Firstly, I would like to say that we are MVCI owners and have been staying with the Marriott since 1983. They have been very good to and for our family. Prior to going as is my custom, I read many,many reviews on this resort. Some good, some not so good. Now, it does have its flaws but overall it was superb in many ways.
I'll start with the CONS and get them out of the way as there are very few:
(1) The rooms need updating.... They are ok. Marriott can do a lot better. They are clean and the cleaning staff does a wonderful job of coming in and taking care of everything you need. But, yes, they are dated.
(2) The beds NEED to be replaced...PERIOD.
(3) More Palapas on the beach would be GREATand NEED new loungers as there are too few places on the beach front to get out of the sun when you need to. Many of the loungers are in rough shape.
(4) No real spa or gym to speak of. It is there, but not anything to write home about. If you are going for a spa experience this may not be your place.
Although they do have a yoga instructor that teaches on the beach who is incredible.
On to the POSITIVES...!!!
It is a nice, smaller, family friendly resort. As one reviewer said it is unlike St. Kitts Marriott (if you've been) as that resort is huge and has 3 pools, etc. This is much, much smaller. The service is far superior to St. Kitts in terms of expedience. In Curacao they are very attentive to their guests, from check in to the restaurants and bars and dive shop, everyone, everyone, everyone was on their game.
Beautiful, clean pool area. Lots of loungers and umbrellas. The outdoor jacuzzis were warm, wonderful and clean and a great way to end each evening.
We ate in Portofino every morning and the friendly, smiling staff greeted you like an old friend! The food was good. We had dinner there which was good as well. Angelique was a delight ! She always greeted us and seemed to remember where we liked to sit and that we both drank tea! (This isnt a big deal, I realize, but it was just that she noticed and remembered.) It was really thoughtful.
We had many lunches at the pool bar which was good. The food was nicely presented and reasonably priced. No more expensive than home restaurants. And yes. Elvis is quite charming! BUT so are TJ, Clinton and Martis !! They all made it really fun to be there !! BUT they were all very professional, corteous and efficient, as well !! Annie at the Sushi bar was very, very good at her fare as well !! She made wonderful fish soup and ceviche. They kept the pool bar hoppin' and clean while making sure you had everything you needed. They saw you in other locations around the resort and were just as friendly and welcoming.
We went to a few restaurants outside the resort as well. Tempo Doeloe, an Indonesian restaurant just up the hill was excellent. If you've never had Indonesian food, it is an experience (save the waitstaff.....the service veeerrrryyyy very painfully slow even for Caribbean time!). But do GO and order the " rice table" and you will not be disappointed. It was very, very good and really fun and worth the long wait !!!
El Gaucho was just ok. Some raved about it so we went, but I will say, it was just ok. Nothing special. You sit on the deck and overlook the 'city'. It was basically a mediocre steak house with a 'salad bar' which was potato salad, rice, green salad, etc. Nothing caribbean or different or special. Also, if you do go, keep in mind, it is quite far from the resort, approximately 25 minutes. So REMEMBER to ask at the Marriott desk to call El Gaucho's van as they will come and get you and bring you back. If not you'll pay $35. each way in cab fare. Nice people, fun atmosphere, food just ok.
We also went to the (not so) 5 star restaurant in Rif Fort as well. We had a special evening planned and were really looking forward to this one. Bistro Le Clochard. For the life of us ( and we have travelled all over the world mind you and by far one of our favorite things to do is seek out nice and/or interesting eateries) we can NOT understand why or how this is a 5 star restaurant. The extensive wine list? Not sure. The food was good. Not OMG this is unbelievable....although the dessert was nicely presented and quite yummy. The menu was not horribly highly priced. The waitstaff left way too much to be desired. There were only two occupied tables and our waiter circled the room several times every five to ten minutes or so but didn't do anything! Never once poured our wine or brought us water. We kept trying to get his attention to please bring us some water. But... nope!! The kitchen staff finally brought out our food. We weren't sure if we were in the middle of some stand off between the waitstaff and the kitchen staff !!! After all there were only two tables occupied indoor and about five tables outside. It was really, really odd. We didn't let it ruin our special evening, but sadly, we likely won't go back. The experience was just that bad. Oh well, too bad.
If you have never gone Scuba Diving. This Marriott is the place. Go to the dive shop. Ask for Andy and get it off your bucket list and onto your 'things to do again' list. Andy was an excellent instructor. We are both athletic and we've been to many of the caribbean islands. We have done all the fun water sports, snorkeling, jet skiing, sailing etc. We have always wanted to do this, but I couldn't get past a few hang ups. We talked to many, many guests in random fashion and they all stated that they are divers and had never had such experienced instruction as this particular PADI dive shop . From Eric, who is the owner to Andy who dives for a living and has 31 years experience. They made us so comfortable. The whole thing was supposed to be roughly 2 1/2 hours and we wound up being there for 5 1/2 hours.He took you slowly through the whole process until YOU felt very, very comfortable. We loved it so much we went back two days later and dove again !! The coral is incredibly beautiful. We saw Angel Fish, Lion fish, Seargent Majors, Parrot Fish, Foureye Butterfly Fish, Anemone, All kinds of tubers and corals. Incredible.
In closing, from check in to check out the experience at this Marriott was wonderful. It is truly a hidden gem we were happy to uncover and explore!! Loved it. Loved the location. Loved the people.
WE WILL BE BACK ASAP !!!
- Also Known As:
- Curacao Marriott Beach Resort And Emerald Casino
- Curacao Marriott Beach Resort & Emerald Hotel
- Curacao Marriott Beach Resort & Emerald Hotel Willemstad
- Marriott Willemstad
- Curacao Marriott Beach Hotel Emerald
- Marriott Curacao
- Willemstad Marriott
- Curacao Marriott Beach Resort & Emerald Casino Willemstad
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Curacao Marriott Beach Resort & Emerald Bay Casino are located directly on a private beach in Willemstad, Curacao. Spend your days basking in the sun at our resort pool or beach, or experiencing all history and adventure Curacao has to offer through our on site Tour and Car Rental desk. Once the sunsets, you will experience amazing dining by sea at our beachfront restaurant Seabreeze. ... more less
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