A Message from the General Manager


A Message from the General Manager
A Message from the General Manager
Time flies and a brand new year is just around
the corner. Fortunately, at the Playa Linda, we
can look back on several accomplishments.
The Great Leap Forward was well received by
both members and guests. We also managed to
successfully execute additional projects that
enhanced your home away from home. We
recently introduced a wonderful
suite: the Spa Lanai suite. It was a
project that received approval at
our General Members Meeting in
May and which was finalized on
November 1, 2012 -- all in the
same fiscal year.
We are confident that the suite
will entertain many happy
owners. Its layout emphasizes the
great Aruban outdoors, and it is
from the new suite where new
owners and guests will
undoubtedly enjoy valuable,
quality time with their families.
The picture below depicts your staff in “I Love
Aruba” shirts on the occasion recognizing an
outstanding record whereby 65% of the staff
realized ZERO sick days. What makes this
especially remarkable is that many of those
members of the staff are in their sixties. We
consider that an excellent sign of motivation!
The Playa Linda Beach Resort holds an excellent record in both
low turnover as well as in limited number of sick days taken by
employees. We salute our staff for their dedication. But none of this could have been
accomplished without our wonderful staff,
who go the extra mile, every day. Therefore,
this edition of the INSIDER is dedicated to
them. As your General Manager, I recognize
that while the building and facilities can be in
top shape, the resort would not be as
successful without the loyalty and dedication
of the staff.
It is the outstanding work of our staff and their
daily contributions on the job to which we can
credit our recent achievement of the
‘Certificate of Excellence’ we received from
Trip Advisor
It is with great pleasure that we celebrate our
shared accomplishments!
We wish you a Happy New Year
and a Prosperous 2013!
her skills in a dynamic, Aruba-based
organization like Playa Linda.
Remo Kock was recently promoted to
Director of Domestic Facilities. At the helm
of a reorganization of the departments of
grounds, housekeeping, security and loss and
prevention, he has already proven successful
in improving efficiency through quality
measures, better processes and greater
New staff members: Human Resource Manager
Sulaika Kelly, L, and Financial Director
Richard Betrrian.
A recent round of changes at the Playa Linda
has resulted in both new additions and
promotions to management by local talent.
Further invigorating an already dynamic
team, new additions include Richard Betrian
as Financial Director and Sulaika Kelly as
Human Resources Manager. Well-deserved
promotions were earned by Remo Kock, who
is the new Director of Domestic Facilities,
and Walter Mohamed, now the Assistant
Manager of Loss Prevention and Security, as
well as Ingrid Todd, who now holds the post
of Executive Housekeeper.
New to tourism, but with a lengthy resume in
the field of finance, including key positions
with KPMG, Aruba Bank and government’s
Central Accounting Agency, Playa Linda’s
Finance Director Richard Betrian provides
both an experienced hand as well as the
management skills necessary in realizing an
enhancement of the resort’s systems and
The new Human Resources Manager Sulaika
Kelly also represents another strong addition
to the team. While she enjoyed career success
while living eleven years abroad in Holland,
Sulaika appreciated the opportunity to apply
Remo is aided in these goals by the now
Assistant Manager of Security and Loss
Prevention, Walter Mohamed. In only a yearand-a-half with the resort, most guests are
familiar with Walter, who readily offers
information as well as a sense of security with
his ready eye in keeping track of all
movements at the resort.
Well deserved promotions were earned by Walter
Mohamed, L, Ingrid Todd and Remo Kock.
Ingrid Todd, now leads the resort’s largest
department as its Executive Housekeeper. An
ultimate example of leadership by example,
Ingrid has been a part of the Playa Linda’s
housekeeping staff for 30 years. Ingrid
continues to meet expectations with the most
recent housekeeping scores reaching an
impressive 9.6 out of 10.
Air Travel
Tiara Air
After a lengthy inspection and
certification process, Aruba-based
Tiara Air has acquired permits to
begin operating the Boeing 737330 jet they brought to the island
last February.
With this 150-seat jet, they plan to establish regular service to Medellin, Colombia; Maracaibo,
Venezuela; and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as of September. This is the first of two jets that Tiara
Air is scheduled to obtain and have certified for long distance destinations as part of the
agreement made with the Ministry of Transport and Tourism in 2011. The second jet will be
used to service a route between Aruba and Boston as well as other other US gateways.
WestJet adds service to Aruba
WestJet will add an extra weekly flight during the winter 2012-13 season, for a total of two
weekly WestJet flights out of Toronto. During high season, Aruba will have seven weekly flights
arriving from Canada (two times weekly by Air Canada, three times weekly by Sunwing and two
times weekly by Westjet), with 6 flights flying out of Toronto and 1 flying out of Montreal.
Playa Linda Beach Resort was presented the 2012 TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence
award. The accolade, which honors hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that
consistently achieve outstanding traveler
reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to
qualifying businesses worldwide.
Approximately 10 percent of
accommodations listed on TripAdvisor
receive this prestigious award.
The Certificate of Excellence is displayed at
Yvette’s desk in the concierge’s office.
To qualify for the Certificate of Excellence,
businesses must maintain an overall rating of
four or higher, out of a possible five, as
reviewed by travelers on TripAdvisor.
Additional criteria include the volume of
reviews received within the last 12 months.
The Articles of Association and By-Laws
require the election of one (1) new Board
member each year at the Annual Meeting of
the Membership, based on the “staggered
terms” rule. However, this year two (2)
Board members’ terms will expire: Joe
Caggiano and Jack Masser.
Both Joe Cagiano and Jack Masser have
completed two consecutive five year terms,
which is the maximum allowed by the bylaws. Therefore, the 2013 election will
require the election of two (2) new
To keep in line with the by-laws, one of the
two new members will be elected for the full
five (5) years and the other for one (1) year.
The choice of who will receive the five year
term and the one year term will be based on
the most, and second most, number of votes.
In 2014, barring any unusual circumstances,
the person elected for the one year term may
run again for a full five year term.
Any members that wish to run for the
Board of Directors of Playa Linda must
submit their resume, or CV (Curriculum
Vitae), on or before January 31, 2013.
In the past the Board and Management have
found many inconsistencies in the standard
accepted format for résumés and/or CVs. To
keep the process orderly and to make it fair
and equitable for all who wish to be
considered for election to the Board only
résumés or CV’s presented with the
universally accepted standard format and
content will be considered.
Your resume or CV must be one page only
and contain only the following information:
1. Recent photo
2. Objective (your vision for Playa Linda)
3. Education
4. Experience
5. Activities& Honors
6. Skills
7. Certificates
NOTE: Resumes or CVs of more than one
page will not be accepted.
Before submitting your resume or CV
(Curriculum Vitae), you should know the
following: The Board meets three to four
times a year for at least two days. The Board
communicates almost on a daily basis by email, telephone conference calls and/or
video conferencing when necessary.
It is imperative that the Board work
TOGETHER as a TEAM, with
Management, and with one and only one
goal and objective in mind – the betterment
of Playa Linda for all of its members.
There is no room on the PLBRCA Board for
“private agendas”. Therefore, it is essential
that one has the necessary time to devote to
Board matters, be a TEAM player, willing to
express their views in a respectful manner
and willing to compromise and support the
final decision of the majority of the Board.
If you meet the outlined criteria, we
welcome your participation as a nominee in
the election of a new Board member.
Playa Linda maintains a ‘Green’ view of Aruba
Picturesque white sand beaches open up to ‘Green’ views at the Playa Linda Beach Resort,
where environmental efforts continue to have positive affects. For more than a decade, the
popular timeshare resort has taken the lead in its commitment to going Green, holding the
distinction of being the first resort on Palm
Beach certified by both Green Globe as
well as ISO 14001. Ongoing
improvements at the resort were cited
during the 2012 visit by ISO 14001
Lead Auditor Peter Hackett.
Playa Linda maintains an active and dedicated
“Green Team”, led by Nigaima Ascencion, second
from left.
“It is a pleasure to see so many
initiatives taking place at the Playa
Linda, and to experience the spirit of
the standard being so highly held. The
Playa Linda has demonstrated it has
gone above and beyond in its Green
goals,” comments Hackett.
Over the years, Playa Linda has undergone
diverse changes, from utilizing environmentally-sound, phosphate-free cleaning products to
installing solar-powered exterior lights. Ever-increasing improvements are attributed to a highly
active Green Team. The group efforts, led by the resort’s Green Team Champion Nigaima
Ascencion, has resulted in projects that protect the environment and increase safety, as well as
provide several cost-effective benefits.
In committing to ISO 14001 standards, in particular, Playa Linda not only ensures it
accomplishes measurable results, but also that quality processes are in place at the resort. ISO
14001 criteria also assess organizational and communication efforts throughout each department,
with each employee involved and responsible in contributing to solutions. “A fully engaged and
interactive workforce is necessary in not only finding better ways to work, but also in
establishing a culture whereby everyone works better together,” remarks Hackett.
The Spa Lanai Suite is now our suite # 214
The Spa Lanai suite was approved at the General
Members Meeting with the condition that $500,000
would be sold before any construction would take
place. Twenty seven weeks were sold through the
auction, and with that the promise to deliver the
suite in November. The initial construction started
in June and took longer than forecasted as
consideration was given to spa operations and its
clients. But by Thanksgiving 2012, we inaugurated
the new suite.
We wish the new owners plenty of family fun!
Amy Sturm and family were the first to
enjoy the brand-new Spa Lanai Suite.
Please Watch Your Calendar Next Year! Take note of this year’s Week 53 Week 1, which started January 1st in 2012, will start January 6th in 2013. Your usual week 10
in 2012, which started March 4, 2012, will start March 10 in 2013. Playa Linda does send our
timeshare calendar on several occasions – e.g., with the maintenance fee billing – and the
calendar is also posted on our website www.playalinda.com
Please note that it is not the responsibility of the Playa Linda to ascertain that a member has
his/her correct week. Arriving in the wrong week will necessitate renting an additional week at
the Playa Linda.
Fiscal reform results in environmental levy
The current government, as part of its policy, is undertaking many projects to enhance the
experience of our visitors. These projects include the Linear Park, the streetcar to improve the
movement downtown, the renovation of Oranjestad, the renovation of all the "barrios"
(neighborhoods) in Aruba, projects to improve cleanliness of the island and much more. In total
there are over 50 different projects aimed at raising the quality of life for our guests and residents
In 2010, the government abolished half of the Turn Over Tax (from 3% to 1 ½ %) to improve the
buying power of both visitors and residents. However, to be able to finance and
implement projects to protect the environment, the government has reached a new fiscal reform
in agreement with the business community and the unions. Parts of the reform will impact the
tourism community as well. For the hotel and time share sector, the government will introduce
an environmental levy as per March 1, 2013, with a fixed fee as follows:
$10 per studio $15 per one bedroom $25 per two (or more) bedrooms For timeshare customers, this levy is a one-time fee for continuous usage during your owned
interval. As such, if you own four consecutive weeks, you would be charged only once during
your visit. If you own four non-consecutive weeks, you will be charged for each stay. Similarly,
owners transferring from one resort to another will be charged for a new stay. Hotel or transient
guests are charged $3 per day. Timeshare customers renting additional days before or after their
interval stay will be subjected to the daily fee in addition to their fixed fee.
This Law, which still has to pass through Parliament before it goes into effect, does have a
positive impact for the timeshare sector. The Government has provided the concession to
timeshares that it will not tax the reserves slated for resort renovation.
By the end of next year, all current, ongoing government projects are expected to be finalized.