Firstly after searching online for a hotel in the Willemstad area, we came across this hotel with an excellent price. We arrived for 6 nights on 23 November. We arrived by taxi which we pre booked online (tio-taxi) at 40 US Dollars each way. The driver was timely both at the airport on arrival and for our departure from the hotel. We had emailed the hotel to ask about booking their transfer 30 USD and received no reply, hence booking our own.
Upon arrival we were greeted in a very friendly manner, and straight away taken to the court yard for a refreshing welcome drink. Here we completed a registration form and they photocopied our passport. They will pre-authorise a credit or debit card for 100 USD ( although they forgot to do this and asked for it a couple of days into our holiday ) - there are charges if you lose keys or remotes so this is to cover this or any incidentals.
We stayed in room 4 - most rooms are around the hotel courtyard which has a small plunge pool. Sun loungers, hammocks and fresh water to drink. Lots of shrubs and plants. Klooster means monastery and this is exactly what the building was and has its original Alter. Immediately you can recognise the tranquility that still exists in its current use as a hotel. Peaceful and quiet, the rooms have comfortable beds, tv, air con, fridge and tea and coffee facilities. Our room had a very clean shower and toilet and also an outside shower. Generally the hotel reception staff are friendly and able to help you book taxi, car hire and you will find plenty of literature about things to do.
Some people enjoyed the day time peace and quiet and took advantage of some of the books guests had left on the book shelves. Peace and quiet was disturbed one evening due to the fire alarm going off intermittently from 2 am through to 6 am. It really was loud and affected every guest - we just did not sleep. I believe security tried to fix it. The next morning the hotel receptionist said sorry to us. We had already received a letter in our room previously to say our checkin wasn't complete and they needed the USD 100 as forgotten to take it at checkin and another letter to say the room would not be cleaned on Sunday ...so we expected that at least a letter of apology may have been sent to each room. No one had a formal apology nor a gesture of goodwill for example, a complimentary drink in the bar or a bottle of wine which may have been a nice way to apologise for the full night of disturbed sleep. It seems the alarm had malfunctioned ( this could have been due to the heavy tropical storm we had the previous day). For me, on a customer service side, I felt the lack of apology was disappointing from the hotel management.
The food here is excellent and some evenings they do something themed. On Friday evening when we arrived we enjoyed a very tasty BBQ for an excellent price. There was live music too! The snack menu is also good with spring rolls, satay, chicken wings etc and the bar service is truly spot on. Prices for food and drinks was excellent. You can have breakfast, although we did not. This is laid out in the courtyard..we found it much more fun to go to local places in WIllemstad.
On our last day, we asked the hotel if we could keep the room an extra 2 hours as check out is 12 noon and we left for the KLM flight to Amsterdam at 2pm. The young receptionist left a note for the manager next day and when we checked they said no as they had a reservation. If you are able to do this it costs 25 USD. They clean your rooms from 9 til 3 and it appeared our room had only just been cleaned when we left at 2 - so we could have probably kept it. They did let us keep our luggage in a locked store room however, at no time did they say there was any other facilities for us to use to freshen up before departing,
I also noted that as we left the hotel, no one asked how our stay was or our holiday. Now, despite these points..the accommodation is very good and generally the staff were great ( very efficient in bar and restaurant as mentioned) so we would be thinking of returning next year and I would also recommend it.
Despite the one day of heavy showers, we had fantastic hot weather. It can be humid. The hotel provides free use of anti insect and mosquito repellant ( donation box for charity next to the cans) however, if Mosquitos love you as much as they do me then this spray isn't effective, I strongly recommend taking DEET spray which is very strong and a good preventative spray otherwise you will suffer from bites. There is a chemist called Juliana 5 mins from hotel and they sell anti histamine creams if you do get bitten.
The people in Curacao are wonderful and do not be afraid when walking from hotel to town. You can reach town by foot in under 10 minutes. Willemstad is full of colourful buildings and the side you are on Is Punda and across the wooden bridge is Otrabanda, Punda has shops and places to eat and Otrabanda has the old fort with some bars and restaurants. As before I felt that prices were great and you can pay in Guilders or Dollars. There are ATM machines dispensing either.
Near the hotel you have a place called Saint Tropez, it has a pool and modern cocktail bar. It's 10 Guilders to use the pool. Food is served however, we went one evening ( Monday ) it was sushi night, however we ate from a la carte, food was excellent!!! The service was very slow and inconsistent for example, asking for drinks and never getting them. So we would recommend for lunch or a cocktail in the day or evening.
Another great place is GINGER serving fantastic Asian food and a great price, great service and a lovely outdoor setting, There is also a couple of bars and a jazz bar, Another jazz bar ( Blues) is located at the hotel Avila ten mins from the t'Klooster. If you fancy McDonalds or a craving for KFC you can get this is Willemstad.
We didn't hire a car, however next time we will. We walked to Pirates Bay along the lagoon. This is adjacent to Hilton hotel. You pay 10 USD for two including sun bed. Here you have a beach, beach bar and restaurant ( brilliant food ) you can hire swimming and diving equipment. I would recommend a taxi as it was an energetic walk including getting up close and personal with Iguanas ( some a metre and a half long ) they are beautiful and will run away from you. We took the taxi from hotel another day to Kokomo Beach... A great day, again great for snorkelling and diving and lots of sun loungers, another fab beach restaurant with great food and drinks. If you take the taxi from hotel it is 30 USD each way - take the drivers card and she will collect you when you call her.
We did look at Mambo beach near the sea aquarium - again a taxi - although we walked it for an hour. This is full of people, and is very purpose made it will cost 3 USD to go on the beach.. So we left and went to Jan Thiel resort. It was free access and 5 Guilders for the sun bed. Jan Thiel has cash machines, restaurants and bars and comfy sunbeds and beautiful sea to swim in.
Again if you don't have a hire car, take the taxi card or pre arrange a pick up time. However, we ended up leaving Jan Thiel by local mini bus ( these circulate and pick up local people and pick up and drop off here there and everywhere) we felt abandoned and waved the mini bus down asked the lady if she was driving to Willemstad, In true Caribbean laughter she screeched "yes come on in" we joined a bus full of locals and while the journey wasn't direct to Willemstad it was so entertaining and we got to see lots of places, she dropped us off at the bus station. The cost a mere 4 Guilders each!! An experience we really enjoyed.
Willemstad has a fruit and veg market and produce is brought over from Venezuela and is so fresh. Near the market is the original market, in here you can eat local with the locals on tables with true home made dishes!
Docked in Willemstad is the Insulinde boat which does trips on Thursday and Sunday.
You can swim with dolphins, take helicopter rides or just chill out or learn to dive.
Curacao is an island of character for all ages, excellent food, weather and people.
There are suites available, however all standard rooms are around the courtyard and everyone respect...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.