A Splash of Color, a Dose of Culture, and the Return of Carnival to Curaçao Mark Grand Opening Celebration
Sandals Resorts marked its venture into the vibrant culture and colors of the Dutch Caribbean with an enchanting Grand Opening Celebration at Sandals Royal Curaçao headlined by the island’s most captivating performers – including the highly anticipated return of Carnival to the destination for the first time in three years. Brilliantly bringing to life the newly opened resort’s tagline, Where Amazing Comes Together, the weekend’s events began on Friday, June 24th, with a welcome by Sandals Resorts’ Executive Chairman, Adam Stewart, followed by the sounds of the Kachu horn as the sun set over the resort company’s new home in Curaçao.
“Curacao’s rich history and vibrant culture is something to be discovered and we can’t wait to share Sandals Royal Curaçao with the world.”
Stewart added, “This extraordinary new resort sends a signal about the reimagined return of Caribbean travel and the ingenuity our guests can come to expect from Sandals Resorts.”
A Largely Rhythmic Affair with Local Flair
Reinforcing its commitment to its new community, the celebration – attended by a spirited crowd of resort guests, local dignitaries, island partners and international press – was headlined by various Curaçaon talent who form the tapestry of the island’s pulsing arts culture. A performance by one of the most innovative pannists in the Caribbean, Russell “Konkie” Halmeyer, along with the 7-band formation, The Guayaberas, welcomed attendees with the iconic beat of the steel pan drums, as Sway Performers swooned guests froma towering20 feet in the air all throughout the evening.
Tunes by Caribbean music producer extraordinaire, DJ Menasa, were met by the iconic sound of Nelson Braveheart’s saxophone, setting the stage for a countdown to a celebratory sunset ceremony at precisely 7:01pm, commemorated by local Curaçao horn blowers, Adriaan Leesly and Sharlon Kopra, and cultural performers from Folkloriko Ambiente Kultural. The fiery hues of the sunset were brought to life by the Phoenix Curaçao Theatrical Fire Show, mesmerizing the audience with spectacular dance choreography and elaborate costumes.
Mashups between local drummers, DJs, and violinists CJ Opus and Clari Montero, stirred the senses and ignited the soul, as guests mingled among lit teepee lounges and a signature cocktail bar representative of the local Divi tree. The event space was speckled by the work of talented Curaçao street chalk artist Wendy Nieuwkerk, who replicated the Netherlands’ signature Delft Blue tile art.
Making a true splash, Curaçao’s Swordfish Synchronized Swimming Team came together for a first-of-its-kind combination routine inside the bi-level Dos Awa Infinity Pool, the centerpiece of the resort. All active members of Curaçao’s national junior team, five swimmers from three group categories – solo, duet and team – performed together for the first time, a milestone in itself for the international competitors.
Bringing in the Blue
A nod to Curaçao’s quintessential spirit, Blue Curaçao, the global entertainment phenomenon, Blue Man Group, took to the stage to headline the evening, complete with its iconic characters and award-winning theatrical production. Energizing the crowd with their signature paint drum spectacle, Stewart joined the group for a Sandals-themed stunt on the stage.
The performance was followed by a riveting, operatic number by the ever-graceful Jasmin van Eeden in sync with a fireworks extravaganza by Gustavo Semeleer of the Curaçao Professional Fireworks Display 3D, lighting up the night sky.
The Return of Carnival to Curaçao
A coveted island-wide celebration, Carnival made its grand return to Curaçao for the very first time since 2019, choreographed by the award-winning Dushi Aventura with a kaleidoscopic, parade of close to 100 drummers, dancers, stilt walkers and iconic front-line costumes, all handmade especially for Sandals Royal Curaçao’s grand opening. An appearance by Raynor “Raey” Lauffer, known as the Tumba King, authenticated the performance as an official event of Carnival with his winning Tumba song. In true Carnival fashion, the parade was followed by the dynamic brass band, Percussion Creative Dynasty.
A Disco, Decades in the Making
A beachside after party with decadent desserts and bedazzling disco performances – a nod to the resort company’s four decade Anniversary – capped off an illustrious evening to remember. Headlined by Grammy Award-winning producer, remixer, DJ, and composer Tracy Young, the late-night celebration was flanked by special acts and music through the decades, with guests dancing on the sand late into the evening.
A Fashionable New Destination
Over the weekend, Executive Chairman Adam Stewart was joined by special guest and iconic fashion designer Stan Herman, to unveil the new “Anniversary Collection” Team Member uniforms curated by Herman exclusively for Sandals’ newest all-inclusive resort in Curaçao. Stewart shared insight into this coveted collaboration as a means to commemorate this milestone year for the brand, and as a tribute to the 15,000 Team Members who have been part of this journey with Sandals Resorts for 40 years and counting.
Debuting first at Sandals Royal Curaçao and thereafter throughout all resorts in the portfolio, the inaugural collection was inspired by the island’s iconic colors, architecture and landscapes, with Herman designing the uniforms for a wide range of categories.
“This weekend is a celebration of the charming and captivating island of Curaçao, its endearing, lively, and talented people, and our magnificent Team Members who make this all possible,” said Stewart. “We are incredibly excited to give you a glimpse into the future of Sandals Resorts and how we will continue to bring forward tremendous growth to the Caribbean region.”
Sandals Royal Curaçao
With its admirable west-facing position on 44 beachfront acres within a 3,000 acre preserve, Sandals Royal Curaçao captures the allure of one of the Caribbean’s most spectacular sunsets as the 16th and newest property in the Sandals Resorts portfolio. With 351-luxurious rooms and suites, the resort has more all-inclusive luxury options than ever before, including 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.Eleven dining options invite guests to indulge in international flavors from a melting pot of global cuisine, while a brand-new Island Inclusive Dining program offers guests in butler suites and select Sandals Select tiers the opportunity to experience the local flavors at various partner restaurants on the island. A Sandals ‘First’, guests can enjoy the tranquility of the ocean views from the Dos Awa Pool, a bi-level infinity pool oasis. Hop aboard a catamaran to sail Curaçao’s coveted waters via Island Routes, or let your curiosity guide you to new discoveries as you dive beneath the Spanish Water to uncover the aquatic world below. Journey into Willemstad, where art, color and culture are complemented by Curaçao’s smiling locals, all surrounded by history in this UNESCO site. It’s all possible in this magical place where the desert meets the ocean, vast blue waters meet a gently sloping shoreline, and mountain peaks soar in the distance. For more information, please click here.
Sandals ® Resorts
Sandals® Resorts offers two people in love the most romantic, Luxury Included® vacation experience in the Caribbean. With 16 stunning beachfront settings in Jamaica, Antigua, Saint Lucia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Grenada, and Curaçao, Sandals Resorts offers more quality inclusions than any other resort company on the planet. Signature Love Nest Butler Suites® for the ultimate in privacy and service; butlers trained by the Guild of Professional English Butlers; the Red Lane Spa®; 5-Star Global Gourmet™ dining, ensuring top-shelf liquor, premium wines, and gourmet specialty restaurants; Aqua Centers with expert PADI® certification and training; fast Wi-Fi from beach to bedroom and Sandals Customizable Weddings are all Sandals Resorts exclusives. Sandals Resorts is part of family-owned Sandals Resorts International (SRI), founded by the late Gordon “Butch” Stewart, which includes Beaches Resorts and is the Caribbean’s leading all-inclusive resort company. For more information about the Sandals Resorts Luxury Included® difference, click here.