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“Hearbreak Hotel” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Curacao Marriott Beach Resort & Emerald Casino

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Curacao Marriott Beach Resort & Emerald Casino
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   John F Kennedy Boulevard | Piscadera Bay, Willemstad, Curacao   |  
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Ranked #6 of 29 Hotels in Willemstad
Certificate of Excellence
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Hearbreak Hotel”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2011

When my new wife and I decided to celebrate our honeymoon in Curacao, we chose Curacao Marriott Beach Resort & Emerald Casino because of its natural beach and Marriott's strong brand reputation for her; I am not so brand loyal.

We paid $259 a night for a beachfront room, more than $100 more than the value of the room to which we are assigned, to have a room on the beach. When we arrived at our room, we discovered caution tape draped across the beach chairs. It was only after dinner and our questioning of the front desk staff that we learned that the beach had been closed for so time before our visit, and it was off limits to hotel guests due to an oil spill. The only concession offered by the hotel was to shuttle is to another beach and reimburse is for its admission fee.

Furthermore, the room to which we are assigned is significantly dated. The furniture, bedding and window treatment are reminiscent of decor from 1980s-era Holiday Inns. The walls, especially near the air conditioning unit, are stained and muddled with inconsistent patchwork to the drywall. The linen, though "clean", has been overused and could stand replacement. In speaking to other hotel guests, we have learned that we are not the only ones who are disappointed with their hotel accommodations.

Despite the fact that I have called and visited the front desk, it took a while to speak with a manager. Because we booked our trip with an outside vendor, we had to work through that vendor to try to remedy our situation. We were offered a refund of our additional days of stay, and we should have taken it. On Wednesday, we rented a car and went to visit the Hyatt Regency Curacao Golf Resort, Spa and Marina. Suffice it to say, we had buyer’s remorse. The only downside to the Hyatt Regency Curacao Golf Resort, Spa and Marina is that it’s in the wilderness and you have to rent a car if you want to go into Willemstad.

To date, the only acknowledgement of our complaint we have received from Curacao Marriott Beach Resort & Emerald Casino was a note and a bottle of champagne, which neither my wife nor I drink.

The highlight of our trip was Portofino. However, you should stay away from the buffets. If you choose the breakfast buffet, have an omelet. Lunch and dinner are best from the menu. We also enjoyed visiting Playa Port Marie Beach.

Room Tip: We would recommend rooms 150 through 154 (or so).
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (531)
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Santa Barbara, CA
Level Contributor
65 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2011

We recently stayed there for 5 nights in May 2011. The pictures advertised are true. Sometimes you will find a resort with pictures from when it first opened & not in it's current state, but in this case - it looks just as advertised. Beautifully manicured grounds. This has to be the friendliest island we have ever visited. Every employee makes you feel welcome. Check-in was a breeze. Service was great in every venue. We like to gamble and the casino is small but most slots have 10 different games to choose from. Most all are penny slots along with card tables and craps. Say hello to Oneida, one of the drink servers. She is absolutely great! On top of it when your drink is running low! And say hi to Richard in the front lobby who will give you any information about the island you need. Really friendly person! The food at the Portofino Restaurant was great. They have a buffet breakfast $21.50/pp every morning which has a vast array of choices and dinner is a different theme each evening ie: Mexican, Steak night, Italian, etc. Excellent food preparation. Buffet dinners were around $32/pp. We had the resort view room and it was plenty large for the two of us. The room could use some updating, but then again when you're on the island you're at the pool or out sightseeing and not in your room much. Housekeeping again excellent - room was spotless. The resort is a little ways from town but the hotel offers a free shuttle into town twice a day for free, so it gives you a chance to explore the downtown area. The pool area never crowded. Mostly adults only, all ages - only one family there while we were there. Beach is very clean but it was unfortunately closed while we were there due to an oil spill, which they were cleaning. But it has the palapas to lay under. All in all, we would come back to stay here. I'm very particular where I stay and I feel I chose the right resort for this island!

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jcastillo82g, Director of Sales & Marketing at Curacao Marriott Beach Resort & Emerald Casino, responded to this review, June 7, 2011
Dear Lynette51~
Thank you for your great review, we appreciate the compliments to one of our many great men and women that make their number one priority to make guests like you leave happy, relaxed and willing to come back soon.

In regards food and beverage it is very nice to hear that you noticed that we offer a different quality theme night buffet every single night plus a la carte option to give guests the option to have great meals with a nice variety during the week.

Please come back soon !!

Regards

Jose Castillo
Director of Sales & Marketing
Curacao Marriott Beach Resort & Emerald Casino
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ohio
Level Contributor
38 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2011

We are also Marriott Timshare owners in several locations. First time staying here due to my husband is a scuba diver. He enjoyed the dives. The only thing I didnot like was their casino at this hotel. Ripe off is a good word. It doesnot pay so don't waste your money. The Hilton is right next door, just walk over there much larger and nicer.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2011

I booked this trip in celebration of my sister's milestone birthday. We were looking for a relaxing beach vacation and that's just what we found. Upon arrival everyone was friendly and accomodating, from the bellman to the pool bar staff, the dive shop personnel and our new girlfriends at the beach bar.So thank you Richard, TJ, Luis, Cerrita and friends and a special thank you to our birthday singers bearing surprise birthday treats and good wishes .The grounds are beautiful and immaculately kept.I had read previous reviews on Trip Advisor and had some minor concerns, however, they weren't a problem. Yes, the rooms were a little oudated but they were clean, mattresses were comfortable and pillows were great. We had requested a refrigerator and there was one waiting for us. It was old, but it was cold, so it did the trick. Many people suggested water shoes which we brought but never wore. A couple of tips: There is a shuttle to and from town, however it only goes twice a day and holds eleven people so it fills up quickly. Reserve a spot early. There is a public bus that goes by hotel on the way back from town if you don't want to stay for several hours. Also there is no store within walking distance so if you want to purchase snacks and drinks stop at the grocery store on the way from the airport. We are not big eaters so didn't partake of the nightly buffets, but they did emit an enticing aroma.There is one great restaurant (casual and right on the beach) called Pirate's Cove, formerly Hook's Hut, on the other side of the neighboring Hilton and only a five minute walk. They serve breakfast staring at 9:00.which was perfect. We enjoyed it so went back another night for dinner. There was live music and the food was good for a good price. I would recommend staying at this Marriott. If you want to relax and enjoy the turquiose waters of Curacao, you will definately feel welcomed.

Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Texas
Level Contributor
24 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2011

Just returned from a trip to Curacao and we stayed at the Marriott. We were very impressed.

When we travel to other countries, we normally like to stay at locally owned hotels and not an American chain hotel. So we seriously considered the Avila on Curacao and actually almost made our reservations there, but chose the Marriott instead, and we're SO glad we did.

The atmosphere of the hotel is great! I love the open air lobby. The grounds are nice and very well kept.

We were also impressed with the food and drinks! Go figure!
Hotel food, anywhere, has a bad reputation, for good reason - but the food at this Marriott was really good! We were very surprised. The buffet breakfasts were good and offered a great selection. We also ordered grilled fish from the restaurant on the beach and it was fresh and very tasty, served with grilled vegetables. We had good Quesadillas (ok - it's kinda hard to mess those up, so that's not too impressive). We also had a good chicken sandwich with sun-dried tomatoes, good pizza, and a great BBQ pork sandwich.

Also, impressed with the drinks! Yes, they're kinda expensive, but no more expensive than anywhere else AND they are actually larger than other restaurants we visited, so in the end, the drinks are actually less expensive than elsewhere. And, the mojito's were the best that we had anywhere on the island.
The bartenders at the pool bar were very friendly and personable - not so much in the Emerald Lounge near the lobby, but that's ok. They weren't rude or anything. Just not extra friendly, like the guys at the pool bar.

We had an ocean view room and were satisfied with the quality. Yes, it's an older hotel, but it is well kept and they were making improvements even while we were there. Definitely get a room on the 3rd floor. We were assigned to a room on the second floor and requested to be moved. There was nothing available on our first night, since we arrived after 8:00pm, but we got a different room the next day on 3rd floor and were very satisfied.

Honestly, if this Marriott is not to someone's liking, I have no idea what property on the island that they would prefer. I'm guessing that that you'd have to pay 3-4 times the price to stay at Boase or something in order to get better quality (we didn't visit Boase, but the reviews on tripadvisor look good, so I'm just guessing here).

We visited other hotels, and would choose the Marriott over anything else in a HEARTBEAT.
For the price, location and atmosphere, Marriott is DEFINITELY the best choice.

Other properties we visited:
Hilton - looks very old and run down.
Kura Hulanda in Willemstad - It looks very nice, but we wanted to be on the water. The rooms don't seem to have any view at all. It does not feel like an island hotel because it's in the city.
We also went to the Kura Hulanda location in Westpunt. The grounds are beautiful with lots of plants. The view is nice - it's right on the water. But Westpunt is pretty isolated, so I was glad that we didn't stay there. The food and drinks look expensive too.

The Avila was ok, but it's a much smaller property than Marriott, and just didn't look as nice. A smaller size might seem charming, but it actually seemed loud. The beach area is tiny and it's right next to the pool and bar where music was playing. There was no way to get away from the loud music, if you just wanted to relax and chill out. Overall, it felt cramped. The marriott's property is not huge, but it is well spread out and feels spacious and sort of luxurious.

Lion's Dive - nice atmosphere, but the Marriott is much nicer, and prices of both seem comparable. Also, Marriott, was much closer to Willemstad so that was very convenient for trying other restaurants.

Regarding service at the Marriott, we were very impressed. Two managers at two separate times approached us to ask how we were doing, if we were enjoying our stay, if we needed anything, and if there was anything that Marriott could do to improve our stay. That has never happened to us before, so I was very impressed with their proactive efforts. Just by them asking what they could do, made me feel taken care of. We only had positive feedback for them. (....Actually, a lightbulb was burnt out in our room and we told one of the managers about it. It was changed within a couple hours after our request.)

OK. So, that's my feedback on the Marriott. It's not perfect, but it's really great, beautiful, convenient, and I can EASILY recommend it over other hotels in that price range.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SoNE
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2011

First of all, I loved Curacao. If you like laying on the beach and doing not much else- go to Aruba. If you like to snorkel, dive, and be active, go to Curacao. Almost every beach has great shore snorkeling and diving.

On to the hotel: I expected the worst after reading the reviews on Trip Advisor. Our room was perfectly fine. Sure there was an older television, the bathroom counters weren't granite like in renovated Marriotts, but in no way would I call the room I was in completely outdated (oceanfront king). I requested a fridge and it was in my room upon check in- bigger than a dorm fridge which was great for holding beers, buying groceries, etc. The property is lovely and well maintained and the staff was very friendly.

It was the low season so finding a pool or beach chair was never an issue. Even getting a palapa on the beach was possible before 10 am. The beach is doable without water shoes if you look to enter the water where it is sandy, however water shoes just make it much easier. The public beach adjacent to the Marriott was not an issue. Other reviewers mentioned it was "loud" when honestly, I think the reviewers were not keen on looking at the locals outside their resort. I noticed zero noise but it is a busy beach (about 10 people out there every morning), and quite lovely with a handful of palapas. Snorkeling right off of the Marriott beach was fantastic. I saw tons of fish and all different species around the rocky breakwater. The on-site dive shop does 4 or 8 hour snorkel/flipper rentals that were $10 for a 1/2 day and runs a dive/snorkel boat cruise twice a day (morning and afternoon).

The restaurant service was great. No "island time" everything was promptly served. We ate at the Seabreeze restaurant a few times for lunch and dinner and all of it was excellent. Their pulled pork sandwich at lunch is phenomenal. we ate at Portofino once for breakfast and that was the worst service we encountered on the island. The waitress pushed the breakfast buffet. We told her we'd rather order a la carte. She never came back with menus. We got menus ourselves and finally she came back and took or order. Our breakfast took forever to reach the table and when it did, it was obvious it sat under heat lamps for a while. I recommend just staying away from Portofino all together.

There is a small shop at the hotel that sells flip flops, beachwear, lotion etc. Then Viola Delicatessen that sells coffee, sandwiches, single beers, wine, and the like. I recommend getting a fridge and hitting the Centrum supermarket up the road. It is a full service grocery and they also sell wine, beer, and liquor. Make drinks on your balcony and save some cash at the hotel.

You really need to rent a car, as taxis are expensive and there is so much to see and do. I highly recommend a day in Punda/Otrabanda, a day in Christoffel National Park, and explore the Westpunt area. Driving there was fine, even at night. Roads are in decent shape (potholes no worse than what you'd see in the northeastern US!). Sometimes there were no road signs (mostly right in Willemstad this happened) but after one day on the island I found it easy to navigate and never got lost. I rented through Avis and it was a good experience overall and they provided me with a map of the island. GPS is not necessary.

There is little within walking distance besides the Pirate place (formerly Hooks Hut) and Tempo Doloe. Believe me when I say you are doing a terrible disservice to yourself and the island if you don't get a car and explore. Also, I highly recommend eating at Landhuis Misje (Westpunt) and Wine Cellar (Punda) for an amazing meal.

It was annoying that the Marriott charges ungodly amounts for internet access and I couldn't find any free wifi near the hotel. I only could get online when in Willemstad where there are many cafes offering free wifi.

Overall, I am glad I stayed at the Marriott. I didn't walk through the Hilton next door, but it looked like it was straight out of 1950 from the road. Hopefully their lobby looked better than the building itself.

  • Stayed May 2011, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2011

The location of this hotel is nice as it is close to downtown. The hotel has pristine views and great service, however, it is VERY expensive, the beach is rocky and the rooms need some updating. The staff was wonderful and really focused on service. The food was WAY overpriced and not worth it (ie-breakfast for 2 was $55!). We ended up going to the grocery store to buy some liquor and juice to cut down on the beverage bill ($100 for one day-and we are NOT big drinkers). The best meals we had were the $55 breakfast and the final night's Mongolian buffet. We had dinner in town at La Bahia which was good, but not for $80. Lunch was at the governeur-that was really great and moderately priced. Rent a car--SO worth it because the cabs are $25 round trip from downtown and the car is $50/day. Since the island is close to Venezuela (80 miles away), there are tons of oil tankers at sea and are visible from the hotel's pool. The oil refinery is about 3 miles from the hotel and it didn't bother us until the last day when the air was filled by the smell of petroleum. It was a nice vacation, but we won't be back.

  • Stayed May 2011
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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Additional Information about Curacao Marriott Beach Resort & Emerald Casino

Address: John F Kennedy Boulevard | Piscadera Bay, Willemstad, Curacao
Location: Caribbean > Curacao > Willemstad
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Willemstad
#3 Romantic Hotel in Willemstad
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Willemstad
#4 Family Hotel in Willemstad
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Willemstad
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Curacao Marriott Beach Resort & Emerald Casino 4*
Number of rooms: 247
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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Also Known As:
Curacao Marriott Beach Resort & Emerald Hotel Willemstad
Curacao Marriott Beach Resort And Emerald Casino
Marriott Willemstad
Curacao Marriott Beach Hotel Emerald
Marriott Curacao
Willemstad Marriott
Curacao Marriott Beach Resort & Emerald Casino Willemstad

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