Aruba’s Marriott Surf Club has a lazy river. Need I say more? To be honest, I can’t actually say too much more, since the hubby and I sort of, well, snuck in to the lazy river on our recent trip to Aruba. Totally worth the risk of getting caught! The pool that’s connected to the lazy river is awesome as well. It has a gorgeous waterfall and a slide, but we didn’t want to draw too much attention to ourselves. As difficult as it is to “tuck away” a property as large as this Marriott, the amazing thing about it is that, when you’re walking around the hotel, it’s easy to forget that busy Palm Beach is just steps away. The grounds felt secluded, protected and private when I walked around, despite all of the hotel guests. It was lovely.
That being said, you are in Aruba, and you’ll want to get off the property at some point. This Marriott is located on Palm Beach, and there’s a lot going on right around there. The hotel’s very close to the dock that the Jolly Pirates snorkel tour starts at, and you’ll have a wide selection of water sports to choose from, too. You can play sand tennis on the property, which looked like lots of fun! There’s always a party of some sort on Palm Beach, and the people watching is the best on the island. Restrooms and food are always within easy reach, too, which is a nice alternative to the island’s other beaches that lack basic amenities.
Not to harp about the lazy river pool…but it’s pretty neat. Keep your eyes peeled for Ralph the Really Big Iguana (that’s what we named him). He sits on the rocks above the lazy river, just watching everyone float by. And if you make your way up to the hot tub, he’ll watch you soak from the tree tops. Bet you haven’t seen that at any other Marriott you’ve stayed in!
Like I said, we didn’t have a chance to check out the rooms, but the lobby area and the grounds were immaculate. The Marriott Surf Club is likely not the place you want to stay at if you’re on a tight budget — but if you aren’t, I’d say it’s a really solid choice. Very family friendly and not at all stuffy — all the staff we interacted with were friendly and helpful. I almost felt bad that we snuck in! Almost.
Photos: Jenny Bengen-Albert
IF YOU GO: Probably best not to sneak in like we did. Next time, we’re going to try to stay at The Marriott. It’s not cheap, but the amenities are amazing. Take full advantage of them!