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"It is drastic what has to be done to make the guests happy," shares an employee.

The Marriott Beach Resort in Piscadera Bay, Curaçao, is on the eve of a major transformation. In the coming weeks, the resort, located in one of the most picturesque parts of the island, will open exclusively to Jewish guests. Preparations for this significant undertaking are well underway and include the construction of new tennis courts, replacing beach chairs and adapting kitchen facilities to meet strict kosher dietary requirements.

group holiday

This is not the first time that a large group of Jewish guests has chosen Curaçao for a group holiday. However, this is the first time that they will move into the Marriott Beach Resort. Previous visits twelve years ago took place at other locations on the island. The adjustments that are now taking place are extensive. The staff is busy painting, cleaning, and receiving containers full of new amenities for guests. One of the regular guests writes to us: “Last night at 3 o'clock they were still dragging carts through the corridors.” There are also concerns among staff asking questions about the impact on guests currently enjoying their holidays. 

This exclusive event means that no other guests can stay at the hotel during this time.

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Photo: © Pitane Blue - Curaçao Marriott Beach

The transformation of the Marriott Beach Resort in Curaçao into an exclusive holiday resort for Jewish guests has far-reaching consequences, especially for the kitchen staff. The transition to a fully kosher kitchen is a complex and challenging undertaking that requires both logistical and educational adjustments.

The changes at the resort are not without challenges. The hotel's employees indicate that it requires a tremendous effort to meet all the specific needs of the guests. This includes not only physical changes but also adjustments in services and security. In-house chefs for the Jewish guests take over some of the tasks to ensure that nothing goes wrong. For example, staff are trained in kashrut, the Jewish dietary laws, which requires all new kitchen utensils to be consecrated via cording, a ritual that makes the items fit for use. 

Who pays decides. The fact that the hotel temporarily closes its doors to regular guests to exclusively accommodate 700 Jewish guests also has consequences for regular customers such as the TUI crew. These crew members, who are accommodated at the resort almost daily due to their frequent flights to and from the island, now have to move to other accommodations in Willemstad.

Jewish community

In the coming weeks, the Marriott Beach Resort in Curacao will be the scene of a special event: the celebration of Passover, the Jewish Easter festival, which takes place from April 22 to 30. This important festival, which lasts eight days (seven in Israel), commemorates the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt, a story of oppression and eventual liberation. For the Jewish community, Passover is a time of reflection and renewal, focusing on the bittersweet history of slavery and subsequent redemption.

During Passover, many Jewish households undergo a deep cleaning to remove all yeast and fermented products from their homes, which is symbolic of removing pride and arrogance. This is just part of the extensive preparations made for the seder meals, held on the first two nights of Passover. These meals are both ritual and festive, serving specific dishes rich in symbolism, such as matzo (unleavened bread) and maror (bitter herbs).


The history of the Jewish community in Curaçao is deeply rooted and influential. The first Jews arrived in the 17th century and played a crucial role in establishing the trading economy, despite the infertile agricultural land. This pioneering spirit has had a lasting impact on the island's economy and culture. Over the years, however, the Jewish population has experienced demographic shifts, including emigration and an increase in intermarriage, leading to a reduction in the number of Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews on the island.

Despite these changes, the cultural and religious legacy of the Jewish community remains visible, with important symbols such as the Mikvé Israel-Emanuel Synagogue in the capital Willemstad. The arrival of the large group at the Marriott Beach Resort once again underlines the strong ties that continue to exist between the Jewish community and Curaçao.

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