Visited at the end of September. The plan was to stay 1 week in a 2 BR at the Ocean Club and then 1 week at the Surf Club. I fell in love with the Ocean Club and found a way to stay put!
The 2 Bedroom unit is really nice. Lots of space, decent sized kitchen -- which is nice for breakfast and quick lunches. The master has a whirlpool. Only downside is that there are no washers and dryers in the units --- however they are down the hall if you really need them. We got really lucky on view. For the first week, we had one of the ocean front rooms ---- perfect place to watch the sunset. 2nd week was ocean view, but still a nice place to sit with a cup of coffee or happy hour beverage and enjoy the view. Beds were comfortable. Had a couple of issues with airconditioning, but they were addressed.
Beach / Pool
Wow! As long as you know to reserve your palapas in the morning, you'll have no issue. Even when we weren't down til 9, we had no issue getting space. Great breezes and decent coverage by the pool bar staff --- however, you also have the option of taking a small collapsable cooler and bringing your own beverages down. The iguanas around the pool are lots of fun to watch. Easy access to the local watersports vendors for whatever you want to try.
Tried out the Mandara Spa. Women's locker room under construction, so a little strange..... Treatments were excellent, although expensive (but it is a resort area). Service at the counter in the spa was a little questionable -- but once you were inside, they took really good care of you.
Simply Fish and Ruth Chris were all we tried --- those were excellent. The ice cream in the cafe was also good. Tropical Market was WAY overpriced, but if you didn't want to take the time to grab something at the grocery store, it did the job. Retail shops weren't as friendly as I would have expected.
Next door at the Stellaris, casino was fun. Very busy / full in the evenings --- we found that we won more, and were kept supplied with drinks best between 3 and 5. If you keep looking, there ARE slots here that pay -- fairly consistently.
Overall, I couldn't have asked for better service. Any staff member you met in the hall was friendly and asked about your vacation. The front desk was very efficient and friendly --- the day we switched rooms, they knew us by sight and had our keys ready. Whenever requests were made for issues / supplies in the room, they were dealt with promptly and followup calls were made to ensure that the issue was addressed.
In terms of timeshare vacations, I don't often go back to the same place --- this is an exception!
Another outstanding review. You really lucked out at the AOC. At the end of October, Tropical Storm Omar delivered a couple of hard punches knocking out 120 villas, flooding the lobby and eroding the beach. The AOC is scheduled for it's 10 year refurbishment so when you go back the villas and the resort will be even more luxurious and comfortable.
More Aruba links:
Marriott's Aruba Ocean Club http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/docs/DOC-1332
Marriott's Aruba Surf Club http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/docs/DOC-1331
Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/docs/DOC-1285
Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/docs/DOC-1330
I want to do Caribbean this summer. Been to St Thomas Morning Star several times and want to try another Marriott. Any suggestions? Love the more 'private' feel - and want on the beach like Morning Star rooms are.Thanks!
Just booked Aruba Marriott surf club in September. Wondering if I should change to the aruba Ocean club villa instead? Does anyone know the differences between the two and do they have a preference of one over the other?
Have you stayed at the Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino using Marriott Reward Points and if so did you use Points or Cash to upgrade to the Tradewinds Club Level and did you find the added amenities a value?
We are heading to Aruba staying at the surf club (we were assigned surf club through trading our timeshare). I read trip advisor and other than early beach chairs claiming what else do we need to know? We will be renting a car. Help with tips
We are planning a 10 day stay in a Aruba next summer using points. Myself, spouse and children 16 and 14. Which property would you recommend? Leaning either towards renaissance or marriott hotel, but possibly a vacation club.
Renaissance Aruba 2011 Availability?I have been trying unsuccessfully to reserve a paid stay for Feb 2011 for several weeks. I am being told by the Platinum desk that they don't know why no 2011 inventory has been loaded. Does anyone know what's