Nestled along the white sand of Palm Beach is the spectacular Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino in Aruba. Max and I had the pleasure of staying at this stunning Marriott resort a few weeks ago and we are already dreaming of the day we get to return to this gem. With so many resorts along this stretch of beach, find out why we loved the Marriott Resort.
Location & How to Get There – 5
Palm Beach is a quick, 20-minute drive from Aruba International Airport, the adorable little airport on the island. The taxi fare is just under $30. Over 90% of Aruba’s tourism comes from the United States, so it’s incredibly easy to fly into the airport here from the US.
Palm Beach is one of the most incredible beaches on Aruba. A single stretch of pure, white sand and expansive teal waters make it an incredibly picturesque view to wake up to in the morning. West-facing, the sunsets are to die for. The Marriott Resort is located next to its sister properties: The Ritz-Carlton, Marriott Surf Club and Marriott Ocean Club as well as the vacation property. It’s easy to access the amenities and restaurants at any of the properties via the beachfront boardwalk that passes through each hotel.
Lobby & Check in – 4
We flew into Aruba from the neighboring island of Curacao at 9:30am and within 45-minutes were being welcomed by the friendly bellmen at the doors of the property. We had zero expectation that we would be able to check in, given how early we arrived. When we checked in with the front desk agent, we were pleasantly surprised when he passed us our keys and sent us on our way! Check in isn’t until later in the afternoon, so this was a real treat.
The lobby is quite large and we ended up getting a bit lost on our way to the elevator, but we eventually found our way to the glass-enclosed elevators. We had a nice view of the property as we ascended to the 5th floor. The hallways are bright, tropical and the rooms all face diagonally outwards to maximize the view. From our point of view, no room appears to have a “bad” view due to the angling of the rooms/balconies.
Rooms – 4
Room 569 is a stunning Junior Suite at the end of the hallway. Upon opening the door to our suite, we realized it was anything but “Junior”. With expansive oceanfront views the second you walk in, the 625 square foot open-floor-plan space welcomes you with its neutral, beach-inspired tones.
There is a walk-in closet and large bathroom to your left as you enter the room. The bathroom is adorned with two vanities (perfect for my aversion to sharing a sink with my bearded husband 😉 ). There is a large rain shower and ample toiletries.
A small fridge and coffee station are located next to the bathroom and includes a standard coffee maker and tea amenities. While it’s no Nespresso, it did the trick for our morning coffee fix in bed.
The room itself is beautiful and opens up to the stunning oceanfront. The blue accent wall behind the bed ties it all together. Comfortable sheets on the cozy king bed are a dream to wake up in, and the bed is facing the spectacular view. We didn’t close the blinds a single night because we just wanted to wake up to that view for the rest of our lives.
The wraparound balcony has two chaise lounges and a dining set that we thoroughly enjoyed. The best time to be out there was right at sunset, when the sky lights up in pinks and purples. Junior Suites are all corner rooms and have the absolute perfect view.
If you are a light sleeper, we do recommend a white-noise app on your phone or earplugs as we did hear our neighbors a few times through the walls.
Facilities – 5
The Aruba Marriott has everything you need for a perfect vacation, in terms of the facilities. The property not only has their own facilities, but it also sits between the Ritz-Carlton and several other Marriott hotels with their own restaurants that you can access via a boardwalk on the beach.
The beachfront is expansive, with ample loungers and full beach service. There are a number of palapas available, but we didn’t know you had to reserve them until our last day on property.
There is a main pool available to all guests, as well as a private (and stunning) adults-only pool tucked away near the fitness center. We spent a lot of time at the adults pool due to the great service, delicious piña coladas and more “chill” nature of it being adults-only.
Access to activities is truly unlike anything I’ve ever seen. We officially believe that Aruba is our perfect vacation destination because there is so much to do! From booking activities at the concierge, to the little shops along the beach, there is not shortage of adventure, relaxation or options when it comes to activities.
We had the opportunity to do the UTV adventure tour, booked through the Concierge at Marriott Aruba with De Palm Tours. This was one of my favorite adventure days we’ve had in a long time. We were picked up at 7:30am in the lobby and taken 15-minutes down the road to the tour company. We were supplied with 2-seater (3-seaters available for groups) UTVs and off we went to explore the far corners of Aruba’s beautiful terrain. It felt like we were on the movie set of Mad Max, with epic terrain, rocky cliffs and speedy UTVs off-roading and having a blast. We visited some of Aruba’s top sites and beaches, including the Natural Pools. While the natural pools were closed due to rough seas, it was a beautiful site to see.
We were back by 2pm that day, exhausted and exhilarated at the same time. This was the ideal adventure because we had the rest of the afternoon to explore.
Next to the hotel is Vela Sports, located on the beach, and they offer kiteboarding and water sports as well. We did kiteboarding through them and had an incredible experience. When I tell you we never stopped having fun this trip, it’s the god-honest truth. We could not have shoved another activity into our agenda, but we just couldn’t stop! It was too perfect.
For those looking for relaxation, there is a spa located at the neighboring Marriott property and they offered reasonable prices and a great escape for the afternoon. We did not try it out this time, but we heard from others that their services were great. You can always relax on the beach or on the expansive Junior Suite balconies if activities aren’t for you.
Dining – 5
Dining at the Marriott Aruba is excellent in terms of how many options you have available on property. They range from casual all the way to fine dining on the waters edge. There is a large Starbucks in the lobby if you’re looking for a quick snack or coffee, a gelato shop next to the concierge for the afternoon pick-me-up and a gift shop with chips and other snacks.
In terms of restaurants, there are 5 additional options to choose from. We tried Atardi’s, La Vista and the adults only poolside service. We enjoyed every one of our meals and loved the options available for all types of eaters. We traveled with a vegetarian friend who found a number of options.
Our favorite meal was at Atardi’s the seafood restaurant on the sand. Incredible dishes were prepared by the chef, Kelvyn Garcias. Every dish was exceptional and the service was even better. A meal there is an absolute must!
On our last morning, we ordered room service for breakfast and absolutely loved it. There is nothing better than enjoying a delicious meal on your private balcony.
Service – 4
Overall, we found the service to be incredibly helpful, efficient and served with a smile. Staff members genuinely cared for the guests and when we experienced a minor reservation mixup, they went above and beyond to resolve the problem immediately.
Note that beach palapas are on a reservation system and we weren’t alerted at check-in, so be sure to find out from the front desk how to book those for your trip if you’re looking for some shade on the beach.
Style – 4
While we knew the Aruba Marriott would be beautiful, we didn’t quite expect how stunning and “on-theme” the property would be. We were blown away by the modern, hip and very chic furnishings. Everything on property felt brand new and fresh. A big marker of great hotel style, at least in our book, is being able to close the blinds and still feel like you are in the location that you are. We aren’t huge fans of hotels that could be anywhere: Boston, NYC or Aruba. The Marriott Aruba did an excellent job with the room colors, furnishings and decor and really made you feel as though you are truly in Aruba.
We were also hugely impressed with the Marriott Aruba’s focus on reducing plastic and waste. No straws were provided with drinks and beverages were served in machine-washable cups instead of plastic recyclable ones. We loved this initiative and appreciate the impact they will have on all guests who stay with them.
Overall – 4.4
Overall, we had an absolute blast at the Marriott Aruba Stellaris. The endless beachfront, activities and wonderful hotel experience have me begging for a return trip. If you’re looking for the perfect location and an updated, modern hotel, look no further than the Marriott Aruba.
Disclaimer: We were hosted by Marriott on a media stay. Please know the opinions expressed are all our own and may not reflect the hotel’s own views.