The moment I set foot on Occidental Grand Aruba I was ready to ramble on Tripadvisor of what a dump it was. I was so mad because we got there, got a room we hadn't booked, with "partial" ocean view and partial view of a parking lot, there were no towels at the towel hut, we weren't able to make reservations at more than 2 of the restaurants and the Caribbean restaurant was out of food and the food we were served was terrible. Tot.ally NOT what we wanted for our honeymoon
Having said that... After our week at this resort. We changed our mind quite a bit.
Let me just say that after a day at the beach/pool and taking a long walk to see other resorts on the beach, ours seemed like a pretty good resort. I'll divide my review in to separate portions to make easier to read.
We were "upgraded" to a room in the 2nd tower, which is the Timeshare tower and it was supposed to be nicer and bigger rooms. Our room was more of a suite, with two rooms that adjoined with a door. The bedroom had a comfy kingsize bed, a flat screen tv, nice bathroom. The living space had a sofa, dining set, microwave, mini fridge (with complimentary sodas and water) and another full bathroom. The size was nice and it was very clean, but did not seem very luxurious (compared to other resorts in other places). Both rooms had balconies with partial ocean view and we could see the parking lot as well. This bummed us out because we had paid for ocean view, but apparently if it doesn't say FRONTAL ocean view, it just means partial. We thought that was a cheap shot, but quite honestly, we spent so little time in the room, that it did not matter.
Front desk service was ok. They coud have been friendlier. We did go and complain about all the things that went wrong on our first day and they seemed to attempt to compensate for it, saying they would get us reservations to the restaurant we wanted to try. Nothing happened.
Concierges were very helpful. They helped us make reservations at the spa, romantic dinner at the beach and Texas de Brazil (which is not in the resort). They were very prompt and cordial.
Bartenders. Most were very nice, but most of them were older (not trying to be biased here) and they just seemed like they did not want to be there. They would take forever to get you drinks, and then would screw up your order and not even offer an apology or try to correct it.
Horrible. Well... maybe not horrible but pretty close to it. Compared to all other resorts we have visited, this is by far the WORST food we have tried. The breakfast food was somewhat decent and the steaks at any of the restaurants were good. The Caribbean restaurant on our first night, was out of their signature dish. They were also out of mango and papaya sauce with which they make a shrimp cocktail, so instead we just got shrimp with lettuce. This infuriated me, because, how can you be out of food at an all inclusive resort?! The italian restaurant was pretty, but the food was not good. Only the steaks were tasty. We were there 3 hours! From start to finish. All for nothing. The hibachi restaurant had available reservations until a day after we were scheduled to leave. Ridiculous. I was ready to make a complaint about that, but after tasting the food at the other restaurants, I was relieved that we weren't going to have to sit through another awful dinner there. Our Romantic dinner did not amaze us either. They tried though, so no hard feelings. During the Beach Party, they did give out some pretty tasty dishes. Overall, the food situation was such a let down, since we paid for an all inclusive resort, and weren't even able to enjoy the "all inclusive". You are much better off eating elsewhere that is close to the resort. I recommend Texas de Brazil.
The pool is small but really nice. It has a swim up bar and there is always people having fun. There is a volleyball net in the pool which is pretty fun. There are "beds" with hanging fabric all around the pool, as well as lawn chairs. There was always a spot for us and we didn't have to fight over them. Hot tubs were not hot at all. They were just like... little pools with one jet each. The gym was very small, but no one used it but my husband, so it wasn't a problem. The disco is always empty, although the music was good and the ambiance was nice. The pool party organized by the staff was not really a pool party. There was an ok show with firedancers and some games. Thats it. The beach party was actually really awesome! They had carnival dresses and they all performed very well. We even got to meet the managers. They laid out tons of food (some of it pretty tasty). There was a raffle for spa treatments, champagne, Senor Frogs dinners and drinks, etc. We watched a little bit of the Grease show and it was pretty entertaining. I must say that the entertainment crew is pretty awesome and super friendly. There was Bingo being played at 2pm everyday, with cash prices. There was also some pretty fun contests being held at the pool everyday.
This is by far the BEST beach we have ever been to. The water is beautiful, clear and turquoise. There are no waves and it is shallow, making it fun to walk from the shore to the "line". The resort rents (for free) some "pool floats" that you could use in the ocean or in the pool.These must be returned before 4pm to avoid late fees. They also rent kayaks, but we did not use them.
There are palapas all throughout, but they are not enough for all of the people. We would have to wake up at very early hours to "claim" our spots. We even had to resort to paying for a palapa one of the days we were there, as everything was taken.
So satisfied with the service. They were just amazing. Luz, the massage therapist I had the pleasure to meet, was very friendly and thorough. She gave me two 30 minute massages on different days. They were both amaizng. i had them at the Beach Spa, not the inside spa. Even though you can here a little bit of noise and music, it is super relaxing and the ambiance is pretty great. The lotions they use smell delicious. Luz went above and beyond and definitely recommend getting a massage here.
Great location. It is walking distance from Senor Frogs, Shopping centers, restaurants, clubs, etc. The beach is the best at the spot too. Doesn't get better than this (location wise).
- 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