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“One of the best!” 5 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
NC
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“One of the best!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2008

We had a great week at the Occidental Grand Nov 29-Dec 6, 2008.

Our room: Luxury! Clean, marble floors and a view of the pool and ocean. The mini bar was always stocked with Coke, Sprite, bottled water and the local beer.

Restaurants: Never a problem getting reservations in the restaurants if they were open. Not all restaurants were open on the evenings we wanted but were open most evenings. We thought the buffet was better than average. From breakfast to dinner the food was prepared well. Some drinks were not available.

The staff: EXCELLENT from check-in to check-out. The bartenders and restaurant staff knew our names by day 3. The lady bartender at the pool bar remembered just how we liked our drinks.

Casino: Disappointed with the slots. Half the slot machines were out of date so I played the tables and won a little. We walked the beach to the Marriott and played that casino. Went to the casino at the Riu but was stopped by Riu sercurity. He inspected our Occidental all inclusive wristbands and said "you are not guest of Riu. You can not come in".

Beach: Good location. Plenty of huts and chairs. I was surprised by the lack of beach service for a 4 star all inclusive resort. No attendant to sit up the chairs and the condition of the chairs. Chairs were stacked high and each morning we had to pull them apart. Found them still with the sand and dirt from the day before. No drink service to come by your hut. To get a drink we had to stand in line at the beach bar. The bartender at the beach bar was often alone and worked very hard to meet the demands of all the people waiting around the bar. I asked the girl at the towel hut for 2 towels and was told only one towel per person. Another day I asked another attendant and received 2 towels by giving my name and room number.

The pool: Large, clean, plenty huts and nice chairs. Pool bartenders also work hard to serve the drinks quickly. Gets crowded during the games, bingo and activities.

Entertainment: Evenings at the lobby bar had great local talent. A different performer each evening. Aruba has talent! The 9:00pm ballroom show was hit or miss . The dancers did the same dance to different music over and over. No drink service during the show.

I can't say enough about the wonderful staff. They made our week one of the best!

  • Liked — everything
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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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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English first
Pennsylvania
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2008

Just got back from an amazing honeymoon week of 12/5. Let me start by saying the hotel was not busy at all this week. Only about half full. we had oceanview delux, tower 2 floor 2. However I would reccomend getting somewhere between 4th & 5th floor if you really want an ocean view, otherwise you'll get a nice view of the pool & the top of trees trying to see the ocean. The staff was very attentive & the service throughout was absolutely fantastic!! The buffet food was actually good and PLENTY to eat, despite some bad reviews here. Good variety during brkfast, lunch & dinner. I was amazed! It was a lot like a cruise buffet if you've ever been on a cruise, but I thought it was actually better than a cruise because of the amount of food available throughout our week! The rooms were very clean and comfortable, no problems there but I would reccomnd to hotel to get doors that close automatically, heard some guests slamming doors shut at night. whoever said to slip the maid $5 for more towels was very true. The fist day we didn;t get any clean towels. After we tipped, we never had to ask again! The specialty resturants were good. Zen restaurtant was definietly the best, then Itatlian, Mexican. Didn't go to Carribean restaurant. One annoying thing, we booked our italian dinner, Asked to be seated outside (even though we originally asked for inside) and the woman up front flat out said NO! There were three couples at this restaurant the entire time we ate but they wouldn't make accomedations, oh well. The weather was beutiful but hot! No breeze on the beach but windy at the pool.The shows were put on by staff were not bad.They really worked hard at it and should be commended. Drinks were very strong and good ( except for Bilashi beer, yuk!) Pool was very clean as well as the grounds. No really big complaints, check in was very easy, the beach is beautiful & we had no problem getting towles, chairs at the pool or on the beach, any time of day.

we did the 1/2 day sunset snorkle which was great! However, De Palm tours does most of the booking, I wanted to do the Jolly Pirates snorkle tour (not ran by De Palm) but the De Palm told me they were not operating until january. So we were out snorkling on the De Palm boat and what did we see next to us? The Jolly Pirates snorkle ship! De Palm scammed us a little but we didn;t mind, their ship was nicer. We rented a jeep for the day- $85 -went to baby beach & Lighthouse, Definetly take the bus into town. It's very easy & about $5 round trip for two people vs $25! took us about 15 mintues to get there.

Overall this is not a 5 star hotel but it was clean, comfortable, the food was good and the drinks were great! We would go back again!

  • Liked — Hotel service staff
  • Disliked — the beer
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2008

We stayed at the Occidental from Dec 3-10, 2008 and had a much better time than expected after reading all these negative reviews!

We had all inclusive, but did not pay extra for Royal Club, which seems like a waste of money. Our room was very nice, every room in the hotel has a view of the pool and the ocean if you turn your head since its shaped like a U. The mini bar was refilled every other day with soda, water and beer. The room was decorated very nice and seemed clean although after a few days we started to notice the small details, like a ton of dust on top of picture frames, on the floor behind the nightstand, etc.

The casino was pretty small, and didn't have the most up to date slot machines. But a 5 minute walk in either direction takes you to larger casinos at the Hyatt, Riu or Westin which is what we did every night. You do NOT need to take a taxi, its literally 1/4 of a mile. There is a free buffet at the Occidental with different food each night such as wings, pizza, hot dogs, sandwiches, etc. which is out until 1AM.

If you make your restaurant reservations at check in you should have no problem. Just dont wait until the last minute although we met a lot of people who would just show up and end up getting a table due to cancellations. The food at the buffet was delicious anyway.

Since its the rainy season, the hotel was not booked full and we got great personal attention. All of the staff, waitresses, bartenders, towel hut, etc were SUPER nice and we didn't have a single bad experience.

From their website, I had assumed it would be a "young/honeymoon" type hotel, but it really was not. I saw a lot of families, retirees, wedding parties, etc. The pool area got very loud due to children and drunk guys playing volleyball so we spent most of our time under tiki umbrellas on the gorgeous beach.

  • Liked — beach & pool area, total relaxation without having to leave the grounds
  • Disliked — casino out of date, room not as spotless as you would expect
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
salisbury maryland
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2008

Our family finally tried an all inclusive resort. We have traveled to Aruba many times and loved the fine dining and fresh seafood.
This resort has put a bad taste in my mouth. I had to talk my husband in doing this by telling him it rates as a 4 star and our travel agent ( a good friend ) tells us if we book the higher level we will be intitled to the name brand drinks such as Barcardi, Grey Goose, Etc.........also, we would be eating in a fine dining room with a special menu different from " lower level".
We paid the BIG price to be on the upper level as we dont like rail drinks or buffets. We like to do it right when we travel.
I even did my homework and saw reviews on this place, all good.
Now , let me first say if you want 86 degree weather everyday, a ppool and beach, buffets , Aruba beer , rail drinks and good sservice then I would say stay here. I'd rate it about a 3 star. But, If you work hard for your money and play hard like us you may want a little better. We go to play craps every nite........no open crap table! The casino is a joke. Took taxi to a real crap table and casino. We go for good food...........forget it. Took taxi to the best resturants. We go for fun and entertainment and good food and where we know the sun shine in November. Don't go to this resort if you know about real 5 star places you will be disappointed.

  • Liked — service
  • Disliked — crap table closed , fitness center no aircondition or working equipement, rail drinks
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Massachusetts
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2008

We stayed there for our honeymoon October 20-27th and had a fantastic time. We had just missed a big tropical storm the week before and were thankful for the good weather.

I'll start with the Pros:

*Hotel lobby and rooms really nice
*Drinks included in the all-inclusive were great - not watered down at all
*Pool was beautiful
*Beach was beautiful as well (a bit too hot for me though)
*No problems finding chairs at pool/beach
*Food was great - all the restaurants were fantastic
*Staff was friendly
*Casino was small but fun
*Beach massage was awesome
*Easy to book tours from hotel (highly recommend the Jeep Tour and the Kukoo Kunuko party bus)

Cons:

*Upon check-in we were told our room wasn't available due to the storm damage from the week prior. We had to spend the first night in a double bed but were quickly transferred to a king with a pool/ocean view the next day.
*Buffett food wasn't as good as the restaurants
*Towels at pool/beach never seemed to be available - they were always waiting for more towels to come in. However, we never had a problems getting towels eventually.
*It was a bit stressful to have to book your meals at the hotel restaurants immediately after check-in. Even though we did this right away, many of the restaurants were booked or only late times were available.
*Power had to be shut off several times to fix damage from the storm the week prior.
*Lastly, several of us came across counterfeit $5 bills on the island/hotel. The reason we know they were counterfit is that all of the slot machines wouldn't accept them and upon close inspection they were missing the watermark. I don't believe this is fault of the hotel at all since it looks like perhaps they are circulating through the casinos on the island. We made sure to inspect all of our money prior to leaving the island.

Overall it was a great honeymoon experience and we would absolutely do an all-inclusive at this hotel again - it is well worth the price!

  • Liked — The pool at the hotel was amazing
  • Disliked — The check-in process/booking reservations
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2008

My husband and I visited the OGA resort for a few days on Nov-17 to Nov 22. We were celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary. We love this resort. It was our 5th trip back and it's always been excellent for us. I can't say enough about how great the employees are. They have always been very accomodating.

Check in: Quick and easy

Lobby: Very nice, in the evening they have live entertainment and a nice little crown hangs out.

Food: Very Good-enough of a variety to find what you like. A la carte resturants are good but make your reservation as soon as you check in. I prefer to make 1 or 2 reservations only because I like to eat at the local resturants. (Also like to hang out at the pool and beach till late in the day)No time limits on vacation.

Drinks: Good drinks,variety of slushy drinks.Never a problem getting whatever you want at any of the bars.

Room: Great view,nice bathroom,always cleaned with fresh towels and sheets. I like to tip the maid on the first day and introduce myself. It usually makes the stay much easier. Before I left I sent and e-mail to the hotel to make a request for the room we prefered. The hotel is shaped like a big "U" and I like to be out as far as possible and have the pool view also. Tower One.

Pool/Beach: The location of this hotel is unbelievable. It's part of it's charm. The pool is very clean(Someone scrubs the pool every morning and people are cleaning up all day). The Beach is breath taking. The white sand and aqua water. Plenty of seats are available especially for shade. I have very fair skin and sit in the shade the whole vacation with lots of SPF 30 sunscreen.

Computer Access: They have a business office with the internet and faxing available. You have to buy minutes. Nice to know you can get on the net and stay in touch on vacation.

Phone: One of the tips that I have when calling home(USA) is walking out across the street behind the Brickel Bay hotel there is a Setar office. You buy the minutes and use the phone outside of the office and it's very cheap to call the U.S. $9.00 for 25 minutes.

Aruba is truly beautiful and safe. That is the one reason my husband and I love Aruba. You can be free to travel any place on the island via taxi or even the bus system. FYI-bus stop right out front of hotel to downtown $1.50 a person compared to $20.00 by taxi. Overall this hotel is great. Very Relaxing and enjoyable. Vacation is what you make of it...Enjoy...and I'll be back to my Happy Place Soon.

  • Liked — everything-Just a really nice relaxing get away from the rat-race
  • Disliked — not a thing
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2008

We stayed at the Occidental from 11/22-11/29/08. We found the room to be more than adequate in terms of comfort and cleanliness. Whoever cleaned our room was not always thorough. A couple of times, the coffee pot was not washed out and a couple of other minor things.

The bathtub is about 2 ft. off the ground. My SO had trouble getting in because of mobility issues.

We were a little disappointed in the food. It was plentiful but, you had to try a lot of things before finding something tasty. Many things were devoid of flavor.

The Oriental and Caribbean restaurants were not the greatest. Imagine my surprise when the waiter at the Oriental restaurant told me there would be an additional charge for sake rice wine! I passed that up but, on my way out of the restaurant, I noticed the bottle of sake in the wine cooler. It was the same brand that I buy at home for about $6 a bottle!

The Caribbean restaurant was quite disappointing. In my experience, Caribbean food generally has flavor, if not a kick to it. I had the duck here and it was totally devoid of flavor.

On our last night, we went to the Italian restaurant. I now know what they mean by saving the best for last. The food here was fantastic. We both had the lamb chops and they were as good as I have ever had! The atmosphere in this restaurant is lovely.

The staff at the Palm buffet were kind of lazy. It seemed like an imposition to get someone to bring us coffee. One waitress, Elizabeth, became downright nasty after we complained about her standing at another table to chat with the guests while en route to our table with our drinks. Yes, after about 5 minutes of watching this, we became annoyed. She gave us the evil eye for the rest of our stay there.

The pool and the pool bar were terrific. The beach and the beach bar were also terrific. The huts were readily available, which I was grateful for.

The weather did stink for most of our trip but, we had a wonderful time anyway, in spite of losing at the casino :)

  • Liked — Everything was clean and easily accessible.
  • Disliked — Some of the wait staff was lazy.
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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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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