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Iberostar Group acquires “Tierra del Sol”

Iberostar Group acquires “Tierra del Sol”

a total of 450 rooms, 250 hotel rooms, 50 dwellings, and 150 timeshares, An announcement sent around yesterday stated that Tierra del Sol, Real Estate NV, and TDS Golf Course NV., had exciting news to share: The Iberostar Group assumed ownership of both companies, which brings, and I quote, a deep commitment to Aruba, backed up by an unparallel track record in the industry. Iberostar Group is a leading tourism company that is committed to developing a responsible, tourism model, focused on caring for both people and the environment. It has more than one-hundred, 4 and 5- star properties in the most popular holiday destinations in Europe, Africa and America.

Stand by for more information, for homeowners and members, a second communication is expected, in the coming weeks.

TDS was never lucky. Open in 1995 as Aruba’s first master-planned community, the original developer had enough money to arrive at opening day, but did not  have deep enough pockets to sustain the new-born operation over time.

My friends tell me the business model was a disaster: A sleepy sales operation combined with slow construction did not manage to sell out the community. The dream of 600 estate homes/condos and villas, seemed harder and harder to achieve.

The top ranking championship 18-hole golf course designed by the renowned Robert Trent Jones II, actually cost a lot of money to maintain, and the golf contracts with Aruba’s hotels whereby they were supposed to promote the game and send clients, petered out.

Hyatt Regency, bowed out of the clubhouse and restaurant deal.

As it became self-managed, the restaurant did not make enough to carry the property’s expenses and the spa, added at a later stage, hardly contributed to the pot.

My friends say they should have built a hotel first, then developed the rest around it, but in Aruba we often place the cart in front of the horse, conducting business contrary to the normal effective sequence of events.

A rumpled Canadian swindler came around – I forgot his name — and pretended to be an investor, a savior. He ate and drank for a full year, until exposed as a fraud.

By that time, the company was on the brink of bankruptcy.

TDS was sold a number of times after that, if you remember the names Van Den Neiuwenhuyzen / Van Der Valk. The new Dutch owners were troubled by law suits in the Netherlands, money was always short, construction even slower, the contractor famously difficult, the homeowners displeased.

In 2015 the property was pickup by a semi-local group, Friedman, Mattalo, Van Romandt, but things really started to deteriorate in 2018, then the pandemic struck.

I told you, TDS was never lucky. The property has been suffering from lack of investment, it is TWENTY-EIGHT years old, and in dire need of everything. Thanks to some dispute with DOW over water bills, the golf course has been allowed to die. Luckily, the rain in the past few month helped revive the greens. Then there was this ridiculous exercise with an American-Chinese fast food chain that checked into the clubhouse, and the public, wasn’t enamored with the renovation of the restaurant. It lost its identity.

The Iberostar Group. What do we know about them? They are building a 600 room hotel on Eagle Beach in phases. I believe 200 in the first phase. All-inclusive, of course.

In order to enticed the Iberostar Group to buy TDS our politicians had to promise an arm and a leg. The hotel permit is grand-fathered, a total of 450 rooms, 250 hotel rooms, 50 dwellings, and 150 timeshares, but was the Iberostar Group promised direct access to Arashi, or will they be building on Arashi, big difference. Will they be developing an all-inclusive, or a mixed resort?

The Golf Course, Club House and neighborhoods were conceived as part of an elegant, exclusive enclave, will the home-owners of TDS be happy to share their stunning vistas with all inclusive visitors?

That depends on the brand Iberostar Group decides to develop.

The company has just become the 18th brand of the InterContinental Hotels Group PLC, known as IHG. The two companies  entered into a strategic alliance to open and operate hotels and resorts, also in the Caribbean. They are set to develop the Iberostar Beachfront Resorts brand, down the road, so we have hope that TDS’s luck will change.

The new owners have 65 years of experience in hospitality around the globe, and can be expected to do better.



3 Responses

  1. We live in the La Colina neighborhood. Our one wish? Please grant us a gate directly to Arashi! We ride our bikes on the road to get there and it’s not safe. All we ask for is a path from La Colina down the hill if the new neighborhood, and to the beach.

    Other than that, we are excited to see what’s to come. My husband’s “wish list” btw, is more working golf carts and a decent driving range.


  2. Iberostar courses I have played on are great
    They should have enough money in the bank to revive the course. Hope everything goes well as the terra dell sole course was good at one time!

  3. Please update me on the progress of the golf course, they have been very vague on when the course will be open and what changes are they making.
    Thank you in advance

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