Located in the heart of the vibrant capital of Oranjestad, with stunning Caribbean views and cosmopolitan design and décor, the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino features 556 rooms and suites in two distinct settings — the resort style Renaissance Ocean Suites and the sophisticated, adult-exclusive Rennaissance Marina Hotel. Both hotels enjoy complimentary boat transfer to the exclusive Rensaissance island.
The Beauty ...and the beastly.. Marriott Loyalist Be Warned :-)
Jul 23, 2021
We just spent 8 nights /9days here in JUL. My husband is an Ambassador with Marriott & planned this trip for our daughter's college graduation as a gift to her. Aruba seemed safe and it is.. VERY SAFE. You will go through the ringer to get to the island of Aruba and it's worth it. The resort doesn't necessarily follow the Marriott guideline of mask mandate and enforcing it. The waiters in the restaurants wear them. I was okay with guests not wearing masks, as I knew that it took a negative Covid test to get here. This resort has two tests; sign up when you check in. WE got zero information from our not friendly check in lady at check in, but you should get your appointment ASAP for the antigen , $50 each or PCR $125 to be done 48 hours prior to your departure to the US. it is held in the Renaissance Convention Center, which is across from the Ocean Suites part of the resort. There are pluses & minuses to this resort. I'll begin with the pluses. We had a OceanView Ocean Suite in the Ocean Suites bldg. ( there are two buildings- one is on the marina side-adults only - faces the marina from across a busy street- has a 'W' esq vibe.The Ocean Suites is smaller / suites / children are allowed here, BUT to us was better with the ocean being steps - beach access- etc)
Pros: The suite we had was okay ( not fabulous- not worth the $480 + rate charged for the end of our stay ) / small for a suite / no bath tub in our suite. There is Aveda products in your room. We love that about Renaissance. The suite did have a
Pretty view to the ocean and it was fun to watch the several iguanas in the morning eating vegetation. THERE are a lot! They are harmless, but don't mess with them. The restaurants here are great: Fresco had great Italian fare with seafood and the best waiters we had on the island - Vladimir took such great care of my allergies every night! From night one, he had my many allergies down by memory. He would speak to the chef and have what I ordered made to my liking. I was greeted on night one with a allergy card to give to all of the Renaissance waiters so that there would be no issues.Fresco is where the comp'd Continental Breakfast for Marriott Elites is ( should you take this over the 1000 points ) in the morning. They also serve an ala carte breakfast. We had to request the menu for that. Sole is the pool bar , but has lighter fare at night and serves on the beach too. Another great option if you don't want heavy food or just a burger type meal. I had a great fresh fish sandwich here! LG Steakhouse is in the Marina part of the Renaissance and is voted one of the top 25 places to eat on the island. Make a reservation. The rooftop pool & bar at the Marina hotel is also really cool. We had no issues finding space here in the day. The palapas on the Ocean Suites beach were a fun day .. wifi here is sketchy . Service was great by the staff & there are fun events which you can find by the Navigators in the Ocean Suites lobby. There is a Beach BBQ one night; A Dine Under the Stars night; There is Happy Hour at Sole with a DJ most days; and Fresco has an Italian Night one night. If you want to travel between the hotels ( Marina & Ocean Suites) you can grab a shuttle at the door every 10-15 minutes or make the 5 min walk. Renaissance Marketplace is a great place for other dining options across from the Ocean Suites , we ate here often! We loved all the options : The Dutch Pancake Place ; Cafe Tua ( live music most nights in front ) ; Cuba Cookin' ( also live music ) ; 5 o'Clock Somewhere , ( more music ) ; there is a BBQ place & sushi place too. More pros : the water taxi is a fun way- the only way to get to the private island where the flamingos live. The flamingos are fun; the roam around the private island on one side more than the Iguana Side more. The Flamingo Side is for adults only but is open for children to see the flamingos early in the am for an hour. The Iguana Side of the island is for families. You will need your key card to get on the water taxi. Each. Person. IN. YOUR. ROOM. The island has two great places to eat too. Papagayo Beach & Mangrove Fish Shack. Papagayo closes at 6pm & the Fish Shack is SUPPOSED to close for food at 330pm & drinks served til 6pm. The cabanas are pretty. Book early! The Spa Cove is private-you can only be in this cabana if you book a massage. We booked spa treatments as soon we booked our room. Our Sunset package came with 2 massages / a bottle of meh sparkling wine / a fruit platter and use of cabana from 4-630pm. $425 --Cons: We coordinated for weeks with the Ambassador team leading up to this stay ,which was a celebration. My husband used points for 5 nights & suite night upgrades & then went on cash for 3 more nights. His Ambassador reached out about our daughter's celebration; an early check in (an Elite perk) , ( we would be flying upwards of 16 hours including an overnight flight ) ; a suite upgrade to a larger suite & amenity for her achievement, (another Elite perk).Natalie, at the hotel would not coordinate with the AMB -she started reaching out to us. She seemed to 'forget' to watch for cabanas on the private side of the island for one day or at all- something she offered. I found one myself! Natalie dropped the ball on several things, like stating she would have our daughter's name written in the sand in our cabana with 'Bon Bini'. Didn't happen. We didn't complain, but it was just another thing. The cake she sent was ridiculously small; frozen in the middle & was a $30 charge! I just had to laugh as I thought how in the past Marriott had done nice things for achievements & this time, when she had reached out several times asking us for requests etc. She charges us for a cake that was disgusting instead of just celebrating one of Marriott's Ambassadors! Our arrival day was a disaster. Valerie at the front desk was THE rudest check in person we have encountered ever. My husband was delayed flying in; I suppose that's why she pulled me & my daughter away from the Elite desk to the other line-at 1230 -told me we 'would wait til the 4pm check in'. The previous impression from the Ambassador & Natalie ( who asked out flight arrival two days before) that a early check was inevitable- so we had given all our bags to the valet & now they were stored. I brought this up; she just chuckled as she told me the hotel was , 'FULL of platinums & ambassador's!' She told us to go have lunch & 'she would see what she could do'. She did nothing. We came back after lunch two hours later , now into the 3pm hour & she said 'go to private island you have those bands ' (pointing to bands on arms ) We didn't know where the island was at this point or ? She had given us NOTHING. Then she laughed bc she said we had no key cards.I felt like this lady hated Marriott Elites. We sat in the lobby of the Ocean Suites sweltering (it's half open air) with no fresh clothes; no offer of drinks; water while Valerie mocked us. We got to our room ten minutes after the usual 4pm check in.She gave us no map; other guests had gotten QR codes with COVID testing instructions, ( we didn't ); We didn't know where to go for the water taxi? There was no real welcome as she practically tossed the keys at us. I called later to figure out the COVID testing was & practically in tears, Janice, was compassionate to me, because had she not been, we were going to check out & relinquish the SNA'S & go to the Marriott Stelaris or Ritz Carlton. Valerie, was rude every day we encountered her. I found myself avoiding asking the desk anything if we saw her. She also didn't link our two reservations together so that was an issue on day 5 when the points stay ended to the cash stay - she didn't take my husband's corporate card off despite that I gave my cc at check in - even swiping it. More cons: the balcony in the suites is small. A balcony for a suite this price should be nicer & larger. Breakfast at Fresco despite that it was gratis for two-was never on point. We had issues with charges on our bill that we didn't charge at breakfast & just getting service; they assume you want the buffet& barely come to your table at breakfast. Note : Watch ALL of your bills. Marriott Elites get 10% off food & bev. You have to show your key card each time you do a room charge; this is ridiculous. You also get this discount off of room service. Be sure it's on the bill. The hotel knows full good & well who is entitled to the discount. It should be given when the charge is done. We liked the cabana well enough on the private island. But the common answer to everything we requested of our server was a , N.O. Our server was , "Dito" in our cabana. First off, we spent almost 20 minutes trying to find someone to let us in to our cabana. Check in for whatever cabana you have is at the Mangrove Fish Shack. Natalie could have relayed this to us. BTW, we never heard from her once after we arrived on property. OTHER than to say she was going to scribe Alexa's name in sand & I've addressed that. There is an Igloo cooler in the cabana already set up; 4 beach towels; two floats; the cooler had 2 Voss still waters ; 2 Voss Sparkling & a bottle of Prosecco and a Fruit Platter with NUTS! MY NUMBER ONE ALLERGEN. You get a server. So Dito showed up and we asked for the missing snorkel masks. He said he thought they were out of the masks. Okay. We didn't believe him. We asked if we could pay the difference between the Prosecco to Moet Imperial. No. Could we have the nuts removed bc of my allergies & replaced with something else? No. Could we replace the 2 Voss Sparkling with 2 still waters? No. This cabana is $370, mind you. So I ordered the Moet Imperial anyway. He brought Moet Ice,, which I didn't order & I also don't like. He argued with me about how I did order it. He grumped away, brought the correct one back- placed it in melted ice & didn't even open it! We barely saw this guy all day. We liked the cabana, but again, for the cost, I'm not sure we would do this again, as we have done cabana's with much better service in other resorts. We found this disappointing. All and ALL, I wished that we had have gone with our gut and checked out after the points part of this stay had ended and gone to the Palm Beach part of the island. The rate doesn't equal the level of room here or the service. I don't like the fact that the world is just opening & Marriott is seemingly charging a high price point & making it okay to provide snippy service to it's loyalist and their families. At the end of our stay I just knew there would be an issue with the bill. I decided to grab the bill the night before check out. There was Valerie. I immediately noticed the 2 waters that are given to it's Elites each day & instead of apologizing & taking it off, she once again argued with me & said the printer was broken & it would be off the bill the next day at check out. I asked her to take it off right then. How was the printer just working & 2 min. later not? She walked away, returned and tossed the bill my way. Saying nothing. That is absolutely HORRIBLE service. Especially after a pandemic and listening to most of the gracious people we met here and on other parts of this island speak of how badly the pandemic affected them. Marriott would seem that having kind, gracious employees who want to be their best to their best would be what they are striving for to keep those loyalists! This resort can do better. BUT the ones we loved here are : Janice; Meredith; Vladimir ; Mritza (our housekeeper) and our Spa Cove waiter from Colombia with the pony tail.. WE forgot his name but he was our favorite waiter! PS.. We never did figure out those wristbands we HAD to wear the entire stay, (we were told by Valerie they get us on the water taxi , that was a lie. Then by one staff member that it shows we are Covid free ; umm isn't everyone at the resort?) and Valerie who told us the hotel was sold out so our upgrade wasn't happening .. either fibbed or ? As day passes were sold to off property people for the island when we asked what certain bands were about & then I asked about the day passes and occupancy and the girl checking at the water taxi said, 'we won't sell the day passes when the hotel reaches the certain occupancy'. A great trip for our daughter 's graduation, but the Renaissance team could have made it better. THE waiters did her a solid! There are many things that could pop this resort into a plus zone.. FOR one, stop the power trip and let people check in early. Have a hospitality suite for your Elites. Be absolutely welcoming.
Gracias Marianys V.
Jul 23, 2021
Thank you so much for keeping our room clean during my stay. We had a wonderful time and was able to relax at night, knowing that everything would be clean and orderly. Relajarse conn los niños implica tener todo limpio..:)