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“Paradise” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Occidental Grand Aruba

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Occidental Grand Aruba
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   J.E. Irausquin Boulevard 83 | Palm Beach, Aruba, Palm - Eagle Beach, Aruba   |  
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Ranked #20 of 24 Hotels in Palm - Eagle Beach
Knoxville, Tennessee
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Paradise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2012

I arrived in Aruba on Monday, November 26, 2012. I was greeted at the airport and provided bus service to the Occidental Grand Aruba. Raymond, the bus driver, provided an excellent level of entertainment on the ride to the Hotel. His sense of humor is only surpassed by his eagerness to educate and welcome his riders to Aruba. Upon arrival to the Occidental I was greeted by a Bellhop eager to take everyone’s luggage from the bus. After checking in at the front desk I was greeted by Augusto with a welcome drink. I was first assigned a room in Tower 1 on the fourth floor that contained two double beds. I returned to the front desk and explained that I had reserved a King Deluxe room. I was reassigned a King Deluxe in Tower 2 on the fourth floor. The room was in perfect condition, clean and fully stocked with drinks, water and beer in the refrigerator. The room was cleaned daily and left in immaculate condition. The view from the balcony overlooked the pool, beach and I could see the lighthouse at the end of the island. Absolute Paradise! After choosing your location and a morning walk on the beach coffee is ready at 7AM along with three free local newspapers for the taking. Everything you could possibly want for breakfast is included buffet style. The food is well prepared, tasty and offered in a pleasing manner. The staff is very accommodating, friendly and fun to start the day with. The beach at the Occidental is the best of high rise hotels. It drifts off into the ocean with a slight downgrade. Many areas of the other high rise hotels have a drop off from the beach to the ocean. Be sure and pick up a free float from Daveline (David’s daughter) at the Coconuts shop located to the right on the walkway to the beach. While you’re there reserve free sailboats ride with her father, David. You will have the time of your life sailing to the end of the island and back in approximately 1 hour. It’s a blast! David is handsome, funny and a great fisherman. Plus he’s an experienced sailor. I went with him alone and I felt very safe and repeated the trip two additional times with my girlfriends. Put this on your must do list during your visit. Lunch is served starting at Noon. Everything you can imagine is offered…you will not go hungry! Feed the Iguanas lettuce during lunch around the pool as they pose for photos. While many complain that top shelf liquor isn’t included at the bars, I didn’t find that a problem. Try an Aruba Arriba! Life is good! Please remember to tip you servers and bartenders. They are an excellent group of professionals that bend over backwards to make your stay pleasing. I know that the 15% gratuity is supposed to already be included but it IS NOT! They do not see a dime of the supposed 15% gratuity…unless you tip them personally. Make sure and make dinner reservation on your first day. L ’Olio’s was excellent…very romantic setting with superb food and service. The Zen Hibachi was the most entertaining. Elmo is the man and our chef rocked. Try the fried ice cream. It’s a dream! Don’t miss the Beach Party. The Fun Club entertainment was beautiful, artful and sexy. The dancers are very talented and encourage everyone’s participation. Alan pulled us from our seats onto the stage and we had the time of our life. The dancers are gorgeous in their pretty colorful feathered costumes. Alan was my favorite in his green pants and yellow and green feathers. He could surely shake a tail feather. The Casino is nice...just not my thing. The beach is the best, powdery white sand and gentle surf. There’s always a slight breeze. The worst part of the vacation is the time share staff will try and schedule and hour of your time in exchange for freebies. Watch your step. I walked out after 5 minutes when my freebie changed from a Jeep for the day to an economy car for a half-day because I’m single. Thanks…but NO THANKS! Remember you’re on vacation, be kind…not demanding… love your bartenders and servers and you will have the time of your life and make lifelong friends along the way. Drink plenty Aruba Arriba’s and let the good times roll! When you depart, leave 3 hours for airport security clearance. You’ll need it. I loved the Occidental Grand Aruba, its staff and most of all Aruba and its people. I will return.

Room Tip: Rooms facing the pool in Tower 2 provide a view of the pool, beach and the Lighthouse.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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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3,479 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 (820)
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English first
Saratoga Springs, New York
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2012

The Occidental Grand Aruba is a very nice all inclusive resort with a beautiful beach. When we paid for the all inclusive in advance we requested a 5th or 6th room with a pool view based on other reviews. We were given a 3rd floor room with a pool view. Upon entering the room, my wife noticed a musty odor. I turned up the AC in the room but by late evening there was no improvement. The next morning we requested a new room and were moved to the 6th floor. The room didn’t have a pool view (not a big deal) but it smelled clean and was great for the rest of the vacation. The food at the all inclusive was good and there was a nice variety. The four restaurants were all very good with the appetizers better than the entrees. Since we booked though RCI, they made all our dinner reservations in advance so that was not an issue. The Mexican restaurant closed the night of our reservation but we switched to another night without issue. The wait staff in all locations was excellent. Housecleaning was prompt and thoroughly cleaned our room every day. The beach was great but you do have to go down around 6AM to get a prime spot. The bars are good. The beach bar has low end liquor but all other bars have decent brands (CC, Absolut, Bacardi), you just have to ask for them. The Creamsicle was my favorite drink at the pool bar. Went on an excellent jeep tour of the island with ABC Tours. Strongly recommend this and hopefully you get Marshall as your tour guide. Aruba is a wonderful place for a vacation and I would recommend the Occidental Grand Aruba as a place to stay.

Room Tip: The higher the better. Change your room right away if there is any musty smell.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Garson
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2012

Just got back from the Occidental yesterday. We travel a lot and always look at the reviews to get some sense of what to expect. Well I want to tell you that the concenses in our group was thumbs up to the Occidental. From the time we arrived we were wisked up to the ninth floor and thats where we met Viviane. She was pleasent and accomodating. We had forgotten a peice of luggage at the airport and notified Viviane. She contacted the airport and had her husband pick it up and deliver it to the front desk. Now thats going above and beyond.
We stayed in the Royal club and it was just like all the positive reviews. We did not see any signs of insects anywhere. The food was exellent and a good variety. Freddy at the Lobby bar was very polite and very entertaining. I have been to five star hotels and recieved less value for my money. Don't listen to the negative comments. Go enjoy your stay. The beer is cold the alchohol is plenty the pool is great and the Ocean is beautiful.
The only thing is people reserving huts and not showing up. I think if a fee was to be applied this would be rectified.
Satisfied Canadians

Room Tip: If you can afford the upgrade take it. You guaranteed 7,8, or 9 floor with king beds room service an...
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  • Stayed November 2012, 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
    • 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.
Needham, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2012

1. Location: Cannot be beat on the island. Best beach by far.

2. Palapas: get out EARLY and reserve yours by the towel system.

3. Food: UPGRADE to the royal club. The private restaurant was fantastic and you are treated like royalty. You have the same staff everyday that works very hard to cultivate a relationship with the guest. They aim to please and provide extra service. This is NOT to take away from the rest of the hotel staff, that does its best and works very hard to accomodate. We ate at the a la carte restaurants. The Italian restaurant is the best. The Palm buffet was mediocre, but if you upgrade to the Royal Club you probably will only do lunch there, which is adequate as a beach break.

4. Drink: UPGRADE to the royal club. Better liquor. the bars are adequate. No mojitos though, which was surprising.

5. Cleanliness: Hotel is very clean. Our room was spotless, cleaned every day, plenty of towels etc. Had a lack of hot water issue, but worked out okay.

6. Room: Odd numbered rooms in Tower 1 view the ocean and lighthouse. Rooms on the 9th floor (royal club is 7, 8 and 9) have larger balconies, which was very nice. View was great. We were in room 1921.

6. We had a great time! Night life could use improvement on campus.

7. Staff was great.

Room Tip: See above, Odd numbered room on Tower 1 view lighthouse and have nice views. 9th floor has bigger b...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roselle Park, New Jersey
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

From Beginning to End, I had the Vacation I had Hope. The Easy part is the Weather & The Beach. As much Sun & water Activities as You Wish. Every Day Jessica would have Ready The Palapa With a Ice Bucket of Cool Beverages and Treating Us like Family. Fine Dining in the Restruants was always Enhanced by the friendliness of the Host [ especially Amando ] and Staff. I will miss most of all the Staff at the Royal Club where we had our Daily Breakfast. Fanny & Melvin were great and I look forward to seeing them again

Room Tip: Our Room was Quieter Not facing the pool Due to Music & Activites...We enjoyed it
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newark, Ohio
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

My husband and I got married at this resort in September 2012. We stayed in an Oceanview room with all inclusive plan. The hotel is very nice, clean and rooms are very comfortable. Our wedding planner Njurely was awesome and made the wedding stress free. We had a private dinner at the Italian restaurant the L'Olio, Edgar was our server and he was very helpful with not only our dinner but with keeping track of our items during the wedding ceremony on the beach. The fun club (event staff) were very entertaining and made it where you did not even need to leave the resort to have things to do. Alan always welcomed you into any event. The beach party was a blast! While at the resort I had a massage done at the beach spa. It was very calming and would recommend enjoying the services the spa has to offer. I also had hair services done in the salon and the staff was also so nice. I felt safe the whole time we were enjoying the resort and also off resort. This resort has the cleanest beach of all! We did a few other things off resort like the Jolly Pirates afternoon cruise and this I would recommend. We also went Skydiving with Skydive Aruba, what a great way to view the whole island. Great adventurous activity!!! We have beautiful wedding pictures, trip pictures and memories. What a wonderful place to get married, spend a honeymoon and visit again. Thanks to all the staff and especially Njurely for all of your help with the wedding. We will definitely be back to visit again. Audra Keener (Matt Keener)

Room Tip: Ocean view
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Seaford, New York
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

We stayed here for 5 days just last week. The service at the front desk was terrible. They call aruba the happy island and when i stay at other hotels in aruba that was the case but at the occidental the staff seemed miserable and not eager to please the guest staying at their hotel. Any time we had an issue the staff blew us off and didnt want to be bothered until we asked to speak with managemnt at that time we got some issues addressed. The hotel is not a place to bring your small children to. The hotel rooms are all marble floors and it wasvery danagers for our son when he got out of the shower the floor was very slippery. Also the refridgerator was not cold at all. We got milk for our son and it was constantly getting spoiled due tot he fridge temperature WHen we called the front desk they sent up maintance and he stated that was as cold as the fridge would get. The rooms were all dated... and the FOOD at the buffet was tragic! so gross. We only ate breakfast there. The other restuarants at the hotel such as the chinese food and italian and carribean were all very good... but good luck tryign to get a reservation there. You have to really complain in order to eat there.. because they are always " booked up" I would not stay this hotel again.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Sandra Alcázar U, Social Media Coordinator at Occidental Grand Aruba, responded to this review, December 20, 2012
Dear Loritardi
I’m sorry that our team didn’t provide you with the type service you desired. I am surprised by your review since our hotel is known for the incredible service we provide. This is important to us and I discussed your review with the team, so we can take measures to improve.
Our hotel caters to all guests, from and we are a family-friendly resort featuring a Kids Club where activities are focused on fun for the kids.
I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the food in the a la carte restaurants; however I am sorry that for the issues you encountered with our reservations process. We work hard to accommodate all requests and do guarantee a certain number of reservations, depending on the length of stay. Please know that we set up this process to ensure a high quality and efficient service.
At our buffet restaurant, we use fresh and high quality products as to meet and exceed the expectations of our guests, and I have made the chef aware of your concerns.
I also shared your experience with our maintenance manager to ensure all our fridges are working properly.
Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with the TripAdvisor community. We do hope you will give us another chance in the future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Occidental Grand Aruba

Address: J.E. Irausquin Boulevard 83 | Palm Beach, Aruba, Palm - Eagle Beach, Aruba
Phone Number:
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:
#7 Business Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#10 Luxury Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#13 Spa Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#15 Top resorts Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#18 On the Beach Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Occidental Grand Aruba 4*
Number of rooms: 368
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on the legendary island of Aruba, the Occidental Grand Aruba 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 space 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 Palm - Eagle Beach

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