The Marriott is a beautiful resort. We had a great dinner there, and enjoyed the casino. I stayed at the Hyatt Aruba with my wife and our two little girls. The only grocery problem we had was finding fresh milk. Most of the stores only sold reconstituted mile, which my daughter wouldn't drink. We found McDonalds always has a fresh supply of milk.
Programs: UA 1K, SPG PLAT, HYATT PLAT, HH GOLD, AA GOLD, MR GOLD
The Aruba Ocean Club is great. The hotel is less than 1 year old.
All the rooms are one bed room suites with a sep. kitchen + living/dining room. I upgraded to the two bedroom unit (which is just a regular room next to it with a double lockable door). Total sq ft. of our 2 bed unit is 1235 sq feet.
DON'T get confused this is different than the Marriott Stelleris Casino. That hotel is located right next door. You can use both the hotels facilities and shop and just charge it to your room. With 2 children that was a nice feature. (P.S. the Aruba Ocean Club has a 15,000 point bonus if you sit through a 1-1/2 hour time share preview. It was tempting but I knew I wasn't going to buy so I didn't want to WASRTE 90 min.)
The water is gorgeous and the beach was VERY nice BUT the Coral shells (first 6 feet when entering the water) killed your feet. The water is beautiful but cloudy.
We explored the entire island. The most unbeliveable thing is that no one I talked ever visited the "Caves" or even knew about them. This was the BEST thing on the island and I would make a mad dash back to them "IF" I return to the island.
If anyone wants more details about the island or advice let me know.
I've been to a few places and I would rate the island a 7-1/2 over all.
One thing I DIDN'T like was that the breeze NEVER stops!!!! I mean NEVER!!!!
I like to get a little hot, but with the wind you never seem to get hot...(I then like jump in the pool or ocean to cool off). The fact that the wind NEVER stops, kind of irritated me.
I did think the shopping was a nice set up, but no good deals. You could buy most stuff in the US much cheaper.
2000 Goal: Cayman Islands (Of course I WILL get airfare for my family and the Hotel FREE with points and miles. This is a yearly personal goal(and Hobby) of mine)
From Tasnam (trip was from Dec 6-13 1999)
[This message has been edited by tasnam (edited 01-02-2000).]
I was at the Aruba Marriott about 3 years ago and it was very nice (the Hyatt is also nice). At that time, Marriott was still building the Vacation Club next door. The timeshare and the hotel are both beautiful, but it sounds like the rooms are much bigger at the timeshare.
Aruba is beautiful and the people are very nice. The only thing I did not like is that it is not a tropical island with green grass and trees. The island is more of a desert and the strong winds made it hard to stay on the beach too long.
tasnam- I think Stelaris Casino rents the space at the Marriott hotel.
Just returned from a week at Marriott's timeshare in Aruba, the Ocean Club. While it took three planes to get there (SAN/DFW/MIA/AUA), it was worth it. Timeshare is located next door to regular Marriott Hotel/Resort, and guests at either get full use of facilities at both. Timeshare has a gorgeous pool that rambles like a river through the property's courtyard, with an island and numerous waterfalls along the way. Beach was clean, water was perfect blue/green, and I didn't think about work even once. Water sports were readily available, including jet skiing, snorkeling, wind surfing, and "tubing", just to name a few. The quick visual comparisons we made (Hyatt, Radisson, Wyndham)showed the Ocean Club to be the least crowded, even though we were told it was 90% full all week. Talk about forgetting your cares, doing nothing, and just watching the world go by. Recommendation: visit there if you can possibly do so!
Took the tour of the Ocean Club, with no intention of buying another week. Got 15,000 Marriott Rewards points for our time.
Timeshare and hotel/resort can be rented for however long you like - not necessarily one week. Lowest rate for hotel was $145/night, and $220/night for 1 bedroom timeshare, during spring, summer, and fall, which is considered their "slow" season. Rates are a good bit higher in winter. It would also be worth asking if they'd let you use the hotel portion of a free airline ticket (AA, for example) to reduce the room price.
Part of me says I should have posted this under "Trip Reports", but the flights there and back were so uneventful, I chose the "Marriott" forum instead.
Of course, I do not work for Marriott, and I have no financial incentive to post my comments. Just a "heads up" for anyone looking for a great vacation destination.
Captain Mike - I agree. Stayed there this past February (President's week) using my Marriott Rewards points for a great 7 night stay. OK, so they kept running out of towels at the beach/pool (so I learned to hoard them when they had them), you had to be on the beach at 6am to get a "hut", and the Marriott restuarant selection was mediocre (Hyatt, short walk down the beach had much better choices), but the facilities were very nice, they had a great kids program, and the units were the typical (very nice) Marriott Vacation Club fare, with jacuzzis, full kitchens, large tvs and vcrs, nice furnishings, etc. But I was not particularly impressed with Aruba (why do people go back EVERY year?) - the island itself is somewhat ugly with these poor windblown trees, there's no real sightseeing to be done, I didn't find the natives to be particularly nice (not that they were mean, but there was no "welcome to our island" spirit as there is in say Barbados), and the trip was a real hassle (45 minutes just to get through the Arbuba immigration - how slowly can you stamp a passport?!). Best thing I did was reserve my airport taxi in advance over the net - everyone was fighting for cabs, and there was my guy waiting with a sign, just like when I land at LGA! The island did have some good restaurants, but I'm not sure I'd go back soon - the Marriott Beach Place Towers in Fort Lauderdale is a lot easier to get to, and other than the fact that you have to cross the street and go to the public beach, is just as nice - plus there's alot more to do in FLL! So its worth a visit to Aruba - but not an annual visit, IMHO!
Has anyone stayed at the Aruba Marriott? I am staying there for my honeymoon in September. In reading some trip reports, it seems very nice. I am staying there on the 7 night reward (I forget the number). I also upgraded to an ocean view of some nature.
Anyone have advice regarding the Marriott Aruba Ocean Club? I am using the airfare from a free 713 award I got for buying a timeshare to go to Aruba. I traded my timeshare in Orlando for a 2-bedroom villa the Aruba Marriott Ocean club. So my honeymoon is virtually free. A vacation that would otherwise have cost about $3500. And I still have my 7-day coupon left!
I found that making the free Reservations with Marriott and AA a snap. No complaints so far.