Author: paradise

Jan18

IMPORTANT UPDATE FOR ALL U.S. TRAVELERS:

Effective January 26th, 2021, as announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The U.S. government will require all international airline passengers to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test before boarding flights to the United States.
In addition, the results of the test must be within 3 days preceding flight departure. If a passenger does not provide documentation of a negative test or recovery, or chooses not to take a test, the airline must deny boarding to the passenger.

(Optional: In the Aruban Government’s continuing efforts to provide the most safe, seamless, and coordinated travel experience possible, all necessary facilities and procedures are in place for any visitor needing to take a Covid-19 test while in Aruba as a requirement for re-entry to their country/state/city of origin.)

LOCATION: Dr. Horacio E. Oduber Hospital Boulevard #1. Oranjestad, Aruba.

PHONE: (+297) 597-4378

WHATSAPP: (+297) 597-4522

EMAIL: servicecenter@hoharuba.com

HOURS OF OPERATION: 8:00am-6:00pm – 7 days a week

PCR TEST COST: $75 US

APPOINTMENT SPECIFICS:

  • Results are guaranteed within 24 hours.
  • Departure testing:
    • Acommodations can arrange a special testing room for their guest and HOH will do testing on site bby appointment.
      • $100 for per person testing.
      • $85 if group is larger than 25 guest.
    • Drive-thru facility at HOH at $75.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: https://arubahospital.com/covid-19/

Dec17

Coming to Aruba?

Based on questions we get from our members related to visiting Aruba during the COVID-19 pandemic here are a few tips which you may find useful.

First of all, you should check to see if what is specifically required 1) prior to travelling to Aruba and 2) what you will be required to do when you return from Aruba.

COVID-19 testing

Please make sure you have the proper pre-testing as required by the Aruba Authorities. For specific requirements, please visit www.aruba.com and review the Health requirement section.

If you do the test upon arrival at Queen Beatrix International Airport in Aruba, you are required advise the Front Desk on arrival at the Resort and stay in your room until you receive the results of the test. The Resort has made arrangements for items of Food and beverage to be delivered to your room for consumption.

If you plan to deposit your week with Interval International for use at a future date, please note that you require at least sixty (60) days prior to the start of your week. Please note that your maintenance fee must be paid before the deposit can be processed.

It is a requirement that you complete your ED card on line (access here) between seventy-two (72) and four (4) hours prior to arrival in Aruba.

We also highly recommend that you complete your Paradise Beach Villas pre-registration form (access here) which saves a lot of time upon check-in at the Resort.

Nov13

Dear members,

Our occupancy for the month of October and for November remains in the 30% range. This is in keeping with other Resorts on the island and unfortunately the forecast for the next few months.

Thanks to the members who have already paid their maintenance fees for 2021 and we remind you to do so by the due date of December 31st 2020.

Like the rest of the world, COVID-19 will be with is for the foreseeable future and we just have to continue to practice safety measures that have been established. On the island, we have managed to bring to positive cases down and the goal is to continue to trend downwards. At the time of writing, we have a total of 181 positive cases of which 169 are local, 13 are non-resident but regretfully our casualties have reached 42 . To keep updated on the latest news, please go to www.aruba.com. This site is managed by the Aruba Tourism Authority and has information on all travel / entry requirements and safety and health protocols established for Aruba. The cost of the mandatory health insurance coverage to include COVID-19 has reduced significantly and is now $30 per person for the entire stay regardless of the number of nights.

If you plan to deposit your week with Interval International, it is essential that you are aware of the required timeframes in advance of the start of your week. For assistance feel free to contact Bianca or Sandra at the Resort.

We remind you to also check what specific health requirements you will have to undergo when you return home from Aruba.

The renovations on the third floor of Phase 1 continue – and should be done by the end of the month – and soon we will be posting pictures of the model room on our website.

Even though it is the rainy season, the island has been experiencing more showers than normal – as a consequence of the prolific hurricane activity in the region – but our greetings are also just as warm as normal. Please continue to stay safe and we look forward to welcoming you to the Resort shortly.

Nov06

Dear members,

Following up on the Iberia Bank issue, we would like to update you based on some queries we have received over the past few days.

Paradise Beach Villas, like many of our sister Timeshare Resorts in Aruba, has worked with Iberia Bank as our US banking institution for a number of years without any difficulties. However, in the modern-day shift towards more digital methods of transacting business and personal affairs, the issue of cyber security has become a major issue and the importance of constant vigilance to keep your personal information safe cannot be underestimated.

Like other financial institutions, banking security is vitally important to Iberia Bank who want you to be well informed and have access to the latest privacy tools. Meanwhile, included in the correspondence you received from Iberia Bank, they have shared a tool-free hotline number – (888) 905 0513 which is accessible from Monday to Friday between 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Eastern time – for you to contact them directly should you have any questions or concerns. In the same document, they have also shared steps you can take to protect your personal information, other best practices and pertinent information and responses to frequently asked questions.

Paradise Beach Villas is working diligently with Iberia Bank on this issue and we will keep you posted as we receive further pertinent information.

Stay safe and hope to see you soon at the Resort!

Oct27

Dear members,

Warm greetings from your Caribbean Paradise and trust you are as well as you possibly can be in the current challenging circumstances.

This is just to inform you that shortly our US Bank, Iberia Bank will be in touch with you with regard to improved security measures related to their banking transactions. This is a welcome development in our digital world when constant vigilance is of utmost important to ensure your continued protection.

Stay safe and all is well in Paradise as we await your return in the not too distant future.

Apr08

Dear Members,

Paradise Beach Villas, is a sold-out Resort – meaning that 90% of our inventory has been already sold on a fixed week / fixed unit basis. We have always prided ourselves in being honest with our loyal members and we feel it is appropriate to share the challenges we are facing in reaching a speedy resolution to the COVID-19 pandemic. This pandemic was not your fault, neither was it ours. We do not know how long it will last but we know that the effects will be far-reaching, long-lasting and catastrophic and we also know that we can resolve it TOGETHER. Most of the members who have contacted us have been patient and understanding while a few members have been belligerent and demanding an immediate solution. This latter approach is not going to work and we sincerely thank those members who understand the issue at hand and who are willing to work with us in the present circumstances. The following explanations are offered to provide the background against which we have to make our decisions for the continued health of the Resort and for all of our nearly 2000 members.

The main concern we have heard up to this point is what will happen to my week(s) if I am not able to travel to Aruba? Because of the enormity of the challenge, we have been dealing specifically with the members whose weeks have been directly affected as a result of the travel ban imposed on flights to Aruba but, recently, members who own weeks as late in the year as September are wanting to switch their week(s) internally and this only applies more pressure to an already difficult situation as explained later. We ask all to be patient as we work to reach a solution that is achievable.

We have responded that we are working on a solution to try to not to have you lose your week(s) but it comes at a price that you should be aware of.

Switch my week internally

In this option, 99% of any weeks switched or banked internally can only be redeemed in the summer months since we have almost no available inventory in the winter. The travel ban as a result of COVID-19 started affecting us in week #11 – in the High Season – and therefore, the possibility of adding an additional week to your existing inventory in the winter is effectively NIL.

With only the summer weeks to play with, we have to juggle between 1) our members who own at that time, 2) the other accommodation commitments that we have at that time – and 3) any switched weeks that we have to redeem. Our maintenance fees (which currently rank among the lowest 25% category on the island) are subsidized by additional revenues we receive: concessionaire income, energy surcharge, administration fees, Food and Beverage revenues, Sales income – and by far the highest contributor – rental income. We have been able to negotiate guaranteed rental agreements for some of our inventory in the summer and we also get most of our hotel room rentals at this time of the year. From the above list of revenue contributors, the financial contribution of rental revenue alone accounts for approximately $300,000 annually that we will forego to accommodate the redemption of internally switched weeks. This is a significant financial boost – accounting for approximately 9% of the maintenance fees – which would have to be recouped via an increase in the maintenance fee.

Deposit the week(s) with Interval International (I.I.)

Many of our members come back to Paradise every year and therefore, saw no need to be members of I.I. Therefore, the ability to deposit week(s) with I.I. – which is only for I.I. members – is available for only about 25% of our members. Bear in mind I.I. does not and cannot guarantee a return to Paradise Beach Villas as a Resort of choice or Aruba as a destination but, at least the week is not lost and can be redeemed in another vacation destination selected by the member. However, since Paradise is the home Resort of the I.I. member initiating the deposit request, the Resort has to offer a room in exchange for this deposit. We share this with you because even though I.I. members may choose to deposit their week(s) with I.I., it still has implications on our available inventory.

Return the maintenance fees

This is not a feasible option since as explained earlier 1) the maintenance fees do not cover all the expenses of the Resort; 2) there are fixed costs that still need to be paid; 3) a portion of the maintenance fees cover the capital expenses which is a reserve set up for large capital projects apart from the operational costs.

We have laid out the background against which we are working so you can appreciate the rationale we are faced with as we try to reach a resolution that will not endanger the Resort financially or increase the maintenance fees to the point where we have numerous foreclosures. We have 80 rooms and if we have to internally bank or switch every week that should have been occupied, if we conservatively estimate a lifting of the travel ban by the end of June 2020, we would have to redeem approximately 900 weeks. The more weeks we redeem, the less inventory we have to generate rental income to help keep the maintenance fees as low as we possibly can. Hence our decision to suspend the internal switching under the conditions of our March 16th 2020 memo in order to revisit this issue.

We have included some pictures and a short video clip of the desperate circumstances to share with you – which are pretty much very similar to most of you – our Management and staff are facing pay cuts; your beloved Resort and the Aruba as a whole is struggling and even though some of our own members have been negatively affected, in the midst of all this, here are some comments from some of our very concerned members:

  • “Many of us want to help, but feel helpless …… Question, can a GoFundMe, be set up for PBV employees, for PBV Timeshare owners to help our Aruban friends & family?” BD
  • “I have enjoyed many years at Paradise Beach Villas and hopefully we will have many more. To give up one visit in the interest of not jeopardizing our beloved Resort is well worth it and I am prepared to forego use of my week this year to assist.” AR
  • “We are saddened by the situation worldwide, the Resort and Aruba which depends so much on tourism. Because of the travel regulations, we will probably not be able to use our week this year. Use our maintenance fees to keep the Resort afloat and we will see you next year. Please keep us updated. We are concerned and wish you well until we meet again.” SG
  • “I have multiple weeks. I will be happy to relinquish some of them to assist. Let me know how we can arrange this.” FS

While we tackle the “business” side of things, we cannot forget the “human” aspect and, in the Spirit of Paradise, let us spare a moment for some of our members who may have lost loved ones during this time. We ask you too to join the Board, Management and staff in extending deepest condolences and we hope that Aruba and Paradise Beach Villas provide a bright spark during these difficult times.

We sincerely thank those members who are patient, understanding and willing to work with us in the present circumstances. With your assistance and support over the past 25 years, we have successfully emerged from difficulties and we look forward to your continued cooperation and patience in working with us towards a viable solution in this situation. Bianca is well known to our members – since she has been here since the beginning – and is personally handling this situation. Please contact her via email at bianca@paradisebeach.aw so we can advise you of the workable options and you can also share with her how you are willing to assist us in these circumstances.

Masha danki in advance for your efforts. We have done it before and we will do it again together.

The Board and Management.

Apr04

To The Shareholders and Members of
Paradise Beach Villas

I just wanted to take a few moments to reassure each of you that your Board of Directors is working closely with the Managing Directors to hold the Resort together during these trying times. As everyone is aware, the Island is closed and the airports around the world and in Aruba are closed. We have moved ahead in an optimistic manner hoping that the travel bans would be lifted and that we would only have a few hundred vacation weeks to reschedule. Now that the “stay at home” order has been extended another four (4) weeks it has generated 300+ additional weeks to be reallocated. We ask for understanding, patience and support as we work through this issue. We have reached out to Interval International (I.I.) to try to develop vacation alternatives for our members, but this too would require PBV to make Weeks available to deposit into the I.I. exchange program. Please read the Managers’ updates which are posted on the website. They provide more detail on the availability of weeks and explain the Budgetary impact of the loss of our room rental income.

We have retained a skeleton crew at the Resort and we are rotating staff so that our lifelong, dear friends can continue to have some semblance of a paycheck. We have post-poned the Phase 1 Renovation Project until we can better assess the impact of the closure. The Board has asked the Managers to pursue maintenance projects, to the extent possible and allowable under Aruba’s guidelines. The Department Heads have submitted lists of projects that can be undertaken from painting, to re-grouting bathrooms, to servicing the air conditioning in each of the rooms. The following is an abbreviated listing of those projects:

VillasBedding has been stripped, washed and put away in plastic bags to protect it from contamination. The kitchens including appliances and utensils are receiving a deep cleaning and the appliances will be maintained.

Tiki Restaurant – The kitchen, bar and storeroom are receiving a deep cleaning. Structural repairs are being made and the structure will be repainted.

Pool Area – The pool coping is being repainted. The pool pump houses are being reconfigured and the pump houses are being repainted. Chairs and Chickees are being thoroughly cleaned.

Building Maintenance – The new Phase 1 building rooftop chiller is on site and is being replaced. Phase 2 rooftop chiller valves are being replaced. The Phase 2 rooftop is being cleaned and a protective coating is being applied.

All of this is being done to ready Paradise Beach Villas for its reopening and your welcomed return. Thank you to the Staff and Management for taking care of our “home away from home”. Whether you are a Pediatric Nurse, or you own a company that supplies Italian Food to grocery stores, we thank each of you for all that you are doing for us and ask that you stay safe until we see you again – in Paradise.

Dennis B. Hullmann, Chairman

4/4/20

Apr03

Dear Members,

As a result of the extended COVID-19 shut down of the island beyond what was expected, we regret that we are forced to suspend all internal banking/switching of weeks at the Resort effective today, April, 3, 2020.  This applies to requests made for weeks owned beyond the weeks we identified in the March 21st, 2020 communication. The high volume of requests that have been made outside the above weeks are beyond what the Resort has weeks available for use.

The requests accepted so far will be honored primarily based on the above range of weeks identified.

We realize this is a difficult decision and not may not be popular for many reasons.  Unfortunately, the negative impact of this pandemic, the ongoing uncertainty plus the lack of available of weeks for banking use (we are >90% occupancy) leaves us no other viable business decision. These are events totally outside of our control.

Our promise is that we will continue to re-evaluate our options to serve you, our valued owners and extended family, in the best way possible.  We will communicate honestly and timely should events change such that we have viable solutions to offer.  We trust you understand that the circumstances have hampered our ability to satisfy the current demands and capabilities of the Resort and we sincerely appreciate your continued patience and understanding as we work through these difficult times.

Sincerely

Management

Apr01

Dear Members,

Regretfully the Corona virus – COVID-19 – and the uncertainty it generates has forced itself into our lives and while the future is unclear at the moment, one sure thing is that for the foreseeable future, business will NOT be as usual. On the island we are still coming to grips with the various changes and, while settling into the new norm, we are looking forward to upswing in the overall situation. You may have been following the developments on the island from various sources but we will continue to give you highlights of the situation at the Resort and on the island.

  • As a consequence of the current situation, the renovation for the Phase 1 rooms will not commence in May as originally scheduled and we are currently evaluation second timeframe as well. We will advise you of our decision when we have reached it.
  • We now have an automated “telephone operator” directing you to the various departments.
  • Before the closures forced by COVID-19, Paradise Beach Villas joined other Food and Beverage establishments on the island which have stopped the use of plastic straws as part of our collective continued “greening” efforts on the island.
  • Results of the ballot for replacement Foundation Board members are coming in and will be announced at the appropriate time. Related to this issue, we would like to correct erroneous information that was recently posted on Facebook stating that one of the candidates, Al di Giovanni, does not own shares. This is totally incorrect and Mr. di Giovanni is a bona fide shareholder in the Foundation. If the name sounds familiar, he is the son of the late Al and Lee di Giovanni who rescued the Resort from the previous bankrupt developer and set it on its current path.
  • We are currently working on an app for smart phones to keep members digitally up-to-date with Resort happenings all year round. Efforts are halted because of COVID-19 but will share more on this as it develops.
  • On March 11th, families Winners, Stanbro and Schow sponsored their annual cookout for all the employees of Paradise Beach Villas for the fourth consecutive year. A heartfelt, sincere “Masha Danki” to them from the entire Paradise team ….. again …… for this beautiful gesture.
  • Please update your email contact information with the Resort. This is becoming more and more important as we transition to more digital forms of communication.

Stay safe and practice healthy habits. Be positive and even though things are difficult at the moment ….. this too shall pass ……. look forward your next visit to Aruba and Paradise.

Mar30

Dear loyal Members,

Some of you may have been following the situation in Aruba via your own digital means but we felt that we should summarize the significant developments up to March 30th 2020 for those who may not be aware of the changes and following are the measures taken by the Government of Aruba in order to mitigate the further spread of COVID-19 which has accounted for 50 cases island-wide with only 1 hospitalization.

  • Starting Tuesday, March 24th 2020, the Government of Aruba mandated that every establishment has to be closed by 8:00 p.m. Every bar and restaurant will be closed for dining in service, with only an exception for drive-thru or delivery until 8:00 p.m.. Gas stations can stay open until 8:00 p.m.. The only exception to this directive is for the Pharmacy on duty and the Hospital which can stay open.
  • Starting Saturday, March 21st 2020 until April 19th 2020 – at the moment – the Government of Aruba has implemented a curfew from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. During these hours, nobody is allowed on the streets. Those who work essential night shifts and have to go to work or back home must have a document with them issued and signed by their Employer that proves this. Those who do not comply with the regulations of the curfew can get a fine up to 10,000 Aruban florins and for violation of opening hours up to 1,000 florins.
  • Starting Saturday, March 21st 2020 until April 19th 2020 – at the moment – the Government of Aruba has decided that the Aruban borders will be closed for entry. Nobody is allowed to enter the country. Only empty flights can come in to pick up passengers leaving Aruba to take them to their destination and International Airport Reina Beatrix has elevated its control of all flights coming from countries which are not on the restriction list which are mainly European countries.
  • This restriction counts for residents of Aruba as well but residents who are abroad and are having difficulties to return to Aruba have a special number to contact for assistance.
  • All educational facilities will be closed from March 16th 2020 until further notice. These measurements include schools, Day Care Centers and all organizations in charge of education and care of our children.
  • It is prohibited to visit retirement homes.
  • Government departments are working with limited personnel. Services to the public will be given on appointment basis only, and if necessary, all other services will be given via telephone or email. This is to prevent overcrowding in Government Departments and public spaces.
  • Effective Sunday 29th March 2020, the shelter-in-place policy has been mandated for an initial 2-week period and below is a list that describes what businesses / activities are considered non-essential and they have to be closed day and night.
    • Schools and childcare 
    • Restaurants (except for takeaway, drive through and delivery) 
    • Recreation (Casinos, movies, gyms, etc) 
    • Events/Meeting spaces 
    • Church services 
    • Shops (shopping centers, kiosks also) 
    • Beauty Salons and Barber shops 
    • Construction 
  • At the moment, other businesses – which includes hotel operations – can remain open under the following very specific conditions:
    • The Government urges them to work with a skeleton crew
    • Ensure all employees and clients obey the 2-meter distancing rule. If it is violated, the establishment may be shut down
    • No specific permit is required for the shelter-in-place, but the Employer letter is still required for the curfew.
  • As part of the shelter-in-place directive and until April 19th 2020, a recommendation goes to all owners or organizers of social, religious, restaurant activities, where there is a mass gathering to keep it to a maximum of four (4) persons and while still observing the social distance of two (2) meters. Funerals are an exception where a maximum of ten (10) persons are allowed. All public and private activities for which a Police permit was granted have also been canceled.
  • On March 30th 2020, the Minister of Justice introduced a grace period for tourists stranded in Aruba as a result of The Coronavirus pandemic. Their allowed stay period on the island has either recently expired or is about to expire in the near future as a result of the closure of borders and / or flights being cancelled. In light of the aforementioned circumstances, the Minister of Justice, Security and Integration introduced a temporary grace period policy allowing those stranded visitors on the island to remain until April 17th 2020. The policy can be adapted accordingly if the general circumstances change.

Currently, Paradise Beach Villas is empty – like all other Resorts – and the beaches are bare. Most of the staff is on paid vacation at the moment but we have Security, skeleton pool maintenance, and Front Desk. The Maintenance and Housekeeping crews have special projects – room care programme, deep cleaning etc. – also operating with skeleton crews. Wherever possible, work from home is being enforced e.g. Accounting.

Travel to and from the island is also affected and at the moment, no non-nationals are allowed entry. This is obviously important information to our loyal visitors who annually make Aruba their preferred vacation destination and we will share any information with you as soon as we receive it. In this regard, please check our website for how we are planning to deal with the weeks that are affected.

As a reminder, we encourage you to follow the official site for updates from the Ministry of Health and Tourism of Aruba for the latest updates on our island’s preparedness, plans and travel requirements at  https://www.aruba.com/us/traveler-health-requirements

Stay as well and as healthy as you possibly can in the circumstances. Stay positive as this will be behind us at some point and will be in touch next week with some more updates from Sunny Aruba.

The Management