In honor of Playa Linda’s 35th anniversary, by Raymond Maduro

Playa Linda Beach Resort was conceived when we were at the pinnacle of our careers, and our Development Company at its peak performance.

All the constellations were perfectly aligned; we had just experienced the tremendous success of Aruba Beach Club in the timeshare market here and received great endorsement in the USA for being one of the first quality timeshare developments overseas, within this new interval ownership business. 

Our team at the time included architect Dan Oduber, businessman Tito Muyale, operations man Rene Nieuwkerk and engineer Engelberto Ruiz. I was the leader of this great orchestra consisting of brilliant and motivated Aruban professionals.

We agreed to call the project Playa Linda Beach Resort, simply because of the beauty of the beach; we also intended to give the property a Spanish romantic slant. We’re all romantics, to this day.  

In order to do the project right, we embarked on a fact-finding trip, aiming to see and experience some of the latest and most spectacular contemporary resorts being built.  Those were the 1980’s. We visited Mexico; Cancun had just begun to develop. We looked at Disney resorts in the USA — they have done a lot of research too. We visited developing projects in Spain and Latin America.  

We took the best ideas we picked up along the way, documented them, and returning to Aruba we put together a collage of inspirational thoughts, a la Pinterest, much before Pinterest was created, which formed the basis of our vision for what would become, in our mind, the most beautiful timeshare resort on this planet. 

In Cancun, Mexico, we studied one of the first resorts built to reflect the Mayan temples; in the USA we were inspired by construction materials and best practices.

Apropos the design of Playa Linda Beach Resort, you clearly see that our chief architect, partner and brains behind the endeavor, Dan Oduber, was deeply influenced by the unique stepped pyramid structure resembling some Mexican resorts in Cancun.

He’s always been a romantic.

The design was also favored by the Dutch university and research group TNO, because of Aruba’s potential wind challenges. As you may remember, the Concorde hotel high rise, at the time, struggled with ongoing wind challenges on its beach and at the lobby entrance, which the design team was determined to avoid. They developed a wind tunnel test and recommended a tapered modular look.

But overall speaking Playa Linda Beach Resort presented the least obstacles. We did not confront any difficulty at conception, development, nor at construction, it all went relatively smooth, and steady. 

It was however a period of great unrest on the island. The environment was brimming with interesting and at the same time, threatening events; Aruba’s 1986 Status Aparte became a reality and the years preceding were pretty tense and turbulent, politically and economically speaking.

It was an anxious time, peppered with potential disruptive elements, not conducive to stable tourism. The Lago refinery announced it was closing its doors mid 80s, and that many locals would be out of a job.

Despite all of this, we were determined to level-headedly deal with issues and threats and proceed to build what resulted in one of the world’s leading and most beautiful timeshare resorts on this planet – the Playa Linda Beach Resort, in Aruba. 

 

Raymond Maduro

email: [email protected]

skype: raymondmaduro  

phone: (297) 594-7001

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July 30, 2018
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