Marriott Hotels

Old Oct 21st, 2002, 09:52 AM
Mike Gibson
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Marriott Hotels

Does anybody have any opinions on the Marriott Hotel in the following islands - Aruba, Nassau, Grand Cayman, Curacao, and St. Thomas? My wife and I are cashing in Marriott Reward points for a free stay in the Caribbean. If you're not familiar with the Marriott Hotel, what are your thoughts on the islands listed above. We're going for 4days/3nights. We like lounging on the beach/pool, good restaurants, some shopping, and snorkling.
Old Oct 21st, 2002, 10:17 AM
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Mike, each of these has been "discussed" many times on this board. To sample the variety of opinions try doing a search. For, example, type in "Marriott Aruba" for starters & you will see what I mean.

Or to sum up: People are fierecly divided on Marriott Aruba, do not like the one in Nassau, beach is not the greatest @ Marriott GC, crime is a problem in St. Thomas and....can't recall anything pro or con about Curacao (which may be your answer!)

So save yourself a lot of grief & just go w/ Marriott Aruba. I say this as one who was very disappointed in the property (the hotel, not the Marriott Ocean Club timeshares to the south of the hotel) but I appear to be in the minority. Generally, people have enjoyed the Marriott in Aruba so why not go with the majority?
Old Oct 21st, 2002, 10:18 AM
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We've stayed at the Marriotts in Nassau and Curacao. We had lunch at the Marriott in Aruba (long plane lay over). We've had drinks at the Marriott at Grand Cayman. Based on what you say you like - I would recommend pretty much any of them. I loved the Marriott at Curacao and we were there a week. Good snorkeling, cute shopping, some good restaurants - but depending on where you live, could be a long flight. I LOVE Grand Cayman as an island - has all of those things you mentioned, I thought this Marriott wasn't as nice as some of the others, but I believe it has been refurbished since I was there. Love that island! The Marriott in Nassau was also nice. Nassau is a quick flight, pool is nice, good restaurants, etc. I haven't been to St Thomas. So - if it were me (and it has been in 2 of those locations) I would probably go for the shortest flight and who had availability.
Old Oct 21st, 2002, 11:11 AM
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While it's not the caribbean, if you are willing to consider Cancun the JW Marriott there has been getting very good reviews and it's a fairly new property. My husband and I are also trying to decide what to do w/ our 150K Marriott rewards (accumulated through my husband's business travel) and I think we are going to use them here.
Old Oct 21st, 2002, 01:22 PM
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I am a Marriott person too (live in one 4 nights a week so we have accumulated around 700,000++ Marriott Points...and are always looking for the same kind of advice you are!!!!)

Have stayed in Grand Cayman Marriott - I highly DO NOT recommend this hotel. Small, unclean pool, no beach (VERY small)...just not worth it.

We walked in the Marriotts (JW I believe and the other one) in Cancun like previous poster mentioned and it looked beautiful!!!!

I have heard mixed reviews on the Marriott in Aruba, but we are going there (to the Ocean Club) for our honeymoon b/c it's...FREE!!

I can't speak to any of the others...but I would not recommend the Grand Cayman. Good luck!
Old Oct 21st, 2002, 02:04 PM
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Hey Aeries, for 250k you can do a week at one of the Ritz Carlton properties via your Marriott rewards. Check out the partner link on the Marriott Rewards web site.

Another rewards option is the Marriott in Paris. It gets good reviews, and while I like to do the boutique hotel thing (partic. in Paris), to spend a week in Paris with no hotel cost is a great thing.

Also look into the Marriott Camelback resort in Arizona. I've also read pretty favorable things about this one . . . and I think it's at the top of the rewards ranking pyramid at 7 (just like the Paris location).

I recently stayed at the Marriott Vacation Club Harbour Villas (?) in Ft. Lauderdale on business and was very impressed (which a Marriott does not normally do) and pleasantly surprised. Great location, great big rooms w/ a double jucuzzi in the master bedroom, etc.

fyi, all of our Marriott miles come from business travel. I have never spent my own money on a Marriott for vacation. We generally don't stay at chain hotels, unless it's a FS. However, free is free so enjoy your rewards points!
Old Oct 21st, 2002, 02:09 PM
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per the Marriott web site:

All Ritz-Carlton locations participate in Marriott Rewards as a redemption option except, The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park and The Ritz-Carlton Boston, Massachusetts.

1 night = 60k
2 nights = 110k
3 nights = 150k
5 nights = 200k
7 nights = 250k
Old Oct 21st, 2002, 02:29 PM
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Snohflake: Are you talking about Marriott Beach Place Towers in FLL or The Marriott Harbour Beach Resort ( which I do not think is a Vacation Club Property)???
Old Oct 21st, 2002, 04:45 PM
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Hi Mike. Yes, my mistake. I meant the Beach Place Towers
Old Oct 21st, 2002, 05:04 PM
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We didn't really care for the Marriott in GC as it had no beach. Wonder if your answer is Curacao? The pool area is beautifully landscaped, and chaises are not lined up with next to no privacy. Good sized beach, although you need water shoes in front of the hotel. Very romantic island. Great swim-up pool bar and nice beach bar for the evenings. Rent a car and enjoy the island at least one day.
Old Oct 21st, 2002, 10:09 PM
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My friend and her hubby went to the Marriott Aruba and wished she stayed at the Ocean Club. Altho timeshares, you can stay there too, apparently, and that property is only like 2 years old; the hotel I'm told needs some rennovations.

We LOVE Frenchman's Reef Marriott in St. Thomas, but don't stay at the hotel; we go to the Morningstar villas which are more private, right on the beach with its own pool and hot tub (and you can use the Hotel's pool and hot tub also, since it's the same property). The tennis courts are right on the beach also. Great restaurants at the Morningstar location too. Check into that one; it has everything you noted you want.

This year we stayed at the Renaissance on St. Thomas (another Marriott property) and it was very nice (we upgraded to a suite, since we are Rewards Members also).

Heard that Grand Cayman needs some updating, and Nassau also. However, there's a BRAND NEW Marriott with casino opening in January (was supposed to be Dec.) on St. Kitts.

The Ritz Carlton in St. Thomas is nice, but the beach isn't that great. We LOVE RC's; haven't been disappointed yet; hoping to check out the new one in Grand Cayman. That's where I would go if I had points in the 700,000 range, like the poster named Aries13.

Hope this helps.
Old Oct 23rd, 2002, 12:30 PM
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For another Marriott that is really nice and if you are golfers consider the Marriott Dalmahoy Golf and Country Club just outside Edinburgh, Scotland. A superb hotel with two world class golf courses, great rooms, great grounds, and great location. Cash the points there for a nice treat.
Old Oct 23rd, 2002, 02:37 PM
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For Karl about the Scotland, Marriott: THANKS SO MUCH - want to go over there big time - didn't about this one; appreciate the tip!
Old Oct 24th, 2002, 09:54 AM
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We stayed at the Marriott in Aruba (the hotel, which is next to the new Ocean Club villas) in 2001 during March. I liked the location of the property, as we could walk down from the beach and snorkel near a shipwreck.

I used our Marriott Rewards points for this trip. However I would prefer to rent a villa, so that I would be able to cook some of my own meals.

TO GM: Earliler this year, we were in St. Thomas as part of a cruise, and we could see the Marriott Frenchman's Reef from the ship.

My question: Can you use the Marriott Rewards points for the Morningstar villas?

Old Oct 25th, 2002, 06:42 AM
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Yes, Morningstar rooms are regular hotel rooms, just low rise, not villas.
Old Oct 25th, 2002, 06:52 AM
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Not sure if it's opened yet after renovations but the Marriott Castle Harbour, Bermuda is a nice hotel, especially if you like golf. There's an 18 hole course right there, which is rare in Bermuda. You have to take a shuttle to the beach but it's a good beach. You're closer to the airport and it's not convenient to Hamilton but it's in a very nice, expensive neighborhood. Someone said Ross Perot's house is right outside the hotel grounds.
Old Oct 25th, 2002, 04:06 PM
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Bermuda Marriot has been torn down and ground has not yet been broken for the new (I think) 4 seasons
Old Oct 29th, 2002, 06:33 PM
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Good afternoon,
Just a friendly comment to the Marriott St.Thomas (Renaissance). I own a condo on the beach right next to this resort. It is situated in a cove on the ocean... absolutely beautiful to wake up to this property. We eat there also at the grill. Was just there last week at my condo with my mom and her best friend. Enjoy!!
Old Jan 5th, 2003, 11:35 AM
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hi - we just returned from morningstar beach resort in st . thomas (marriott). we absolutely loved it-- right on the beach and access to all the amenities of frenchman's reef hotel. the grounds are more beautiful, in my opinion than the marriott at kauai even. and that is surely beautiful. s. thomas grounds are more natural!
Old Jan 5th, 2003, 12:54 PM
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I have stayed in the Marriott Morning Star Resort in St Thomas and visited the Marriott in Aruba.

Aruba has beautiful beaches and great restaurants. We took a catamaran snorkel trip which brought you to 3 spots to snorkel. It was a great trip. I couldn't believe the number of fish at the one site which was a wreck from WWI. We visited the Marriott which is located at the end of the beach. I thought the resort was well maintained and clean. Whereas, the Frenchmen's reef was starting to look a little run down. The best thing about St. Thomas is the 20 minute ferry ride to St. John. Snorkeling in St. John was amazing. Even better than Aruba. We also had some great meals in St. Thomas. If you stay in St. Thomas, I would recommend the Morning Star portion of the resort. It was nicer than the Reef and is located directly on the beach. Also, most of the Aruba hotels have casinos, the aruba Marriott included.

I enjoyed both islands but I prefer Aruba. I didn't stay in the Marriott in Aruba but now that I am a rewards member I would not hesitate to return and stay in that hotel.
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