17 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Perfect day pass
"Had a wonderful day pass at the occidental, the service was great the resort is very clean and for an all inclusive it has a wode variety of choices concerning food and beverages."
- Travel date: Mon 23rd of February 2015
2nd time around at the Occidental
"This was our second time to this hotel as I love Aruba.The rooms were very tired and the upstairs outside bar the rattan furniture was falling apart.The beach white sand and clam seas .It is wonderful.The strip at the the rear of the hotel is great for eating out and bars.Aruba is very safe.Did have a great holiday will go back but would choose another Hotel."
- Travel date: Tue 15th of January 2013
can't fault it
"this was our first all inclusive stay so we didn't know what to expect. we found the whole experience fantastic at the occidental. the service in all areas was first class from the restaurants to the bars to the reception. we were pelasantly surprised by the quality of the food after reading one or two reviews. i am a reasonably fussy eater but found that there was so much variety at the buffet that i vould have something differnt every night. the four theme restaurants were of varying quality - the italian was 10/10, oriental 9/10, caribbean 7/10 and the mexican 5/10 (although as i don't like mexican food this is perhaps an unfair score). overall i would recommend it to anybody and would definitely come back "
- Travel date: Tue 9th of August 2011
Brilliant Sunny Hotel
"This is a fantastic hotel if you like live shows, a casino and great views right on the beach. We really loved the lazy swimming pool river that without to much effort took you pass the swim-up bar on each circuit - a tough life!! The iguana's that kept us company on the rocks by the buffet restaurant were really fun and tame. A lovely little island which you see round in one day, but we have lovely memories of a really relaxing holiday-and plan another visit soon."
- Travel date: Thu 27th of August 2009
Just returned from 14 days at this hotel...
"Just returned from 14 days at this hotel, have nothing but praise for the staff who were very friendly and cheerfull. rooms were clean and spacious, clean towels everyday, lots of hot water. food was very good, something for everbody. i would say though if you go to this hotel book your a la carte restuarants as soon as you arrive as they get booked up very quickly. beach and pool kept very clean plenty of sun beds on the beach, not so many around pool. the shows this hotel put on were marvellous and i would recommend you see them."
- Travel date: Sat 27th of September 2008
Had a lovely holiday in Aruba. A very sa...
"Had a lovely holiday in Aruba. A very safe island, but not a lot to see and do. The Occidental Grand Aruba has a lovely ambience, excellent food, friendly staff & good entertainment although repeated every week. (quite common in the Caribbean) The only down side was when we returned home we found some of our clothes missing, which means they had been through our dirty washing bag to get them. Therefore if you choose to go there make sure you check your belongings. "
- Travel date: Fri 24th of August 2007
I went to this hotel with my boyfriend i...
"I went to this hotel with my boyfriend in September of 2006. We cannot rate it highly enough! We loved this hotel and the island of Aruba!!
The food was great - all inclusive buffet with 5 al a carte restaurants of different cuisines.
Some were better than others, but with a 2 week holiday you got 8 reservations in any of them which was great - the Japanese was fantastic!!
The pool was so lovely. Itâs been recently refurbished and you could tell! The swim up bar we loved especially the cocktails!
Aruba as a country is great. We would definitely go there again and we wouldnât think about staying in another hotel if we went again!"
- Travel date: Thu 11th of January 2007
"I recently stayed at the Occidental Grand Aruba, from May 29, 2006 to June 4, 2006 for my honeymoon, and it was wonderful. Check-in was quick and easy, and all of the staff was so nice and friendly. The entire hotel was not finished at the time, two more restaurants will be opening and they were still working on some of the rooms, but this did not affect us at all. The rooms were beautiful, and extremely clean. We had an all-inclusive plan for meals and drinks, and we had the bed turn-down serivce at night. Our room was cleaned every morning and restocked with towels at night too, the first night they lit candles in the room, and gave us bathrobes and t-shirts (said honeymooners on the back), and a bottle of wine. The food at all of the restaurants was great, they had an italian place, carribean, oriental, and buffet (there is a mexican one and a pizza place still to come) however for all of the restaurants except for the bufet no shorts may be worn to dinner. Reservations for the restaurants were made a guest services in the lobby where they also had a newsletter detailing the events of the day, and they would also call any other place on the island to make reservations for you too. The drinks were great - not watered down like at some resorts. There were shows in the ballroom each night, which were great, and live music in the lobby bar. The grounds were beautiful and the pool was great. The Occidental was great, and will only get better once it is complete, if you are considering going to Aruba, this is the place to stay!!"
- Travel date: Sun 11th of June 2006
Loved the Occidental Grand Aruba
"This was our first visit to the Occidental Grand Aruba and couldn't be more
happier with our choice. I am a travel agent and would suggest this property
without any hesitation. My husband and I travelled with another couple and had the best
time ever. Our room was on the 7th floor, Royal Club Level and had beautiful oceanviews
and also looked over the pool. The room was brand new, very clean and spacious. We also had a balcony that overlooked over the ocean. We did not hear any construction noise, and don't know what all the fuss was about.
One mistake we did make was not getting a prepaid phone card.
The first two calls we made back home, were put on our credit card
and cost us 40.00 per call for only 10mins each. We did purcahse a 5.00 phone card that was good for 60 minutes. The cards can be purchased almost anywhere on the island.
The resort was just beautiful even with the renovations going on. We liked going
this time of year for the resort was not crowded at all. The pool was very clean
and also had a swim-up bar that was popular. We found the drinks to be excellent
and not watered down at all. The bartenders were all very friendly.
We tried all four restaurants and had no complaints at all. The Palm Restaurant is where we had breakfast each morning. The food was plentiful and had a lot of variety.
The Beach Club was located outside and served lunch and dinner. Again the food was plentiful and we had no complaints. Our favorite restaurants were Zen and L'Olio.
Zen was the Japanese restarant and we had the chef cook right in front of us.
He was very entertaining to all of us and the food was excellent. L'Olio was an Italian
restaurant with white linen tableclothes. Again the food and service were excellent. A good tip is to make reservations at the restaurants 1 day
in advance. You can make them in the lobby from 9am-1pm each day.
We didn't get to see any entertainment for the dinners at night lasted at least 2-3 hrs.
This let us have a relaxing time each night.
The weather was very warm but with the trade winds we didn't really feel like
it was scorching. We spent most of the afternoon at the beach floating in the ocean and couldn't be happier.
We will return to this property once the renovations are completed.
I would reccomend this property without any hesitation at all."
- Travel date: Sat 10th of June 2006
New Occidental is Heaven
"We just came back Jun 1-7 with a 17 month old baby, and had the best time that we're buying a timeshare. We can only laugh at hearing negative results. The food was amazing. The service was without the best ever. We stayed in the Royal Club Suites 8th flloor,our room was 775 sq. feet livingroom, diningroom, 2 TV's DVD player, big spacious master bedroom with balconies through out room facing ocean and pool. No construction noise or any disturbance. We visited other hotels in the past and the Occidental rooms were all updated and amenities were just heavenly. No rush to wake up at 6 and get a beach chair, or pool chair. The Zen restaurant (Hi, Elmo!) was a blast. One night you can sit in the dining area/or on floor, and then the menu is different at the Hibachi, out of this world. The Italian was so tasty. Over all we loved the New Occidental Grand Aruba. Yes, the place is half occupancy but the QUALITY is super. So heavely we're buying a timeshare at the Occidental. No other hotel there compares to this one. We can't wait to go back in a couple of months. ALL HOTELS HYATT ETC...ARE REMODELING, so that should give you a level of exellence(OCCIDENTAL) to compare them too."
- Travel date: Wed 7th of June 2006
I all depends on your attitude!
"We just came back from the Occidental Grand Aruba. I've read many comments before this trip, and was expecting the worst. In fact, what I found was a very pleasant atmosphere, great food, wonderful staff and we all had a lot of fun!
I want to thank the front desk staff: Eugene, Angelica, and specially Mirna, for being responsive and accomodating all our requests. I truly enjoyed talking to them and had all my needs attended. The whole experience was really above my expectations!
The Hotel is clean, our room was fantastic, with a pool / ocean view, very nicely decorated.
The pool is very beautiful, and the pool bar staff was always ready to serve us.
Bernardine, our favority waitress at lunch, was efficient and very attentive to details. She knew exactly how to please each of us.
The evening shows are better than the average I've seen in 5 star hotels before. The Las Vegas Show deserves your special effort to attend.
Don't miss the Zen (Oriental) restaurant. We had dinner there twice, and the Hibachi Chefs are great! Elmo, the waiter, is special as well. The Italian restaurant is also very good.
The beach set-up is one of the great assets of this hotel. Many guests "reserve" their chairs with towels early in the morning, but we never had trouble finding a comfortable spot near the beach bar.
Yes, there is construction going on, but it did not bother us a bit. I guess it all depends on how one wants to spend their vacation... in a bad mood...or with a positive attitude!"
- Travel date: Wed 7th of June 2006
Great island for families!
"We just returned from Aruba and the Occidental Grand Aruba on Wednesday and had a lovely vacation. (May 19th - May 30th) This was mainly because of the great folks who work at the Occidental Grand. The bar staff and room staff especially.
It is true that there is still work being done on site but those who make the hotel out as a construction zone are simply being drama queens. The occasional construction noise was not annoying in the least and actually it was interesting to wake up each day to see another addition to the landscaping or decor. As another reviewer stated: the real noise came from the nearby hotels under construction!
We were on the Royal Club level, ( Hi Eva!) , therefore our overall experience was most likely a little different but when I got into conversations with other guests, their complaints were pretty painful to listen to. "They forgot to leave facecloths" or "the a-i rate is too high" or "where's the bingo?". Come on...the biggest complainers appeared to be the biggest drinkers (haha). Plus, who wants to play bingo on such a beautiful island? Go for a walk on the fabulous beach!
We enjoyed the Italian restaurant - went three times! The food and service was superb. The Japanese restaurant (Zen) was so-so. We are from Vancouver and a little spoiled with Asian food but.. I don't think the sushi was prepared on site. The service that night was wonderful tho and we were laughing away with the antics of our chef. The Caribbean restaurant was a small disappointment as I too expected spicy Caribbean food. The buffets were great, yes breakfast was the same every day but what a huge variety. Nothing to really complain about there tho a few more choices of fresh fruit at breakfast and lunch would have been nice. I agree, the food dishes should be labeled and we mentioned in our comment cards. Also it would be nice to have other desserts. While we were there, the buffet just had a variety of squares. Oh well, no big weight gain from sweets!
We didn't check out the entertainment as we considered dining late on scrumptious food good enough and usually finished dinner around 10. I believe full entertainment shows start this week, the Mexican restaurant is also opening and the Kid's area will be open. By the end of our trip they had positioned chairs around the pool bar and this attracted a late afternoon group.
If you are a gym rat, the gym is not finished but you can take a brisk walk down to the Divi and get a full week's access for $25.
To finish off this review, I do want to comment on Aruba itself. We did find the weather overwhelmingly hot. I wouldn't take the grandparents there in May! Over 100 each day. We were three single women, ages 28 and up and we only went downtown one night. It is for the young so that was very disappointing. The casinos are very small and not what we expected. Limited entertainment. I would say our only disappointment with this vacation was the nightlife or lack of. I have travelled to at least 11 Caribbean islands and this was the quietest vacation. Just thought single folks would appreciate knowing this. One place to definitely check out tho is Sopranos, across from the hotel. Great live piano music with all ages. Classy joint."
- Travel date: Thu 1st of June 2006