Prevue March-April 2014 - (Page 98)
Meetings & incentives unleashed on a silky strand of Palm Beach
[ON LOCATION] KATHERINE MANFREDI, CMM/CIS
ike the postcard-perfect island of Aruba, the Hyatt
Regency Aruba Resort Spa & Casino is a fantastic ﬁnd
for international meetings and events. The 357-room resort
occupies a 12-acre stretch of beach along the Caribbean Sea,
blending European ﬂair with Caribbean charm on lush grounds
just seven miles from the airport and two miles from Oranjestad,
the capital city.
The resort's international vibe is reﬂected not only in a design
that includes a unique soiree of iguanas, parrots and Koi, but in a
multilingual staff that is eager to respond to the needs of guests.
"Having a multilingual staff allows guests to feel comfortable
communicating requests. Aruban residents speak a minimum of
four languages," says General Manager Fred Hoffmann, adding
that planners generally choose the property for its "location,
excellent service, beautiful grounds and outdoor venue options."
Wriggling my toes in warm sand beneath the huge 2,218-sf
thatch-roof beach palapa with room for 400 cocktail-style guests,
Hoffmann's words rang true as conversation within my group
ebbed and ﬂowed around burlap-topped rounds set with ﬂoralringed hurricane lamps.
The 2,488-sf outdoor terrace is a great spot for a private
breakfast for 140 banquet-style guests. The 5,532-sf redwood
courtyard deck offers oceanviews minus sand in your shoes.
Tonight's linens and chairbands in hues of the sea add gentle
color below oversized white hurricane lamps. Mouthwatering
scents drift from barbeque and buffet stations of bacon-wrapped
shrimp, tender beef, grilled seabass and spicy BBQ chicken.
The atmosphere sparks creative brainstorming amongst our
group beginning with Florence Stadwijk, director of catering/
convention services, who suggests a memorable incentive "on
the beach, under the stars with an awards ceremony projected
on a ﬂoating screen above the ocean."
It comes as little surprise when Richard Elliott director of rooms
says that 30 percent of the resort's guests have been repeat
visitors since it opened in 1991. "We achieve highest occupancy in
Februray," he says, adding that Aruba sits outside the hurricane belt.
A carnival-themed casino with 21 gaming tables and 255
slot machines is ripe for the picking. Among 10 on-site eateries,
groups can sample tequila, indulge in mouthwatering cigar-box
salmon or dine barefoot under little palapas. During my stay,
nightly entertainment ranged from an invigorating beachfront rock
band to an introspective solo singer/guitarist.
A boardwalk links the resort to oceanfront cafes, bars and
shops with markets and high end shops downtown. From
Hyatt's pier, catamarans take guests snorkeling or diving around
a submerged shipwreck. Groups can explore the coast, desert
and monuments via Jeeps or ATV tours, test an exciting water
jetpack or roll up their sleeves for a day of aloe harvesting at the
Aruba Aloe factory and museum. An herbologist at the ZoiA Spa
offers treatments with homegrown plants and hand-pressed oils.
The resort has undergone a series of renovations in recent
years that updated ZoiA Spa, named after the Papiamento word
for balance, and a $3.2 million revamp of the 5,290-sf Regency
Ballroom. The open-air lobby and lobby bar underwent soft
revamps in early 2014 that added earthy warm and cool color
tones to interiors.
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Prevue March-April 2014
Planner's Pick: Dallas
Fresh Meets: Marriott Hotels
Bureau Buzz: Montreal
Good Business: Sandals Foundation
Sea Shores: State of the Cruise Industry
Incentives, Golf + Spa
Special Section: California
On Location: Loews Don CeSar St. Pete
On Location: Chic Outlets
On Location: New Zealand
On Location: Los Cabos
On Location: Scottsdale
On Location: Aruba Hyatt Regency
On Location: Dolce Silverado
On Location: St. Croix
On Location: Hilton Bomonti Turkey
On Location: Aruba Marriott
Checkout: Conrad Pune, India
Meetings, incentives and Corporate Events, Club Med 2014 Edition
Prevue March-April 2014