The Best Hotels in Curaçao

Sprawling resorts and boutique hotels dot Curaçao’s southern shore, many with international restaurants and private, man-made beaches. Some even have on-site dive centers for exploring the island’s tropical fish. Stay just up the hill from Jan Theil beach, or choose something in the middle of Willemstad’s Dutch Colonial architecture and UNESCO World Heritage buildings.

130 Penstraat, Willemstad, Curaçao
Around since the 18th century, the Avila Beach Hotel is Curaçao’s longest operating hotel. The property’s signature Pen restaurant got its name from the English and Dutch governors who once used the hotel as a country residence, while its classic Schooner Bar has been a beach fixture since the 1950s. A variety of room types all have bright, modern décor and private balconies or patios. Some even have kitchenettes or fully outfitted apartments, which are perfect for families. For a distinctly Caribbean experience, book one of the Ocean Front Blues rooms, housed in an all-wood building on the pier with unbeatable water views.

The resort features two beaches (one of which is exclusive to guests staying in suites), an infinity pool, and a fitness center with a sauna, steam room, and outdoor Jacuzzi. About a 20-minute walk from Willemstad’s UNESCO World Heritage buildings, it also offers a shuttle to town—a very welcome amenity on hot days. Check the resort schedule for weekly happy hours, live music, classical concerts, and arts events, and be sure to look for the vintage Rolls Royce inside the gift shop.
2 Winterswijkstraat, Willemstad, Curaçao
Opened in 2010 by a Dutch couple, Baoase Luxury Resort is an intimate spot with fewer than two-dozen rooms. Despite its size, however, it has all the amenities of a larger property, including a spa, health center, boutique, and more. A 10-minute drive from the center of Willemstad, the Balinese-style spot feels secluded and tranquil, especially when swimming off the lagoon-like beach or sitting next to the banyan tree in the lantern-lit garden.

Privacy and a high level of service are very important here. Only during low season are non-guests welcome at the resort, and even then, they must have a reservation for a beach-day pass. All rooms come with outdoor space overlooking the gardens or pools, and half feature private plunge pools. For something even more discreet, book the exclusive island in the Spanish Water Bay, which features its own four-bedroom retreat. When not relaxing in your room, you can ask the hotel to arrange a motorboat and permit to use during your stay, or visit the on-site restaurant, which is known for beachfront fine dining and a weekly Asian cuisine night. If all the privacy leaves you feeling extra romantic, you can even have the restaurant set up a picnic dinner to enjoy on the beach or under a gazebo.
Piscaderaweg, Willemstad, Curaçao
A midsize resort with all the expected amenities for an international clientele (including a casino on the property), the Hilton Curaçao is just a 10-minute shuttle ride to Willemstad—but removed enough from town to encompass 20 full acres. The two private beaches are small but pleasant and exclusive to guests (a rarity in Curaçao), while the lagoon-like pool is large and inviting. A family-friendly resort, the Hilton also features a kid’s splashing pool, small playground, and rec room with games. There’s even interesting snorkeling in front of the hotel, as well as dive and boat excursions to surrounding Piscadera Bay.

Decorated in a casual, beachy style, rooms boast private balconies with either island or ocean views, while suites offer access to an executive lounge with a breakfast buffet and evening hors d’oeuvres. There are also several restaurants and bars; guests recommend seafood and tacos at Celeste Beach Bar and the Sunday barbecue nights on the beach.
51, Pietermaai, Willemstad, Curaçao
Somewhere between private villa and luxury hotel room, the suites at Pietermaai are as close as you can get to a chic, European pied-a-terre in the Caribbean. Plus, they’re located just a stone’s throw from Curaçao’s liveliest restaurants in the up-and-coming Pietermaai district, the popular Punda shopping area, and the atmospheric Floating Market (which doesn’t really float). The loft-like suites are outfitted with kitchenettes, wooden floors and shutters, and an outdoor sitting area. Some have a plunge pool or duplex layout, and the two-bedroom penthouse apartment is oceanfront. When not relaxing in their rooms, guests can take a dip in one of the hotel’s small pools, surrounded by lush gardens, or set off in search of sand with beach towels provided by the hotel.
Baden Powellweg 1, Willemstad, Curaçao
Smack in the center of Willemstad, the Renaissance Curaçao is adjacent to the historic Rif Fort shopping and entertainment complex and within walking distance to everything downtown. It solves for not having beach access with two infinity pools overlooking the ocean and cruise pier, each edged in a man-made, sandy beach that can pass for the real thing at first dip. The colorful lobby is connected to a casino, mall, and the island’s only Starbucks. Be sure to check the local cruise schedule before booking an ocean-view room, as you may have your vistas blocked by a ship. You may also want to rent a car to explore the island’s natural beaches but, come nightfall, it’s easier to walk to the Punda and Pietermaai districts for dinner.
Santa Barbara Plantation, Porta Blancu, Nieuwpoort, Curaçao
The 2,000-acre preserve that surrounds this sprawling resort offers enough diversions to keep visitors occupied for weeks. Activity lovers can book a tee time at the Pete Dye-designed golf course, play a game on the hydro-cooled clay tennis courts, or tour the Spanish Water Bay by kayak or stand-up paddleboard. Miles of hiking and biking trails lead to expansive island views and hidden caves, and guides are available to point out local flora and help feed the island iguanas. The resort spa even offers weeklong holistic health and wellness retreats.

If you’re seeking a more low-key vacation, relax on the property’s 1,500-foot stretch of white-sand beach or enjoy a massage overlooking the sea. Restaurant options include open-air fine dining at Shore, Mediterranean dishes and themed buffets at Medi, and the poolside bar and grill Splash, all of which you can visit for daily meals with an all-inclusive package. The downside of the resort’s size is that its location can feel isolated, and guests need a vehicle to dine off-site or explore more of the island.
Bapor Kibra z/n Willemstad, Curacao, Bapor Kibrá, Willemstad, Curaçao
Offering a bit of the South Pacific in the Caribbean, the Van der Valk Kontiki Beach Resort features thatched-roof cottages set amid gardens and green, saltwater pools. The deep, wood-paneled rooms have direct paths to the pools as well as the Cabana and Mood Beach clubs. For an extra $20 per night, you can even book a full-service room, which includes a lounging bed at the beach (reserve it a day in advance to ensure you get a spot), a minibar with drinks and snacks, and nightly turndown service. The beach clubs serve the standard international fare and host weekly theme nights like a Friday fresh fish market with live music. A range of additional dining and nightlife options exists along Mambo Beach Boulevard, adjacent to the resort, and the aquarium is a short walk away. While Kontiki does not have a full-service spa, guests can book massages and manicures right on the beach.
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