What is your preferred property in Aruba?
Curious on this question myself - lots of appealing properties and Aruba is a place I haven't yet visited. Thanks for asking!
I have stayed at all of them. Here is my ranking, but I'm going to expand a bit on each:
1. Ritz with Club access.
2. Tradewinds Club
3. Surf Club
4. Marriott Resort
5. Ritz regular rooms
6. Ocean Club
First off, if you are traveling with a family - say two adults and two kids - the Surf Club is the best option. You can prepare your own meals as needed, and you have the Lazy River.
If money or points are plentiful, consider the Ritz in a Club level room or Tradewinds Club. I give the Ritz only a very slight nod because of service, beautiful rooms and a nicer casino. But if you are traveling as a couple (no kids), the Tradewinds Club is a very close second. At the TC, you get to earn points on room charges. The Ritz's biggest downfall is it's lackluster pool, and the unbelievable oversight of not having the obligatory swim up bar. The TC however has a great pool, with swim up bar AND a separate adults only pool. TC's rooms all have amazing views, and you get food and drinks all day in the TC lounge.
The Surf Club has a lazy river and nicer rooms as compared to the Ocean Club. Ocean Club is quieter, which some prefer.
The Marriott Resort is an amazing property. One of the most "up kept" resort in the whole chain in my opinion. The rooms are all very spacious with huge balconies. I have stayed in a wraparound Governor's suite there, which have the best views on the whole island.
The Renaissance is a bit of a mixed bag. It's downtown, has a Marina side and an Ocean side, AND a private island. A lot to take in. The real problem with this property are the rooms - the building was constructed a while ago in all concrete. The room layouts are just not functional and they are small. I always suggest that people try the Ren for one or two nights on points - it's worth that just for the private island and ease of access to a now bustling downtown Oranjestad.
I have stayed at all of them except the Ritz. I would stay away from the Renaissance, It does have a nice private island but it is not on the beach and just a different experience. Not worth it to me.
My first choice will always be the Ocean Club especially if your not traveling with kids. Much more quiet property and rooms are great with a full kitchen etc.. (assuming you get the one bedroom villa). Second choice if you have kids is the Surf Club because of the lazy river and kids activities (although Ocean Club also has kids activities). The issue with the Surf Club is that it is a massive property and can get chaotic at times with all the kids and confusion. The Stellaris is also an awesome resort hotel with very nice rooms. No matter which one you stay at, you will have a great time !
Let us know how your stay was when you go so we all benefit from the above suggestions as well as your input.
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