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“Fantastic time” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Occidental Grand Aruba Resort & Casino

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Occidental Grand Aruba Resort & Casino
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   J.E. Irausquin Boulevard 83, Palm - Eagle Beach, Aruba   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #23 of 24 Hotels in Palm - Eagle Beach
England
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Fantastic time”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2007

We stayed at the Occidental from 10th Oct - 24th Oct, had a fantastic time. We were a bit worried about what we would find as we had read some bad things. I have to say it was a near perfect holiday. Wionderful weather apart from the day we left when there was a storm which kept us inside all day although it was still very warm.
We went to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary so we wanted something a bit special the only downside was the fact that First Choice only buy rooms on 1st 3 floors (which I read about on tripadvisor), when I contacted First Choice I was told this is not true and they would infact get in touch with the Occidental and make sure we have a room on a high floor with a sea view. When at the hotel we had it confirmed that First Choice do only buy rooms on the first 3 floors so we ended up with a room on the 3rd floor with only a partial sea view overlooking a car park. This was a bit disappointing, but at least we had a bit of sea view.
We had no problem at all booking all the a la carte restaurants, as we were staying for 14 nights we could book these for 8 nights. They were all fantastic except the first time we went to the Caribbean restaurant there was a wedding and they were trying to serve the wedding guest on the beach as well as run the restaurant with minimum staff. We had to wait ages for our food and when it came it was cold. After our main course the waitress disappeared for half an hour so we just left without having desert. So beware if there is a wedding you will get poor service.
Never had a problem with towels, just make sure you put dirty towels in the bath and you will get fresh every day. Never had a problem with fridge in room it was restocked every other day.
Yes we did have to get up early to get a pool chair, but there was alway plenty on the beach.
The beach is fantastic it is the second best beach we have been
to.
All the staff were very friendly and couldn't do enough for you.
We went into town on the bus which stops right outside the hotel and felt totally safe.

  • Liked — Named brand drinks
  • Disliked — view over carpark
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,687 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (887)
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English first
Upstate NY
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2007

We just returned from our first trip to Aruba. We had a wonderful vacation and enjoyed everything about the Occidental. After reading mixed reviews here before our vacation I was very concerned about the Occidental. We found everything to be top notch, from the service to the location to the food. The weather and beauty of the island were both incredible.
Pleasing everyone is almost impossible, and I'm sure sometimes problems do occur, (where ever you stay). But, our check-in was very fast, rooms were very comfortable and the staff were all helpful and pleasant. We had no complaints about the food either. The buffet was very nice for all meals, and the reservations for the other restaurants were very easy to get. We especially enjoyed the O'lio (Italian)our waiter Rino was delightful, we made the a second reservation or the O'lio during our stay because of his service as well as the food. The Zen and the Mexican were very good as well.
We did reserve beach chairs with towels, as , mentioned in other reviews, but I don't think it was a big issue because spent most of our time in the water, having the perfect spot for a beach chair was a non-issue.
We will be planning our second trip ASAP. Loved IT!

  • Liked — Relaxed atmosphere,ease of planning excursions and location.
  • Disliked — The occasional time share salespeople.
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BOURNEMOUTH UK
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2007

Long review, but hope this helps future travellers.
We will return to Aruba, and maybe even the Occidental again. Its a lovely island and location. We upgraded to the Royal Club and wouldn't stay there unless this was available
.
We stayed at the Occidental from the 10th Oct thru to the 24th.
We flew with First Choice and were the last party from the UK Till next May. First Choice carry a lot of weight in Aruba. Everyone mentioned that they were glad we were coming from the Uk and that the business was very good for the island. On more than one occasion we were told First Choice have a significant presence at the resorts.

Flight was good, but long. We upgraded to the Premier seats but for the money we wouldnt do it again. The seats weren't much better, the endless drinks were ok, but there is only so much you can consume. Priority luggae loading/unloading was good but then you have to wait for everyone else before the coach leaves for the resort.
Thanks to a mistake from the rep, check in took ages. Initally we were all guided to the ballroom and joined the queue. When reaching the end we were then informed that Royal Club have their own check in on the 9th floor. Would have been nice to know this beforehand. Could have saved 30 mins, not much but after an 18 hour day we just wanted to relax. Royal Club check in was long, but the champagne and personal service helped.
We had a 7th floor room, pool view and had no complaints. After 4 days we uprgaded to a suite, with lounge and dining room, complete with jacuzzi. More space and worth the money.
Royal Club guests have their own restaurant and this was the one saving grace for us.
Loaction of the hotel is perfect. Nice and clean, well maintained and all staff were friendly. Never had any communication problems.
We ate at the Mexican, Italian and Tex-Mex restaurants, as well as the Royal and thought they were all just ok. Nothing special but a pleasant evening. Never had any problems getting reservations. We ate breakfast at the main buffet a couple of times and it was ok. 9am breakfast was wise to avoid, The queues were horrendous Dinner was another matter. We are not fussy eaters, but we struggled to find anything we liked and when we did it was tasteless. Service was ok, but the buffet in the evenings always seemed deserted. If we didnt have a restaurant booking we ate at the Royal Club and always had excellant meals, personal service and friendly atmosphere.
The pool is nice, but you had to get up at 6am to get a bed. It was crazy. 7am was way too late but then the towels remained in place till midday sometims before some one came to claim them. We gave up and used the beach. Never had a problem there finding any shade. May not have been at the front but not a problem.
We did the Jeep Safari. An all day trek around the island, finishing at baby beach and would recommend as a brillant way of seeing the island. We also booked a helicopter flight, again very good. Both booked with the rep, but would have been cheaper booking directly. We also did the "Master Blaster" boat ride. Located by the Marriott hotels and really fun. High speed but also very informative. We learnt so much about the island. Run by a really nice couple, and I wish I could remember there names.
Despite the forecasts predicting rain every day, we had very little and it was only our final day when we had a real storm that kept us inside. All other times, we had a brief shower, over in 5 mins, or lighting storms that were great to watch.
The hotel is close to shops and restaurants so you have somewhere to explore by foot.
Overall we had a great time. We relaxed, explored and enjoyed the island. If the hotel could just sort out the pool situation ( we were there in the quiet season so how bad is it at peak times !). Also, if we had to eat at the buffett everyday we wouldnt have lasted two weeks. No way could we had eaten there every day.

Royal Club made the hotel for us. A wonderful room on the 7th floor, personal service and attention to detail.

We met a lot of interesting people, mainly from the states (New York, New Jersey) and enjoyed hearing stories. Life is so different overseas. Hi to everyone we met :)
Any further details needed, please dont hestiate to contact me

  • Liked — Royal Club
  • Disliked — The pool and towel situation
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Illinois
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2007

We arrived at 4:00 Pm on Oct. 13. Upon check in was told our room was still being cleaned so go have a drink. After two hours of waiting went back to front desk and was told that the hotel was over booked, didn't they know this at 4:00. We were sent to the Radisson but had to come back for meals and drinks. The next day, we had to check out of the Radisson at noon. Came back to the Occidental but was told that check in was 4: PM. Our check in was 4:00 PM the day before. Had to wait 4 hours before finally getting a room. Our first two days of vacation were spent lugging suitcases around and not getting to unpack or enjoy the beach. Once we got our room it was not what we booked, two double beds not the King reserved. There were blood stains on the drapes and the room was not very clean. One day we had no bath towels, a call to housekeeping went nowhere. The minibar was supposed to be refilled every other day, during our stay of 6 days(seeing one was at the Radisson) it was filled once. Customer service was nonexistant. If you didn't get to the beach by 11:00 AM there were no towels. The food was mediocre, not luxury in any way. Definitely not worth the money. If you want to go to a resort where the staff could careless about the quality of your vacation, the food is not up to the standards of the price, stay here. If you expect good customer service and return on your money, get what you paid for, stay somewhere else.

  • Liked — Rolan the busboy, the only staff member who cared
  • Disliked — The lack of customer service
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scotland
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2007

My partner and I stayed at the Occidental from 10/10/07-24/10/07.
After reading uncomplimentary reviews I was concerned about the hotel, we needn't have worried.
It was by far our best holiday experience.
The hotel grounds were well kept and the staff were friendly. Even the iguanas were friendly!
Contrary to reports on this site, reservations for speciality restaurants could be made easily. We stayed for 14 nights and were allowed 8 reservations up front, more reservations could be made on the day, although they had to be made early. Otherwise the buffet restaurant was available and the quality of food was good with a different menu/theme each night. The food was of good quality in each of the restaurants and the waiters were always timely to fill our glasses.
We chose to tip waiters and bar staff but unlike other Caribbean resorts this was not necessary to receive good service.
Our room was on the ground floor with the patio doors opening on to the pool area. The room was beautiful, just as pictured in the brochure. The bathroom was equally beautiful with fresh towels provided every day.
We watched each of the shows and enjoyed them all. As part of the A/I package we watched the shows for free, guests from other hotels paid $15 each.
The beach was the most stunning I have ever seen.
Aruba is a very safe Island. We went to town by bus and walked among the locals at night without fear. Not once were we asked for money or pestered by salesmen in the street.
The island is also duty free so perfume, alcohol etc are considerably cheaper than in the UK, especially with dollar rate.
Various tours were available, the only one we participated in was the Sea Trek at De Palm Island, I would highly recommend it. I am not a strong swimmer and as there is no swimming involved I felt safe.
The only downside was getting up at 7am to reserve beds by the pool. By 8am they were all reserved so I would advise anyone visiting to get up early and lay a towel on a bed. As we could walk
out the door on to the pool area it was no big deal but had we been on the next level it would have been a pain.
All in all we would definitely return to this hotel and would recommend it to anyone.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding this hotel.
Nicola, Scotland

  • Liked — Stunning beach
  • Disliked — Having to get up so early to reserve a sun lounger
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2007

We went on a great vacation with a group of friends. Our stay at the Occidental Grand Aruba was awsome. The staff was very nice and extremely helpful. Rooms were clean. Good Food & Drink. Hope to return someday.

CONS:
Book your dinners as soon as you arrive at the resort.
Nightlife at the resort is just O.K.

  • Liked — all-inclusive
  • Disliked — dinner was to late, because we were a group of 7
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indianapolis, IN
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2007

My husband and I honeymooned there Oct 7-14th and loved it!!! I was hesitant reading past reviews,, but was pleased to find none of the bad reviews were true,, not in our opinion. Check in was a breeze, so was check out. The rooms were nice and clean and we liked having a balcony. We had a partial ocienview,, very nice. But we were not in our room that much, so we didnt care that much. Food was great!! The buffet food was good too,, of course there was some things i did not care for, but always found something i liked!! Resturants were good too! we loved the tempura sushi at Zen.! We went there twice! The beach is awesome, and so is the beach bar!! very convient. the pool was beautiful and the pool bar was an added bonus! The ONLY complaint i had was finding chairs at the pool in the morning. Out of the 7 days we were there, we only got chairs once at the pool. Lots of people would apparently get up at like 6am and put towels down to save chairs... We were not going to get up that early on our honeymoon for that. We went to the beach and liked it better anyway!!! No troubles finding spots on the beach. We also did the Jolly Pirate Ship,, fun! they take you snorkeling as well as feed you drinks,, yeah! Snorkeling was great, i loved it! The service at the hotel was great, everyone was friendly. They move a little slower than folks here in the U.S., but it wasnt bad at all. And yes leave a couple bucks for maid service and a note asking for extra towels and you shall receive!! HAve fun, dont sweat the bad reviews like i did! Relax and enjoy!!!

  • Liked — That it was all inclusive !
  • Disliked — Not getting a chair by pool
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Occidental Grand Aruba Resort & Casino

Address: J.E. Irausquin Boulevard 83, Palm - Eagle Beach, Aruba
Location: Caribbean > Aruba > Palm - Eagle Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#12 Luxury Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#13 Spa Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#16 Top resorts Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#17 On the Beach Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Occidental Grand Aruba Resort & Casino 4*
Number of rooms: 368
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on the legendary island of Aruba, the Occidental Grand Aruba Resort and Casino is an all-inclusive luxury hotel on beautiful Palm Beach. The Grand Aruba Resort features a casino, dining, bars, nightlife, water sports and elegant event spaces for meetings & weddings. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Occidental Grand Aruba Hotel Palm/Eagle Beach
Occidental Aruba
Aruba Grand Occidental
Occidental Hotel Aruba
Grand Aruba
Occidental Grand Aruba Resort & Casino Palm - Eagle Beach

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