Bati Bleki Buzz Weekly Recap November 25th 2018

The Grand Divine Offered a Formidable Soiree

Divino NV hosted the 2018 Grand Divine Wine event just recently introducing a local crowd of Food & Beverage professionals and aficionados to its extensive wine portfolio.

Each invitee received a tasting notes booklet, and was asked to rate over 50 wines, served by four professional sommeliers.

The booklet guided invitees throughout the evening and ensured that they had perfect recollection the following morning, of what they liked and what they did not fancy that much.

To order the wines liked, Divino NV just asked for a WhatsApp message, to ensured speedy delivery at a discount, right before the holiday season.

Invitees had the privilege of tasting wines by Luc Belaire, France; Gloria Ferrer, Caves and Vineyards; Frescobaldi, Toscana; Tenuta Luce, Toscana; Castello Di Gabbiano; Alois Lageder; Dr. Loosen; Spy Valley Wines; 19 Crimes; Delicato Family Vineyards; Beringer, Napa Valley; Copper Cane, Wines & Provisions; Camus Vineyards and Shafer, Napa Valley.

Divino NV is housed in the new warehouse Michael v/d Berg put together across the street from Caribbean Overseas, in Eagle. They have been in business even before the construction of the building was finished. Divino NV, is the official distributor of Tito’s handmade vodka, and other popular brands.

Crystal Symphony, a fabulous holiday option

The luxurious Crystal Symphony called on the port of Oranjestad and hosted a number of social influencers for lunch.

Crystal Symphony is owned and operated by Crystal Cruises, and is represented in Aruba by Maduro & Sons.

The ship was built in 1995, and was recently completely renovated.

She is the sister ship of the equally opulent Crystal Serenity.

Crystal Symphony is a wonderful choice for cruise travelers who are looking for a luxurious cruise vacation on a larger ship with plenty of options for dining and entertainment.

Both the Crystal Symphony and the Crystal Serenity have a following of passionate and loyal fans, who consider longtime staff to be family and love to come onboard to be pampered.

The local influencers learned that the Crystal Symphony flaunts five main venues for dinner, plus room service. Three have more of the formal restaurant vibe: the main dining room Waterside, Italian Prego and Asian Umi Uma, created by celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa. Two new casual venues were added in the 2017 refurbishment – a Brazilian steakhouse, Churrascaria, and the family-style Chinese restaurant, Silk.

The influencers toured the elegant staterooms including the spacious top floor suites and lingered over fine cuisine and wine in the dining room, vowing to return with the family for a Christmas vacation.  

Lessons learned

On a recent trip we travelled to the South of Spain, Andalusia, meeting up in Seville, then driving on to Carmona, Cordoba, Iznajar, Granada, Antequera, Ronda, Arcos de La Frontera, Cadiz and Jerez, world’s headquarters of Sherry wines.

We drove just over 700 km, in a small Citroen, manual transmission, and concluded our Andalusia expedition back in Seville, before returning home to Aruba.

That area of the world is super easy to navigate, thanks to my good friend WAZE, and his helpful cousin, albeit sometime tardy, Google maps.

The voices trapped in the Apps have the power to transform every ordinary tourist into a fearless explorer.

Andalusia showcases 500-600 years of Muslim control, between the 8th and the 13th century, and the insanely ornamental architecture left behind is incredible.

Every day we stood astounded in front of another Alcazar, palace, fort, bell tower, city wall, aqua duct, bridge or Arab bath, soaking in the super photogenic genius, of the ancient construction.

Jodi diligently documented everything and will post gorgeous images on Facebook.

The Spaniards have it good. They sit in cafes, they linger over coffee and bocadillos – little Jamon Iberico on just-baked white bread sandwiches. They don’t seem to be bothered by the mega high salt-content of their diet or by the political acrobatics of President Trump.

We noticed quite a few businesses sporting hand-written signs: Closed for Vacation, Cerrado por Descanso, never mentioning the day they will be back. It was the off-season, and when I asked in Ronda, the owner of La Pilastra Del Torero, at the Puente Nuevo said he will be coming back in April. Next year. 

Imagine, restaurants CLOSE around 3-4pm then reopen from 8-8:30pm until 11:30pm.

And because of the way our internal clocks are set, we always got hungry at 4pm, and then there was nothing available, except coffee. No, we did not lose weight, we made up for losses at other occasions.

The Spanish middle class is nicely dressed about town, no sneakers, no shorts, and on Sunday, they are turned out extra nice, with capes, and hats, taking the family out for a stroll.

I rediscovered the power of my money when 2 Euro bought me a delicious glass of wine – café con leche, just 1.5 Euro, and once we had dinner at the edgiest, most famous tapas bar in Ronda, La Lechuguita, for 16 Euro, for two; dinner by a visiting French celebrity chef, 60 Euro for two.

Site after site after site, no kiosks, no creature comforts for visitors, just overall minimum intervention, and little visible management. Water? You should have brought it in with you. Nature is undisturbed, and the architecture respected.

They restore, according to the exact ancient plan, then leave it alone.

No one’s cousin runs a souvenir store, nor a refreshment stand.

All that catering and commerce lies away from historical attractions.

They inconvenience the tourist, before God forbid, compromising the site.

And we appreciated. 

Oh, what a night


The hotels were full, and the #AITO2018 events sold out, as one happy island enjoyed beach parties, pool parties and the biggest concert of the year, with international sensations J Balvin, Bad Bunny, Alex Sensation, Jeon and more.

We finally got to see Jeon on a state-of-the-art concert stage, and it was worth waiting for!

The Aruba Island Take Over Festival combined the best of the urban music scene with the electronic music scene, and kicked it off on Thursday November 1st with a welcome party, followed by the main concert night at The Harbor Arena Aruba, on Friday, with the main artists performing.

The 4-day festival experience was filled with great entertainment, with tourists arriving from many regional destinations.

The Marriott Aruba Resort & Stellaris Casino took advantage of the opportunity created by the concert and invited a great number of its customers for a Customer Appreciation VIP Event, on the main concert night. 

Customer were met in the Lobby of the Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino for a cocktail reception with tantalizing food and beverage, followed by bus transportation to the Aruba Harbor Arena for the concert, with return transportation secured.

They were comfortably seated on the VIP Gold Electric deck section, and were presented with premium cocktails during the show, in their own Marriott branded sippie cups.

The Sales, Marketing, Events, Banquet, Reservations and Revenue team thought about everything including extra tokens for the bars and food outlets, I spent mine on French fries with peanut sauce.

It was a night of extraordinary memories with a great variety of music genres played including reggaeton, rap, urban, deep house, techno and more. The stage received many accolades, it was indeed fantastic, and the light and sound beyond superb.

The first edition of the ‘Aruba Island Take Over’ (AITO) was presented by Aruba Tourism Authority (ATA), Aruba Trading Company (ATC), SETAR NV, Elite Empire Entertainment, EF, Aruba Marriott Resort, Top Drive, Hilton Aruba Caribbean, Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort, Fun Miles, Renaissance Aruba Resort and Super Car Rental. and

New Rum Sipping Culture

Samadhi Pizzorni, a Marketing Supervisor with the Bacardi distribution company in Panama recently visited Aruba and hosted a fun premium Rum Tasting event at Azia Restaurant & Lounge.

She introduced 4 new varieties which similar to fine Whiskeys have been blended and aged in oak barrels.

While the Whiskey production industry falls under strict regulations and rules, because of lack of such legal structure Bacardi is working on its own guidelines, maturing its rum more than ever to create a new rum sipping culture.

The tasting at Azia Restaurant & Lounge introduced the new brands to an enthusiastic local audience. Tropical Bottling is the local distributor for the fine Bacardi products.

Bacardi Anejo Cuarto

It takes four years maturing in a barrel under the Caribbean sun to create the unique taste of BACARDÍ Añejo Cuatro.

Bacardi reserve Ocho

Created in 1862, BACARDÍ Reserva Ocho is one of the oldest private rum blends in the world. For seven generations, the BACARDÍ family enjoyed it as their personal reserve. Today this golden sipping rum is available everywhere.


Expertly blended. Barrel-aged for a minimum of ten years then filtered through charcoal for a smooth finish. BACARDÍ Gran Reserva Diez is a dark gold rum.


A blend of mature Puerto Rican rums, BACARDÍ Gran Reserva Limitada is aged in barrels for 12 years. Appealing to the most discerning palette, each golden glass delivers a medley of warm flavors.

Bacardi the largest privately held, family-owned spirits company in the world. Originally known for its eponymous Bacardi white rum, it now has a portfolio of more than 200 brands and labels. Founded in 1862, and family-owned for seven generations, Bacardi employs 6,000 people, manufactures at 29 facilities in 16 markets on four continents, with sales in more than 150 countries. The company sells in excess of 200 million bottles per year.

Whether it’s called rum (English), rhum (French) or ron (Spanish), this eau de vie made from sugar cane remains the common denominator between the Caribbean islands and the South American countries, with each boasting its own distinctive culture and set of traditions.

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November 25, 2018
Rona Coster