I just came back from a stay at this hotel 8/8-812 and it was a decent experience, I had never been out of the country before and I learned a lot. This review is about things I wish i had known in advance before going or choosing, some the hotels issue some just general.
First, the charge you an extra $200 for expenses while you will be staying there, i guess this is because they know you will sort of be trapped there if you have no car. I was ok with this but it did throw me off as I was not expecting it.
Two, the way the resorts are set up I really are conducive to going anywhere else. I read reviews of people saying they walked to Pirates Bay or Floris but I really dont see how unless they were walking in the road. Furthermore, the only other resort I even saw a way to get into was the Marriot. I did see a sign for Floris but no entry way. It was because of this I say I was trapped as I was forced to eat at the hilton only because I didnt feel safe exploring trying to figure out a way to get into the other resorts.
This bring me to the food, there are only a few places to eat at the Hilton, sure if you break it down it comes to about 5 or 6 but they all pretty much serve the same thing. I mainly ate at Captain Blights because it was the most convenient being right there but the Beach Bar and Grill a mere few steps away serves the same food. I also noticed that at the Beach Bar and Grill soe of the exact same drinks were $1 cheaper than at Captain Blights, it was baffling. The breakfast at Aqua is $25 bucks and while they had a decent selection is wasnt anything special. The bacon and sausage were undercooked everyday. I ask for fried eggs once and ended up with burned sunny side up. The coffee was quite literally the nastiest coffee I have ever tasted. On my last day I finally used the in room coffee maker and wish I would have done that everyday, much better coffee. If you choose to go a little cheaper and just do continental it hardly seems worth as the cheese they had out had all melted together. I also ate at Cielos once, it was decent pasta but small portion and expensive.
here is my know before you go about the food the expresso bar seems to be much better. I didnt actually go in there until my second to last day and they had a breakfast sandwich for only $10 bucks, i didnt try it but I surely would have gone there every morning instead of Aqua. I also got a cold latte and it was good and only about $6. I also saw they had small lunches. Point is if you want somewhere cheaper than anything else at the hilton go to expresso cafe.
I know people go on vacation for fruity drinks but while tasty, they tasted like smoothie with no alcohol in them whatsoever, I can only imagine how much money would be spent trying to get a buzz from those. I stuck with the house wine for only $6.50 and knew i would at least be getting straight alcohol.
Its a $15 taxi ride into town but if I had known the food was going to be like that (expensive and small) I would have definitely arranged to go into town on my first day to stock up on fruit, snacks and water to survive off of. There is a small grocery story on the Otrabanda side that will do the trick in Willemstad and of course on the Punda side the market.
The shuttle into town fills up fast, because it only seats 11. I got there late friday and ask if I could make a reservation into town on the shuttle for monday and they told me the morning was already taken. So if you plan to use the hotel shuttle definitely book it early. Also, the shuttle is every 4 hours so you have to choose am from 830 to 1230 or 130 to 530. I heard and agree that the morning is best to go into town as things tend to shut down in the afternoon. I listened to my gut and caught a taxi into town b/c i wanted to go to Kura Hulanda Museum and there is no way I would have had time to go to museum and explore in the four hours i had. Also dont let a full booking fool you, when I was waiting to be picked up for the afternoon I counted 10 ppl getting off and in my trip 9. also the shuttle doesnt run on Sundays, but it seems to be fore the best and very little seems to be open on the weekends in Curacao which is another thing I wish I would have known before I went so that I could have arranged/booked differently.
My room was nice, i had an ocean view which was great. I did not notice until the final day that there was a large chunk of glass missing from the table on the balcony. The first thing I noticed in the room was how the shower looked old and new at the same time. I guess new design shoddy works? there were upheaved and cracked tiles.
Room Cleaning was slow on the weekends at they did not clean my room until well after 3pm on sunday. I dont know when they cleaned it on saturday as i was away doing an all day tour with a company. Also room cleaning seemed to be totally on a whim not a set standard. For example, one day I only got two towels the rest of the days I got three. One day I got chocolates, the rest of the days I did not. One day I literally got my things straightened up for me, the rest of the days I did not. One day I got only lotion replaced, the other 2 days I got nothing replaced and 1 day I got a full replace. i guess it just depends on who you get what day but again seems odd no set standing that cleaning service has to follow.
Do not pay attention to anything it says in the books they provide about hotel amenities omg where do I begin. first, the numbers to call are all wrong. In the book it says to dial 6063 to get room service. Let me tell you for 4 DAYS i tried to get room service and never once did anyone ever answer that line. On day 2 I just pressed the button that said room service and asked to order and was almost rudely told that this was the front desk and i needed to call 6064 to get room service from captain blights bar. Well, that didnt work either as they line was ALWAYS busy i tried from 1pm to 1am no lie, always a busy signal. This further complicated things as again I was forced to go down to Captain blights lest i starve to death.
Second thing from the book is those tv channels DO NOT EXIST!! there was no HBO and there were none of the channels listed in the book. It didnt even seem to be the same cable/satellite company as i know by tv was broadcasting something from miami. I was really disappointed as i couldnt find anything and there were only about 15 available channels.
My room seemed to be missing a lamp from one of the side tables. There are no plugs by the bed except behind a night stand on one side so my ipad was sort of difficult to access.
Internet was $65 for 5 days which sucked for me because the Hilton didnt even prorate it as I only used 4 days but it was less expensive than if I would have paid for 4 days but here is another know before you go. I probably could have gotten away with paying for only 2 days b/c as I stated I was gone the entire day saturday on tour, so I could have just bought internet for $14.95 from 6pm saturday which would have lasted me until 6pm sunday and then again waited and paid for Monday morning to Tuesday when I was leaving and I would have only paid $30. If you suspect you will be away all day try to plan for that. Also I saw signs saying the casino had free wifi, point is there is a better way to do wifi than I did and I wish I had known.
Now for the beaches. I dont really know where all these beautiful beaches comments come from with no mention of how rocky it is!! Curacao itself seems to be very rocky and is definitely morning conducive to exploring fish underwater swimming than standing. I actually hurt my foot the first day trying to navigate those rocks. I dont scuba or snorkel or swim, I just wanted to stand in the water walk around and relax and I couldnt as I had to constantly look for rocks so I wouldnt hurt myself again. This was at the beach right in front of the hotel. The other beach down the path something with a P like Pascara or something was equally rocky but here is my know before you go for the beach. Right before you get to P beach there is a small staircase almost entirely covered in sand very easy to miss, I did until my second to last day, well walk down those stairs and there is a small beach that is much much much much i cant emphasize how much less rocky it is there. Small rocks, but nothing big you have to look out for. If you want to just walk around in the water like me go there.
also in reference to weekends, if the island shuts down on weekends the hotels seem to be going strong. It was so crowded on the weekend. There was wedding which played some awful music and loud until about a little after 11pm on saturday, there were flight crews everywhere, If you suspect this will bother you dont book on the ocean view side but i guess that honestly a small price to pay for an ocean view a few hours of inconvenience.
My air conditioning worked great in my room, no complaints there.
"Business Center" odd not a business center at all. Its the budget rental car office and I went in there thinking I could print out something but no dice. no printer.
Eves Boutique is expensive but if you want some flip flops like i needed give it a go. they only sell Havaianas though cheapest pair being $22.
Also, lot so families, lots of couples, I felt rather odd being there solo, but this resort definitely seems to lean more towards the family side, something else I wish I would have known.
Service at the front desk good, cleaning, luck of the draw there, bar, everyone was professional but you can tell some of the bartenders are just pandering for tips, some could give a damn one way or the other they are just doing there job and some who seem to really enjoy talking to the people and providing good service. Cielo the one man who works there is extremely nice. The girl at Aqua front desk in morning, nice as well.
Im hesitant to say whether the hilton was good or bad as for me this entire thing was just a learning experience. Would I stay here again? Probably not as if I am going to be trapped on a resort, I need more and cheaper food options, I would like comp wifi (or at least cheaper), I would like smooth beaches. I was told the way to go on islands is all inclusive so I will be doing that next time.
Overall, I had a good experience I would say, again there is just a lot I learned, a lot I wish I had known and this is why my review is all about knowing before you go so hopefully I can help someone out like me.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set in 23 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds and built on an historic 18th century Fort, the Hilton Curacao hotel boasts two private white sand beaches, infinity and freshwater pools and a PADI Gold Palm dive center on the property, and is one of the leading Curacao hotels. Located just ten minutes from Hato International Airport and five minutes from the center of Willemstad, the Hilton Curacao is an idyllic spa retreat. A Las Vegas-style casino and LivingWell Health & Beach Club are available on the property, and Guests enjoy immediate access to a range of watersports and Willemstad activities. The Hilton Curacao resort is charming, picturesque and perfectly placed for an active or relaxing visit to the Caribbean. Conferences and events for up to 400 can be easily accommodated in this Curacao hotel’s range of event spaces, making it the ideal destination for corporate functions, social events or intimate destination weddings. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hilton Curacao Hotel Willemstad
- Hilton Hotel Willemstad
- Hilton Hotel Curacao
- Hilton Willemstad
- Willemstad Hilton
- Hilton Curacao Willemstad