I had a last-minute opportunity last week attend a quick sales meeting in Aruba, so I packed my bags, booked a room at the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino and hopped on a Southwest Airlines non-stop flight from BWI to AUA.
The Renaissance is right in the heart of Oranjestead (Dutch – literally Orange town), the largest city and capitol of Aruba. The hotel is actually two properties situated across the street from each other – the Renaissance Marina Hotel is a an adults-only for guests over 18, complete with adult-only and a pool and 24 hour casino, while The Renaissance Ocean Suites offers family-friendly accommodations and kid’s activities.
I had an entry-level room in the Renaissance Marina Hotel with a limited city view. The room felt modern and fresh, and relied heavily on a blue and white color scheme reflective of the ocean, and silver as an ultra cool accent color. It was an awesome contrast to the colors of the city of Oranjestad, which has many brightly colored buildings.Check in was welcoming and efficient.The hotel itself was on the city-side, despite being name a marina hotel. The marina was actually across the four lane street. The pool was off of the lobby, and partially overlooked the marina. The best feature of the atrium, was also the best feature of the property itself – the Renaissance has a private island with a guest-only boat service to take you there.The boat picks you up in the lobby and takes you on an approximately 10 minute ride over to the island – which happens to be located across the water from Aruba’s airport – AUA. The island is split into two sections – Iguana beach which featured a tiki-bar, plenty of beach furniture, hammocks, raft and snorkel rental. The other side of the beach is Flamingo cove were and a cove where flamingos roamed freely.Be sure to bring a US quarter to buy flamingo chow. The birds will eat out of the palm of your hand.After visiting the private island, we checked out the Renaissance Ocean Suites.There were a couple of pool areas, again with plentiful patio furnishing, and it was also along the lines of a tropical paradise. Easily the best feature of the Ocean Suites building was a swim lagoon which was fed with waters of the Caribbean.Next to the property was also a little garden area with statues, and lizards ran everywhere. The was also a little inlet where I took some of my favorite photos.Bottom Line:
Aruba bills itself as One Happy Island, and from my limited stay there, I would have to agree. The Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino was perfect for my short stay. It combined the features of a city hotel on one side of the street, with a more tropical paradise found on the other side of the street. It is a Marriott Category 8 hotel so 40,000 points a night for a standard award, and 35,000 points a night on a Points Saver award. Marriott also has a ‘book 4 nights on points and get the 5th night free.’ In the meantime, my room was $212 a night. The hotel also has an ‘all-inclusive’ package for paid stays. Has anyone stayed at this hotel? Which property did you stay at, and which property did you like better?