Curacao’s Kura Hulanda Hotel Closes


Above: the Kura Hulanda

By Alexander Britell

The Kura Hulanda Hotel in Curacao has closed its doors and been declared bankrupt, Netherlands-based Sandton Hotels announced.

The Kura Hulanda Lodge & Beach Club remains open, however.

In a release, Sandton Founder and CEO Gui de Vries said he considered the hotel’s closure a “loss” for the hotel collection.

While no announcement was made on the property’s Web site, the hotel’s booking engine listed future dates as unavailable.

The Kura Hulanda, which was founded by Jacob Gelt Dekker, tapped Sandton Hotels to manage the property in late 2011. It had been Sandton’s first client in the Caribbean.

“When it became clear that there was no cash to pay the staff, [the hotel] had to apply for the bankruptcy administrator in Curacao,” de Vries said. “We had not expected that it would be that the hotel would have to close its doors immediately and there was no restart possible.”

De Vries blamed the closure on a difficulty in finding “high end tourists” in Curacao and a “dramatic decrease” in airlift from the US compared to Aruba.

“The difficult tourism industry in Curacao in the recent period has resulted in disappointed sales results,” de Vries said.

That’s not necessarily in line with recent tourism data; Curacao received 250,000 tourist arrivals in the first seven months of 2013, which represented a 5.3 percent increase over the same period in 2012 — among the highest rates of increase in the Caribbean this year, according to data from the Caribbean Tourism Organization.

The Curacao property is now looking for new management, according to reports.

At least 70 employees are out of work due to the closure, the company said.


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