A crowd of over 300 local customers came together on Wednesday last week to celebrate innovation and Hilton Hospitality at Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino. The annual appreciation event also represented the inauguration of the recently renovated and renamed Morris Lapidus Grand Ballroom. The crowd was filled with representatives of local businesses, non-profits, educational institutions as well as local media and press members.
Guests were greeted by team members on the way in, and were immediately charmed with a custom made Hilton magazine photo booth where they felt like a star on the cover of the magazine. The ballroom space was transformed into an elegant ‘Hilton Affair’, featuring a glamorous décor concept with a mix of modern and classic elements: with abstract video mapping, projected lace mandalas, cascading rows of crystal sky curtains shaping a sparkling dome above the gleaming white custom dance floor.
The attendees were stunned to see a giant stretch limousine parked inside the ballroom, which doubled as a unique photo booth with a photographer inside, allowing attendees to take amusing photos with different props. Aruba Trading was also present with an elaborate Moët & Chandon station, consisting of elegantly dressed promo girls, a large Moët sign, which doubled as a photo prop, and serving the finest champagne all night.
The five smaller meeting spaces were also showcased with different setups, ranging from “Meet with Purpose” setups called “Stay Fit” which focuses on wellness, an “Aloe Scrub” interactive coffee break setup, as well as a high-tech dinner setup with projected centerpieces on the table.
Hotel manager, Jacques Monteil, thanked the attendees for their loyalty and support from the stage. “Great things happen when constellations align,” he told the audience. “Hilton was named #1 on Fortune 100’s Best Places to Work for, and Aruba, our home island, grew into the #1 vacation destination in the Caribbean, and the resort, blessed by talented Team Members and dynamic ownership, has been performing exceptionally well”.
According to Monteil, when these forces came together, great things happened to Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino. It was recently named Hotel of the Year at Hilton’s Americas Leadership Conference. The hotel earned a first-place ranking among the Americas portfolio of full-service managed hotels ranging in size from 351 to 750 rooms.
Monteil then went on to update party-goers on the latest news from the Grande Dame: The opening of Oscar’s Market, brewing Italy’s favorite espresso, Lavazza, and honoring Aruba’s tourism pioneer Oscar Henriquez; the fine culinary tradition of the Sunset Grille serving the world’s best steaks; a new foyer for Laguna restaurant, a perfect, small private event venue, and the upcoming guest bathroom renovations to totally refresh and upgrade the guest-experience at the resort.
With the renovations of the ballroom, it was named after legendary American architect Morris Lapidus who designed the spectacular Aruba Caribbean Hotel, which opened in 1959. The ballroom now allows countless options for meetings and events.
As part of his address, Monteil took a moment to name members of the sales team, available to tour all venues, including a virtual tour of the rooms, in one of the breakout rooms.
The elegantly dressed sales team included Anthony Armas, Director of Sales, Chela de Lannoy, Director of Catering and Events, Lily Polsbroek and Diego Garcia, Senior Sales Managers, Raynold Semeleer, Event Manager, Lisa Dammerman, Wedding Specialist, Marvinia Richardson and Nayla Geerman, Event Coordinators, Rufat Geerman, Banquet Manager and Shareska Gutierrez, Marketing and Public Relations Manager.
The resort has many reasons to celebrate, with the upcoming 100th year anniversary of Hilton, the Hilton Effect on travel and communities is affirmed, changing the world via travel related innovations and conservation efforts, and making the world a better place, Monteil concluded.
At 9pm sharp, the black curtains behind DJ Sky’s booth dropped to reveal the hidden surprise of the night – Aruba’s number one band, Buleria, playing the best hits of Carnival 65 and filling up the dancefloor immediately.
The resort’s culinary team, led by celebrity chef Matt Boland, pleased party-goers palates with gourmet passed hors d’oeuvres, a variety of land & sea stations, and a most delectable dessert display, paired with free-flowing cocktails all night.
“Our goal was to thank our customers for their continuous support and loyalty, and to celebrate our achievements with them,” said Chela de Lannoy, Director of Catering and Events. “Special thanks to Elite Productions and the Perfect Team for making our vision a reality. It was a huge success and the event also demonstrated Hilton Aruba’s hospitality and extraordinary capabilities when it comes to event planning”.