During the mid-eighties, after the devaluation of the Venezuelan Bolivar and the departure of the Shell Oil Company, Curaçao was in crisis and the Curaçao Lions Club was struggling with the question of how they, as a service club, could contribute positively to the island economy.
The Curaçao Lions Club started to develop a plan that focused on tourism whereby the natural economic benefits would stimulate the community through employment. In 1986, the vision of Jacques Marin 'Koki' van Eps, a member of the Curaçao Lions Club, became a reality when construction of the Lions Dive Hotel and Marina in the Bapor Kibra district of Curaçao began. The building of the original 72 room hotel took 2 years to complete and officially opened in May of 1989 with a focus on the recreational scuba diving market due to its proximity to the incredible house reef now known as the Stella Maris.
In 2005, the Vogels Family and their team of employees expanded the hotel from 72 to 102 rooms and added six 2-bedroom suites. In October 2008, LionsDive further strengthened the hotel's sporty image with the arrival of a 50-meter training pool at the new Lions apartments and suites. This expansion certainly became a crowning achievement of the Vogels family, elevating the hotel to a 4 Star plus status.
LionsDive Beach Resort Curaçao was originally founded on the principles “for the community, to benefit the community with a mission to stimulate the island’s economy, create employment and to give back to those in the community who need it most.” Says Will Vogels.
From the very beginning in 1989, the LionsDive Beach Resort has always offered accommodations that embrace the philosophy “the natural place to stay”, and to date, strives for the highest standards in sustainability ventures that is underlined in their “Green Mission” by employing fixed measures such as water conservation, energy savings, and waste control (including recycling and wastewater).
They also value members of our local community in their recruitment policy that is geared towards employing as many local workers as possible and providing them with education and training to launch great careers in the hospitality industry. The resort also supports various projects for local schools, athletes, animal rescue and nature conservation organizations such as Coral Restoration Curaçao. These sustainable tourism initiatives are carried out wherever possible and they encourage their guests to discover the island to support local businesses.
From 2016, LionsDive Beach Resort has supported the Greenkidz project, that encourages local schoolchildren, ages 9 to 12, to take care of the environment and also to take responsibility for their home and school environments, as they actively contribute to a greener, cleaner and healthier Curaçao from a young age.
Today, LionsDive Beach Resort can only be described as the ideal place in the Caribbean where you can combine sports, wellness and relaxation during your Curaçao vacation. With options that range from the 50 meter sports pool, a fully equipped gym, the calm and shaded sandy beach or exploring the incredible underwater world with Ocean Encounters, the on-site Dive Operator, LionsDive Beach Resort is perfect for everyone.
But, the ideal vacation would not be complete if you cannot indulge yourself in delicious culinary delights and happy hours during incredible sunsets right? At LionsDive, breakfast, lunch or dinner is available at the casual Hemingway Beach Bar and Restaurant, as you dine with your feet in the sand. Or you can enjoy Italian cuisine at Piazza by the 50 meter sports pool or you can spoil yourself with an elegant evening at the highly-acclaimed Nemo Restaurant. However, to experience the ultimate beach vibe, you really need to find your way down to the Chill Beach Bar & Grill, that is vastly recommended for delicious BBQ dishes and cold drinks to top off a wonderful sun-splashed day on the beach. There you can meet friendly locals on the weekends, enjoy live music and of course, the famous local “happy hours”.
“The original vision of “Koki” was perfect and we are proud to continue to strengthen his vision for the economy of Curaçao because the tourist industry has become increasingly more signifigant for the prosperity and well-being of our island.” Says Will.
Looking back at what has been achieved, Katja Vogels went on to say with great satisfaction, “The concept of LionsDive Beach Resort is now very solid. I think we are now almost at the point where we want to be in terms of size, our warm friendly Caribbean hospitality, and the amazing service that is our #1 priority. But, it is important that we keep refining the quality of our product and never take anything for granted. The best compliments are when our guests tell us that it is even more beautiful here than in the pictures and that is the best proof that we are on the right track. The future with all its challenges is looking bright for LionsDive Beach Resort.”