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Renaissance Aruba Resort and Casino, a sprawling resort in downtown Oranjestad

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Renaissance Aruba Resort and Casino, a sprawling resort in downtown Oranjestad

Renaissance Island at the Renaissance Aruba Resort in Oranjestad, Aruba.

© Clint Brownfield

The Bottom Line

The Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino has an ace up its sleeve: Its own private Renaissance Island for guests of all ages to enjoy. The resort features two sections: the family-friendly Ocean Suites and the Marina Hotel, which is for adults-only. Free water taxis to the private island pull right into the Marina Hotel's ground level when the tide is in, then make another stop to pick up guests staying in the Ocean Suites -- a 10-15 minute ride. Boats come and go at 15-minute intervals.

Both sections of the resort are positioned to make it easy to explore downtown Oranjestad, Aruba's capital. The large Crystal Casino at the Marina Hotel is open 24/7, where guests can become instant millionaires … or not. Nearby high-end retailers offer another way to spend extra money won at the casino.

Pros

  • Ideal location for exploring downtown Oranjestad
  • Access to Renaissance Island, Aruba’s only private beach
  • Separate sections for adults and families at the resort and on the private island
  • All-inclusive packages are available

Cons

  • Guest rooms and some of the public spaces in the Marina Hotel need upgrading
  • Resort's beach is 10-15 minutes away
  • Only one elevator to serve the Marina Hotel (a second has been out of order for quite some time)
  • When the Marina Hotel is at full, the main restaurant struggles to keep up with demand

Description

  • Address: Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino, L. G. Smith Blvd 82, Oranjestad, Aruba
  • Phone: 1-800-421-8188 in US and Canada.
  • Website: http://www.renaissancearuba.com
  • Rooms: 259 suites in Ocean Suites and 297 rooms in the Marina Hotel
  • Rates: Start at $200/night.
  • Amenities: Multiple restaurants and bars, spa, conference center, fitness center, casinos, shopping, cinema, business center, pool, wifi, concierge, parking

Guide Review - Renaissance Aruba Resort and Casino, a sprawling resort in downtown Oranjestad

This sprawling resort virtually defines downtown Oranjestad, Aruba, with more than 500 rooms and suites for families and adults. Add in upscale shopping malls, two casinos, a multiplex cinema, numerous restaurants and bars, and Renaissance Island (Aruba's only private beach), and you have an excellent recipe for a delightful vacation in the Caribbean sun.

Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino Rooms

There are 259 one-bedroom suites in the family-friendly Ocean Suites portion of the resort, each with a king-sized bed, large bathroom, and a living room with a queen-sized sofa bed. Suites include a wet bar, mini-fridge, microwave, high-speed Internet, and a balcony or patio. The adults-only Marina Hotel offers 297 compact guest rooms, with king-sized beds or two double beds. Rooms have small French balconies (you can't really walk out on them) and have views of either the water and town or overlook of the hotel's atrium, public spaces, and boat launch. The rooms in the Marina Hotel could use some updating.

Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino Restaurants

You can dine in grand style at the Marina Hotel's sumptuous L.G. Smith's Steak & Chop House, with its striking décor and great entrees. It also has easy access to the Crystal Casino in case you need to celebrate your winnings or drown your sorrows at the bar. Breakfast, lunch and dinners are served at Aquarius, with a very popular seafood buffet offered at dinner.

The Ocean Suites portion of the resort has its own restaurants that serve meals buffet style and a la carte. There are bars tucked away all over the resort, including BLUE, the bar in the Marina Hotel's lobby, which serves as the main social hub of the resort. It's also just a few steps down from the pool, which offers great views of downtown Oranjestad and the cruise ship port and marina across the street.

Nice lunches, snacks and drinks are also served at the very popular Papagayo Bar & Grill on Renaissance Island, where your fellow diners might include some fat and happy pet iguanas (they have their own all-you-can-eat lettuce buffet) and the majestic flock of flamingos at the adult-only private lagoon. These creatures are not actually in the restaurant, in case you are iguana or flamingo challenged. If you are inclined to count calories, resume that activity after you check out … It's not easy to stay on a diet at this resort.

Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino Activities and Amenities

The aforementioned private Renaissance Island is a great counterpoint to the resort's downtown location, providing secluded beaches at two separate lagoons -- one for families and one for adults. The latter has the friendly flock of flamingos. The resort also includes the gorgeous Okeanos Spa, which has some of the best therapists you may ever encounter. And, there is a pretty well equipped fitness center in case you need to burn off some of the calories taken in at the bountiful buffets.

The Patamingo Kids Club offers year-round children's programs, featuring day and evening sessions for ages 5 to 12. Two malls in and around the resort offer outposts of many of the world's best-known designers. The concierge can help guests plan activities off-property, such as Jeep excursions that explore the island's desert landscape. You can always just loll around in one of the many hammocks and forget that there are places on earth that don't have endless sunny days, friendly flamingos, and tasty, fruity drinks.

As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary services for review purposes. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our Ethics Policy.
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