When we first made overlapping hotel reservations in two different resorts, I wondered whether or not I was violating a The Common Traveler mainstay of being sensible – but the splurge of spending the night at the Aruba Renaissance Hotel was very much worth it!
One of the few things I absolutely dreamed of doing while in Aruba was to go to Flamingo Beach. After looking at various blogs and tips on how to get there, it seemed the most logical to book a night at the Aruba Renaissance Hotel & Casino. We reserved a room at the Renaissance Marina Hotel – which is the adults-only side of the hotel. The adults-only designation addresses the tranquility of not having minors at this location – there wasn’t anything wild going on!
Upon arrival at the hotel, guests take escalators up to the main lobby. Rooms face either inside, viewing the atrium, or outside, with views of the city or the marina. Being a Marriott Rewards member, the staff upgraded our reservation from the cheapest room to an Ocean King. And the front desk staff’s service was impressive! Upon check-in, they asked whether we were celebrating any special occasion. I told them that we were celebrating Allan’s 50th birthday and that I wanted a bottle of champagne delivered to our room later in the evening. The front desk person assured me that she would send a bottle of the house champagne. Unfortunately, Allan walked back before we could finalize details which created some confusion later on!
Arriving at 11 am, we lucked out that our hotel room was ready and we dropped off our stuff before exploring. I really admire a hotel that has high-quality toiletries – in this case, Tokyo Milk products. Those are not usually found in The Common Traveler resorts!
HOT TIP! Always join a hotel rewards program ahead of your travel – in this case, being a Marriott rewards member gave us a 15% discount on the room rate plus we were upgraded by two room categories!
If our room had not been ready, the valet would have kept our bags while we visited Flamingo Beach, Aruba Renaissance’s private island. They also offered to let us keep the keys to go to Flamingo Beach the next day when we checked out. Your room key becomes your pass to board the shuttle boat.
The shuttle comes inside the atrium on the ground level. The beach is open to hotel guests from 7 am to 7 pm, with shuttles every 15 minutes. You can also book a sunset dinner experience – which we did not do. If this is something that interests you, make reservations prior to arrival.
Room Service Surprise!
After spending several hours on Flamingo Beach, we came back to the hotel for a little relaxation. After a while, Roberto, one of the room service waiter, came to our room to deliver a bottle of champagne and there was even a chocolate cake! He set us up in the banquette area of our room and sang “Happy Birthday!” It was marvelous! After enjoying our dessert, we went looking for food.
We had multiple choices for dinner. The hotel’s lobby atrium has a Starbucks. For those who want a fancier experience, the L.G. Smith’s Steak and Chophouse has a good reputation. Aquarius offers both buffet and a la carte seafood and island options. There were other options just outside the hotel, including at the Renaissance Marketplace and across the street at the Marina. We decided to have a light dinner at Blue, the lobby bar that is next to the infinity pool. We ordered another bottle of champagne, and at our bartender’s recommendation, some wings and beer-battered shrimp. Allan received an encore of “Happy Birthday!” You can find out more about the island’s restaurants here.
Location, Location, Location!
The location of this hotel is perfect if you want to enjoy the Aruba Renaissance Mall’s shopping for high-end items like David Yurman and Carolina Herrera. Families stay across the way at the Aruba Renaissance Ocean Suites which has two pools with swim-up bars. The shuttle to Flamingo Beach is on a dock next door. The Aruba Renaissance Marketplace is located next to the Ocean Suites. The Marketplace also has a movie theater, perfect if you’ve had too much sun one day. Several of the restaurants and bars feature nightly live music, especially on cruise ship days and weekends.
Having enjoyed a truly wonderful stay at the Aruba Renaissance Hotel with its private island, I highly recommend it! Even though it originally seemed foolish to be paying for two hotel rooms on the same night (one at our mainstay hotel, the Manchebo Beach Resort — you can read about our stay here — and one at the Aruba Renaissance), it was worth the extra expense. Make your dreams of lounging on a private island with flamingos, luxury shopping and relaxation in this island paradise come true here.
Annick, The Common Traveler