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Thread: Rona Coster = RIU and Zika thoughts

  1. #11
    Senior Member Traceyd14's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
    Under a palapa on Palm beach
    I have been thinking about this column for a while before commenting. Something that I haven't seen mentioned is her comments on the Riu fire. Several reports indicate there were no working smoke detectors to let guests know to evacuate. No matter how great you think the response was, there is no excuse not to maintain and test your fire alarm system. This column boasts an impressive response by the hotel but the first hand accounts I have read say the opposite. Such a shame that this column isnt giving a full picture and is not the straightforward commentary we have come to expect from Rona. There is also no mention of those who paid high dollar for the Riu but we're moved to The Mill. Not knocking the Mill, but it's a different experience.

    We have been in the Surf Club and Playa Linda when the fire alarms have gone off. At the time, slightly annoying but thinking back, it's comforting to know they worked!
    Last edited by Traceyd14; 03-08-2016 at 05:39 PM.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Aruba4ever's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
    First of all, I agree with Tracey. Second of all, I think its a disgusting way to save a few dollars. The fire was bad enough they closed the entire building....and have sent all their guests elsewhere. It could have been much worse, but the fact that there were no injuries does not get the Riu off the hook.

    Some got a nice upgrade from people I have spoken with via email and others landed at the Mill, and that is a downgrade for sure, again not a slam just a fact. I am thinking this fire is going to cost them more than cleanup costs...I think they may have lost many faithful customers with their actions.

  3. #13
    Senior Member WaltVB's Avatar
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    Aug 2011
    Legends Iguana Joe's, Surf Club
    Rona wrote it herself " The whole Zika Virus scare is a media fabricated story, for lack of other good headlines. " She is the media and will put her spin on everything as she sees fit. It's too bad, I enjoy most of her articles, but she is way off base with this media fabricated story of her own.

  4. #14
    Aruba since 1979
    Andrea J.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    i usually enjoy reading her words.
    not this time, as she seems to be the columnist from"fantasyland."

    Quote Originally Posted by WaltVB View Post
    Rona wrote it herself " The whole Zika Virus scare is a media fabricated story, for lack of other good headlines. " She is the media and will put her spin on everything as she sees fit. It's too bad, I enjoy most of her articles, but she is way off base with this media fabricated story of her own.

  5. #15
    Senior Member ~Amy~'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    There is so much about this virus that health professionals do not know yet and are still learning - this is not a "media hoax". For her to write such a column was her own media spin/agenda. Very disappointing.
    Last edited by ~Amy~; 03-09-2016 at 10:15 AM.
    ~Amy~ - Sedona, AZ: April/May 2018 -- Ireland: June/July 2018 -- 36th trip to Aruba: Sept./Oct. 2018 --
    Italy: Nov./Dec. 2018

  6. #16
    Super Moderator Jacki's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    She is a Gossip Columnist who gets us all talking!
    Jacki ~ loving Aruba from NJ

  7. #17
    Senior Member hatteras's Avatar
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    May 2010
    Boca Catalina, Arashi Beach Manchebo Beach, Eagle Beach
    The reviews of the RIU fire are starting to roll in on another site. Not exactly the rosey picture that she painted in her article.
    Last edited by hatteras; 03-09-2016 at 02:56 PM.

  8. #18
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Any Aruba beach...
    This was a horrible situation. Another example of Rona's factual reporting. Yeah, not so much.

    Can anyone tell us:

    1. Are Aruba hotels required to have smoke alarms?
    2. Are Aruba hotels required to have sprinkler systems?
    3. Are Aruba hotels required to have emergency lighting, at least in the stairwells?
    4. If the answer to any of the above is yes, what, if anything will the government of Aruba do to insure that something like this NEVER happens again?

  9. #19
    CK1 is offline
    Senior Member CK1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Anywhere where I can see the turquoise-blue ocean
    There was this article in Amigoe (google translation):

    Dowers: "Chaos fire at RIU unacceptable

    Monday, March 7th, 2016 14:34

    ORANJESTAD - The fire that raged last Saturday at the Hotel Riu Palace caused unnecessary chaos and panic among guests. "Unacceptable," said Justice Minister Arthur Dowers. Of a so-called emergency response plan which was discussed is found to be insufficient. Dowers is going to sit down with the general manager of the RIU. But the status is verified in other hotels. Possibly the incident leading to necessary changes in the safety regulation.

    By our reporter

    Franciska Groen

    Fire, police, ambulance and volunteers from the Red Cross marched Saturday morning with might and main for a relatively small fire, Dowers tells this morning Amigoe. Because it could not be acted according to an emergency plan, among both staff and guests was panic. This put a lot of pressure on the emergency services.

    Breathing Problems

    He managed with the hotel staff not to get the fire in a laundry room, a downstairs room at the front of the hotel. The fire department arrived on site struggled to master the fire. The smoke reached a large part of the rooms at the hotel. It resulted in respiratory problems among both guests and employees. There was no serious injury, but guests had to be evacuated by the emergency services. Around 300 people that morning were about to check out. About half of them missed their flight and had to be accommodated by the crisis at a different hotel and arrange another flight.

    Emergency plan

    All that time could not act according to a sound emergency plan. Normally know, on the basis of such a contingency plan, all employees what is expected of them when it comes during a crisis measures that guests and staff can be brought to safety. In order to put the plan into effect, the hotel business rescuers can designate first aid to apply, able to fight a fire and to evacuate workers and guests. The emergency plan should regularly on its operation to be checked during practice situations.


    Dowers explained that the fire department is responsible for monitoring such plans. "They look the hotels control and also ask for written updates on security." One of the hotels that definitely here to satisfy says Dowers, the Marriott Hotel. All the hotels must comply. The Minister confirmed this and emphasized that this is already attention, but added the recent incident at the Riu. He sits down next week chosing charts with the general manager of the hotel in order to prevent such incidents in the future. "That one sees of the interest. It is not only about security but also about reputation. "The expertise necessary to provide him from the hotel itself, the plan also given the knowledge of the plans.


    Last Saturday, sources reported that several hotels would not comply with the safety regulation that controls the Department for Technical Inspection (DTI) for the issuance of permits. But the minister indicates that this is not true. Before the opening of a hotel must meet the safety regulation. However, he can not guarantee that all hotels have the necessary licenses. But rather that there is supervision.

    The incident leads to more attention to both the safety and supervision. If necessary, even to changes in safety regulation, says Dowers.

  10. #20
    Senior Member shariuno's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Eagle Beach
    I've got to say for such a large company such as the Riu the situation isn't acceptable! I'm so glad i wasn't there when it happened it must have been quite distressing for all involved.
    I read Rona's article and was shock that she said the situation was handled very well after i had read the other posts about peoples experience of it and there were at opposite ends of the scale

    Not having fire alarms in a building of that size and height is totally unaaceptable and irresponsible of the RIU.........I am disappointed to hear this - especially as they have not long 'refurbished' it!!

    There is no excuse for putting peoples lives at risk.

    Here in the UK in any building open to the public must test their fire alarm on a weekly basis and record results to ensure the system is healthy.

    I am surprised all life saving systems were not checked and signed off by the appropriate government department when the refurbishment works were complete - this is what normally happens in the UK.

    Makes me wonder about the Antillas next door.........

    Just my opinion btw!
    When i grow up i wanna marry Aruba!

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