The Occidental is next store to the Hyatt. It used to be the Americana Resort. I went to a presentation in New Jersey which showed slides of the Occidental. I also met a couple of representatives at the presentation. Quite honestly, I have not been to the Occidental property since they opened. However, we had been to the Americana many times through the years and thought that the beach area was nice, but not as nice as the beaches on Eagle beach or the beginning of Palm Beach. As far as the rooms go, they looked lovely according to the photos I had seen. As far as their all inclusive, I was told that you cannot frequent the same restaurants twice during a guests stay there and especially for their upscale restaurants. Occidental also does not offer a special private event location either if you were considering having your wedding ceremony and recepton at the same resort you were staying at with your guests. Please feel free to send me a PM and I will be happy to provide you with more information and observations
I was just married in a few weeks ago and it was wonderful! Don't stress about the wind- it kept everyone cool. We were married in town hall (a really pretty building actually) then had a beach blessing at Phoenix and then a reception at Terra Del Sol. Everything was beautiful, I cannot stress to you enough how much all of our guests loved it you will not regret it at all. I did utitlize the services of Aruba Fairy Tales (Indira) she is the best! Everything I asked for was taken care of and she kept me calm. I also planned a number of other events for my guests and Indira helped me out with those arrangements as well. Everything went off without a hitch, I could not be more pleased. Best wishes
Talking about coincidence... I was teaching salsa yesterday at the Riu and I noticed something nice. There was a wedding planned for that afternoon/night! The place was beautifully decorated and there was a very nice ceremony. To be honest I don't believe they had troubles with the wind, maybe only when the bride was coming down her hair was in her face. But after that no problem. Here are some pictures of the event!
You can see on the first picture the upstairs restaurant reserved for the reception, and the wedding planner, the view there of the beach is amazing. On the last picture you can see the bride coming to the event, notice how you can see there is wind but it's not disturbingly hard. You can also see the invited guests sitting in the sand, they did not get sand blasted. Hope this helps!
Oh my goodness Reggie - that is so nice of you to post the pictures for me to see! Thank you! I really do feel a lot better now that I have first-hand opinions from both you and tennisgal (thank you!) I will now most likely move forward with Aruba and the Riu - I'm hoping that you will still be there in 09 so I can meet you and thank you in person!
You are welcome!
Always a pleasure to help. I probably will be there in '09. If you have more questions or if you want some insider 'local' information just let me know. Good luck with the planning of your wedding!