El Encanto (charm(ing)) coming soon!
It is the perfect name choice for a charming, Antillean style hotel. Located in Belnem, the former Roomer Hotel will open its doors as the new El Encanto Boutique Hotel in October, 2016. The new owners Jennifer Schokker and Mike van Weeren look forward to welcoming you into their newly renovated hotel, bar and restaurant.
Jennifer, who was born in Costa Rica, spend the first 4 years of her life in the European Netherlands before moving to St. Martin. When she turned 18, she left again for the Netherlands to further her studies. Coming from a construction family she wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps and study engineering. After it became clear that wasn’t the ideal choice, she switched to landscaping with the idea of getting one step closer to building her dream, an eco-lodge with a beautiful, landscaped, tropical garden. Her studies focused on European climate, flora and fauna and was not at all what Jennifer was looking for. It was always clear to her that she would live a life in the Caribbean or Latin America. Her father advised her to do something using her strengths and to try working in hospitality. This turned out to be the perfect fit. While studying in the Netherlands, she was able to complete her internships on St Martin, close to her family whom she always misses.
During one of her internships, she met her life and business partner, Mike van Weeren.
Mike, who spent his whole life in Leiden, Netherlands, started working at a very young age. At age 15, he began his career at a paint shop; became a color specialist; completed his studies in sales and traveled all over the country before becoming a technical advisor. While it was a positive career move, he missed the traveling and the direct contact with his clients.
It was always a dream of his to travel to the Caribbean with his friend. When he was looking for other job opportunities, his friend invited him to join him in St Martin and that triggered his final decision. Mike followed his guts, packed up his life and moved to St Martin.
When Jennifer and Mike met, it quickly turned from a fun friendship into much more. The only trouble was that Jennifer was still completing her studies in the Netherlands. After a long distance relationship consisting of Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, the two decided to be together and Mike returned to the Netherlands.
Together they moved back to St Martin where they both worked in the hospitality industry. Jennifer started as a housekeeping coordinator and stepped up into booking and front desk management. Mike worked in various upscale bars and has become a great bartender with an expanded knowledge of cocktails.
When Jennifer’s father, who had been working on Bonaire with his construction company, told them about an opportunity to buy a small hotel on Bonaire, the couple felt it would be a step closer to realizing their dream.
With their years of experience in the hospitality industry, the two know what kind of atmosphere they are looking for and what kind of atmosphere they want to create for their guests.
When they first saw the hotel, they immediately felt the warmth, the beauty and the potential in the property.
Of course, the decision to move was not an easy one to make, especially for Jennifer, who had to leave behind her family. It was hard, but they were both charmed by the island and the business possibilities.
Since end of June this year, the two have been organizing and working on the new hotel.
Renovation The 10 room boutique hotel is undergoing a makeover. New colors, a different interior, a new kitchen and bar, new flooring and some additional landscaping are turning this beautiful house into a warm and welcoming hotel, restaurant and bar.
Restaurant & Bar
This “hands on” couple is working day and night to be ready for their opening. El Encanto will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner 7 days a week. The cozy restaurant and bar area surrounding the pool is a beautiful tropical location to enjoy some good food, drinks and company.
Together with their newly arrived chef, Mike is working on the menu, a fusion of international cuisine with a Caribbean flair.
The 10 rooms all have their own individual character, which will develop even more in the future.
Service and making their guests feel at home will be their priority. The location of the boutique hotel is ideal for your family members or friends to enjoy a more personal place to stay. Close to Sorobon, the kiteboard beach and many dive locations, it is perfect for a hassle-free vacation in beautiful surroundings. Reservations can be made from today on.
The website is still under construction, but will soon be ready to showcase the hotel bar and restaurant. You can check for updates on the El Encanto Facebook page and your calls will be answered. Of course, you are also welcome to pass by and have a look as soon as the construction work has been completed.
Facebook El Encanto Boutique Hotel
97 EEG Boulevard, Belnem
Caribbean Netherlands CN