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All reviewsroyal clubfirst clubthe mexican restaurantthe palm buffetsandra stebalevel restaurantlobby barall inclusive resortguest servicesbreakfast and lunchpool viewtop shelf liquordinner reservationsspecialty restaurantsmake reservationsvacation clubnightly entertainment
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Reviewed February 5, 2016 via mobile

The food is great and most of the staff is polite and professional. However, when there was no water stocked in our room and multiple phone calls to the front desk/request for water to be brought was ignored. Very poor customer service.

Nonetheless, the beaches are immaculate but also public so beware.

The hotel itself needs updating and will not be staying again.

Stayed: May 2015, traveled as a couple
1  Thank steelers0743
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joenna R, Guest Experience Manager at Barcelo Aruba, responded to this reviewResponded February 6, 2016

Dear steelers0743,

Thank you for sharing your post.
Our staff works hard to provide and exceptional service to our clients, we will sure thank our team for the service they enlightened your vacation with. We apologize for the long wait on the replenishment of water in your minibar. I would like to take the opportunity to inform you that your survey has been send to our management department who will sure implement changes based on your feedback. We are proud to announce that our resort has been through renovations until December of 2015, to enhance our property and quality of services. If you give us a chance to earn back your chance, we can assure you that we will do our best to give you the great hotel experience that so many of our guests have grown so fond of.


Sincerely,
Occidental Grand Aruba Management.

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Reviewed February 4, 2016

My husband and I stayed at the Occidental for a week-long trip to Aruba in January, 2016. This hotel is a mix of timeshare, travelers staying in regular rooms, and travelers staying in the more upscale Royal Club (on the top three floors of the hotel). The reason this hotel was on my radar is because I work at a travel company and am an IATA cardholder and this hotel offered me 30% off.

Things started off a little rocky at check in. They told me that I had not paid yet, which in fact I had. I ended up using the concierge's computer to log in and print my bank statement to show proof of payment months prior - I should not have had to deal with this on vacation. Second, I paid for an ocean view room, but the room on the high up floor with a nice ocean view had two double beds (versus a king) so we ended up on the 3rd floor (or 9) with a room facing a parking lot with the ocean in the distance. Bottom line, a pool facing room would have had a much better view. After check in, we immediately met with the conceigre to make reservations for the three restaurants onsite that require them.

The things I liked about this hotel:
-The swim up bar in the pool
-The location on Palm Beach, which is a lot quieter than down by the Marriott where there are a lot of companies selling excursions and water sports, but still in a central location
- The Italian restaurant, Seafood restaurant and Oriental restaurant were fantastic - go to the Oriental restaurant to sit in the regular part of the restaurant one night and at hibachi one night
-They had shows almost every night, entertainment in the lobby and activities during the day (like a scuba diving lesson in the pool, or bingo)
- From the coconut shop on the beachfront you could use kayaks, floats and take a private sailing ride for free
- The lunch restaurant had to go plates and silverware, so most days we made a plate and ate on the beach
- The fully stocked mini bar with waters, beer and soda - all free, made it really convenient for bringing drinks down to the beach
- There was a bar right on the beach, in addition to the pool
- The Italian and Seafood restaurants had out door seating - request to sit there when you make your reservation

Things I didn't like:
- The Mexican restaurant onsite (doesn't require reservation)
- You could only get Wi-Fi in the hotel lobby, and for an hour a day, unless you paid for a $20/day Wi-Fi package (per device)
- Getting a palapa on the beach was like an Olympic sport (granted every hotel deals with this as here are only enough available for a fraction of their guests). People go down with towels and chair clips to reserve chairs staring before 6am - I learned of this after my first day and started doing it to. It sucks to have to get up so early on vacation to hold your beach seats for the day. I wish I could have paid a fee to reserve them for the day instead of the charade (or at the Hilton you reserve them online the night before - also not ideal). The hotel staff also reserves them for long-time customers and timeshare holders (which I discovered one day when I was down there at 4:50am), so unless your out there early you will be sitting in the sun all day.
- If you opened the sliding door to the balcony, the air condition automatically shut off.

All in all, food and drinks in Aruba are very expensive (think Hawaii prices if you have been), so if you are not a foodie who is going to want top shelf meals every night (we did venture off for dinner one night downtown), or you are visiting Aruba on a budget, I think you will find this place does the trick and gives you a similar experience as a non all inclusive for a lot less money.

  • Stayed: January 2016, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank Danielle M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joenna R, Guest Experience Manager at Barcelo Aruba, responded to this reviewResponded February 15, 2016

Dear Danielle M,



We would like to thank you for taking your time to submit your review.
We apologize for the inconvenience you might have encountered upon check in.
Our resort is structure is consisted of mostly partial ocean view, starting on the 2nd floor going higher floor which is the deluxe ocean view category and we also offer the deluxe pool ocean view. Both these two different deluxe categories for if you book the pool and ocean view or just the regular deluxe ocean view. We do offer front ocean view, this are suites with a full ocean view which is the premium Jacuzzi ocean front room and it is being sold based on the room availability. A request is not a guarantee. The bedding is being requested but since hotels are limited in bedding, what we guarantee is the room you book for based on the category that you book for. Furthermore we are happy to reading your feedback with the do's and don'ts. Your feedback definitely helps us when it comes to implement changes to improve our quality of services. The reason why the Mexican restaurant became a walk in restaurant was to ease our guests with the buffet and Mexican walk in as the other three restaurants requires reservations. The internet service is provided by an outsource company and has different packages for the wi-fi, providing us a free consecutive hour every 24 hours daily in the hotel lobby. I have to mention that the hotel has a limited amount of palapas, which is a first come first serve basis offering enough beach chairs for all our guests with the assistance of our beach assistants walking around in their green polo shirts. Again we apologize for the inconveniences for the inconveniences you have encountered at the resort.




We hope to earn back your trust and welcome you back to our resort to show you the improvements and make your stay an unforgettable stay!




Sincerely,
Occidental Grand Aruba Management.

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Reviewed February 3, 2016

We just returned from a week at the hotel. We traveled with two children ages five and eight. We had a wonderful time. The food was great for an all inclusive, the staff was very accommodating and the beach is just beautiful. The rooms are average but exactly as I was expecting. The only disappointing part was the kids club. Due to renovations there is no space and I do not believe that the hotel should advertise a children's program it really is not fair to the consumer. I basically had to annoy the "fun club/kids club staff" daily just to do a craft with my kids for a half an hour. I was there a full week and the only child activity was bead making from 11-11:45. I understand the space is under "renovation" however one can be creative and come up with games/crafts by the poolside.

  • Stayed: January 2016, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Dina V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joenna R, Guest Experience Manager at Barcelo Aruba, responded to this reviewResponded February 5, 2016

Dear Dina V,


Thank you for submitting your post.
We are happy to read that you had a wonderful time during your vacation at our resort.
We are sorry to read that you encountered a disappointment during your stay. We are doing our utmost best to finish the last details on the kids club at the resort and start this operation with its schedule as soon as possible. Please accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience. Your feedback is jewel to us and useful for our improvements. We will sure take your recommendations and pass this to our activities department. We hope to meet you again in a very near future and welcome you to our resort, and be able to prove you our improvements.



Warm regards,
Occidental Grand Aruba Management.

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Reviewed February 3, 2016

We stayed here a week the end of January 2016 for a work trip. I would say this place is OK if you're not looking for "fancy" or "modern". The restaurants pretty much all looked the same but with a different table cloth color or a few different pictures on the wall. The menu options were limited. We ate at the buffet the first night and left to go to the Mexican place. There weren't too many options to pick from. Each buffet table was the same food (i thought each one would have different items) It was "Steak night" and my husband's meat was over-cooked and dry. We went back there for breakfast each day and the options were a bit better. The mexican restaurant could have had better food. It's almost as if they need a new chef to revamp the menu. Other people with our group went to the Italian restaurant and said it was fantastic. We didn't go because there are too many places right across the street to eat at.

As for our room, it was standard. Sink was old, handle fell off, toilet seat had wear marks on it from the lid. We woke up multiple times throughout each night because it's soo noisy. The halls echo every sound because it's all tile in the rooms/halls. The sound of people talking and doors slamming was quite annoying. The lobby has a bar but in the evenings, since this is the only open bar from 7-10p, it gets crowded. We tried the Sound Lounge (late night bar/louge), it was dated and there was never really anyone there.

On the plus side, the staff was friendly, the pool was clean, and the beach was great. If you want a place that's mid-range, in a good location but doesn't have outstanding food, then this is a good choice. I would go back to Aruba but i'd find a different hotel unless this place gets a facelift, new chefs, and sound proofing!

  • Stayed: January 2016, traveled on business
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Susan G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joenna R, Guest Experience Manager at Barcelo Aruba, responded to this reviewResponded February 9, 2016


Dear Susan G,



We would like to thank you for taking the time in writing your feedback.
We will sure take consideration with your comments on the hotels restaurants.
I would like to take the opportunity to inform you that we have sent your survey to the management department, I can assure you that changes will be implemented based on your recommendations. Our hotel has been through some renovations as room renovation and different areas of the hotel to improve our quality of services. Your feedback is valued to us. We can gladly inform you that we will be sure having great and attractive changes in our resort which we would like to have you experience on your next trip to Aruba. We hope to sure welcome you back and make your stay an unforgettable one.


Sincerely,
Occidental Grand Aruba Management.

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Reviewed February 3, 2016

What an awesome week at the Occidental Grand Aruba. We were fortunate enough to go to the Royal Club daily for all of our meals and encountered the most wonderful staff that pampered us on every visit. George, Cesar, Joyce and Perlita were the most attentive service staff I have ever encountered. The food was unbelievable and if we wanted something that wasn't on the menu, they prepared it for us anyway!!!
Hazel was a darling as the Royal Club Concierge and helped us make any reservation we wanted.
We had a beautiful two room suite that was kept immaculate daily and always restocked the mini bar so we always had plenty of beverages on hand. The resort was kept immaculately clean, and everyone we encountered was friendly and helpful. The beach was beautiful and water was the best I have been in temperature wise, and cleanliness. The beach bottom was sand, no rocks, seaweed or anything else, just sand!!! We will definitely return.
I turned items in for dry cleaning and where it usually takes 1-2 days, I had my items back just 5 hours later. The prices were cheaper for dry cleaning anywhere I have been out of the country.

Room Tip: Royal Club is the way to go. Suites offer more space, dining room set, living room couch and a huge jacuzzi bathtub as well as a shower.
  • Stayed: December 2015, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank Lori P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joenna R, Guest Experience Manager at Barcelo Aruba, responded to this reviewResponded February 5, 2016

Dear Lori P,


Thank you for sharing your great review!
We are very happy to read your Occidental Royal Club experience.
George, Cesar, Joyce, Perlita, Hazel and all the team will be honored with our gratitude for the excellent service that they enlightened your stay with. We thank you for have chosen the resort as your vacation destination.

We hope to welcome you in a very near future back to our resort!



Warm regards,
Occidental Grand Aruba Management.

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