Caribbean Tourism

Accommodations

There is a 7% government tax & 10% (sometimes 12-15%) service charge to be added to any quoted room rate & many hotels add an extra US$3 per day energy surcharge.


New hotel, villa or timeshare developments are springing up all over Curaçao. Several huge resorts are planned around Knip beach, Lagun, Cas Abao, Piscadera, Parasasa, Cornelis Bay and Jan Thiel. Be prepared for construction work. Many hotels have no hot water taps, only cold. This is because the water pipes in Curaçao are laid overground, the water in them being warmed by the sun during the day and cold at night. Time your shower accordingly.

Willemstad Hotels

AL Plaza Hotel and Casino in the Van der Valk chain, on Punda seafront, T4612500, F4616543, www.curacaoplazahotelcasino.com Very central, huge tower dominates the skyline by the fortress walls, price per room includes service, tax, breakfast, bargain for a cheaper rate for several nights, popular with the Dutch, good food, recently renovated, shops, restaurants, diving, boat excursions, 2 private aircraft with instructor, fishing, child care.

AL Otrabanda Hotel and Casino, on Breedestraat just by the bridge in Otrabanda, T4627400, F4627299, or reservations through International Travel & Resorts, New York, T800- 2239815, F212-2511767, or in Holland, Holland International, T70-3957957, F70-3957747. Excellent location, good for business travellers, standard rooms small but comfortable, single rooms available, suites are larger rooms with sofas, coffee shop and restaurant with good view of Punda and floating bridge, includes excellent buffet breakfast and guided tour of Otrabanda on Wed, pleasant service, pool,. Also very central is LL-AL Hotel and Casino Porto Paseo, de Rouvilleweg 47, T4627878, F4627969. Room or 2-bedroom suite, includes breakfast, swimming pool, dive shop, in attractive restored old hospital. C-D Pelikaan Hotel, Lange Straat 78, T4623555, F4626063.

In the heart of Otrabanda, newly rebuilt, small, comfortable, clean, 40 rooms, a/c, restaurant. Further west along the main road is the L-AL Holiday Beach, T4625400, F4625409, reservations through ITR. Currently full of US Airforce personnel moved from base closed in Panama, concrete block on a manmade beach, but convenient, 10 mins’ walk to shops and restaurants, 200 rooms in need of decoration, a/c, phone, TV, new casino, videogame room and banks of gaming machines, mediocre food at high prices, pool, tennis, dive shop on site, conference rooms. 15 mins’ walk east of the centre is the family-owned L-AL Avila Beach, Penstraat 130, PO Box 791, T4614377, F4611493, http://avilahotel.com Built in 1811 as Governor’s residence but most rooms in an old hospital wing, small and with no sea view, very popular, always full, cool reception area, service friendly but slow, no pool, lovely bar shaped like a ship’s prow on the beach, great for evening cocktails, pleasant outdoor dining, live music Wed.

A new extension has been built in an attractive colonial style, LL-L La Belle Alliance, the other side of the pier (bar and restaurant, Blues, excellent fish, meat not so good, live jazz Thu, Sat, closed Mon) on another man-made beach, 40 hotel rooms, and some apartments, all rooms and suites with sea view, conference facilities and ballroom, tennis, both the beaches are protected by breakwaters and have imported sand for pleasant swimming. A-B Trupial Inn, Groot Davelaarweg 5, T7378200, F7371545. In residential area, 74 rooms, a/c, newly decorated, nice, pool, restaurant, tennis, open air bar, entertainment, shuttle bus to downtown, suites available. C Hotel San Marco, Columbusstraat 5, Punda, T4612988, F4616570. 89 rooms, completely renovated, a/c, TV, safe, clean, excellent value. D Mini-Hotel Mauric, Oranjestraat 60, T/F4657214.

Willemstad Guest Houses & Apartments

The tourist board’s main office at Pietermaai 19 has a very large list of guest houses and apartments (not all of which it recommends) including some cheap hotels such as E Estoril, Breedestraat 181, Otrabanda, T4625244. In Scharloo, D-E Park, on Frederikstraat 84, T4623112. Bath and fan, not nice, noise from road, fleas, not clean enough, both Estoril and Park cater to ‘short stay’ visitors, not recommended. E Mira Punda, Van de Brandhofstraat 12. Near floating market, fan, cold water, clean, private bath, in restored mansion, bar downstairs has lots of local colour. C Bon Auberge, Hoogstraat 63-65, T4627902, F4627579. Dutch owned, friendly, clean, conveniently located in Otrabanda close to shops and transport, 23 rooms, hot water, some have a/c, others fans, not all have bath, 4 good apartments for US$200 per week.

A nice small hotel is D Buona Sera (Bonacera) Inn, Pietermaai 104, T4618286. On the road to the Bolívar museum, not a very safe area, 16 rooms, sleeps 1-4, a/c, private bathroom, recently built seaview restaurant and bar, plans to create small beach, family-run, friendly, English, Dutch, Spanish, French and Papiamento spoken. C Bramendie Apartments, Bramendieweg 103, in Dominguito, T4655337. 10 apartments with kitchenette, porch, TV, a/c, phone with deposit, car rental, good discount for long stay. C Douglas Apartments, Salinja 174, PO Box 3220, T4614549, F4614467. A/c, cots available, towels and linen provided, kitchenettes, a/c, phone, fax facilities, on 1st floor of shopping gallery, bus stop outside.

Outside town, C Wayaca Apartments and Bungalows, Gosieweg 153, T7375589, F7369797. A/c, TV, phone, supermarket, launderette, tennis, minimum 1 week, car rental can be included; houses also available usually on weekly basis or longer. C Art and Nature Inn, 17 Valkensweg, T8682259. 10 mins’ drive from Willemstad, bungalow with kitchenette and bathroom, each of 12 studios is decorated with murals, mosaics and paintings by the proprietor, Geerdine Kuypers, an internationally known artist, speaks 6 languages, great hostess, 5-min drive to supermarket.

East of Willemstad

On Dr Martin Luther King Boulevard is the LL-AL Princess Beach Resort and Casino, 600 m from the Seaquarium on a narrow beach, T7367888, F4614131,Change of ownership meant renovation work in 2000, aiming to upgrade to 5-star complex, may become Radisson or InterContinental. Pools, restaurants, bars, shops, 341 rooms and suites make this the biggest resort on the island, popular, food good at all 3 restaurants, newly constructed conference centre, dive packages available, fitness centre with massage, good entertainment.

Next door is the AL Lion’s Dive, T4618100, F4618200, http://lionsdive.com Attractive, not high rise, wooden balconies give it style but needs renovating, poor plumbing, 72 rooms, TV, small pool, unlimited use of Seaquarium, dive shop on site, dive packages available, fitness centre, windsurfing, restaurant, nice atmosphere, friendly staff, helpful service, caters for hard-core diving fraternity, courtesy bus to town.

LL-A Seru Coral, Koral Partier 10, T7678499, F7678256. A new resort in the east part of the island, in the middle of nowhere but great restaurant, nice pool, nice studios, apartments and villas, 3 miles from beach, 18 from airport, 9 miles from town. Santa Catharina Sport & Country Club, same ownership, T7677028, F7677026. Tennis, fitness centre, football pitch, pool, restaurant, bar, with studios, suites and bungalows all with kitchenettes, phone, TV, terrace overlooking northeast coast.

West of Willemstad

Along the coast are C El Conde Hotel, Roodeweg 75, near hospital, T/F4627611. Some rooms noisy, basic, 7 rooms, a/c. LL-L Curaçao Marriott Beach Resort and Casino , next to the International Trade Centre, Piscadera Bay, PO Box 6003, T7368800, F4627502. 248 luxury rooms and 34 suites, very comfortable, excellent service, 2 children under 12 sharing room free, this upmarket resort, built in Dutch colonial style is on a private beach and offers a freeform pool, whirlpools, tennis, fitness centre, kids programme, watersports, casino, conference facilities.

LL-L Sheraton Curaçao, T4625000, F4625846. 194 rooms and suites, totally renovated, now beautiful, private beach, pool, scuba, watersports, fitness centre, casino. AL Piscadera Bay Resort, T4626303, F4625962. 94 semi-detached bungalows for 2-4 people, beach with dive shop and bar/restaurant, monthly rental can be arranged. Two minutes from the airport is B Holland, T8688044, F8888114. 45 rooms, a/c, TV, phone, business services, restaurant, pool, car rental, casino, diving.

B Bulado Inn, in Boca St Michiel fishing village, Red A’Weg, T8695731, F8695487. Family run, new, very nice, good value, call and check for deals, 17 a/c rooms, all ocean view, restaurant, bar, pool, nicely landscaped, tennis, meeting rooms, car rental, parking, 10 mins walk from beach. LL-B Habitat Curaçao, linked to Captain Don’s Habitat in Bonaire, at Rif Baai, T5607263, F7371331. 76 suites and cottages, pool, restaurant, bar, beach, free town shuttle bus, dive centre, lots of packages available. C Landhuis Cas Abao, T8603525, F8649460. Dates from 1751, rebuilt 1993, stylish, rooms vary but have good views, secluded beach, minimum stay 4 days, no credit cards, beautiful area, restaurant closed in evenings and owners leave premises after 1900, long drive to find a decent evening meal.

LL-B Coral Cliff, resort and casino on Santa Marta Bay, PO Box 3782, T8642666, F8641781. Quiet beach, nice sea, some shade provided, entrance US$4.50 for non-residents, sprawling, concrete block hotel, rooms or suites, good sea view from restaurant on hill, dive shop on premises, excellent diving from beach, watersports, mini golf, horse riding arranged, free airport pickup, shuttle service to town. B-C Bahia Inn, near Lagun beach, PO Box 3501, T8684417. Small, basic, adequate, several beds in each room, building work all along this coastal road. At Westpoint, A-C All West Apartments, T4612310, F4612315, dive shop attached, T8640102, F8640107, allw...@cura.net A/c studios and apartments, caters to individuals, adventure diving, PADI courses, boat and shore diving, small scale. C-D Jaanchie Christian’s, T8640126. Popular restaurant with 4 rooms to let, a/c, bathroom, breakfast included, double beds, can fit extras in, usually full, phone for reservation.

Camping

Brakkeput, adjoining Spanish Waters, Arowakenweg 41A, PO Box 3291, T674428. School parties catered for, sports fields, showers and toilets, tents available, US$1.25 per person overnight with minimum charge US$18.75, cheaper for youth organizations. Camping is allowed on some beaches, but there are no facilities and you have to bring your own fresh water supplies.


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