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“OK if you don't mind cockroaches” 3 of 5 stars
Review of The Ritz Studios

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The Ritz Studios
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Scharlooweg 25, Willemstad, Curacao   |  
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Hotel amenities
Special Price
10% off room rate
Ranked #17 of 30 Hotels in Willemstad
Espoo, Finland
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“OK if you don't mind cockroaches”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2014

Me and my gf chose this hotel based on the reviews here on Tripadvisor. We were looking for an affordable room in Curacao as we couldn't afford to pay over $200 per night for a fancy beach resort. Also we wanted to be located within a walking distance to restaurants, because neither one of us wanted to be the designated driver during the evening dinners. The Ritz Studios looked perfect for our needs, so we booked 11 nights in a Caribbean Loft.

After checking in, we found our two-floor studio to be fairly big in size, with a spacious room downstairs equipped with a sofa, a flat screen TV, a dining table with chairs, two lounge chairs, a closet for clothing, small kitchenette with a fridge/electric stove/microwave and a safe. The wc and the shower were also on the ground floor, while the bed was located on the upper floor.

The kitchenette turned out to be perfect for our needs, as we could prepare breakfast in the room: microwave oatmeal with local fruits and cold juice from the fridge. The cupboard included cups, glasses and all the other utensils for enjoying the breakfast. Please note that while there is a floating market for fruits in Punda within a walking distance, the nearest supermarket is 5km away, so you will be needing a car or a taxi to do some grocery shopping.

From the reviews here, we were aware that there is no hot water in this hotel. This was ok after a day at the beach as it felt quite refreshing, but in the morning you really didn't want to take a shower. Also the cleanliness of the shower room was not acceptable. In our first room we had a rusty shower basket, while in the second room there was no basket at all, so we had to place the shampoo bottles on the floor. Furthermore, the tiles on the floor did look quite dirty, but this was still ok as you get what you pay for and this is a cheap place to stay considering the location.

Which brings me to the location of Ritz. Even if the hotel looks to be very near to Punda when looked on the map, you cannot use the shortest route to downtown in the evenings as the hotel is located in a somewhat shady area and all the roads are not safe. During the check-in the very friendly and helpful staff told us that you shouldn't walk the Scharlooweg westbound after sunset, because it is not safe. The recommended route was to walk first to the Pampus restaurant and from there to cross the parking lot (which had lighting) and cross the Queen Wilhelmina bridge to Punda. We used this route on many nights without any problems, even if it was quite dark and silent with very few people around you.

However, on one night we decided to walk around Waaigat bay to visit Kome (a very good restaurant in Pietermaai!) and while walking around the bay, one local black guy ran from a dark alley and closed on us to ask for money. He grabbed me and tried to stop us, but we just kept on going. This was quite scary as it was dark (at 7:30pm), there was no other traffic or people nearby, it was just us and this guy. Anyway, we managed to reach De Ruyterkade, where some cars were passing by and it wasn't until this point when the guy ran away back to the darkness. So be aware that the Ritz Studios is located in a somewhat shady area, since you can basically only use one specific route to Punda downtown in the evening. During the day there is however no problem walking around the area.

Also we did have some extra visitors in our room: the cockroaches. On one night after returning from the dinner, we had the cucarachas running around both in the kitchen and in the toilet. Naturally my gf was freaked out by this and we approached the staff for advice. For first aid we were given an insect repellent spray, but this only seemed to make the problem worse, since after spraying the floors, the cockroaches started to come out from their hiding spots. Eventually we killed ten cockroaches this night. Luckily there were no evidences of cockroaches in the 2nd floor where our bed was, but my gf didn't sleep well this night.

The next day we were told that we are the only ones who have complained about this problem and were given a second room (from 806 to 803). Unfortunately there were cockroaches also in this room, but not so many. I don't know whether it is just normal to have these extra guests in the Caribbean, but be aware. I didn't mind them so much, but my gf was freaking out. :)

As a positive note I must add, that the bed was fine, no bedbugs nor cockroaches there.

You should also bring earplugs if you are a light sleeper, because the AC is very noisy.

For the price, it is still a good deal and the friendly staff cannot be praised enough. I also recommend renting a car while in Curacao, because the best beaches are almost 50km away from Willemstad. Driving around is easy and fuel is cheap. Enjoy you vacation in Curacao!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mikko_Kartano
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ritz-studios, Owner at The Ritz Studios, responded to this review, March 13, 2014
Thanks for choosing The Ritz! We are glad you enjoyed your stay despite a couple of issues.
Many of the things that you mention are exactly the things we strive to provide our guests and areas we are working on to improve.

The bathrooms are given a quick clean daily and a deeper clean after three sleeps and in between guests. The bathroom you mention does have older tiles showing wear and tear and staining. These bathrooms are on our renovation list.

I'm sorry you experienced a street person in Curacao. You did the right thing by getting to a well lit street quickly. Indeed we do provide our guests with directions that bring you through the safest parts of town. And Kome is also one of our favorite restaurants as well, we often walk there for dinner too. Best French fries on the island too!

Cockroaches indeed are a battle in the Caribbean , you'll come across them in grocery stores, it's most often how they travel, eggs laid in cardboard packaging , or in binding glues. The reason that no one had seen them in your room is that we do have pest control systems in play, so it was probably a new issue. And you are correct cockroaches are generally in kitchen and bath areas where there is water and pipes. We understand that they are not great vacation companions and continue with our control program.

I'm glad you had a good experience with our staff. It's where we excel. To offer our budget rates it involves things like no hot water, like you would get at an expensive resort. We hope to make up for it with our help, charm and kindness!

Thanks for your review, hope to meet you again,
At The Ritz!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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201 reviews from our community

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Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
22 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2013 via mobile

I cannot say enough positive things about my stay at Ritz. The rooms are clean and stocked with enough kitchenware to cook small meals and store food for multiple meals on the go. The owners are fantastic - super friendly and helpful, more than willing to go out of their way to answer questions and make your stay even more enjoyable. They even lent us a cooler to take food to the beach one day!

The best part of this location is that there are many other down-to-earth travelers from all over. We were able to meet friends from all over the world and explore the island together by going to happy hours, dinner, beach, hiking, etc.

I would more than recommend this hotel to a traveler looking for a location that is not a resort, is located within walking distance to many fantastic attractions in Willemstad, and wants to meet new people. I would absolutely stay here again!

Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
Helpful?
2 Thank Melissa M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ritz-studios, Owner at The Ritz Studios, responded to this review, March 13, 2014
Thanks for your review!
Your experience at The Ritz is exactly what we try to provide for our guests!
We are here to serve you and facilitate the best vacation possible!
I'm glad we had a cooler to lend you!
Hope to see you again at The Ritz!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Trinidad & Tobago
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2013

All staff very helpful and friendly. Floor and curtains of our room were not attractive at all. This created a bad first impression as you enter the room. Short walk to reach shopping, bus station etc.
Economical. I will return.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank cyd_ola
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ritz-studios, Owner at The Ritz Studios, responded to this review, March 13, 2014
Thanks for staying at The Ritz.
I'm glad you experienced our great staff and customer service.
I know exactly the building you stayed in and can assure you that I have ordered new curtains and they should be on the island within a couple of weeks!
Next time you stay at The Ritz, there will be some positive changes!
See you in Curacao!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

It's going thru major remodelings. All rooms are clean furnished with Ikea with new flat tvs. The only down fall is that there isn't any hot water in the shower. Prepare to shower with cold water. It's always hot so the water is not freezing cold. It's clean and staff is very friendly. I don't understand why there's hot water in the kitchen but not in the shower. I don't know if it's something thats going to change.

  • Stayed July 2013, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank mamia823
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ritz-studios, Owner at The Ritz Studios, responded to this review, March 13, 2014
Thanks for staying at The Ritz!
I' m glad you enjoyed our rooms and excellent staff.
In fact you are correct that there is hot water.
In order to maintain our budget prices, we have chosen this.
Many people in Curacao live without hot water as the water naturally heats during the day, this is what you experienced in your kitchen. We always recommend showing around dinner time, it's nice and warm then! Besides it's too hot in the Caribbean for hot showers anyways! Lol
Hope to meet you again in curacao!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
67 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2013

My room at the Ritz Studios was simple and had a feel that I might describe as Modern European Student Tourist. It had a small kitchenette and the furniture tended to be Scandinavian. It was functional, comfortable and generally perfect for someone who wants a room to use as a base for their outings in Willemstad. It did lack some amenities that Americans have come to expect, like televisions and telephones.

The location is very nice as well in the highly renovated Scharloo district which features a number beautiful large homes owned by Jewish business men. It is about half a mile from the Punda area so it is close enough to be an easy walk but far enough to be quiet.

The office staff is all Dutch and as you'd expect with the Dutch working in the tourism industry, they are fluent is several languages. I found them to be very friendly and always willing to do that little bit extra when you needed help. Willemstad can be a confusing place to get around but the Ritz staff was willing to go the extra distance to explain to me how to get places.

Room Tip: Try to get a ground floor room.
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Stephen K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ritz-studios, Owner at The Ritz Studios, responded to this review, March 13, 2014
Thanks for staying at the Ritz!
I'm happy to tell you that's nice your stay we have added flat screen tv to every room and we also have built a pool!
I'm glad our outstanding staff were at their best for you!
Hope to see you again!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geneva, Switzerland
Level Contributor
85 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2013

The Ritz studios do not live up to their name ! An old ice making factory converted into Ikea furnished studios. The rooms are clean but the floors have not been redone which leaves an unpleasant dirty garage like feeling. Be aware there is no hot water.Also access is not easy for some-one walking with a stick as the steps are uneven. Sharon the manageress is very professional and after the first night she had her staff telephone around to find us another hotel. Thank you Sharon. Re situation, it is a litlle bit off the beaten track and we were warned not to venture on certain nearby streets at night. Probably a great place for young people and students.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Patricia I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ritz-studios, Owner at The Ritz Studios, responded to this review, March 13, 2014
Thanks for your review.
The Ritz is a heritage property on Curacao, that was an ice cream factory for 70 years that has been converted into the studios.
This ice cream factory was called The Ritz. In homage to this we keep the name, Ritz, even though we are budget option studios. The floors are painted concrete and many of the structures at the Ritz are original. It is a heritage property and we try to keep it's integrity.
Since you stayed with us we have added a pool and flat screen Televisions. In order to maintain our
Budget price we will choose not to heat the water but suggest you shower around dinner time, when the water has warmed naturally through the day. We also continue to direct our patrons on the safest walking routes for nighttime in Curacao!
Thanks for your review!



Sharon is no longer with us, but you will find the new manager more friendly and capable!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
211 reviews
109 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 187 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013 via mobile

This really is good value for money. We had a loft apartment and was fun. King bed nice and comfy, the kitchen worked well (cooked an awesome steak bought from Centrum Supermarket) and the bathroom clean and lounge very spacious. I wouldn't have a problem living there!! Sharon, the manager, is super-friendly and will bend over backwards to help you out. I love what they've done with the whole place - mixed commercial, education, hotel in an old style ice cream factory. Very cool. Easy walk into town and close to fruit and veg market.

However I did have a few problems during our short stay. Internet completely died. When they got it up and running the next afternoon it was obvious that the wifi repeater just outside the room needed resetting as worked fine in office but not at room. I told her this but she said we need to get the contractors out. She seemed annoyed at this I guess as she may have to pay a call out fee and they'd already been out that morning. I looked at the repeater and followed the power cable and found that the whole router system not locked. So (I'm really sorry sharon) I unplugged the repeater and plugged it back in and voilà it started working. For basic things like that someone in the office should know how to do it an it fixes a lot of the problems with wifi problems. The other issue, which I was aware of before booking, was no hot water. This is fine if you have just been walking around in 30°C and 80% Humidity but if you just woke up and want a shower it's really a dash in and out! This wasn't really a problem for me but for others, you should realize this before booking to manage your expectations.

Otherwise great stay and great time in Curacao at Ritz.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Ramenmuncher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ritz-studios, Owner at The Ritz Studios, responded to this review, March 13, 2014
Thanks for staying at The Ritz!
We re glad you enjoyed your stay, many of the things you mention are exactly what we strive for!
We have a new manager and you will find her very friendly, helpful and capable. She's also able to handle the internet issues,although they have mostly been solved! But thanks for your help, we don't pay a call out fee, but it was a frustrating time for us for internet, glad to say these problems are solved! Indeed, we do suggest people shower in the early evening when the water has been naturally warmed all day. In order to keep our budget price this is the situation.
Thanks again for your help! I'm glad you got to experience our outstanding staff and hope to see you agin at the Ritz!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Ritz Studios

Address: Scharlooweg 25, Willemstad, Curacao
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Curacao > Willemstad
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Willemstad
Price Range (Based on Average Rates):
Hotel Class:3 star — The Ritz Studios 3*
Number of rooms: 52
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the former ice cream factory within the historic district of Willemstad, the Ritz offers modern and fully equiped studios including air conditioning, free superfast Wi-Fi and private on-site parking. The Ritz is like a little village itself and provides an outside pool (open entire year), mini market, launderette, car & scooter rental and internet cafe. Free Wi-Fi is also available in public areas. All studios include a queen or king size bed, air conditioning, 32” LCD satellite TV, kitchenette, bathroom and patio. Making the Ritz the perfect place to enjoy the Caribbean sun. The ritz offers a pool-side breakfast from 7:30 to 10:30am. The property is situated in Scharloo, the capital's historic district. A quick 15-minute drive from Curacao airport. The famous Mambo Beach is just a five minute drive away. The old city centre´s of Punda and Otrobanda are just a five-minute walk away and offers shops, restaurants, nightclubs and beaches ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Ritz Studios Curacao/Willemstad

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