The 9 Best Curacao Hotels of 2019

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The Rundown

01 of 09

Best Overall: Avila Beach Hotel

Avila Beach Hotel

 Avila Beach Hotel

Opened in 1949, the Avila Beach Hotel is the longest continually operated property in Curacao — and there’s a good reason it’s lasted so long. It’s by far one of the best hotels on the island, combining beach access with proximity to Wilemstad’s entertainment and attractions (it’s a short walk from the trendy neighborhood of Punda, and the hotel operates free shuttles).

The main building is a 19th-century Dutch Colonial mansion that was once a private home, then a boarding school, then a hospital, before becoming the hotel it is today.

The 150 rooms are spread out between three different wings: each offers a different experience, from oceanfront views to suites set around a courtyard to super modern accommodations.

There are also all the amenities you’d expect at a beachfront Caribbean resort: an infinity pool, two restaurants, two bars, a café, a boutique, a spa, and a fitness center.

The beaches are small and manmade, but that’s the norm in Curacao, as the coastline is rocky. But just offshore, there’s great snorkeling to be found.

02 of 09

Best Boutique: Boutique Hotel 't Klooster

Boutique Hotel 't Klooster

Boutique Hotel 't Klooster

The intimate Boutique Hotel ’t Klooster has just 26 guestrooms, set in a former monastery in the trendy Pietermaii District in Willemstad, located within walking distance of plenty of shopping and dining. The hotel makes a statement upon arrival, with a cheerful yellow façade and bright blue doors.

Inside the accommodations, however, you’ll find a much more subdued neutral palette, though the floors feature funky-patterned tiles in a rainbow of hues. The rooms surround a courtyard housing a small pool, some lounge chairs, and hammocks, which is where you’ll often find guests lazing an afternoon away after a morning of hopping around town.

In the mornings, you can enjoy a breakfast buffet (for a fee), while an on-site restaurant in a former chapel serves up lunch and dinner. Though it’s not on the beach, you can head to the Avila Beach Hotel — a 10-minute walk — and purchase a day pass, or you can drive five minutes to buzzing Mambo Beach. 

03 of 09

Best for Luxury: Baoase Luxury Resort

Baoase Luxury Resort

 Baoase Luxury Resort

Of all the luxury hotels in Curacao, Baoase Luxury Resort is the real deal, outranking every other property by a factor of ten. The property is inspired by Balinese retreats, so even though you’re actually in the heart of Willemstad, you’ll feel as if you’re on the other side of the planet. There are 23 accommodations here: three standard rooms, 11 suites, and nine multi-bedroom villas, all adorned with luxe Balinese furnishings.

There’s also a separate private island that you can rent out for up to eight guests, featuring a four-bedroom villa, an infinity pool, a sandy beach, a putting green, and a helipad, in case you’ve brought your own transportation.

Though many of the accommodations have their own pools, there is a shared infinity pool with a secret hot tub hidden in a grotto for guests, plus a bar, a restaurant serving Caribbean-Asian fusion cuisine, and a man-made beach. In addition to being the best luxury stay, it’s also the most romantic.

04 of 09

Best Budget: Bed and Bike

Bed and Bike

 Bed and Bike

You’ve probably heard of a bed and breakfast, but in Curacao, there’s now Bed and Bike, a hybrid hotel-hostel-inn that lends free city bicycles to guests during their stay so that they can explore the town. Located in the Pietermaai District, a hotbed for creative types that has great nightlife options, the budget-friendly property has both shared and private rooms decorated with colorful and modern flair.

There are communal spaces for socializing, including a kitchen that guests are free to use during their stay, a dining room, and an outdoor terrace. If you’re not the cooking type, there’s an adjacent restaurant and bar that’s open from breakfast through late-night drinks.

Bed and Bike also runs a second property in the Jan Thiel area of Curacao, which is known for its beach—many guests will book a combined stay at both properties.

At Jan Thiel, Bed and Bike has a pool and courtyard with lawn games, and guests are offered a mountain bike to use during their stay.

Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09

Best for Families: Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort

Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort

 Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort

Though Curacao is perhaps better known for its quirky boutique hotels than its sprawling resorts, the Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort is an ideal option for families, as it has a variety of activities on-site, plus an all-inclusive meal option that can make your vacation just a bit easier.

The luxurious property has 350 modern rooms set on a former plantation, and while they’re lovely, it’s the activities that make the hotel shine. There’s an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts (and lessons), hiking and biking trails, watersports rentals, pools, a manmade beach, a dive center, a spa, and four great restaurants.

The crowd is often a mix between traveling families and couples on a getaway. The only downside? It’s a 30-minute shuttle ride to Willemstad. But there’s plenty to keep you entertained during your stay, so you might only want to venture into town once or twice during your trip.

06 of 09

Best for Diving: Scuba Lodge & Suites

Scuba Lodge & Suites

 Scuba Lodge & Suites

Diving is a big part of island life in Curacao, and many travelers come to the island, not for what’s on the land, but what’s beneath the sea. As such, there are a number of dive-specific accommodations across the island. Our favorite is Scuba Lodge & Suites, located in the Pietermaii District, meaning that after your day underwater, you can head out to all the nearby shops, restaurants, and bars for some landside fun.

The laid-back hotel only has 21 rooms set in a series of 19th-century colonial buildings, and while it’s situated on the ocean, there’s no beach here — you’ll have to drive or take a bus to get to the closest one, about 10 minutes away.

The star of the property is, of course, its dive center, and guests can arrange all sorts of excursions. Beyond that, there are two small pools, a garden, and an outdoor, waterfront restaurant. In-room massage treatments can be arranged, too.

07 of 09

Best for Nightlife: Van der Valk Kontiki Beach Resort

Van der Valk Kontiki Beach Resort

 Van der Valk Kontiki Beach Resort

Drawing in a young, trendy crowd, the Van der Valk Kontiki Beach Resort near Mambo Beach is the place to go if you’re looking for a lively time. The hotel has a private entrance to the public Cabana Beach beach club, where you’ll find a restaurant and several bars, plus beach loungers — the public has to pay for entrance, while guests of the hotel have free access. The real allure is the club’s weekly beach parties, which will have DJs spinning late into the night.

Beyond the beach, there’s the adjacent BLVD shopping and dining complex, which has its own set of bars. Van der Valk Kontiki Beach Resort itself, however, is a little more laid-back (though you might hear music pumping in from Cabana Beach), with 80 guestrooms featuring dark wood interiors, a lagoon-like pool complex that meanders through the property, and tropical gardens.

There’s no spa or gym, but there’s an oceanfront gazebo where you can get massages.

08 of 09

Best for History Lovers: Kura Hulanda Village and Spa

Kura Hulanda Village and Spa

Even though diving might be the most popular activity in Curacao, many travelers come to experience the historic nature of the island. For true history buffs, there’s no better place to stay than Kura Hulanda Village and Spa, which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of downtown Willemstad.

As its name implies, the hotel is actually an entire 18th-century village, perfectly restored to maintain its historic charm but offer modern amenities like air-conditioning and flat-screen TVs. The buildings are all old colonial structures, connected by cobblestone alleys, functioning as a living time capsule.

There’s even a museum on-site dedicated to educating visitors on the African slave trade, plus a sculpture garden showing the work of local artists. Accommodations-wise, there are 82 rooms that range from standard doubles to sprawling suites, many of which that feature antique furnishings.

There are also two pools, two restaurants, a spa, and a gym. For beach access, the hotel provides a free shuttle to its sister property, the Kura Hulanda Lodge & Beach Club.

Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09

Best Beachfront: LionsDive Beach Resort

LionsDive Beach Resort

 LionsDive Beach Resort

It’s true that Curacao isn’t as well-known for its beaches as other Caribbean islands are, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a beautiful stretch of sand. LionsDive Beach Resort sits on one of the biggest and best, making it an ideal place to stay for beach bums.

The property, which sits between Mambo Beach and the Sea Aquarium, is on the larger side as far as Curacao hotels go, offering 132 accommodations split between standard hotel-style rooms, suites, and apartments. The rooms are a bit sparse in terms of decor, but most of your time will be spent elsewhere, anyway.

Beyond the lounge-chair-lined beach, there are four restaurants, two of which have lively bars; a leisure pool, a lap pool, and a kiddie pool; a fitness center with free spin classes; and a large spa complex with an outdoor gazebo for massages, a sauna, steam room, and a small pool.

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