I just returned yesterday from my week in Aruba. The weather was great but the stay at the Occidental Hotel was not...I have to stay I will not return.
If you have an upcoming vacation at this hotel beware now that you will have to get up at 6:30- 7:00 am to run down and put towels either by the pool or the beach if you want a seat. The Occidental sign clearly say's not to place towels on the chairs before 7:15 am but I made it a point one morning to get up at 6:30 and go down stairs and let me tell you there was only two hunts on the beach and maybe 10 chairs left open by the pool. I think that the hotel should enforce the rules they have on the signs and when the security guards see's people down there that early in the morning reserving spots then they should tell people its not allowed. Also the hotel lounge chairs are awful to lay on all day so either ask for extra towel cards or you may want to purchase a float to sit on all day. The hotel needs to update the chairs, towels and the customer service.
Beware that your toilet will probably clog up more then once a day so you will be calling maintence. Also make sure you have clean towels to get a shower. The one day I came up front the pool around 6:15 pm and I was about to get in the shower when I notice I did not have any towels so I called housekeeping and they said they would be right up. I waited a half hour no one showed up. I called back they operator said I'm sorry let me connect you, then no one answered. I then sent my husband down stairs to the front desk where he waited in line for a 25 minutes and no one waited on him. I then called back again bc my husband was not coming back and I wanted towels to get a shower the operator said let me connect you with it Housekeeping Supervisor the lady answers the phone and she say's I'll be right up. No apologizie, just hands us four towels. I was pissed. No one apologized for this inconvenience and it did not seem like a big deal. I'm just glad we did not have dinner reservations that night bc we would have never made them.
My time in Aruba was nice as always. I will return to the Island just not the Occidental Hotel. Check in was confusing and the lady at the vacation club I thought was very rude. She did not tell us where anything was located within the hotel. All she did do is give us room keys and said you can't get in your room until 4 pm. We had arrived at the hotel by 1:15pm. She gave us no info or map of the hotel so we just left. She knew we were staying as a guest of a vacation club owner but continued to be rude. I have to say the hotel was clean and having maid service every day was nice other then that thumbs down for everything else at the hotel.
If you are thinking about staying here and its your first time in Aruba I would pick a different hotel. The past two years we have stayed at the Divi Phoenix and that is where we will return. It is the first hotel the starts the high-rise but you can take the bus down to the mall/restaurant area's or just walk. Its not that far but if your not a walker then renting a car or taking the bus would be best.
I thought the ocean water was cooler then when we were there last May/June. Bring water shoes for the beach bc its a little rocky.
We tried two new places to eat this visit:
Salt & Pepper for breakfast and Lunch- awesome
Tony Romo's- awesome
Was not happy with Gianni's service this time around.