Marriott's Aruba Ocean Club
Travel Blogs from Palm/Eagle Beach
Yes, we have Tonic Water ( and also a risky bottle of red wine which we are going to try to smuggle aboard ). Sitting in the local Burger King picking up our emails and sending my blog- we get to all of the best places on our travels. I had my Déjà Vu flash back when we landed at Aruba. The gareish pastel coloured duty free shops came back to me in a Candy Crush-esq nightmare. It's all pink and pale blue ...
... Parade and the Old Mask Parade (ending in the burning of the Momito).
Today we celebrate the Children's Parade of San Nicolas. A parade for children of over four hours is almost torture and it is impossible for the children to be disciplined most of the time. But look at it from this point of view: if you let your children get accustomed to carnival parades at a young age, by the time they’re adults, they understand what it is all about and know how to ...
... he placed his wedding ring in the sand FAR from the water. However, a rogue wave came up and hit the exact spot he put his ring! Instantly it disappeared. He dug and dug but no luck. Fortunately there was a very nice man with a professional grade metal detector who was able to locate the ring. It was a good lesson for Omar :-).
Omar made PB&J sandwiches for the boys for lunch and prepared red beans and rice leftovers ...
... either side can be commercially active on the other side without any red tape. This contract turns out to be the oldest, undisputed treaty in the world.
It's so small it takes only 1.5hr to drive around it. We hired a car to really experience both sides and it's as contrasting as day and night. My Mum always told me to say the positives, so I'll mention the Dutch side only. Sint Maarten is beautiful, well kept and pristine and very Dutch. It's one of the most popular destinations ...
... that I couldn't bring food through customs. So I thew out the apple and hid the shrimp in my pocketbook. When we got to customs there was a really long snake line. I was sorry I didn't get a wheelchair. I waited outside of the line since I have trouble with crowds. I was having trouble standing so I went over to a pole to lean against it. Someone asked me what I was doing there. When one of the custom agent realized that I had problems standing he went ...
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Historical Traveler Reviews Marriott's Aruba Ocean Club Palm/Eagle Beach
Best island in the Caribbean
I just returned from my 10 year anniversary trip to Aruba. It was one of the best vacations we ever took and we have been to Jamaica, Antigua and Puerto Rico. We stayed at the Marriott Ocean Club primarily because we wanted a more spacious room. We were not disappointed. The room was clean and equipped with all the necessities . The grounds are very well kept. I had no problem reserving a palapa on the beach. I did not, however, get much assistance from the staff while on the beach. There was no waiter service on the beach, however, there is the "Waves" grill on the beach where you can enjoy the waves and eat lunch. The pool was also relaxing and well kept. You need to reserve 1:00-1:30 everyday for Poolside bingo with Sandra. It is alot of fun. My recommendation for dinner spots is to ask fellow vacationers. The Concierge will tell you that all the restaurants are good. Some of the best ones were Madam Janettes (music) and Papiomentos. We saved the Tuscany restaurant for our last dinner. It was the best dinner we had on the island. Ask for Norman, he will take care of you. One last piece of advice, either rent a car or take a private taxi from the airport. We had a voucher included in our travel plan, and we spent 1 hour on the bus to and from the airport since the Marriott is the last hotel on the strip. Hope this helps. Enjoy the sun.
Nice time at the Ocean Club
We loved the Marriott hotel and returned with the kids to stay at the Ocean Club. I loved the property and the space provided. We got a 2 bedroom for 6 people and were quite comfortable the whole week. My only complaint is that the Marriott is overbuilding. The Surf Club is right next door and is only partially open. It does not have direct water access since a small marina is located directly in front of the building. This forces their guests to use the beach in front of the Ocean Club. We noticed *many* guests bringing chairs to the Ocean Club beach while leaving the Surf Club beach open. Unfortunate. Everything else about our trip was great. I loved having a kitchen but will go back the the Marriott hotel in the future if it is just my husband and me.
Great stay at the Marriott Aruba Ocean Club
Just returned after staying at Marriott Ocean Club 6/13-6/20, a very positive experience for my husband and I and our teenaged twins. We left one desert to visit another, the difference being the beautiful oceanside. Beach at the resort was gorgeous, fine sand, clear (and clean) blue water, very sandy,smooth ocean bottom, unlike some other areas. All employees very courteous and helpful, always greeted us as we came in from our day out. Resort is 5-star with all the amenities. Weather was mid 80s to 90, very high humidity and they are in their "windy" season June and July (windier than it normally is). Enjoyed a snorkeling cruise on the Jolly Pirates ship--a fun experience for all ages, even my daughter enjoyed their taste in music they played. The crew was alot of fun, snorkeled at 3 sites including where the Antilla was sunk, and all drinks were included- watch out for the Pirate's Poisin drink. Also went on jeep safari by DePalm Tours, a rough ride through the "cunucu"; make sure to wear your climbing shoes though as you will be walking and climbing rock formations, esp. to reach the Natural Pool. The agent who booked the tour only said to wear "comfortable" shoes, failing to elaborate why and to expect climbing. So if you're not too adventurous or out of shape some I would advise going on their mini A/C bus land tour instead. The best place that we ate at (twice) was Iguana Joe's downtown Oranjestead, also a little more reasonably priced than other places and food was good. Also ate at the Amazonia Brazilian steakhouse- food was good, service was excellent but I don't think it was worth paying $230 for the four of us. They have a good size salad bar and all meats are served on big skewers to your table, all your can eat; you will not find prices on their menu except for drinks and the desserts. My husband and I both had heartburn later that night. Did our grocery shopping at Ling & Sons, recently moved into a new building but it is hidden behind other grocery stores; but the bus driver pointed us in the right direction. Be ready to pay almost double what you would in the States for groceries, but it did help in cutting down food expense instead of eating out all the time. Also I would suggest taking advantage of their bus service; there are stops in front of hi-rise and low-rise hotels between Palm Beach to the downtown bus station, only costing $2 round trip. We had fun souvenir shopping downtown, can find some good buys at the flea market style shops, across the street from the Royal Plaza and Iguana Joe's. If not taking in the sites, it was fun and relaxing just being on the beach by MAOC, where you can also find opportunities to try parasailing, wind surfing or taking rides on floats pulled by motorboats. We all had a great time, but be ready to sweat during the summer months--thank goodness for that constant NE wind.
A week in paradise
We just spent a week at Marriott's Aruba Ocean Club ( May 30th - June 6th). The 1 bedroom villa was clean and very spacious. The pool was wonderful and the beach was beautiful. We had no problem getting a palapa on the beach each day since the hotel was not very busy, and in the afternoon it was easy to find a spot at the pool.
The Stellaris Casino was a lot of fun, but very small. The dealers were extremely friendly.
The food was expensive (we expected as much) and the quality was fair at best. There are several restaurants in walking distance (at Playa Linda) for a change of pace.
The Mandara spa was a bit dissapointing. I've been to other Mandara spas that were larger, with more facilities offered, and better quality of service. Also, the spa had you pay and tip before you received your service. They also add on an additional service charge of 10% for the other employees that work at the spa. The spa was average at best.
We would definately go back to the Marriott Aruba Ocean Club. It was a very relaxing and sunny week for us.
We all cried because we were leaving.
The Aruba Marriott Ocean Club was the best vacation that any of us could have asked for. We went to Aruba in July, 2001 and we can't wait to go back in December, 2004. From the service to the beach, to the pool, to the friendly little poolside Iguanas there was nothing more that we could ask from this resort. We went snorkling, rode the jetski's, and went on the Tattoo. The Tattoo was fun for all ages trust me, we touched on them all (19, 20, 21, 51, 75). We thouroghly enjoyed the trip. The service at the hotel was absolutely phemomenal. The rooms and resort grounds were immaculate. We stayed in a Villa which consisted of 2 bedrooms which could accomodate up to 6 people, a living room which could have slept up to 2 more, a full kitchen, a dining room and 2 full bathrooms, it was like being at home. There was nothing about this trip that any of us would have changed. The flight was terrific, the hotel was unbelievable, the worst part was saying goodbye and going home.
LOVE THIS PLACE!! BEST ON ARUBA
Well, I must agree with the other post, there are no REAL LUXURY hotels on Aruba, they are more like 3 or 4 stars hotels........but of whats there this is our favorite!! The rooms are HUGE, like mini apartments, very nicely furnished with a great little kitchen with a bar/peninsula overlooking the living area. HUGE balconies that we spend so much time on looking out over the ocean, great pool which is not nearly the scene that the hyatt is, SUPERIOR beach by far the nicest on the strip, its on its own a bit more, very wide unlike the hyatt an doesn't have all these people walking through all day, plus they have a lively scene with lots of activity choices all day. There is no major scene at 6am like at the hyatt to get a hut or chair. Although at peak vacation times, these hotels are all very busy. Overall this constitutes what a vacation is all about, very relaxing, beautiful weather, plenty of room for everyone in my family to have their own space, lots of great local restuarants and friendly people. We really love this place.
Seven Fantastic Days in Aruba
We just spent seven of the most wonderful days of our lives on vacation in Aruba. We satyed at the Marriott Ocean Club. The villa was excellent, the service very nice, and the pool/beach area as good as, if not better than the other hotels. We went on the Seaworld Explorer and viewed the wreck of the German freighter, Antilla, as well as some shallow reefs. Very beautiful, with excellent visibility. We also took an island bus tour with Watapana Tours. There was an overbooking mix-up when they arrived at the hotel to pick us up, but they recovered nicely by calling in a second bus. the tour was very good and we got to eat ostrich burgers at the ostrich farm.We took the Discover SCUBA class with Red Sail Sports and made a dive on another wreck in 25 feet of water. The instruction was good for a crash course and the dive was well supervised.We went parasailing one day. That was the highlight of the vacation as far as activities went. What a view! Anyone can do it. There is no skill required and no need to fear the height. You are so well strapped in, you aren't going anywhere.Restaurants at the hotel and on the island are very good. There are too many to go too. Some are pricey, but the food was well prepared and pleasant to the eye everywhere we went.Palm Beach, where the high rise hotels are, is a beautiful beach. The water is warm and clear, with just a little bit of seaweed near the water's edge. The rest is all beautiful white sand.The wind is constantly blowing at about 20 mph, but that is what keeps the humidity down, the bugs away, and the heat bearable. Cut your hair short, put it in a pony tail, or wear a good-fitting hat. We totally enjoyed our stay and would like to return again some time.
Okay, but the spa was a different story...
My wife and I stayed at the Marriott Aruba Ocean Club from April 11 until April 18, 2004. I realize this was Easter break week for school children and there were many children at the resort with their parents. The Marriott staff did nothing to keep control over the children when parents were not around. Many times during the week both early in the morning and late at night, children were running and shouting in the hallways when Marriott staff members were in the hallways and the staff did not ask them to be quiet and not to run in the hallways. The hot tub spa area was marked as not for children under 13 without parents or guardians, however, security staff did not request children to leave the spa at anytime when there were no parents or guardians around. I alerted the front desk staff on April 14 that they might want to shut the hot tub spa down for sanitizing when I observed 3 young boys around 10 or 11 having a urinating contest for distance into the spa from the edge of the spa. I doubt if the sanitizing was done as no more than 10 minutes later, I saw the spa in use from my balcony.
One of the mornings, I was sitting in the living room of my unit watching television - in my underwear - when there was one knock at the door and an employee entered right away before I could get off the sofa. He asked if this was a two-bedroom unit and when I said it was not, he started to check the lock-off unit door. I asked who he was and he said Engineering and I yelled at him to get out. My wife had just come out of the shower and was within his sight. I called the front desk immediately and they merely sent the Engineer supervisor up with an apology saying the man went to the wrong unit. This was extremely upsetting to the both of us to have our privacy invaded by a Marriott employee.
The pool and beach areas were not kept clean during the daytime. I have stayed at other Marriott properties both in the US and Jamaica and the servers would pick up glasses, plates, food on the ground, cigarette and cigar butts to keep the pool and beach area clean. By early afternoon, both the pool deck and beach area looked like garbage pits. On our last day, there had obviously been a storm at sea the previous night and the beach was littered with large masses of seaweed. I think this should have been raked in the morning by the beach staff. I have stayed at the Renaissance Grande in Ocho Rios and the Ritz Carlton in Montego Bay and the beaches were raked clean of seaweed each morning.
Just returned from the Marriott Aruba Ocean Club. I am going to write on many items that I had questions on before I left...hope it helps.The place is lovely. The accomodations we had, 2 bedroom, 2 bath, were very spacious. There is a nice feature (which we did not utilize)...the 2nd bedroom can be locked off from the main unit and contains its own small balcony off the bedroom, TV, a full bathroom and small kitchenette area, with a separate entrance. So, in essence, we were renting two separate units and received two room numbers and two separate sets of keys. The main accomodation was very spacious...a large living room with TV, dining table and kitchen with counter/bar seats. The master bedroom was also quite large with a TV, good size bathroom, jacuzzi in the bedroom and a nice-size balcony that was also accessed thru the living room. It was plenty of room! We had a room overlooking the pool (couldn't really see the ocean, but it was fine).The property was well maintained and pretty. There is a meandering pool, with waterfalls and a swim-up bar. I was a little concerned with the size of the pool at first, but it was quite adequate for the number of guests there (and we were there on a FULL holiday week). The service at the swim-up bar is a little slow...but after you tip them well a couple of times, they tend to notice you a lot quicker! We took a walk to the other properties on Palm Beach...and quite frankly, the Marriott properties had the best pools besides the Radisson. (Playa Linda was good too).You will be happy to hear that as of March 1st, they have changed the palapa reservation system. When you check-in, you can reserve a palapa for 3 days at a charge of $10/day (For third row...its more expensive for 1st and 2nd rows). ( This is optional, if you would like to stand in line at 6:30 a.m. each day, you can get a palapa for no charge-if any are left). On the 4th day, you must stand in line to reserve for that day...and then after 10:00 a.m on Day 4, you can reserve for the next 3 days (however, by then, most of the good ones are gone...but better than waiting in line each day). They take 50% of the palapas for reservations, and 50% of the palapas for stand in line reservations. It seems to be a good system. As far as reserving pool lounge chairs, some things never change. Get up early and you will get some good lounges. Otherwise, they are pretty much taken up. The towel hut doesn't open until 7:30 a.m., so usually guests don't have towels to put down on the pool chairs until then....The beach was lovely. The water is beautiful! There are water sports up and down the beach....tubing, banana boats, boarding, waterskiing, snorkelling, etc. There are several right on the Marriott beach properties.We took the Jolly Pirate out for snorkelling. I was quite tentative about it, but it was a great trip. You stop at 3 snorkelling sites...first one was calm, see alot of fish....2nd one was a bit rough but you are snorkelling over a sunken ship, 3rd one...again calm and they let everyone swing off the boat on a rope swing (kids were no longer interested in snorkelling at this point! It was FUN!). The staff was terrific. Very professional and really attentive while snorkelling...they would stay in another boat and on a life preserver in case anyone needed help.I think the Marriott properties definitely have the best beaches. As you get closer to the Hyatt, Radisson, etc. the beach is narrower and much more crowded. All the beaches are public, and there seems to be a public access right by the Holiday Inn and Hyatt. (Think some cruise ship passengers come in here). (Just a note on the Hyatt---it is definitely beautifully landscaped. I saw two pools which were small, the lounge chairs were a bit crowded around them, and the beach was narrow---personally, I was glad I didn't pay the extra $/night for it). The Radisson looked nice-although one building was a little bit of a walk to the beach---but nicely landscaped and nice pools. I didn't get to look at the Wyndham or Eagle Beach. I thought the Playa Linda looked nice....they had all the balconies terraced, so it looked like they all had nice views...the pools looked nice too and they always had a bunch of kids activities posted.Back to the Marriott...There was (supposedly) drink/food service on the beach. I saw one waitress on about our 4th day...and saw her for a fleeting moment. So, don't count on it! But there is a little patio restaurant right by the pool which is great...also has Bingo @ 3:00 which the kids enjoyed. The other activities were kind of hit or miss....the dance instructor for some classes was sick for a couple of days. Pool volleyball was pretty much set up by the kids that showed up for it....not too much organization there. The woman who taught the water aerobics and the tae-bo or step classes was reliable and pretty good.Overall, the place was great. I don't think I would go back to Aruba though. It isn't really a pretty island ( although by the hotels they did a good job with transplanting palm trees, etc.). The things I did like about it: Felt safe, water safe to drink, lots of activities, casinos (though I did not go), some good restaurants, hotels close to airport.We went in April, so it was really too hot to leave the property to explore during the day except we went into town at night. I really wanted to see the Natural pool and bridge, but if we didn't finish our morning walk by 8:30 a.m., it was too hot. There is a tradewind that is pleasant and keeps you feeling good on the beach/pool, but it can really gust up and take your drinks and flip your lounge chair if you are not careful. All in all, I think Aruba is a great destination, but I am used to more lush properties (we go to Puerto Vallarta alot)...and prefer that. Aruba will accomodate alot of people's vacation wishes. The people are SO nice...so enjoy! Hope this was helpful.
A Great Trip!
We had a wonderful vacation in December 2003 - and the Ocean Club was terrific. Next to the Marriott Hotel & Casino - there were plenty of services beyond those offered at the time share property. Palm Beach is the place to stay! Lots of great reastaurants right in the immediate area - walking distance. Took a tour around the island - did not get everywhere, but must save a few places for the next trip! You do not need a rental car - can take the bus or a taxi just about everywhere for very reasonable amounts, or just rent a car for a day as needed. Aruba is a long way from California - would recommend staying for two weeks rather than one. We traded one of our Marriott timeshares into the Aruba property (a difficult thing to do usually). We liked Aruba enough to buy one week per year of a one bedroom unit. It has great trade value if we can't get there every year! Marriott does a good job with their properties. Must admit - we hit a very rainy spell for a "desert" island - but the sun, beach, food and people were great! The new Marriott time share property next door (the Surf Club) is beautiful and should be another great vacation in the future! We'll return!