How about Tierra Del Sol, for Happy Hour tomorrow?

Members of the media plus select guests were invited to the first ever Tapas Affair, a Friday Happy Hour at Tierra del Sol, from 6 to 8pm, last week. The event will unfold each week from now on, featuring efficient cocktail service and great-tasting tapas, against the backdrop of Aruba’s wild-side and the California lighthouse, at sunset.

Chef Reginald Brete is the head man in the kitchen at the club house, he’s been there for a while, and as expected delivered perfectly sized and flavored tapas to go with our cocktails. Guests enjoyed them all, Ceviche with grilled corn, Tuna Sashimi on wonton tostadas, plump Gyozas, Crispy Pork Belly squares with papaya kimchi, mini Picanha skewers with yucas bravas, Meatballs in tomato sauce, and cooked-just-right, Creole fish cakes with a hint of pica.

We said yes, to everything.

Last year we learned that Tierra Del Sol, including the real estate, spa, and golf course,  were acquired by the Iberostar Star Group. The Iberostar Group assumed the ownership of Aruba’s first planned golf community and promised that it brings a deep commitment to Aruba, backed up by and unparallel track-record in the industry.

Iberostar Group, said a press release, is a leading tourism company that is committed to developing a responsible, tourism model, focused on caring for both people and the environment.

As I understand, Iberostar Group is positioned to become a major player in tourism on the island. The company already has more than a hundred five-star properties in the most popular holiday destinations in Europe, African, and America.

I haven’t heard much from Iberostar Group in the past year, though they dazzled local press members with a trip to one of their properties in Cancun, impressing them with an inhouse ocean water-quality lab, and a marine biologist on staff.

Back to last Friday. Tapas Affair was hosted by Spanish-born Dominique Meyer, a gracious, eloquent brand ambassador who has been here for about one year, making plans for the return of Tierra Del Sol’s shine. Dominque was introduced by the lovely Ghislaine de Windt, the property’s Marketing and Sales executive.

In her informal introduction, Dominique reported that preparations are in full swing to redo the golf course, a much needed endeavor since the grass deteriorated to just-weeds under previous ownership, who never made any investment in the place and allowed it to fall into total disrepair.

The golf course will keep its original award-winning design, says Dominique, but will be redone with more resilient grass, requiring less water and care. The popular-among-locals spa will receive a much needed renovation.

Dominique spoke briefly about the company’s two other projects on Eagle Beach, the adult only Iberostar Grand, on the location of the once planned Sands resort, and a family resort on a secondary location, inland from the beach, replacing the ill-conceived, badly-run, now defunct Morgan’s Island waterpark.

I was told in answer to my questions, that the much talked about and presumably grandfathered in decades ago, hotel permit at Arashi, is not yet under discussion.

Although, meanwhile a little bird whispered in my ear, that plans for a hotel in Arashi are consolidating. I have no more details regarding, but be patient, all will be revealed.

Additional party hosts on behalf of Tierra del Sol, Ashiko Martinus, Manager, Villa Rental & Operations, Charles Parks, Corporate F&B manager, America, and Emilio Geerman, F&B Manager on site. I believe Emilio has been there since opening, under Hyatt Regency, in the old days.

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August 03, 2023
Rona Coster