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AI Aruba - Occidential Grand vs/or Riu Palace

Indianapolis...
2 posts
AI Aruba - Occidential Grand vs/or Riu Palace

Hello!

We are currently planning our honeymoon to Aruba this October 2011. We have never been to the island; therefore, need some help :0). My travel agent suggested an AI resort... and we're torn. After reading the reviews, we are a bit skeptical! Soooo, for those that have visited the Occidential and/or Riu Palace, which would you recommend for "honeymooners"?

Thank you and we look forward to your responses!!

Woodbridge, New...
Level Contributor
194 posts
8 reviews
9 helpful votes
1. Re: AI Aruba - Occidential Grand vs/or Riu Palace

Absolutely!! The hubby and I honeymooned at the Occidental in 2007 and we loved it so much, we got 3 other couples to do the same and THEY loved it! But, if you stay at the Occidental, DEF do the Royal Club. DEF worth it! I wouldn't bother otherwise. But we wanted absolutely nothing to worry bout for our honeymoon ($ wise) so AI was perfect for us (we like to have a few cocktails beachside/poolside, a beer at happy hr, and then a glass or 2 of wine with dinner and drinks can get real pricey in Aruba!). Granted, i know people that stayed at the Occidental just on a reg trip and weren't too happy with it (they also didn't do Royal club) but being on your 'moon you'll prob be happy no matter what! Haha! :0) But def would suggest royal club and we r trying the Riu this Nov so can't help ya on that one! Sorry! Any other ques don't hesitate to ask! And congrats!

Indianapolis...
2 posts
2. Re: AI Aruba - Occidential Grand vs/or Riu Palace

Hi Larubia17,

Thank you so for the insight and a piece of mind :0). Some of the negative reviews and overall ratings had us a bit concerned! I'm def going to proceed with the Royal Club offerings - make total sense!

Was the beach and pool area really crowed?

Thanks again and enjoy your help and I hope you have a great trip in Nov!

Edited: 26 August 2011, 17:01
jl
Waltham...
Destination Expert
for Aruba
Level Contributor
6,725 posts
36 reviews
86 helpful votes
3. Re: AI Aruba - Occidential Grand vs/or Riu Palace

Personally, for a honeymoon I would choose the Bucuti. Very large, uncrowded beach, no children and just heavenly!!!

Cape Cod...
Destination Expert
for Aruba, Provincetown
Level Contributor
4,501 posts
55 reviews
74 helpful votes
4. Re: AI Aruba - Occidential Grand vs/or Riu Palace

Out of those 2, I would choose the RIU. Better staff and food IMO.

Woodbridge, New...
Level Contributor
194 posts
8 reviews
9 helpful votes
5. Re: AI Aruba - Occidential Grand vs/or Riu Palace

I do hear the Bucuti is great, but is it AI?? just curious... if you enjoy having cocktails, id do the AI for the 'moon IMHO. If you're not big drinkers, then mb Bucuti would be more your style- but i think it's a couples only resort and i still loved the lively atmosphere (kids n all!) at the Occidental... n like i said- we r doin the Riu this Nov so not sure how it will be but we did 12 days at the Occidental (the Riu was being built when we were there! haha!) and the Royal Club was so worth it... Anyway, we r total beach peeps so didn't spend alot of time at pool during the day and the beach NEVER felt crowded! Was wonderful!! The pool area i guess was busy but we never had prob getting a chair bout 3pm (when we would leave the beach and head to pool bar!) And the pool bar had great music and we made some great friends there! Even went out couple nites to Salt n Pepper with few 'moon couples we met at pool bar! n just fyi- i think a few of the other hotels have "AI" options (like the Hyatt) but of course, you will pay more for it. (just smthng to consider...) But, guess it all dep what you're lookin for. it's been over 4 yrs since we've been to Occidental, but we had a fab time and obviously recommd'd it to others! Plus, locale is great cuz we walked EVERYWHERE!! (to other bars, rest, shops, ect)

Edited: 26 August 2011, 23:10
Woodbridge, New...
Level Contributor
194 posts
8 reviews
9 helpful votes
6. Re: AI Aruba - Occidential Grand vs/or Riu Palace

btw`- don't know if you're a football fan, but i love your QB! (bro of my fav team QB). just sayin... :0)

Indianapolis...
2 posts
7. Re: AI Aruba - Occidential Grand vs/or Riu Palace

My agent said the Bucuti is very nice; however, it is not an AI resort. We are drinkers :0) and enjoy the nightlife/music scene as well! I think that the AI is truly the way to go (for us anyway). If we stay at the OGA we're def doing the Royal Club option!

Thanks again Larubia17, I greatly appreciate the in depth info you provided and I am so looking forward to our stay in Aruba!!

BTW - *I LOVE THE COLTS*, Manning, Freeney , oh yea - and football of course :0). The Superbowl is in Indpls in 2012... I can't wait!! Who knows, maybe it will be the Colts vs Giants :0)

Texas
Level Contributor
196 posts
9 reviews
12 helpful votes
8. Re: AI Aruba - Occidential Grand vs/or Riu Palace

We love the Occidental in Aruba they have good food. Like the idea you can make your reservations for restaurants when you get there. We have stayed at Riu properites in Mexico and didn't like the idea you had to line up early in the morning for the reservations for dinner. Love the beach also at the Occidental they have a hut next to the resrot that has mats you can take out to the ocean and the water is almost as calm as if you were in a pool.

Scranton...
Level Contributor
171 posts
57 reviews
140 helpful votes
9. Re: AI Aruba - Occidential Grand vs/or Riu Palace

Have you thought abt trying to rent a timeshare from an owner at the Occidental? I first honeymooned there in 2001 & we stayed AI, but have since purchased a timeshare with them. If you can find someone that has an optional AI contract you can do a partial inclusive which includes breakfast, lunch and beverages (both alcoholic & non) which allows you the freedom to try some of Aruba's fantastic restaurants for dinner. If you have ?'s abt this option feel free to message me through this site. Good luck!

Lords Valley...
Level Contributor
1,992 posts
1 review
1 helpful vote
10. Re: AI Aruba - Occidential Grand vs/or Riu Palace

My daughter and her boyfriend stayed at the Occidental AI and found the food to be just fair. The rooms were acceptable but the bathroom had a musty odor. They had previously stayed at the Marriott SC and OC, but thought they would try AI this time. Back to one of the Marriots next Nov/Dec.

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