With a multimillion-dollar spa set to open
at its Aruba resort in late September and the debut of its resort
on St. Martin next summer, Radisson Hotels and Resorts' flagship
Caribbean brand is spreading its wings.
"Our goal is to
establish the flagship Caribbean Radissons as a AAA Four Diamond
brand and to expand to other islands," said Francis Purvey,
director of sales and marketing for Radisson Resorts Aruba and St.
plan could include resorts on Guadeloupe and Martinique, according
Carlson Hotels Worldwide owns and operates the Aruba and St. Martin
resorts. The three Radisson properties in the Bahamas, Belize and
Puerto Rico are franchise properties not part of the flagship
Radisson Aruba Resort & Casino already has earned its Four
Diamond citation and as such "required a professional spa facility
as part of its guest offerings. The spa is a purpose-filled project
that has no comparison or competition on Aruba," Purvey
The $5.2 million,
13,000-square-foot, oceanfront Larimar Spa, which derives its name
from an aqua-colored, semi-precious stone indigenous to the
Caribbean, will feature five patio gardens for open-air treatments,
a fitness center facing the Caribbean, one couple's suite, lounges,
two plunge pools and nine indoor treatment rooms.
Aruba, formerly the Golden Tulip, is the site of the first hotel on
Palm Beach and as such "has the best location," Purvey
14-acre resort on one side is the Occidental Grand Aruba (the
former Allegro-branded property); on the other side is the Riu
Aruba Grand (the former Aruba Grand Beach Resort &
the property in 1995, then closed it in 1999 and 2000 for a $55
million renovation project. The new spa is the capstone to that
However, as with
most properties, renovation is an ongoing process, and Purvey said
that all guest rooms will be "totally renovated" in
Also in the works
is the conversion of two floors in the Aruba Tower to the Plaza
Club with concierge services, a lounge and 42-inch, flat-screen TVs
in the rooms.
Internet access is available in every room. Wireless Internet
access is available in select areas throughout the resort. More
than 65% of the rooms feature the custom-designed Select Comfort
Sleep Number beds.
them," Purvey said. "They can adjust mattress firmness and support
at the touch of a button. We'll have the beds in 80% of the rooms
by the end of the year."
Also new is an
American Plan option offering three meals a day. Guests who select
it wear special ID bracelets.
different meal plans to cater to individual requests," Purvey said.
"Even though Aruba has many fine restaurants, some of our guests
want to take all their meals at the resort, so we offer them that
restaurants include the Sunset Grille, one of only two on the
island to garner a AAA Four Diamond Award.
Express Check-In, another new feature, allows guests to check in up
to seven days before arriving at the property.
separate, fast line for them to pick up their room keys," Purvey
include the family segment, which accounts for 25% of total
business during the summer season and higher during the holiday
periods; honeymooners and repeat customers make up approximately
50% of total business, according to Purvey.
operators, described by Purvey as "critical components of our
business," are responsible for more than half of all
Resort St. Martin will unfurl its flag next summer on the site of
the former Le Meridien resort near Port Lonvilliers and Anse Marcel
on the north coast.
will open with the original 250 rooms, of which 62 will be suites,"
Purvey said. "We're not planning a big room expansion, but there
are plans for Radisson's second Larimar spa."
marina will offer 150 slips accommodating yachts of up to 90 feet
restaurants will open at the resort, and a new meal plan will
include restaurants in nearby Grand Case, known as the island's
To contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].