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“Great location” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Lions Dive & Beach Resort Curacao

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Lions Dive & Beach Resort Curacao
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Bapor Kibra, Willemstad, Curacao   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #7 of 27 hotels in Willemstad
Egersund
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Great location”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013

Stayed for one week. Had a beach front room ground floor. The hotel had a very good standard and the location was great. Free busses to a supermarket and to Wilhelmstad. The service level in the resort was not on top everywhere, the Piazza on the bottom and front desk and Nemo restaurant on top. If we ever go back to Curacao this will be our hotel.

Room Tip: Definetly a beach front!
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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353 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (57)
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English first
Toronto, Canada
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

We chose the Lion’s Dive as our hotel in Curacao for two reasons: The location and its dive shop. Sadly, because of a last-minute health issue, we didn't get to check out the dive shop. However, it did look well-organized and its boats were big and new.

As for the location, it worked for us though I can see how some people might find this hotel too isolated as it’s not near a city/town and there’s not a lot within walking distance. However, it’s on a great beach, has even better snorkelling and there are a few things, including the sea aquarium and a handful of restaurants, that can be easily walked to. While Curacao’s capital Willemstad does have plenty of great hotels, the city doesn't have a beach nearby so if you’re visiting this island you have to choose: City or beach. For us it was an easy decision.

Overall, Lion’s Dive is a very mid-range hotel. While it does look a bit nicer than Bonaire's Divi Flamingo, it’s a far cry from Aruba's Riu Palace or most Caribbean all-inclusives. While it’s certainly not a bad hotel, I can see how some North Americans might be disappointed by this resort because, in full honesty, I've stayed at Holiday Day Inns with better customer service and attention-to-detail.

The front desk staff was very friendly and helpful, as was the activities desk woman and the woman at the car rental shop, but elsewhere, a helpful nature and even just a smile were often lacking.

Overall, this is a hotel with a lot of potential that it's just not fulfilling. Lion’s Dive is situated on a nice piece land, is an ideal size and has some wonderful features. But because of various little things, this resort just isn't as great as it could be. I really don’t know if I would stay here again. While I liked it, I didn't love it and I can easily see myself staying elsewhere just to see what else the island has to offer.

Our Room
Our room did have some great features: An ocean view (that we didn't pay for); a recently renovated bathroom that had a nice tropical feel; new tiles on the floor and all the usual items like a fridge and a flat-screen TV.

However, it also had some drawbacks. The biggest was easily the noise issue. We actually didn't hear any noise from our neighbours (unless they were out on the communal balcony) but we did hear a lot of noise from the roads and the strange industrial lot that faced the resort. If you do decide to stay here, request a room away from the road; it’s worth sacrificing the ocean view over.

I also wasn't a fan on the communal balcony, having two single duvets on a double bed (I know, that’s a European thing) and how beat-up some of the furniture was. Nor was I wowed by housekeeping. While they did a great job in some areas, like the floor and the linens, they struggled when it came to cleaning up the many glass surfaces in the room (to be fair, cleaning glass is a pain in the ***).

Besides the traditional-style hotel room that we were in, Lion’s Dive also offers apartment-style units. I'm told that those units are a bit nicer however, they’re all located next to some on-going construction so it might be best to avoid them for the next little bit (while you could hear the construction on the beach, you couldn't in our hotel room).

Pools and Beach
Lion’s Dive has three pools, two small ones that I only saw ever used by families and an infinity-style lane pool that was surprisingly popular.

Husband and I never used the pools but they all appeared to be in good condition. We spent our time on Lion’s Den lovely beach. While the sand isn't as nice as the sand on Aruba’s Palm Beach, and the loungers were sometimes beat-up, the overall set-up was above fine, especially since you could almost always get a shaded seat at any time of the day.

Above fine is the resort's snorkelling. Tons of the pretty fish and eels that call the area home and because of Lion’s Dive location, there are a lot of different spots to explore. We checked out both sides of the beach’s man-made break-rocks though I wouldn't recommend going on the outside unless you’re a strong swimmer or it’s a really calm day. We also swam over towards the island's sea aquarium. You can actually see the lemon sharks swimming around in their enclosure though sadly the dolphins all live on the side of the aquarium, which isn't accessible by snorkelling.

Drinks & Food
I had a great fish dinner at Nemo’s, the “fancy” restaurant at Lion’s Dive. It actually wasn't that fancy but it was definitely a step up from Hemingway’s, the resort’s casual restaurant. While service wasn't exactly speedy, it was attentive and both the food and overall atmosphere were above average.

Hemingway’s, on the other hand, is firmly an average restaurant. Its ocean-side location is quite pretty and relaxing, but the service was horrible. There were multiple times were I'm sure we were being out-and-out ignored. Food-wise, things were so-so. The buffet breakfast was nothing special but the chicken in the chicken Caesar salad I had for dinner one night was surprisingly well-seasoned.

The food was better over at the Pizzeria, which sadly was opened only for lunch. We ate lunch there multiple times, always splitting a pizza and always leaving satisfied. However, like Hemingway’s the service here sucked.

Unfortunately, Lion’s Dive does happy hour only once a week, on Fridays, and we missed it. However, we did show up to the bar shortly afterwards and it was clear that a lot of the hotel, as well as many locals, had turned up for that event. Once happy hour has wrapped up on Fridays, as well as on Sunday nights, the bar features live music, which was a great touch and something I really liked.

Drink prices, while not cheap, weren't bad, I think I paid $7 for a frozen drink, and there are plenty of varieties to choose from.

On Friday night we sat at the bar, which is completely the way to go. On a couple of previous nights, we sat at a table and waited forever for service because the servers were all busy visiting with their friends (I'm not exaggerating; one night the friends were seated at the table beside us and one waitress spent close to 10 minutes chatting with them). The bartenders though are efficient and will quickly get you your drinks.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saarbrucken, Germany
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

I planned a weekend in Curacao to celebrate my birthday and obviously wanted it to be special. This hotel was the perfect choice. Everything was perfect. Pick-up service at the airport worked out perfectly, the hotel was very nice, the room was very spacious and had everything you needed, even the tea was great; the pool, the beach. And for the night, not very far away you find a lot to do.
The shuttle service to Willemstad is a plus, very punctual and worth it.
I would and will definitely go back to Lion's dive.
Thanks to all the staff at the hotel for making my birthday such a great day.

Room Tip: View ocean rooms are great.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
White Plains, New York
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013

This was my second trip to Curacao and I highly recommend this Dutch resort for those that seek a wide variety of beach activities and proximity to a fantastic dive shop – Ocean Encounters. The hotel is also located next to the Dolphin Sea Aquarium, which we did not take advantage of but they provided daily dolphin and sea lion tours.

The check in process was quite quick; we were in our room in less than 15 minutes. Our room was clean and well maintained. We stayed on a high floor (Room 2315), which had unobtrusive views of the water, sunrise and sunset. Also, from the balcony, we had a great vantage point of the beach, which helped us quickly determine where we planned to take in the sun.

The property has 2 swimming pools and 3 restaurants. From our experience, things seem to be well maintained. Restaurant wise, we only took advantage of Hemingway’s, which was located right on the beach. We tried them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The food was average. I would recommend walking 2 minutes over to Augusto’s and having a slightly higher quality/lower cost breakfast and lunch there. However, Hemingway’s bartends make a few good cocktails and have regular happy hour beer specials. Plus, a few nights they brought in Reggae and Cuban bands.

A 5 minute walk down the beach from Lions Dive, you’ll find a bunch of beach clubs; Mambo, Wet & Wild, and Cabana. There you’ll find a great party vibe and good mix of locals and people on holiday.

Getting into the city was easy. There are hotel shuttles, public buses and taxi’s available in front of the hotel. Taxi into the city cost about $15 one way.

We dived everyday of our stay and the house reef has tons of fish life with a reported 400ft wall. I only went down 80ft. This was a great place to shore dive. The dive shop, Ocean Encounters has 3 boats located on the property with dive trips to various locations.

Room Tip: I would recommend a room on a high floor and a room with a kitchen.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kendal, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2013

To set the tone -our welcome meeting was led by a very nervous young girl who had just started in the post. When asked if there were any good restaurants nearby, she answered that she didn't go to restaurants so didn't know. (There are NO good restaurants nearby -for anything of quality it is best to go into town). When we asked our diving rep about local places to get breakfast we were told to get provisions at the local supermarket (which we did) but it is a damning indication of the poor quality of food provided by the hotel that we even had to ask this. The breakfast at Lion's Dive is fine if you like an 'all you can eat' buffet serving mediocre food (terrible coffee, orange squash rather than juice etc) and all for $19 per person -extortionate. There was no alternative. Hemingways restaurant had a good location but poor quality food so we thought we'd try the 'fine dining' of Nemos and wished we hadn't. It was overly seasoned and overly priced -on a positive note, the staff were excellent.
Our room was adequate and clean but on the third floor with no lift.
After an initial 'blip' at the dive centre when we were given wrong information (Sunday is family day so a new member of staff was left in charge) -the help given & facilities were very good.
The beach is lovely with access to dives /snorkelling straight off it. Weekends are rather busy with locals using the facilities -a few did get charged for this we noticed, we think it depended on who security knew.
We did wonder if senior management were around at times as we watched one employee start to clean the smaller pool near our room, leave, come back, leave again (with equipment still in the pool), talk to a maid who was trying to do her job, he eventually finished the work after 3 hours! The hotel could be so much better -systems just need tightening up. But then again, they were very busy so probably don't need to. We wouldn't go again.
NB The 'free' wifi was dreadful and the business centre computers were extortionate.

Room Tip: The newer rooms /apartments (where you can cook a decent breakfast) are probably better.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milton, NH
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2013

I just got back from my second stay at Lions Dive, and it was just as good as I remembered. The rooms are spacious, clean and equipped with all the up to date accessories. The staff is friendly and very professional. The beach area is well maintained and designed so you can enjoy the direct sun or relax in the shade. Definately a destination I will return to!!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2013

My husband and I recently returned from one week at Lions Dive. The hotel is very clean and the staff extremely helpful. The shuttles to Willemstad and the local grocery store were a great convenience. The beach was fantastic! Ocean front rooms are worth the extra cost.

The 50 meter pool is spectacular and there is one lane that is divided for lap swimming all of the time. An important note for management is to post a sign near the fitness pool (50 meter) asking children to stay out of the lap lane. On two different days, kids who knew we were swimming laps jumped in and just missed my husband’s head- it would have been a horrible accident easily avoided my a pool safety posting. With a practically Olympic size pool, and just 2 people swimming laps, there is absolutely no reason to jump in the one lap lane.

The one drawback to this hotel-and it’s a big one- is all of the smoking! We simply could not get away from cigarette smoke which was at times unbearable. I’m not talking about one person having an occasional smoke here and there, but many people smoking one after the other. With all the great, healthful amenities at Lions’ Dive, “the natural place to stay,” we were dumbfounded by all of the smoke and the toxic environment that is created by allowing people to smoke everywhere. It was disappointing to see cigarette butts in the white sand and disgusting to have smoke blown in our faces especially after a workout or while trying to dine al fresco. We paid to have an ocean front room, which was lovely, but found out quickly that sitting outside to enjoy morning coffee or sunset would be polluted by people smoking on their balconies in every direction.
Living the U.S., we have become accustomed to smoke free environments and do not expect (although it would be fantastic) the same when traveling. The staff was responsive and felt badly when we complained and told us that there are no laws against smoking in Curacao. If upper management should read this, I would suggest that at the very least to create designated smoking areas on the property. In addition, perhaps a block of rooms downwind would be available for smokers. Even though guests are not supposed to smoke in their rooms, hence the balcony problem, we found that we could not even sit in our room with the doors open because the smoke on both side of us was forced back and channeled through our room.
If they address the smoking issue, we could easily see ourselves back for vacation with family and friends. The weather was perfect and there is something for everyone. The apartments have nice kitchens and dining areas to enjoy meals in and help with costs. There is plenty of shade on the beach and around the pools to help with the intense UV rays. We had a wonderful day trip snorkeling and sailing (booked through the hotel dive shop) and highly recommend the excursion. One of my dreams came true when we swam with dolphins at the Dolphin Academy next door to the hotel! It was fun being able to walk down the beach for dinner at different restaurants and hotels. I was in heaven swimming in the sea all day and working out in the fitness pool.
Overall great stay except for the cigarette smoke.

Room Tip: Go for ocean front. Newly built apartments near the fitness pool are very nice if you are traveling...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagementLionsDive, Manager at Lions Dive & Beach Resort Curacao, responded to this review, February 4, 2013
Thank you for your review of our resort. It is nice to hear you enjoyed our facilities, except for the cigarette smoke. All our rooms and apartements are non-smoking, but in open-air area's of the resort including the balconies smoking is allowed as it is on the entire island of Curacao. We do regret the inconvenience this caused you and maybe also other guest of our hotel, so we will discuss this matter internely and see if we can come up with a solution, suitable for smokers and non-smokers. Thanks again for your feedback and we hope we may welcome you again in the future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lions Dive & Beach Resort Curacao

Address: Bapor Kibra, Willemstad, Curacao
Location: Caribbean > Curacao > Willemstad
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Family Hotel in Willemstad
#4 Spa Hotel in Willemstad
#5 Romantic Hotel in Willemstad
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Willemstad
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Lions Dive & Beach Resort Curacao 3.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Room number includes thirty apartments within the resort. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lions Dive And Beach Resort Curacao
Lions Dive & Beach Resort Curacao Hotel Willemstad
Lions Dive Beach Hotel Curacao
Lions Dive & Beach Resort Curacao Willemstad

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