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Old Tuesday, May 5th, 2009, 10:17 AM
Bandy1080 Bandy1080 is offline
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Default Info On Renaissance Resort

Hi everyone,
I am new to the forum. I have been using Tripadvisor but found that it does not provide enough information. Luckily I found this place.

My wife and I are travelling to Aruba for the first time next month in celebration of our 2nd wedding anniversary. We are staying at the Ocean Suites at the Renaissance. I have done plenty of research on the hotel but I am completely lost when it comes to things outside of the resort, and I was really hoping that the members here could help me out with a bunch of questions that I had. Any feedback would be GREATLY appreciated.

1. I have heard great and not-so-great things about the restaurants in the hotel What are some great dinner reservations for the downtown Oranjestad area, in walking distance from the hotel?

2. Natural Pools - the one thing I would like to do is to rent a jeep and drive to the natural pools. Now I know it is a rough road, but I think that is half the fun. Can anyone recommend a good jeep renting company? I know the hotel rents them out of the lobby, does anyone have feedback on that?

3. Beach and Pools at the hotel - I know that you are not allowed to bring coolers or extras to the private island, but would it be ok if we brough a soft cooler down to the pool?

4. Grocery Stores - since we are at the suites, we will have a small kitchen. While I don't plan on cooking a whole lot, it would be nice to get some necessities from a grocery store. I know there is a small one in the area, but would it be worth it to take a cab to the larger Ling and Sons?

Once again, thanks so much for any feedback you can provide.

Brian
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Old Tuesday, May 5th, 2009, 12:02 PM
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Default Re: Info On Renaissance Resort

I'll try to get this started. The restaurant at the Ocean Suites is convenient for breakfast/brunch but I've never had anything else there. There are a couple of good restautants at the Marina (across the street), plus the Marina joins the Renaissance Plaza, which has L.G. Smith's Steakhouse, amongst other things.

The Seaport Village is right outside the front door of the Ocean Suites. I have eaten at the Cafe, the Dutch Pancake place (forgot the full name), and the Waterfront Crabhouse. They are all good.

Don Carlo's and The Paddock are both on the wharf across the street from the Marina. Down the street a bit further is the Royal Plaza (the big pink building). There are a couple of good restaurants there. I really like Iguana Joe's.

There are bunches of restaurants in downtown O'stad. but I haven't tried any of them yet. Que Pasa and the Gaucho get generally good reviews. They are a bit more of a hike but still walkable, and the walk back after a meal might be welcome.

I have used the rental car company in the lobby of the Ren. (Thrifty, as I recall) but I have never rented any kind of off-road vehicle. I presume they have them. Both times I used Thrifty, everything went off without a hitch so I guess I would recommend them. But there are lots of rental options so I defer to anyone that has ever actually rented a jeep.

I am pretty sure that I have seen people with soft-sided coolers near the pool/lagoon at the Ocean Suites.

As for the grocery stores, The closest facsimille to a grocery store that I am aware of is on the far side of the Marina. I have bought bunches of beer there, when I have stayed at the Marina, but some people are kind of put-off by the ambiance (or lack thereof). Plus, it's a good haul from the Ocean Suites. Unless you like walking several blocks with an armload of groceries, you might as well take a cab to Ling's, even if you're only getting a loaf of bread and some cold-cuts.
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Old Tuesday, May 5th, 2009, 12:45 PM
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Smile Re: Info On Renaissance Resort

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bandy1080 View Post
Hi everyone,
I am new to the forum. I have been using Tripadvisor but found that it does not provide enough information. Luckily I found this place.

My wife and I are travelling to Aruba for the first time next month in celebration of our 2nd wedding anniversary. We are staying at the Ocean Suites at the Renaissance. I have done plenty of research on the hotel but I am completely lost when it comes to things outside of the resort, and I was really hoping that the members here could help me out with a bunch of questions that I had. Any feedback would be GREATLY appreciated.

1. I have heard great and not-so-great things about the restaurants in the hotel What are some great dinner reservations for the downtown Oranjestad area, in walking distance from the hotel?

2. Natural Pools - the one thing I would like to do is to rent a jeep and drive to the natural pools. Now I know it is a rough road, but I think that is half the fun. Can anyone recommend a good jeep renting company? I know the hotel rents them out of the lobby, does anyone have feedback on that?

3. Beach and Pools at the hotel - I know that you are not allowed to bring coolers or extras to the private island, but would it be ok if we brough a soft cooler down to the pool?

4. Grocery Stores - since we are at the suites, we will have a small kitchen. While I don't plan on cooking a whole lot, it would be nice to get some necessities from a grocery store. I know there is a small one in the area, but would it be worth it to take a cab to the larger Ling and Sons?

Once again, thanks so much for any feedback you can provide.

Brian
We will be staying at the Ocean Suites the end of this month for a week. We stayed here for 3 nights once before. There is a golf cart that will take you from the suites to the hotel which saves some walking if you are old like us. From the hotel there are many restaurant choices within a half mile. Most of the downtown restaurants are within half a mile of the hotel. There are some good breakfast restaurants in the seaport mall as well.
We like El Gaucho, the old fisherman, the Paddock, Don Carlos, Iguana Joes and La Petite cafe. We are going to try the Yemanji wood fired grill, L G Smith steakhouse and Cubas Cookin on this trip. We were going to try Cooks but it will be closed for renovations when we are there.
There is a sort of 7/11 type store in the seaport mall. I dont know what your basics are, but they sell bread, beer, pop chips etc.
I dont know about the cooler at the pool because they have a swim up bar that we use. The private island has a decent restaurant/bar. Good burgers, salads and dogs.
The setup on the private island is adults side to your right when you exit the dock and family side to the left. The restaurant/bar and red sail sports is to the left, family side. You can do a little snorkeling inside the rocks on the adult side and on both sides outside the rocks. Gets a little rough outside the rocks sometimes.
We also have not rented a jeep there. Wife can not do hills and rocks so we have never gone to the natyral pool. She does like Baby beach. We just rent a car. Only going to cost us $270 for the 11 days. Worth it to us.
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Old Tuesday, May 5th, 2009, 07:42 PM
bhoffdhoff bhoffdhoff is offline
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Default Re: Info On Renaissance Resort

I have heard the the Natural Pool is hard to find on your own. I believe it too. We went there last year on a jeep tour. I don't think we could have found it on our own. We used Land Rovers. It was loads of fun. I would recommend a jeep tour. We used ABC.
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Old Tuesday, May 5th, 2009, 08:00 PM
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Default Re: Info On Renaissance Resort

Brian:

The Renaissance Ocean Suites is a wonderful place to vacation, and close to everything. You will love it. As stated previously, there is a restaurant on the Suites side that is an outdoor cafe. We only ate breakfast there, but it was good. There are several restaurants that are in the immediate area. I would recommend L.G. Smith's, Rumba , Que Pasa, Yemanja, Dutch Pancake House, Driftwood and Iguana Joes. All are within an easy walk from the Suites.
The Natural Pool is a different story. We made the trip in a rental jeep, and I wondered if we would make it out alive. It is a very treachorous trip!! I would suggest a tour on three wheelers if you really want to go. We were not that impressed once we got there.
You are not supposed to take coolers to the island. However, we took a soft side cooler everday with no problems. Additionally, I saw many people by the pool with coolers. Everything is pretty laid back, and as long as you don't flaunt it, I don't think anyone will mind.
There is a grocery store behind the Ren Marina hotel. It may be a long walk if you have a lot of groceries, and you may want to get a taxi.
Have a great time!

Bill
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Old Wednesday, May 6th, 2009, 07:51 AM
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Default Re: Info On Renaissance Resort

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bandy1080 View Post
Hi everyone,
I am new to the forum. I have been using Tripadvisor but found that it does not provide enough information. Luckily I found this place.

My wife and I are travelling to Aruba for the first time next month in celebration of our 2nd wedding anniversary. We are staying at the Ocean Suites at the Renaissance. I have done plenty of research on the hotel but I am completely lost when it comes to things outside of the resort, and I was really hoping that the members here could help me out with a bunch of questions that I had. Any feedback would be GREATLY appreciated.

1. I have heard great and not-so-great things about the restaurants in the hotel What are some great dinner reservations for the downtown Oranjestad area, in walking distance from the hotel? Recommend Aquarius and LGSmith steakhouse, Casa Tua,Paddock, Iguana Joes,Plaza Cafe Rumba, Yemanja all walking distance

2. Natural Pools - the one thing I would like to do is to rent a jeep and drive to the natural pools. Now I know it is a rough road, but I think that is half the fun. Can anyone recommend a good jeep renting company? I know the hotel rents them out of the lobby, does anyone have feedback on that? Our rentals for the past 12 years have been nothing but perfect with Thrifty located on suites lobby

3. Beach and Pools at the hotel - I know that you are not allowed to bring coolers or extras to the private island, but would it be ok if we brough a soft cooler down to the pool? You will not be allowed on the boat with a big mother type of cooler. A small cooler, the size a six pack will fit in will be allowed. Reason, restaurant on the island needs to stay in business. Firends of ours have been stopped and not allowed on the boat. Also, remember your room key to get on the boat. No room key, no boat ride.

4. Grocery Stores - since we are at the suites, we will have a small kitchen. While I don't plan on cooking a whole lot, it would be nice to get some necessities from a grocery store. I know there is a small one in the area, but would it be worth it to take a cab to the larger Ling and Sons?
Things to bring that are easy to pack are small pks of sugar, coffee filters, lb of coffee...easily picked up at Lings are the rest of things you need...

Also, other things to think about bringing from home...36" blow up tubes, bathroom air freshner, pump hand soap, small freezeable cooler thing...anyway, we've been going for 12 years, 2 weeks each yr. and feel very comfortable there. You will love it...cindyo

Once again, thanks so much for any feedback you can provide.

Brian
Have a blast....say hi to Jorge and Maluska on the island, George on the boats...
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Old Wednesday, May 6th, 2009, 04:58 PM
Bandy1080 Bandy1080 is offline
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Default Re: Info On Renaissance Resort

Awesome. This is exactly the info that i needed!

Any advice on which room # to request at the Ocean Suites?

And what are the drink prices on the island and at the pool, and what time is happy hour?

Also, how are the casinos at the resort in terms of minimum bets on the table games and drink service?

Again, thank you so much for your responses, as you can tell I really like to be prepared and I am very excited to be going to this resort!
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Old Wednesday, May 6th, 2009, 05:17 PM
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Default Re: Info On Renaissance Resort

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bandy1080 View Post
Awesome. This is exactly the info that i needed!

Any advice on which room # to request at the Ocean Suites?

And what are the drink prices on the island and at the pool, and what time is happy hour?

Also, how are the casinos at the resort in terms of minimum bets on the table games and drink service?

Again, thank you so much for your responses, as you can tell I really like to be prepared and I am very excited to be going to this resort!
You have two casino choices: the one at the Seaport Village and the Crystal Casino, which adjoins the Ren. Marina. Since I don't do casinos, I have no further comments except that the Crystal Casino looked pretty nice when I walked by it.

I would be remiss if I didn't commend you on your excellent choice for a vacation destination. One word of warning, Aruba is addictive. It is not by accident that Aruba enjoys the highest repeat visitor rate in the Caribbean. You might be planning your next trip before your first trip is even over! (It happens to the best of us.)
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Old Wednesday, May 6th, 2009, 07:34 PM
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Default Re: Info On Renaissance Resort

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bandy1080 View Post
Awesome. This is exactly the info that i needed!

Any advice on which room # to request at the Ocean Suites? Odd #'s face the pool, even #'s face parking lots...Full suites are on 1,3 and 5th floors. Hotel rooms, are on 2 &4.

And what are the drink prices on the island and at the pool, and what time is happy hour? Happy hour is only at the pool, not on the island anymore. I believe it was 4:30-5:30

Also, how are the casinos at the resort in terms of minimum bets on the table games and drink service? Drink service for anything, don't worry about min. bets. Casino's are both smokey, hate it ! When you travel thru customs in aruba grab those Little switzerland bags, some have free $5 cards for the casino. You should also get 1 free casino card at check in at Renn.

Again, thank you so much for your responses, as you can tell I really like to be prepared and I am very excited to be going to this resort!
Ask away. We're heading back in November, couldn't wait another year!
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Old Wednesday, May 6th, 2009, 08:31 PM
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Default Re: Info On Renaissance Resort

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Originally Posted by charlierat View Post
You have two casino choices: the one at the Seaport Village and the Crystal Casino, which adjoins the Ren. Marina. Since I don't do casinos, I have no further comments except that the Crystal Casino looked pretty nice when I walked by it.

I would be remiss if I didn't commend you on your excellent choice for a vacation destination. One word of warning, Aruba is addictive. It is not by accident that Aruba enjoys the highest repeat visitor rate in the Caribbean. You might be planning your next trip before your first trip is even over! (It happens to the best of us.)
Most of the casinos have $5 minimums. There are penny, nickel 25c and up machines.
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Old Friday, May 8th, 2009, 01:47 PM
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Default Re: Info On Renaissance Resort

Brian-

Feel free to ask any other questions....I've been going to our home away from home every year since 1977.....next trip begins on July 3rd for at least 2 weeks at the Renaissance.

The Concierge Manager, Linda Garcia, is a gem...she is based in the lobby of the Ocean Suites and will go above and beyond to help you. We've known her for so many years now, she's part of the family.

Enjoy!
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Old Friday, May 8th, 2009, 06:54 PM
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Brian-

Feel free to ask any other questions....I've been going to our home away from home every year since 1977.....next trip begins on July 3rd for at least 2 weeks at the Renaissance.

The Concierge Manager, Linda Garcia, is a gem...she is based in the lobby of the Ocean Suites and will go above and beyond to help you. We've known her for so many years now, she's part of the family.

Enjoy!
Is this the same person as Liliana Gracia <lgracia"at"arubarenaissance.com>?
I have been put in contact with her because we are arriving and leaving a day later than our timeshare week and she has been helpful in finding us a room for the extra night on the tail end of our trip.

As the date gets closer (we leave 5/30) hopefully I can talk to her to try to get the nicest room possible, as I want this anniversary week to be as perfect as possible.

Once again, thanks to everyone for their recommendations. And I am sure I will have more questions as the date gets closer.
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Old Friday, May 8th, 2009, 09:38 PM
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Is this the same person as Liliana Gracia <lgracia"at"arubarenaissance.com>? NO, 2 different people.Liliana is the time share coordinator, Linda is the concierge at the suites.

Once again, thanks to everyone for their recommendations. And I am sure I will have more questions as the date gets closer.
Two different woman doing 2 different jobs.
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Old Thursday, May 14th, 2009, 01:01 PM
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Default Re: Info On Renaissance Resort

2 more weeks until we leave. Thanks for everyone's help, we can't wait to get there!

Last question, does anyone have any insider advice about staying at and enjoying the Renaissance? Maybe something I forgot to ask a question about?

Thanks again!

Brian

Last edited by Bandy1080; Thursday, May 14th, 2009 at 01:30 PM.
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Old Thursday, May 14th, 2009, 01:47 PM
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Default Re: Info On Renaissance Resort

Casinos:

Both are decent casinos. The Crystal is fancier, but still has plenty of $5 minimum tables. The Crystal is also the only full time casino (but many of the games, such as craps, do not run during the day). The Seaport officially opens its table games at 5 or 6 pm, but I have played blackjack there just after noon. It's very casual, and I have always found the people there to be very nice.

Have a great time!
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Old Thursday, May 14th, 2009, 02:54 PM
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Wink Re: Info On Renaissance Resort

Charlierat, Arubabob and others covered everything well, but don't go to that dump of a Market by the RenMarina.....invest the 4.00 each way and get a taxi and go to Ling & Sons where it is the closest thing to an American grocery store with a ton of American brands, it will be worth the extra Taxi, or hop the bus in front of your hotel to go the mile to get to Ling's about a buck each way.....p.s. Taxi's are always out front of the hotel and grocery store, so need to ask the taxi to wait.....Ling and Sons rock when it comes to the fresh Caribbean fruit and meats !
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Old Thursday, May 14th, 2009, 03:40 PM
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Charlierat, Arubabob and others covered everything well, but don't go to that dump of a Market by the RenMarina.....invest the 4.00 each way and get a taxi and go to Ling & Sons where it is the closest thing to an American grocery store with a ton of American brands, it will be worth the extra Taxi, or hop the bus in front of your hotel to go the mile to get to Ling's about a buck each way.....p.s. Taxi's are always out front of the hotel and grocery store, so need to ask the taxi to wait.....Ling and Sons rock when it comes to the fresh Caribbean fruit and meats !
Is it really only $4 each way for a taxi to Lings? Will they wait for you?

How much is it from the airport, I heard like $20?

Also, at the suites, do we have a regular size fridge or just a little one?
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Old Thursday, May 14th, 2009, 08:11 PM
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Is it really only $4 each way for a taxi to Lings? Will they wait for you?

How much is it from the airport, I heard like $20?

Also, at the suites, do we have a regular size fridge or just a little one?
The fridge is under the counter. Not much freezer space. Taxi from airport to Ren suites is about $13 according to schedule on the web site.
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Old Thursday, May 14th, 2009, 08:33 PM
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Talking Re: Info On Renaissance Resort

Bandy1080.....I can't find the exact amount from Ren Resort, last time I took it from the Movie theater at Seaport to the Divi it cost me 7.00 and Ling's is closer.....still even at 7.00 or 8.00 it is worth the money to have good groceries for the week. The food and choices at Ling's are the best on the island and worth the trip. I always do breakfast and lunch at the resort and then splurge on dinner
Yes, if you ask Taxi's will wait, but there is no need as they are always parked out front the grocery store waiting for fares back to the hotels.....
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Old Thursday, May 14th, 2009, 10:29 PM
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Default Re: Info On Renaissance Resort

The Taxi from the Airport to the Renaissance is about $20 plus theycharge additional for extra luggage. We paid $23.
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Old Thursday, May 14th, 2009, 11:23 PM
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Airport to the Renaissance is $13 plus...


CONDITIONS ON TAXI TARIFFS

  • All rates must be in Aruban Florins (AWG) as well as in US dollars (USS);
  • Minimum fare is Awg. 9.00 / US$ 5.00. Exchange rate is Awg. 1.80 to US$ 1.00
  • Prices are based on distance with a maximum capacity of 5 passengers per taxi
  • Sundays, official holidays and after midnight there will be a surcharge of Awg. 5.40 / US$ 3.00 to the regular fares
  • Each passenger from and to the airport is allowed on piece of luggage. For each additional piece of luggage there will be an additional charge of Awg. 3.60 / US$ 2.00 per piece
  • Use of car trunk, not going to or coming from the airport, will be an additional charge of Awg. 3.60 / US$ 2.00
  • Waiting time is Awg. 5.40 / US$ 3.00 per 5 minutes
  • In case of damage due to wet clothing, sharp objects or otherwise to the cars interior, there will be an additional damage charge of Awg. 90.00 / US$ 50.00
  • Taxis can be hired at an hourly rate of Awg. 72.00 / US$ 40.00 per hour
  • The driver is - within reason - responsible for lost items in his/her car. Found objects must be immediately be reported and turned over to the Department of Public Transportation or the nearest Police Station
  • The driver is not allowed to ask other fares than these approved by the Government
  • The driver is not allowed to transport more than five (5) passengers in a taxi
  • If a passenger being the first one to ask to be transported to a location, refuses, the driver is not allowed to take more persons in to his/her taxi. If more passengers, not being part of the same group, are transported to the same destination, then the far has to be divided within the group.
  • The tariffs must be placed in sight for the passengers in the taxi

Officially approved by the Minister of Tourism and Transport

The Department of Public Transportation
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Old Friday, May 15th, 2009, 08:11 AM
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Default Re: Info On Renaissance Resort

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bandy1080 View Post
2 more weeks until we leave. Thanks for everyone's help, we can't wait to get there!

Last question, does anyone have any insider advice about staying at and enjoying the Renaissance? Maybe something I forgot to ask a question about?

Thanks again!

Brian
Insider notes....FWIW....
room key=boat ride, no key,no ride to the island, small coolers allowed on the island, large ones turned away, bring your own 36" tube for the island, Aquarius has a great brunch buffet, bingo is at 4 at the suites pool deck, happy hour is at 4:30 at the pool and is not avial. on the island, nature walk on the island is nice, however VERY muggy walking, kyaks can be rented on the island...People to know...Raffi at the blue bar, great guy, George great friendly boat driver, Nelson at the suites great bar tender, Jorge and Maluska are the waiters on the island to use....Dunks in located at the Renn marketplace, Rooms at the suites are odd facing pool and even facing parking lot...
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Old Friday, May 15th, 2009, 09:49 AM
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Wow, thanks so much!

I just read a review on TA that says that you need bug spray for the island. Is this true? I find it hard to believe.
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Old Friday, May 15th, 2009, 10:12 AM
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Wow, thanks so much!

I just read a review on TA that says that you need bug spray for the island. Is this true? I find it hard to believe.
We have never had a mosquito bite on Aruba but I understand that there are some there. We have always gone between April and November(12 trips)though. They may be more prevelent in the wetter months.
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Old Friday, May 15th, 2009, 04:31 PM
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Default Re: Info On Renaissance Resort

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Originally Posted by Bandy1080 View Post
Wow, thanks so much!

I just read a review on TA that says that you need bug spray for the island. Is this true? I find it hard to believe.
Never brought it, never needed it....
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Old Monday, May 18th, 2009, 11:42 AM
Linda744 Linda744 is offline
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I Love Aruba Re: Info On Renaissance Resort

If you feel adventureous one night, take a taxi ride to the "Palm Beach Strip" - the strip in front of the Radisson, Hyatt, Playa Linda & Holiday Inn. There is also casino's at the Radisson, Holiday Inn, Marriott, and Occidental. You can explore the new mall down with a very nice lighted water show, a Hard Rock Cafe plus other restaurants, and small kiosks and stores to get souveniors, T-shirts, jewelry etc. That mall also has a brand new stadium seating movie theatre. There is also a cigar place and Cafe Amici has excellent food, desserts, gelato, expresso etc. and they also have live entertainment one night during the week - you will need to check their schedule for that. Worth the trip if you are looking for something different to do one night.
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Old Monday, May 18th, 2009, 12:30 PM
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Default Re: Info On Renaissance Resort

Good advice. Just for the sake of completeness, in that strip you will also find casinos at the Hyatt Regency (Copacabana), Westin (Casablanca) and the Riu (Cool). In any case, have fun!
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  #28  
Old Monday, May 18th, 2009, 03:59 PM
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Default Re: Info On Renaissance Resort

Walk over to the Bus Depot and catch the bus to Hong King (stops right outside) then catch a cab back with your groceries. Since Hong King is right on the main road its easier to find then Ling & Sons.

You BOTH need your room keys to take the boat over to the island! We just assumed since we were together and registered as Double Occupancy we'd only need one...NOPE, had to go back and get the other one.

Enjoy!
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Old Monday, May 18th, 2009, 10:50 PM
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Default Re: Info On Renaissance Resort

I have been going to the Renaissance forever and you can bring a
cooler to the pool and no one ever said any thing when I bring
drinks to the Island. I just bring a small soft cooler with drinks
and sandwiches. The island also has a very nice restaurant.
If you are staying at the Renaissance, you are deffinately going
to have a great time.
Rae
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Old Wednesday, May 27th, 2009, 10:20 AM
Bandy1080 Bandy1080 is offline
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Default Re: Info On Renaissance Resort

Is there wireless internet in the rooms? if so, how much?

Can't wait, we leave in three days. Thanks so much for everyone's help.
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Old Thursday, May 28th, 2009, 09:48 PM
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Smile Re: Info On Renaissance Resort

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bandy1080 View Post
Is there wireless internet in the rooms? if so, how much?

Can't wait, we leave in three days. Thanks so much for everyone's help.
$15 a day. We have been here since last friday. We are moving to the Westin in the morning for 3 nights.
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Old Friday, May 29th, 2009, 06:16 AM
Bill9001 Bill9001 is offline
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Default Re: Info On Renaissance Resort

The internet is a wired connection in the room, not wireless. I believe that the weekly rate was $70.00.
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