Aruba Trip Reports

Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino

First Trip to Aruba Feb 4-11 2001 by Maria and Mike

Our honeymoon. First trip to Aruba for both of us.

We were originally planning to go to the Allegro, but after reading reports on, chose the Marriott instead. And we were so glad we did. We loved it! The Marriott was perfect.

Our room was ready when we arrived. It was one of their standard rooms - about 500 square feet, king size bed, loveseat, chair, coffee table, another table with 2 chairs, armoire with large TV (satellite - so we were able to keep up on our favorites). Each room has a private balcony (i.e., they're at angles, so they're not connected to each other) overlooking the ocean and either the Marriott Ocean Club, the pool, or the northwestern tip of the island. Each balcony has a table and 2 chairs. The bathroom included a walk-in closet with a safe, 2 sinks in a long vanity counter, shower, and, of course, toilet.

We went all-inclusive, so we ate all of our meals at the hotel. Their Italian restaurant, Tuscany, was excellent! We ate dinner there 3 times. The pool and ocean-side restaurants as well as La Vista were good too. Since we were on our honeymoon, we ordered a lot of room service. Always quick and cordial. All drinks (not just house brands) were included in the package, too.

We spent most of our time on the beach (tiki hut-style umbrellas keep you shaded and unsunburned), at the pool (palm trees gave nice shade but chairs in the sun were also available), or in our room. We only left the hotel twice. Once to walk next door to the Holiday Inn to check out their casino. (What a dump! It was hot and stuffy throughout the building and the pool was similar to the ones at little hotels we visit on the Jersey shore.) And once to go to Oranjestad to shop. We took the bus ($2 per person roundtrip). They're not air conditioned, but the breeze coming through the windows made it tolerable. It made A LOT of stops since the Marriott is the farthest hotel from downtown. I considered it an "experience" but my husband was a bit annoyed. Downtown was cute. We only stayed long enough to buy a few souvniers and take a few photos.

Since the Marriott is also the farthest hotel from the airport, we cashed in our transfer vouchers ($10 each way) with our travel agent before we left. We didn't want to be on a bus with a bunch of other people stopping at every hotel and time-share before ours. We got a taxi as soon as we got out of the airport. $18 plus tip. Prices are fixed, so you don't have to worry about them taking the long way to rack up the fare. We also took a taxi back to the airport when we went home.

The Marriott let us check out at 1:00 pm instead of 11:00 am since our flight wasn't until late afternoon.

The only negative thing we noticed was that on Sunday service seemed a little poorer than other days. We figured the usual staff had off on Sundays. In general, the staff was very friendly and efficient, except Sunday.

All in all, it was a wonderful vacation. Very relaxing! We've been telling everyone that they should go to Aruba AND stay at the Marriott.

Maria and Mike