WASHINGTON, D.C. - April 24, 2002 -The 560-room Aruba Sonesta Beach Hotel, the only hotel in the heart of the island’s capital of Oranjestad, has been rebranded the Renaissance Aruba Beach Resort &Casino. Owned by META Corp, the resort opened in 1989 and will undergo an extensive refurbishment program that will be completed by the end of 2003. The resort will retain its current management and ownership.
“We are delighted to see our portfolio in Aruba expand and to welcome this beautiful resort to our worldwide portfolio,” said Ed Fuller, president and managing director of international lodging for Marriott. “It will greatly enhance our travel experience offerings in Aruba and enable us to offer vacationers and conference planners a choice in venues when they come to Aruba.”
“The Renaissance name and franchise agreement signifies the beginning of a new era for the hotel,” said Mark Nooren, managing director of the property who has been with the resort for almost two years. “The reputation of the brand and its marketing strategies align perfectly with our vision for the hotel, which is to expand and diversify our markets. META Corp is excited about its new relationship with Renaissance and believes this affiliation, coupled with the potential of this resort, will translate into great things for the property,” Mr. Nooren added.
Located just minutes from Queen Beatrix International Airport on the waterfront in Oranjestad, the twin-tower Renaissance Aruba Beach Resort &Casino is the island’s largest and most diversified resort complex. It includes a 40,000-square-foot conference center, the largest in Aruba; two malls offering more than 130 shops, restaurants, cafes, cinemas, a marina and the 431-seat Crystal Theater. The Crystal Casino, the island’s only 24-hour casino, and the Seaport Casino are also part of the complex. The resort also boasts Okeanos Spa, offering a range of treatments; a fitness center and juice bar; and a children’s program. An 18-hole championship golf course is nearby. “Waterscapes,” Aruba’s only special effects light, water and sound show, can be seen numerous times daily at the resort.
According the Chuck Kelley, Marriott’s senior vice president for the Caribbean and Latin America, “The conversion to our Renaissance brand has been seamless and has been a positive experience for our current guests. Programs currently in place with travel agents and tour operators are being honored.”
Speaking about the refurbishment, Mr. Kelley said that it involves guest rooms and the lobby as well as other public space. “Fire and life safety systems have already been totally upgraded throughout the property.” He added that training programs are underway to instill Renaissance brand standards in all aspects of the resort experience.
For vacationers, the Renaissance Aruba Beach Resort & Casino offers three outdoor swimming pools, one with a swim-up bar; a private beach area at the Beach Tower, and an exclusive 40-acre island. Renaissance Island, which is used exclusively by guests of the resort, offers several pristine white sand beaches, an outdoor restaurant and bar, a fitness center, tennis court, water sports facilities, a nature trail, and a tropical bird aviary. The island is reached by a complimentary water taxi ride of seven-to-10 minutes.
For dining and entertainment, guests can choose from 15 restaurants and six bars and lounges in the Island complex. L’Escale, the resort’s gourmet restaurant, has been rated the Number One restaurant on Aruba in recent years and is renowned for its Sunday brunch.
For social events and conferences, the Renaissance Aruba Beach Resort & Casino has 40,000 square feet of meeting space including a 22,000-square-foot ballroom, divisible into six sections, that can accommodate up to 1,000 people for banquets and 1,600 people theater-style. Additional space includes two conference rooms and pre-function and outdoor meeting space.
The Renaissance Aruba Beach Resort & Casino will participate in the Marriott and Renaissance Offshore Resort Network as part of its marketing efforts, including the Network’s branded vacation packages.
Marriott International is also represented on Aruba by the 413-room Aruba Marriott Resort and Marriott’s Aruba Ocean Club, a vacation villa community. Both are located on Palm Beach.