Law Firm VanEps Kunneman VanDoorne
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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
  • A large hotel in a building dispute with its contractor
  • AIB Bank syndicate in the financing of the Ritz-Carlton Aruba Hotel
  • Aruba in dispute with the Kingdom of the Netherlands on the allocation of proceeds of the Marriott Aruba Hotel sale
  • 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
  • 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
  • RBTT Bank in the refinancing of the Aruban Divi Hotel Group
  • Riffort Village in its restructuring and saving it from┬ábankruptcy
  • Scotia Bank in the financing of the new Curacao Hyatt hotel project
  • The financing of a condominium project in Aruba
  • The majority shareholder in the Curacao Marriott Hotel in the "first Netherlands Antilles contended but successful buy-out procedure of minority shareholders
  • The Netherlands Antilles Government in Sint Maarten casino license litigation
  • The purchaser in the acquisition of a hotel on Curacao
  • The purchaser in the USD 230 million acquisition of the Aruba Wyndham Hotel
  • 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 Curacao hotel property owners in the sale of their hotels
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