We stayed at the Renaissance Aruba Resort and Casino for 4 nights in April for Melissa’s 30th birthday. If you have not already read about how we paid for the Aruba trip, see this link here for that post. This post today is a review of the Renaissance Aruba Resort and Casino and our overall trip report about the hotel.
The Renaissance Aruba Resort and Casino has two parts to it- The Marina Resort, and the Ocean Suites Resort. We stayed at the Marina Resort, which is the only one available to book using points. The Marina Resort is adults only, while the Ocean Suites is a family friendly resort.
Our flight arrived at 1pm and we went straight to the hotel. We had called in advance to ask for an early check in and they told us that if a room was available, they would accommodate us. Unfortunately, the room was not available so we waited by the pool until the room was available. Check in at this hotel is from 4pm onwards. Our elite status (which we have through the AMEX Luxury Marriott credit card) was not recognized by the hotel- ever since Marriott and SPG merged, we have heard a lot about how elite members are not being recognized.
The Marina resort had a lot of airline crew checking in each day- we saw crews from United, JetBlue and TUI check in daily. It seemed to be more of a business hotel than a resort hotel. The hotel is above a shopping mall; it is a constant busy vibe throughout the shops and the hotel lobby.
We booked a standard room with a “partial view” in the Marina Resort. When booking this, we thought that the view would be a partial view of the Marina- fine- we have stayed at resorts with this kind of partial view. We figure since we will be at the beach all day, we don’t really need a full view of the beach or the marina from our room. Sadly, the view that we had was neither a beach or a marina. The view was of the interior of the hotel, including lobby and other rooms. See this picture in the summary section of the “view” from our room. This hotel should definitely clarify the views from the rooms to be standard with what other hotels list.
The room was basic; no particular amenities were provided, and the fridge was not cold. There was a nice sitting area in the room which is always a nice bonus to have somewhere other than your bed to sit down, read and unwind.
There is a reason that we posted to our instagram story the massive celebration people gave when happy hour began. Overall, Aruba is a pricy destination. The hotel was no different. Cocktails were about $10-$15 each, beers were $8. Surprisingly, we did not think the prices for room service were too bad compared to some other hotels that we have stayed in, however, we preferred to eat breakfast at restaurants off the hotel property.
Beach Access and Beach Area
The Marina resort has no direct beach access. A boat can be taken from the Marina resort to the Flamingo Island- this boat runs every 15 minutes, and while a bit of a pain, is well worth it to see the Flamingoes and enjoy a private beach. This beach is only for hotel guests- they do sell a limited number of day passes to the beach for non-hotel guests though. The entrance to the water was rocky, and chairs were very close together, so we only visited once! But the flamingoes were very fun to see!
Aruba is WINDY. Pro: you rarely feel hot, despite the 80+F temperatures. Con: Sand. Everywhere. We went to 4 other beaches on the island and were getting sand blown directly in our faces, but found that the beach at the Ocean Suites hotel was quiet and protected— pleasant in comparison. There is not technically a “beach,” however, it’s more of a man-made lagoon overlooking the ocean waves coming into rocks. Regardless, you can get a spot under a palapa and have food and drinks delivered throughout the day. The employees at the Ocean Suites hotel were vastly more customer service-oriented than at the Marina hotel.
Free self-parking was plentiful for hotel guests; there is a lot a few minutes walk from the Marina hotel, and across the street at Ocean Suites. Both are available for hotel guests. A golf cart was available to take you from one hotel to the other, but it only took about 6-7 minutes to walk.
The hotel is located on the main road in Aruba, so it’s very easy to get anywhere. Unfortunately the tourist area where the hotel is located is where all the traffic occurs- rush hour was no joke. Plan your driving accordingly!
We came to the room to be greeted by a delicious cake celebrating Melissa’s birthday, which was a lovely touch. Several grocery stores were within a close to reasonable drive of the hotel. We did not eat much food at the hotel, preferring to go to restaurants close by. The room service prices were, surprisingly, quite decent.
The pizza served on the Ocean Suites beach was excellent- in fact, the service on the beach was excellent. The staff was very attentive and came around multiple times to check on us and see if we needed anything else.
Overall, this hotel was unimpressive.
The partial view language on their website is something that the hotel really needs to address- other hotels often will say “Partial Ocean View” or “Partial Lagoon View” or “Partial City view”.
Our elite status was not recognized, and we could not find management at any point during our stay.
The Marina resort was not relaxing- it felt very much like a business hotel and hard to unwind.
We would not recommend this hotel- however, if you do find yourself looking at this hotel because of the the location or because you want access to Flamingo island, stay at the Ocean Suites.