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Thread: Trip Report - Occidental Grand

  1. #1
    Senior Member purpleangel's Avatar
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    Trip Report - Occidental Grand

    Well, I had a wonderful trip to Aruba, arriving home last night (6/16-6/21). Weather was perfect, low humidity, and lots of sunshine. I stayed at the Occidental for the first and last time. I was not impressed. I travelled alone and did the all-inclusive.

    When I arrived, I was told they were overbooked. I had a choice to stay at another resort (either Radisson or Hyatt) for sleeping only and use the facilities at the Occidental. In exchange, I would get 5 free nights at any Occidental resort to be used within a year. I said no, because my vacations are not carved in stone every year, and I didn't want to lose out if I couldn't get back within a year to use those free days. I heard others on the beach talking about this, so I'm glad I wasn't singled out because I was travelling solo.

    I'm an early bird, so I'm out of the room by 7 a.m. for breakfast, then to the beach. I head back to the room by 2 or 3 p.m. One day I went back to the room at my usual time, and the housekeeper was in there. I told her I would come back. She said she was heading out to have lunch and would be back later. Well, she never came back.

    The mini bar is part of the all-inclusive, which the resort literature states is refilled every other day. Mine was never replenished the whole time I was there.

    Foodwise, I ate primarily at the buffet, which was okay. I ended up getting sick (allergies), so appetite wasn't the greatest and I couldn't taste anything anyway!

    To add insult to injury, I happened to be sitting in the shade for a little bit one day. Someone from the resort stopped to chat about attending a 60 min. presentation about their vacation club timeshares. Of course, I didn't go.

    Final comments: I wouldn't recommend the Occidental, and I certainly won't stay there again. Now I have a whole year to decide where I want to stay next year!!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing your experience.

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    Can you tell us what you got if anything when you told them that you did not want to stay in the other hotels?

    Did you pay in advance for the AI or did you pay at the time of check-in?

  4. #4
    Senior Member purpleangel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RK05 View Post
    Can you tell us what you got if anything when you told them that you did not want to stay in the other hotels?

    Did you pay in advance for the AI or did you pay at the time of check-in?
    I didn't get anything when I told them I wanted to stay at the Occidental.

    When I booked my trip, I paid for everything then - airfare, resort, all-inclusive. It was a package deal. I had to give Occidental a credit card when I checked in just in case I wanted to charge anything to the room. I didn't charge anything to the room, so I had no additional charges when I checked out.

  5. #5
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    If you did not get anything but to stay at the Occidental did you get the room you booked or did they just put you some where else?

    Any tips or things we should do to help our trip down there be better besides change hotels? This will be our honeymoon trip and would like for it to be as nice as possible.

    Thanks

  6. #6
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    I've had a similar experience with the food. I found it to be mainly cafeteria grade food. Although the all-inclusive with the drinks worked out fine. The main sticking point with all-inclusives is with the food IMHO.


    Quote Originally Posted by purpleangel View Post
    Well, I had a wonderful trip to Aruba, arriving home last night (6/16-6/21). Weather was perfect, low humidity, and lots of sunshine. I stayed at the Occidental for the first and last time. I was not impressed. I travelled alone and did the all-inclusive.

    When I arrived, I was told they were overbooked. I had a choice to stay at another resort (either Radisson or Hyatt) for sleeping only and use the facilities at the Occidental. In exchange, I would get 5 free nights at any Occidental resort to be used within a year. I said no, because my vacations are not carved in stone every year, and I didn't want to lose out if I couldn't get back within a year to use those free days. I heard others on the beach talking about this, so I'm glad I wasn't singled out because I was travelling solo.

    I'm an early bird, so I'm out of the room by 7 a.m. for breakfast, then to the beach. I head back to the room by 2 or 3 p.m. One day I went back to the room at my usual time, and the housekeeper was in there. I told her I would come back. She said she was heading out to have lunch and would be back later. Well, she never came back.

    The mini bar is part of the all-inclusive, which the resort literature states is refilled every other day. Mine was never replenished the whole time I was there.

    Foodwise, I ate primarily at the buffet, which was okay. I ended up getting sick (allergies), so appetite wasn't the greatest and I couldn't taste anything anyway!

    To add insult to injury, I happened to be sitting in the shade for a little bit one day. Someone from the resort stopped to chat about attending a 60 min. presentation about their vacation club timeshares. Of course, I didn't go.

    Final comments: I wouldn't recommend the Occidental, and I certainly won't stay there again. Now I have a whole year to decide where I want to stay next year!!

  7. #7
    Senior Member purpleangel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RK05 View Post
    If you did not get anything but to stay at the Occidental did you get the room you booked or did they just put you some where else?

    Any tips or things we should do to help our trip down there be better besides change hotels? This will be our honeymoon trip and would like for it to be as nice as possible.

    Thanks
    Not sure what you mean by the first question, but I did stay at the Occidental. I asked for a king bed but got 2 queens instead. No biggie.

    This is just my opinion of the Occidental. If you look around this forum, there are others who like it. Depends on what your expectations are.

  8. #8
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    I was just wondering if you still got the room you booked but it looks like no.

    I'm sure its a decent place and like you said others have had good reviews of it. We can't change our plans anyway so hopefully everything will be good.

    Can you tell me what US beers they had if any? Was there anything close by that we should check out?

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