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Got Aruba Surf Club...

potchak

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So we nixed the idea of going to Hawaii for 3 weeks :( , and have replaced it with 2 weeks in the Caribbean (hopefully 1 week for our anniversary in May, and then a 2nd week in Aruba) and 1 week at our home resort of manor club in Oct. We figure in 2010, we can use our Waiohai week to get to Hawaii, and either use hotel points or a timeshare exchange to get us in there for another week and stick to just 2 weeks, maybe for Easter week and the week after so my SIL can join us.

So we ended up getting a funky trade for Aruba Surf Club. They gave us an efficiency and a 1bd unit as long as we paid the $99 exchange fee, then another exchange fee of $154. We took it thinking we could combine them, but as it turns out, one is garden view, the other is oceanview. Not a big deal really, since we will put my brother and SIL in the eff and we will take the 1bd (even though it is the garden view). The only reason we took this option is so that we could book our FF tickets.

Since we were using FF miles to get our flights, we decided to add on a day before and 2 days after at the Surf Club with the lovely MOD discount code. The first night, we got an Oceanview in the hopes they can put us in the same room the whole time. For the other 2 nights we got Oceanside since that is all they had left.

I guess my questions are, how difficult is going to be to get the eff and 1bd close together since they are different view types? Also, we will need a rental car or can we get away with just cabs for the week? Any must do's for the week? Any Locations we should request?

We have never been to aruba, so I am really looking forward to it. Any hints or tips would be greatly appreciated.
 

mlfrancis

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Aruba info

congrats - you'll love the Surf Club. We also own at Waiohai and love them both (Waiohai has a slight edge, but it's just so far away from the East Coast!).

Garden View is the first 4 floors of every building, plus all of building "D". Ocean View is the upper floors of B and C. You could have your Marriott vacation advisor request that you at least be put in the same building, and request a lower floor for your oceanview unit - that way you'll hopefully be as close as a short elevator ride.

You don't really need a car; there are cabs waiting outside the resort and not too expensive. We always get a car, tho, as we like to have the flexibility of going to the grocery store (use Ling & Sons, it's the best) whenever we want to. There are also buses that stop in front on the main road and you can ride them for a dollar or so (don't know specifically, but they're cheap). There are also a lot of restaurants within walking distance, or a short cab ride.

When you try for Waiohai, use ownertrades.com - that's how we got a second Hawaii week for a swap with another Marriott owner for our ASC week. Start it now for 2010, tho, so people will start thinking about it.

If you want to send me a PM with your e-mail address, I'll send you the doc I created for my swap-mate with info on restaurants, etc. I can also send you the resort map with the buildings so you can figure out what you'd like to request ... we prefer Building B.
 

Mr. Vker

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We have booked our Surf Club week for June of next year. I just put a request into II for a second consecutive week using our Phuket week.

We just returned from Surf Club in mid August. We decided next year would be two weeks.

I am hoping a 2 br deposited for a 2 br will exchange as its still before school is out.
 

potchak

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Anyone else with room request suggestions? Restaurants? Things to do? Do we need a rental car?
 

susiequeve

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This year we did the Atlantis Sub excursion. The captain took us down approx 130 ft. Fantastic. Also we did the Helicopter Island Tour which was awesome. Happy Hour at the Bucuti Resort was fun, beautiful sunset with nice cushioned lounges chairs to relax on while sipping your favorite cocktail and listening to Lee Connors on the steel drums. We always rent a car so we can visit the many wonderful restaurants on the island, we also like to visit the other resorts to see what going on. Our favorite restaurants are: ElGaucho's for the best steak, located downtown and Madame Janette's. I usually make reservations on line about six months before we leave. Hope this helps. :wave:
 

gores95

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Check out this website in reference to restaurants....TONS of great high end restaurants in Aruba: http://www.restaurantsaruba.com/

Also if you do a search on TUG you will get a bunch more info on Aruba. There is also an aweseome Aruba Message Board that I cannot access at work but will add it to this post when I get home tonight.

My advice is to DEFINITELY GET A CAR!!! It is a piece of cake to drive in Aruba and the taxi fares are pretty high otherwise. Plus you can drive to all the great restaurants (Flying Fishbone is a LONG drive but worth it), most of the other restaurants are pretty close. Baby Beach is also a long but worth it drive. You can rent at the airport at a variety of places.

Aruba is our favorite Carribean island: direct flights from NYC area, pure and safe drinking water, safe island with little crime that we have seen, GREAT restaurants, casinos, below the hurricane belt and a beautiful breeze that makes the heat not feel quite that bad, not to mention beautiful beaches with a very underrated interior and "wild" West Coast that is neat to see. Plus the Marriott complexes are really nice and top notch. Also visit Eagle Beach (lo-rise hotel section) while you are there. The island is pretty developed so if you are lookiing to be the only one on an isolated beach its not for you!

You will have a blast!
 
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griffer331

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We own at the Ocean Club and we always rent a car with Royal. Last year we had a problem with the remote as we were trying to get to the airport and they had someone there within 25 minutes. This website has a wealth of info about Aruba: http://www.aruba-bb.com/index.php?sid=ec328b8ed43e5aff687e1cf3e77c859f

Our favorite restaurants are:
Simply Fish at the Marriott Hotel, dining on the beach with your feet in the sand.

Hyatt Hotels Sunday Brunch they always keep our mimosa glasses full

Wacky Wahoos fresh fish

Marandi Dining on a pier overlooking the water

Que Pasa in town
 

sls1003

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Congrats! You will just love Aruba! It's been a few years since we've been there, but I would second the recommendations for Madame Janettes and Simply Fish at the Marriott. It is right in the sand and wonderful at sunset. (Oh and beautiful sunsets in general from the beach at the Marriott). I would check out www.aruba.com, they have a great community forum with lots of reviews for restaurants and activities. We really enjoyed the land rover tour of the island from De Palm (I think that is who it was through), if you know how to drive stick you can drive the land rover for up to six people (I do know how and it was great fun!). We also really enjoyed the snorkel tour, it had three separate stops and offered Snuba which was a lot of fun. It's a cross between scuba diving and snorkeling. You have a mask and an oxygen tank, but the tank sits on the top of the water in a little raft and then you have a tube which lets you go down about twenty feet or so. Good for rookies like us. We also did a great sunset horseback ride. All the trips we booked through the concierge when we got there as well as our restaurant recommendations, though I'm sure it wouldn't hurt to make those ahead of time. And just to offer another point of view, I don't think you need to rent a car. Cabs are plentiful and not terribly expensive unless you are going far down the island (like to the Flying Fishbone). For many of the closer restaurants, the cabs are waiting outside the hotel to take you to dinner and are waiting outside the restaurant to take you back. Very nice if you'd like to enjoy some wine with your meal. Also, a number of the hotels are just a short walk down the beach, the Marriott, Hyatt, Radisson, and have very nice restaurants. The tours all pick you up right from the resort, so it can make for a very relaxing vacation if you don't want to rent a car. That being said, if you'd like to explore on your own you may want to have a car, but you could always just rent one for a day or so. Have a great time! It's a beautiful island.
 

Beverley

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I would ask to have the two joined together either at checkin or a few days ahead. Although they may have been in different view categories, trading in and not being there on an owner week gives more flexibility to the resort for fitting you in where ever they have a unit. The rented night of an ocean view gives you a better likely hood to arrange for an assignment that helps prevent disruption by unnecessary moves. They must adhere to the view category that you rented, however, the traded view category might be flexible. Good luck.

Beverley
 

winger

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sorry michelle on not getting your hawaii this summer, we did get our two consecutive :cheer: :cheer: :cheer: weeks in Maui for spring break !!! but you will have fun in Aruba . Friends of ours went (they are from NJ) and had a blast!
 

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The longest thread on many travel boards with Aruba is car vs no car. We have gone to Aruba the past 10-15 years and just bought at the Surf 3 years ago. You will love Aruba and June is a little less hectic than July and August. You win either way. We usually rent for a week and don't the next. You can rent for a few days to explore on your own but it is very easy to taxi places. It is a win win either way....

Definitely look at Mi Dushi for the day trip. Have done it for year and they have a great crew. Our adult children loved it!!

We secured a Maui OC on a trade for our 1 bed lockoff in Aruba next year and an AC for the deposit. While the unit is not as beautiful as Aruba we are still pleased with the July 4th find. Expectations are moderate for us but we will be returning from Tahiti so.....

Enjoy!!!!

Sue
 

potchak

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We actually changed our 1st night to the 1bd Gardenview in the hopes of not having to move since we want the 1 bd for ourselves. I actually don't mind the units not being together since it will give us a little more privacy. The only problem we have is that we will be on different floors, but even that isn't a big deal. I will make sure to call reservations and ask them to put us in the same bldg and preferably bldg B.

Does anyone know if the first floor gardenviews are walkout to the pools? Or is there a railing?

Appreciate the help!
 

m61376

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Michelle- I am trying to picture it and someone else may be able to tell you for sure, but in Building B I don't think there are any ground level rooms, esp. poolside. Building B has the lobby, stores, concierge, etc. on the main level. I can't recall any ground level guestrooms and, if there are any, I don't think they are poolside. I could be wrong though....

You'll have a great time in Aruba. Very relaxing. Another good website is http://aruba-bb.com. Also lots of good advice, restaurants, etc.

The car rental thing is personal preference. I like having my own, while I have friends who have gone there annually for many years and never rent. They prefer to take a taxi to dinner; cabs are plentiful and probably the cost is a wash between renting and taking taxis. Certainly cheaper if you take the bus. But, driving is very easy there and I like the flexibility but if you plan to stay mostly on the premises or walk in the area, it may be cheaper not to rent. There are several good restaurants that are a short walk away and a big shopping area just opened up recently which is a close walk as well. You will need a car or cab for the grocery store, but that's generally a single trip for the week. The kitchens are large and the frig. can accommodate whatever you'll need for the week.

Of course, if you like jewelry, you may want to add that into your budget :cheer: - lots of good places for that :whoopie:
 

Zac495

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I'm so glad your plans are sealed!!! Definitely get a car to get to all of the great restaurants!

http://www.picturetrail.com/sfx/album/view/11415544


Above are photos of Surf and restaurants. Here is what I wrote:

July 1, 2006. Mom, Dad, Mark, Alyssa, Zac, Zoe and I head off to Aruba to stay at the Marriott Ocean Club (us) and Surf Club (Mom and Dad). WOW! We all had 2 bedroom suites - gorgeous - with balconies overlooking the ocean. Night one: Madame Jeanette's for dinner. Dad was so tired from the trip, so he really didn't appreciate how wonderful the food was. The rest of us loved it. Every other day thereafter, we played bridge, the 4 of us, in the Surf Club, watching the waves, and yelling at each other for our incredibly stupid bridge mistakes. But mostly we relished the time together - drinking, laughing, eating, talking, and playing bridge (sometimes quite well).

Many nights the adults went out to dinner alone, leaving the kids (poor kids) to go out to eat on the beach at Moomba Bar! One evening we went to Marina Pirana - a lovely restaurant located on a pier overlooking the ocean (duh - you thought it was overlooking the mountains, right?). Anyway, Alyssa sat and took picture after of picture of the fish which continually leaped out of the water after the bread thrown in by Zoe and Zac. Fun, fun! We also went to Fishes and More with the kids. There, we were able to shop for great t-shirts, and listen to fun music (the musician grabbed good natured Mom and danced with her!)

Other restaurants: Flying Fishbone - the most beautiful view with a sunset to die for! We ate in the sand (at a table - not actually in the sand :). Mirandi - our favorite. We went twice. The food, waiters, ambiance, and (most importantly) the wine were the BEST 20 miles north of the equator.

Activities: Other than bridge? Okay. Mark, the kids, and I went on the Jolly Pirate Ship. We snorkeled in 3 places. Zoe had her first snorkel adventure (she did pretty well). Zac and Alyssa went out - pros that they are - to dive around the sunken ship. The current was very strong, and the kids were exhausted. Alyssa crawled onto the boat to have a drink! Sheesh! Ask us about our favorite joke!!! The third dive spot was (we were told) mild and a fun place to just swim. Zoe and I went in without snorkel equipment, though she had her life vest on. The current was stronger than they said - and we found ourselves being pulled closer and closer to the ship. Remembering the nightmare of Zac being swallowed by a whale (I mean a ship - totally true - that's another vacation), I called for help. They rescued Zoe. I swam to the boat. Then it was time for rope swing jump. Zac, Mark, and Alyssa had fun. Zoe and I were wimps and took pictures.

As a change from a banana boat, we were roped into trying a raft pulled by a rope (that was funny!) Zoe and I (the wise woman we claim to be - and clearly are) went on the boat and took pictures. Thumbs up! Faster! Faster! Mark loved it. Zac and Alyssa were knocked around. I was very glad to be watching!!!

On the last day, we went into town and shopped. Alyssa had one last sex on the beach, as Zoe and Zac found some wonderful souvenirs and Aruba-type clothing.

The resort: Fantastic. Some people complain about the noise from the Surf Club due to construction. We were never bothered by any of it. That said, we preferred the Ocean Club's pool - less windy and more peaceful. We ventured over to the Surf Club for the lazy river which was quite fun! The Surf Club was actually a 3 bedroom lock-off. It was HUGE. Mom and Dad only had 2 of the rooms. The Ocean Club's room wasn't as big, but all in all, I preferred the whole set up of hotel - not as high or as crowded (or so it seemed). This was one perfect vacation. I have everything in life I could ever want. The perfect husband, children, and parents - all of us with our health intact. Next year - Newport Coast, here we come! Cheers, Ellen
 
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iamnotshopgirl

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Michelle- I am trying to picture it and someone else may be able to tell you for sure, but in Building B I don't think there are any ground level rooms, esp. poolside. Building B has the lobby, stores, concierge, etc. on the main level. I can't recall any ground level guestrooms and, if there are any, I don't think they are poolside. I could be wrong though....

You'll have a great time in Aruba. Very relaxing. Another good website is http://aruba-bb.com. Also lots of good advice, restaurants, etc.

The car rental thing is personal preference. I like having my own, while I have friends who have gone there annually for many years and never rent. They prefer to take a taxi to dinner; cabs are plentiful and probably the cost is a wash between renting and taking taxis. Certainly cheaper if you take the bus. But, driving is very easy there and I like the flexibility but if you plan to stay mostly on the premises or walk in the area, it may be cheaper not to rent. There are several good restaurants that are a short walk away and a big shopping area just opened up recently which is a close walk as well. You will need a car or cab for the grocery store, but that's generally a single trip for the week. The kitchens are large and the frig. can accommodate whatever you'll need for the week.

Of course, if you like jewelry, you may want to add that into your budget :cheer: - lots of good places for that :whoopie:

You are correct there are no ground level rooms in Building B. If I can recall the Marketplace has an ordering window, car rental and concierge office, internet, kids arcade/playroom and all of the above. I always rent a vehicle...personal preference. A lot of good restuarants in walking distance I like Tony Roma, Amazonia (great new restaurant), Texas Brazil. Madame Jennet's was closed when I was there in June. Ruth Chris Steakhouse, Simply Fish on site. Use concierge to make reservations. They were building a new water park near the beginning of the high rise resorts on the left as you are going to Surf Club... slides, pools don't know if it has been completed. Will be going back down July 4th week next year. Yeah, almost forgot when I was there in June about a half mile from the Surf Club the Police set up a roadblock near the beginning of the high rise resorts checking for DUI's and taxi documentation. Had to be 30 Police officers there many cruisers. Traffic back-up for about a mile.

bob
 

potchak

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So are there walk out rooms in Bldg C then? That seems to be the only other one with garden view and ocean view in the same bldg.

We are also scuba divers, so would love to scuba dive. Any recommendations for while we are there? Who to use, where to dive? I saw a pretty good price for a 2 tank dive where they even pick you up from your hotel- $70. We have all our equpiment so do not need to rent that.

The water park sounds like fun. Will have to look for more information on that.

We are actually planning on doing the Atlantis submarine in Grand Cayman on our cruise with my mom in Nov, so I think we will probably skip that.

I am not too worried about the DUI situation. DH had a bad bout of Pancreatits recently, so was told he can never have more than 3 drinks in 1 day, so he has now become the DD (which used to be my job).

Another question though... What currency do they use there?
 

lll1929

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Florins is the Aruban money but all places take cash too. Chances are, you will get Florins back as change.

We left the florins in the room at checkout for the cleaning staff.
 

griffer331

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I think I remember seeing a parking spaces under building C for the first floor. That was back in Sept of 08 so my memory may be a little fuzzy.
 

mlfrancis

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Building C

there is a parking garage under Building C - I think it extends the entire length of the building. Walkout rooms are in Buildings A and D. B has the fitness center, lobby entrances, restrooms, etc.

Michelle - you got the document I sent, right?

Mary
 

iamnotshopgirl

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mlfrancis

I refer to the Lighthouse Tower as Building 1 Ocean Front and Ocean Side units where my villa weeks are located. There are no walk out rooms in this building. First level is a parking garage. I do not know if your referring to Building A is the same as me calling it building 1.

bob
 

potchak

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So for a gardenview 1bd and a oceanview efficiency, what bldg and location should I request? Is there any chance of getting an upgrade on the 1bd to an oceanview as well?
 

mlfrancis

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Building 1 is Building A

mlfrancis

I refer to the Lighthouse Tower as Building 1 Ocean Front and Ocean Side units where my villa weeks are located. There are no walk out rooms in this building. First level is a parking garage. I do not know if your referring to Building A is the same as me calling it building 1.

bob
I forgot about that garage - and I always walk to the palapas thru it! The Lighthouse building is Building A according to the original site plan - which you're referring to as Building 1. Sorry!
 

mlfrancis

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which building

I'd still go with Building B, even tho you won't be able to get a ground floor villa for gardenview. Good luck on the upgrade from garden to oceanview -they're rare, but if they're not full you may luck out. I've always found the front desk staff to be very helpful. They may be nice to you since you have two units - have your Marriott Vacation Advisor put a request in for you.

Wherever you end up, you'll love it!

Mary
 

iamnotshopgirl

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Michelle

I agree with everything Mary has stated but would add one comment. If you are going to request a room/view through your advisor request a room that overlooks the Lazy River. That way if they put you in B,C,D you may get a decent oceanview. I would also think a higher floor in those buildings would be preferred. I took some photos in June and shot everything from the 12th floor of Building A that will give you a good idea of construction of the surrounding area and Lazy River shooting back towards building C,D.If your interested I will send you a link to the photo album.

bob
 

potchak

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I would love a link to your photo album! It would be great to see what the resort will look like!
 
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