BATI BLEKI BUZZ, November 15th, 2015

SELLING WATER, SELLING AIR. We recently came across a let’s-make-a-fast-buck scheme, Aqua 48, selling tap water in restaurants, for a token amount as a so called fund-raiser. I have been seeing the glasses around several eateries in town. Not surprisingly, a few restaurateurs who cannot say no, signed the so called contract, obliging them to sell Aruba’s tap water. Admittedly, it’s a nominal amount, so tourists wouldn’t want to look foolish or cheap refusing a one dollar donation; on the other hand you really have balls. What a scam. Almost as good as the Best of Aruba Awards. And of course you got WEB Aruba to support you, these people have no common sense. Besides, you’re doing it all for charity? How much of your income goes to charity, and which foundations are you supporting? The plan looks inoffensive, what’s one dollar between friends, but you know, small amount accumulate, and I hear you have been terrorizing the market attempting to enforce your initiative. This is what I found on Trip Advisor, written by an island visitor: “I was offered the option of “Aqua48”, of which you would pay approx $1 for a glass of water to contribute to some charity. I politely declined, since I’m not going to start “paying” for a glass of tap water, even if it’s for charity & even if it’s Aruba water. Then, upon receiving my bill, I see that $2 was added for water for the 2 of us. I told the waitress & the manager that I declined the option initially & was not interested in paying for tap water, & that I wanted it to be removed from my bill. She said many restaurants will be doing this & that it was their new policy. I said it wasn’t my policy & I wasn’t going to pay for tap water. After 2 attempts, it was finally removed from my bill. Being offered the option is 1 thing, but after declining & then being charged for it & being told that it was their new policy …That’s the 1st & last time I’ll be dining there. Beware of any restaurants that may try to bully you into paying for tap water.

ACOYA RESORT, MY NEW HOME IN CURACAO. We stayed at the Acoya resort in Curacao last weekend and enjoyed the hospitality of their Sales Manager, a gentle giant and a hospitality veteran by the name of Henry Martijn. We checked in, in the evening, Insel Air was very much on time, and met super friendly and helpful front desk agents, who briefed us on the ins and outs of the resort. Room keys in hand  we drove to our free-standing two bedroom villa with swimming pool and settled in. Our villa bedrooms were very comfortable and inviting, with comfy double beds, ample closet space and to-live-for bathrooms with the latest Jacuzzi tubs, and rainfall shower heads. The kitchen was fully equipped to handle any cooking and partying inspired by the dining room with rustic long table or tropical garden with inviting lounges. The restaurant at the Acoya Resort is first-class, Seasons, apparently, a brand name with a dedicated following on the island and we enjoyed great a la carte breakfast, overlooking the lagoon and the resort’s swimming pool. We met Henry again the following day and he took us on an orientation and exploration trip to Mambo Beach Boulevard. All Acoya guests are welcome to use the tremendous facilities at Mambo, with shopping, dining and tanning offered as a fun-filled, memorable full day activity. On our last day we went to the spa for excellent manicures and massages. The resort is centrally located and offers a self contained vacation experience, within the gated complex, perfect for extended families, with kids. I also grabbed a shuttle to the nearby supermarket, at no charge, the driver waited for me while I shopped, then dropped me back and our villa and carried my groceries in…What we enjoyed most? Sitting around drinking coffee, enjoying a relaxing quality time in our blooming garden.