellaris are great including the adult pool although we spent most of our time on the beach. It's possible that during the off season (is there really ever an off season there? ) you may be able sneak in Surf Club but I doubt it. It works both ways though, the Ocean Club and Surf Club customers can't use the adult pool at the Marriott although nothing stops them from using the main pool.
and of course, currently number one on the hit parade, our very own taxman193
Yes, you are absolutely correct about the Surf Club and the Stellaris pools. I made the mistake (which I usually try to avoid) of stating the policy while I was there (which was over a year ago), we had no problem, asking and riding a tube (but maybe because we were old geezers, who the lifeguards figured, best these cats are in tubes ), but as we have all seen at Marriott; policies are policies until they are not and it's property by property, associate by associate - so good catch taxman.