For those who were not aware, the Radisson Aruba Casino & Resort has been sold! For the past 6+ months there has been much speculation on who was going to actually buy the property. Rumors for awhile were Hilton and RUI, but Hilton always seemed to be the promising buyer. Back in June, it was confirmed that Hilton would in fact be purchasing the resort and that the resort would turn over on July 15th. Well that day has come and as anticipated, Hilton is the proud owners of what was once the Radisson Aruba. Prior posts discussing the sale: Aruba Radisson Being Sold, Make Reservations Now! and The Latest with the Radisson Aruba
When the decision was made that Hilton would be purchasing the resort, there was no indication whether a) existing reservations would be honored, and b) the category for redeeming points. While we still are not 100% about existing reservations (specifically those using points), we do know that the resort is pricing out at a category 9 property. I am not surprised by that decision (the highest level is a category 10). This means to redeem your Hilton points it will require anywhere between 50,000 and 80,000 points per night for a free room. Hilton has a sliding scale where you can redeem less points for off peak times and more points during prime time. Here is the Hilton Aruba site where you can check out the resort and room prices.
I personally have an upcoming reservation at this property in December and have been confirmed on many occasions by previous Radisson employees that existing reservations WILL be honored. With that being said, that is Radisson making those promises, not Hilton. They made me believe that it was agreed upon in the contract that they would be honored, so I am keeping my fingers crossed and assuming this is true unless I hear otherwise from Hilton. I booked using points when Club Carlson was still offering book one night, get the second night free – a very nice use of points!
What I do not know, however, is if those that booked through Club Carlson will still receive the benefits of having Hilton status. Even Hilton mid-tier members (those with Gold status) receive complimentary breakfast and earning this status is quite easy. I am not sure if they will take into consideration your Club Carlson status, Hilton status, or assume no status since booked through another reservation system.
I stayed at this resort last December and absolutely loved it. It is smack on the beach and the pools are great. While the property lacks some additional resort amenities (even simple things like a ping pong table on the ground), I still think it is a top property. My assumption is Hilton will take the summer and do some renovations on the rooms that were in dire need. Fortunately we stayed in a recently updated room, but my understanding is that one of the towers is very outdated.
If anyone is currently staying at the property or has an upcoming reservation in the near future, please let me know if you’ve heard anything regarding these uncertainties!