BY KRISTIN O'MEARA
Reed Travel Features
PALM BEACH -- Construction began on Marriott's Ocean Club, a new
time-share property adjacent to the 413-room Aruba Marriott Resort
& Stellaris Casino here.
According to a spokesman for Orlando, Fla.-based Marriott
Vacation Club International, which operates time-share properties,
the 218-unit Ocean Club will build on the framework of the
incomplete Beta Hotel project, which has sat untouched for more
than five years.
Marriott Vacation Club International, which took over the
property in 1996, will open 90 units as the first of three phases
in December 1998, the spokesman said.
The second phase will include the addition of 28 villas, and the
third will add 90 villas; no timetable has been established for the
opening of phases two and three, the spokesman said.
When completed, the property will feature one- and two-bedroom
villa units, tennis courts, a pool and a restaurant.
Villa owners will have the option to include their units in a
rental pool, which will be available to transient guests, the
Agents will be able to book these units through Marriott, he
said, and the commission is the same, although the villas will have
a higher nightly rate and therefore will offer higher income
Hotel and time-share guests will have access to the facilities
of both the Ocean Club and the Marriott hotel, and reciprocal
signing privileges will be offered.
The spokesman said shared facilities will be beneficial to both
"Having our property adjacent to the hotel allows us to share
services," he said.
"Our 218-villa complex, running 100% occupancy, will be feeding
business to them and, in turn, we will share amenities and features
that would be cost prohibitive to do on our own," he said.
Similar hotel time-share arrangements exist at Marriott's Kauai
Beach Club, part of the Kauai Marriott Resort and Beach Club; in
Palm Springs, Calif., at the Desert Springs Villas, which are
adjacent to Marriott's Desert Springs Resort and Spa, and in
Orlando, Fla., with three time-share properties adjacent to
Marriott's World Center.
According to the Marriott spokesman, the completion of the
original Beta Hotel project fell through due to a default on
About 30% of the project was completed when Marriott took it
over last year, he said.
Aruba's ban on new construction of hotels continues; the
construction of the Beta Hotel project already was under way at the
time the ban was set, as was the building of the Divi Phoenix
time-share, which is slated to open this summer.
The Ocean Club is Marriott Vacation Club International's second
property in the Caribbean region; the first is the Bahamas
Marriott's Paradise Island Beach Club.