Love aruba and marriott stellaris is a great value to stay. eating there is pricey but there are so many restaurants on the strip right down the road you can walk to them. The staff was great, and friendly, got a better room closer to the beach with a staffers' assistance. Bar tenders were so nice. Got the construction side view but if u are close enough to the beach, u still have a partial view. the room is always clean and beds are turned down around 5:30-6pm. went ATVing, which was an awesome way to see the natural bridge, and pool and fort and old church and get some adventure. took the bus into downtown for $1.25 each way which is so cheap. went shopping downtown. cabs are a little high depending on where u need to go, its about $6 a mile plus a tip. FYI: there are several places that charge a surcharge tip for eating there, we had asked in the past about this, this is a charge that is put on your bill which is like a tip but it is pooled together for all waiters and waitresses to split. Some restaurants take this surcharge and dont give anything to the employees. SO, if u are confused, ask the maitre'd and they will let you know how that restaurant handles it. Le Petit Cafe is great, u cook your own steaks on a hot plate. awesome. many romantic outdoor on the beach types of restaurants and alot of them have a 3 course meal for @9.99 and $34.99. GREAT TRIP, 4th time there, love it! weather is always nice there.
My boyfriend and I booked a trip to Aruba for late August 2009 through Cheap Caribbean. We received great service from them and were extremely happy with the trip overall. We chose the Aruba Marriott Resort because it was at the end of the palm beach strip...we figured it might be more quiet and less crowded on the beach. Being able to go for a dip in a pool after a hot day on the beach was also really important to us. The Marriott's website showed a decent sized pool with a swim up bar. We compared with pricing in other resorts at the time (we booked in late February 2009) and decided to go with the Marriott. Two weeks before we were set to fly out there, we received an e-mail from Marriott notifying us that the pool would be closed for renovations and that we'd have access to the pool next door. Upon reading some reviews of guests staying there at the time, we were rather nervous about what to expect. There were many complaints of noise due to the construction, some even said it could be heard on the beach. We called the hotel and asked that they offer us a room on a higher floor, away from the noise, and possibly into a nicer room to make up for the inconvenience. The hotel staff were not very accommodating and were unwilling to offer us anything further than what we had already paid for. We called Cheap Carribean and had a very friendly (and determined!) travel agent contact the hotel for us to see what he could do. After some coaxing, we were upgraded to a nicer suite on a higher floor. Now onto the actual trip... Upon arriving in Aruba, we found that the bus service to the Palm Beach strip was very useful. Our hotel was the last stop, but the ride was no longer than 30 minutes for us. The bus driver was really friendly (as you'll notice all islanders are) and was very helpful in unloading our bags and directing us the right way into the hotel. We arrived in the lobby and were immediately greeted with some "Aruba Arriba" drinks and friendly counter staff. Upon entering our room, we were amazed...it was an ocean/pool view room. We loved the bathroom and the balcony was spacious with a beautiful view. I have to admit that the view looking straight down towards the pool was not so pretty, but the ocean was gorgeous. The bed was extremely comfy and we were happy to be able to watch HBO. One thing that bothered my boyfriend was that the internet was not free. For the price that we paid for our room, it might have been nice for the hotel to at least offer free internet, especially since everything is rather expensive in the hotel as it is. Luckily, my boyfriend and I found MooMba Beach which had a nice breakfast buffet for a reasonable price with free wifi. We pretty much went there for breakfast every morning to check our e-mail and start our day. It was about a 5 minute walk down the beach to the restaurant and the price was cheap in comparison to other places near our hotel. We treated ourselves to Marriott's breakfast buffet towards the end of our trip and enjoyed the food. It's pricey (as is everything in Aruba) but there was so much food to choose from. Look out for birds if you're sitting outside. They are determined and are not scared to fly directly onto your table. Just to note how clever these little guys are...one flew onto our table, used it's beak to knock the cover off our sugar bowl, grabbed a sugar packet out of the bowl, pecked a hole into the packet and ate the sugar, I kid you not! It was very entertaining, but I'm sure the hotel staff don't appreciate customers encouraging the birds. Onto the pool... Since our hotel's pool was closed, we were allowed access to the timeshare pool next door. Boy did we luck out! The pool at that hotel was amazing. Waterfalls, pretty lights at night, a few different pool areas to spread people out, a swim up bar... it was an all around nice pool. I"m sure the new pool at the Marriott is even nicer. Now the beach... The Marriott's beach is nice but getting a good palapa is rather annoying. Due to the construction the palapas were free for all guests...that was really convenient. However, in order to get one you'd have to reserve early. The trick is to wake up as soon as they become available and grab one. Having walked down the beach several times during the day to attend different activities, we noticed that the Marriott's beach was relatively quiet and we found it very easy to relax. Luckily we didn't hear much construction at all, but had heard that most of the drilling and such had been finished before we arrived. The casino at the Marriott was not my favorite. It was very smokey on the inside, and the smell emanates out into the lobby. I found that I got dizzy after being in there for only an hour and needed to leave (maybe that's a good thing haha). The casino wasn't anything special. Having been in Vegas, it seemed that the odds of winning were a lot lower in Aruba so I'd say it's worth skipping. Overall, our stay in the Marriott was very enjoyable. The hotel is very comfortable, has plenty of restaurants and activities nearby, and we found that the staff was very friendly. Now to say a couple things about Aruba... We LOVED it. It was an amazing trip, and I am so happy that we booked it through Cheap Carribean. We decided to rent a Jeep for the duration of our trip so that we could explore the island. There are dirt roads on the opposite side of the island where the water is really rough. We had heard about a whole bunch of cool landmarks and wanted to explore it all at our own pace. The off roading was pretty scary for me, but my boyfriend had an amazing time driving us around. We started at the lighthouse up north, drove down to the alto visto chapel, the gold mine ranch, and then the natural bridge. It was a nice drive, it gets very hot, but with enough sunscreen you'll survive. We had to make the trip to the Arikok National Park on a separate day, but it was nice...we saw some wild goats up in the hills and the views were pretty. As far as activities are concerned, Aruba has plenty to offer. We took a helicopter ride, which I thought was wonderful. It can be sort of scary since it's very windy up in the air, but the views were magnificent. We got some great pictures from that ride. Our tour guide was very friendly too and made sure to point out everything. We went on the Atlantis submarine ride. It was ok, but I didn't feel very well in it, it's definitely not for anyone who deals with motion sickness or inner ear problems. They took us to a wreck underwater, but honestly, it wasn't that great and I say it's worth skipping as well. One night we went on the Tattoo party boat cruise. I had some issues with not feeling so hot again, but I thought the entertainment was a lot of fun. The staff are so friendly and entertaining. It was especially great watching people jump into the ocean off the rope swing at the end of the night. We did a sunset sail cruise which was one of my favorites. Everyone had a great time drinking and listening to some relaxing, islander music as the sun set. The sunset in Aruba is beautiful. We wanted to do a snorkel sail, and decided to go with the lunch sail. The food was yummy, free drinks again, and the snorkeling was loads of fun. They took us to a few different spots. One was over the shipwreck and boy was that scary! Swimming above that thing and looking below you is the craziest feeling I've ever experienced. I'd say that the lunch snorkel sail is plenty...the full day snorkel sail would probably be best for avid snorkelers. Towards the end of the trip, we decided to relax on the beach all day. As I was laying out in my chair, I saw someone parasailing and decided that I wanted to try it. First time I had ever done it and it was well worth the wait. The views from up top were beautiful. The service wasn't so great (I was packed onto a boat with a bunch of people and had to wait awhile to take my turn) but that all depends on who you go through. It was a last minute decision and I bought it through the first person we saw offering it. Since my boyfriend and I wanted to save money for activities, we didn't spend too much on food and did not visit many restaurants. I do want to recommend Pinchos Grill & Bar. It was about a 15 minute drive south of the hotel (past the airport) and is on the water. We got there in time for the sunset and boy was it pretty. Our waiter was from Cuba and made me his own special mojito (so good!). The food was excellent as well, so we definitely recommend it. Aruba is a wonderful island. The people there are very friendly since tourism is extremely important to their economy. The water and beaches are beautiful and there is plenty to do and see. We stayed for a week and a half and could have probably stayed longer. The temperature was very warm when we were there, but the island is windy so you cool off quickly. There is loads to do, but everything is pricey, so booking in advance really helps cut costs. The island has something for everyone...people who are adventurous and who like to explore, and those who want to relax in the sun all day. My boyfriend and I highly enjoyed our trip and are open to visiting again in the future.
We have traveled to 6 caribbean destinations, and will definitely return here! Aruba is beautiful, and so is the Mariott Stellaris. Keep in mind this resort is the farthest [about 5 miles] from town-- so you might want to stay closer to town if that is important to you. TAKE A CAB To/From the airport [$25 per carload one way]. Do NOT buy the shuttle service unless you enjoy sitting on a bus for a long time. The beach is crowded during the high season, but the pool is great. The casino is good for its size. Table games are only open from 2pm-3am, and the table limits are lower than what you see in big casinos.
The beach was incredible! You have to book a Hut or you will be sitting in the sun- which goes right through sunscreen! Must Do's- we rented a jeep the first day we were there and went off-roading around the island. We found hundreds of rock piles made by people- supposedly you are supposed to stack some rocks then make a wish. We weren't able to make the drive to the natural pool- it was too crazy for me- but its worth paying for a guided tour. Another place that is a must see on a jeep adventure is Baby Beach. We were told to eat at Flying Fishbone. The tables are set up on the beach- go around 6:30 so you can watch the sunset around 7:00. THe food was expensive! An entree ran about 35.00 a plate, salad was about 10.00 more. The food at every restaurant was expensive. It seems that we paid at least $25 a plate each time we ate. Be prepared!
I had so much fun, the hotel was the best. I will stay there again next year. I will also book my trip thru CheapCaribbean.
Just finished a 5 night stay and had a great time. Hotel accomodations and service were great. Not too far off the beaten path and it is within easy walking distance to the high rise and shopping areas (20 - 30 mins). Dining options limited to LaVista and the beach restaurant. Thought LaVista was kind of pricey and they took advantage of Mother's Day customers. What a zoo... I've stayed at this hotel in the past and would stay there again. Unless you get some type of package deal with meals included, it can't be beat.
this trip was awesome, we have been there before so we knew how the hotel was but the best part of cheap carribean.com deal is they offer the dine around program which I never had before. I was a little skeptical at first, thought we would be limited to a select few restaurants but we had a list of like 25 restaurants to go to, and it broadened our knowledge of the restaurants there, This program is great, most of the bill was paid in full by this program, had to leave a tip at a few but some it was ALL included, tip too!!! This saves u $$$ and u get a 3 course meal every time. looking to purchase again this summer.
Believe it or not it was one of the worst experience I had in all vacations. We paid for two rooms but they only gave us one room two beds and three men . It's not physically possible for a resort to do that it's unheard of . Words cannot explain how we felt but all I can say is I promise I promise I promise I promise I promise it will never happen again with cheap Caribbean because they will never see me as a customer . Good night
My husband and I stayed at the Aruba Marriot for 6 nights and we can't wait to go back. The resort sits right on Palm Beach which has everything you could possibly need.Lots of water sports, great places to eat just a stroll down the beach or across the street. I suggest, take a few hours to scope things out, happy hours are available at all the resorts on the beach. Several casino's to choose from, (word of caution tho) they don't seem to have alot of winners. However, they will give you free drinks while you play. Ruth Chris Steakhouse was great. $99.00 special for two. ( Ask) New shops across the street now opening. Streets light up at night with activity,bars and vendors. Dancing Water Show at night was really nice to see. The people in Aruba were very nice and helpful. The resort was extra clean and well kept as all of the resorts seem to be. Public restrooms were always clean even the ones on the beach. We were so happy there, we never even went into the town or to another beach. Only suggestion I have would be, more waiters to cover the pool area and beach area. And be sure to check out Moomba Beach Tiki Bar and Restaurant. Great fish chowder!