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“Fantastic Vacation” 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
Milton
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
116 helpful votes 116 helpful votes
“Fantastic Vacation”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2011

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!

Rooms:
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.

Restaurants:
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!

Drinks:
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.

Night Life:
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.

Resort Gym:
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.

Resort Location:
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.

Sight Seeing:
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.

Notes:
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!

Conclusion:
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

Room Tip: North Tower rooms with even numbers have pool and ocean view. South Tower rooms odd numbers have the...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 (890)
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New Jersey
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2011

First...there was a lot of banging going on in the timeshare tower…. Than we got a letter on saying AC will be out till about 4pm and Royal Club lounge will be closed for LUNCH…to make other arrangements . I woke up in the morning in a hot room-no AC, no electricity, no breakfast in the Royal Club lounge. No one said anything about the power being shut off!!! So we decided to go to the buffet downstairs—good luck waiting for 1 working elevator to show up. We were taking stairs up and down to the 9th floor…!!!! In the afternoon we went on ATV ride hoping by the time we come back lights will be on…came back into dark and hot hotel. No one knew exactly when lights will go back up. Lobby was full of mad people. Huge line by the elevator…so we walked up 9 stairs to our room and went to take a shower in the dark… I slipped coming out of the tub. All the dinner reservations got moved up…my dinner would have been at 10pm so we just went out to eat. In the middle of the night lights when out again. We were watching TV and everything went out for few hrs. Then the next day we had water issues. I went into the shower, put soap on myself and water went out!!!! I couldn’t believe it! Little by little cold water started dripping so I was able to wash off…thank god I didn’t put soap in my hair otherwise it would have been worse! Got back into our room after dinner...to our surprise, no AC in the room AGAIN. I WAS SOOO MAD!!! Internet was also not working…. This was supposed to be a relaxing getaway…and everything that could have gone wrong---DID! I have never had a vacation that was sooo screwed up. I felt bad for pple who were on their honeymoon---some just packed up and left earlier. There has to be a better way of letting people know whats going on in the hotel. Especially if the hotel if full!
P.S. Food is very poor...we went out to eat! Italian is supposed to be good but we had no chance to find out!

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2011

We travelled to Aruba to experience the beach, the weather, the pool, the meals and the atmosphere. In all of these areas, we rate our stay at the Occidental as superb. Aruba's motto "One Happy Island" is reflected in how everyone we met treated us as visitors. A return visit not expected when we went is now a certainty.

Room Tip: an upgrade toi "ocean view" is sufficient to ensure a good location
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Somerset, New Jersey
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2011

This was our second trip back and Murphy's law came into play in the South Tower. First ,we had mold in the bathroom on the 4th floor, then 2 days of no A/C, no electricity,and on the 8th floor!!!! yes, it was NOT fun hiking up 8 flights of stairs!Then the next day we had no water because the water pipe was busted!!!!
What was great was the pool entertainment by folks who were trying to keep our spirits up.
Both the Italian and Zen Restaurants were outstanding just like last year with great food and service!
We tried to keep positive but it was very difficult. Management did NOT communicate well on any of these issues!!!!!!!!! Management should also look at the data and schedule maintenance when there isn't a large capacity. Plus they need a backup plan when things don't get down when it is expected to be completed. very disappointed on their decision making!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2011

This was our first trip to aruba. We went because of a friends wedding that was there at the Occidental Grand Aruba. Because of our bad luck [with the exception of the Ritz Carleton Jamaica] with all inclusive hotels, we really didn't want to stay at this hotel. But we did so that we could be part of the wedding festivities.
The hotel is nice, the room was clean and the pool and beach were too. I do believe that tipping at the all inclusive hotels does make your stay better. But even tipping here for food that would have been edible was an impossibility. The only meal that we ate at the hotel was breakfast. We'd go for lunch everyday next door at the Hyatt or down at the Westin Hotel. For dinner we went into town for some wonderful dinners. friends and family had recommended several restaurants that were fabulous. Madame Jeanette's was one name that I remember.
We did have to eat with the wedding guests the night before the wedding for a pre wedding party. Again, the food was terrible. We were hoping that on the night of the wedding the food would be somewhat better. It was a very small amount of being better, but the portions were very small. The waiter that served our table[which was at the groom's family table] could not identify the vegetables on our plates! He asked 2 other waiters and they gave 2 different answers.
The island is very pretty and the people that live there are all very friendly. My other complaint about this hotel is the persistent salespeople trying to sell timeshares to their other properties was very annoying. We had to tell them that we'd never pick one of their hotels to stay in anywhere. The hotel needs to improve the quality of their food before they send salespeople around selling timeshares. Their efforts should go to the dining experiences there.

Room Tip: Stay there, but eat dinner elsewhere
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2011

We were in Aruba second time. First time in all inclusive vacation package, we had no power for a day - NO AIR CONDITIONER, NO LIGHTS in bath, just one elevator working - I am highly disappointed

Room Tip: Contraction works all day in the second tower - choose a better room in another resort
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lincoln Park, New Jersey
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2011

This is our second trip to Aruba and the second stay at Occidental. We brought friends of ours after the great time we had with our first stay. We booked again through Orbitz. Apon arrival for check in we were informed that the hotel was totally overbooked. I felt terrible. Not only was MY vacation about to go down the drain, but my best friends as well. Anyway, the staff at the Occidental took us aside, and handled it very professionally. We were put up at the Hyatt rite next door for our entire 6 night stay. We were given beach massages for all 4 of us, and Occidental invited us back for a free week stay on them. JACKPOT! Not only did we get to stay at the Hyatt, but we get to come back again for free! The rest of our stay was perfect. It was less then a 5 minute walk from our rooms at the Hyatt to the Occidental. We ate all our meals and spent most of our time at the Occidental. Beach time was spent at the Hyatt only because it was much less crowded on thier beach. Occidental does a great job for the money. The food in the restaurants is good, the drinks are great and the staff goes out of thier way to make you happy. Even if we had to pay, I would return to the Occidental.

Room Tip: Maybe book directly through Occidental to avoid the overbook issue we had booking through Orbitz.
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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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