What to Expect at the Occidental Grand Aruba Resort:
Closed for a year and transformed from the former Allegro Aruba Grand Hotel into the Occidental Grand Aruba Resort, this property has been reborn as the newest all-inclusive on this island thanks to a $24-million cash infusion.
The structure is located on wide and pretty Palm Beach, along a stretch that also holds the Hyatt, the Wyndham, the Radisson and other high-rise hotels.
Guest Rooms at the Occidental Grand Aruba Resort:
The renovated nine-story resort holds 341 deluxe air-conditioned rooms and 50 suites with dark wood furnishings and marble baths. Each guest room has a mini bar, hair dryer, satellite TV, and safe. And there's a private, furnished outdoor patio to enjoy the sunrise, sunset, and each other. Couples can upgrade to the Royal Club, a hotel within the hotel with its own check-in area, private restaurant and lounge, hydromassage bathtub, luxury linens, and other perks.
Dining at the Occidental Grand Aruba Resort:
Six new restaurants, most of them à la carte, offer a choice of Asian, American, Italian, Mexican, Caribbean-Progressive, or international fare. Décor in each evokes the cuisine of origin. In the Caribbean spot, the restaurant's top floor is transformed at night with hammocks, from which guests can relax and take in the ocean view. There is also a terrace for outdoor dining. The resort has full open bars with premium brands and nightly entertainment, including a casino.
Weddings at the Occidental Grand Aruba Resort:
The Grand Wedding Experience package is free to guests who book a certain number of nights in the Royal Club (otherwise couples are charged). Package includes document preparation, certified marriage license, legal fees, Justice of the Peace, witnesses, decorated wedding site, wedding coordinator, Champagne and à la carte wedding reception for up to 20, live music, bouquet and boutonniere, wedding cake, photos, candlelight dinner for the couple and breakfast in bed the morning after the wedding.
Spa at the Occidental Grand Aruba Resort:
The Grand Aruba Spa offers both indoor and outdoor spa treatments that range from massages to body wraps, scrubs, facials and more. There are eight treatment rooms and a Redken Beauty salon that does manicures, pedicures and hair styling. Spa and salon services are additional.
Activities at the Occidental Grand Aruba Resort:
Non-motorized water sports such as wind surfing, kayaking, and snorkeling are included in the all-inclusive pricing. Additional offerings include tours to island attractions, horseback riding and use of equipment for on-site water skiing, parasailing, jet skiing and SCUBA diving. There are two tennis courts with private lessons available. Guests who golf can play at a nearby 18-hole course. Yoga and water-aerobics classes are also offered.
What Could Be Improved at the Occidental Grand Aruba Resort?:
There were many complaints about the former incarnation of this property including bad service, threadbare rooms with sagging mattresses, cheap offbrand liquor. Time will tell whether the rebranding and refurbishing of this resort will bring it in line with other Aruba high-rise hotels. Also note that despite billing itself as an all-inclusive, the a la carte dining, spa services, some sports, and of course gambling will all cost extra on a vacation. Children are permitted.
Is the Occidental Grand Aruba Resort right for you?:
If you love the beach, feel most comfortable at an all-inclusive resort, and want to be among the first visitors to sleep in new beds in refurbished rooms, you may well enjoy a stay at the Occidental Grand Aruba Resort.
Where to Find More Information About the Occidental Grand Aruba Resort: