While the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino is a fantastic hotel on its own, most guests will be staying for the access to Flamingo Beach on the Renaissance’s private island. We only stayed one night but had a very enjoyable experience. It would have been worth staying without the free access to Flamingo Island, but with that included, it was more than worth it.
The Renaissance Aruba is actually two properties located across the street from each other. The Renaissance Marina Hotel is an adults only (18 years old+) property with an adults only pool and casino. The Renaissance Ocean Suites is more family oriented with multiple kid friendly pools and family friendly activities. If you are going with your significant other stay at the Marina, if you are going with your family stay at the Ocean Suites.
Where to Stay in Aruba
The two main areas to stay in Aruba are the downtown area of Oranjestad or along the west side of the Island along Palm Beach and Eagle Beach.
The Renaissance is located in the heart of Oranjestad, which is the island’s capital, largest city and also the location of the Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA). There are plenty of hotels, bars and restaurants in the area, but more of the “low rise” and “local” types, rather than Palm Beach which is dotted with high rise resorts. This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing as we were able to check authentic restaurants and bars in this location.
How We Booked
We paid US $250 per night and used our $300 annual credit from the newly merged SPG Luxury credit card (now the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant). That left us a $50 credit for food and beverages at the pool.
The room can also be booked for 35K points per night which isn’t a bad use of points either.
Getting to the Renaissance Aruba & Location
The Renaissance is located in downtown Oranjestad, Aruba, just a 10 minute taxi ride and ~$25 USD.
The Renaissance adults only Marina Hotel overlooks the marina. There are plenty of restaurants, shopping and bars nearby, along with a shopping/restaurant/bar complex called the Renaissance Marketplace. However this area is not as lively as the high-rise area, and most restaurants nearby close early.
There are two casinos near by. The first is located inside the Marina Hotel. While it was nice, it was slightly smaller than the Seaport Casino across the street. We ended up spending more time at the Seaport Casino
We are Gold members with Marriott which allowed us to receive $25 credits each for the Casino. We walked away with about $40 in our pockets each, which was a nice start to the night.
The Check in and Experience
We arrived very early, around 8am. It was too early for check in, but the lobby was able to store our luggage while we explored Flamingo Beach. We ended up coming back around noon as Renaissance Island became very crowded around that time, and our room was ready.
The entrance to the hotel is very chic and beautiful. The entire inside of the hotel is essentially one large open area.
Downstairs is the main entrance, a Starbucks and a channel of water connecting to the ocean where the Renaissance Island ferry docks. It’s kind of crazy that the ocean literally connects to the inside of the hotel!
Up one level on the main floor was the reception, dining area, bar and pool. The hotel was absolutely beautiful with creative beach themed décor everywhere.
To the left of the reception was the main dining area which lead to the outdoor bar. The bar was a great place to hang out throughout the day, and during the evening had live music.
The outdoor pool offered stunning views of the ocean and marina. This was our favorite spot to spend the afternoon after returning back from Flamingo Beach. There were waitresses that took orders for food and drink (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) throughout the day. Although the service ran on “island time” lets say.
Aruba Renaissance Marina Hotel Island Room
With or Marriott Platinum status we were upgraded one category to an Island Room, which offered views of the ocean, marina and the pool. The standard room comes with a “limited view” which would either be of the interior or one of the sides/back of the hotel with views of the town area.
The room was fairly standard and a little bit small in size but felt nice due to the updated beach theme décor. The bed was a standard king size but very soft and we slept well for our one night there.
There was a small sitting area in the corner which we felt was more functional than the usual single seat in hotel rooms.
The bathroom was clean and again followed a similar theme with whites and aqua blues. The amenities were Aveda.
There is also turndown service each evening with two bottles of water and sleepy time chocolates. This was a nice perk and not something a lot of hotels do now with all the cost cutting.
Aruba Flamingo Beach
Flamingo Beach was by far one of the most fun and unique experiences we had on Aruba. We have a separate post with more detailed information about Flamingo Beach, so I’ll keep this short and to the point.
While the two terms Flamingo Beach and Flamingo Island are frequently used interchangeably, Flamingo Beach is actually a stretch of land on Renaissance Island. Renaissance Island is a private island just off the coast of Oranjestad, owned by the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino.
There is a continuous ferry service from 7am to 6pm daily. Guests of the Aruba Renaissance Resort & Casino have free access all day, including the day of check-in and checkout.
Non-guests of the hotel have to pay $125 USD per person and only go on sale the day before at 7am using their special website. Tickets usually sell out within minutes.
As you can see it makes sense from a financial and planning standpoint to just stay at the hotel for 1-2 nights to have access whenever you want to the Island.
We absolutely loved hotel. It has beautiful décor, friendly staff, and a great location. On top of all that is the ability to take a complimentary boat taxi over to Flamingo Beach. If you want to visit Flamingo Beach in Aruba, I would say staying at this hotel for at least 1-2 nights is a must. There is plenty of shopping, restaurants, and casinos around to keep you busy during the day. We enjoyed lounging by the pool at this hotel, which says a lot for us. We are not usually lounging travelers, and this hotel inspired us to be different.