steeler83
Posts: 7391
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 2:06 pm

Questions About Marriott Aruba Surf Club

Tue Dec 01, 2009 3:12 am

Hey all...

Well, we have finally decided on where to go for the honeymoon, and it will be to the Marriott Aruba Surf Club. I was wondering what the lobby looked like. I've seen so many photos of the overall property; its enormous free-form pool, swim up bar, beach front, etc. but I'm not sure if it has an open-air lobby like a few other resorts have or not. Any other information on what to do, where to go for lunches and dinners would also be helpful.

 Smile
Do not bring stranger girt into your room. The stranger girt is dangerous, it will hurt your life.
 
Molykote
Posts: 1237
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 8:21 pm

RE: Questions About Marriott Aruba Surf Club

Tue Dec 01, 2009 4:13 am

I've gone to Aruba and stayed at the Renaissance both times. The food in Aruba definitely seemed better than other Caribbean islands I've visited. The Renaissance hotel was older but had a couple unique advantages. Primarily, the Renaissance had a beach front building/lot (family oriented) and a marina building/lot (couple oriented). A boat ran between both properties and a private island owned by the hotel. In the case of the marina, the boat picks you up in the lobby. The island includes food, drinks, a couples massage hut, etc. It sounds like you've got lodging covered, but if you're going with some aspiration to "relax in peace", this island was a nice option (since only Renaissance guests with a room key can use it).

Keep in mind that restaurants change and that I was last in Aruba ~3+ years ago. We also didn't make an effort to pursue some of the nicer dining establishments as we spent most of our time here outside and active.

A snorkel trip is fun if you can manange a booking that isn't crowded. I also enjoyed a sea kayak trip (in a small group) and an off road tour of the island's backside. In the case of the off road tour, it may go down as my only chance to have driven a Land Rover Defender  Smile

Some comments on restaurants that I can remember. As I said above, we didn't really pursue fine dining but stumbled into these places. Many are a few miles from the Marriott Surf Club.

Amazonia
Brazillian churrascaria restaurant. Better than most restaurants of this type. If you've never had this style of dining, it's worth going once. I remembered the meat quality being better than other churrascarias I've attended.

Flying Fishbone
This was excellent and themed like Azull above (although we chose not to go to both so I can't comment on Azull). Seafood was fresh and prepared well but the attraction here is obviously dining on the beach in the early evening.

Old Fisherman
Nice little place. It was affordable when we visited. Located near the Renaissance hotel (closer to the airport than your Marriott) and a few blocks back from the water. We shared a huge (mostly fried) seafood platter for just under $30 and drank some Heinekens.

Iguana Joes
This is a casual restaurant a block or two from the Renaissance hotel. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of food. Based on menu content, I expected an Aruban "Applebee's" but everything I had was on the better side of average. I went against common sense and ordered a 10oz Argentenian fillet (including sides) selling for under $20 but it was surprisingly very good.

We did a snorkel trip that was catered by a supposedly good French Restaurant (Le Dome, I think) but I was unimpressed by what was brought aboard our boat. To be fair, this isn't my type of food and boat catering limitations aren't going to give the best representation of a restaurant's capability. Nevertheless, I can't recommend it.



The best advice I can give you is to read reviews in order to tailor activities and restaurants to your tastes. I like tripadvisor.com for this purpose.

All in all, a nice and unique caribbean island. Fantastic weather.
Speedtape - The aspirin of aviation!
 
steeler83
Posts: 7391
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 2:06 pm

RE: Questions About Marriott Aruba Surf Club

Tue Dec 01, 2009 5:15 pm



Quoting Molykote (Reply 1):

Thanks for the advice! We've actually looked at the Renaissance given that they have a rather inexpensive all-inclusive package as well as a honeymoon package. We actually know someone who has a time share at the Surf Club, so when it comes to cost (under $3k for the Renaissance or $350 for 7 nights at a time share (they agreed to pay for half!)), well I think that kinda wins. Besides, we want to go on a few excursions, especially one of the jeep tours and perhaps a walk around downtown Orangestad. The all-inclusive package, then, really wouldn't be the best choice. My fiancee emailed me an article about all-inclusive packages and when they may or may not be the best option...

Especially given the choice of restaurants, some of which you provided, all-inclusive essentially would limit your dining options...
Do not bring stranger girt into your room. The stranger girt is dangerous, it will hurt your life.
 
Molykote
Posts: 1237
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 8:21 pm

RE: Questions About Marriott Aruba Surf Club

Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:35 am



Quoting Steeler83 (Reply 2):
Thanks for the advice! We've actually looked at the Renaissance given that they have a rather inexpensive all-inclusive package as well as a honeymoon package. We actually know someone who has a time share at the Surf Club, so when it comes to cost (under $3k for the Renaissance or $350 for 7 nights at a time share (they agreed to pay for half!)), well I think that kinda wins. Besides, we want to go on a few excursions, especially one of the jeep tours and perhaps a walk around downtown Orangestad. The all-inclusive package, then, really wouldn't be the best choice. My fiancee emailed me an article about all-inclusive packages and when they may or may not be the best option...

Especially given the choice of restaurants, some of which you provided, all-inclusive essentially would limit your dining options...

I agree with all of your points.

For what it's worth, my finace works a side job for Marriott (so we picked the Renaissance based on discount availability during our travel time).

Have fun.
Speedtape - The aspirin of aviation!
 
steeler83
Posts: 7391
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 2:06 pm

RE: Questions About Marriott Aruba Surf Club

Fri Dec 04, 2009 4:01 am



Quoting Molykote (Reply 3):
For what it's worth, my finace works a side job for Marriott (so we picked the Renaissance based on discount availability during our travel time).

Heh, I used to work as a housekeeper at a Residence Inn just up the street from me. Oh well...

In any event, our room has officially been booked. Now we just have to select air fare. Unfortunately, there are no non-stop flights on US on PHL-AUA for our particular date, only one-stop service via CLT.

At least it's on a 762 for the PHL-CLT leg tho!
Do not bring stranger girt into your room. The stranger girt is dangerous, it will hurt your life.

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