Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino Rating: 4.0 Pearls
Aruba

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • Bright, airy rooms
  • Large casino (one of the best in Aruba)
  • 24-hour cafe on site
  • Stylish decor
  • Helpful and friendly staff
  • Delicious steak house on site
  • Tradewinds Club offers concierge services, a private beach and other extras (for a fee)

Cons

  • 20-minute drive to Oranjestad
  • 30-minute, $35 cab ride from Aruba airport

Bottom Line

A comfortable, modern getaway for families with a great pool, gym, spa, and casino, the Marriott Resort is fancier than its only neighbors, the Marriott Surf Club and the Marriott Ocean Club. This Marriott is a bit farther from the airport than most Aruban resorts, but it's only a three-minute walk to the High Rise complex.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

Just short of chichi family hotel that offers a warm welcome and doesn't cater to rowdy guests.

Swim-up bar
Swim-up bar

The Marriott is a family hotel, just short of chichi. All the parents I met were professionals and their kids showed the right mix of excitement and well-behaved restraint. The hotel follows suit with large, open public spaces and touches of edgy, modern design. The hotel is classy, and the service is warm and friendly. Unlike most resorts in Aruba, the Marriott didn't cater to roving bands of children running wild or parents getting blitzed on Bacardi.

 Service

Friendly, obliging, and professional staff.

The Marriott staff was unfailingly polite and helpful throughout my stay. My waiter at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse cheerfully demonstrated the art of laying the perfect table-cover. The waitress at the 24/7 lobby café obliged my 3 a.m. coffee runs without complaint.

 Location

A (30-minute) $30 cab ride from the airport, near a complex with many restaurants, a movie theater, and a samba club.

The airport is farther from the Marriott than it is from most hotels -- about a (30-minute) $35 cab ride (depending on traffic). Downtown Oranjestad is about a 20-minute cab ride away. The beach is in back of the hotel, while a row of houses sits opposite the front parking lot.

The Marriott Resort is immediately off Aruba's single main road, which is lined with resorts. It is one installment in the Marriott's Vacation Club resort -- to its left is the Marriott Aruba Ocean Club, and to the left of that is the Marriott Surf Club.

The High-Rise shopping complex is a 3-minute walk away. The High-Rise has many restaurants, including the fabulous Hostaria da Vittoria and a number of nightlife haunts, such as a movie theater and a samba club misleadingly named Mr. Jazz.

The location feels very safe. Between foot traffic from the High-Rise and tourists from a number of neighboring hotels -- the Holiday Inn, Occidental, Radisson, and others -- the area is well-populated at night.

 Beach

Clear water, plenty of chairs, and excellent people-watching opportunities.

The beach
The beach

The broad, white-sand beach reminded me of Miami, only the water was even clearer! With plenty of chairs and a constant parade of tan flesh, I kicked back and people-watched to my heart's content.

 Rooms

Big, bright, and beautiful rooms with quality technology, large balconies and great water pressure in the bathrooms.

The Oceanview Double Room
The Oceanview Double Room

The Marriott Resort, which received a complete renovation in 2008, has one of the most tech-savvy, hooked-up rooms that I've seen in Aruba. Both the wired Internet hookup and Wi-Fi in the lobby are fast -- though there is a daily fee for both. The room even has a nifty console in the wall used to connect laptops to the LG flat-screen TV. Perfect for presentations, photo slideshows, or just watching movies off of your computer.

The beds are very comfortable, but I found a couple of ants on my pillow (these were the only insects in the room). I emerged unbitten from a night's sleep.

The balcony is quite large, with enough space for a couple of chairs and a table. It gets plenty of sunlight throughout the day, and is a great place to tan in solitude. But in my oceanfront suite, I could barely see the ocean -- a broad lawn and a hedge was in the way.

The bathroom has a double sink, great water pressure, and enough space to swing my arms around. Everything in my room worked perfectly, except for the tub's stopper, which I had to pry open from its closed position with a penknife.

On check-in, I was given a free -- and totally unasked for -- upgrade to an Oceanview Double. On my way up in the hotel's glass elevators, the bellman told me it was one of the best rooms in the hotel. Large, with a ton of light streaming in from the floor-to-ceiling windows by the balcony, I was suitably impressed.

 Features

The pool has a waterfall and swim-up bar. There's a 24-hour cafe, a good fitness center, and a spa.

The game room
The game room

The Marriott's lagoon-shaped pool has a waterfall at one end, a net for volleyball, and a swim-up bar. It's popular with both kids and adults, and free of the crowds that migrate to the beach.

With a bar and a 24-hour cafe, the Marriott's soaring lobby -- renovated in 2007 -- is where I spent most of my time. There are also some pricey jewelry stores selling diamonds and Cartier' that made for tempting eye-candy. If I'd had better luck at the Stellaris Casino around the corner, it might have been more than window-shopping!

Part of the Marriott chain, the Mandara spa offers standard spa treatments in private huts right on the beach.

Out by the beach, the Resort's two-tier fitness center is hands-down the best of the three Marriott hotels in the compound. While you can no longer drop the kids off at Bon Bini Kids' Club on the way to your workout...you can take part in some complimentary activities like pilates, yoga or a tennis clinic with your teen. The Marriott offers special activities for younger children as well including an air hockey contest for children six and up, a scavenger hunt for those five to fifteen, face painting for all ages and a slew of other fun activities.

Adults may also pay an additional charge to become Tradewinds Club members, that is, for additional amenties and breakfast, lunch and dinner (hors d'oeuvres for the latter two), private beach area, and a separate concierge service. The hotel also offers an adults-only pool.

 Casino

One of Aruba's best casinos, but with way more slot machines than tables, it's not Vegas.

The Stellaris Casino
The Stellaris Casino

The Stellaris is one of Aruba's best casinos, but it's not terribly impressive. Slot machines far outnumber tables and the Stellaris is only marginally larger than other Aruban casinos I have visited. The Crystal Casino at the Renaissance Hotel is much larger, has many more tables, and has a distinctive charm.

 Cleanliness

The hotel in general is clean and well-maintained.

I found a couple of ants making their way across my pillow, and the corner of my carpet was duct-taped to the floor. But the hotel in general is so clean and well-maintained that I feel bad complaining about these minor issues. After all, insects are a part of a tropical vacation, and the tape did keep me from tripping.

 Food

A 24-hour café, a small sushi bar, and an excellent but pricey steak house. Drinks aren't made with top-shelf liquor, but they're tasty.

Ruth's Chris Steak House
Ruth's Chris Steak House

The 24-hour lobby café is a blessing -- coffee, sandwiches, fruit, and pastries. In the afternoon, a small sushi bar is open on the neighboring counter until 11 p.m.

Ruth's Chris Steak House is excellent, but pricey. It has a quiet and elegant atmosphere without being remotely fussy. La Vista is slightly more casual.

On the beach, snacks are available at Waves and Simply Fish. Both restaurants operate out of the same kitchen, but Simply Fish has a separate hut right by the Waves bar for sit-down dining.

If it's pouring outside -- which only really happens about five days a year -- the lobby bar is the only place to get a drink. There are top-shelf liquor prices, but not quite top-shelf brands. But the drinks are good! Tried and tested.

 Bottom Line

A comfortable, modern getaway for families with a great pool, gym, spa, and casino, the Marriott Resort is fancier than its only neighbors, the Marriott Surf Club and the Marriott Ocean Club. This Marriott is a bit farther from the airport than most Aruban resorts, but it's only a three-minute walk to the High Rise complex.

Things You Should Know About Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino

Address

  • L.G. Smith Boulevard # 101, Palm Beach, Aruba

Hotel is Also (or Was Formerly) Known As

  • Aruba Marriott
  • Marriott Aruba
  • Marriott Aruba Hotel Stellaris
  • Marriott Palm Eagle Beach
  • Marriott Palm/Eagle Beach
  • Palm/Eagle Beach Marriott

Room Types

  • Garden View Room
  • Governor's Suite
  • Grand Oceanfront Room
  • Guest Room
  • Ocean/Pool View Room
  • Partial Ocean View Room
  • Tradewind Governor Suite
  • Tradewinds Deluxe Ocean View Room
  • Tradewinds Grand Oceanfront Room

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 411
Pool: Yes
Fitness Center: Yes
Spa: Yes
Internet: Yes
Cribs: Yes
Kids Club: Yes
Jacuzzi: Yes
Casino: Yes
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Hotel Information

Location: Aruba
Address: L.G. Smith Boulevard # 101, Palm Beach, Aruba
(See Map)
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