I just returned from a wonderful stay at the Occidental! We (my and husband and I) booked the “Super saver room” which is the same as the “Deluxe room” but a cheaper price. Once the super saver price sells out then you have the option of the booking Deluxe or Deluxe ocean view.
We arrived to the resort at about 1:30pm and were directed to a conference room to receive our bracelets and room keys along with the other guests; the only downfall was that we were told that our rooms would not be ready until 3pm. Not a problem as we came prepared with our swim suits in our hand bag (a must when you have an early check inn)! At 3pm we went back to the front desk and were told that the room was not ready and to come back in one hour, so one hour goes by we were told it was ready and up to the third floor we went. We arrived to the room and it was still not ready; however the maid said we could leave our luggage inside the room and informed us that she would be done in half hour. Back to the beach we went to relax and catch the sunset at 6pm!
We were put up on the third floor North tower. The rooms with the odd numbers overlook the parking lot and the rooms with an even numbers overlook the pool and beach. We were in 1301 which is the first room closest to the elevator and stairs. If you get a room further down on the odd numbers you get the parking lot view but also some ocean view as well! If you stay at the South Tower, Odd number rooms overlook the Pool and Ocean. Even Numbers overlook the Radisson parking lot and some Ocean view! We changed rooms three days in, as a drunken women decided to keep the whole floor up from midnight until 4am. We decided not take any more chances and changed rooms without a problem as the front desk had logged many complaints about this issue.
The food was really good at the resort. The main buffet was open for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. There are four a la cart restaurants. I would suggest booking them as soon as you arrive as they fill up extremely quick! There is the Zen (Japanese) which was Fantastic, Mexican was really good, International (didn’t make it) and Italian was also Fantastic! There is also a Lunch grill closer to the beach that offers a great Salad bar, burgers, fish, chicken, veggies, fruit, dessert and Ice Cream! Overall the food at the resort was pretty good!
The drinks were pretty good. They have a water dispenser with Cold water that you may use at your own leisure (Aruba’s water is extremely safe to drink as they have a large water Distillery on the Island). We always brought our travel mugs with us, as it keeps the drinks cold and allows for larger portions as the cups they offer are small! If you come across Bananas at the Buffet, remember to bring them with you to the bar to make “Hemmingbirds” (Strawberry-Banana Daiquiris) There is a pool swim up bar and a beach bar outside. The lobby bar was pretty much the best place to get great drinks!
Beach and Pools:
My husband and I are totally beach bums and fell in love with the beautiful white sandy beach and the gorgeous turquoise ocean that was nice and warm. The resort has Beach Huts that would get reserved pretty quickly each morning (people get up as early as 6AM and put their towels on loungers under the huts). We were always lucky to be able to find a hut or even a Palm tree with shade! The resort has one large pool with a rock waterfall and hot tub in the center! Being that we are beach bums we never did get into the pool; however it was always full of people. The pool closes at about 7pm to be cleaned and to have chemicals added every night.
The resort offers a nightly show at 9pm and there’s is also a lounge / disco that would start up at about 11pm. We would always venture off the resort and didn’t make it to any of the shows or lounge, so I can’t say how good the shows or lounge were!
The Casino was pretty good at the resort. There were many tables and slots, and also offered Texas Hold ‘em Tournaments in the back area! At 9:30 and 10:30pm there was also Bingo with prices of $1000. and $100.(must have a whole card)! Take note however, that although the Casino at the Occidental has a Texas Hold ‘em table it was empty every night we were there. If you want to play, go to the Holiday Inn Casino or Radisson Casino, their Hold ‘em tables are always packed with people.
It may sound crazy to some people, but I enjoying working out daily if I have the time too, this being said my husband and I only made it to the gym four times throughout our stay. The Gym is in the South Tower on the main (2nd floor). The room is small but still offers good equipment. There are treadmills, bicycles, elliptical, weights and weight machines.
The resort is right on the Palm Beach strip. The beach is absolutely beautiful and in front of the resort there are numerous amounts of fantastic restaurants and shopping! There are local venders that are open each night till about 10 or 11pm and there is also a small mall with cinema at the end of the strip across from the Holiday Inn.
If you haven’t heard of it yet, then let me tell you that Renting a Jeep is a must when in Aruba! It is incredibly safe to venture out and explore what the island has to offer. We rented a Jeep thru Amigo Car and Jeep Rental for the day (which isn’t enough time to see everything)! We started off by going to the Light house at the Southeastern tip of the island. From there we went off-roading and just followed the Oceans edge. We stopped at the Santa Anna Church and at the Natural Bridge. Once we were back onto a main road we headed to Baby Beach for some snorkeling. Baby beach is so beautiful and the snorkeling is great. We did not use a tour guide as we brought our own Snorkel gear with us. The water at Baby beach isn’t deep expect for the rocky area off to the side. This is where all the schools of fish hang out (perfect for snorkeling)! Our last stop after Baby Beach was at the Renaissance Shopping Center in downtown Oranjestad. Many Designer store and behind the mall and close to the marina is an area with local vendors.
We ate out twice thru out our stay and would have eaten out more often but the a la cart restaurants were so good that we only ate out twice. The Italian restaurant Gianni’s is a must! We had the Parmigiano Formaggio pasta that is made inside a hollow wheel of Parmesan cheese with a Whiskey flame at our table, it was Fantastic! We also ate out at Papillon, a French restaurant that was also Fantastic!
Aruba is such a beautiful island, and I hope to visit again soon! There is so much to do and see and it’s a friendly island. The Occidental does a great job on making your stay and fantastic one. I would definitely go back to the Occidental. Some people may complain about small things but for the price you pay this resort is just wonderful! Just remember to make the most out of your holiday, cause you’re in Paradise! Here’s to another amazing holiday!
Thank you Occidental Grand
- 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