Aruba Trip Reports

Marriott Ocean Club

October 2 to October 8, 2001 by Susan

We just returned from Aruba (in fact just in time, since the bombings began on the day that we were returning). Anyway, we had a great time. We stayed at the Marriott Ocean Club. We had a one bedroom villa which was clean, had a balcony, whirlpool tub, huge shower and king size bed.

We left from Newark on American Airlines which I wouldn't do again, because we had a connecting flight both ways. I would fly nonstop (I think Continential is the only one doing that out of Newark). We really lost the whole day coming and going because of the layovers. The flights were uneventful and the planes were half empty.

The people at the front desk and conceirge desk at the Ocean Club were very nice, friendly, accomodating and had answers to all of our questions.

The beach was beautiful with many tiki huts and lounge chairs. We had a tiki hut right in front of the water each day. The resort was kindo of empty, I think because of the situation with the war and all, so it was easy to get a seat.

The water was beautiful, calm and refreshing. However, there were spots in the sand that were "slimy" nothing drastic, just not great to touch. There is a drop off when you get into the water which can be surprising. There were watersports a 2 minute walk away and you could rent a float ($5 a day) or snorkel equipment ($15 a day) there as well as tubing, waterskiing, banana boating, parasailing, etc.

The pool was really big with alot of different depths which is nice if you have a family. They also have a baby pool and a jacuzzi (which we didn't use). The pool was a little bit cloudy but nice and warm. There are waterfalls going into the pool and lots of different "coves" to the pool which makes it interesting to explore. Lots of seats around the pool and umbrellas for shade.

The pool bar is a joke. First of all I'm sorry to say that the drinks weren't very good. And the bartenders, Wilma, Leo and Legino were not very friendly at all. They weren't rude, but they weren't really interested in talking with us either. Happy Hour is at the Waves bar which is in front of the Marriott Resort. We didn't go to that bar, only the bar in front of the Ocean Club.

Only on our final day did we see a waiter on the beach taking orders for drinks and/or lunch. We did order lunch on the beach that day and it was very good (if not expensive). It was nice to be able to just sit under our tiki hut and eat lunch. I wish the waiter had been there everyday. It seemed that there was only one man for the entire beach area and the pool area.

Next door to the Ocean Club is a restaurant called Hadicurari. We went there for lunch one day. There is NO ambiance and I guess it's clean??? But, my husband got a $5.00 cheesburger with fries and I got chicken sate (shishkobab) for $7.00 with fries that was VERY GOOD. The price was definiately cheaper than at the Ocean Club pavilion.

We sat under our tiki hut and read books, talked, slept, watched the ocean and enjoyed the water. It was sooooooooo relaxing. That was one of the two best things about Aruba.

The second best thing was the food. Every restaurant that we went to was EXCELLENT. The first night we went to Madame Janettes. The food was GREAT and I was amazed at the price. It was very, very reasonable. (I think it was under $70 for my husband and I with appetizer, drink, main course and dessert). We were really surprised. The ambiance is really nice, we enjoyed sitting outside and listening to the singer. Our waiter was very kind and friendly, but not too much. I liked the menus made out of wood. It reminded me of Gilligan's Island.

The next night we went to Amazonia (formerly Texas de Brazil) wow, talk about food. The salad bar was AWESOME and was a meal in itself. The cheese bread was YUMMY (I loved that) and then the meat........ More, and more and more and more meats. The carvers were so friendly and funny and our waitress Cathy was a sweetheart. We sat inside that night and the restaurant is very interesting to look at. Outside our window were two big torches that were very pretty and there is a porch that other guests were sitting on. We didn't have dessert, because we were just too full. Excellent food and great restaurant. I think that was about $80.

The next day we rented a car and went to baby beach. Very nice water and we enjoyed the snorkeling there alot. We saw some unique things and some huge angel fish as well as trumpet fish, needle fish, a sea worm, and the usual other fish. Th coral there is very interesting too. The refinery to your right isn't very pleasant to look at but.......

Then we went to find the natural pool. Well two hours later we found it only to find out that it's a 45 minute walk or 20 min jeep ride to the pool from where we were. We didn't have a jeep and the man was going to charge $10/person to take us there. But, we didn't have the time because we wanted to get some more snorkeling in so we didn't go. Next time we will make a day of it and go there!

We explored the island on dirt roads, cliffs, sandy roads, the lighthouse and other places. Then we went to Malmok and did some more snorkeling. Also, good snorkeling there.

That evening we went to Flying Fishbone to eat. That is about 30 minutes from the Ocean Club. This restaurant is right on the water. The tables are set in the sand and you take your shoes off and enjoy a very romantic evening. The food was really excellent, but a little more expensive than the other two places, but totally worth it for the food and the ambiance. We thoroughly enjoyed it.

We're from outside of New York City so we've been to alot of good restaurants and I must say that Aruba impressed us with it's food. We enjoyed all the restaurants we tried.

But, the Ocean Club's room service stinks. One day we ordered breakfast and it came cold. We ordered a large fruit ($9.00) and it was one slice of cataloupe, one slice of pineapple, two slices of orange and 1/2 slice of watermelon. I called and complained and they took the entire order off of our bill. (I appreciated that). The last night we had pasta, chicken quesadillas and cheesecake which was just average, but as room service is, very expensive. You're better off to go out to dinner.

The other restaurant we wanted to go to, but didn't get to was Ruisas Del Mar or something like that at the Hyatt it looked very romantic and I heard the food was good, but next time!

Well that's the whole story. We enjoyed ourselves and would probably go back again, maybe with the kids next time!