Adding luxury facilities and amenities to existing properties is getting more creative as the sector rebounds, the market expands and market share grows. Case in point is the Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino on the island’s Palm Beach hotel strip.
The Tradewinds Club, a hotel within a hotel, was added to the resort as part of the resort’s $50 million renovation three years ago.
“It’s been a success since it was introduced, and we’re continually tweaking it,” said Tom Calame, general manager.
Tradewinds occupies the entire top floor of the Marriott, and its 49 guestrooms and six suites with balconies and floor-to-ceiling windows are reserved for guests 18 years old and above.
Services available to guests include five daily presentations in the private lounge, from breakfast and lunch to tea time, cocktail hour and an open bar in the evening.
“These are included in the daily rate,” Calame said. “Tradewinds guests also have a private check-in, complimentary WiFi, their own beach area, services of a concierge, a pillow menu and upgraded in-room amenities.”
Occupancy runs in the high 90% bracket, and guests appreciate that it is kid-free, according to Calame.
Another facility reserved for adults is the $1.5 million H2Oasis lap pool with a poolside bar and cabanas on the pool deck.
“The goal is to provide an escape and an upscale experience. We’ve gotten great feedback on this,” Calame said.
The Stellaris Casino was renovated in 2012 with new carpeting, chandeliers and machines.
A new entrance and driveway was added earlier in 2013.
The Aruba Marriott’s latest enhancement is the redesigned grand ballroom, which recently completed a $1.5 million upgrade.
“Overall business is very good, and our numbers are ahead of last year, thanks in part to our high volume of repeat guests,” Calame said.
“Travel agents remain our big players and very strong partners for us,” he said.