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“Great Resort in Curacao” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Royal Sea Aquarium Resort

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The Royal Sea Aquarium Resort
3.5 of 5 Resort   |   Bapor Kibra z/n, Willemstad, Curacao   |  
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Hotel amenities
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Summer Breakfast 35% OFF!
Ranked #5 of 29 Hotels in Willemstad
Certificate of Excellence
Morristown, New Jersey
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Great Resort in Curacao”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

We have taken many trips to the Caribbean as a family - 6 adults one child. Have been to Aruba times as well as many other islands. This was an excellent location. Rooms were clean and refreshed every other day. Our room was literally 25 feet from the ocean. Felt like we were on a cruise ship. Beautiful, private ocean view. Staff was very friendly and helpful. Nice lagoon with a beach that was private and beautiful with good snorkeling. My son-in-law who is an avid fisherman, diver, and snorkeler said that the snorkeling just beyond the resort on the ocean side was the best he has seen. Free admission to the aquarium was a plus and you could see the dolphins and sea lions from the resort. Recommend renting a car, but be prepared to get lost on all the winding and one way streets and roads. Something you can live with. Lots of fun and would come back again.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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353 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (71)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
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  • Italian first
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  • Swedish first
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English first
Maumee, Ohio
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

We just returned yesterday and can only say that, if you get the opportunity go. The Resort is wonderful, the staff are fantastic and there are opportunities to see and do lots of different things. Try the Submarine, it's amazing.

The condo was very clean and comfortable. Very well maintained. Any questions we had were answered and when directions were required, they were clear and concise.

The Concierge will provide you with restaurants, make arrangements for transportation and see that everything is taken care of. Great follow through.

We look forward to another visit in the future!

Room Tip: There are no bad rooms!
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Laurel, Maryland, United States
Level Contributor
28 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

The hotel has nice amenities and is situated on a lagoon adjacent to the Sea Aquarium. The lagoon has a small beach and provides a protected area to swim in salt water, which is great for families with children. The restaurant on site is decent but a bit expensive. The rooms are nicely decorated, but the floor in our room was really dirty. Walking around barefoot caused the bottoms of my feet to turn almost black. I resorted to wearing socks. I realize it's difficult to keep something at the beach clean, but mopping the floors more often should help. We shared our "villa" with another couple so we had a full condo with an adjacent room with a kitchenette. There was only one functional remote for 3 tvs. There was one other remote, but it wasn't working. It took two requests to get the additional remote and to fix the third. It also took 2 requests and a trip to the front desk to get a box of tissues. One thing that was seriously lacking was bar service around the pool or at the beach. This is a must for me on vacation.

All that said, if not for the misisng poolside and beachside bar service, I would stay there again. A daily visit by the sea lions and the perfect temperature of the pool makes up for the less than stellar service. Sorry, I like my fruity drinks on the beach.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Camilo O, Online Community Manager at The Royal Sea Aquarium Resort, responded to this review, March 21, 2013
*Management Reply from The Royal Sea Aquarium's General Management*

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to share your comments about your stay with us. We appreciate your feedback as it helps us improve our Guest's satisfaction.

We would like to apologize for the inconveniences on the perceived performance of the Housekeeping team during your stay. We do provide daily limited cleaning service (which does not include moping of the floors) and on Wednesday and Saturday full housekeeping service. Our Front Desk staff has informed me that they have provided you with the necessary supplies to have your TV remotes working the same night that you reported it to the Front Desk. Your valuable feedback was mentioned by our staff and management during our weekly meeting to avoid situations like this to happen in the future.

At this moment, our Restaurant does not provide service to the Beach or Pool area. However, we will discuss this option with our concessionaire to see the possibility of having it in the future.

Again, we do appreciate your comments and hope to serve you again in the near future.

Best Regards from sunny Curacao,

Estela Villanueva
General Manager
The Royal Sea Aquarium Resort
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston MA
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

Did an exchange with Interval International for a week in March 2013. My husband and I got the small unit they offer. It was adequate, a larger balcony would have been a lot nicer, but we were right on the ocean, which is pretty amazing especially after leaving Boston with 15 inches of snow.
We did not feel compelled to leave the resort. Usually, we venture out while on vacation, but everything is here. We took the complimentary shuttles to the grocery store and downtown Punda two different days. The grocery store was essential, Punda is architecturally and historically nice, but extremely commercial, there were countless souvenir/beach/cheap shoes/underwear/disco dress stores. Also, they mix in a few high end jewelers and American designer stores. I don't look at $85 Tommy Hilfiger polls while on vaca!
The resort would benefit from a small convenience store, I discovered you can pick up a lot of things at the gift shop at the Aquarium next door and the neighboring Lions Dive Resort. Also, the beds desperately need new pillows and bed spreads. The pillows are flat and lumpy and the green spreads are rather dreadful and faded. The rooms would really pop with some nice bright Carribbean colors on the beds.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, United States
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

We just got back from a beautiful vacation. The location of the Royal sea Aquarium resort is excellent. Beautiful ocean view on 1 side, pool in the middle and lagune and beach on the other side and all within a couple 100 meters! The restaurant was OK. We ate the first night and did not return.

The real problems we had with the resort was customer service. We checked in on Saturday, Mar 2 very late and were told they could not provide us with keys to our condo because their key making machine broke and we would not be able to have our own keys until Monday. I could not believe my ears. I said "you mean we have to come and get you to let us in each and every time we leave our condo???!" To which they answered "yes" No apology just "yes". I told them this was totally unsatisfactory and later that evening 1 of the employees tracked us down at their restaurant and brought us 1 key. We did not both get keys until Tuesday. I understand that things happen but I would have expected an apology and some sort of compensation for this inconvenience. We got neither.

They required a $200 deposit which has not been refunded yet! We were told this was in case we "broke anything". When we checked out they said we would get it back in a few days! (I guess after they inspect everything??) I can tell you this review will be downgraded further if we don't get it all back! We were given 2 beach towels which appeared on our bill for $30. They were issued to us at the front desk. I had returned them to the front desk on Friday and told them my room #. We told them they had been turned in and we did not owe for them. Saturday when we went to check out they were still on there

The other issue was cleanliness. The condo was not cleaned the entire week we were there. They did try to get in Wednesday to clean when it was inconvenient for us. We asked them to come back and they never did. The floors were filthy the entire time we were there. I would have been glad to vacuum myself but they do not even provide a broom! No laundry facilities either in the condo. 1 per building that you have to pay for!

We are Marriott timeshare owners and cannot help but notice the lower standards at this resort. I question the high rating the others have given this resort.

Room Tip: I don't think there is a bad view here.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Camilo O, General Manager at The Royal Sea Aquarium Resort, responded to this review, March 13, 2013
Management Response:

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to publish a review about your stay. Your comments are very important to us and help us improve our Guests satisfaction.

First of all, we would like to apologize for the inconveniences with the key system and the improper follow up of one of our staff members. Our staff and management has performed at their utmost to remedy this situation, I assure you this is an isolated incident and we will work on avoiding this in the future.

Your issue pertaining to the deposit of US$200 is a standard procedure in any hotel, and such deposits are released depending on your Credit Card conditions (from 10 to 14 days approximately). Furthermore, nothing else was charged to your deposit.

Last but not least, we apologize for the perceived performance of the cleaning team during your stay. We do provide every day limited cleaning service and on Wednesday and Saturday full housekeeping service. I was informed by the Front Desk staff on duty the day you pointed out, that we did try to call your unit twice to gain access to the room in order to perform our cleaning duties, and they were answered by a gentleman in a very assertive manner that no service was desired.

We appreciate your comments and hope to serve you again in the near future.

Best Regards from Curacao,
Estela Villanueva
General Manager
The Royal Sea Aquarium Resort
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlestown, Maryland
Level Contributor
100 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2013 via mobile

After 8 years visiting, the Royal Sea Aquarium has not lost it's charm for us. The view from the balconies is "to die for", the villas well maintained, and the staff courteous and helpful. We love the private beach and spend most of our days there. Can't wait until next year!!

Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Camilo O, Community Manager at The Royal Sea Aquarium Resort, responded to this review, March 11, 2013
Dear Joanne:

Thank you for taking the time to review your stay with us. Your comments are very important and help us serve you better.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for being such a loyal guest - it's always a pleasure to welcome you year after year! Thank you for the kind comments about our property and staff, I have shared them with management and I'm sure they will come in handy for other travelers. We appreciate the feedback and will be happy to see you again next year.

Warm regards from sunny Curacao,

Camilo Olea
Community Manager
The Royal Sea Aquarium
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Massachusetts
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2013

My husband and I just got back from Curacao and wanted to give our review of the resort and the island while it was still fresh in my mind! We got off the plane and were welcomed with a sign by a JUST DRIVE car rental rep. They were awesome! So easy to deal with. But remember when you return the car--DON"T go to the car rental return lot (JD doesn't have a booth at the airport--& if you get stuck in that lot, you have to pay 100 guilders to get out!!!) So we arrived at the ROYAL SEA AQUARIUM. It is a beautiful 5 star property with great amenities. Try to get a room facing the Sea Aquarium where you can watch the dolphins, sea lions and turtles swim all day long! The free Sea Aquarium admission tickets are a nice bonus for staying at the Royal. Unfortunately, the only restaurant on the property, Augusto's, is not good. As soon as we arrived, we ordered drinks. They had a drink menu on a chalkboard so we chose a couple of those. They didn't even know how to make them...we watched them looking at a recipe behind the bar. They were not the best tasting drinks, but we didn't judge...yet. The next morning we had breakfast there and it was terrible. Scrambled eggs were cooked until they were dry, coffee was bitter, syrup for the french toast tasted sugar-free. But we always believe in giving places a 2nd (or 3rd) chance and went back for dinner one night. This time the fish wasn't cooked through and the lasagna had no flavor. We decided not to go there again. Good restaurants close to the Royal were CABANA which was mid range priced and NEMO which was pricey but very good. Stay away from Hemingway for food, but good for cocktails & live music. Next I will talk about our activities. We went golfing at the former HYATT, now the Santa Barbara Hotel, and it was the most beautiful course we'd ever played. Even if you don't golf, go to the clubhouse for lunch (called Shor) and have yourself a meal with a breathtaking view. We also did an excursion with BUGGY ADVENTURES/Scooby Tours and we had a great time. There were only 2 other couples plus the guide (4 buggies total) and he led us to the Ostrich Farm, the Indian Caves and the Blow Hole which were all spectacular experiences--bring your camera! Our tour guide, Bas, was a young, but responsible guide who gave us a bit of history and took our pictures at every stop. We made the decision to go with Buggy over Eric's ATV tours because we wanted a roof over our heads to protect us from a possible pop-up shower and the sun. We were glad we went with Buggy! Our third adventure was a 1/2 day snorkel & BBQ boat ride with BOUNTY ADVENTURES on the JonaLisa. The crew was outstanding, the meal was delicious, and saw colorful fish at the Tugboat Wreck & Director's Bay (we also saw a couple of blow fish, moray eels & a lobster). Highly recommend this trip! Other activities included a few trips to Willemstad. Check out the floating market, many souvenir booths, the Queen Emma floating bridge, the cruise ships, etc. We ate downtown one night at GRILL KING--great location, food and service. One day we drove up the west coast (up to Westpunt) to all the "snorkel" beaches. Our one mistake was doing that on a Sunday. Bad idea--they were packed with tourists and locals. I would save that trip for a weekday!!! The meal highlight of our trip was eating at SOL FOOD. Sunshine and Dave are wonderful folks who cook a top-notch pizza, delicious cocktails and make you feel like you've know them your whole life--not to mention the gorgeous view from their dining deck! They know everything about the island and give great advice. We felt an instant connection with them because they are from our area (MA/NH). They are only open Fri/Sat/Sun--so make arrangements to go there! Thoughts & advice overall: Rent a car (which we did), but also rent a GPS! We regretted not having it. Unless you read/speak Dutch--you are going to need the GPS. And there are several round-abouts, so it is very confusing. If you have a type A personality--this island might not be for you--everywhere has slow service and a laid back attitude. The only aggressive behavior was on the roads! (Get the insurance on the car--we saw 3 car accidents during our one week stay!) Regarding the flight, we flew Boston to Miami to Curacao. Next time, I would fly nonstop from Boston to Aruba, then take a quick flight from Aruba to Curacao. On the way back, the US immigration and customs officers were pleasant in Miami, but it is NOT an easy airport to get around and it's packed. I would have preferred to come into Boston for customs. All in all, it was a great trip to experience the culture and take in the terrific landscape. The only way I could describe it is the U.S. southwest (desert & cactus) meets the turqoise Caribbean sea. Very beautiful and a perfect fit for those who want a relaxed, unhurried escape with gorgeous beaches and good snorkeling. Hope those who are planning a trip there have a great time!
P.S.: Verizon does not work on the island. We read Tripadvisor posts that it did, but make arrangements, because it doesn't. You have to get a Chippie (for Iphones) or Digicel (for Droids) sim card in order to use your own cell phone. Over and out!

Room Tip: Get a villa with a view of the Sea Aquarium!!!
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Camilo O, Online Community Manager at The Royal Sea Aquarium Resort, responded to this review, March 20, 2013
Dear Guest:

Thank you for taking the time to review your stay, your comments are very important and help us serve you better.

I appreciate the time you took to write such a descriptive review of your stay, which I'm sure will be useful for other travelers. Having said that, I offer you a sincere apology for the food & beverages quality you mention having received at Augusto's; a copy of your comments has been sent to management in order to follow up and make the necessary adjustments where needed.

Warm regards from sunny Curacao,

Camilo Olea
Online Community Manager
The Royal Sea Aquarium
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 Royal Sea Aquarium Resort

Address: Bapor Kibra z/n, Willemstad, Curacao
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Curacao > Willemstad
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Willemstad
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Willemstad
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Royal Sea Aquarium Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Royal Sea Aquarium Resort is the perfect spot for a relaxing getaway or for a family vacation. The friendly staff will make you feel right at home and take care of your every need. Whether you decide to relax on the beach or by the pool, join in the fun activity program, try your hand at water sports, visit the world-famous Sea Aquarium right next door to the resort or explore the island, you are sure to enjoy yourselves.The resort has 30 fully furnished Caribbean Ocean View Two Bedroom Master Suites (sleeping six) which can be divided into 30 Ocean View One Bedroom Suites (sleeping four) and 30 Ocean View Junior Suites (sleeping two). We will do everything we can to help you and your family get the most out of your stay on Curacao and we hope that you find the resort information and sightseeing ideas featured here useful. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Royal Sea Aquarium Hotel
Royal Sea Aquarium Curaçao
Sea Aquarium Resort Curacao
The Royal Sea Aquarium Resort Curacao/Willemstad

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