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Old Monday, February 1st, 2010, 04:39 PM
PirateKing PirateKing is offline
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Default Not all change is for the better!!

Corporate greed and the desire to maximize shareholder returns (perhaps not successfully accomplished, considering the economic environment at the time the project was started) have conspired to make the Phoenix into something that it need not have become. I am referring, of course, to the new section, which competes with the Riu Palace for the honor of being the least necessary addition to Palm Beach. Where to begin? Well, first, the quiet beach that attracted us to the Phoenix in the first place is now much more crowded, and the addition of a few palapas on the rocky shingle heading towards the public beach (most of which are not used because of the less desirable beach, the Cancun-like shadow of the last building of the new section blocking out the sun in the morning, and the wind tunnel effect of the building at that point) does nothing to make up for the addition of all those people.

Next, the need to compete with other resorts in providing lots of loud but not necessarily high quality entertainment events in the new restaurant (with the kind of dumb name "Purebeach": what does that mean???) detracts from the laid back nature of the resort. Why not at least bring in some local island music? Sorry, but we will stick with the Sunset Bistro (till they decide to eliminate it, like they did with the French Market). At least the gym is still there!

I dread what it will be like next year, when even more units are sold.
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Old Monday, February 1st, 2010, 04:45 PM
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Default Re: Not all change is for the better!!

oh dear, i now have to tell my friends that the french market is no longer there. she will be heartbroken. that is her snack and sandwich spot daily.

pirate, i was under the impression that the new beach area was going to be dredged completely and that the crowding was only temporary until the dredging was done. is that not going to happen?

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Corporate greed and the desire to maximize shareholder returns (perhaps not successfully accomplished, considering the economic environment at the time the project was started) have conspired to make the Phoenix into something that it need not have become. I am referring, of course, to the new section, which competes with the Riu Palace for the honor of being the least necessary addition to Palm Beach. Where to begin? Well, first, the quiet beach that attracted us to the Phoenix in the first place is now much more crowded, and the addition of a few palapas on the rocky shingle heading towards the public beach (most of which are not used because of the less desirable beach, the Cancun-like shadow of the last building of the new section blocking out the sun in the morning, and the wind tunnel effect of the building at that point) does nothing to make up for the addition of all those people.

Next, the need to compete with other resorts in providing lots of loud but not necessarily high quality entertainment events in the new restaurant (with the kind of dumb name "Purebeach": what does that mean???) detracts from the laid back nature of the resort. Why not at least bring in some local island music? Sorry, but we will stick with the Sunset Bistro (till they decide to eliminate it, like they did with the French Market). At least the gym is still there!

I dread what it will be like next year, when even more units are sold.
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Old Monday, February 1st, 2010, 04:51 PM
PirateKing PirateKing is offline
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Default Re: Not all change is for the better!!

There is the new Deli, but it's not the same. the sandwiches and salads are pre-made and the help is also not happy with the new, non-air-conditioned location.

If they do dredge and improve the beach, that might help (at least for a while), but with that jetty there, it may just revert to its current condition after a storm or two.
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Old Monday, February 1st, 2010, 09:26 PM
jawz jawz is offline
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Cool Re: Not all change is for the better!!

Ditto, ditto,ditto etc.......
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Old Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010, 01:23 PM
Pappy Mentos Pappy Mentos is offline
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Default Re: Not all change is for the better!!

I remember reading posts that the beach was dredged last year. When we visited in the summer, the water in front of the new palapas was somewhat seaweed-free. However, as we noticed over the course of two weeks, the seaweed returned and the water between the two jettys became very murky. Clearly, the current continues to bring the seaweed in.

Also, the problem is not rocks as one poster had mentioned, but a lack of sand. My guess is that there is a layer of coral/rock along the shoreline that becomes exposed as the sand recedes. It seems like the current actually drives the sand towards the RIU, as the sand below the waterline at that beach was very soft.

As for the French Market, what is now going to be done with the building where the market used to be? Clearly, Divi was trying to put the lobby and market in the center of their new complex, but I have to wonder if the old building will now become another restaurant or a retail store. Might be a good question to ask Doug Kuhn.
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Old Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010, 03:26 PM
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Default Re: Not all change is for the better!!

Wow - not to take away from your opinion but I have to say that we love the "new" Phoenix. We were there for two weeks in october (and we happily upgraded to one of the new buildings). Maybe it was the time of year but the palapas were plentiful and the beach area was still beautiful with plenty of quiet spots to relax. We too did not bother with the new area of beach as there was plenty of space in front of the old section.
We thought the new Purebeach restaurant and bar was fantastic - although the food a bit pricey. Their happy hours were great with 1/2 price drinks versus 2 for 1.

They had not moved the French Deli at that time and the new lobby was being worked on but we were thrilled with the new pool area and all the improvements and figured they were putting our maintenance fees to good use.
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Old Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010, 03:37 PM
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Default Re: Not all change is for the better!!

lemarier, are you an owner? if so, for how long? i am not an owner but spend quite a bit of time there with friends who have been owners for years along with having rented there several times.

i think it's a matter of perspective along with time of year. we are people who are used to the phoenix as it was which was laid back with enough palapas in off season to make the beach seem empty. it was also a little deli/grocery with reasonable prices and a personal touch to the carry out sandwiches. it was also a place where you really got to know others because it was so small that the names became familiar thru the years. now it is larger, but the beach hasn't been totally expanded so in season it is crowded, not so packed that you can't breathe but very busy, and the homey atmosphere is not there. some of the improvements are marvelous but the 'climate' has changed from warm and cozy to big and not as warm.

that's not to say that it's a bad place now because it isn't. is is still lovely. however, it isn't the place we all grew to love years ago.



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Wow - not to take away from your opinion but I have to say that we love the "new" Phoenix. We were there for two weeks in october (and we happily upgraded to one of the new buildings). Maybe it was the time of year but the palapas were plentiful and the beach area was still beautiful with plenty of quiet spots to relax. We too did not bother with the new area of beach as there was plenty of space in front of the old section.
We thought the new Purebeach restaurant and bar was fantastic - although the food a bit pricey. Their happy hours were great with 1/2 price drinks versus 2 for 1.

They had not moved the French Deli at that time and the new lobby was being worked on but we were thrilled with the new pool area and all the improvements and figured they were putting our maintenance fees to good use.
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Old Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010, 04:08 PM
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Default Re: Not all change is for the better!!

Yes, we are owners - have been for six years.

We just felt after being there in October that they now have something for everyone. We felt in the past that it was more of an older quiet group and now with the new buildings, pool, swim up bar, etc. they would attract a wider range of people. It was nice to come back from dinner and have a bar we were able to relax at and have a drink or two. We also liked the fact that we could go to our "own" happy hour" this year versus walking the beach to find another one. While we definitely would not want to be in an area like Marriott or RIU or even Playa Linda a little more "life" at the Phoenix was a good thing.

We are returning in May with our two kids (21 & 24) and are excited to show them the changes - hopefully we will be just as happy as we were in October.
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Old Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010, 04:26 PM
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Default Re: Not all change is for the better!!

i agree totally on the happy hour. i never stayed for theirs. i love the phoenix though. i suppose i never have to worry about the high season crowds. i will miss the little deli. it had a wonderful personality.

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Originally Posted by lemarier View Post
Yes, we are owners - have been for six years.

We just felt after being there in October that they now have something for everyone. We felt in the past that it was more of an older quiet group and now with the new buildings, pool, swim up bar, etc. they would attract a wider range of people. It was nice to come back from dinner and have a bar we were able to relax at and have a drink or two. We also liked the fact that we could go to our "own" happy hour" this year versus walking the beach to find another one. While we definitely would not want to be in an area like Marriott or RIU or even Playa Linda a little more "life" at the Phoenix was a good thing.

We are returning in May with our two kids (21 & 24) and are excited to show them the changes - hopefully we will be just as happy as we were in October.
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Old Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010, 06:52 PM
PhoenixGirl PhoenixGirl is offline
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I Love Aruba Re: Not all change is for the better!!

We were also there in October and were looking forward to seeing the new lobby and deli finished when we get there on Saturday. I liked the "flavor" of the old French Market, and hope to like the new location as well. I was hoping it was similar as to what you could buy there.

Pure Beach restaurant is OK. Prices are high and the menu is limited. Same menu for lunch and dinner. We loved the quiet laid back Phoenix, and definitely don't like the loud music when a DJ comes. It's just not our thing so we leave. The old beach is way more crowded because people in the new units use it and it didn't get any bigger. The new beach isn't worth going into. They still have a lot of work to do on that no matter what they've already done.
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Old Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010, 10:30 PM
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Default Re: Not all change is for the better!!

We've been owners here since day one and we liked it the way is was. Small, homey, comfortable, relaxed, laid back............... Pick a word, they all worked. The only thing I was never happy with was the restaurant but that was a minor inconvenience because if I didn't fix lunch myself, I could get great sandwiches at the French Market and there are too many great restaurants to even consider eating there for dinner.

They've more than doubled the size without adequately increasing the beach (throwing up a few cheap palapas in front of the new buildings doesn't get the job done). The swim up bar looks nice but it's not our cup of tea, Sandra is as miserable as ever, and the music is loud and annoying. Pure Beach has a great burger which is grossly overpriced and not much else that appeals to us. (Yes, we're boring, unadventurous eaters.)

Phoenix previously offered the best of both worlds........... An uncrowded resort with plenty of beach that was within walking distance to all the action you could possibly want.

Now, it's just another Palm Beach resort without nothing special to make it stand out.
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Old Sunday, February 14th, 2010, 03:02 PM
PhoenixGirl PhoenixGirl is offline
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I Love Aruba Re: Not all change is for the better!!

Just a note here, but all of the new palapas in front of Pure Beach and along the new beach were occupied while we were there all week. Not too many people were in the water in the new section. It was very crowded Feb 6-13.

The new pool was packed. Sometimes you couldn't even get a chair. When we wanted quiet time to read, we went to the old pool. No one was there.

The music at Pure Beach was mellow most of the time. It gets louder as the afternoon goes by. The swim up bar was very busy. So was the restaurant. Once the music was kind of loud early in the morning, and my husband asked them to put on a quieter tape which the bartender did.

With 102 rooms in the old section and now 140 new units in the new section, it stands to reason that the beach will be a lot more crowded since it didn't get any bigger and the population more than doubled. There is just not enough usable beach.

It's a definitely a much more active resort than it once was.
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Old Tuesday, February 16th, 2010, 05:39 PM
Pappy Mentos Pappy Mentos is offline
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Default Re: Not all change is for the better!!

Agreed PhoenixGirl, it is definitely a much more active resort, but that's progress. Without the added money from the sale of the new units, you would have to wonder how many of the repairs/renovations to the old Phoenix units would have been made. It seems like Divi is trying to make the property better, which unfortunately for some will bring bigger crowds.
Hopefully they will expand the new beach even further to accomodate all.
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Old Friday, April 16th, 2010, 02:13 PM
Shannon's Mom Shannon's Mom is offline
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I Love Aruba Re: Not all change is for the better!!

I must disagree with what you said and what the other poster said about the Divi Phoenix being "just another Palm Beach resort." Untrue on both counts.

Try owning at the Marriott, where it is now virtually impossible to get a Palapa or a decent poolside lounge chair. I don't rent there anymore as I did for seven consecutive visits. I did stop by during the week after Easter to visit friends there, and they hadn't even been assigned to a unit yet and were still staying at the hotel. The lazy river was jammed, the beach overcrowded and so many people at the bar and Captain's Galley that they couldn't even get the attention of wait staff. One woman told me she was waiting over 45 minutes just to get a drink for her child.

No thanks. The Divi Phoenix is much better. Not overrun by unruly "tweens" not controlled by their parents and not over-crowded at all by high-rise standards.

What's wrong with the name "Pure Beach"? After all, it's right on the beach, is it not? Come on, lighten up! Try MooMbas if you want lousy, rude service. Then perhaps you'll come to appreciate the better end of the high-rise strip.
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Old Friday, April 16th, 2010, 03:01 PM
PirateKing PirateKing is offline
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Default Re: Not all change is for the better!!

Chacun a son goute, as we say around here. I've never tried the Marriott, but I know how crowded that end of the beach gets, as we walk up there every day we're here. We did stay at the Playa Linda (where there have been fist fights over palapas, or "chikees" as they are known up there) before we bought here, and I can see that the Phoenix is heading more that way than like, say, the Bucuti.

Perhaps the Phoenix is not yet "overrun by unruly "tweens" not controlled by their parents and not over-crowded at all by high-rise standards", but with the new addition, which is not yet full, it is certainly on its way, in my view, comparing 2010 with previous years. All those new units and virtually nothing in the way of decent beach to accommodate everyone: it's not going to get less crowded.

Last edited by PirateKing; Friday, April 16th, 2010 at 03:04 PM. Reason: I left out a thought
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Old Friday, April 16th, 2010, 03:37 PM
Shannon's Mom Shannon's Mom is offline
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Smile Re: Not all change is for the better!!

Chacun a son gout, ah!, "to each their own" (sigh, Google). I see what you're saying but hoping against it. We have been averaging three visits per year for the past three years. God willing, I'll be able to spend much more time there in my retirement, at which point I plan on making a significant financial investment on the island.

My four year old wants to live there and wants to learn to speak Papiamento. I am ordering material online to start teaching her between now and December, so that she can speak to Bully and his son Kevin.

BullyTaxi79@hotmail.com - THE BEST DRIVER TO HAVE IN ARUBA, and a man I am honored to call "friend."
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Old Friday, April 16th, 2010, 04:51 PM
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Default Re: Not all change is for the better!!

Investing and living here are 2 different things than having a vacation, no matter how long you visit. It's a great place, but expect to learn more than you have in the last 20 yrs. visiting. My advice, be patient or you will not come back and wish you didnt move here. I love it !!!!!!!!!!!!
Hear me now and believe me later. I think Arnold Schartzneger said it on SNL ? But it's true. Ask any Expat and go from there. There is no dumb question except the one that is not asked. Just dont ask me
I'm kidding . I'll help anyone who ask.
True, I just came back from the Carribean Rum Store, so this might explain my post !
Regards
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Old Friday, April 16th, 2010, 06:16 PM
Shannon's Mom Shannon's Mom is offline
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Default Re: Not all change is for the better!!

Absent winning the lottery my friend, retirement is a long way off as I'm still in my 40's. I'm pretty laid back by nature and already have some friends there who I plan to keep "for life." I don't think I could ever leave the USA permanently, as I have too many friends and family who would not come. So for now, it's our annual trips for Christmas week and Easter week when the baby is off from school, plus a third trip if I can swing it.

I miss rum punch. A lot. Have one for me Jawz, OK? Thanks.
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Old Friday, April 16th, 2010, 09:06 PM
Shannon's Mom Shannon's Mom is offline
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I Love Aruba Re: Not all change is for the better!!

No offense taken, Jawz. In fact, whenever I visit and see people from my area make asses of themselves, I cringe. It reflects badly upon the New York tri-state area, which is actually one of the most affluent, articulate areas of the USA. Unfortunately, all it takes are a few "Joey and Vinny Bagadonuts" to give everyone else a bad rap.

I don't blame the Aruban people for also cringing at the thought of ex-pats from the US or elsewhere (believe me, Venezuelans are worse) moving there permanently. The main reason I consider spending much more time on the island in my retirement, is the friends living there who encourage me to do so. The love shown to us when we are there is genuine and sweet.

Enjoy the weekend and stay safe.

P.S. I personally would not drive on the island. I prefer to leave the driving to Bully.
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Old Saturday, April 17th, 2010, 07:30 AM
jawz jawz is offline
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Default Re: Not all change is for the better!!

Shannon's Mom,
You certainly have more class than I do.
Your reply to my post shows how ignorant I can be at times.
Regards, I apologize.
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Old Saturday, April 17th, 2010, 08:38 AM
Shannon's Mom Shannon's Mom is offline
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One Happy Island Re: Not all change is for the better!!

No apologies needed, as I find nothing "ignorant" in your posts.

I will admit however, to taking a measure of comfort in the fact that visitors from New Jersey and New York (okay, with the exception of the Hasidic Jews, who I have been told by security, police and Marriott employees are the absolute WORST of the WORST, behavior-wise, so make sure you don't visit during that January week they overrun the Marriott) do NOT "take the prize" in the "obnoxious tourist" category.

I see people from other states (which shall remain nameless) behave far worse. No matter where you're from, there is no excuse for behaving badly while on vacation. It does not matter if "that's the way you act at home too." Like it or not, you represent your homeland when you travel abroad and that carries with it an unspoken responsibility to conduct yourself appropriately.
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Old Wednesday, April 21st, 2010, 11:05 PM
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Default Re: Not all change is for the better!!

I happened to be at the marriott last year when a particular group was there luckily it was for only 1 night and then they were gone... IT WAS HORRIBLE I couldn't imagine spending my vacation 1 week with them.. Its unbelievable that people could act this way and the parents are as bad as the children..I would love to try the divi this year.
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Old Thursday, April 22nd, 2010, 09:49 AM
Shannon's Mom Shannon's Mom is offline
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I Love Aruba Re: Not all change is for the better!!

Oh, that week in January. Dreadful. I was told that the security people at the Marriott had to work six floors each, when they really needed two guards per floor.

What a difference the OTHER end of the high rises makes! Try the Divi Phoenix by all means. Stay in the newer section, tower or villas, to have that "Marriott" interior-amenities feel. The older section is great for peace and quiet, with true swimming pools for kids (deeper than over by the new section which may not even get to 4 ft. deep), activities like "bingo" and aerobics (the activity director is a trip!), and steps to both the hot tub and beach. The Sunset Bistro nightlife is warm and welcoming.

The newer section is great for those with little ones, since the expansive, 1 ft. deep pools keep them busy all day. Pure Beach is Pure Delight, with great lunches like the "noodle salad" (my favorite) and personalities like "Steve" who make each person's stay memorable.

It all depends upon what you're looking for, but you'll find it all at the Divi Phoenix!! Enjoy!
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Old Sunday, April 25th, 2010, 07:20 AM
WeezieAlbar WeezieAlbar is offline
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Cool Re: Not all change is for the better!!

We have been owners at the Phoenix since 1996.........we love it! You want action in the evening? Visit Pure Beach bar or walk to a casino. You want to sit and read during the day? Sit in the sun on the beach or in the shade at the "old" pool? Take a walk? Off to the Marriot and back....You've got it all............without the crowds..........
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