Curacao kick-off: Sandals celebrates island debut with big party: Travel Weekly

Sandals knows how to party!

Its grand opening party in late June, the cornerstone of the weekend celebration marking Sandals Royal Curacao’s debut in the Dutch Caribbean, exemplified the new resort’s slogan, “Where Amazing Comes Together” with the vibrant colors and destination culture.

“Curaçao’s rich history and vibrant culture is something to be experienced, and we look forward to sharing Sandals Royal Curacao with the world,” said Adam Stewart, Executive Chairman of Sandals Resorts International.

The resort is the latest of 16 resorts in the chain spread across Jamaica, Antigua, St. Lucia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Grenada and now Curacao. The official inauguration ceremony of Sandals Royal Curacao took place on June 3. I visited the resort at the end of June.

“This extraordinary new resort sends a signal about the reimagined return of Caribbean travel and the ingenuity our guests can expect from Sandals Resorts,” he said.

Curaçao talent formed the tapestry of the high-energy opening celebration which began with the sounds of the kachu horn marking the countdown to sunset, accompanied by the cast’s fire-wielding performers Phoenix Theatrical Curacao.

The Dos Awa two-tier infinity pool is the centerpiece of the resort. Photo credit: Courtesy of Sandals Resorts International

The island’s synchronized swimming team performed a theatrical touch in the Dos Awa bi-level infinity pool, the resort’s centerpiece, and carnival-style celebrations made a grand return to Curacao for the first time since 2019 with a colorfully costumed parade of 100 drummers, dancers, stilt walkers and a marching band as well as three graceful flyers swinging 20 feet above guests including Governor Lucille George-Wout and Curacao Premier Gilmar Pisas.

Mixes between local steel pan drummers, DJs, violinists and the Blue Man Group headlined the evening’s musical entertainment on a large stage built above the pool, overlooking dozens of food stations and several bars, including the signature bar that represented the island’s local divi. tree.

A fireworks show lit up the night sky, followed by an after-party on the beach with decadent desserts and disco performances on the sand.

A “sandalized” overhaul

In an address to international media, Stewart reiterated that he was “so proud to have Curacao in our portfolio. We made sure we got the best hotel in the country, and we ‘sandalised’ it at the highest level. “.

Sandals Royal Curacao, the former Santa Barbara Beach and Golf Resort, originally opened as Hyatt Regency Curacao in 2010. During the pandemic, owners of Santa Barbara suspended all operations at the property.

The interior of Kurason Island's newest poolside Butler's Bungalow, one of eight bordering a heart-shaped pool.

The interior of Kurason Island’s newest poolside Butler’s Bungalow, one of eight bordering a heart-shaped pool. Photo credit: Courtesy of Sandals Resorts International

The 44-acre resort sits on 3,000 acres in the Santa Barbara Estate at the foot of Tafelberg Mountain between the Caribbean and Spanish Water Bay, a natural lagoon with a long beach where Sandals now has lounge chairs, the Strand restaurant and bar and its Aqua watersports centre.

The 351-room resort offers 24 room categories, including the Awa Beachfront Butler Bungalows and the eight Kurason Island Poolside Butler Bungalows surrounding a heart-shaped pool.

Facilities include the Red Lane Spa, bicycles, wedding facilities, and an Island Routes tour desk offering a variety of offsite programs. The Old Quarry, an 18-hole golf course designed by Pete Dye, is located on the property, and green fees are waived for Sandals guests.

Upscale suite perks include butler services and access to a fleet of Mini Cooper convertibles for exploring the island.

Eleven dining options include fan-favorite Butch’s Island Chop House, Mediterranean cuisine at Aolos, Japanese cuisine at Gatsu Gatsu, and a trio of beachfront food trucks offering Mediterranean, Caribbean, and Japanese specialties.

A first for Sandals

Guests can experience local flavors at various partner restaurants across Curacao as part of the new Island Inclusive Dining program, a first for Sandals.

“Meals are at our expense,” Stewart said. “We want our guests to see this destination. There is something magical here.”

Sandals staff model new uniforms.

Sandals staff model new uniforms. Photo credit: Courtesy of Sandals Resorts International

Another first for Sandals is the introduction of a line of new uniforms by designer Stan Herman. “These are garments, not uniforms, that will be rolled out to all of our resorts in different colors that reflect each island,” Stewart said. The line debuted in a seaside fashion show with employees as models.

Stewart said, “The next five years for Sandals in the Caribbean are going to be crazy. To say we’re excited about our future is an understatement; we’re going to take this brand to the moon.”

He reiterated the company’s plans to expand family-branded beaches in St. Vincent and renovate Sandals Negril, Beaches Negril, Sandals Dunn’s River, Sandals Royal Plantation in Jamaica and Sandals Halcyon and La Toc in St. Lucia. .

Flights take off for the island

Travelers with vacation plans to Curacao will be happy to hear that American recently added a second daily flight from Miami.

JetBlue offers three weekly flights from New York JFK, while United resumes weekly flights from Newark on November 12.

Talks with Delta for service from Miami are ongoing, according to Alex Marte, vice president of airline relations and sales development at Unique Vacations, Sandals’ marketing agency.

Leave a Reply