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Hilton Curacao worth it if staying on points?

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Washington, DC
posts: 4
Hilton Curacao worth it if staying on points?

I've read a variety of posts about the Hilton Curacao and I would love some feedback about whether or not it's worth it if we are staying on Hilton points. My expectations aren't super high (based on the differing opinions!) but I just want to ensure that the hotel is clean and not totally gross. I'm a pretty seasoned traveler and have stayed in lots of different types of hotels, so it doesn't have to be the fanciest thing going, but clean and comfortable is a must.

Thanks!

Willemstad, Curacao
Destination Expert
for Curacao
posts: 460
reviews: 3
1. Re: Hilton Curacao worth it if staying on points?

Hi Sarahchloe,

I just came back from a three day stay at the Hilton, I stayed in room 209 the rooms were just fine. I don't understand why some people give the Hilton such negative reviews. I do agree that it is an old hotel, and that it is a bit worn out in some places. but the room I had was new and had nice beds and pillows. I have no complaints about the rooms. The service wasnt speedy, but everyone did have a smile on their face. You just have to switch to island time, after all you are on vacation. The lobby needs a facelift, but the beaches were wonderful and although i didnt use the pool, our room looked right over it, and i saw people enjoying it daily. The only thing missing at the hilton was a jacuzzi. Just remember, this is not a 5 star hotel. For a 4 star hotel, the Hilton is not a bad choice.

Destination Expert
for Curacao
posts: 1,076
reviews: 28
2. Re: Hilton Curacao worth it if staying on points?

Sarahchloe:

I stayed at the Hilton in Feb. 2005 (with points), and am going back in Feb. 2008 (again with points). My wife and I had a great time, though we had realistic expectations- it's not 5 star, more like 3. We rented a car, so we were out exploring almost every day (as we do wherever we go), so some of the shortcomings were not important to us. My biggest complaint was with the food service (inconsistent quality and friendly but incompetent service), but there are so many wonderful restaurants options elsewhere, we didn't really care about that.

Our room was clean, and the housekeepers were very nice all week. The bathroom was dated but adequate, and the bed was very comfortable. In general the grounds were well maintained, and the gym was actually very nicely equipped, with a nice view of the water. The pool needed some maintenance, but was clean, and the small beaches were nice, with good snorkeling. Overall, we did not hesitate to book again with points (155,000 for 7 nights), especially since I also managed direct flights from Newark on Continental with miles. Free trip, can't complain, right ?

HOWEVER: I am VERY concerned with what I've read of late on this forum, and off-line from some members. It sounds as though the overall quality has been deteriorating, and management has been elusive and not customer oriented. I can't imagine why Hilton would allow this to happen, and I am seriously considering my options right now.

As an FYI, we stayed at the Los Cabos Hilton this past Feb. on points (175, 000 for 7 nights), and THAT place IS 5 star- just gorgeous, but a very different destination than Curacao !! Also, I have stayed at the Ponce Hilton in Puerto Rico twice (on business), and would NOT recommend using points for that property.

Regards,

JRN

Washington, DC
posts: 4
3. Re: Hilton Curacao worth it if staying on points?

Thanks so much Francis and JRN! I really appreciate your responses.

sarahchloe

Willington...
Destination Expert
for Curacao
posts: 4,555
reviews: 87
4. Re: Hilton Curacao worth it if staying on points?

Everything Francis and JRN says is the truth, I have stayed at the Hilton 4 times, just got back on Sept.8.It's worth the points, not much of our time is spent in the room, outside and the beaches on the island are beautiful.

Laurie

Willington...
Destination Expert
for Curacao
posts: 4,555
reviews: 87
5. Re: Hilton Curacao worth it if staying on points?

Just a little thing we TA people notice, when a bad hotel review (Hilton) is posted , that's the only post by that person,take with a grain of salt. I'm planning on staying there for our 5th visit. Just remember, a vacation is what you make of it.

Washington, DC
posts: 4
6. Re: Hilton Curacao worth it if staying on points?

Thanks Laurie! I definitely agree.

Melbourne, Florida
posts: 266
7. Re: Hilton Curacao worth it if staying on points?

When are you going? We will be staying at the Hilton in two weeks. When I am there or when I get back, I'll throw in my opinion.

Destination Expert
for Curacao
posts: 1,076
reviews: 28
8. Re: Hilton Curacao worth it if staying on points?

Oops...we stayed there in Feb. 2006, not 2005...

And Curacao was great- can't wait to go back. We'll be in Aruba in 3 weeks, but I'm more excited about returning to Curacao in Feb. !!!

Shirley...
posts: 20
reviews: 6
9. Re: Hilton Curacao worth it if staying on points?

I will be staying for my 4th time at the Hilton this Novemeber and would definetely agree with what the others are saying. It has so much potential to be more though if only they would put the money into it now rather than slowly over time. Tear down the Lanai's and rebuild nice suites over there (similar to the HGVC's in the US), build a beach bar and improve the pool on that beach as well. Speed up the remodeling of the rooms and finish the new light blue paint job they started last November.

I have no clue how to fix those restaurants (Beach bar is great for lunch) this is the second group of management that I am aware of and it still doesn't seem to be improved. But they really need to get rid of the whole thing being open air, it should only be half open half enclosed so people can choose which and you get rid of birds etc at the breakfast stations by doing that. While I prefer european/caribbean style service more than US style they really need to improve the service, the food quality was meh to decent. Though they have a lemon tart that is very good, doesn't beat out a good key lime but still very good.

Last November and in April I saw they are still redoing the rooms so it's hit or miss if you get the remodeled ones or not. Just in case I bring along a can of Fabreeze and thet seems to eliminate any musty smell, only used in once so far. Never had a problem with water so not sure what is up with the complaints of cold water. One of my stay's I did use a fan to help out but the other times the AC has been good enough. I don't use an AC at home so not used to having one on. That may play a part into some peoples complaints about the AC.

The key I found was just to avoid the restaraunts, if you couldn't tell that already :) A little tip to help out would be to try to get upgraded to executive class or request access to the executive lounge. The cost seems to very depending on season, for me its been anywhere from free to $50 a night. However that gets you access to the executive lounge area on the 5th floor that offers free contintental breakfast each morning along with free happy hour up there from 6-8pm with soda, wine, beer and some hard stuff along with appetizers. I have seen many people just make a meal out of the appetizers which is easy to do with the selection and quantity they offer along with the self pour drinks. You can also access a computer for free they have up there to check email, look up curacao restaraunt guides, post on this board etc.

Washington, DC
posts: 4
10. Re: Hilton Curacao worth it if staying on points?

Thanks to all for your feedback. Owa, we are not going until next June, so I would love to hear your thoughts when you get back. Hope you have a wonderful trip!

sarahchloe