With two new resorts opened, two more under construction, and several others investing in upgrades and renovations, Curacao is on the verge of a tourism boom.
"The accommodations on Curacao will provide for all levels of luxury and styles of service - offering something for those seeking an intimate boutique property as well as big name brands for those seeking familiarity and comforts of home," stated Director of Tourism Clifton Walle.
Here are all the details and what's new and improved for Curacao's hotels & resorts in 2006:
NEW: Clarion Hotel & Suites
Located at the World Trade Center Complex in the beautiful Piscadera Bay Resort Area, the Clarion Hotel & Suites announced its opening in March 2006. In the tradition of the internationally recognized Clarion brand, the new hotel is a full-service facility that will target both the corporate and leisure traveler. The Clarion International Curacao hotel has 200 spacious rooms and guest suites, including the Clarion Class Business Room. It offers meeting rooms with capacity up to 1,500 people, gourmet and catering service for 4,500 people, auditorium seating that can hold 325 people with multilingual translation facilities, cinema quality projection systems, audiovisual equipment rental, computer and cellular phone rental and business support services located within the World Trade Center Complex. The Clarion International Curacao hotel's imported marble, hardwood floors, artisan-created special Italian stucco finish and detailing throughout effectively blends world-class design, with modern business conveniences. Leisure travelers will enjoy the new swimming pool, hot tub and sauna, and all the amenities of the newly renovated World Trade Center (WTC).
IMPROVED: Curacao Marriott
The Curacao Marriott Beach Resort & Emerald Casino has rejuvenated the facilities with new decor and enhancements of the Voila Delicatessen and The Sea Breeze Bar & Grill and an expansion of the beach oasis.
The hotel's beach will be enhanced with 40 metric tons of white sand along with new beach chairs and umbrellas to create additional shade and a more sophisticated look on the beach and pool area. The building of an authentic beach bar called "Board Room" (as in surfboards) will open in the late morning and close after sunset, as the view of the sunset is spectacular at this point of the beach. The oasis will also feature additional beach attendants, a new clean machine increasing the cleanliness of the beach and Yoga on the beach three times a week at 8:00 a.m.
Curacao Marriott Beach Resort also announces a fresh new approach to dining with the new "Emerald Lounge Seafood Beat" featuring weekday themed entertainment. The unique experiences will include Sports Day Mondays, Magic Tuesdays, Artsy Wednesdays, Musical Thursdays, Latin Fridays, Party Saturdays and Signature Sundays. The entertainment line up includes live musicians, movies, art displays, magic shows, fashion nights, salsa lessons and much more. They will also feature dinner and drink specials that highlight the theme of the day. No matter what day of the week, the resort has something for every escapist.
NEW: Renaissance Curacao Resort & Casino
Situated on the historical waterfront of Willemstad, a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Renaissance Curacao Resort & Casino, a AAA, Four Diamond hotel, will have 240 deluxe guest rooms and suites. Also part of the Renaissance complex is The Rif Fort with more than eight restaurants and many retail boutiques. The resort area is rounded out by a six screen Cinema, Carnaval Casino, 570 car secured and covered parking garage, offices, meeting areas, beach, boardwalk and park. The resort is planned to open in December 2007.
IMPROVED: Hilton Curacao
Hilton Curacao is unveiling a multi-phased renovation process at the hotel. In the first quarter of 2006, a new executive floor and executive lounge were opened. The lounge offers private check in/check out, complimentary continental breakfast, snacks & drinks throughout the day, free internet access, cocktail hours, a lounge area for leisure or casual meetings and a balcony with picturesque sunset views. The newly refurbished rooms feature upgraded bedding and furnishings, mini-bars and welcome amenities. A new business center was also unveiled in the first quarter.
In Q2 a meeting room renovation will be completed including wireless and sound system capabilities and a dedicated boardroom. A brand new cafe and gift shop will also open by end of June.
Finally, in the second half of the year an additional $1.5m worth of upgrades will go in to the property including a ballroom, beach bar and exterior painting. This is all set to be complete by the end of 2006 in time for the hotel's 40th anniversary in 2007.
NEW: Hyatt Regency Curacao
The ceremonial groundbreaking of the 350-room luxury Hyatt Regency Curacao took place on Thursday, December 1, 2005 officially marking the start of construction of the mixed use Santa Barbara Plantation project. The 27-acre site overlooks the beautiful Spanish Water Bay and the Caribbean Sea and will encompass not only the luxury Hyatt Regency Curacao hotel, but also a 30-slip marina, beach club, 52 vacation club units, 128 condominium homes, 106 residential lots and 94 terrace homes. It will be the largest hotel on the island and the first large hotel to open since the Sonesta (which is now a Marriott) was completed in 1992.
The hotel will offer a casual restaurant and a fine dining establishment, an expansive full-service spa, salon and fitness center. For entertainment there will be a 5,800 square foot casino, a multi-level pool, poolside grill, lounge and cabana area, tennis courts, and a spectacular 18-hole P.B. Dye championship golf course, the first signature golf course on the island. The Hyatt Regency is planned to open Summer 2008.
IMPROVED: Avila Hotel
The Avila Hotel, a privately owned four star boutique resort, announces the addition of 68 luxury rooms located in a new building to be named the Octagon Wing. The new wing has been under construction since April 2005 is expected to open in December 2006.
The Octagon Wing will feature 68 oversized rooms decorated in sophisticated neutrals with splashes of Caribbean colors. Room amenities will include flat screen TV's, high-speed internet connectivity and luxurious over-sized bathrooms with an abundance of natural stone and wood textures. The top floor of the Octagon Wing will hold the Bolivar Suite, which will appeal to the most discriminating of travelers with fabulous views of the Caribbean Sea and the Curacao coastline. Furnishings will feature bamboo flooring and a grand piano.
Additionally, a gorgeous infinity swimming pool and a new spa will be added to the hotel. The Avila Hotel at present features 100 rooms and 8 suites.
NEW: Lodge Kura Hulanda
Nestled in the tranquil and idyllic setting of Curacao's west end, the new Lodge Kura Hulanda and Beach Club, opened its doors in September 2005 but launched the hotel with a grand opening on April 27, 2006. The lodge offers the luxurious ambiance of its sister property Hotel Kura Hulanda coupled with a relaxing beachfront retreat and the seclusion of a unique island hideaway.
Lodge Kura Hulanda and Beach Club offers 74 villas, suites and guestrooms, most featuring living room areas and balconies or patios with a choice of breathtaking views of enchanting gardens or the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean Sea.
Dining options include open-air restaurant, Watamula, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner or the more casual Kalki Beach Bar and Restaurant, which is open for lunch. The Christoffel Sunset Lounge offers a magnificent ocean vista and is the ideal place to watch the sunset. Weekly manager's cocktail party and theme parties twice a week are also offered.
Featuring a beautiful soft white sand beach and a spectacular swimming pool, Lodge Kura Hulanda and Beach Club offers a serene getaway where guests will feel like they are on their own private island.
IMPROVED: Lions Dive
Located on popular Mambo Beach and right next to the Curacao Sea Aquarium, Lions Dive & Beach Resort has been enhanced with the addition of new oceanfront rooms and apartments, a second beach bar/restaurant, improved beach landscaping, a second swimming pool and high-speed wireless and wired internet service.
Thirty-six new units in a brand-new wing on the west flank of the property have opened with all but six facing the ocean and featuring spectacular views. They include six 2-bedroom apartments, 24 oceanfront rooms and six ocean view rooms.
The new Hemingway Beach Bar-Restaurant, adds a new dining experience right on the beach with live music on various nights of the week and the resort's second swimming pool, tucked away in a very quiet corner of the resort, will provide a calm, romantic setting.