Occidental Grand Aruba Reviews

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Occidental Grand Aruba  

83 Je Irausquin Blvd | (formerly Allegro Aruba Grand Hotel), Palm/Eagle Beach, Aruba

"A little disappointed"
Posted by: Judy on Oct 24, 2013
see all reviews

Occidental Grand Aruba Reviews
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#4
of 37 Hotels in Aruba

User rating 3.3

Based on 8 reviews

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Occidental Grand Aruba Reviews

Occidental Grand Aruba Review: 3.3 of 5 8 reviews
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"A little disappointed"

Occidental Grand Aruba
User Rating:  Occidental Grand Aruba Review: 2.0 of 5

Posted by:  Judy  on Oct 24, 2013  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Oct, 2013 | Wedding | With Group
71 people found this review helpful

We arrived at the resort around 12 noon. A rep from the resort brought us into a meeting room & confirmed everyone was present, then informed us that we'd have to wait until 4 to check in. I asked the agent if the room I was assigned would have 2 separate beds, as I would be sharing a room with a friend, and not with a spouse, and he verified that, yes, we would have 2 separate beds, We stuck around the front desk and lobby area until we could finally check in. At 4, we walked to our room, & noticed a terribly outdated room with only one bed. I made my way to the front desk & informed the hostess of the issue. She told me that the hotel had been overbooked, & unfortunately they could not accommodate my requirement. I booked months ago - how could they not have a proper room for us? I would not accept that answer, & after about an hour more of scrambling around, they were able to find a room with 2 beds for myself and my friend. Basically my entire first day at this resort was wasted sitting around the lobby waiting. Disappointing.

The next morning, I made my way down to the beach. The resort gives you a towel card, which you exchange at a hut down by the beach, for a towel. At the end of the day, you bring your towel back, and they return your towel card. When I arrived at the beach, there were no towels. After waiting over an hour, I was able to get one. At night, my friends and I went out to a bar across the street. Upon return to the resort, we were hungry - but shocked to find that the resort didn't have a 24-hr snack bar. I thought most all-inclusives did? The latest restaurant closes daily at 11pm, so we were out of luck.

A few days later, I went to the beach again, & like before, there were no towels. I checked back to the towel hut 6 times in 5 hours that afternoon, and did not receive a towel at any point that day. My friend & I took a dip in the ocean, & decided to head back to the room to dry off and clean up for dinner. Unfortunately the key card to enter the room wasn't working, so we had to go to the lobby to get a new one. We were stopped on our way, by a security guard, who informed us that we are not allowed to enter the lobby with wet clothes. I informed her that there were no towels at the beach hut, & that our room key would not work - we just needed new room keys so we could go to our rooms to dry off. She insisted that we would not be allowed to enter the lobby, period. What were we supposed to do?! Surely this wasn't our fault. We waited for awhile, and finally were dry enough for her liking, to enter the lobby.

These were the main issues on my trip. The shows were sub-par, however the food was quite delicious. Bar staff was always friendly and courteous. Cleaning staff only restocked the fridge once, and seemed to come at strange hours. One day, my room wasn't cleaned until 5pm. Other days, the cleaners would be knocking on my door at 8am.

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"Very poor services to hotel guests. Were promised things and never received them."

Occidental Grand Aruba
User Rating:  Occidental Grand Aruba Review: 2.0 of 5

Posted by:  Carolyn  on Nov 5, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Oct, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
267 people found this review helpful

Hotel was beautiful and so was the beach area. As far as the all inclusive, it priced way to high for what you received. Have stayed at other all inclusives for less money and received much more for the money.
Promised champagne in room by 2 different staff members -never got it. Upon arrival they said they would check to see if we have a room upgrade. Were told they would call us after 6:00p.m.came when all were checked in and they NEVER called...So we stayed where we were but wasted a couple of hours to unpack waiting for them to call.
Room wasn't cleaned until at least 5:00p.m. and asked maid in the hallway for clean towels to take a shower-She said NO - you will get them when I do your room. Room service was terrible, if they had any. If you asked for it you usually waited for about 2 hours.
Had to buy our own beer for the small refrigerator as they only put 2 cans in the refrigerator every other day! This is all inclusive?
Had to make dinner reservations every night at the restaurants, could not just walk in and be seated, usually couldn't get dinner reservations until 8:30pm or later.
Definately would not recommend this place to anyone else. There are too many other places that I am sure have better accommodations and service.

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"I just loved it."

Occidental Grand Aruba
User Rating:  Occidental Grand Aruba Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Desii Pattinson  on Mar 21, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Panama
Visited on: Mar, 2010 | Leisure | Family and Kids
314 people found this review helpful

Since i'm not much of a talker, I'm just gonna say I loved it. Unless I have something to say.

Your Arrival:
Arrived at 6:30 p.m. The view: stunning. It was beautiful. I didn't mind waiting in the lobby at all. I liked all the decoration, the fountain was a great detail. A guide gave us a tour arround the hotel, and led us to the buffet, which name I forgot. But I could see the little waterfall in the swimming pool, and it was beautiful with the dim lights.

Rooms:
Well, I stayed in one of those rooms for couples. I slept in the bed for once, and it's like sleeping in clouds. Even the couch. Well, not really. I absolutely loved the decoration and the bathtub.

Restaurants and Bars:
In all the restaurants the food was just delicious. And for the bars, I couldn't stop drinking piñas coladas.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The beach is absolutely gorgeous, the sand is cool, the water clistal-clear, the pool was very clean, but the jacuzzis were a little too hot for the weather. I liked the pool bar as well, but I didn't like their piñas coladas as much as in the lobby.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Since we didn't do a lot in the resort.. Well, we did go to a show, which was in English, and since we are a Spanish speaking family, we didn't understand a lot of things. I'm writing this in English because I have studied more. Besides that, we didn't do much more than swimming in the beach, the pool, and going to restaurants when necesary. Off the resort, since Aruba is a very beautiful and small island, everything is close to everything. We met the Natural Bridge, California Lighthouse and went shopping. Absolutely dazzling and colorful. Everything.

Other Comments:
I'd definitely go again. When I grow up and get a job.

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"Nothing really to complain about"

Occidental Grand Aruba
User Rating:  Occidental Grand Aruba Review: 3.0 of 5

Posted by:  Jim09  on Apr 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2009
273 people found this review helpful

If you want a quiet resort with no kids, stay away. The pool was flooded with kids and I heard complaints from some of the adults because of the noise. It was tough to sit and have a drink due to the excess of kids at the bar.

Arrival:
Arrival was smooth and quick from the airport to the resort. Hotel staff were very friendly. You received a quick briefing from the hotel staff and a short sales speech on attending their timeshare presentation. We stop them in their tracks and they did not push no further.

Rooms:
Rooms were clean (4th floor) but very humid even with the A/C on full. Very difficult to sleep in damp sheets. We talked to others on other floors and their room was fine. It was our loss for not complaining.

Restaurants and Bars:
Food and drink were good. Staff very friendly. Make sure you bring many $1.00 bills as tips are a must at this resort. They don't ask but service get better with tipping.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
This was the only negative part of the resort. After visiting Turks and Caicos, Cozumel and Varadaro, we were very disappointed with the beach. Water wasn't as clear as we used to. Water activities were difficult to do with all the boat traffic. Lots of tubing and parasailing and jet skiing. It's a little Cancun. Chairs were tqaken by 7:00am and people didn't even show up until noon. It's too bad because, I am sure the beaches could be much better. We walked down the beach and it got better as there was less traffic.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We toured with a local waiter from the resort. Good tour. As we will never return to Aruba, it was nice to see. Others were paying for the hotel tours. Most were happy with their tour. The purpose of our trip was for relaxation and we accomplished this.

Other Comments:
If you want a quiet resort with no kids, stay away. The pool was flooded with kids and I heard complaints from some of the adults because of the noise. It was tough to sit and have a drink due to the excess of kids at the bar.

All in all, nice place. We won't go back but that our preference. Nothing really to complain about. The few negatives I mentioned above should not deter other from going. We enjoyed Aruba but it just didn't excite us to go back as did other places we've been. If you have never been, it's worth a vacation. You won't be disappointed. Just remember the few minor points above. It's a 4+ hotel.

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"We give it 4.5 stars"

Occidental Grand Aruba
User Rating:  Occidental Grand Aruba Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Mike08  on Apr 1, 2008  >  2 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2008
270 people found this review helpful

Things have obviously changed much at the Occidental Grand Aruba since the previous reviews were written, as we had a great stay at this hotel! We stayed with Royal Club and our room was on the 9th floor. This is our second stay at an Occidental Grand (in December 2007 we stayed at the Occidental Grand in Cozumel, Mexico) and we would gladly return to either one. It has the best beach-front in all of Palm Beach (we walked the whole beach, so speak first hand). The hotel staff were extremely helpful, friendly, and accommodating. Special thanks to Anne W. for helping us with some unique requests! Our room was clean, spacious, and had up-to-date décor. Room service was quick. The food in general was very good (for the Caribbean), but we especially liked the Italian restaurant (L’Olio). Nightly shows were excellent (the best we’ve experienced over the last 13 years) and included a full rendition of “Grease”. There was never a shortage of beach chairs - even though the hotel was at capacity - and it never felt overcrowded. There was a lot to do during the day: activities around the pool, water sports (equipment in good condition), and shopping in the hotel and right across the street.

We would definitely return to this hotel, and would highly recommend to anyone booking, to go for Royal Club. We give it 4.5 stars.

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"Would we go to this hotel again? Unlikely"

Occidental Grand Aruba
User Rating:  Occidental Grand Aruba Review: 2.0 of 5

Posted by:  Peggy/Donald06  on Jul 1, 2006  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jul, 2006
282 people found this review helpful

Dates Jun 18 to 25 2006 Sunquest

This hotel is work in progress. We're in our room and we're almost happy to hear nails being pounded in all day because we fought like tigers to get management to stop the operation of jackhammers next door to our room. This was so jarring the pounding in of nails, that started at 8:45 in the morning, was almost a relief .

Days of it...we complained. It was impossible to rest or watch T.V.

First we were told by front desk personnel to contact our travel agent when we got home if we were bothered by jackhammers. Then they offered to move us to another room to avoid the noise... by this time it was Saturday afternoon and we were scheduled to come home early on Sunday morning. After an acidic conversation the noise was halted. Some holiday! Some rest!.

Housekeeping in this hotel was unpredictable to say the least. Although the "make up the room" sign was duly posted it was not unusual to come home at 3 p.m. and find there were no fresh towels, washcloths, bathmat etc; however a call to housekeeping and a chat with a maid, if one were to be found, did bring results.

Our food servers in the beach clubs were very accommodating and polite. The food was varied and acceptable. Loved the Japanese restaurant... one server there should get an academy award for his acting ability; very entertaining.

This hotel has a travel desk... very polite personnel but not particularly well informed. If they had been they might not have recommended this particular company for a tour of the Island. Bus was not air conditioned as promised; tour guide seemed knowledgeable but mike system inadequate...almost impossible to hear much of the commentary...too bad because the terrain etc. was of interest.

Would we go to this hotel again? Unlikely . Put too much value on a restful holiday; however we enjoyed the Island ; met a plethora of people who have returned time after time and have discovered interesting places to stay. Appreciate that we are fortunate to have had this experience... hope to help others avoid this construction site.

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"This resort is the WORST ever"

Occidental Grand Aruba
User Rating:  Occidental Grand Aruba Review: 2.0 of 5

Posted by:  Mike08  on May 1, 2006  >  2 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: May, 2006 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
306 people found this review helpful

The resort’s name is Occidental Grand Aruba, formerly known as Allegro Aruba.

We're from Toronto, Canada. Purchased this all-inclusive trip thru tour operator Sunquest. Travel time was last week of May 2006.

My wife and I have traveled throughout Caribbean more than half a dozen times. This resort is the WORST ever.

The hotel is undergoing the process of reconstruction. The work was continued on the ocean front section of the hotel as well as on the first and the second floors of the separate buildings. There was constant noise from concrete cutting and hammering (from 9 to 6 daily). There was no protective net being installed, so all the debris were falling directly to the beach. Dust was everywhere.

About one third of the restaurants and bars were not operational. Many people have daily complained to the management on the bad conditions. The answer was: "...we are going through the soft opening". The hotel management absorbed themselves of any responsibilities. When I asked why the web site tells us that this place resembles paradise, where in fact the conditions were just horrible, the answer from one of the manager (I do have a business card of this person) was that Head Office in Miami is setting up the web site and hotel has no input.

The food was very bad - every day the choice of green peas or chick peas from the tin cans.

Service was non-existent, there were line-ups !!!! to get a table every time one goes for lunch or dinner.

The tennis courts are being used as construction supply storage; the whirlpools are closed and covered in planks.

The fitness room equipment was so old that we were afraid to touch it.

Over all - this was the nightmare vacation and all the parties are pointing fingers on each other for blame.

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"All in all, we had an ideal honeymoon and vacation"

Occidental Grand Aruba
User Rating:  Occidental Grand Aruba Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Tara04  on Nov 1, 2004  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Nov, 2004
291 people found this review helpful

My husband and I went to Aruba for our honeymoon, stayed at the Allegro and had a fantastic time! Aruba is a wonderful island! The people were friendly, it felt very safe, it's out of the hurricane belt (which is key in october), the weather was great (only rained once that we know of, and we were there during the rainy season)--hot, but with the ever present breeze, which makes it bearable.

Rooms:
-The common rooms of the resort (lobby, casino, public bathrooms, restaurants) were very nice--well kept, clean, modern.
-The bedrooms, however, were not so great. They were decorated in a 70s sort of style--forest green carpets, white wicker furniture, and everything just looked old. The bathroom needed renovation also, as the tub was peeling. We were put in a smoking room the first night, and then switched to a nonsmoking room thereafter, so we saw 2 rooms, and they were both equally in need of renovation. BUT, the hotel staff did say that they planned to renovate the guest rooms within the next year or so, so they are aware of this problem. All that being said, the rooms did not bother us really; we got used to them right away and it's not like they were completely gross.
-The water in our rooms was odd. Again, this is nothing that spoiled our time there, but we weren't able to adjust the temperature of the shower, nor were we able to get cold water out of our bathroom sink.

Hotel service:
-The people at the hotel were pretty accomodating, and, as I mentioned, they did switch our rooms when we were first placed in a smoking room.
-The wait staff at the various resort restaurants was great. A lot of the servers seemed to work at several of the restaurants, and they were extremely friendly and helpful. We were all-inclusive (as almost everyone was at this resort--in fact, I never saw anyone who wasn't) and we still were treated very well. It was NOT one of those situations where the all-inclusive people are treated worse than the non AI people (but like I said, I never saw any nonAI people).
-Our maid never gave us new shampoo or soap for 5 days in a row, until I called and asked for it! That was a little odd, because even though we weren't using much (I had brought my own also), at most hotels they will give you new toiletries every day regardless. But this wasn't a big deal to us at all, as they did give us the items when we asked for them.

Amenities:
-On the AI plan, the resort offered free "non-motorized water sports." We were told this included a whole long list of things from our travel agent, but it ended up being pretty much 1) floaty things for the pool or ocean 2) snorkel gear. We did check out the snorkel gear, but note that there isn't anywhere you can go with your snorkel gear to see anything unless you have a car. We went in a jeep with another couple and snorkeled on our own out near a lighthouse, so we were able to utilize the equipment, but otherwise, there isn't much to see on the beach near the hotel.
-There was free Bingo at the Casino each night. I played with some other people we met there, and that was fun. The casino has the regular gambling games, but also has nickel and penny slot machines. We don't gamble much, but did play those for a little bit, which was okay.
-The resort offered daily activities that would be posted around on buildings. They didn't put these up until the day of the events, so you could necessarily plan for a morning activity, unless you asked about it, or you got up early to see what was going on. They had scuba clinics in the pool, they gave water massages, they had dart tournaments, water volleyball games and lots of other things.
-Every night, there were shows in the ballroom at the resort. The dancers were from all over, a few from Aruba, many from latin america, some from Bulgaria and other places. They had 6 nights of shows and on Sunday, it was live music--so a different show every night. My husband and I went to 3 of the shows and enjoyed them. It's basically lip synching and dancing to music. They have a Moulin Rouge show, a Greece show, a Best of Broadway show, a Las Vegas Show, a Circus in the Sky show (amazing acrobatics!), and a few others. Some of the people were very good lip synchers and had great emotion and expression, others not so much. But the dancing was pretty good and the Circus in the Sky night was very impressive. it was fun to go to these shows and have dinner and drinks during them.
--The pool was great, waterfalls, swim-up bar, windy--very nice. it had 2 jacuzzis, which didn't seem that clean, but they were passable. Still nice.

Restaurants:
All of the restaurants were pretty decent. We were there for 8 nights, 9 days, and actually never even ate off of the resort! Even when we went away during the day, we always managed to eat back at the Allegro, and we did not get sick of the food. I got a little tired of feeling so full all the time, but other than that, it was fine. The food was nothing spectacular, but there was more variety in choosing restaurants than some AI deals, so it was pretty good. The pizza shop was some of the best, most healthy tasting pizza I've had in a while.

Outside activities:
-We ran into a time-share salesman who set us up to have a tour of the time shares at the Allegro, and we were so happy we did this! We talked to a woman for 45 minutes, and basically told her upfront that we were not interested in a time share, but we just agreed to do it because the salesman told us about a free activity gift we could get for it. We could choose from horseback riding, a jeep tour, an ATV tour, parasailing, a night time cruise, and several other things. We chose to go parasailing and we cashed in on that prize right that afternoon! We had to walk down the beach a little to a different hotel and went out parasailing from there. It was so much fun and we saved $80 by listening to the 45 minute time share demonstration (and we got 2 free t-shirts).
-We went with another couple who rented a jeep and explored the desert one day. This was a lot of fun, because one might forget that Aruba is, in fact, a desert. We saw goats, donkeys, lots of cactii, an old gold mine, and lots of other cool natural landmarks (like the natural bridge). Many companies also offer tours, if you don't want to go out on your own, but this is a really neat thing to do.
-We went on a snorkeling boat tour with Red Sail Sports (it is the company that is affiliated with the resort). This is where we met several other couples who were very nice, and it was a fun boat ride, as well as the snorkeling. There aren't any reefs that they take you to, but we did see some fish and other creatures. Most of the tours take you to an old German ship. The water here is a little choppier, but it was still a lot of fun and very cool to see the ship underwater. I am NOT a diver at all and had never been snorkeling before this trip, but I was totally fine in the water, and since it is so easy to float in the salt water, it wasn't scary at all, even though it was deep at this point.
-We took the bus into town one day (it is only about $2 round trip). It was basically all shops and restaurants, but we went mainly to get souvenirs for family, so that was okay with us.

Location:
The Allegro was located in a main strip of other resorts and hotels. Palm beach is said to be the nicest and it was very nice. We were in an area that felt "alive", as there were a lot of active people around, but it wasn't so busy that it was annoying. We loved our location.

Airport:
The airport in Aruba was fine. there is not a lot to do there, so don't expect many shops or restaurants. I traveled with American Airlines, and the line to check is was extremely long (the other airlines were not), so allow time for that. My husband's bags were searched, but everyone was still very friendly and it wasn't a problem at all.

All in all, we had an ideal honeymoon and vacation. It was incredibly relaxing and if you don't let the little things get to you, it can be amazing! Aruba seems to be a little pricier than the other islands, but to have much better weather (no possibility of hurricanes, and also the constant wind to make the humid weather bearable), feel safer, it was worth it to us. I would probably stay at the Allegro again (unless we wanted to try something new), although I'm guessing that they might raise their prices once they renovate their bedrooms... regardless, I would definitely go back to Aruba. Loved it.

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