Sandals Celebrates Entry into the Dutch Caribbean with Sandals Royal Curacao
Sandals Resorts International (SRI) commemorated its venture into Curaçao during a special ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 3 at the newly opened Sandals Royal Curaçao, the 16th property in the Sandals Resorts portfolio. The resort officially opened to guests on June 1, 2022.
“Today marks a dream decades in the making as Sandals Resorts officially becomes part of the story of Curaçao,” said Adam Stewart, executive chairman of SRI. “It’s a great honor to now share this incredible destination with the world with its eclectic melting pot of culture, vibrance and stunning beauty. Today is also bittersweet as I wish my father and our late founder, Gordon “Butch” Stewart, could have been here to see this dream of our family’s become a reality.”
From experiential driven, off-site programming, to locally inspired resort experiences, to community and environmental development programs, the 351-room Sandals Royal Curaçao and its unique approach to tourism was saluted by attending dignitaries who recognized its progress and island impact so far.
The ceremony included remarks from industry leaders including Gilmar Pisas, prime minister of Curaçao; Adam Stewart, executive chairman of Sandals Resorts International; Gebhard Rainer, CEO of Sandals Resorts International; Kevin Clark, resort general manager; Gary Sadler, executive vice president of sales at Unique Vacations, Inc.; Heidi Clarke, executive director of the Sandals Foundation; Christine Valls, managing director-Caribbean, American Airlines; and Zane Kerby, president of ASTA .
“The arrival of Sandals Royal Curaçao has a great impact in the continued development of our touristic product, giving us a great competitive advantage in our region,” said the Prime Minister Pisas. “The most beautiful part of this process is our shared vision and the impact on our local people and economy long before the resort even opened its doors. The government of Curaçao is very pleased to welcome Sandals Royal Curaçao and together we look forward to providing travelers from around the world with great experiences that will have them extending their stays and coming back for years to come.”
During his remarks, Stewart introduced the Sandals Foundation’s newly formed partnership with the Netherlands’ AFC Ajax soccer team to launch Future Goals, a program that turns fishing nets sourced from the ocean and recycled plastic waste into soccer goals for children. Expanding opportunities for locals through the power of youth sports, particularly the beloved game known locally as football, the landmark partnership kicks off at primary schools across Curaçao, where the program’s official launch was celebrated last month at MGR Niewindt College as students received the first set of Future Goals ahead of the resort’s opening. Attendees watched the official Future Goals video, with the Sandals Foundation’s Executive Director Heidi Clarke sharing more insight on the program.
Sandals Royal Curaçao is located within 3,000-acre Santa Barbara estate, just 15 miles from the Curaçao International Airport. Its west-facing position on the southernmost part of the island intertwines nature with the resort experience, while capturing one of the Caribbean’s most spectacular sunsets.
At the heart of the property, couples can bask under the sun at the brand’s first ever bi-level Dos Awa Infinity Pool, with views overlooking the Spanish Water and the rugged mountain landscape beyond. With its awest-facing position, Sandals Royal Curaçao includes two new signature suite categories—the Awa Seaside Butler Bungalows and Kurason Island Poolside Butler Bungalows—complete with Tranquility Soaking Tubs, private pools, and butler service, plus perks for select suites, like access to sporty and stylish convertible Mini Coopers to drive while exploring the island.
From the Melemele Walkout Suites (Papiamentu for affectionate) to the Sunchi Beachfront Suites (meaning kiss), locally inspired accommodations include entirely new room categories, such as the Kurason Island Poolside Butler Bungalows and Awa Seaside Butler Bungalows.
Sandals Royal Curaçao features 11culinary concepts, including eight restaurants, seven of which are new to the brand and only available at this resort, along with three beachside gourmet food trucks and 13 bars. A sampling of all-new concepts include Aolos, home to an open-air Mediterranean dining experience; Vincent, a homage to the famous Dutch painter with a robust European fusion menu; and Toteki food truck serving up traditional Curaçao fare.
Further immersing guests in the unique flavors of the island, Sandals Royal Curaçao offers the brand’s first-ever off-site dining program, Island Inclusive, which expands its all-inclusive dining options to eight partner restaurants around the destination. Valid on seven-night minimum stays, the program is available exclusively to guests who are booked in Butler suites, as well as Sandals Select Reward Members (Diamond, Pearl, Ambassadors Club), offering one $250 voucher to dine out at one of the eight partner restaurants, with off-site roundtrip transportation included.