I am going to Aruba this Saturday (Jan 5) and staying at the Marriott Hotel.
We arrive on the 8th. If you see a very noisy family with 3 little kids speaking English and Italian, that is us.
By the way, I've called the hotel to see about switching to the Ocean Club (actually just in response to the kitchen issue, not construction). I also tried to appeal to them because we are (somewhat) local and can sometimes get better rates or little favors because of that. (We live on Bonaire). The person I spoke with seemed as if he really wanted to help but could do nothing. We can try again at check-in but it is fine either way of course. I don't expect them to transfer me and am well aware that the rate is very, very good.
I am still looking for kid friendly, inexpensive (non fast food) places to eat nearby. We did rent a car in the end - so even driving distance will be fine. We really don't want to move much from Palm Beach, however, and would prefer walking distance.
Also I never got an answer on the tennis court question. Does anyone know if we can use the courts at the Ocean Club? Just wondering if it's worth it to pack our tennis gear.
baileysmom, I've been following this thread as we are trying to make a decision about the Surf club (we can get a good rate) for May. Wondering what you are finding of the whole Marriott situation and how your trip is (was)?
I will be going to Aruba for hte 1st time in May & I have several questions. I keep reading different things on the boards so i'm totally confused. I have a reservation for 3 nights at the Marriott Stellaris... I have read that if you stay at the Marriott Stellaris you do not get the same perks as the Surf Club/Ocean Club get? My question is, what is the difference (beside the Surf/Ocean club being timeshares)...?? I also read that they do not share the same pool, is this correct?? I thought they are all in one big building?? Also is it true that you have to be up at sunset to get a spot on the beach??? And you have to pay for some spots?? Please help, i'm so confused!!
We own at the Surf Club so I will attempt to answer your questions. Each facility has its own pool, beach area and huts. If you are just using beach chairs you can sit at any of the three Marriott properties. Each place (hotel, Ocean Club, Surf Club) has its own pool that can only be used if you are staying in that facility and you can only rent a hut that is assigned to your facility.
During the high season (I don't believe May falls into that category) it is difficult to get space on the beach. You only pay for huts that you reserve in advance. A certain number of huts are for reservations and the other half are on a daily first come basis. If one of the beach staff gets you a chair then tipping is expected.
Many people like the Lazy River at the Surf Club and originally anyone who was staying at the Marriott could use it. However, over the years the rules have changed to today's rule that the Lazy River is only for Surf Club guests.
So Randi, are you saying that if we only want beach chairs, no palapa, we can get them for free at any of the 3 Marriotts, if we are staying at one of them? Of course having shade is pretty important but I am dreading the thought of having to get up at the crack of dawn on vacation to secure a palapa. YUK!
Sounds like you are pretty familiar with the situation there. Let me ask you something else.....we had the option of a 1 bedroom villa gardenview or a "Delux guest room oceanside" for about the same price. And although we like the full fridge that comes with the villa, we stayed in one before, (the delux room comes with a small fridge), we went for the delux room oceanside because we have no idea where the 1 bedroom gardenview would be....are afraid we'd be facing the front, the road. I don't remember rooms on that side of the building but last time that we were there it was still under construction and the new building wasn't even there yet. The last time we were there we had a 1 bedroom, oceanside. Do you have any idea where these 1 bedroom "gardenview" villas are? Or the "Delux Guest room ocean side"? Hope this all makes sense. Its been nearly 3 years since we were there and they were just putting the new building and the lazy river.
All the construction at the Surf Club is done! Gardenview means that you get a room from floors 2-4, which could face the pool or the opposite way. Depending on the building you would face the Ocean Club in the first two buildings. Not sure what you would face if not the pool in buildings 3 & 4. Oceanside means you are in the first building facing the pool or the Ocean club, floors 4 and up. Ocean view means you are in any of the other 3 buildings floors 4 and up. Ocean Front only faces the Ocean (not my ideal as at night there is nothing to see).
I am not sure what you mean by delux room? Are you looking at a 2 bedroom, one bedroom or studio. The studio has a small, mini bar like fridge while the one or 2 bedroom units have a full size kitchen.
Yes, you can use the chairs only at all three Marriott locations but not the pools or huts. Each location has their own assigned huts. You can pay for a hut in advance for 2 days, then you need a one day break and then you can get another 2 days. There are huts for free but those you have to stand in line for and I am not sure what time you would need to get up to get those in May. People like the lazy river especially if you have childen so if you are looking at all three properties that is the draw to the Surf Club. I don't think in May you will have the same "craziness" as you do during prime season.
Thanks Randi, Now I have a pretty good idea about the room locations/views. The room type, on the Marriott website, is called a Luxury or Delux guest room. I don't see a Studio per say, but since the Delux guest room has a small fridge and a sitting/living area, I am assuming its what you are calling the studio?
My only other question for now...So about the lazy river. Can you use floats or do they have to be tubes? Can we bring our own inflatable ones or do they hve to be some special type?
You can use whatever you like. If you bring ones from home, there is a really good air pump by the towel hut at the pool to use. Rafts to rent are $5 per day. We usually buy a noodle type floating device and use that as we don't have blow up rafts from home.