This month we spoke to Senior PR Manager, Esme, about her recent trip to Sandals Royal Curaçao. Esme gives us an insight into what it’s like to travel from the UK to Curaçao, which dining options are on offer at Sandals Royal Curaçao, her top tips for anyone travelling to Sandals Royal Curaçao and much more.
I flew from London City Airport via Amsterdam with KLM, and the journey was incredibly smooth. For anyone who is nervous about connecting in Amsterdam – don’t be! Schiphol Airport is amazing, everything is spacious and clearly laid out. Our bags were checked the whole way through from London to Curaçao, so we just walked straight to our gate without having to go through bag drop in Amsterdam. Once we landed in Curaçao and passed through immigration, several Sandals representatives were waiting outside with our air-conditioned transfer, which was easy to find. From the airport it is approximately a 45-minute scenic drive to Sandals Royal Curaçao.
I noticed that Sandals Royal Curaçao has a more European flavour than our other resorts, whilst of course still retaining the same Sandals charm. The aesthetic is very light and airy, with wide open corridors and lots of natural light. The bi-level Dos Awa infinity pool is an amazing focal point, especially when you look out over the balcony from the lobby above.
I split my stay between a Carisia Luxury level room overlooking the Awa Seaside Butler Bungalows, and a Carisia Club Level Oceanview Room, which had a lovely view overlooking the quiet pool area. Guests staying in the top two Butler suite categories – the Kurason Island Poolside Butler Bungalow with Patio Tranquility Soaking Tub and the Awa Seaside Butler Bungalow with Private Pool – also have the use of complimentary Mini Coopers during their stay to get out and explore the island, which is a great addition.
The Mushroom Bisque at Vincent was phenomenal, and the atmosphere at Zuka is excellent. Strand and Aolo’s both have gorgeous scenery, and the food trucks are perfect for lunchtime dining. However, if I had to choose just one restaurant it would be Gatsu Gatsu. The sushi there was incredible - we ordered one of everything on the menu! We were able to dine outside at twilight there too, which was definitely a highlight.
The resort offers a variety of complimentary watersports for guests such as kayaking, paddleboarding, snorkelling, hobie-cat sailing and scuba diving (for PADI certified divers). There are complimentary pedal bikes dotted around the resort for guests to use at their leisure and of course, a Red Lane Spa for those who want some R&R. There’s also a beach club and options to try out complimentary landsports, such as volleyball, cricket, tennis, bocce ball, croquet or table tennis.
I loved it all! The beautiful grand entrance lobby is absolutely stunning, it offers panoramic views so it’s a great place to sit down for five minutes with a cup of Blue Mountain coffee. The scenery at Aolo’s restaurant is amazing, and I also really enjoyed eating at the three food trucks – Kishi, Toteki and La Palma. The sunset views from the beach are pretty special, too.
There’s lots to do around the island, from scenic boat trips and great diving spots to visiting the pretty Capital city of Willemstad - a UNESCO world heritage site. One of the highlights for me was an Island Routes Catamaran tour to the stunning Klein Curaçao. The water there is clearer than I have ever seen anywhere else in the world, and it’s great for snorkelling. I would also highly recommend spending either a morning or an afternoon exploring the streets of Punda in Willemstad, which are filled with beautiful street art murals and pavement cafés.
We also took advantage of the new Island Inclusive dining programme and visited Restaurant Nultwintig, which was a brilliant venue. The setting there is stunning with a pool and bar overlooking the ocean, hammocks set on a stretch of sand and chic, tranquil décor. The hospitality was excellent, and the food was delicious – every dish was cooked to perfection. We ate shrimp nachos with sides to share, and Blue Curaçao cocktails.
Expect the unexpected - the island has quite a different Caribbean flavour which makes it unique and quirky, it’s all part of the charm. Get out and explore Willemstad on an e-bike city tour with Island Routes and try out some of the local phrases – ‘Dushi’ affectionately means ‘sweetheart’ in Papiamentu, but can also be used to describe tasty food!
For more information on Sandals Royal Curaçao click here, and to discover all our all-inclusive holidays click here.