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“Hot hotel in a mall”

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Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Oranjestad
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 12 November 2012

Overall, I'd give the Renaissance (Adult-only Side) a B or B-. It's situated in Oranjestad town, which I preferred to the tourist trip around Palm/Eagle Beach, as I could make use of the better restaurants in Oranjestad.
The problems:
-It's situated over a mall. It's open-air looking over the mall, so the lobby areas (bar/lounge, check-in, elevators, etc) are all non-air-conditioned and therefore HOT.
-It's crowded! I liked that there was an adults-only side, but check-in lines were always long, the wait for the elevator could be long, and there were browsing crowds from the mall downstairs. The bar area could be crowded/loud at times.
-The room was not up to Marriott standards. It was pretty small, and it had no external view - it looked onto the hotel/mall/other rooms. Opening the window/door was useless, therefore, as it just brought in hot air and tons of noise from the Starbucks below.
-No surf/waves at either their own stretch of beach or at the private islands.

The good:
-The private island is pretty, with TONS of chaise lounges. The swimming is on very placid, pool-like man-made bays - so perfect for kids. There's food, drinks, and a beach store on the private island, which is super convenient
-The staff was all really nice. One of the bartenders was incredibly helpful and hospitable; the concierge was awesome and helped me with all of my interests.
-If you're looking for a fun bar/restaurant scene and don't want to travel around Oranjestad a lot, the Renaissance (adult side) is pretty happening, especially on the weekend. Crowd was cosmopolitan, diverse, 20s-30s.
-The spa was absolutely lovely. It had great facilities and I had a wonderful massage.

So depending on what you want, this might be a good option, but it's a little on the expensive side for the crowds and the heat.

Room Tip: Don't get stuck with a room facing the internal courtyard - no fresh air and the mall noise will...
  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled solo
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1  Thank fellowtraveler27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,727 - 2,731 of 4,759 reviews

Reviewed 10 November 2012

This hotel has excellent service and offers more options than most all inclusives. The rooms are average and the bathrooms need updating but who spends much time in their room when there is a private island with a shuttle boat that comes into the hotel lobby.The food is top notch with lots of seafood included in the all inclusive as well as the steak house.

My only issue is there are limited options if you are vegetarian. The soup and tomatoe sauces are beef stock based. I had to eat out a couple of nights but there are lots of salad and fruit. Overall a great location, clean with great service

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Bobolas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 November 2012

The resort is OK; not very big and with very little activities. The beaches on the island are great and the restaurant on the island comes in very handy. I suggest all inclusive option since the food is so great and is the only option on the island. Overall good vacation but more internment and activities would be nice.

Room Tip: Ocean View suits have two rooms for comfortable quit sleep and nice ocean views
  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Andrey B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 November 2012

Check-in and check-out at the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino (the suites) can be very time-consuming. Three busses with (apparently time-share) guests arrived just prior to our arrival, causing a delay of approx 45 minutes at check-in. No elite check-in at this hotel, nor elite check-out. On top of that a suite was assigned which was already occupied, forcing another trip to the front desk. Be prepared and be on time!

During our stay we experienced water leakage from the ceiling of our bathroom, including water dripping from the overhead lights. Being afraid this might cause a short circuit (I once experienced a hotel fire and it was not a very nice experience), I asked maintenance to fix the problem. It took two phone calls and one personal visit to the front desk before an engineer arrived (after approx 1 hour). The water drain of the airco unit was clogged, and a vacuum cleaner solved the problem. According to the engineer this was a common problem throughout the hotel. However, water leaked onto a ceiling tile where a terminal block of the lighting was located, potentially causing a short circuit (photo’s available). The engineer explained that this was no problem since the automatic fuse would cut out. This approach did cause some furrowed eyebrows on my part, especially since he insisted on switching off the power of the lighting before tile removal. If someone unfamiliar with the problem would have decided to remove the tile one can only hope the automatic fuse would indeed cut out.

The hotel advertises the normal suite sleeps 4 people. The couch that folds into a sleeper bed is not suitable for normal size adults (springs completely worn out, resting on the framework). My 11-year old daughter was able to sleep in it, but I would not have been able to get a good night’s rest in this ‘bed’.

Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino front desk staff attitude varied. Whilst the majority of staff is still very friendly and helpful, unfortunately an unusual number of staff appeared disinterested (chewing gum, consistently providing inaccurate information, disinterested, etc.).

Housekeeping is very good: friendly, efficient, and clean. Rollaway beds were brought and made promptly.

The island is still magnificent: gorgeous beaches, very well organized, including the transport to and from the hotel. Very nice staff (maybe a bit ‘hungry for tips’, while a 15% service charge is already included in the bill). The only possible comment one might have is that the beds are slightly sagged, but that’s about it. All in all: Very good.

Breakfast was enjoyed at the Renaissance Marina Hotel across the street. An absolute delight: good food, friendly staff, and an absolute joy to start your day. In one word: excellent!

During the last day of our visit the warm water system was malfunctioning throughout the entire hotel. Despite frequent promises of the problem being fixed ‘very soon’, there was no warm water the entire day until our checkout (finally at about half past two). We therefore had to use a cold shower before commencing our long return flight.

I asked for a late checkout as advertised and regularly provided by Marriott (for elite members). I was informed that this was not possible due to hotel bookings (the hotel was full and room was planned for another guest). It was possible however to book a half-day room use in a different room ($138). Having no alternative (children) I reluctantly accepted the offer. IMHO offering a half-day room use for a regular late checkout is not up to the Marriott standards of implementing an advertised late checkout policy. No warm water in this room as well .. a very expensive 2.5 hours.

I do not know whether the problems mentioned are time-share related, but the combination of technical issues, check-in/check-out problems, and front desk staff attitude forces tends me to advise against purchasing a time-share at the Renaissance Ocean Suites.
As a regular hotel guest, I would certainly advise against staying at the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino and would advise to stay at the Renaissance Aruba Marina just across the street instead. I stayed there numerous times for business and have never once had a negative experience.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank Robennoor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 November 2012

There was no water in the rooms for almost 24 hours one night! It was only fixed the following day when my wife finally reached the GM’s assistant. She was promised that it would be fixed and that the GM would meet her for coffee to discuss the water issue as well as the following problem.

The staff member that planed the wedding we attended for our friends was ridiculously indifferent perhaps even incompetent and was on the edge of being cruel! In the first few days leading up to the wedding she was unavailable. And, then at the wedding she delayed the wedding for no apparent reason, telling the Groom that the Bride was not there, when in fact she was. They were slow to set things up, and grumbled and shifted blame to the customers for their slowness. Her delay caused the Bride and Groom to have to finish their wedding photos on another day, which cost them more for having to rehire the photographer. Personally I witnessed the most audacious thing I have ever seen, or heard of, out of the wedding planner. When my wife complained that she was being served the wrong food at the reception, the wedding planner went and pulled the Groom away from his bride, brought him to our table and proceed to scold him like a child in front of his guest! Saying, that it was his fault that the order was messed up. To top the night off the wedding planner left the wedding an hour earlier than planned so that she could attend a costume party! Later, my wife wrote a review here on Trip advisor about the hotel and the wedding planner. The following morning the wedding planner went to the groom to ask, “Who my wife was” by name. And, then made the groom feel like he was being strong-armed to stop his guest from complaining anymore. We know this because he asked us to please stop writing complaints until all the things left over from the wedding were done and they no longer need the planner.

Also, the GM never met with my wife. Even after she wrote her complaint on trip advisor and asked the GM's assist for the promised meeting over coffee to discuss this strong-arm stunt the wedding planner pulled with the groom as well as other short comings. Over all there were some bright spots with hotel staff (mainly the bar staff), but Management really needs to take a long hard look at the GM and the wedding planer and staff in general. I would never recommend this hotel for a wedding; at best it is only good for the kind of vacation where one does not ask much of anything of the staff.

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Zachary W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino

Address: L G Smith Boulevard 82 | Aruba, Oranjestad, Aruba
Region: Caribbean > Aruba > Oranjestad
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Oranjestad
#1 Spa Hotel in Oranjestad
#1 Romantic Hotel in Oranjestad
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Oranjestad
Price Range: RM822 - RM2,067 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino 4*
Number of rooms: 558
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
At the newly renovated Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino, we Live Life to Discover. Here in the heart of Oranjestad, you will find yourself in the middle of the excitement, and our entire staff is ready to inspire you. You don't have to go far to experience the real Caribbean, it's right outside your door. Our luxury hotel in Aruba offers a perfect location steps from Oranjestad's vibrant modern downtown boutiques, giving you endless opportunities to indulge your inner shopaholic. Get the thrill of a hand of poker in one of our two casinos, enjoy one of our RLifeLIVE events and revel in the Aruban culture in a way you can only experience from the heart of the city. The resort offers two distinct experiences, the hip and lively adult-exclusive Renaissance Marina Hotel and the Renaissance Ocean Suites, a sophisticated one-bedroom suite accommodation. Both provide exclusive access to a special discovery, Renaissance Island, with Aruba's only private beaches and a truly tropical experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Renaissance Aruba Resort And Casino
Renaissance Aruba Hotel Oranjestad
Renaissance Hotel Aruba
Renaissance Oranjestad
Oranjestad Renaissance
Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino Oranjestad

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