Signed MOU between Aruba’s government, Desarrollos Hotelco, and Marriott International
ORANJESTAD (AAN) – The signing of an MOU took place in the Ritz Carlton Hotel the Morning of September 18th. The MOU was signed between Aruba’s government, represented by Otmar Oduber, Minister of Regional Planning, Infrastructure, and Environment, Dangui Oduber, Minister of Tourism, Public Health and Sport, and Caledonia Properties NV, Desarrollos Hotelco Group, represented by its president Walter Stipa, and Marriott International Inc., represented by counsel Johan Sjien Fat.
The MOU relates to a long-standing project in the matter of the construction of a St. Regis Hotel in Aruba.
Minister Otmar Oduber opened explaining details of the project in a press conference, prior to the signature of the MOU.
The dignitary described the event as of the utmost importance and great joy, after six or seven months of conversations and negotiations by the government. Also, the Minister informed officials at DIP (Department of Infrastructure and Planning) about a plot of land which belongs to Caledonia, located next to the former Concorde Hotel, currently Hotel Riu.
For more than 20 years, the dignitary said, this plot belonged to the Starwood Group, at a certain time, it was purchased and acquired by the Marriott hotel chain.
The process of negotiations began years ago to change the destiny of this plot, supposed to be a timeshare four-star hotel at that time, with a number of 380 rooms.
When the current government sat and began to do an inventory of the number of projects, where a great number of permissions were issued, the government decided to reduce them, and instead of quantity, opted for the quality of what makes Aruba an appealing destination.
The minister expressed words of praise and appreciation to his colleague Mr. Dangui Oduber, representative of the quality of service and the tourism product in Aruba, and who was also of great support to the legal advisers of the three parties sat at the table: Government, Desarrollos Hotelco as partner leader of the process, and Marriott as owner of the plot of land.
Minister Otmar Oduber highlighted that after several rounds of talks, when the new government came into office in Aruba, it expressed its desire that all hotels to be built should be at least five-star hotels.
Several hotel chains, including Hilton, W Hotels, St. Regis, among others, presented their portfolios. The latter emerged as the winner, being chosen to partner up with Ritz Carlton on the government’s request.
In this way, a tripartite agreement was reached on Monday signed by Mr. Walter Walter Stipa of Desarrollos Hotelco NV, the government and Marriott Aruba.
The dignitary noted that Mr. Stipa is not a stranger in Aruba, as he stands out for important projects that they have on the island in terms of quality.
The agreement stipulates that the construction of the resort will begin in the first quarter of 2019 here in Aruba, not with 380 rooms but 222 rooms with the quality of St. Regis, one of a few in the Caribbean area.
Minister Otmar Oduber expressed his gratitude and stated that after a hard round of talks, the Government and people of Aruba will win in the end with a high-quality product.
Also, the dignitary expressed appreciation to Mr. Stipa for his interest in our island and in the development of a project of the scale of the Ritz Carlton. The government firmly believes that a new project by St. Regis will also be of the highest quality level to attract visitors to our island.