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Heaven Under The Sun

November 2, 2006 By: Patty Lamberti Travel Agent

Aruba's Tierra del Sol is a golfer's paradise

Many organizations urged travelers to boycott the Caribbean island of Aruba after Natalee Holloway's
disappearance on May 30, 2005. But more than 4,000 more sun seekers hit Aruba's shores last year than in 2004. And there's no
reason to believe that vacationers won't continue flocking to the Dutch
province, especially since $274 million was invested in the island's tourism
industry this year. A
Tierra del Sol condo (top); a room in the resort spa (bottom)

One common misconception is that Aruba, which has the
highest repeat visitor rate (40 percent) of any Caribbean
island, only offers lodging in the form of chain and boutique hotels on the

Situated on the northwest point of the island, the Tierra
del Sol Resort & Country Club is different. Offering villa and condominium
rentals, it resembles a Mediterranean-esque hillside village with red-roofed
homes. The resort's coup de grace is its 18-hole golf course.

The condos and villas vary in size and design, but each
includes a fully equipped kitchen, family room, patio and barbeque, making the
resort an ideal choice for families, couples, or even large business groups.
The two- and three-bedroom condominiums are situated within three-story homes,
and are rented at upwards of $295 per night during the off-season. The rate
includes unlimited golf, but a no frills package without golf is available for
$220 per night. Of course, all guests have access to the resort's pool.

Luxe Villas Have Private Courtyard with Hot Tub

The most luxurious rentals are the villas, single-family
homes that have between two and four bedrooms. Rates for these plush
accommodations, which include private courtyards with Jacuzzis, start at $425
per night for between one and four people (including golf) and $350 per night
(no golf). The crème de la crème of the villas are Costa Mesa numbers 4-10,
Mesa Vista number 21 and Colina number 5, which Ingrid de Marchena, director of
operations, calls, "The best of the best." What do these villas have
that the others don't? Private pools, outdoor showers, gardens with tropical
flowers and stunning views of the crystal blue sea and/or golf course, not to
mention antique furnishings and, in the case of Colina #5, a grandiose dining
room table. If you want to secure any of these villas for your clients, Ingrid
suggests booking a year in advance.

While you're on the phone with her, be sure to ask about the
special car rental rate she can arrange for your client. At the airport,
economy cars cost around $25 per day. But Ingrid can secure a luxury car for
$175 per week.

If money is no object, Ingrid can arrange for a private chef
to cook all of your clients' meals, as two models recently did when they stayed
at the resort (Alicia Keyes has also stayed there). For guests who prefer to do
their own cooking, Ingrid emails them a checklist of foods before their arrival.
When the guests arrive, they will find that the refrigerator and cabinets are
fully stocked with their requests.

Would your client prefer to spend time snorkeling rather
than sautéing meat for dinner? No worries. The on-site restaurant serves lunch and
dinner (the house specialty is crab and corn chowder). Ask Ingrid for the
ultimate romantic experience, a candlelit dinner on the golf course.

Speaking of that 18-hole golf course, it was designed by the
world-renowned links design firm Robert Trent Jones II. Running alongside the Caribbean Sea, it also includes a practice range, putting
greens, chipping areas and a golf shop.

If your clients would prefer to conserve energy rather than
exert it on vacation, the Body and Soul Spa is open daily and offers everything
from massages to anti-stress body wraps and blow-outs. And for couples who just
can't bear to be apart for even an hour of pampering, they offer side-by-side

After a little bit of time on this paradise within paradise,
your clients may end up becoming repeat visitors to Tierra del Sol.

What do you think of this $type?

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