Wed | Jun 29, 2022

Curaçao excited about arrival of Sandals in Dutch-speaking island

Published:Friday | May 27, 2022 | 12:33 AMAinsworth Morris/Staff Reporter
A recent Sandals advertisement which is posted in the Curaçao International Airport.
A recent Sandals advertisement which is posted in the Curaçao International Airport.
From left: Hugo Clarinda, senior management assistant, Curaçao Tourist Board; Ruisandro Cijntje, minister of economic development in Curaçao; and Maria Elena Seferina, managing director of Curaçao Hospitality & Tourism Association, at the opening of the
From left: Hugo Clarinda, senior management assistant, Curaçao Tourist Board; Ruisandro Cijntje, minister of economic development in Curaçao; and Maria Elena Seferina, managing director of Curaçao Hospitality & Tourism Association, at the opening of the Global Trade Symposium at the Curaçao Marriott Beach Resort on Tuesday.
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The government of Curaçao is excited and optimistic about the new investment and foreign earnings the Jamaican hotel brand, Sandals, will bring to their country when it opens shortly.

Maria Elena Seferina, managing director of Curaçao Hospitality & Tourism Association, told The Gleaner that the hotel will be opened next week.

“We are in awe with all the developments of our island, and one of the biggest ones is, of course, Sandals Royal Sands Curaçao opening next week. Everything is fully booked. What we understood, and we’re very very happy about, are perfect developments and our economy is booming,” Seferina said.

She was speaking with The Gleaner at the opening ceremony for the launch of the Global Trade Symposium at the Curaçao Marriott Beach Resort on Tuesday.

Seferina also shared how excited she was that the Sandals brand will be added to the suites of hoteliers in Curaçao to help with their booming hospitality and tourism industry.

WELCOME

“Curaçao is currently experiencing a serge of new hotel developments and brands, something never seen before in our history. From the newly renovated Marriott here, which opened back in 2020 – two years ago – to upscale all-inclusive options like Dreams Curaçao Resorts and Casino to Zoetry Curaçao Resort and very soon, Sandals Royal Sands Curaçao opening next week,” she said.

Ruisandro Cijntje, minister of economic development in Curaçao, told The Gleaner that they are very proud to have a chain of Sandals.

“For us, it’s a huge thing to have Sandals here. Sandals is promoting Curaçao very well so we are more than happy to welcome Sandals this year,” Cijntje told The Gleaner.

Curaçao’s tourism market is now on a recovery path following previous shutdowns and restrictions brought on by the pandemic.

In addition to the official opening of Sandals in Curaçao, the island is expected to welcome the opening of other new hotels, such as the Marriott Courtyard and Curaçao Elements; and the reopening of Kura Hulanda Botanica.

In February, Sandals reopened its Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort and Offshore Island in The Bahamas, which Prime Minister Andrew Holness attended.

Tourist attraction agencies in Curaçao told The Gleaner that they are already receiving bookings for the Sandals hotel.

Christy Sjollema, supervisor of operations, Irie Tours, said, “We have lots of bookings already for our tours [in partnership with Sandals]. Our sunset sails with Sandals is being booked a lot ... lots of interest in that tour. We also have an open-air bus ride, city ride, and that is also being booked very well … and the catamaran tour is very popular.”

She said the tours will include snorkel stops and barbecue on-board during the rides.

Her boss, Managing Director Sandira Henriquez, added: “We are happy that Sandals is opening up a resort here on the island.”