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Ewald Biemans, Bucuti Beach Resort, Aruba
Named 2002 Caribbean Hotelier of the Year

FAJARDO, Puerto Rico (June 20, 2002) – Ewald Biemans, general manager and and owner of Bucuti Beach Resort in Aruba, has received the coveted Golden Conch Award, the honor presented to the “Hotelier of the Year” by the Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA), at this year’s Caribbean Hotel Industry Conference (CHIC 2002). 
The prestigious award, now in its 24th year, was established by Jim Pepperdine, vice president of Yesawich, Pepperdine & Brown (YP&B); YP&B sponsors the annual “Hotelier of the Year” award to recognize those hoteliers who are working within CHA to help promote industrygrowth.  The Golden Conch honors individuals who have maintained a successful hotel operation and participated in CHA, while also showing dedication to both their local hotel and tourism industry.

“When it comes to the tourism industry, I’ve never heard Ewald say no,” said Ed Malone, Chairman of CHA and a fellow Aruba hotelier. 

Ewald Biemans, Bucuti Beach Resort, Aruba, 2002 Caribbean Hotelier of the Year; and wife Susan Biemans.

“He’salways there volunteering, always there in the trenches doing what needs to be done for the betterment of the industry. Whether it be marketing issues, environmental issues, or education issues, he’s always there.”

A World Champion bartender, Ewald Biemans began his career in the hospitality industry as a bar manager in the Intercontinental in Venezuela, where he managed the food and beverage departments.  During a vacation visit to the Caribbean, he fell in love with Aruba, and decided to accept the challenge of launching a nightclub on the island. The overwhelming success of this club led to his managing several other businesses, including a popular restaurant, two resort hotels, and Aruba’s airline catering company.

After a hiatus to earn an International Business degree from Florida State University, Biemans returned to Aruba with the opportunity to take over and own his own hotel.  Having returned the Aruba Resorts back to profitability, he began the development of his own property, the Bucuti Beach Resort.  The Bucuti Beach Resort opened in 1987 to immediate success, achieving year-round occupancies above 90% since opening day.  The property’s success is partly attributed to Biemans’ hands-on approach; he makes himself accessible every day to enjoy one-on-one chats with guests. He also utilizes focus groups to allow his department heads and associates to fully understand what their contribution means to guest satisfaction and repeat business.

In 1997, Bucuti won the Environmental Stewardship Award from CHA and American Expresss in the small hotel category. The following year, the resort was honored with the CHA Environmental Conservation Award and soon after became one of the first Green Globe members in the Caribbean. In 2000, Bucuti achieved the prestigious Green Globe 21 certification.

Bucuti Beach Resort Aruba
L.G. Smith Boulevard #55B
Eagle Beach
Aruba, Dutch Caribbean

Environmental preservation is a longstanding passion of Ewald Biemans. In the early 1990’s, he created the Environmental Committee within the Aruba Tourism Association, organizing the public and private sector for the first time to reduce, reuse and recycle. He also founded Aruba’s “Sponsor a Mile” program, consisting of monthly beach and roadside cleanups.

Working with CHA’s environmental arm, Biemans organizes local CAST events to help educate colleagues in the industry about environmental protection and preservation.   Most recently, he was responsible for organizing a public demonstration on the main street, during which the environmental committee, community members, and school children delivered a mandate to the Prime Minister on environmental protection laws that laid out the action needed to be taken by the government.

Biemans has a long history of community service in Aruba.  His efforts in the 1970’s included a radio talk show and TV program to promote tourism and keep the local population aware of industry happenings. In the 1980’s, he created a popular island-wide national pride campaign called “Aruba T’ami,” a tourism awareness program for the local community, people of all ages to understand that “Aruba is me.” 

A member of the Aruba Hotel Association since 1980, Biemans has served for more than 15 years as a Board member and 13 years as Treasurer. In addition, he has been a member of numerous committees, including the environmental committee, the airline committee, the familiarization trip committee, the European marketing committee and the government relations committee.  He has been recognized as “Aruba General Manager of the Year” in 1996 and again in 1999. 

Biemans is also a dynamic member of the Caribbean Hotel Association and has served as one of Aruba’s representatives on the board of CHA.  A supporter of CHTI in Aruba, he regularly signs up members of his staff for professional development courses.  He holds the record of having attended every CHIC and CHA Marketplace event for the past 24 years. 

A Tradition of Excellence

Biemans joins the ranks of those outstanding executives whose accomplishments and leadership have created a new standard in hospitality in the Caribbean.  “Every winner of the Golden Conch award made his mark through dedication and hard work, showing a devotion to their employees, their properties, and their community,” said John Bell, director general and CEO of CHA. “Each winner adds to the standards of quality inherent in the award,” he concluded.

Previous recipients of the ‘Hotelier of the Year Award’ are:

  • Ike Cohen, Aruba (1978); 
  • Howard Hulford, Antigua (1979); 
  • George Myers, Bahamas (1980); 
  • Heinz E.W. Simonitsch, Jamaica (1981); 
  • Jag Mehta, Jamaica (1982); 
  • Osmund Kelsick, Antigua (19883); 
  • Lorette Resch, St. Thomas (1984); 
  • Richard Williams, Barbados (1985); 
  • Hugh Andrews, Puerto Rico (1986); 
  • Ken Kennedy, Jamaica (1987); 
  • Dick & Joyce Doumeng, St. Thomas, USVI (1988); 
  • Alfred Taylor, Barbados (1989); 
  • John Jefferis, Bermuda (1990); 
  • Royston Hopkin CMG, Grenada (1991); 
  • Butch Stewart, Jamaica (1992); 
  • Betty Sperber, St. Croix, USVI (1993); 
  • John Issa, Jamaica (1994); 
  • Ralph Taylor, Barbados (1995); 
  • Ed Malone, Aruba (1996); 
  • Stephen Sawyer, Bahamas (1997); 
  • Frank Rainieri, Dominican Republic (1998); 
  • William Aguiton, Trinidad (1999); 
  • Peter Odle, Barbados (2000); and 
  • Robert Sherman, Antigua (2001).


Lorraine J. Ortiz
telephone: 787-725-9139

Also See Los Cabos Hotel Association Names Edward T. Steiner, Managing Director of Las Ventanas al Paraiso, Hotelier of the Year / Feb 2002 
Alfred Gorlick Named Hotelier Of The Year by Bahamas Hotel Association / Jan 2002 

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