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at the Marriott's Aruba Surf Club
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Jan 17th, 2021
I would never recommend this hotel. It just feels like complete harassment. You need to keep track of your room keys, chair tags, arm bands (Color changes when Marriott decides they need to changed and then you have to go to the front desk for a new color)and god forbid you lose your towels. They walk around and bother you all day. Zero relaxing. Stay in the low rise hotels. TRIPADVISOR.COM USER
Poor hospitality, thin walls
Jan 11th, 2021
We have stayed in probably 200+ different Marriott properties and this is the first one we are vowing never to return to. We stayed in an ocean view room in the Compass building. The highlight of this property is the lazy river and pool area. It’s great for kids and will keep them entertained. The beach is nice - very large with calm water but this is the case for all of Palm Beach. Surf club has the widest beach of all the resorts and it’s easily the most congested with 10+ rows of palapas all very close together. Inside, the rooms have obviously not been updated in a while. The walls are very thin so you will hear everything (and not just faintly) your neighbors are up to. The rooms are also quite small. The sofa bed is the most uncomfortable sofa bed we have ever experienced. It slopes downward towards the feet and there’s a huge dip. Understanding that sofa beds are not usually very comfortable, this one raised the bar on discomfort. Beach- packed with people, or should I say packed with empty chairs and palapas reserved for people who seemingly never show up. Forget about getting a good spot unless you get up at 6am to go reserve it. The number of vacant but “reserved” spots in the first row or two outnumbered occupied chairs 5 to 1. They say you forfeit your spot if it’s unoccupied for 2 or more hours but it’s clearly not enforced, or enforced selectively. The hospitality attitude here was lackluster. None of the staff we encountered were really friendly or helpful. As an example, my wife mentioned our palapa table at the beach hadn’t been cleaned and the staff member barely looked at her, stayed on his cell conversation and handed her a rag to do it herself. Another time, I was in line at the towel hut , which closes at 7pm, and the towel lady, with a line 4 people deep, just decided it was time to close and rolled down the gate right in our faces. The nearby security guard told us that they close at 7pm. Even if it were 7:05, they should service the people on line before closing but in this case, I pointed out on my phone that it was 6:50pm. Rather than apologize and be nice, the attendant got mad and starting yelling at me that I “don’t need to be telling” her what time it is. Poor service, poorer attitude. This was par for the course- We seldom came across a staff member who seemed happy or interested in doing any more than the bare minimum. We are big on “kill them with kindness” and this didn’t even work. The only service highlight was the concierge team who helped us book and confirm a few restaurant reservations. We didn’t realize it in advance but there is no room cleaning service here. Not sure if this is all the time or covid related. That stinks but I get it- however, we asked to borrow a vacuum and perhaps some cleaning products so we could freshen up our own room. They won’t provide it. That’s tough after a 5 night stay (or longer) with kids. If you want fresh towels brought to the room, you must be there to receive it...again, understandable as they don’t want staff entering the guest rooms. But, be prepared to wait 45-60 min, or even have to call several times to get them. We called for bedding for the sofa bed and it took 45 minutes. Nobody thought to tell us the bedding was already there in the closet. One would think a global powerhouse like Marriott could work out these issues. Now specifically on Covid. We stayed at a different hotel in Aruba for 4 nights prior to arriving at Marriott Surf Club so we have a good basis for comparison. Nowadays, you have to present proof of a negative covid test to enter Aruba . If you don’t have a negative test result to show when you land, you must get tested at the airport. At the airport, they give you a card that indicates you are “approved”, and hotels are required to collect these to demonstrate that you’ve been tested. If you were tested at the airport, you hotel is supposed to identify this and you must quarantine in your hotel room until your airport-administered test comes back. Our first hotel asked for the approval cards right away. Marriott Surf Club never asked. Therefore it does not appear (at least from our own experience) that Marriott is doing a good job adhering to this safety rules set by the Aruba government, which were designed to keep us safe. It makes me wonder how many people we were exposed to at who had not yet had a negative test result. Some other comparisons: The other property- required temperature check at the entrances and required hand sanitizing before entering the buildings or restaurants at any entrance. Marriott- no temp checks anywhere, no sanitizer at any entrance. The other property- hand sanitizers everywhere, couldn’t walk 100 ft without running into one. Every single guest room also had sanitizers. Marriott- sanitizers only outside elevators and public bathrooms. Nothing in the rooms. The other property - masks available for free if you forgot yours, or it blew away, or got wet some how- also at every entrance. Marriott- presumably no masks available. I have read these other reviews about how safe it feels here. I will agree to some extent- it doesn’t feel unsafe. They require masks indoors. All the staff are wearing them. We just think there could have been more. Lastly, as alluded to, you are pretty much on your own here. The hospitality is poor. It’s basically like renting a condo with a few resort elements. I could see the appeal of this for a time share but as a vacationer who likes a resort style vacation, this place misses the mark entirely. We have stayed at Stellaris twice snd had great experiences. I guess we expected similar quality here, with some understandable adjustments due to covid. Surf club fell way short of expectation. TRIPADVISOR.COM USER
#1 / Top shelf Aruba Surf Club
Jan 8th, 2021
Have loved Aruba since the early 80's.Bought at the Surf Club, pre construction, and best $$ ever spent .All 50+ trips have been fabulous...nothing is always 100%.... even with Covid 19, you felt safe ,welcomed and made to feel at home ..... the few arrogant non mask wearers and whinners should grow up.... I want to thank and compliment the following staff/management individuals Jasamine, Jane, Shawn, Aprille, Yelitza, Donny and Rubin,who exhibited such professional and positive attitudes. You were all so kind,helpful and a pleasure to meet again. Marriott should be very proud of all of you as you represent the company with GREAT efficiency and you all show genuine pride in your work...Thank you all again. TRIPADVISOR.COM USER
Jan 7th, 2021
I did a spur of moment trip to Aruba the week of December 20th. It was a timeshare exchange and needed to get out of the cold weather! I was a bit nervous during the CovID crisis. I made sure I packed my bucket of wipes, travel wipes and hand sanitizer. The room was sanitized, however just to alleviate my germophobia tendency I wiped down everything with my antibacterial wipes. The staff was continuously cleaning the chairs at poolside and the beach. Also staff, was cleaning continuously in the lobby or wherever there was an entrance and exit. Everyone was wearing a mask and strict guidelines are enforced for the elevators. There are hand sanitizing machine all around. What I like about this resort that you have everything at your disposal; Starbucks at the Stellars, different restaurants all within walking distance. It's safe and there is enough lighting and guards at night. There is one restaurant that I adore, it's on the beach next door at the Marriott Ocean. It's Atardi, the food and service is great. Our Waiter was excellent. He was very careful how he handled the food. You will absolutely enjoy your stay and sunsets. TRIPADVISOR.COM USER
The little things count and it showed.
Dec 31st, 2020
I must say I am thoroughly impressed by how Marriott has gone above and beyond regarding COVID safety. I feel incredibly safe and feel they pulled out all stops to keep it that way. All doors are now on motion sensors so I don’t touch a thing. Automatic voice reminders play when motion is detected near a door to enter building reminding you to put mask on. Only one person in elevators at a time unless all family members. Even down to remote controls in room are in a sanitizing bag. Masks are all over when inside and many wear outside. All workers in masks in and out. Arrows guiding walk paths in each direction throughout resort. It’s a bunch of little things they did but all added up to well done. Even beach chairs have a “sanitized” tag on them to know they were clean and unused. The little things are all over the place. Regarding the hotel I went with my wife and 2 kids (8&5) and of the three hotels in the group this is probably the best for families while still being a very nice resort. We came with one of those packages that gives you a cheap stay for 5 days as long as you watch a timeshare sales pitch (say no by the way). So we added on to the front and back end of the trip to make it a full week in Aruba at 2 other hotels. The Marriott was by far the best property of the others I stayed at (Holiday inn and Playa Linda). Playa Lynda felt like I was staying in Cancun on spring break w a bunch of partiers who when you talk about Covid safety if I do end up getting Covid from Aruba it’s likely from the Playa Linda (talk about little things that Marriott Does, the Playa did not.). I guess you get what you pay for. Our room at Marriott was a 1 bedroom and came w a separate living area w pull out for kids along w legs kitchen so it was perfect. I strongly recommend the Marriott and we will be back. Well done! TRIPADVISOR.COM USER
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