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Coconut Telefax October 28, 2019

The Holiday Inn Celebrates 50th Anniversary

After much preparation, the day finally arrived and the Holiday Inn got to throw the BIG party in honor of its 50th birthday.

The party set itself apart by being short on speeches and long on festivities. In the absence of a resort general manager, Regional Director of Sales Fernando Rosado thanked a long list of very deserving individuals, including repeat guests who have been coming back to Aruba to the Holiday Inn for 30, 40, and 50 years. He also warmly thanked loyal employees and got off stage to allow the band to do what it does best. NBO was an excellent musical choice—the dance floor filled up instantly and kept jumping throughout. Then 8:30 pm fireworks painted the clear night sky in incredible colors.

Compliments on the understated yet impactful décor. The pool deck was beautifully lit and set up with high tops emblazoned with the 50th anniversary logo.

Kudos: Out of environmental consideration, guests were given a commemorative cup at the entrance for beer or wine according to their preference, eliminating the challenge of discarded single-use plastic cups!

Best feature? All resort guests were invited. Yes, the invite included them all, along with all employees and a small contingent of dignitaries, including Aruba Tourism Authority CEO Ronella Tjin Asjoe-Croes and AHATA CEO Tisa LaSorte.

Our Holiday Inn has maintained a steady presence here for five decades—same name, same logo—while other hotels rebranded over time, and the chain standing for “America, Motherhood & Apple Pie” remained a constant on our tourism landscape.

Congratulations to my friends at the resort: Marketing & PR Director Eva Ruiz, Associate Director of Sales Luigi Wix, Director of Food & Beverage Harmen Gieske, Catering & Sales Manager Danny Fernandes, and Sales Assistant Rene Croes.


Dutch Celebrities Visit Aruba

The Aruba Tourism Authority invited a number of Dutch female influencers for an exclusive visit to the island, during which invitees got to spend time with Aruba’s female prime minister, Evelyn Wever Croes.

Among invitees were Quinty Trustfull, a TV presenter married to soccer star Orlando Trustfull; Kim Kotter, Miss Universe Netherlands 2002, a TV personality, and entrepreneur organizing the Miss Universe Germany pageant; Kirsten Schilder, married to famous singer Nick Schilder; Leontine Borsato, a TV personality and the wife of superstar Marco Borsato; Josh Veldhuizen, a designer fashionista with her own label; Josh V. Edsilia Rombley, Dutch singer whose parents are from Aruba and Curacao; Anouk Smulders, a model and TV personality; Dionne Schulf, an entrepreneur and founder of Friends of the Brands, a celebrity agency with whom A.T.A. collaborated on the trip; and Robin de Vries, who forms part of Friends of the Brands and helped coordinate the trip.  Beau Monde magazine, a glossy life-glam publication with Sandra ten Brink, escorted the trip. All invited female celebrities have lots of social media followers, with up to 700,000 fans interested in their Aruba adventure.

While on the island, the group visited San Nicolas and the murals, dined at Papiamento Restaurant, and visited Parke Arikok and Aruba Aloe, where the group crafted their own body scrubs.

The trip was co-organized by ATA in the Netherlands.

Renaissance Island Aruba
Renaissance Island
Papiamento Aruba
Welcome Dinner at Papiamento
Arikok National Park
Arikok National Park
Aruba Aloe
Making a scrub at Aruba Aloe


2020 Donkey Sanctuary Gift Calendar

The first 2020 Donkey Sanctuary calendar was recently presented to Rona Coster, public relations and special project director for Island Temptations and, in gratitude for being a donkey advocate.

The sanctuary is home to 120 donkeys. It has been operating since 1997, when it became clear that a protective environment, away from motorized traffic, was required to guarantee the survival of the donkeys who have been living on the island for 400 years.

Located in Bringamosa, the sanctuary welcomes guests, offering information and tours of the grounds to interested visitors. Throughout the year, the Aruba Donkey Sanctuary volunteers continue their work feeding, cleaning, and protecting the donkeys, as well as organizing various fundraising events. It cost about $1,000 a year to support just one donkey. Last year, 27,000 of the island’s visitors dropped by the donkey sanctuary.

The striking calendar has all the space you need to record upcoming visits to the sanctuary! Every month features a beautiful donkey picture, with seven of the island’s best photographers contributing their images. Get yours at the sanctuary or a Super Food for Awg 25. You can also show your appreciation of Aruba’s donkeys with a donation:


Grand Opening of Wind Creek Seaport Casino

A brass band, dance, and $20,000 in prizes celebrated the opening of Wind Creek Seaport Casino this past weekend.

The opening festivities of the fully renovated casino, now under the Wind Creek flag, included brass band music, some modest speeches, a special blessing ceremony, and dancing by members of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, who came from Alabama to symbolically welcome the casino into the company’s fold.

With the Wind Creek Crystal Casino renovated first, the Wind Creek Seaport Casino followed with an island-meets-modern-Dutch decor, delivering new signage, a multi-shades-of-blue carpet, and a ceiling that lights up for every jackpot of $500 or more, playing the Electric Slide, a signature Wind Creek Casino boogie.

The ceremony was affected by Jay Dorris, president & chief executive officer of Wind Creek Hospitality, with Paul Gielen, general manager of Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino.

Reportedly the new facelift required an investment of $2.5 million, which totally revolutionized the level of comfort and functionality of the popular gaming emporium, now graced by 280 slot machines and 8 tables, including Roulette, Blackjack, Caribbean Stud Poker, and Three Card Poker. The sports betting lounge, now with 25 TV screens and stadium bucket seats, has been full every day of the week since renovated.

Everyone is welcome to sign up for rewards via While Wind Creek Crystal Casino is open 24 hours, the Wind Creek Seaport Casino is open from 10 am to 4 am.

About Wind Creek Hospitality

Wind Creek Hospitality is an authority of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.  Wind Creek Hospitality manages the tribe’s gaming facilities, including Wind Creek Atmore, Wind Creek Wetumpka, Wind Creek Montgomery, Wind Creek Bethlehem, Wa She Shu Casino in Nevada, Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino, Renaissance Curacao Resort & Casino,, as well as racetracks in Alabama and Florida.  For more information, visit

About the Poarch Band of Creek Indians

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians is the only federally recognized Indian tribe in the state of Alabama, operating as a sovereign nation with its own system of government and by-laws.  The tribe operates a variety of economic enterprises, which employ thousands.  For more information, visit


Ribbon Cutting at Hyatt Place Aruba Airport Hotel & Business Center

Ribbon cuttings are in general joyous occasions, and the recent ribbon cutting for the brand new Hyatt Place Aruba Airport Hotel & Business Center was handled very well by its crew.

From what I gathered from the friendly speeches of General Manager Marta Raven, Contractor/Investor Stefano Pellizzari (Pelca Development Company), brand representative Luciano Julio, MinTour Dangui Oduber, and Developer/Investor Luis Cano, the project began with the purchase of the terrain four years ago.

The buyer, Luis Cano, relocated with his family from Venezuela. He has been established in Aruba for a while, running a number of local businesses, also an agent for Caterpillar Aruba. Cano initiated the planning and construction of the project in partnership with his fellow countryman Stefano Pellizzari, and Pelca Development Company was put in charge of the project.

Many of Aruba’s government ministers showed up proud for the 2019 opening, including Prime Minister Evelyn Wever-Croes, Minister of Tourism Dangui Oduber, Minister of Infrastructure Otmar Oduber, and Minister of Education Glenbert Croes. The minister of tourism remarked that it was his father, Nelson Oduber, former prime minister of Aruba, who cut the ribbon on the Hyatt Regency 20 years ago, and that he was pleased to do the same for Hyatt Place.

The Hyatt Place Aruba Airport Hotel & Business Center was an investment of $50 million of the investors’ own money. They built 116 rooms—that’s $431,000 per room. They obviously spent generously, and it shows. The property is understated, elegant, and distinctly user-friendly.

The hotel recruited 43 employees, and one of the highlights of the morning speeches occurred as Raven addressed her team. They were all standing on her left, lined up on the staircase leading up to the hotel’s second floor. She turned to them, looked into their eyes, and expressed her heartfelt gratitude for their many contributions.

Brand representative Luciano Julio, a trim man with a slight Portuguese accent, spoke about the brand, indicating that there are 305 Hyatt Place locations around the globe, growing by the minute, offering modern, comfortable accommodations, with breakfast included. The hotel, with great two-level parking, will also offer a food court, spa, bank, car rental, and various retail stores on the ground floor, business and meeting spaces on the second, and the lobby, restaurant, pool, and bars on the third, overlooking Hooiberg.

The hotel will easily connect to the airport, and with 2 million passengers passing through AAA annually, and more than 20 airlines, I am confident it will reach synergy faster than we think. Check out their very affordable rates: For questions: [email protected] or +297 523 1207.