News from the Holiday Inn and Caribbean Palm Village Resort

The Holiday Inn On Our Mind

A persistent rumor this week insists the Riu will be picking up its 3rd Aruba property in the form of the Holiday Inn.

The 600 room resort, with a reported grandfathered AI option, and a reported grandfathered third tower, for eventual 900 all-inclusive rooms, is currently the talk of the town.

What I hear:

Riu made a serious offer. We know they have been eying a third hotel here. Remember they made an attempt on the Hilton, thwarted by the former, former MinTour.

The InterContinental Hotel Group, IHG, has just 3 more years as a management company and they would need to be bought out.

The owners of the Holiday Inn real estate, Lionstone Development, with Alfredo & Diego Lowenstein at the helm, are running a 50-year-old well-established company with properties in Miami, Curacao, Aruba & St. Thomas U.S.V.I. They have had a desire to sell and/or convert the Aruba resort into AI, for a long time. They have an all-inclusive in Curacao, Sunscape Resort, and it works for them.

(They are an active company, they’re also totally overhauling their Hilton Hotel & Casino, in Piscadera Bay, Curacao, affiliated to the neighboring LGBT Floris Suite Hotel.)

I guess there is little we can do, besides saying, ay no, not another all-inclusive.

AI and TS now represent 78% of the room inventory on Palm Beach.

With the possible conversion of the Holiday Inn, the ceiling GOA enacted by law of 40% AI, will be compromised by a lot.

The MinTour can only insist on retaining all employees and protecting their jobs over the transition, a la Hilton, not a la Riu Antillas.

I tried to call the Riu lawyer for more info, but did not find him.

Why would Lionstone wish to sell its property that brings in such a nice and steady rent monthly, without much investment, is a mystery.

Changes at Caribbean Palm Village Resort

Dedicated, veteran, acting general manager Astrid Muller retired from her temporary job, it has been temporary for the past six years, and handed the baton over to hotelier Steve Mara, formally with the Marriott, Playa Linda Beach Resort and Gianni’s Group. He has been named General Manager, with foxy duo Hans Vink as controller, and lawyer Gabri de Hoogd LL.M. as chairman of the board. They also hired back from retirement a veteran, reliable director of timeshare sales, Volker Jurgens. Expect firework.

Don’t underestimate the Caribbean Palm Beach Resort. It is indeed tucked away in Noord, but its members and guests love it. I always told Astrid they drink her Kool-Aid, just overjoyed by their time at the resort, worshiping Aruba.

Originally built by the Chemali family and partners in 1987, in the style of the art deco district in Miami, the property boasts 170 rooms, very friendly, multi-tasking staff members and the happiest guests under the sun.

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December 19, 2019
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Bati Bleki by Rona Coster