Sandals entering its ninth destination: Curacao

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An aerial view of the future Sandals Curacao.
An aerial view of the future Sandals Curacao.

Sandals Curacao will open on the site of the Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort on Curacao's southern coast, marking the ninth destination for Sandals Resorts International and the first that is outside the British Caribbean. 

The new Sandals Curacao will initially include 350 rooms and suites stretched along Baie Longue Beach, Spanish Water Bay and the Caribbean Sea with expansion planned in the future, including Rondoval Suites, according to Adam Stewart, deputy chairman. 

As with other properties acquired by the company, the resort will be "Sandalized" with expansive signature pools, five-star restaurants, new River Suites and swim-up rooms -- a process set to begin in 2021.

"Our guests will have access to the adjacent Pete Dye-designed 18-hole golf course, two marinas, indoor and outdoor meetings space, a variety of wedding venues and Curacao's many dive sites and marine ecosystems," Stewart said.

The resort is expected to add more than 1,200 local jobs comprised of 800 new team members and 400-plus local tradesmen and craftsmen.

Stewart said that the economic ripple effect of Sandals' presence on the island will extend to local taxi and transportation sectors, expand the supply chain, increase airlift and boost tourism numbers.

"Our key market is the U.S.," he said. "American and JetBlue already serve Curacao, and we're hoping to have other carriers join the mix. In addition, the Dutch market is a key source of business for the island, bringing travelers on KLM's daily flight from Amsterdam."

Roald Smeets, director of the Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort, which closed all operations in June due to the pandemic, said the presence of Sandals "as hotel operator, owner and investor will bring an unprecedented boon to Curacao's tourism industry.  Its future investment into the community will reinvigorate the market and secure the livelihoods of hundreds of families."

Butch Stewart, Sandals' chairman and founder, pledged that "we plan to do more than our part to raise the world's appreciation of this beautiful country."

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