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7 Cool Curaçao Resort Picks
On a recent trip to #Curaçao, I had the opportunity to explore and stay at a few resort and hotel properties. Bear in mind that the Caribbean is relatively new for me as I haven’t explored the region as thoroughly as I have other parts of the world, so I won’t be able to give you other #island comparisons — yet, that is! But what I did find here is a plethora of places for #relaxation and #luxury.
They say it’s all in the details. I pay such close attention to them, so I can assure you when a hotel property “gets the details." It comes out in either their service or your room or dining experience, and I’ll notice. Let’s take a meander through the island of Curaçao.
Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort
On the west side of the island, roughly a 45 minute drive from the capital of Willemstad (refer to blown up map at the bottom of this post to get perspective), lies the very remote Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort.
What makes it so remote is not the fact that its a 45 minute drive from the nightlife and cultural activities of Willemstad, but the fact that it is spread across 27 acres of rare natural preserves. It also has a lovely private beach, which makes it both romantic and safe for kids.
It also has a lovely private beach, which makes it both romantic and safe for kids
Santa Barbara is an ideal honeymoon getaway spot and makes a fabulous venue for weddings — think tons of space, private beach, pool and rooms you can reserve in blocks in one area. It is also a great hotel for families.
Hotel Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort
Because its secluded and they offer kids activities, you don’t have to worry about your kids on the property which gives you time to relax.
The property is lush, filled with palm and other tropical trees – below is a shot from my hotel room balcony. Bear in mind that it was a little overcast when we arrived, but the clouds typically clear up after a quick 20 minute tropical shower which is common during the months of November and December.
Golf lovers will have a blast at the Pete Dye designed golf course and while I ran out of time to try their spa, I’ve heard great things. Imagine Caribbean views, an alluring white sandy beach with a swimming lagoon, and fine dining — below is a shot of the tuni poki and crab appetizer, my favorite memory from my dinner at Shore’s American Seafood Grill on the second night of the trip.
Kura Hulanda Lodge & Beach Club
Beach clubs are common on Curacao — the greatest feature of course is that it feels private, it is private and everything you need is on the premises without the high rise buildings that you get from more populated island beach properties.
Like Santa Barbara’s resort, the hotel is a half an hour or so drive from Willemstad, so a little more remote than staying downtown. Each has its merits of course. What’s lovely about Kura Hulanda is how peaceful it is. Also located on the west side of Curacao, the resort overlooks a secluded beach and there’s a charming outdoor dining area in that romantic southern European style that I love so much.
Below is an oceanfront suite.
Hotel Lodge Kura Hulanda And Beach Club
Rooms are tiled and feature light rattan furnishings and colorful cushions with a tropical flair. There’s a large balcony, located on the second floor-all overlooking the ocean with breathtaking views of the sea. Oceanfront one bedroom suites have a separate bedroom with a king bed and a separate living room with a sleeper sofa, kitchenette with dining table for four; large bathroom with tub and shower, tile floors, remote controlled air-conditioning, remote controlled cable TV, entertainment system with DVD player, direct dial phone, clock radio, personal safe and many other amenities. There’s also an outdoor shower. Fun!
Blue Bay Hotel
Staying at Blue Bay is a bit like where luxury meets nature. They say that the animals feel as home here as people do and it’s not hard to see why.
Staying at Blue Bay is a bit like where luxury meets nature
It has had a turbulent history of many owners, dating back as far as 1700 — the plantation ‘Blaauw’ got its name from Anno Blaauw, who was the owner at the time. Old documents show that the plantation had varying success with its harvests and that its crops included lemons and laraha oranges, which are still the defining ingredient for the famous Curacao liqueur.
The plantation apparently also produced indigo, a luxurious blue dye that was believed to ward off evil spirits. This is what gave the Indigo Garden villa project its name. Today, it’s known as a place for pure relaxation, nature and there’s also a golf course for golf lovers. Why Blue Bay over the others?
Blue Bay Hotel Curacao
If you want pure relaxation, nature and luxury and don’t want the hustle and bustle of being in central Willemstad for the chic clubs and night life. It’s a great place to bring a a bag of novels, games and simply get away from it all.
There are also walks nearby that will bring you closer to nature so it’s as much romantic as it is quiet and relaxing. While I can’t speak first hand about the sunsets, they’re apparently beautiful here and their Sunset Bar is right on the shore. Here they have relaxed music, delicious bites and a breathtaking Caribbean view. There’s also dining on the property.
Floris Suite Hotel
Floris Hotel is fairly central and just across a main highway from the Curacao Hilton. Note that it is an adult-only hotel, a key feature for older couples wanting to get away or a retreat for those who just want a break from their everyday hustle and bustle life. Its style is stark and modern, with a nearly all white lobby that is more loungey in feel than not.
The suites are both modern and incredibly spacious with the living area (living room and kitchen) in the front facing the pool and the bedroom, which is the main entrance to the suite. While most of the suites are the same, they offer more of a pure white look-and-feel (below) and also rooms with a bit more pizzazz and color (second photo shown below).
The rooms sit on two floors and all of them have balconies facing the pool which is the central hub of the interior of the hotel. It’s lovely. I’d recommend staying on the second floor since it’s a little quieter (there weren’t any throw rugs in my room) and not next to an alleyway that separates each building block (also a little quieter).
Floris Suite Hotel
I’d recommend staying on the second floor since it’s a little quieter
There were a few little quirks when I was there, such as the hot water running out early, however this has happened to me over the years in luxury properties in more remote areas and it’s usually a temporary glitch not a permanent issue, but worth noting nevertheless.
The hotel is known to be gay friendly, and they have fabulous cocktail receptions and happy hours at their on-site bar, where you can also dine day or night.
The hotel is known to be gay friendly, and they have fabulous cocktail receptions and happy hours at their on-site bar
They have spa services, but not a spa on-site yet (apparently one is coming). You can have a masseuse come to you however in the privacy of your suite or beside their tropical free-form pool. The real reason to stay here however is the service. Their mantra – “Let Me Spoil You” is written everywhere including on the staff t-shirts. They “get” service and make you feel as if you’re the only one. I had the worst night of my god awful head cold on my second night there and the chef made me homemade chicken soup. Thereafter, they kept sending a selection of their organic herbal teas to me until they saw a smile and even sent a driver to pick up a congestion med from the pharmacy in town. I loved their staff! The pool is also amazing and while there is no beach or hot tub on the premises, you can catch a complimentary golf cart from the main reception area across the road to the Hilton property where they have a hot tub, private beach, a sauna, steam room, spa and fairly extensive gym.
The Hilton Curacao Resort
Hotel Hilton Curacao
For those of you who are Hilton lovers, Curacao has one, an ideal property if you have a family since it offers a comprehensive list of amenities on-site.
A stone’s throw from the Floris Suite Hotel, the Hilton is on the other side of the highway on a piece of land that is big enough to house a large swimming pool, hot tub, massive gym, sauna, steam room, spa (see my write up on the Color of People Spa on the premises), executive rooms and suites with views, two secluded, private beaches, on property dive center, casino, kids club, and restaurants.
The Papagayo Beach Resort
The recently opened Papagayo Beach Hotel is located in the well-known Jan Thiel region, an upscale neighborhood.
Hotel Papagayo Beach Resort
The hotel and beach resort is located on the beach directly adjacent to Papagayo Beach Club.
The hotel consists of a main building of contemporary design and a number of detached structures. In the main building there’s an ever so chic attractive bar and modern reception area. The rooms have views of the Jan Thiel boulevard, the lobby with its garden and the Caribbean Sea. Some detached buildings located in the distinctive garden look out onto this garden or onto the sea.
Architect Cees den Heijer spent a lot of time paying attention to modern design and managed to create a magnificent combination of the ever-pleasant, hospitable Caribbean climate and a comfortable cosy environment for guests. Papagayo Beach Club is known as one of the hotspots on the island of Curaçao, highly popular for its international style and Caribbean atmosphere. Let’s just say as I turned the corner for the first time to dine at its chic restaurant, I couldn’t help but think “this is clearly where all the beautiful people hang out.”
The international cuisine and the breathtaking views from the restaurant are worth the experience – in fact, while I’m typically a fan of going to more local restaurants when I’m in a new country, I loved the lightweight feeling I had about the property. Not only did I feel lighter, but I felt at peace — in other words, the feng shui felt just right.
The international cuisine and the breathtaking views from the restaurant are worth the experience
And, the food was exquisite. Our lunch was long and it felt as if the dishes would never stop coming. What’s key about this property is that it feels as if they focus on healthy living and amenities and this comes through in the Beach Club’s menu as well.
The Renaissance Curacao Resort & Casino
Right in the heart of downtown Willemstad is the Renaissance Curacao Resort & Casino, which has an artsy lobby with a modern flair, a restaurant with windows on all sides that offers massive buffet lunches, a gym, casino and luxury rooms, all done in Caribbean style.
They have a gym on-site and even a Starbucks, so for those who don’t want the cultural diversity of a foreign feeling location, the familiar settings of the Renaissance may be your bet. You could easily be in any city of the world here with the exception of one spectacular thing – its infinity pool on the top floor that extends out into the ocean. Sweet!
Hotel Renaissance Curacao Resort & Casino
There weren’t many people swimming when I was there, so let’s just say I was one happy camper.
On the top level, you’re surrounded by wispy palm trees and the facade to the hotel entrance from the pool and ocean exudes brightly colored Caribbean colors. There’s a bar right next to the lounge chairs, allowing you just to relax, read a book, sip that margarita and take in the property’s stunning ocean views.
The other cool thing about the hotel is its vicinity to downtown – it is the heart of it all, so you have easy access to shopping and nightlife.
They also had some fun culinary surprises on their buffet which didn’t go unnoticed. YUM!!!