Earlier this August, I spent a week of relaxation and fun on one of my favorite islands, Aruba. Their current “One Happy Island” marketing campaign portrays the island and its feeling perfectly. I was definitely happy the entire time while there, and as the campaign states, their weather is ideal. This was my second time on the island, and it rained for about an hour and was cloudy for a total of maybe four hours. The rest of the time, the weather was PERFECT. A breezy 90 degrees and mostly sunny during the day. Cooler, breezy, and probably close to 80 at night. Last time, it didn’t rain for a single second while I was there. You gotta love an island with amazing blue waters, white sandy beaches, and palm trees that’s also a desert that hardly ever gets hurricanes! I love the Bahamas too, but hurricanes would be the one thing deterring me from planning an August trip there.
Enough small talk about the weather. This spring, while driving around the Boston area and listening to my favorite top 40 radio stations, with commercials about “One Happy Island” reminding me how great the island is every 10 seconds, I made the decision that I would just HAVE to go. Who says traditional advertising is dying? That radio commercial worked just fine on me.
I was very lucky to stay in a family’s suite at the Marriott Surf Club, which is a villa timeshare resort located in the same complex as a Marriott hotel and the Marriott Ocean Club villas at the northern end of Palm Beach. Featuring a number of nice amenities, including a large pool, lazy river, swim-up bar, free wifi, sunset views, daily activities for both kids and adults (everything from Zumba to Iguana Interactions) and more, the hotel was the ideal place to spend the week. Although we spent a couple of days sightseeing on the island and on a snorkeling trip, the rest of our time was spent laying on the beach reading, cooling off in the ocean, or aimlessly floating around the lazy river during “happy hour” while sipping refreshing Aruba Breezes.
Since the Surf Club is an easy walking distance to the hotel strip with lots of restaurants, shops, and bars, most nights we wandered out for some dinner, drinks, or souvenirs. A perfect location in case you ever get bored of the tons of amenities the hotel offers.
Decorated in a casual, beachy blue theme, the rooms inside the resort are ALMOST as amazing as the pool and lazy river outside it. Our group stayed in a studio and 1 bedroom villa that were connected with a conjoining door. So, two couples got to sleep on the luxuriously comfortable Marriott beds, while the other couple struggled through the night on a pull-out couch. I mean the couch wasn’t that bad, but the big beds are so much better. If I could squeeze one of those white comforters in my carry-on, I totally would steal it. Between the two rooms, we also had two large bathrooms, a kitchen with a dining table, a small kitchenette in the studio, a living room area, and two balconies with ocean views. Having our own kitchen was great because we were able to buy groceries for breakfast and lunch, helping us save a lot of money AND calories. As I’ve written before, bringing food on trips or buying groceries for breakfast or lunch can help you stay within your budget and allow you to splurge on nice dinners and desserts! Perfect, because in my next post you’ll see just how much I splurged both financially and calorically.
One of my favorite parts of the trip was getting into the routine of waking up leisurely, heading down to the fully-equipped gym on the first floor (which I surprisingly actually did a few mornings), returning to the room for a quick breakfast, and having to make the difficult decision of whether I would sit by the pool or on the beach for the day. Tough life.
Now, my stay at the Aruba Surf Club was great, but it’s not the only reason why I want to own a Marriott Vacation Club timeshare. If you’ve spent more than two seconds on my blog, you know I love travel (and ice cream but I guess that’s besides the point). With Marriott Vacation Club, I could choose a resort in a location where I would want to travel to often, most likely somewhere in the Caribbean or Hawaii for me. And then, the best part, on years where I don’t visit my timeshare I could try one out somewhere else in the world. Florida, Vail, multiple Hawaiian islands, Myrtle Beach, St. Thomas, St. Kitts, France, Spain, Thailand…the list just gets better and better! And those are just the locations in the “collection”; it seems that with the timeshare you can also visit other Marriotts and various different hotels around the world.
Come on bank account, start growing! Fast.