View of Willemstad from the Queen Emma Bridge.

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Where to Stay In Curacao Hotels and Villas for 2024

Planning a trip to Curacao is an exciting endeavor, but selecting the best place to stay can be daunting with the many options available. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious resort, the best hotels, or a private villa, it’s essential to consider your preferences, budget, and travel style. In addition to choosing the right accommodation, selecting the best neighborhoods on the island that align with your interests and personality is essential. This comprehensive guide will provide detailed recommendations for both neighborhoods and specific accommodations, ensuring your stay in Curacao is unforgettable and tailored to your unique preferences.

Island Overview — What You Need To Know About Curacao

Curacao, located in the southern Caribbean Sea, is a fascinating destination for visitors seeking a mix of culture, history, and natural beauty. Curacao is part of the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao) in the Lesser Antilles. It’s about 40 miles north of Venezuela. The island boasts stunning landscapes, including waters and beaches, dramatic cliffs, and colorful coral reefs.

Curacao has a rich cultural heritage influenced by Dutch, African, Caribbean, and Latin American traditions. This diversity is reflected in its cuisine, music, and architecture. Visitors can explore the capital city, Willemstad, with its vibrant pastel-colored buildings in the historic district of Punda and Otrobanda, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They can also snorkel or dive in the crystal clear waters.

Panoramic view of sunset on the island of Curacao.

Basic Overview of A Visit To Curacao

Language

The official languages are Dutch, English, and Papiamento, a Creole language spoken by most of the population. Although English is widely understood, especially in tourist areas, there are actually more Dutch tourists than any other group on the island.

Activities

Curacao offers a wide range of activities for visitors. Water activities abound for snorkeling and scuba diving enthusiasts. You can explore the island’s crystal clear water and vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life. This is one of the most popular snorkel/dive sites in the world. For more information on where to snorkel, check out my post Top 12 Best Beaches For Snorkeling In Curacao. Other activities include hiking in Christoffel National Park, visiting Hato Caves, and exploring the island’s museums and art galleries.

Beaches

Curacao is renowned for its crystal-clear waters and fantastic snorkeling beaches. Some famous beaches include Cas Abao Beach, Playa Kenepa (Knip Beach), and Playa Porto Mari. These beaches offer excellent opportunities for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports like snorkeling and diving. One thing to know about Curacao is many beaches are private and charge an entry fee. You will also find chair rentals at almost every beach, no matter how remote. Check out my post Top 8 Best Beaches To Visit In Curacao in 2024 for more information on the best beaches to visit.

Cuisine

Curacao offers a diverse culinary scene with influences from various cultures. Visitors can sample local dishes such as Keshi Yena (stuffed cheese), Kabritu Stoba (goat stew), and fresh seafood. I found food prices to be similar to those in the US; you can also find bargains, but if you want to splurge, you won’t have any trouble finding that either. Don’t forget to try the island’s signature liqueur, Blue Curaçao.

Weather

Curacao enjoys a tropical climate with warm temperatures year-round. The island lies outside the hurricane belt, making it a popular destination even during the peak hurricane season. You really can’t find a better weather destination year-round.  For more information on when to visit, read When Is The Best Time of Year to Visit Curaçao.

Currency  

The local currency is the Netherlands Antillean Guilder (ANG), but US dollars are widely accepted. Credit cards (with the exception of AMEX) are also widely accepted. In fact, there is rarely a place that does not accept cards; even beach chair rentals on small remote beaches accept cards.

Getting Around

The island is easily accessible by rental car, but driving is a bit crazy, so be prepared. Also, on the road to and from Westpunt, traffic tends to back up, so allow a little extra time. Taxis and public buses are available and will get you to most parts of the island, but reaching some of the more popular beach destinations will take a while. So, your choice of accommodation may be impacted by your transportation choice.

Safety

Curacao is considered a safe destination for tourists, but like any other place, it’s essential to take common-sense precautions, such as safeguarding belongings and avoiding isolated areas at night.

The streets of Punda, Willamsted.

Get To Know The Neighborhoods Of Curacao

Curacao offers a variety of areas and neighborhoods that are popular among tourists, each with its unique charm and attractions. Here are some of the best areas you might want to explore:

Willemstad: The capital city of Curacao, Willemstad, is divided into two main districts, Punda and Otrobanda, connected by the famed Queen Emma Bridge. Punda is known for its colorful Dutch colonial architecture along the waterfront, while Otrobanda offers a more local and authentic experience. Both areas are UNESCO World Heritage Sites and feature historic landmarks, museums, shops, and vibrant street art. You will also find the island’s best restaurants in this area.

Pietermaai District: Located just east of Punda, Pietermaai District is a trendy and up-and-coming neighborhood known for its beautifully restored colonial buildings, boutique hotels, lively bars, and restaurants. It’s a great place to explore on foot and experience the local nightlife.

Westpunt: Situated on the western tip of the island, Westpunt is known for its rugged coastline, secluded beaches, and excellent snorkeling and diving spots. It’s a more tranquil area than Willemstad. Playa Lagun, Cas Abao, and Playa Forti are located in this area. This end of the island is also home to Shete Boka National Park and Christoffel National Park, making it a great area for outdoor activities.

Sint Willibrordus: This charming village on Curacao’s western side is known for its scenic landscapes, historic plantation houses, and beautiful beaches. This area is home to Playa Porto Marie and DaaiBooi. You will also find the salt ponds with flocks of flamingos in this area. It is located at the half-way point between Willemstad and Westpunt.

Jan Thiel: Located southeast of Willemstad, Jan Thiel is a popular resort area known for its upscale hotels, beach clubs, and water sports facilities. It’s an excellent destination for families and beachgoers seeking relaxation and entertainment. Home to the Jan Thiel Beach, this is a great beach destination on Curacao.

Seaquarium Beach/Mambo Beach: Just a short drive from Willemstad, Seaquarium Beach, also known as Mambo Beach Boulevard, is a lively stretch of sand lined with beach bars, restaurants, shops, and water sports rentals. 

Piscadera Bay: Between Willemstad and the airport, Piscadera Bay is home to several luxury resorts, including the Hilton and Marriott. The area offers beautiful beaches, golf courses, and upscale dining options.

My favorites among these neighborhoods include Sint Willibrordus, Piscadera Bay, and Westpunt. They offer a good mix of beach access and excellent hotel and villa options nearby.

A lit sign in downtown Willemstad, Curacao at night.

Where To Stay In Curacao — Top 5 Suggestions

Renaissance Wind Creek Curacao Resort & Casino

The Renaissance Wind Creek is the most centrally located hotel/resort. It’s right in the heart of Willemstad in the Otrobanda section. Set in the redeveloped historic Rif Fort, it’s a short walk to Willemstad’s top sites.

With its beach club featuring an elevated saltwater beach/pool, it’s an easy top choice if you are looking for an island hotel with all the amenities: a casino, spa, bars, restaurants, and shops nearby. It’s a great place to visit without a car, but onsite parking is available.

Choose this hotel if you want to be close to many restaurants and shopping but don’t want to rent a car. It is a very busy area, with a cruise ship port nearby.

The palm tree lined street at the Renaissance Resort Hotel in Curacao.
Avila Beach Hotel

Staying at the Avila Beach Hotel in Curacao offers a blend of luxury, history, and natural beauty. The Avila Beach Hotel is the oldest operational hotel in Curacao, with a rich history dating back to the 18th century. 

The hotel is situated on a private beach in the picturesque Punda district of Willemstad. It offers a range of well-appointed guest rooms, suites, and villas. Guests can enjoy fine dining at The Pen or casual beachfront fare at Blues Restaurant & Bar. This is another good option if you don’t want to rent a car on the island.

Choose Avila if you want to be close to all the action with easy access to Willemstad but prefer a less hectic environment. It is also a good choice if you want an on-site beach; it has two.

Baoase

Staying at Baoase Luxury Resort in Curacao is an experience of indulgence, relaxation, and natural beauty. Baoase offers luxurious and private accommodations ranging from stylish rooms and suites to lavish villas and breathtaking beachfront pavilions, all surrounded by swaying palm trees and tropical gardens. All are capped off by a beautiful pool. 

The resort boasts a pristine, white-sand private beach lapped by turquoise waters, providing guests a secluded and tranquil paradise. Whether you’re lounging on a sunbed, enjoying a romantic beachfront dinner, or indulging in water sports like snorkeling or kayaking, the private beach offers endless opportunities for relaxation and recreation.

Baoase offers a great restaurant featuring a fusion of international and Caribbean cuisines crafted with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. The resort’s award-winning spa is a sanctuary of serenity and rejuvenation. It offers a holistic approach to wellness and relaxation, from massages and facials to body scrubs and holistic therapies. 

Choose Baoase if you want luxury and pampering. This is the most upscale, intimate hotel on the island. It is also centrally located but has a private, removed feel.

View of the Blue Bay Beach Resort in Curacao
Blue Bay Beach
Blue Bay Resort

Blue Bay Resort offers a range of accommodations to suit every traveler’s needs, including luxurious villas, spacious apartments, and cozy hotel rooms, all with access to a top-notch beach resort.

Staying at Blue Bay Resort in Curacao offers a delightful blend of relaxation, recreation, and natural beauty. The Resort is renowned for its stunning white sandy beach and crystal-clear turquoise waters, which is one of my top two beaches on the island. The resort also boasts an 18-hole championship golf course. 

Blue Bay Resort features several dining options, including beachfront restaurants, casual cafes, and poolside bars. The resort offers wellness amenities such as a fitness center, yoga classes, and spa treatments. Blue Bay Resort is a family-friendly destination with amenities and activities for guests of all ages. 

This is your choice for a family-friendly location. It offers villa rental or hotel accommodations. It is a self-contained area with easy access to some of the more remote sections of the island. Be sure to rent a car when staying here, although one of the best beaches is within walking distance of your villa or room.

Coral Estate Luxury Resort

The Coral Estate Luxury Resort offers a range of accommodations, including stylish villas, spacious apartments, and hotel rooms. It is situated on the southwest coast of Curacao, boasting a prime beachfront location overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Guests have direct access to a private “beach” with crystal-clear turquoise waters, perfect for swimming, snorkeling, or relaxing under the sun.

Coral Estate boasts several dining options, including the Karakter Beach Club, which offers delicious international cuisine with a Caribbean flair in a relaxed beachfront setting. Guests can also enjoy meals at the resort’s other restaurant, Rooftop Terrace Koraal. The resort also features a state-of-the-art wellness center, offering a range of holistic treatments, massages, and beauty services.

This is your choice for luxury accommodations near the western beaches of Curacao. It has everything you need on-site and offers many villa choices and a full-service resort hotel. You will want a car when staying in this resort.

Evening view of the Karakter restaurant at the Coral Estate Luxury Resort on Curacao.

Finding The Right Place To Stay In Curacao

Selecting the perfect accommodation in Curacao is essential for an unforgettable Caribbean getaway. With a diverse range of options spanning luxurious resorts, charming boutique hotels, and private villas, travelers can find the ideal retreat tailored to their preferences and budget. Whether you prefer the historic charm of Willemstad’s Punda district or the serene beaches of Sint Willibrordus, each neighborhood offers unique allure and attractions. Considering your interests, desired activities, and transportation needs, you can ensure that your stay in Curacao is extraordinary. 

Below are links and resources to help you plan The perfect trip

Travel Resources

  • HOTELS
    Booking.com and Expedia.com are great resources for accommodations around the world. Book almost any hotel directly from these links.
  • TOURS
    The best places to book tours and activities are Viator or Get Your Guide . From great food tours to guided hiking adventures to local walking tours, you will find great experiences to add to your travels here.
  • FOOD EXPERIENCES
    EatWith is a great resource for authentic culinary experiences with passionate locals worldwide. Connecting travelers with hosts in over 130 countries, providing unique, intimate, and immersive experiences in private homes and exclusive venues.
  • TRAINS
    Trainline is Europe’s leading train and coach app. They work with over 210 rail and coach companies to help their customers travel to thousands of destinations across 45 countries. 

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