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“A Great Choice for Somewhere Different” 4 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 #13 of 30 Hotels in Willemstad
Waterloo, Canada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“A Great Choice for Somewhere Different”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2014

I'm so glad we found The Ritz, a small family-run hotel a short walk to downtown Willemstad. It was once Curaçao's ice cream factory and has been restored into loft-style studios that retain hints of their industrial past. The accommodations are basic but comfortable and clean, the entire complex is alive with the colour of Willemstad, the pool is the perfect antidote to the heat of a Curaçao day and the wifi is fast and reliable. But it's the warmth and sincerity of the entire staff that makes this place special.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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, July 29, 2014
Thanks! I'm so glad you got to experience a great trip in Willemstad and at the Ritz!
We pride ourselves on our staff and really are a little family! Hope to see you again at the Ritz!
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64 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
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English first
Kralendijk, Bonaire
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2014

We only stayed 2 nights, cause we were just over for a short break. There are a lot of things that are in favor of the place like; nice and spacious room, quiet location, nice and helpfull staff, a swimming pool, free and fast wifi. Also on site there was also a car rental and a mini-market.
It is not far from the inner city of Willemstad, a short walk.
Some say it is in the shady parts of the city, but I think the whole inner city seems a bit shady after dark, because all shops are closed and a lot of empy houses. Still, I didn't felt unsafe walking to and from it. But more important, I never fell unsafe on site. There was always someone at the reception and there were no shady people loitering around.
I would go here next time again.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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, July 29, 2014
Glad to hear you had a great time at the Ritz and in Curacao! Sounds like you got to appreciate Curacao even in your short stay! Indeed we coach our guests on "normal" travel precautions and on the best routes to walk after dark. Many of my staff live here at the Ritz, and I do too! As well we have an overnight security guard , that helps facilitate the safe feeling you got to experience. Hope to see you again at the Ritz! longer next time :D !
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British Columbia, Canada
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
98 helpful votes 98 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2014

We stayed on Curacao for a total of 9 nights, and wanted to spend some time in Willemstad, and some on the beach. We decided for a budget option in Willemstad for our first 4 nights. The Ritz was in a good location for the proximity to the centre of town. That said, more nervous travellers may find the neighbourhood a little un-nerving. We walked every night with our teenagers to dinner and didn't encounter any problems, except at 11:30 one night we were told by a local that we shouldn't be out walking that late in that neighbourhood. The rooms were basic Ikea furniture, with a modern urban minimalistic ambiance. We had a room with two queen beds and an extra single. The single wasn't too comfortable for the kids. The bathroom was small for 4 people to share. I would advise the hotel to put a mirror in the room, so that the only mirror isn't in the bathroom. The kitchen was stocked with the basics. The grounds were very cool, with colonial Dutch buildings, sculptures and a cozy atmosphere. The staff were fantastic. The front desk people were all very helpful and accommodating, but I have to give a big shout out to our housekeeper. My son left his iphone when we checked out. We didn't expect to see it again, but she turned it in to the front desk. We picked it up a week later and left a nice tip for our honest housekeeper. All hotels should do their best to retain honest staff like her. Cheers.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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, July 29, 2014
Glad to hear you had a great stay at the Ritz.. We have done a check and added full length mirrors to rooms that were missing them. I'm glad you got to experience our fantastic staff. The vast majority of our staff are with us long term and we trust them completely. It was very nice of you to tip our housekeeper, but unnecessary ( i know she appreciated it)! We actually have made two emergency trips to the airport this week to meet guests who forgot an item in a room! It does happen :D But usually we have happy endings! Hope to see you again at The Ritz!
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Dublin, Ireland
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2014

It was a nice place, with interesting history. They had kept the original look in same way. Location was nice, easy to walk to waterfront. Staff was friendly and helpful. There's fast wi-fi and small swimming pool.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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, July 29, 2014
Thanks for coming to the Ritz, glad you had a great time!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sao Jose Dos Campos, SP
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2014 via mobile

We stayed in a "Superior queen room" and it attended us very well. The Ritz is very well located - walking distance to the Centre in a quiet area. Safe and large Parking area. The room was basic, but really large, good air conditioning, and a small but very convenient kitchen, we he had our meals during the entire stay. Bed was comfortable, but the pillows would be better. There is no hot water for shower, what is not a problem for a tropical island... Staff was helpfull and it was possible to make a late check out (for a 25 dollars tax). Internet connction was good and for free.

  • Stayed March 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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, July 29, 2014
Thanks for your review! We have assessed our pillows and made replacements where needed. Glad you had a great time in Curacao and at The Ritz. Hope to see you again!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Espoo, Finland
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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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Charlotte, North Carolina
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
15 helpful votes 15 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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.
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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):
The Ritz Studios is situated in the historical district of Curacao on walking distance from the main centers Punda and Otrobanda.The Ritz is the former Ice Cream Factory which has been restored into a charming hotel-studios complex.The Ritz is an ideal hotel for people who want to explore Curacao nd do not want to pay premium for a room at a resort.The Ritz is like a little village, complete with restaurant, minimarket, laundrette, intenet cafe and 24h Front desk. A car and scooter rental are also on the premisses, which means: departure in 5 minutes!Rooms are very spacious (300sqft) with airconditioning, kitchenette and large LCD Tv with 42 international channels.The whole Ritz complex has wiFi and it is free. Enjoy our pool and poolbar!.Parking is on site and free. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Ritz Studios Curacao/Willemstad

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