My wife and I are planning on celebrating our 25th Anniversary in Aruba this coming June. Taking a good look at the Marriott Stellaris / Tradewinds Resort and would be using points for 6 nights (maybe 7 if travel and the MegaBonus allows..lol) and try to get a Tradewinds Club floor room.
Does anyone have advice / experience about the area and the three different Marriott properties? I haven't been to Aruba since 1973 on a diving trip to Bonaire.
Interests are relaxing on the beach, sailing, dining, rum drinks, generally just unwinding and contributing to the local economy via the Craps and Blackjack tables ;-)
Thanks for any tips and advice about the resorts...
Hi! I have been to Aruba 6 times in the past 6 years. We have stayed at the Marriott Stellaris (prior to the renovations as well as after). The service was amazing and the beach was gorgeous. I have also stayed at the Renaissance, adult side, and loved everything about it. It was all-adult, had the all-inclusive add-on, casino, dining close by for local fare and a private beach. Our friends went along and while the wife is prone to seasickness, the little boat ride did not affect her at all. The food at the Steakhouse at Renaissance was so terrific, we ate there every night. It is far more romantic, in my opinion, than the Marriott. We found a little bar that played live music within walking distance called Chaos. We have also stayed at the Ocean Club vacation club and Surf Club right next door to the Marriott. Great for family trips and quite convenient. Marriott beats the Renaissance for beach beauty, but Renaissance beats the Marriott for romance factor. If the beach is important, go for the Marriott. Hope you have a great time! Let me know if I can give you any more info, we feel like natives. By the way, the Tradewinds is fantastic, but children were allowed in the common areas last time we were there.-- Edited by Hym8nanceMom at Dec 11, 2010 12:28 PM PST
Have stayed a the Aruba Marriott Hotel 6 times. Did the Tradewinds once when they first started offering it. I didn't find it that much better then my other stays. That being said I am planning on returning next year for two weeks. The Hotel staff is outstanding and it is the place my wife and I always love to go to. Island view is nice, pool view is nice, garden view is fine. I have toured the timeshare but have not stayed at them. Hardly any children at the hotel.
my wife and I been there about 6 times since 1998. Staying at stellaris is best if you can. Ocean front is great and so is casino. We enjoyed the ocean and just walking the beach during the day and relaxing at the poo.l. Downtown has plenty of shopping and we usually took the bus instead of renting a car. We also enjoyed doing a 4 wheeler excursion.
We stayed at the Stellaris Casino for the 1st time in January and absolutely loved it. If you like to walk on the beach, this is a great option. It's also very close to where all the restaurants are. We just rode the bus (about $4.00 round trip) The pool is very nice (I don't believe is heated, but it was around 85 so we didn't mind after we got used to) The rooms were very nice too and the staff was very attentive. We had dinner on the beach, which was very romantic. Take advantage of the happy hour offers at the lobby bar and at Champs. You should have a great time. If you would like to try local restaurants, you can also ride the bus downtown. Enjoy it. Wish I was going there, but we are trying Jamaica for the holidays
Wanted to thank everyone for all the great advice. We ended up staying at the Ren Marina downtown (adult side) because the storms had destroyed the beaches on the other side.
We had a fantastic time. The bathrooms left much to be desired in terms of the tubs being stained and hard to stand in, but everything else was incredible.
All the other beaches on the island were trashed. So, the private island became a huge asset. It was the only beach around that still had sand to sit on, etc.
Thanks again to everyone for answering.
We went there 3/2009 for our honeymoon and stayed at the actual Marriott hotel (not the time share clubs). The hotel was perfect! I would say if you are traveling with children the two time shares would have been better. But the actual hotel is much better if you are traveling as adults only. Highly recommend the hotel. The club level was nice. We also used points and then paid to upgrade to club level. Felt like the club level was worth it for the breakfast, sodas, juices, water, beer, internet access, general service, etc. There was also a cocktail hour which was nice. You also get a separate area of the beach, which made it worth it as well. It is a walking friendly area. We went there over the ACC tourney and enjoyed several local bars and restaurants. I would say it wasn't the culinary excellence that Aruba advertises, but it was definitely good food. I would recommend dining at the Marriott beachfront restaurant or one of the nearby beachfront restaurants. There is something to be said for returning to your hotel walking in the sand...Enjoy!
You can't go wrong at the Aruba Marriott. My most recent stay was Christmas 2009 and it was still fabulous.
The hotel is located on Palm Beach and is the very last hotel on the strip, so it's not crowded in like hotels on nearby beachs.
Dining choices at the Marriott are very good, although pricey and the new lobby bar is very good for a quick bite.
I don't consider there a whole lot to do on Aruba itself, but my one recommendation would be to rent a Jeep and do the off-road excursion. There are many outfits on the island that will deliver a Jeep to the hotel. This is a great experience which we do each time we go there.
Been to Aruba 3 years in a row and stayed at the Stellaris on the Tradewinds floor. Love the hotel, love the location, love the service. My wife and I take advantage of the Tradewinds Club - I feel like it saves you money in the long run for food and drink. Free bottles of water versus paying $4 per bottle in the hotel. I would highly recommend this hotel. We travel a lot and Aruba is one of our favorite places for the sunshine.
I recommend the Tradewinds Club. My wife and I stayed there March 4 - 12, 2011. We have stayed at this facility previously and the Tradewinds is fantastic improvement. We used points plus $150/day (and tax) for the Tradewinds upgrade. It was well worth it. Why? Water, soda juice and 4 types of beer morning till night. These can be taken out of the club, glass drinks poured in a plastic cup.
Healthy food, not wings, pizza or hamburgers as you sweat in the sun. Instead wraps, various salads and soup for lunch in air conditioning. Evening servings included two different samplings each night with sea bass in lobster sauce, ginger chicken, crab claws, lamb lolipops and scallops to name a few. Sushi every night, desserts, liquor, wine and champagne. Again these can be taken out of the club in plastic cups on your way to dinner.
The private section of the beach included palapas which were easy to get. I would go out after 8AM and sign up without issue. We used the complimentary floats every day in the ocean. Cold bottles of water on the Tradewinds beach are included. The staff in the tradewinds club and on the beach were terrific.
Not having to run out to a supermarket every couple days provided more time at the beach. Upgrade, it will make for a memorable honeymoon.
I believe the Tradewinds club is a must for adults who drink alcohol. It is a great option. They do not allow children any longer. Water Soda and beer all day and then open bar at night. Food is very good, and just an overall upscale experience. Gives you an "edge" (although not a guarantee) on the Palapas. Not sure how the building of the ritz will block the views from Tradewinds, though....