The Future Of Aruba: How The Tiny Caribbean Island Is Bracing For Major New Hotel Development – Forbes

Eagle Beach, Aruba

I have been a long time vacation homeowner on Aruba, the tiny Dutch Caribbean island off the coast of Venezuela. Only 20 miles long and 6 miles across, the cactus- filled, dry island features my favorite beach in the entire world. Endless days spent on the famed Eagle Beach floating in crystal clear, aquamarine warm waters is why massive throngs of tourists return annually to this island paradise.

With such demand from tourists, in an area outside of the hurricane belt, it seemed only a matter of time when most of the large luxury hotel brands would begin development on the island. With the recent news of Secrets, St. Regis, and Radisson all building new properties on the island, it has become a concern of locals about how the islands vulnerable infrastructure will handle the increase of visitors.

Aerial view of the hotel zone on Aruba

I spoke with my longtime friend Tisa LaSorte, CEO and President of Aruba Hotel and Tourist Association who explains the challenges with more growth, "The Aruba Hotel & Tourism Association advocates for controlled growth and for the government to work urgently with the private sector on a plan for the increased need for staff (which should include a well thought-through migration plan), education, the effects on all infrastructure, and healthcare, etc. Committees are being formed to address these issues in time. We also need to make sure we manage where growth takes place and the location of activities and attractions, to avoid saturation of high-traffic areas. It is and should be our highest priority to ensure that the visitor experience remains enjoyable and return-worthy".

Here is a list of the planned new developments on Aruba, which will make a dramatic change to the island by 2022.

Rendering of Secrets Baby Beach

Secrets Baby Beach

The new Secrets Baby Beach will offer up 600 rooms in the San Nicolas area.The property is scheduled to open in the fourth quarter of 2021, and will be Apple Leisure Groups first-ever resort in Aruba.

Located adjacent to the popular Baby Beach snorkeling area, the adults-only, all-inclusive resort will include the all-inclusive brands signatures, from reservation-free gourmet a la carte dining to 24-hour room service to nighttime entertainment.

According to the Government of Aruba, it is a particularly significant development for San Nicolas, which is considered Arubas cultural capital. Until now, this is its first major hotel project in the area. The infrastructure at Baby beach and Rodgers beach will also be renovated and upgraded with restaurants, bars, extra parking spots, additional beach huts, and new areas for beach sports.

St. Regis Hotel Aruba

St. Regis Hotel

The Marriott changed the land designation in the area south of the Riu Palace Antillas and was approved to build a 310-hotel room St. Regis there to open in 2022.

The internationally branded, five-star, luxury resort will be situated on Eagle beach and incorporating a popular public park. The project includes 200 guestrooms and suites as well as 22 residential units, all with ocean views. The design will feature locally sourced stone and natural boulders as structural elements, numerous terraces and pools for enhanced outdoor experiences, as well as five-star quality interiors.

Embassy Suites by Hilton Aruba

Embassy Suites

Positioned on the border of Eagle Beach below the Divi Phoenix, the new Embassy Suites will offer 330 hotel rooms and will open in 2021. Each of the property's suites will be equipped with a separate living area, private bedrooms, and wet bar. The resort will also have6,000 square feet of meeting space, a 3,000 sf spa, outdoor swimming pool, fitness center, and casino.The new hotel will also offer a gourmet signature restaurant and bar.

Hyatt Place Airport Aruba

Hyatt Place Hotel

Already open at the Reina Beatrix International Airport, the 116 hotel room Hyatt Place Hotel helped revitalize the airport area making it more modern and easy to navigate. Guests can access the new Hyatt Place Aruba Airport via a covered walkway providing direct pedestrian access between the hotel and airport. The hotel is part of a planned mixed-use development that will contain 21,000 square feet of office space, car rental facilities, an 8,000 square foot food court, retail shops, and a casual dining restaurant.

Radisson Blu Aruba

Radisson Blu Hotel

The new Radisson Blu Hotel will offer up 209 rooms and will include accommodations ranging from one to three-bedroom suites with each including a full kitchen and in-room washer and dryer. Many of the suites will have balconies overlooking the water.

The new facilities will include a spa, two pools, and a kids' pool, outdoor yoga space, fitness space, six shops, a fine-dining steakhouse, and a poolside restaurant.

Port City Oranjestad development

Port City, Oranjestad

Aruba Ports Authority (APA) recently announced the transformation of the former cargo terminal area near the cruise terminal of Oranjestad into a new leisure, residential and commercial area. Port City Oranjestad will be designed for residents and tourists, with boutique hotels, offices & conference facilities, as well as residential housing. The Port City plan also includes a public waterfront park between the cruise terminal and Bushiri Beach.

*Original story has been edited to remove additional rumored resort developments until confirmations can be made.

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The Future Of Aruba: How The Tiny Caribbean Island Is Bracing For Major New Hotel Development - Forbes

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