Our Real And Honest Review of Sandals Royal Curaçao

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Prepare to be enchanted by the enchanting charm of Sandals Royal Curaçao, a haven of tranquility and luxury. We visited Sandals Royal Curacao in May of 2024 and in this comprehensive guide, we will go through the resort’s exquisite amenities, from its elegant accommodations to its world-class dining options.

Indulge in the ultimate relaxation as you soak up the sun by the pool or unwind with a rejuvenating spa treatment. With its breathtaking views and unparalleled service, Sandals Royal Curaçao is the perfect destination for a romantic getaway.

Sandals Royal Curaçao Resort Review guide

If you have been on Juggling Midlife for any amount of time, you know that my husband and I frequent Sandals Resorts because they are an all-inclusive resort chain and (almost) everything is included. While it may be a higher price tag, the benefits we get from vacationing here outweigh the costs.

A Little About Curaçao

Where is Curaçao Located?

Part of the ABC island chain, Curaçao is located in the middle of the Aruba & Bonaire, and it sits about 40 miles north of the coast of Venezula. With its location falling below the hurricane belt, it makes it a perfect year-round destination.

What Airport Do I Fly Into To Get To The Resort?

Hato International Airport(CUR) is the airport that you will fly into when you want to head to the island. With flights from major cities like Miami, Charlotte, and NYC, you can be enjoying a cocktail in no time. There are several inter-island options as well, which makes island hopping a great option!

Is It Safe To Drink The Water In Curaçao?

Curaçao’s water is not only safe for drinking, but it is also top-notch in quality. Back in 1890, American wind turbines were brought to Curaçao to help with land irrigation. Fast forward to 1928, a seawater distillery was established to produce drinking water. Our private driver to the resort was proud to share this about the island’s water.

Is It Safe To Walk Around Curaçao At Night?

Absolutely! We felt very comfortable walking around at night in downtown Willemstad. There is nothing like seeing the Queen Emma Bridge lit up at night. People there are friendly, and we were never approached or harassed. It was quite refreshing.

Queen Emma Bridge Willemstad Curaçao

The Airport In Curaçao

Having been to several islands and usually a person that gets fast-track services to make navigating the airport easier, I found the airport here to be one of the easiest to navigate. We were in and out in no time flat.

Welcome to Curaçao Hato International Airport

Our private driver was waiting to meet us at the bar, but if you are taking the Sandals included transfer, simply walk all the way down to the right past the car rental counters and you will find the Sandals waiting area. They will tag your bags, and then get you to your complimentary transfer.

Welcome To Sandals Royal Curaçao

As you come down the main drive from the road, you are greeted with a beautiful boat-themed fountain and the amazing Chi Chi doll that was specially crafted for the resort. Let her warm embrace fill you with the Curaçao spirit!

Sandals Royal Curaçao entrance chi chi doll

If you are booked in a butler or club level room, you will be escorted to Club Sandals for your check-in. I highly, highly recommend doing online check-in and putting a credit card on file before hitting the resort. You will be on your way in a flash if you do that.

Club Sandals at Sandals Royal Curaçao

While you wait your turn, make sure you get the signature cocktail from Club Sandals!

signature drink Club Sandals at Sandals Royal Curaçao

What a delicious way to start your vacation and get you into the island spirit. As butler or club level guests, you have 24 hour access to the lounge where they have snacks and drinks available to you in the back.

snack area Club Sandals

If you are booked in a luxury level room, you will be escorted to the main lobby and will check in at the desk there.

main lobby area Sandals Royal Curaçao
Main lobby check in

What You Need To Know About The Grounds At Sandals Royal Curaçao

Set on 44 acres, Sandals Royal Curaçao has so much to offer their guests.

The view from the main lobby is breathtaking!

view from the main lobby

Imagine just chilling outside around sunset in a heart-shaped lounger.

heart-shaped loungers Sandals Royal Curaçao

There are hidden nooks and hot tubs near Gatsu Gatsu

Hidden nook near Gatsu Gatsu
hot tub near Gatsu Gatsu Sandals Royal Curaçao

You definitely get your steps in on this resort, depending on where your room is. I loved that I could walk around in the morning and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Important Things To Know About The Beach Area At This Resort

Let me preface this by saying that if you are a true beach person, then this resort may not be the best fit for you. I didn’t think the beach area was bad, but it isn’t your typical beach.

The main beach area in front of the resort is not for swimming. As you can see, swimming and other activities are not permitted in this area.

non-swimmable beach area Sandals Royal Curaçao

The swimmable beach area is actually along the canal area. It is separated off by the floating dock that the dive & snorkeling boat goes off of.

swimmable beach area

The area is actually calmer, and you have yellow floats you can wade out to and enjoy. You can even wade out and snorkel near the pilings and see an array of fish.

Since we are pool people, this was not a big deal for us. In fact, we didn’t even go and sit on the beach during this trip. The main pool and the quiet pool were our go-to spots. But we did see lots of people using the floats and they looked like they were having a great time.

The beach area is also a good place for some snorkeling since the fish like to hang around the dock.

Yellow ocean floats Sandals Royal Curaçao

I hope that knowing this helps you plan your next trip to this resort. And that you are fully informed before you go so that you are not disappointed in the beach situation.

Let’s Talk About Dining At Sandals Royal Curaçao

Food is always one of our favorite things about spending time at Sandals Resorts. You get to try things you wouldn’t normally because it is all included. And if you don’t like it? No worries! You can always ask for something else and they will be happy to grab it for you. No guilt and no extra payment.

mango pastry at Zuka

Let’s dig in a bit about food choices.

Dining Guide At Sandals Royal Curaçao

Breakfast Options:

  • Aolos is an a la carte from 8am-11am
  • Pietra is a breakfast buffet from 7:30am-10:30am (our go-to because of the made-to-order egg station)
  • Butch’s is a la carte brunch menu from 8am-12pm

Lunch Options:

  • The food trucks Totéki, La Palma, and Kishi, open from 11:00am-7pm
  • Pietra Buffet from 12:30pm-2:30pm and also serves pizza from 12:30pm-4pm. They just put in a new pizza oven so it should be spectacular!
  • Strand serving a la carte lunch from 11:00am to 3:30pm. The only thing missing from this restaurant is quesadillas.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that one of the new restaurants will be a Jerk Shack! I missed that as part of my lunch rotation, however the food trucks more than made up for it.

Dinner Options:

  • Aolos offers a la carte dinner from 6pm-9:30pm
  • Pietra has a dinner buffet from 6:30pm-9:30pm. We enjoyed it very much when we went.
  • Gatsu Gatsu offers dinner from 6pm-9:30pm.
  • Strand offers a la carte dinner from 6:30-9:30pm
  • Zuka is open from 6pm-9:30pm for a la carte dinner. I highly recommend the swordfish!
  • Vincent is a reservation required restaurant open from 6pm-9:30pm.
  • Butch’s Island Chop House is a la carte dining from 6pm-9:30pm and also requires reservations.

Late Night and Snack Options:

  • Kaanal offers desserts and wine/cheese (additional cost in the evening for wines) up until 10:30 pm
  • Pietra offers snacks from 10pm-2am

Whatever you decide, you won’t go hungry, that is for sure. In fact, we even shared a dessert because we were full and didn’t want to waste things.

strawberry bomb dessert Strand restaurant Sandals Royal Curaçao

Bars On Resort

There are thirteen, yes 13!! bars & cocktail lounges on resort. Whether you want a quick drink or fun at the swim up bar, you cannot go wrong at any of them. The bartenders are great and we enjoyed getting to know them!

main lobby bar
Strand Restaurant bar
Bar at Zuka Sandals Royal Curaçao

Wherever you decide to hang out, you definitely will not be thirsty!

My thoughts about the dining:

  • Best meal: returning guest dinner
  • Best lunch: beef teriyaki bowl at Kishi
  • Best drink: toss up between the Bob Marley and the Curacao Vibes at the swim up bar
  • Best dessert: warm apple slice at Butch’s
  • Best snack: strawberry ice cream at Kaanal
  • Favorite thing: morning iced vanilla latte with Bailey’s from Kaanal made by Isadura!

A side note: if you want the best service and food, go with early seatings at 6 or 6:30 pm. We found the later seatings to be less than our favorite Sandals Resorts dining experiences and slightly disappointing. I left feedback about it on Gina and I hope they will work to improve it.

Accommodation Options At This Resort

With 25 categories of rooms to choose from, you will find the perfect place to lay your head each night.

As always, I booked a swim up suite for my husband and I. We first had a swim up at the Sandals Grande in St. Lucia, and I have been hooked ever since. We went with the HSUP club level swim up, and requested building 2. It ended up being the perfect location in the fact it was central to everything.

HSUP room at Sandals Royal Curaçao
night view of the swim up

There are 2 more buildings that have this room category at the far end. Quite a walk from everything, so make sure you have comfortable shoes. The advantage to these rooms is that they are quiet and a true retreat.

We love club level service, so we book that whenever possible. But if you don’t spend a lot of time in your room and don’t care about room service, luxury level will work well for you. Need help deciding? Send a message and we can walk you through the choices.

And if you are anxious to take out the mini cooper for a spin, you will need to book either one of the Kurason Island Poolside Butler Bungalow or the Awa Seaside Butler Bungalow With Private pool. Both of these suites are magnificent and offer so much!

No matter what room category you choose to stay in, you will enjoy your stay. In fact all rooms include the following:

  • Air-conditioning (trust me when I say it works well!)
  • King-sized bed
  • Stocked refrigerator (varies by room category)
  • Amenity kit
  • Make-up mirror
  • Telephone
  • In-room safe
  • HD smart TV
  • Iron/ironing board

Things To Do At Sandals Royal Curaçao

One thing is for sure, you will never be bored on this resort if you like to be active. I was amazed at all the things you could do AND all the spaces you had if you didn’t want to do anything. You certainly cannot beat that.

First up, my favorite place on the resort. This is the main pool area.

The Dos Awa Infinity Pool

This is Sandals Resorts first 2-level infinity pool, and it is absolutely breathtaking!

Dos Awa Infinity pool Sandals Royal Curaçao

We had so much fun talking and hanging out at the edge of the pool each day. You can watch the boats go by while enjoying the company of your spouse and enjoying a great drink.

Drinks in the Dos Awa infinity pool

Toss in the swim-up pool bar and the best playmakers, and you have a pool that you never want to leave!

playmakers at Dos Awa infinity pool

As with many all-inclusive resorts, the best pool chairs get taken pretty quickly.

I am a naturally early riser so I was out with the butlers at 6 am. I always pretty much had my choice of chairs at either pool. But the majority of the chairs with umbrellas were gone by 7-7:30 am.

Aqua Center & Watersports

Do you love to dive? Well, Curaçao has some of the best diving around and it is included in your stay if you are certified.

Curaçao dive map Sandals Resorts

Ready to take the plunge and dive? They have a Discover Scuba course for an additional fee that you can take that is good for your stay. Work towards your certification with the help of amazing instructors.

And if you love water-sports other than diving, Sandals Resorts has you covered with the following water-based activities:

  • Kayaks
  • Paddleboards
  • Hobie Cats
  • Water Trikes

These activities are available daily from 8am-4pm so you can get your water fun in while the sun is shining.

Available Land Sports

If water isn’t your thing, don’t worry there is plenty of other things you can do! Check out these fun activities to do on land:

  • Volleyball
  • Bocce ball
  • Board Games
  • Pool
  • Table tennis
  • Shuffle board
  • Croquet
  • Giant chess board
  • Giant connect 4
land games on resort

Are you ready to have fun here?

Island Routes Excursions

Want to explore the island? Take a catamaran? The staff at Island Routes has you covered. Just head to their desk in the main lobby and they can get you started on a true island adventure. Tours are an additional cost and vary in price by activity. Don’t worry, they can help you find the perfect one.

Island Routes desk Sandals Royal Curaçao

Here are a few of the options they offer at this resort:

  • Taste Of Curaçao
  • Sunset Catamaran cruise
  • Klein Curaçao yacht experience
  • Punda Vibes
  • West Coast half-day ATV experience
  • Curaçao caves and turtles experience
  • Willemstad walking tour

And this isn’t the complete least, and more are offered on resort. Whatever adventure you may crave, you will get it satisfied here.

You can have a chill & relaxing vacation or a fun-filled one as well. No matter what, Sandals Resorts has you covered. I do recommend getting off the resort at least once in Curaçao because of how safe the island is. Rent a car, hire a private driver, but try to take in the beauty of Willemstad.

Evening Entertainment at Sandals Royal Curaçao

From what I hear, the entertainment here at night is spectacular. We did not get to any of it because we tend to go to bed early. We did hear it from our patio in the room and it sounded like a lot of fun. I am an early riser because I like the quiet time on the resort so I am ready to turn in when entertainment is just beginning.

Here is a sample of what is available:

Friday activities
Saturday activities board
Sunday activity board

Club Sandals Events

Wine Tasting Event

We went to our first resort wine tasting back in 2017 at Sandals Royal Caribbean. It was something I had never done before, and it was well worth it. When we saw that we had a night free, we decided to check it out here, and I am so glad we did.

They held the wine tasting outside in the Palm Garden area, and it was such a pretty night.

Club Sandals wine tasting event

They had some cheese, nuts, and fruit available while enjoying your wine samples.

wine tasting snacks

Can I just say the pink pineapple was fabulous and so was the salami rose.

As always, I prefer my red wines, but I also found that the white wines were just as tasty. We enjoyed mingling with other guests as well, and had so much fun telling the Sandals newbies about our favorite resorts.

Returning Guest Dinner at Sandals Royal Curaçao

Some guests find the returning guest dinner to be a tedious event. We love going because the meals they serve tend to be some of the best on resort. It’s fun to sit and mingle with people and talk about all things Sandals.

returning guest dinner menu

We enjoying helping other guests celebrate their Sandals milestones, and it always gives us goals to work towards. It’s fun to see what resort everyone enjoys the most.

Did I mention the food is amazing? Here is a peek of what we enjoyed here.

soup choice
main dish returning guest dinner
mango dessert returning guest dinner

We also take the time to donate to the Sandals Foundation when we are at the returning guest dinner. We are lucky and fortunate that we are able to go and we enjoy giving back. And they tend to have things that make the best souvenirs.

This is from our trip:

Sandals Foundation donation
photo from returning guest dinner

I love having these memories from our vacation. Trouble is, I like them so much I am going to have to buy more flat furniture to display them all on. A great problem to have.

If you have a shorter stay, then you might want to skip the dinner, but I truly think you will be missing out if you do.

Take A Bike Ride Around The Resort

A first on the Sandals Resorts portfolio (but not the only one as they are available in St. Vincent & the Grenadines), there are bikes available for you to use. When you find one, you can take it and ride around the resort.

Sandals Resorts Cruiser bikes

Such a cool & fun concept and it makes navigating the resort a bit easier.

resort bikes

Take The Mini Cooper Out For A Day Of Exploration

Remember what I said about the seaside bungalows and Kurason heart suites? Booking these rooms gives you access to the Mini Cooper cars. This island is perfectly safe to drive around, so take advantage of this perk and try them out for yourself.

Sandals Resorts Mini cooper cars

Make sure you have a phone plan with international plan so that you can use your GPS to navigate. Other than that, your only thing to do is have fun and explore.

Red Lane Spa & Red Lane Fitness Center

I am not a spa person, so these are not services I ever use. But if you want to be pampered, head to the spa. So many options to choose from, you will have the ultimate in relaxation.

And don’t be afraid of those vacation calories, you can work them off in the state of the art fitness center. I went in early one morning and even I was impressed at the equipment available.

Final Thoughts About Sandals Royal Curaçao

It is H-O-T HOT here! Make sure you have enough sun protection. We went through 3+ bottles of regular SPF 70 sunscreen, and entire bottle of face SPF 50 sunscreen, and an entire bottle of scalp sunscreen spray. I recommend having a long-sleeved UVF blocking shirt as well to use during the day. Lotion at least 1 time per hour if you don’t want to get burned.

Drink lots of water during the day, in between all the delicious drinks you can get from the pool bartenders. It is very easy to get sunstroke here because it is so hot.

Skip the heels, and wear more comfortable shoes. You do a lot of walking here, and your feet will start hurting faster than you realize. Some of the surfaces are uneven as well, and the last thing you want to do is roll your ankle and be laid up.

resort grounds Sandals Royal Curaçao

This is a resort I will definitely be coming back to in the future, once they add more accommodations and 4 new restaurants. After doing some travel agent room tours, there are definitely a few other room categories I would love to stay in.

More Posts About Sandals Royal Curaçao

I hope that you found this review of Sandals Royal Curaçao to be helpful and that you are ready to book your stay here. Have questions? Make you send me a message via my contact form and can get in touch with you to help get you booked for your trip.

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  1. That looks absolutely wonderful! Ever since I watched the show Caribbean Life last year I have wanted to visit all of the A-B-C islands.

    1. Jen Salabsky says:

      It was an awesome trip, and I can’t wait to go back someday!!

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