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“Not Good Not Bad!!!” 3 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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Hotel amenities
Special Rate
Rates From $ 195
Ranked #20 of 23 hotels in Palm - Eagle Beach
Jersey City, New Jersey
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Not Good Not Bad!!!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2012

Occidental Review
The hotel is good for the money they charge. Its not Hyatt or MArriott, but decent enough
The lobby is decent, not grand.
Only two restaurants are open each day, they should mention this on the website. Its not fair to let us know when we reach there, this information should be provided before we can book.
I didnt like the drinks, but thats me. This was my first All-Inclusive vacation, I like picking what I want.

Rooms-
Good
We were given a room in tower 1 which was facing the parking lot on second floor. We called the recepetion and they changed the room immediately. We got one in tower 2, facing the pool. The rooms are good and spacious.

Reception -
Not very friendly
We asked about the Royal Club upgrade twice, but they said check your room first. If you dont like we can talk about the upgrade. We already changed the room once, its a pain to move bags aroud.

Guest Services -
Not very friendly
They lie, saying that there are no mexican restaurant reservations available but we will give you one. When we went to the restaurant, 2/3rd for the restaurant for empty.

Pool
Good
We liked the pool (though its small), the water is warm and lot of beds around. The hot tubs are fun too.

Beach
Amazing
Its Aruba beach, just perfect

Palm Restaurant for Breakfast and Lunch
Service - Very Good. Everyone at the restuarant is very friendly.
Food - Ok. Well, All-inclusive is not for me. I cant eat the same thing everyday, and being a vegeterian the options are very limited

Mexican Restaurant
Food is good, service is prompt.
Only one complain, the waiter was hurrying too much. He took my plate even though I was eating!!!!!

Carribean Restaurant
Good Food
Service - They rush too much, they are in too much hurry.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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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 (719)
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English first
Stoney Creek, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2012

This resort hands down was amazing!!! We had 7 days Royal Club service, we could not have asked for better treatment from the staff. Veronica, and Hazel the Royal Club concierge are the greatest. Friendly and happy always, they work very hard to make sure all guests requests are dealt with in a timely matter. Hats off to them. If travelling to Occidental, Royal Club is the way to go. They have a fantastic lounge on the 9th floor, the staff there, and food is awesome. Fanny and Melvin are the greatest!!! You never have to ask twice for a thing, they both know exactly what you drink and it is ready as soon as you are seated, they are funny and friendly always. The beaches, the pool area along with the restaurants on the resort are fantastic!!! We tried all of the restaurants, and never had a bad meal. My fiance and I will always return to Occidental Aruba, you can leave the resort for different adventures and it is completely safe. You are never bothered by anyone, that is refreshing! Our honeymoon is in Aruba next year, and we cant wait to return. Thank you to the staff at Occidental Grand Aruba for an amazing vacation.

Room Tip: Ocean view or Ocean Front beautiful
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  • Stayed December 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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Somerset, New Jersey
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2012

What a wonderful vacation at the Occidental in Aruba this year! Everything was operational, and the care we got from the staff was outstanding. Kudos to Sandra in guest services! She went out of her way to ensure our vacation was perfect! The food as usual was fantastic especially at the Italian and Japanese resturants. Breakfast is always a wonderful buffet with everything you could think of!
The evening show put on by staff was exciting and had definitely improved from last year. Yet last year it was good too!
Hats off to the general manager!
Weather was absolutely wonderful! Great way to spend a Thanksgiving!

  • 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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Windsor, Canada
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2012

First the good:
Great beach, warm gentle water

Now the bad:
Mediocre food that only occasionally rose to the level of good - unless you like bland Canadian/U.S. fare that is.
Resort is old and tired
Daily approaches by hotel staff to go to time-share presentations
My wife and I tend to use the stairs rather than the elevators, unlike other resorts we've been to the stairways here are really just glorified fire escapes. They smell moldy and are full of wiring (including open junction boxes) and piping. Stairs are chipped and the door-knob in one came off in my hand. The same door-knob only worked when rotated counter-clockwise
Liquor choices are strictly bottom-shelf. Perhaps the "best" brand I saw was Canadian Club, need I say more?

A note on Aruba in general.
This place is really, really expensive. Aside from the limited duty-free at the airport this place is insanely expensive. If you want to drink while your there, save some money buy bringing it with you from home.

A local burger joint call 5Burgers Aruba cost us $29.07 (U.S.) for two burgers (one plain, one cheese), fries, and pops and we wished we'd walked to the McDonalds instead.

If you like chain restaurants they are all here and there are at least a dozen within an easy 10 minute walk.

If you like crazy expensive clothing and jewelry on the other hand, this is your place. At the New Balance store bikini's were $200 (U.S.) and up. Want to drop $2k+ on a watch? This is the place for you. We bought one $15 pendant, this was easily the cheapest trip (in terms of purchases) we've ever had.

We'll never stay at this hotel again and to be honest, we don't see ourselves visiting Aruba again. Great people, weather, water and beaches but it's too expensive and there's just not much to see and do.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Cleveland, Ohio
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2012

Stayed Dec 2-8 . Going back and forth bewteen the RIU and this hotel . Very glad we chose Occidental. Great location, great beach.. more than enough chairs even if you dont get down to the beach super early. Food was above average.. buffets for breakfast lunch and dinner (themed dinners) had somethng for everyone. Really impressed with a la carte restaurants relative to other all inclusives we have stayed at .. particularly RIU. Had a steak and lobster and the caribbean restaurant, veal medallions at the Italian and really good sushi and pad thai at the asian . Rooms are a little small as are the bathrooms, but conisdering we are only there to sleep and shower, it was not an issue for us.. still big enough . We ate out for dinner 2 nights and still saved money vs. staying at a regular resort. All around good experience at the Occidental.

Room Tip: book all your dinner reservations for the ala carte restaurants when you first arrive
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Brooklyn, New York
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2012

It was my first time in Aruba, we stayed in the Occidental with the all inclusive package. The pool was great, the beach was beautiful, the bartenders were extremely nice and enthusiastic. However I was extremely disappointed in the all inclusive food package. Breakfast and lunch is buffet style so there is an unlimited amount of food to eat. Breakfast you really can't go wrong, they had a variety of choices but it was the exact same thing every single morning. To be honest, the Lunch was terrible. I pretty much ate french fries and chicken the entire week, the lunch options at the buffet were very disappointing and boring. The guys we went with skipped lunch every day because they were getting sick of the same food over and over; lunch overall was a big let-down. The all inclusive package gives unlimited alcoholic beverages, which definitely was worth it! Each drink is around $10 so especially if you are a big drinker, it is DEFINITELY worth it to go with the all- inclusive package. Every night for dinner at the Occidental they make you reservations for each different restaurant inside the hotel. They have italian, jamaican, chinese and mexican restaurants. The menu was fixed and we were only allowed to order one of each section (appetizer, entree and dessert.) We were very disappointed in the fixed menus because we all thought it would be unlimited options. The food quality for dinner was not up to par. I have had much better quality food where I live in New York. The best recommendation I have is to eat breakfast in the hotel, drink at the hotel during the day, eat lunch and deal with the same food over and over every day and 100% go out to dinner every night. We were extremely impressed with the restaurants we went to for dinner. We went to Fishbone which was about 30 minutes from the resort an AMAZING FISH RESTAURANT on the water literally, your feet dangle in the water it was amazing!! We also went to EL Gaucho which was a steak/ American restaurant that had great meat. The last night we went to AZZURO in Playa Linda hotel which was EXCELLENT italian restaurant. We were so surprised at how amazing the food was in these restaurants compared to the restaurants in the OCCIDENTAL. It is 100% worth it to eat dinner outside of the hotel every night!!!!!!! Don't settle just eating in the hotel, you will be much happier going out and buying dinner. We also went on the ATV JEEP excursion. I have to be honest, this was not what we were expecting. We ended up traveling up and down mountains in these ATV jeeps, at one point we were scared we would fall over when we were driving down the mountain going to the Natural Pool; That was the scariest part. It is a risk to go on this excursion I would not highly recommend this to everyone, especially children or people who get scared of heights. VERY DANGEROUS. But I have to admit we did see beautiful locations and did get great pictures! We also did some water sports which were fun and worth the money. In my opinion shopping at the expensive stores really was no different then the prices here in the United States. Your only saving tax, so its not that much of a price difference. My biggest complaint next to the food would have to be the hotel reception desk employees. I called room service, who never delivered to our room and getting extra towels was IMPOSSIBLE. I complained numerous times and still did not receive anything in return. The week we stayed was actually the week of HURRICANE SANDY. Our flight was cancelled and we needed to stay 2 more nights at the Occidental, they gave us a distress rate which was still an ABSURD amount of money. After complaining for an hour we got so mad we left and went to the Marriot for the next 2 nights until we were able to leave. The Marriot was BEAUTIFUL and they accommodated us a million times better than the Occidental did. I wish we would have known about how great the Marriot was because it would have been much more worth it to stay there for vacation. I would highly recommend the Marriot even though they don't offer all inclusive, they have great room rates and you can fit 4 people in a room, which the Occidental did not allow. It is a shame that the Occidental has poor desk receptionists and food quality, because their pool and beach is beautiful. If you are a heavy drinker its worth the all inclusive package, but other than that there is no reason to stay at the Occidental, you are better off staying at the Marriot or some other non-inclusive resort. Also the towels in the room smelt BURNT and like cigarettes. The sheets smelt and were itchy. The bedding was not good and the pillows were terrible. The rooms themselves need to be upgraded.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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South Easton, Massachusetts
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2012

Just got back from a week spent at Occidental Grand Aruba. This was not my first time in Aruba, but it was the first time at the Occidental. I spent a lot of time on Trip Advisor prior to my vacation and went into it very skeptical based on the other reviews posted here. I thought I'd be walking into a dump from the '70s. From the moment I walked through the front door to the moment I left, I was pleasantly surprised! First, understand, I'm a bit of a princess and have high expectations! As an RCI member, check in was a very pleasant process. We sat with Belinda and she gave us all the information we needed. She was so very kind and really set the tone for the week. I was impressed that there were nice snacks, a full (top shelf) bar, and a nice sitting area in the lounge. From there we made dinner reservations and then went to our room. Again, based on the other reviews, I was expecting the worst....I was pleasantly surprised. The room was huge! The king sized bed was fabulous, although the pillows really were awful. Problem solved when I asked for additional pillows. Having 2 full bathrooms with tons of towels (big towels...bigger than most bathtowels at other hotels) was a huge convenience. The shows at nighttime were really enjoyable. For my kids, that was their favorite part of the trip!! The performers are very talented and work very hard to give the guests a good show, even when there is only 50 people in the crowd! Kudos to them!!!!

The food was okay. By the 4th day of the breakfast and lunch buffet, I was done with having the same thing over and over again. It was a little like Groundhog Day, same food....different day. Dinners in the nice restaurants was good. I would say that the Asian restaurant was the best, followed by the Arubian, and then the Italian. We didn't eat at the Mexican restaurant, I didn't find the menu for that one to be too exciting. But by the end of the week, we were ready to go get lunch and dinner off property. Just couldn't eat the same thing one more time.

The pool is rather dated and could definitely benefit from having some tile work done and maybe invest in some new pool chairs, they weren't comfortable by any means. We never had any trouble getting seats, perhaps it's the time of year? We also loved the beach and never had trouble getting a palapa with plenty of chairs. My husband would bring towels down at around 7:30 and it was just fine.

The room itself was very clean. Any sand on the floors was brought in by us from being on the beach and was cleaned in the morning. I've seen reviews where people complained about the view because they saw a parking lot...well guess what....if you turn your head to the right, you see the ocean not the parking lot!! I thought it was lovely. I was also impressed that housekeeping came in every day to replace towels, make the bed, etc. In most time shares, they only come in once/week.

Overall, the Occidental Grand Aruba exceeded my expectations. The negative comments I have are: (1) please make this optional all-inclusive, not manditory all-inclusive. We are not drinkers and definitely did not get our money's worth out of the all inclusive part; (2) offer free wi-fi!!! Seriously, charging $20 something a day for wifi access is ridiculous when your guests are paying a fortune for all inclusive!; (3) do something with the parking lot....way too small, and way too overcrowded. Had to park on a curb one night, not good; (4) update the pool area. We went to another resort during the day to use their pool because they had a kiddie pool and it was just much nicer.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 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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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 Casino Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#10 Luxury Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#11 Spa Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#15 Top resorts Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#16 On the Beach Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Occidental Grand Aruba 4*
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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