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places to stay resorts and timeshares

Future of Bushiri

Bushiri
Above picture: Bushiri Resort earlier this month

Bushiri Resort was an all-inclusive resort, owned and operated by the island government, located on the main road from Oranjestad to the beach hotel areas. The same building featured a hotel trade school that offered many students in-house, on the job training.

Due to bad management and politics this resort was closed in the early two thousands and has been sitting there ever since, deteriorating, losing most of its value. Currently it’s still wasting taxpayers money. A government managing a resort? Really? You’ve got to be kidding me.

What are the options? First, let me tell you what the property entails: a resort building of 150 rooms, two tennis courts, pool and bar. In these times a resort like that isn’t attractive for any investor to operate. It needs to be upgraded. Herein lies the problem. Most hotel developers and operators need to double or triple the amount of hotel rooms, add a casino and a couple of restaurants.

Previous government held a public bidding process and three candidates emerged as potential buyer. The prime candidate was Spanish Meliá. The purchase price was $14.5 million. For this price Meliá wanted to build a super resort with hundreds of rooms and casino to make it feasible. The government opposed this plan. Meliá pulled out.

Now the new Minister of Tourism is planning to contact the other two candidates to see if they are still interested. If this is not the case, a new sales offer will be put out. In case no one steps forward to purchase Bushiri the government will demolish the building and restore access to the beach.

If you ask me I would choose the latter. Get rid of it. Demolish this building and its place build a beach park with a commemorative plaque as a remembrance of Bushiri as an institution for education. I can tell this much: I don’t want to be in the shoes of the Minister of Tourism. Why? Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Let me explain.

  • If he leaves it as is, it’s going to deteriorate further and cost taxpayers more money. Result: angry people.
  • If he sells it and let it be redeveloped into a 600 room super resort with casino, criticism of overdevelopment follows. Result: angry people.
  • If he demolishes it, people will cry foul and call it “destruction of capital”. Result: angry people.

Aruba is One Happy Island, but we also have many cranky and angry people. Nobody said politics was an easy business, but he needs to make a decision, quite frankly the sad state of Bushiri is unacceptable.

Categories
places to stay resorts and timeshares

Pictures: Tour Around Divi Phoenix

New Divi Phoenix
New at Divi Phoenix: purebeach restaurant

Recently we had the opportunity to walk around the newly opened section of Divi Phoenix’ new timeshare towers. Divi Resorts did a terrific job and delivered a pretty impressive structure at Palm Beach.

Especially the new lounge/restaurant “purebeach” is impressive. The atmosphere created at purebeach is spectacular and the view there is awesome, not to mention the sunset.

The only concern we have is that the pool appears to be a bit on the small size for all the rooms which are scheduled to be delivered. Beware that the construction is still not finished and some sections are currently being taken care off. Enjoy below pictures.

New Divi Phoenix
Nice new pool area

New Divi Phoenix
Nice new pool area

New Divi Phoenix
View from Divi Phoenix over Palm Beach

New Divi Phoenix
Nice new pool area

New Divi Phoenix
Nice new pool area

New Divi Phoenix
Nice new pool area

New Divi Phoenix
Nice details around the construction

New Divi Phoenix
Nice new pool area

New Divi Phoenix
New parking area Divi Phoenix

Categories
places to stay real estate and construction resorts and timeshares

Delivered: Divi Phoenix New Timeshare Tower Opens

Divi Phoenix Construction Update
Divi Phoenix Aruba

Divi Phoenix Aruba has welcomed the first guests in its newly opened timeshare tower at Palm Beach. The new timeshare development consists of four towers adjacent to already existing tower.

There is still work ongoing on the new towers, especially the most western tower. Work is also ongoing on the parking area which is also almost finished. To celebrate the opening, Divi Phoenix is giving discounts. Starting at only $125 per night you can experience the new rooms.

Divi Corporation is a local developer with an extensive portfolio of properties in Aruba and other Caribbean islands. Despite a soft economy Divi continues to execute expansions plans as scheduled. Construction of The Residences golf condos and renovations of Divi All Inclusive are two examples.

Categories
condos and villas places to stay real estate and construction

Update: Divi’s The Residences Construction

Divi Residences Aruba
Divi’s The Residences reaching final stages in construction of phase 1

As the sale of condos continue to be under pressure, according to some in the market in Aruba, most major developments continue as scheduled. I fundamentally believe that those developers who are able to continue to build during this time of soft economic growth, will come out strongly when the economy start to pick up again. What impresses potential client more? Showing a unit physically or talking about it and showing brochures with plans?

The Residences is such a development that is moving along nicely. It’s very well funded and the construction continues to move ahead swiftly. The first phase is almost finished and costumers are almost able to pick up the keys of their units. More pictures after the jump.
The contours of the other phases is clearly visible in below pictures. The condos fit very well in the master planned community of Divi properties near Druif Beach. A very diverse portfolio of businesses such as a golf course with pro-shop, all-inclusive resort, casino and now condos. Follow the link for more information about The Residences.

Divi Residences Aruba
Another angle at The Residences golf condos

Categories
activities and shopping beaches condos and villas places to stay real estate and construction resorts and timeshares

Hot – Cold Developments Right Now

La Cabana Resort Renovations
La Cabana renovations ongoing

Construction at several announced projects continues to progress as scheduled, while other projects has slowed down considerably or even stopped completely. Following a quick list with the hot – ongoing – projects and the cold – slowed or stopped – projects. Keep in mind that this is a snap shot of the situation as of today

Hot

Cold

  • The Sands (condo)
  • The Cliff (condo – site of the air)
  • Trupiaal Residences (master planned community)
  • The Aruban Resort (low rise timeshare resort)

Bonus: Recently Finished

Update: Added more projects and descriptions.

Categories
beaches places to stay resorts and timeshares

Pictures: Divi Phoenix’s Beach

Divi Phoenix beach
Divi Phoenix Palm Beach

Last week it was brought to my attention about the condition of a piece of Palm Beach (Thanks, Kevin). At Divi Phoenix to be exact. Some people have complained about seaweed that’s supposed to be laying around there.

What I’ve noticed is the typical beach-altered-by-human problems. First of all the water wasn’t clear, although that probably had to do with the change in currents in the last 10 days or so. The same change in currents brought a massive amount of seaweed with it. Since, the Phoenix crew appeared to have been trying to clean it up.

You know what I’ve noticed? Where ever beaches are altered, even slightly, it almost never regains its natural consistency as a natural beach. This despite the fact that they use all natural materials. Divi Phoenix’ luck is that a good piece of beach is just a few steps away. Problems with altered beaches are notoriously present around Hadicurari (Marriott’s beach), Renaissance Ocean Suites and now Divi Phoenix.

Palm Beach by Divi Phoenix
A rock pier by Divi Phoenix

Palm Beach by Divi Phoenix
Water not clear

Beach Clean-up
Beach clean-up at Divi Phoenix

Categories
places to stay resorts and timeshares

Latest: Divi Phoenix Expansion

Divi Phoenix Construction Update
Divi Phoenix front

Vacation ownership resort Divi Phoenix Aruba is in the final stages of its expansion project. Current structure is expanding with the addition of four smaller towers, adding rooms to Divi Resorts steadily growing business interests in Aruba.

In a broader perspective, this construction closes the physical gap between Divi Phoenix and Westin, with a nice park in the middle, at Palm Beach. Now Divi Phoenix “belongs” to the big name chain of high rise Palm Beach resorts. A few more months and it will be fully operational.

The company behind this project is Divi Resorts. For Aruba standards this company is vastly becoming a powerhouse in the hospitality industry. It owns Tamarijn, Divi Village, Divi Links Golf and Alhambra Casino to mention a few. What’s next? Condos. Divi Residences.

Divi Phoenix Parking
Freshly planted palms and bricks, with Westin in the back

Divi Phoenix North Side
Divi Phoenix, facing Westin