In Review: Tropical Resorts

Lauren Treiber, Reporter

I am a resort critic. I love to travel to different resorts all around the country and give information on my experiences. My favorite travel spots are island resorts.

My family spring break was coming up fast, and I was in a quandary between the Marriott in the Grand Cayman or Aruba. We went with the Aruba Marriott Resort and Stellaris Casino. The destination appealed to me because of all the fun activities that they have to offer, the great restaurants within the hotel and the “kind staff” they claim they have on their website.

I had always wanted to travel to Aruba, and that was my chance. My colleagues strongly suggested this destination, and I have never talked to anyone who went to Aruba that said that they didn’t like it.  I thought to myself, “I wonder it is going to be as great as they make it seem.”

When I arrived, it was almost what I had pictured; however, it was better. An alluring island with sun rays illuminating my skin and beautiful plants and flowers everywhere. The resort had bright blue ocean water with a white sand beach, a gorgeous lobby, beautiful decor, and an outstanding pool. When we arrived, the staff greeted us kindly and offered the most delicious homemade fruit juice– great after a day traveling. They had lists of the activities provided every day that were posted in the lobby and my hotel room. Inside, the resort they had restaurants and coffee shops that included Starbucks, Ruth Chris Steakhouse, H2O Oasis Pool Bar, The Lobby, Waves Beach Bar and Grill, Atardi and La Vista. The resort had an additional spa, two outdoor pools, a casino, and a gym.

The Aruba Marriott and Stellaris Casino is located directly on the northwestern beach of Aruba and opened in 2008. It is four miles from town and about seven and a half miles from Aruba’s airport.

The staff at the Aruba Marriott resort were some of the kindest people I have ever meet. One of the staff members gave me a birthday surprise on the beach and brought me floating lanterns to light so I could watch my wish to travel across the ocean. They also surprised me in the hotel room with a beautiful dessert and champagne after a great dinner at one of the resort’s restaurants. Their service was outstanding, and they always answered any questions that my family and I had about the island or the resort. They were always in a great mood with smiles on their faces and made my trip just that much better. A resort with a great staff, like this one, is one that I would strongly recommend.

When I was in Aruba, the island itself had lots to offer outside the resort. There is beautiful snorkeling and scuba diving spots everywhere. They offer submarine tours, deep sea fishing, wind and kite surfing, great restaurants around town and on the beaches. Their village, Oranjestad, was great for shopping, eating, and getting a feel of the Aruban culture. Additionally, they had great beaches all around the island so you could spend days traveling to all the different ones! In Aruba, you have the choice of completely relaxing or doing almost any fun activity you can think of!

My two favorite activities that I did in Aruba were swimming in the natural pools and horseback riding on the beach. If you choose to go to the natural pools, I would strongly suggest renting a jeep from the hotel (however it is some very rough driving). Getting to the pools is an adventure on its own, but it is very worth it for the pure beauty of seeing the island and what it can create. Riding horses on the beach were also one of my favorite parts because of all the places we could go that you couldn’t get to without a car or walking. It was, and the horses were very well taken care of.

The only regret I had about this vacation is not staying longer. For all the other resorts that I have been to, I am going to want the greatness and experience of the Aruba Marriott Resort. The Aruba Marriott and Stellaris Casino is one of the most a beautiful Marriott Resorts I have traveled to. They always have a fun activity to do however you can spend the whole time relaxing if you choose. The service is outstanding, and I would strongly suggest traveling to this exceptional resort.