HOTEL INSIDER

Full Review Sandals Curacao: Review, Photos + Tips

Last updated on May 9, 2024
Sandals Royal Curacao Review

Sandals Resorts has opened up it’s 16th property in the Dutch Caribbean country of Curacao and let me tell you, Sandals Curacao might be one of the coolest and most luxurious Sandals resort under their umbrella! This elegant and gem of a spot does disappoint in any sort of way.

With over 44 acres of oceanfront views all located on a protected reserve overlooking the Spanish water, Sandals Royal Curacao is a resort where natural and cultural elements create the perfect and most serene atmosphere.

Having just opened in June of 2022 and undergoing a 72 million facelift to boot, the property is modern and has all the bells and whistles you can imagine. It’s also a Sandals property with a lot of “Firsts”- the first double infinity pool with direct views of the ocean, the first Sandals resort with complimentary mini coopers with certain room categories and Island inclusive dining options ( aka you can dine at restaurants off site and it’s included for certain room categories!)

You can also see my Instagram Highlights for a behind the scenes of our stay here

Having now experienced my first Sandals review ( How did I wait this long??), I thought I would do a full Sandals Curacao review highlighting all the important facts and tidbits for you to know ahead of your visit!

Sandals Curacao Mini Guide

BEST RESTAURANT: Vincent

BEST ROOM TYPE: Awe Seaside Butler Bungalows if your splurging or any sort of swim up room if you are looking for an affordable option

BEST OVERALL ACTIVITY EXPERIENCE: Glass Kayak or Free Snorkel Boat Tour ( Twice a day- 11AM or 1:30PM)

BEST POOL: Double Level Infinity Pool

What makes Sandals Royal Curacao different than other Sandals?

Island Inclusive Dining

Sandals Royal Curacao is the first Sandals property to curate an off site dining program. If you are booked in a Butler suite and are staying for 7 nights or more you can visit restaurants on the Island that are part of this amazing program. These guests receive a $250 credit to use at the restaurant and transportation is also included. I think this whole program is so cool! Restaurants include: BKLYN, Kome, Mosa Cana Bar, Number Ten, Sai the Kitchen and several more!

Mini Coopers

Imagine cruising around a little Caribbean island in a Mini Cooper convertible? The cute and sporty vehicles are COMPLIMENTARY for guests who are staying in Awa Seaside and Kurason Island Butler Bungalows.

Dos Awas Pool

This dual level infinity pool is one of a kind. It provides an impressive viewpoint and was constructed in a way that has it blending right into the ocean.

Sandals Royal Curacao is the first property to feature a pool of this magnitude. Overlooking the Spanish water, this pool features a swim up bar, private cabanas and high energy entertainment throughout the day to match it’s big personality. I have about 289 photos of the pool from every angle on my phone because it’s just so gorgeous- I couldn’t stop snapping.

Here are the tools and sites I use to book all of my travel itineraries:

Sandals Curacao Room Options

Sandals Curacao Review

Sandals Royal Curacao Resort has over 361 rooms with over 25 room categories within those rooms. Basically what I am saying is that you should not have a problem finding a room to suite your needs here!

Within these 25 room categories there are ocean bungalows, garden suites, one bedroom options and simple yet spacious private balcony options.

There are also 3 different levels: Luxury, Club and Butler, and here are the main differences between each of these levels:

Luxury Level: Includes mini bar ( wine and beer) and all the other perks on the resort. This level is great for those that like to do things on their own and don’t want to spend all their time in the room

Club Sandals Category: Includes a fully stocked in room bar which is replenished daily and room service is an option for eating. We had this level and really enjoyed the breakfast room service in the morning!

Upon arrival you get to head to the Club Sandals Concierge lounge where you are greeted with cold towels, a delicious drink, welcome pack and can use this space through your visit. Sandals Curacao Club lounge has flat screen TVS, books, games, snacks and drinks. It was a great place to hang out in once we were checked out and waiting for our airport transportation.

Butler Category: This level of luxury starts before you even land at Sandals Curacao. You can make reservations ahead of time, you get private transportation from the airport and you even get a butler phone to connect with your Butler on.

Sunchi Swim-up Club Level Junior Suite with Patio Tranquility Soaking Tub

This is the room that we stayed at during our trip. It is one of the most popular options since it’s reasonably priced starting at $329 a night. Despite the great price point, there is no shortage of luxury. Our room was incredibly spacious, had a soaking tub, pool loungers and a massive king size bed. We opted for the swim up pool option which was heavenly. We loved this for a morning swim or evening dip.

TIP: The location of our room was right by Aolos restaurant and the food trucks. We loved the location of our room for several reasons one of them being that it was super quiet in this area. The food trucks shut down by 7PM so if you want to get to bed early, you won’t hear a peep!

We also loved that we were close to Aolos for breakfast. We would roll right out of bed and head right there!

We met another couple who was right by the beach area of the resort. They said that it was more loud at night time (which they loved) as the entertainment takes place on the beach some nights. Something to consider when you are choosing a room: are you the night hawk or the early riser!?

Asombroso Rondoval Butler Villa w/ Private Pool

The is probably the most private and luxurious room option you can get on the property. Each of the rooms are nestled around a heart shaped pool that is exclusive for the guests staying in these rooms. The interior space is modern and warm, you are given more privacy ( noone can see you), a plunge pool, a more modern and bigger bathroom and overall bigger terrace.

Awe Seaside Butler Bungalows

We call this room option the top tier choice! The first ever “Awa Seaside Bungalows” sit directly on the coast offering ocean views, your own plunge pool, soaking tub and extended deck. The first-ever Awa Seaside Bungalows and their private pools are set directly on the coast, with spectacular ocean views.  Each has an expansive private patio with an extended sun deck and private infinity pool overlooking the beach. Butler service is included.

If you are looking for another few options for rooms at Sandals Curacao, check out these options:

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Sandals Curacao Restaurants

With over 8 restaurants, 3 food trucks and 11 bar options, Sandals Curacao is a journey for the senses!

What we particularly loved about the food choices at Sandals Curacao is that every restaurant felt different and unique. It didn’t give off “all inclusive” vibes at all. Each menu is carefully thought out and curated to fit the vibe and theme of the space.

Aolos

Aolos is the restaurants at Sandals Curacao with the best location. Hands down. Perched up at the front of the property, this Mediterranean inspired restaurant offers direct ocean views giving you the pleasure of enjoying your morning coffee with a little ocean waves ASMR.

We went here every morning except once ( we thought we had to give a different place a try!) because we loved it so much. We would have loved to visit for dinner but we didn’t make it there.

Do not miss out on the blueberry pancakes on their breakfast menu. Trust me!

Gatsu Gatsu

If you are a sushi lover, you cannot miss Gatsu Gatsu! I would probably pick this as my 2nd favourite dining option for not only the food quality but the ambience! The outdoor seating is perched up a bit giving you the perfect sunset views.

We loved all of their fresh rolls ( the chef’s special was also a fav!) and enjoyed some ramen too!

Reservations are not required here but I would recommend checking in around 6:30PM and see where things are at as some nights can get busy!

Butch’s

Butch’s is the resorts chop house. It features premium and high quality beefs and the surf and turf that I had there was one of the best meals from the trip!

Other dinner items to not miss: Crispy Goat Cheese Salad and the Willy Wonka Brulee ( pictured above) – omg!!! I had to go back one night strictly for this dessert

Zuka

Zuka is one of the most “Insta-Worthy” spots on the property. It feels like you immediately enter a city in Colombia with it’s vibrant and splashy bar, bright wallpaper and Latin fusion menu!

They had South American inspired cocktails which we absolutely loved ( I am looking at you Caipirinha’s!) and lots of yummy entrees that matched the vibe.

You can’t miss visiting this spot! Bonus that no reservations are required here.

Vincent

Vincent is one of the resorts upscale dining options where every dish is a culinary masterpiece. The space is inspired by Vincent Van Gough and has modern setting that pays homage to the famous artist. It’s interior is contemporary, sleek and it’s one of the restaurant that have a Resort Evening dress code in place.

The menu features modern European fushion dishes and we truly felt this was the best dinner we had! We had a salad and caviar dish to start, beef tenderloin and salmon for our mains and a modern take on a pavlova to cap it all off

Tip: Bring a sweater if you find you get cold easily- it’s a little chilly in there compared to some of the other spots

The Strand

This unassuming beach side restaurant became our JAM for lunch!

It’s conveniently located right on the beach so you can mosey on over after a good morning sun session and take your pick from some of the most delicious sandwiches, burgers, wraps and salads of your life!

We loved the beach feel of the place and the menu is perfect for lunch.

Order: Jerk Chicken, Burger or Shrimp Ceasar Wrap!!

Important to note: Even though it’s an open air beach restaurant right in the sand you still have to wear clothes and shoes!

Kanaal

Kanaal is a Dutch coffee shop by day and a wine and cheese bar by the afternoon. Talk about the place that does it all!

Kanaal opened up at 6:30am so we would always go there for a morning coffee first thing before breakfast. Their coffee menu includes Americanos, Cappuccinos, and lattes! You also can’t miss the red velvet cupcakes there!

In the afternoon, you can find little cheese boards for your enjoyment, wine sampling and fresh gelato! You also need to try the Dutch waffles!

Pietra

Pietra is an Italian restaurant in the center of the property where you can always count on a great plate of food ( and quick if needed). This is where you can find a buffet option at breakfast, lunch and dinner and the variety is really great. While you can do buffet here, you can also do a la carte. The real winner here is the pizzeria/pizza oven though. You need to hit this up for lunch one day because the pizzas are top notch and truly make you feel like you are in Italy.

When we visited they started renovations so we didn’t have a chance to enjoy some of their Italian pasta dishes which a lot of other guests raved about!

Food Trucks

I don’t think I have ever visited a resort that had food trucks and boy oh boy is it a cool touch! The Sandals Curacao has 3 different food trucks on site that are open from 11AM-7PM

Toteki is the local Curcao fare spot!

La Palma is the Spanish Tapas truck

Kishi is the Asian fushion eatery. 

What I recommend eating: Boa buns at Kishi ( get the shrimp, steak and chicken!) Shrimp and Potato Bravas from La Palma and the Pulled Pork sandwich from Toteki!

If I only had one day to discover Sandals Curaçao here is where I would eat:

Breakfast: Aiolos

Lunch: The Strand or one of the food trucks!

Snack: a little nibble from Kanaal for gelato or cheese

Pre Dinner Cocktails: The Bar at Zuka or Espresso Martinis at the Lobby

Dinner: Vincent

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Review on Sandals Royal Curacao Activities and Entertainment

Scuba Dive

Believe it or not, Scuba Diving is complimentary for guests who are certified divers. You must bring your diver certification card and then do a quick resort certification course to head out on the water. It is $140 USD to complete this and the price at the time of writing was subject to change. Apparently Curacao is one of the best islands in the Caribbean to dive and some people visit just for that reason!

Red Lane Spa at Sandals Curacao

The Red Lane Spa on site is not a complimentary activity but it sure is one that you should consider indulging in. With many offerings such as traditional massages, head scalp massages, body wraps, facials and even treatments that tap into all the senses for ultimate relaxation.

What I liked most about this spa is that you had the option to receive a treatment on site inside their beautiful facility or you could choose a beach front treatment where you get to relax in a private beach cabana ( located in the quiet area of the hotel)

Take a spin on the Dutch Bikes

This was hands down my favourite thing about Sandals Royal Curacao!

Included in your stay are these complimentary Dutch bikes that you can grab and use for the duration of your time there. There are certain bike stations throughout where you can pick up a bike and cruise through the resort or easily get to a restaurant that you are heading to.

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I felt like a kid biking around and I also loved being able to quickly get accustomed to the property upon arrival there!

Nightly Entertainment

Looking for the action at night? Head to The Grove at Coconut Beach. You can expect DJ sets, dance shows and performances and theme nights. We had a blast there checking out all the acts

The other nights we headed to the Lobby Bar where a pianist would play for the crowd and we sipped on some of the delicious craft cocktails being served up ( You need to try the Espresso martinis from there!!) If you are looking for a little romance and more of a quieter vibe, head here!

Water Sports

The water sports available are something you can’t miss. Sandals Curacao has quite literally every option available. They have paddleboards, glass bottom kayaking, hobie cats and snorkelling gear.

The beach there consistently had a ton of fish by the dock making it so easy to capture some great sea life. The Hobie cats can be taken out by one of the Sandals staff so you can just hop on board and relax and if you want to Snorkel somewhere different, there are daily snorkeling trips that last about an hour and take you to a nearby cove. Both of these options are like getting a free boat trip!

Land Sports

Want to stay dry but still have fun? The resort has an awesome shuffle board set up, croquet, chess boards ( big ones), Table tennis, board games, bocce ball, volleyball and cricket. They do have tennis courts as well but they were not opened yet.

Use Island Tours for a day trip off the property:

It’s pretty easy to NOT leave Sandals Curacao as there is so much to do on site but if you would love to explore more of the beautiful country of Curacao booking a tour with Island Routes is the right call.

The company has a booth right on site within the Sandals lobby so you can conveniently explore their options and book something that suites your needs. We did a Shopping trip to Williemstad which allowed us to explore the city on our own. We loved having the freedom to venture out on our own!

Hit Up Sandals Curacao’s Quiet Pool

Nestle on the far left of the property, you can find the “quiet pool” at the resort. The minute you set up shop there, you almost feel like you are at the spa. All you can hear is the sounds of the ocean.

It’s the epitome of “peace and quiet” and a big change from the main pools. There is no bar on site here but you can have a cooler brought to you with some drinks. 10/10 recommend spending an hour or two here …especially if you are reading a book!

Fitness Center

What makes the fitness center at Sandals Curacao a draw is that it is a: located in an area with pool and ocean views and B: it is open 24 hours. If you are travelling from a different time zone and want to get up and at it, it’s nice you have this option!

Daily Schedule of Events

Every day and week there are specific events happening around the resort. Everything from Dance Off’s between guests to rum tastings by the bars.

There are TVs in each room that show the schedule of all the daily activities. You can view it from your TV in your room, catch the line up on the TV in the main lobby or even check the Sandals app.

Here are some specialty events that take place weekly: Manager’s Soiree, Sandals Select Cocktail Reception & Dinner, and Club Sandals Guests Cocktail Reception

Here are some of the daily activities that day place: Karaoke, battle of the sexes, resort tour, pool Olympics and more!

Important Things To Know About Staying at Sandals Royal Curacao

  • Round trip Transfers to and from the Airport are included in your price! Once you land and get your luggage, head outside to the Sandals booth and check in. There are waters and little snacks for you to have while you wait!
  • We read some reviews that service could be slow and the only time we found this was at Breakfast time. I would recommend two things: Either getting there before 8AM and getting a place in line so that you get a table OR going after the rush around 8:45AM. We got a table right away doing it this way! Overall keep in mind that you are on an island and island time is sometimes a thing with any Caribbean island you visit. Have a pina colada and enjoy the slow pace of it all is my motto;)
  • There is no tipping required at Sandals but we did tip our house keepers and transport staff
  • The resort is cashless and you can leave your credit card on file and charge anything extra to your room if you want. The gift shop on site doesn’t even accept cash. I would recommend cash though if you are heading into Williamstad- some of the market shops only will accept cash- though there are ATMS in town!
  • There is an app called “Gina” that allows you to communicate with staff members with when you are there. You can chat via Whatsapp and let the staff know of something you may need. We found this incredible useful!
  • The resort is all inclusive except for spa services, off site tours and upgraded wines at the restaurants. They also offer a free photoshoot but you do have to pay for the photos you want!
  • They accommodate all dietary restrictions! Every time we ate, all of the staff made sure to ask us about this. There is also a culinary desk where you can connect with someone to go over your needs.
  • Check in time is 3PM and check out time is 11AM. The staff at the time of departure will come around and pick up your luggage which I thought was a very nice touch.
  • People get out to the pools EARLY! I am talking like 7:30AM early. Don’t try to save your chairs though unless you do plan to be out there by 10AM. The policy is that if you are not at your chair but leave your items there to “reserve” them- they will be moved. I really liked this as some people are notorious for reserving chairs.
  • The beach at the front of the resort is not swimmable. Some people thought of this as a con of the resort however I honestly liked this. It left the patch of sand right in front of the pool clear with unobstructed views of the water. The smaller enclosed beach area on the right hand side of the resort aka “Coconut Beach” is the swimmable beach on the property and the water is calm and SO blue!
  • The two restaurants Vincent and Butch’s have a dress code for gentlemen. They need to wear nicer pant ( linen , khaki etc), a collared shirt and closed toe shoes.

I hope you enjoyed this full review on Sandals Curacao. This romantic resort is the perfect escape for your honeymoon, anniversary or even just a getaway.

The idyllic setting truly lives up to the hype and we felt like we were in a dream for 5 days straight.

If you are thinking about booking or are heading there and have more questions, please feel free to reach out to me on Instagram!

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