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“Happy Travelers on the Happy Island” 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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Ranked #20 of 24 Hotels in Palm - Eagle Beach
Saint John, Indiana
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Happy Travelers on the Happy Island”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013

We just returned from our first trip to Aruba and my husband and I both agree that we will go back. We loved the island with its varied terrain, the Arubian people, and the beach! The Occidental Grand Resort was an average place to stay with a high price tag. The condition of the property was a little worn. The rooms needed some updating, and the swimming pool needed some repair work along most of the edges. The resort staff was wonderful, but there didn't seem to be enough of them. We are used to being served cocktails and food at the pool and beach areas but this type of service was not offered. The beach, however, was perfect with white sand, calm & warm blue water, and plenty of beach chairs. We spent nearly every day there and just couldn't get enough of it. The restaurants were ok. We didn't go to this resort for world class food. It was good...but nothing exceptional. The drinks were good also but most of the liquor was brands that we didn't recognize. We rented jeeps and toured the island. This was very worthwhile especially because of the land and water differences between the east and west sides. The church, lighthouse, and natural bridge were excellent landmarks to visit while on our off road jeep excursion. We also went on a snorkeling/snuba trip which was great fun. I

Room Tip: Our room was located on the north side of the building which had a public street running along the s...
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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 (819)
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Toronto, Canada
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013

Don't make the same mistake I did, and be the dedicated husband who wakes up every morning at 5:30am to reserve a shade on the beach. They will tell you that you have to. They are wrong.

Just find a fat man with a moustache and give him $20. That money will buy you the satisfaction of knowing that you did not wake up an hour early than normal, to do something that everyone else is paying for. And then you can wake up at 10am.

That $20 will also buy you the privilege of not being unbelievably angry when, on the second last day of vacation, you see that man out there with his hamper full of towels and his hotel uniform on. Nor will you be frustrated when the hotel management does absolutely nothing except make you wait and then ignore you. Nor will you be confronted by the fat man himself, when he finds out that you complained about this.

He'll tell you that the sign on the beach that says "absolutely no chair reservation allowed" is not true. He'll tell you that he has no choice. But you won't have to hear any of the lies and pitiful grovelling, because you will have read this review and just PAID the $20 at the beginning of the week.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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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, March 7, 2013
Dear imakehighways,
I will follow up with you today via TripAdvisor regarding this issue, as it is strictly forbidden for our staff to receive money to reserve beach chairs and I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this caused you.
Our staff is on-hand to help find chairs and accommodate our guests, so that they can enjoy the beautiful weather and beach. I’ve also discussed your feedback with our manager to reinforce our no chair reservation policy.
I do hope that you will give us a second chance to provide you with an incredible experience in Aruba.
Sincerely,
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Frankfort, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2013

We paid a lot of money to stay at a 5 star resort and were extremely disappointed, it should have been rated 2 or 3 stars at best. The room was very small and out-of-date, in desperate need of a good cleaning and new furniture. The drawers wouldn't open properly and the furniture was scratched and stained. Mold in the bathroom and rust stains by the faucet. Bedspread was dirty. Hallway was never cleaned, dirt was visible our entire stay. We stayed a week and the food was the same every day, no variety. Especially breakfast and lunch, so tired of the exact same items. This was another resort where 90% of the pool and beach chairs had one towel on them to save the space. We watched one day and the entire day the chairs sat empty . Don't know what can be done, but very frustrating not to have pool or beach chairs. Another negative was the time share salespeople constantly bothering us to tour with them. One good note were the bartenders, they were fast and did an excellent job serving us. Maid service was okay, but didn't restock the mini refrigerator even when were called twice. Asked for a wake-up call and were never called. Luckily we woke up on our own. The staff at the Mexican restaurant was extremely rude, we wanted to move our reservation back 30 minutes and were told we could move our reservations but we wouldn't have a table. Very flip. Were told reservations were necessary but every restaurant had empty tables the entire evening. The waterfall (no water flowing)near the pool was almost empty with garbage accumulating and floating in the dirty stagnant water. So many hotels, don't waste your money. Aruba is great just not the Occidental.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
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, March 1, 2013
Dear ShirleyMcD,
I am truly sorry that your experience at Occidental Grand Aruba did not meet your expectations.
I’ve discussed the condition of your room with our maintenance manager and housekeeping manager. This is unacceptable, and they will verify that all furniture and rooms are in ideal condition for guests prior to their arrival. Regarding the minibar, please know that it is refilled every other day.
Please know that we have set up a new policy to free up beach chairs that have been unattended for more than 20 minutes. Our team monitors the area, and does their best to assist guests that are in need of a chair. In regrads to the pool, please know that we clean them every morning and the team verifies and its cleanliness several times during the day.
I’m sorry to read your comments about the food for breakfast and lunch, our chef is always making improvements on the buffet options and beach club food featuring a large variety of salads, fruit cocktails, omelet station and Caribbean specialties. I have shared your opinion with him as it helps us to improve. Also, please accept my apologies for service that you experienced at the Mexican restaurant. Our team is focused on providing the best service to our guests and it saddens me to know that we failed you.
We are sorry for the discomfort the Vacation Club representatives, they are supposed to inform our guests of all that Occidental Hotels & Resorts has to offer. Please know that I’ve addressed your comments with their manager to look into how his staff is approaching guests.
Additionally, please know that we have set up a new policy to free up chairs that have been unattended for more than 20 minutes, our team monitors the chairs and do their best to assist all guests that are in need of a chair. Also our poor is cleaned periodically, however it seems that we need to reinforce our cleaning measures, I do apologize for the discomfort we caused you and I assure you that we will reinforce this procedure.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bolzMo
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2013

As always, I come to trip advisor to get an overall review of tips of things to do and see while we go on vacation. Our room was ready upon arrival. Had a few kinks, refrig was not working and the safe needed to be reset. Our room did not have a king size bed as requested but instead of giving up our view of the pool and moving across the hall (for a view of a parking lot and disco ) we just pushed the beds together. That was alittle bothersome. For my husband and I the biggest complaint we had was that there are not enough not lounge chairs by the pool or at the ocean unless you literally get up at the crack of black and save them by putting your towels on them. Which the sign specifically states not to do so. So we mentioned it to the beach patrol and concergierge desk to no avail. Anyway, the restaurants (loved the mexican), pool bar, food and service were great. We were there from February 1 through 8th. Would go back in a heartbeat and stay at the same resort. There are always a few things about each resort that we stay at we dont care for but getting away is the most important thing for us. We enjoy each others company along with meeting new people. By the way. The people of Aruba are so friendly no hounding when you leave the property or the feeling of not being safe. Not a chance we were very comfortable. There is an extra charge for the internet. Bring your sunscreen. The beach was nice and long. Alot of people not crowded. But not an intimate resort to hide out either. The size of the reosrt was perfect. Not a long hike to your room if you forgot anything. the resort was by a pier which anchored alot of boats to charter.

Room Tip: There are 2 towers in this hotel. Numbers 1 and. Request poolside. Our room number was 2503, just...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Tamaqua, Pennsylvania
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2013

We just returned from our stay Jan.26-Feb 2nd. The Japanese Restaurant was amazing. Myrna was an amazing hostess and went out of her way to make us feel at home. Our server was Edaak, he was very attentive and kind. Thank you to you both. The Mexican restaurant had an horrible server named Dale. She was very rude to us and another table next to us with small children. We did not return to this restaurant the remaining time of our trip. The weather was beautiful. We love Aruba.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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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
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2013 via mobile

My boyfriend and I just returned from a week at the occidental and we had an amazing time! The beach is the most beautiful beach I've ever seen and the atmosphere of the resort is fun yet relaxing at the same time. The staff is super friendly, especially Jermaine and Erick who were able to answer all of our questions about the resort and the town. If you're looking for a mixture of fun and relaxation this is the place for you. If you're looking for party central this probably isn't the place. However, we are a young couple so we met some younger friends and hit the disco or the town every night to find our own fun. The rooms are nice and we had a spectacular view. It wasn't the most upscale place in the world but it's perfect for the price and what we were looking for. We've been to Jamaica, Punta Cana, and Riviera Maya and felt that Aruba was the nicest place and this hotel was better than the ones we stayed at in Jamaica and Punta Cana.

We also booked the sunset horse back riding tour and it was phenomenal! My boyfriend had never ridden before but the tour guide made it easy and for any level of rider. We got some great pictures from that exclusion. Definitely book that with El Paseo Ranch.

I would highly recommend this hotel. Literally the only complaint we had was that sometimes the wait staff was a bit slow with drinks at the buffets. But if that's going to keep you from having a good vacation, then you're on vacation for the wrong reason!

We will be returning to Aruba and will be staying at the Occidental!

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Cleveland, Ohio
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

We went here for our honeymoon in 2006 and loved it...with one caveat. They were doing renovations on the hotel, so our first day was VERY loud. We had a room that must have been next door to one that was being remodeled because it was awful. Luckily we weren't in the room very much that day. The next day we were moved to a room higher up with a better view and on a quieter floor and it was wonderful.
The breakfast buffet is really nice for the first couple of days and then it gets old, the restaurants are good, but not great, but the property is very nice and on an absolutely perfect stretch of beach.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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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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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