Paradise Found: Marriott Aruba Resort & Stellaris Casino Review

If I was being completely honest, the word ‘Aruba’ only ever came out of my mouth while singing along to The Beach Boys, ‘Kokomo’, and believe me, that wasn’t very often.

If you are not from around here or don’t ever really choose cruising as a means of vacation, I think Aruba is definitely one of those lesser-known islands in the Caribbean. When I told my parents back home in Australia that I was heading to Aruba, it wasn’t until a few days later that they actually decided to look at a map and realize I needed a passport to get there. They thought Aruba was in Florida! *hangs head in shame*.

With its warm weather and turquoise waters, Aruba is the perfect destination for discerning travelers seeking the ultimate Caribbean vacation. Situated on Palm Beach (and just seven miles from Queen Beatrix International Airport), the Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino recently completed a $50 million renovation and boasts modern room decor while maintaining a sense of luxe minimalism.

THE ROOM

The resort consists of 411 guest rooms including 23 suites, each of which are well over 500 square feet, making the Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino the most spacious resort on the island. Each room has a 100-square-foot balcony featuring breathtaking views of the sparkling, Caribbean waters.

I was in room 614; an ocean-view guest room with a King bed and balcony. The room was extremely spacious and offered a desk/chair work station with a fantastic outlet strip for all my charging needs, a couch/coffee table area, a coffee/tea and mini fridge area, a huge walk-in closet (with Marriott robes, my fave!) and a rather large bathroom complete with luxe double-vanities and mirrors, a full body-length mirror, a tub/shower and toilet.

And let’s not forget the best part – that Kind bed, oh my! At my ripe old age of 28, I have come to appreciate the amazingness that is sleep. After a long day of intense sun and water, the plethora of pillows on my bed felt like tiny clouds of puffy heaven that I so happily sunk into before getting lost within my dreams.

{Inside Room 614 at the Marriott Aruba Resort}

Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino Review

Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino Review

Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino Review

Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino Review

Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino Review

 {Balcony view from room 614}

Balcony View Aruba Marriott Resort

Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino Review

POOL AREAS

The resort has two main outdoor pools to choose from; a family-friendly style pool and then the H2 Oasis adult exclusive pool. Both pool options provide towels.

The family-friendly pool is large in size and features cascading waterfalls for the little ones to enjoy. The seating by this pool fills up rather quickly, mostly with families and children. If all those kids running around becomes a little too much for you to handle, jump into the pool and make your way over to the swim-up-bar, so convenient! That should help you block the screams of your children out for a while 😉 haha.

Aruba Marriott Resort Pool

Aruba Marriott Resort Pool

The H2 Oasis pool is where it’s at! The best part about this? No children allowed! Music to my ears haha. This pool is the newest addition to the resort and is a complete recreational area – you’ll need your room key to both enter and exit this area. The terrace features plush cabanas and lounge chairs and while the bar here is not located in the pool, it still serves up some tasty food and is fully stocked with all your favorite adult beverages that you can sip on and enjoy in blissful silence.

Aruba Marriott Resort Pool

Aruba Marriott Resort Pool

Aruba Marriott Resort Pool

FOOD

I don’t know about you, but when I’m in a new country, I love to explore their culinary delights and offerings so I usually tend to head outside of where I’m staying in search of a good meal. But if you’re one of those people that does not like to step foot out of your resort while on vacation, even to grab food, the Marriott Aruba Resort has you covered. From poolside snacks, lunch on the beach or a romantic, candlelit dinner for two, the resort can meet any craving you desire with its extensive range of dining options to choose from:

– Ruth’s Chris Steak House: high-end steak house
– La Vista: largest seafood buffet on the island
– Simply Fish: pop-up seafood dinner restaurant on the sand
– Ketsu Sushi Bar: Japanese sushi
– Waves Beach Bar & Grill: American light-fare & snacks
– Lobby Cafe: pastries, sandwiches, gelato & beverages
– Champions Sports Bar & Grill: American-style burger joint

After two hours pool-side in the blistering sun, I did make a gelato stop at the Lobby Cafe for a double-scoop of lemon and strawberry gelato. Oh my goodness, it was AMAZING! Probably some of the best gelato I’ve had as of late which kind of surprised me. I would have taken a photo but I was too busy devouring it.

One morning I did have an early start so I arranged for room service to have breakfast delivered to my room. A wide range of breakfast favorites were available, but of course, I went with the cliche bacon, eggs, hash browns, toast and orange juice – yum! Although room service was running slightly behind schedule, my food arrived with ample time for me to inhale it before heading out for the day; it was delicious. Pricey, but delicious.

That same day I also enjoyed dinner at Simply Fish which was scrumptious – I’ll save those details for an upcoming Aruba food post though!
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THE BEACH

The Marriott Aruba Resort provides front-door access to Marriott’s private stretch of sugar-white sand beach. The turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea glisten in such a way that leaves you in a zombie-like trance, and before you know it, you’re already waist-deep, just soaking it all up.

Beach chairs and shack-like umbrellas are up for grabs along the shore, but if you want one, you’ll need to get out there early. If you leave it until too late, you’ll become involved in a Hunger Games-like battle, and we all know there can only be one Katniss and Peeta! If you’re up for some friendly competition, there’s a sand volleyball court available and you’ll also find a plethora of water activities available on the beach-front.

Look at that water. Take me back. Now! By the way, how cool is my GoPro selfie pole? It takes #foreveralone to an entire new level!

Marriott Aruba Beach

Marriott Aruba Beach

Marriott Aruba Beach

Marriott Aruba Beach

MANDARA SPA

With its Balinese style interior design, the Mandara Spa is the largest professional spa on the island. It’s located on the ground floor of Marriott’s Aruba Ocean Club and includes VIP couple treatment rooms with extra large Jacuzzi baths or Vichy Showers, eight treatment rooms, indoor and outdoor relaxation areas, a steam room and an exclusive nail salon. I had the most incredible 50 minute massage here, but I’m saving those details for another post.

STELARIS CASINO

The Stellaris Casino is the largest casino in Aruba; it features 26 gaming tables and over 500 slot machines. I even saw a group of people playing bingo too, how fun!

When I found out the the Marriott Aruba Resort had a casino in its lobby, I was so excited. The noises that come from a slot machine are so exciting to me, they draw me right in – when I see the flashing lights and hear the sounds, it’s like a magnetic pull that I can’t escape. I swear I do not have a gambling problem, I don’t play the tables and I don’t throw away hundreds of dollars, I play the penny slots and I know how to quit while I’m ahead. I had some downtown on my first night at the resort so I enjoyed wasting an hour and some cash, jumping from slot machine to slot machine, it was fun and something to do before bed.

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I had such an incredible stay both in Aruba and at the Marriott Aruba Resort & Stellaris Casino. I loved everything about the resort, but most of all, the staff were so friendly and hospitable. Every day they’d greet you with a big smile on their face and they go above and beyond to make sure your stay is nothing short of amazing. It’s the little things too; like when you check in, the staff member behind the desk will actually walk around to you to hand you your room key before directing you to the elevator instead of handing it to you over the desk – such a nice welcoming touch.
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Stay tuned for more Aruba!

Marriott Aruba Resort & Stellaris Casino Review
Marriott Aruba Resort & Stellaris Casino Review
Marriott Aruba Resort & Stellaris Casino Review

*I stayed at the Marriott Aruba Resort & Stellaris Casino as part of an ‘Au Naturel Aruba’ press trip provided by Marriott, but all opinions are my own.

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