Barcelo Aruba

Barcelo Aruba
3.743.743.743.743.74
3.74 based on 38 reviews
#7 of 11 hotels The Monarc.ca popularity scale (#1/15) classifies all the hotels of a single destination according to the number of grades received on 5 and the total number of reviews. in Aruba
Rated 4.5 stars
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Barcelo Aruba

, Toronto, HA
2018-12-19
Great service and felt very welcome. Took care of us the entire week. Looking forward to coming back [Details]
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The strong points
-great service -staff very welcoming and accommodating
The weak points
more amenities
Certified

Occidental Grand Aruba

, Edmonton, AB
2016-08-16
We stayed here for my birthday. The hotel is very nice with an outstanding beach. The water is bathtub warm with talcum white sand. You can walk for several kilometers up and down the beach at any time of day or night.

Aruba is safe, clean and the water can be consumed right out of the tap. The food at the buffet is just average, but the restaurants and royal club offer outstanding food. I would recommend the royal club if you are considering this hotel.

The drinks are wonderful from all the bars. They have a great selection. The disco is inside the lobby meaning that noise in guest suites is not a problem.

The view from the higher floors is very pretty. The pool is nice as is the hot tub. The pool is good for the hottest part of the day (noon to three) but the beach is amazing all other times of the day. There are hardly any waves which makes swimming and floating super fun and relaxing. The hotel will lend you a free floating bed for the ocean.

There are a range of tour operators on the beach and at the hotel, so it is easy to book excursions if you wish to. There are lots of shops and restaurants with nightlife just across from the hotel.

The hotel entertainment staff was enthusiastic and sweet. The staff service was generally good. Most of the staff were excellent, and some were outstanding, but there were a few who did not seem to be enjoying the 'one happy island' experience.

The wifi here is terrible. If you need to check e-mail you will need to go to the lobby, even if you pay for the service, because it simply will not connect from the rooms.

It is a beautiful hotel and we had a great experience. We would not hesitate to stay here again when travelling to Aruba. [Details]
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The strong points
The beach is utterly amazing with an appropriate amount of chairs and palapas for shade. Great air conditioning. Well managed music/noise to allow for good sleep. Staff work hard to keep things clean and nice.
The weak points
Some main front desk staff is rude. The wifi is impossible to use in your room, even the paid one. The beach restaurant was closed. So lunch was a bit of a challenge. It was hard to get salad as the lettuce etc. was always out.
Certified

Brown's vacation

, Oshawa, ON
2015-05-25
Wonderful time, friendly people, staff accomadating,excellent food very clean [Details]
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The strong points
Staff friendly, food, weather excellent
The weak points
Key card to room didn't work multiple times inconvenient, mini fridge not refilled on a regular bases
Certified

2nd time, would definetly go again

, Sharon, ON
2012-11-05
Great service. Upgrade to Royal Club, well worth it. Clean resort never a problem, always go above and beyond for service. Definetly will return. [Details]
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The strong points
Clean, great service, love the resort how it is close to everything. Shopping and restaurants across the street.
The weak points
Chicken sometimes overcooked, but will bring yu something else without complaint.
Certified

Occidental Aruba

, Mississauga, ON
2012-10-22
Overall experience was not as expected for the price and the rating. The rooms are old and need updating, especially the bathrooms and the food was average. Nice vacation, but nothing special. [Details]
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The strong points
Pool and beach areas were nice. The hotel was clean and the staff friendly. Service was very good.
The weak points
The food at the buffet was repetitive and not much variety. The bathroom was very old and small and needs major updating. There were not enough chairs by the pool and on the beach for all guests.
Certified

Highs and Lows

, Ajax, ON
2012-10-21
Right from arrival we felt that we were in a 2.5 star hotel. The lobby is dull, not welcoming and the overall feel is very dated. The only impressive factor for this hotel, is the beach and the ocean. If you are considering staying here, it will be fine, you will get an ok room, ok food and ok staff. Price would have to be a bargain for us to return. [Details]
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The strong points
Aruba is amazing, beautiful beaches, great weather, calm ocean. The Hotel was well located on Palm Beach and steps away from shops, restaurants etc.
The weak points
There was no Wow at the Occidental, the staff were borderline rude and the food was average at best. Hotel is very much in need of a make-over. Would i stay again, yes, but the price would have to be amazing !
Certified

Won me over

, Georgetown, ON
2012-05-27
Love Aruba, and have a time share down the beach at the Ocean Club. There wasn't anything available on short notice when I wanted to travel, so I looked for a deal on an all-inclusive resort in the same location, Palm Beach, Aruba. At first, I was Marriot spoiled, and felt disappointed. But as the days went by the little details that "little counter space" in the bathroom, became superficial. The grounds are gorgeous, I can remember the names of about 15 staff members, they were so nice, everything was very clean, the beach was so perfect, immaculate and there was so much entertainment, activities, and services available. So many conveniences that in 2 weeks, we never left the resort property, we had a great time. Even with the time share, I am thinking of going back to the Occidental next year and taking my parents and fiance, cause this was a girls vacation, and I had such a relaxing and wonderful time there, that I want to share that with my family. [Details]
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The strong points
cleanliness, friendly staff, beautiful property, shops and conveniences
The weak points
buffets, getting up at 4am to reserve the palappa or lounge chairs you want to sit at the following day by leaving your towels on them, there is no other reservation or organization of spots, and they must make a laundry room in each tower
Certified

Amazing hotel

, Burlington, ON
2012-04-17
great hotel, nice rooms, great food and amazing beach. Definately would return and recommend to everyone. [Details]
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The strong points
beach, rooms, food
The weak points
expensive
Certified

LOVE ARUBA

, Athens, ON
2012-04-04
Unbelievably amazing!! This hotel is perfect!! [Details]
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The strong points
Awesome, all around amazing I never ever stay at the same resort more than once, until now!! This place is perfect and I will be returning again and again
The weak points
No free WIFI
Certified

Occidental, Aruba

, Oakville, ON
2012-04-03
Disappointed in that we were three couple travelling together - in February at the time of booking we requested 3 rooms on the same floor facing the pool. We called the hotel direct to ask about their upgraded floors, decided against it, but again requested 3 rooms on the same floor facing the pool. When we arrived we got 2 rooms om the same floor but only one facing the pool and the 3rd on another floor. Why do they take requests? [Details]
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The strong points
Staff, beaches, facilities including restaurants, location
The weak points
None
Certified

Nice Hotel

, Mississauga, ON
2011-11-28
Had a pleasurable stay at Occidental Grand. Royal Club made things (check-in, reservations, check-out, etc..) much more enjoyable. Food at the restaurants on site were great, Edgar at L'Olio was amazing, didn't want to leave because of him. Zen was also a great time but please, watch the chefs cook, they're more entertaining than simply sitting at a table. Food at the buffet was what you'd expect at any buffet, no complaints, you'll probably always find something to eat. Watch out for the paella by the pool/beach, it is a must have! Royal Club for breakfast/lunch/dinner is worth mentioning as well. Royal Club has a bit better alcohol selection, so keep that in mind. Pool was clean and well kept. Beach had bottles and cups in the sand in the morning from lazy hotel guests. Beach palapas were obtained by waking up relatively early (I saw some open at 9am) and I never had a problem securing one. Desire lounge in the evening was pretty weak, playing music from the 50s, 60s, and 70s? Seriously? The 'nightclub' is lackluster at best for entertainment. They had their rendition of Grease in The Ballroom one evening which was interesting and well performed. Nightlife is almost non-existant on the resort, unless you're 35 or have kids. You'll want to travel off the resort for a younger crowd and more of a social scene if you're in your twenties. The beach party is enjoyable as well, so don't miss that.
Overall great experience. Aruba is a great place to vacation. If I were to come back, I'd probably not shoot for all inclusive because travelling off the resort will yield you better food and more of a vacation experience.
Oh ya, and the elevators suck. [Details]
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The strong points
Great hotel. Nothing to fault whatsoever.
The weak points
None in particular.
Certified

Great vaccation

, Waterdown, ON
2011-11-02
i am a frequent vistor to aruba (10th) time and have stayed at different hotels. this hotel is far the best for service and making reservations, water sports guys were great [Details]
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The strong points
i have visited aruba many times and stayed at many different hotels and this is best hotel i stayed at. i wish i back there. i will definetly return
The weak points
better entertainment at night
Certified

FRENDLY, CLEAN, DEFINETLY RETURN

, Scarbourough, ON
2011-10-24
Great staff. The upgrade to Royal Club is worth it. Fanny is amazing! Clean hotel, lots of beach chairs. Staff very helpful.Lots of variety of food.Would return again, our third time in Aruba, first time here, definetly go back to this hotel. [Details]
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The strong points
Great service, clean hotel, go out of your way to please you in the royal club. Worth the upgrade
The weak points
Mini bar not refilled everyday as indicated.
Certified

Aruba

, Etobicoke, ON
2011-10-17
Hotel was quite nice, a little old but still in good shape with some upgrades. [Details]
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The strong points
Good salad bards, losts of variety of food choices.
The weak points
Lobby bar entertainment finished too early at 9:00 p.m.
Certified

Occidental aruba

, Ottawa, ON
2011-09-05
great beach, understaffed hotel, food okay-not able to get to the restaurants without reservation, BAD WIFI..,
Would go back to Aruba, but would try another hotel [Details]
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The strong points
beach
The weak points
WIFI
Certified

Great value for the price.

, Toronto, ON
2011-05-30
The hotel was very nice and service was excellet. We have upgraded to Royal Club and it was certanly worth it. We were able to have our breakfast and lunch at the Royal Club restaurant which was great. The a la carte restaurants were very nice, especially the Italian restaurant. It was definitely great value for what we spent. [Details]
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The strong points
Great location. Great value for the price.
The weak points
It was a bit noisy. Our room was the first one close to the elevator and the ice machine so the "foot traffic" was a bit of a nuisance. However, we were on vacation so it was not too much of a big deal.
Certified

Aruba - Occidental Grand Aruba

, Mississauga, ON
2011-05-17
Excellent time- only negatives - you have to go early after 8 a.m and put your beach towel to get the shade at the beach- food got real good after restaurant manager was told of changes to implement.Watch out for Iguanas.Tipping a US dollar also gives you an edge with all.I paid for all inclusive but had no problem tipping.I recommend it.As soon as the person who will serve you once you are taken to the table just give a dollar and see the service-although they will still give you great service even if not tipped. [Details]
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The strong points
Room and shows and pleasant staff and cleanliness- and nice swimming pool and lots of drinks- room was superb
The weak points
Food was less than desirable but it got 5 stars after restaurant manager was told about it.
Certified

Occidental Grand Aruba

, Toronto, ON
2011-03-23
A great hotel on a lovely beach and close to shopping. It was great knowing we were at a very safe destination. [Details]
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The strong points
Fabulous white beach and close to shopping
The weak points
NONE
Certified

OCCIDENTAL ARUBA

, Cambridge, ON
2011-03-11
Older hotel , great setting , beautiful beach and pool area , great a la carte restaurants , rooms tired and needing updating with new bedding and pillows , buffet retaurant food good but ambience needing some freshining up. [Details]
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The strong points
Pool and beach
The weak points
Buffet restaurant and rooms
Certified

Occidental Grand Aruba

, Markham, ON
2011-02-21
The management is very unorganised, they overbooked the hotel by 170 rooms and people did not have rooms till 3am while others were shipped to other hotels including the Raddison where the guests had no water at all. There was no food or drinks on the first day of arrival for the flight from Toronto with the exception of half a sandwich and 2 fruits per person left in the room. The Sunquest rep was not there at the hotel nor any other frontdesk manager with the exception of 2 people to check in all the people. [Details]
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The strong points
Good location,clean,well maintained grounds and a good beach party.
The weak points
Poor Management, front desk unorganised and average buffets with poor selection of desserts.
Certified

Occidental Grand Aruba

, Lindsay, ON
2011-02-20
Upon check in...late on a Friday night...15 couples/families were told somebody must have made a mistake as they had no rooms available for us. After many worries, no explanations, by 4:00 a.m, after sitting in the lobby, we are all given a room for one night, albeit some were at a different hotel. Management explained the next day that this never happens, but during the week, we watched more of this unfold and heard about more nightmares from other guests. This is a big time share resort, so some have been going there for over 20 - 30 years. They did explain that this is a constant problem as the hotel tends to book at 130% occupancy. Other than the management, the staff/crew themselves are wonderful and helpful. Even problems with a la cartes...making reservations doesn't necessarily mean they will have it at the restaurant when you arrive. I feel this could be a beautiful resort, nice beaches, clean beautiful pool, nicely kept grounds, great location but really needs some management. We heard complaints from other guests that they were having a hard time getting towels in their bathrooms, getting their rooms cleaned, getting toilet paper, but I guess we were lucky there..as we never experienced a problem..but did tip every day. The fridge in our room was only stocked once or twice during the week with water and two cans of pop. Fridges didn't really work so would have really liked a cold water some days in our room. All bars close by 2 a.m; and it is a very quiet resort. We went to the disco twice just to check it out..loud music but very few people...I'm talking approx. 12 guests. The entertainment group were great but not a lot of activities...bingo every day(which you had to pay for), volleyball, pool exercises..but they do do a great beach party on Thursday nights. The buffet closes down and moves everything to the beach. [Details]
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The strong points
Again, wonderful pool, grounds, beach, friendly buffet staff, bartenders. Very safe as a lot of security throughout the resort.
The weak points
very little shaded areas, management staff, always somebody trying to sell you the vacation club, brand new casino but inconsistent hours and few machines open and working; very rude front desk staff
Certified

This paradise needs some investment in maintenance

, Toronto, ON
2011-02-08
We were returning guests to this property, having enjoyed it the year before, inspite of the daily attempt to hard sell us a timeshare spot. This visit we noticed some unhappy changes to the property and the service; there was no working bath or hot water in our shower for the first four days, even though we requested service each day, the room floor was constantly wet from condensation from the A/C unit in the room below ours, which meant it was dangerously slippery, there were empty picture hooks on the wall where mirrors had once been, the fixtures in the room were not all working, not enough chairs at the tables in the restaurants, meant empty tables, so you had to wait a while for someone to finish eating in order to sit, small maintenance issues that showed they are cutting corners to save costs. Frequently there were no answers to phone calls to the desk, the concierge, maintenance, so staff levels are also lower. But on the good side, food quality is excellent, lots of beach towels, and very nice service from all the staff when you did find them. The specialty restaurants are much better than the large buffet, but it is more the presentation than the difference in the food. The food is uniformly good quality, but not well presented. This is a beautiful resort, in a perfect location, with a gorgeous beach, but does not deserve the 4.5 stars it has been allowed. Tip the beach boys generously if you want a chance to have a spot on the beach with a palapa or some shade, (this is the worst kept 'secret' of the place.) [Details]
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The strong points
Location,beach,staff and setting are top notch.
The weak points
room maintenance,staff levels,food presentation are not up to par.
Certified

Occidental

, Mississauga, ON
2011-01-30
We were very satisfied with the hotel and its services. [Details]
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The strong points
Minor problems were dealt with immediately and corrected.
The weak points
Buffet at dinner.
Certified

Great time at the beach

, Toronto, ON
2010-08-02
the hotel is old not a 4 star hotel at all, the rooms are old-the lobby is not welcoming at all
the food is ok-
the beach is great [Details]
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The strong points
the beach the location of the hotel
The weak points
the hotel-musty smell and old -not a 4 star hotel at all-everything is old
Certified

Good Holiday

, Toronto, ON
2010-05-31
We first went to this resort in Nov. 2008, and had a great experience. We decided to return again May 2010. The rooms were as good, but we found that the fresh fruit variety on the buffet at breakfast to be more limited this time (recession?). We also found that a tip at breakfast ($1) to our waiter for bringing hot milk with our coffee, and a daily ($2) tip to the maid ensured better service (more timely receipt of towels). The beach is amazing and the ocean fantastic for swimming - usually calm and warm. [Details]
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The strong points
Beach and warm calm ocean for swimming; Trade winds that make the heat liveable; variety of a la carte restaurants
The weak points
Having to rise at 7 AM daily to reserve a palapa on the beach (you need shade there or you will burn in the sun even with sunscreen), no matter the time of year. No resort supervised children's activities - parents must amuse 24/7
Certified

Great Trip

, Hamilton, ON
2010-05-19
No major complaints. The hotel is nice, nothing fancy. The food is really good, the beach is great for walking and swimming. The "strip" is great for walking, shopping, etc. If you are expecting 5 star, it is not quite there, however, we had no major complaints. Our room was a little "tired" and not the best location, however we are hardly in the room so not a big issue. The bathroom was modern and spacious.
The a la cartes were very good, and the service was also good all over. The staff is really friendly. We only walked through the casino, but it seemed fairly busy at night. Would return here, no problem! [Details]
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The strong points
very good food-great beach and water-interesting area-friendly staff
The weak points
rooms a little old-small lobby bar-some bars not open as expected
Certified

Last minute buy

, Toronto, ON
2010-04-12
Musty not luxury bed, small room, good royal club service, so-so food but some choices. Look too old for the paid price [Details]
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The strong points
Nice location, a lot of palapas on the beach, good royal club service
The weak points
Out-dated, standard not luxury buildings, small rooms
Certified

Occidental Stay - Dec 09

, Orillia, ON
2009-12-19
Not very friendly. Told me I would get a room overlooking the garden/ocean but got a room overlooking the parking lot. Not a big deal and wasn't going to make a fuss about it since I waited two hours for my room. Towels, bath,hand, face and the matt, very scarce. Had to call for towels or didn't bother because I would bring fresh beach towels in everyday to use. Asked for a simple thing for their Aruba papaya sauce...they didn't have any. At any other hotel they would have it readily available. One day, under one of the beach huts there were bottles and cups and not one person from the resort came to clean it. It was one of the vendors on the beach that cleaned it up. Snacks only at night from 11pm - 1pm. Outside the buffet restaurant with very little light. They had a hot item and then the sandwiches and pastries were not covered - they were left out in the open. I will make sure I go back to the Riu when I return to Aruba or even the Holiday Inn, yes, the Holiday Inn was much more friendly than the Occidental. The staff at the restaurant - it felt like we were bothering them when we asked for water. Just small stuff that you expect wouldn't be a problem. Anyways, its over. The weather was beautiful, the water was great and the casinos were not good to me but overall it was ok stay at the Occidental. [Details]
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The strong points
Great location
The weak points
customer service. A smile and a hello would be nice
Certified

Great island of Aruba

, Kitchener, ON
2009-12-08
Great place, nice beaches, friendly staff, clean and overall a very nice island
The buffet could use some variation and decoration, the staff is very friendly and helpful with efficient service, the specialty restaurants are great and enjoyable.
Time share sales people are aggressive right at the arrival and check in, claiming to give you a hotel orientation when in fact all they are interested is setting you up for a sales presentation, which is not the first thing I wan't to do when arriving. [Details]
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The strong points
Very helpful and friendly staff as well as clean
The weak points
the smell of smoke in non smoking rooms, hotel is not enforcing non smoking in the rooms.
Certified

Not worth the 444

, Maple, ON
2009-09-16
This hotel did not meet expectations at ALL.
From the first moment you walk in to the entire stay. This was our honeymoon -- we were first given a horrendous room --- and being told by the front desk staff that nothing was available --- after complaining to the manager we were given a better room. Not any better -- the bed was horrible -- when my husband and i lay on it we both rolled to the middle because it was so soft --- complained again and again about it until finally a pillow top was added to it which made it marginally better. Always had to call for towels in the room.

***one thing to note -- this hotel has a timeshare ---- so they have an abundant amount of staff whose main goal is to try and sell Hotel guests a time share --- which after about day 3 bevomes very annoying! And ironic -- when you need something -- there is no staff to help you. My suggestion to the hotel would be to redirect their efforts to the paying guests and service them properly and then maybe someone might condier purchasing a timeshare there.

Food --- restaurants were average -- but they make it sound like its impossible to get a table. And when you go to the restaurant -- and ask for a different table -- the table is alwasy not available -- even if it sits empty the entire time you are there. The only restaurant worth going back to is the Japanese .. dont bother with the others. Buffets are boring and lack variety for all three meals. We regretted doing an all inclusive at this property as we ended up eating dinner out 10 nights we were there as we couldnt take the food three times a day there. My suggestion would be to skip this as an all inclusive -- spend the money on a nice hotel like the Hyatt or the Westin or the Marriott and go out for your dinners.

The only good thing is the location of this resort -- right in the middle of everything which is nice beacuse you can walk everywhere. [Details]
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The strong points
Location of hotel.
The weak points
Staff is horrible Hotel needs to be updated/painted/fixed Food is boring and sometimes borders on terrible --- lack of variety and choice at buffets
Certified
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