The resort we stayed at...
The resort we stayed at (Marriott Aruba Ocean Club) has this wonderful restaurant event called 'Simply Fish.' What they do is every Tuesday through Saturday convert their beach to a lovely little fresh fish restaurant. Imagine sitting in a hut on the beach with the beautiful sunset reflecting off of the perfect waters while you feast on great fresh seafood (I had the Tuna - it was great; my wife had the Seabass and said it was excellent as well). Not to be missed!
Marriott Ocean Club is Terrific
Stayed at the Ocean Club Feb. 3-10,2006. Flight from Toronto to Aruba was uneventfull. Customs and obtaining luggage was a breeze, surprised that no one was there to check your luggage once you obtained it. Taxi to resort was $20 which is standard. Taxis from Palm beach to town is $10, Palm Beach top Eagle Beach is $8. Ocean Club check-in was smooth and no problems at all. We had a two bedroom suite which was on the first floor which gave us terrific access to the Beach although we did not have a view of the water due to being on first floor. I must say that all staff were very friendly and the conceirge service was extrordinary. All ameneties that you would require and or expect at a superior hotel are avaiable at the Marriott either through the time share units or the hotel itself.
Food: Simply Fish at the Marriott is an experience not to be missed, excellent food and the setting is amazing. Chalet Suisse was terrific as well and El Gauchos was as everybody talks about, terrific. We also ate at Moombas on the beach and at La Pettit cafe, very acceptable.
Felt very safe on the island and even hitchiked one day with no problem. We scuba dive and used Red Sail sports which were very good and very reliable.
All in all we had a great time in Aruba, unfortunately Aruba as an island is loosing some of its European/Caribbean feel as it has been taken over by large American eateries (Hooters, Tony Romas etc) nothing against these places and they are fine it is just that I don't mind seeing them in Daytona Beach or Mrytle Beach but I could due without them in the Caribbean.
All in all a great holiday and the Marriott Vacation Club and Interval International were terrifice to deal with.
Excellent Beach, Great Pool, Large Clean Rooms
We stayed at the Marriott Ocean Club in October and Loved it. We especially liked the large white sand beach, and the large updated rooms. Other hotels are on smaller beaches and looked crowded (especially the Hyatt). We recommend the following restaurants in Aruba: Flying Fishbone (phenomenal service), Tierra Del Sol (great music), and Madame Jeanette (excellent Food)
A great vacation....
We stayed at the Marriott from June 18 - June 25. We thought the Marriott Ocean Club was beautiful, clean, and the staff was very friendly. We reserved an ocean front 1 bedroom villa. The ocean front villa was very spacious and had a beautiful view of the water. The hotel was not that crowded which made for a great time at the pools. We were glad to hear that we had free Internet service for the entire length of our stay along with free laundry facilities, and daily maid service. It seems that the hotel was working on upgrading their Internet service and were offering the service free to guests during the week of our stay. I do agree that drinks at the swim up bar are a bit expensive, but who cares....you're on vacation! At night we would walk down the beach and stop off at a little bar to get drinks (about $2. cheaper). We attended the sales presentation for the new Surf club hotel and were very impressed with the no pressure sales pitch. All and all we had a fantastic time and would absolutely return their again during the month of June (less crowded, no need to reserve chairs or beach huts). I must end with saying that you have to eat at the Le Dome Restaurant located at Eagle beach. Excellent food at a reasonable price!
Vacation from 6/2 through 6/11
We spent 10 days, 6/2 to 6/11. at the Marriott Ocean Club. I have been a owner for six years and have a two bedroom ocean front villa. I have not written before but I felt I should, because I have experienced disturbing service and quality which is not what Marriott is known for.
The trip went actually very well. My 18 year old daughter, my 22 year old son and one his buddies accompanied us.
It worked out great, I am really pleased with the cleanliness, spacious rooms and the overall quality of the unit. The Balconies are great. There are two separate balconies, one for each bedroom. They are arge and a great place to watch the sun set or like the young adults, played cards to the wee hours of the morning.
I am disappointed in the service in several of the areas. Yes everybody does smile but beware. When I checked in and I specially got there early so we could make sure that we got the top floor. I was partially checked in and was assured that we had the floor we wanted. We were told that we could check in early because the maid service would be done early. Two hours later, we were not checked in. When I asked again, the front desk people were rude and acted like it was a privilege for me to staying at their resort. Well aprx 4 hours later we were checked in , bottom floor. I through such a fit that I think they gave me the fourth floor just to shut me up. I usually don’t do that but I was just amazed how disorganized they were.
Casino: I don’t know how to put it any other way but the casino sucks. It has the worst service, worst mgt staff and above all they were down right ugly to several gamblers when they asked simple questions. I will not gamble there for a long time to come. This is the first year that I have experienced this. I have been gambling in that casino for six years and not one problem. I was not the only one complaining. People got so fed up with the service, the poor quality of dealers and the extremely rude Mgt staff, they just left. Many times, I heard in the bars or at the pool about how badly it had deteriorated.
Drinks: Drinks are expensive but good. A tip: If you walk down the boardwalk, there is a little shack that sells the same quality drinks for ½ the price. It great to sit and have a cold one and people watch.
The Beach: Excellent Beach!!!! Lots of people but still didn’t seem to be crowded. Since we rented a jeep for the whole week we were out every morning finding a new beach and snorkeling. Never have a bad beach and in fact I thought the beaches were absolutely beautiful!!!!
Went to the grocery store for breakfast and lunch. Saved a lot of money that way. Dinner we went everywhere. I am not going to rate the restaurants since there is so much information published. I was disappointed in the La Trattoria: El Faro Blanco restaurant. The food was very good but they moved the bar. It used to be one of the best spots to watch the sun go down. It was outside, seated about 10 people at the bar and they made great martinis. That is now all gone. Oh well, enjoyed while it we could.
I have never had a problem in Aruba. The islanders are friendly and talkative. My son and daughter went out several nights and never had a issue or a concern.
Overall the trip was great. I still think that the Marriott Ocean club is great place to spend a week. I am concerned with the staff as they seemed to have changed or are changing in a negative manner. Not everyone is like that and remember that the last 5 years have been fantastic, staff and all.
I will be going back in November for an Anniversary.
A great week
I am a Marriott owner of Barony Beach, in Hilton Head, and have stayed at several Marriott timeshares around the world, including Kauai, Maui, Palm Springs, Orlando, and Williamsburg, and have come to expect a certain level of service and amenities from Marriotts. The Aruba Ocean Club met all of my expectations, without too many snags along the way.
My girlfriend and I (both 29 years old) arrived around noon, and were told that there was a little bit of a wait, which is fine because check in isn't technically until 4. We grabbed some lunch and came back, and were told that our room was ready, and it was #6105 or something like that. I was pretty pumped, thinking we were on the 6th floor, but when we got to our room, we realized that the 6 was just the building, and the 1 was actually the floor. I went in, took a look, saw a bunch of people walking by, and decided that it just wasn't going to work for a whole week. We walked back to the checkin desk, and simply said "My room is unacceptable." Didn't have to make a scene or anything, and they went into the back room and came back with a room on the 4th floor, which was great. I wasn't expecting oceanfront or anything, but we had a decent enough view of the ocean.
The room was a typical Marriott room, nice bed, jacuzzi tub, big bathroom. I should also mention that we were on the side facing the under construction Surf Club, and had no problem with any noise. We didn't hear them at all the whole time.
The pool was nice, although seating was somewhat tough to find anywhere near an umbrella. The good news is that by staying there you have access to the Marriott hotel on one side, and the Surf Club on the other, so you can sit by either of their pools as well. We preferred the hotel, because the lounge chairs have pads.
My cousin was also there at the same time, staying in the Surf Club, so I was able to compare rooms. His looked a little newer, and since he was on his honeymoon, they put him up on the 12th floor, which had a ridiculous view all the way up to the lighthouse. My problem with the new place is that there were only 3 or 4 elevators servicing 14 floors. When we went on our timeshare presentation, we had to wait almost 5 minutes to get an elevator, and that was about 9am, which I guess is rush hour for the pool. Seems like poor planning to me, and a problem the Ocean Club didn't have, as it is only 6 floors and more spread out. If I had my choice, I would probably pick the Ocean Club over the Surf Club, at least until it's finished. The Surf Club is just going to be enormous - the timeshare guy said it would have over a 1/2 mile of pool alone!
I won't go into details of the restaurants, but pretty much everywhere we went was really good and typical city type prices (entrees starting at $20-25 and going as high as you want to pay). The beef was pretty good, and every piece of seafood I ate was wonderful. It was great to have so many options for such a small island, you won't be disappointed.
I would recommend renting a car for at least a couple of days - if you're going to go to the grocery store, the cost of a day's rental will be the same as a cab there and back. We had a pretty sweet Toyota Yaris (Echo). I was skeptical of it's size since i'm 6'4, but it actually was quite comfortable despite the lawnmower engine in it. But it seemed like that was the rental of choice, and whether you pay for an economy, compact, subcompact, or intermediate, it's what you're probably going to get, so go with the cheapest available. We had the car the whole week for under $200, so that wasn't bad.
Anyway, back to the Marriott, I would definitely recommend it and we plan to go back soon. It had pretty much everything I was looking for in a timeshare exchange, and I would expect my experience to be pretty representative.
wonderful week at mariott ocean club
We selected Aruba out of the many Caribean destinations because it had a direct flight from Atlanta and a fun nightlife for our college freshman. The Mariott Ocean Club was the perfect place to stay. Our 2 bedroom unit was wonderful with a kitchen and daily maid service (renters receive daily maid service while time share is 3 times a week). The Mariott Surf Club next door is still under construction and not the perfect place to stay. Ocean club had a nice staff. Good food. Nice pool. Access to the casino, another pool, another pool bar, and health club next door at the Mariott Hotel. Beach volleyball for my high school junior and college freshman. Great beach. My wife and daughter enjoyed the spa which was decent. The beach palapas were plentiful. The grocery store is midway from the airport and the ocean club. After landing, we stopped at the grocery store to purchase breakfast, snacks, and Aruban beer for the beach and pool. The drinks at the pool bar are expensive as to be expected but the beer from the grocery store was acceptable at the pool and beach. Our meals Simply Fish (Marioot restaurant with tables on the sand beach, wonderful ambiance), El Gauncho (very very good argentine steak), Driftwood, and Bucaneer were very good. On two nights my college freshman went to Carlos and Charlies with other young adults he met from the United States. He returned at 1pm from Carlos and Charlies without a problem. We scuba dived with Red Sail sports which had a desk in the lobby and provided transport to their boat at the Hyatt 1/2 mile to the south. Aruban diving is good and the Red Sail staff was excellent. Next time I would compare services and prices between Red Sail Sports and the dive company on the pier immediately south of the Mariott at the Holiday Inn.
We live on the Island of Maui and are use to impecable service and ammenities when we travel. Neither the Ocean Club or the Marriot Hotel have service that is expected of a traveler who is accostomed to a five star luxury resort.
The beach, is nice but crowded, there is no valet parking, the staff at the hotels, although very friendly are just not trained in premium customer service.
This is a low class resort, we still had a good time and we choose to stay on the posative side of things, but expect a lot of middle class drunk's stumbling around, a somehat dingy setting and a crowd with lots of kids.
Beautiful hotel.....just manage your expectations.
We stayed at the Ocean Club June 9th-14th with three teenagers. The two-bedroom suite was beautiful and plenty spacious for five. We bought breakfast cereal and sandwich fixings and the kids would eat breakfast and lunch in the room. The master bedroom was huge with a king size bed and a jacuzzi in the room. The other bedroom had a queen size bed and a pull out sofa. The living room sofa also pulled out to a full bed. The suite had three tv's. The staff was friendly and helpful. Oceanview is not the same as ocean front so don't get excited. Our view was of the construction site at the Surf club next door. (Don't stay there, very noisy). We had access to the entire Marriott facility including the hotel next door. Drinks on the beach and at the pool are very pricy but the bartenders are fun. The swim up bar was a hit with the teens. The only issue was that a housekeeper accidentally picked up my travel pillow and despite asking for it twice we never saw it again. The ocean club is a time share and the owners get first priority on location. We originally were supposed to be on the fifth floor but ended up on the 2nd but I would still definitely go back here.
Nice Resort, Horrible Service
My wife and I stayed at the Ocean Club from August 26th until September 2nd. We are Marriott owners in Maui and traded for the Ocean Club. We were told that we would have an Ocean View room. I was given a garden view room on the first floor facing the construction at the Surf Club next door. I requested a change and was told they put us on a list to change. Three days later they told us that Ocean Club owners get best rooms and that we should be happy with what we have. I don't think they ever intended to move us. I wasn't happy, but wasn't going to let it ruin our trip. I thought that since I was a Marriott owner, they would try to make me happy. Not the case. The One bedroom was very, very nice. Well appointed and felt like home. Full kitchen with everything you need. The beach was nice and the pool was great. Enjoyed the waterfalls and the hot tubs. What I hated was that I would come out at 9:30AM or so and all of the chairs with umbrellas had towels on them where guests have "reserved" them. So there were about a dozen people in the pool area and about 100 towels taking the best spots. Infuriating. I saw multiple arguments and was in a few from people that thought I took their spot. The management should put an end to it, but refused. This caused a very relaxing area to be full of rude New Englanders bickering at each other. Speaking of that.......I overheard a guy from Long Island mention that "Everyone vacationing in Aruba is either from New York or New Jersey." I couldn't agree more. If those typical New York\New Jersey personalities are like fingers on a chalkboard, as they are to me, this resort is not for you. We began going to the pool from 7-10AM and 5-8PM, when the pool area is basically empty. I enjoyed myself a lot more then. I could read a book without rude kids and loud adults running amuck.
The restauants in the area are very good. Try Texas de Brazil, which is a short walk from the Ocean Club. The beaches away from Palm Beach are OK. Baby Beach is very nice, if you don't mind the Oil Refinery in plain site. The Natural Bridge collapsed the day we left. That is pretty sad. The Surf Club is under construction and woke us up every morning at 7:30AM. Overall, I would give the resort an A- and the staff\management a C-. I won't be going back. The good news is that I just booked a vacation in Maui for next June. I know I will get good service there.
All Inclusive or Not
Just looking at honeymooning in Aruba. Obviously its quite and expensive place and we are trying to decide wether or not to go the all inclusive route. Has anyone done an arubian all inclusive package? If so, where and did you feel it was worth the extra cash?
Thanks a bunch,
Re: All Inclusive or Not
We stayed at the Allegro Resort under an all inclusive package. Was it worth it? Yeah probably, but I love the ease of doing all inclusive and not worrying about cash. I will say this however. Aruba is one place in the Carribean where you can go and eat wherever you like and not worry about it. It is very Americanized. If we go back there I would consider not doing an all inclusive, but possibly looking into a package that included drinks only.
Re: All Inclusive or Not
I would advice you to check out the price of the room on non-inclusive hotels and do your math. Many hotels provide american breakfast, which would leave only two more meals to cover. The cost of an inexpensive meal can be around 20 to 30 bucks per person depending on the place you take your loved one. Then again, I'm talking on low to medium class dining.
During the day most certainly you will be running around, so is quite a possibility that you will eat whatever McJun k you get around (no offense to the chain, but is junk meal after all).
Remember to also consider your car rental. There are in the island several relatively inexpensive services to choose from (One I would not advise at all is American Car Rental, the cars are quite defective, and their support is absolutely lacking)
Hope this helps
RE: All Inclusive or Not
If you are going to be drinking a lot,then all inclusive can work for you.BUT.....if you are not going to be sitting on the beach with a keg of Heinekin connected with an IV,then all inclusive limits where you can eat.Not every restaurant participates in the all inclusive program.