Law Firm VanEps Kunneman VanDoorne

Hospitality & Leisure

As one of the largest and fastest growing industries globally, and as a major pillar of the island economies in the Dutch Caribbean, hospitality is one of the region’s most dynamic industries. In the hospitality industry (i.e. companies within the travel service, lodging, food service and entertainment sectors) it is all about guest satisfaction. With tourism’s transient nature, its often intangible and perishable services and no business hours as such – i.e. hospitality operations run on a 24 hour basis all year round and many employees are on shift work – it is an atypical industry. Rates are an important variable especially in times of economic pressure. Nor should we forget the importance of location, and the initial and ongoing investment support as reflected in the material upkeep of facilities and the luxuries located therein. And, last but not least, marketing and branding play a vital role in this “experience-industry”.

The hospitality industry team is structured around three main areas of expertise: acquisitions and divestment, (re)financing and labor law. Naturally, we advise our clients in the industry with various other typical legal issues such as intellectual property and real estate and zoning issues.

We are proud to serve the needs of hotel owners and operators, investors, and advisers with interests in the hospitality sector, covering hotels, casinos and timeshare and condominium resorts in Curacao, Aruba, Sint Maarten and Bonaire.

For decades, our specialized team has played a prominent role in the growth of the regional hospitality industry. As a result, we are generally acknowledged to be the market leader, and we are the first law firm in the region to develop a specialized industry group to continue to invest in developing our knowledge. We pride ourselves on having a dynamic team that combines its members’ legal skills with their experience of the markets in which we operate, ensuring you receive specialist expertise. Our hospitality team has three partners and various associates with a proven track record of advising local, regional and multinational companies in the industry.

Recently we have assisted:
  • A bank in the financing of a multi million acquisition of an Aruban hotel
  • A bank in the financing of the Aruba Holiday Inn
  • A bank in the financing of the Santa Barbara Hyatt Hotel Project in Curacao
  • A hotel in litigation contesting a building permit and against a neighboring hotel regarding unlawful construction works
  • AIB Bank syndicate in the financing of the Ritz-Carlton Aruba Hotel
  • An investor with the establishment of a partnership for the management and exploitation of a touristic project in St. Maarten.
  • As court-appointed administrator in the moratorium of Tierra del Sol, the Aruban golf and condominium resort.
  • Banco Bilbao de Viscaja in refinancing of an Aruban hotel resort
  • Cinemark regarding all the aspects of the opening of the new movie theatre at shopping mall Sambil in Curacao; from establishing the corporate structure to the registration of the Cinemark trademark
  • Credit Suisse in the financing of various Dutch Caribbean hotel acquisitions
  • Hotel management company Barceló Group with the acquisition of Occidental Hotels Management in Aruba, including a due diligence and the drafting of the transaction documentation.
  • Hotelchain in litigation against large touroperator in respect of hotels in Dominican Republic
  • Lenders in the refinancing of Hilton Hotel and Breezes Hotel in Curacao
  • Marriott regarding the immediate dismissal of various employees, including litigation, due to breach of policies.
  • RBTT Bank in the refinancing of the Aruban Divi Hotel Group
  • Scotia Bank in the financing of the new Curacao Hyatt hotel project
  • The Minister of Tourism in Aruba with the introduction of a new national ordinance that contains a special licensing system for all-inclusive accommodations.
  • The purchaser in the USD 237 million acquisition of the Marriott Hotel on Aruba
  • Trustee of bankrupt estate of Casa Grande N.V. in Aruba
  • Various hotels – such as the Marriott and Hilton hotels in Curacao – in a wide range of employment law matters.
  • Various hotels – such as the Marriott and Hilton hotels in Curacao, Sunscape Curacao Resort, Sorobon Beach Resort in Bonaire and Curacao Holiday Beach Resort – in a wide range of employment law matters including contracting, dismissal, personnel issues in acquisitions and reorganizations, redundancy of employees, negotiations with unions and collective labor agreements.
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