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“A wonderful and refreshing holiday” 4 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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Ranked #5 of 30 Hotels in Willemstad
Welwyn, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
96 reviews 96 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
85 helpful votes 85 helpful votes
“A wonderful and refreshing holiday”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2013

Spent 2 weeks here in Nov 2013 at this marvelous location adjacent to the Sea Aquarium, offering a private beach and wonderful views of the sea from our bedroom window. The only downside was the onsite restaurant Augusto's (see separate TA review). Not to worry, there are at least 3 very good healthy eating establishments to be found within a short walking distance on turning left through the marina opposite the resort. If dining or partying late, beware the exit gate from the marina shuts at 11pm.

Across the bridge there is also a dive center where you can learn to dive or simply snorkel. For the more adventurous daily diving or fishing trips are available at the quayside. The Caribbean waters here are simply so full of colourful fish that many can be found in the bay on the resort. Just borrow a mask and flippers from reception or you can purchase in the shop at the dive center.

A must to visit is the Sea Aquarium, which has a vast selection of resident fish and mammals. If you have never feed a Sting Ray or swam with Dolphins this is your chance. Another feature of the Sea Aquarium is the Dolphin healing program for the handicapped. It was a very humbling experience for us to witness the painstaking love and care invested by parents to further their child’s physical rehabilitation and mental improvement.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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299 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 (60)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Falls Church, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2013

The resort location was good for us as we travel to Curacao to dive. The dive shop was a few minutes walk away as was the Sea Aquarium (admission included with resort stay). We found the room to be one of the quietest we have stayed in. All rooms have an ocean view which makes for a pleasant surrounding. The restaurant, Augusto's, serves good food at very reasonable prices. While we didn't use the service, this hotel offers daily shuttles to a grocery store and downtown Willemsted. Unbeknownst to us when we booked, this is a time share property and since we didn't stay "Saturday to Saturday" we had to change rooms during the stay. If we go again, we'll make sure to book Saturday to Saturday.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Marco Island, Florida
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2013

An excellent vacation. The room faced the ocean and looking out made you feel like you were on a cruise. The current and waves make it seem like you are moving and you will NEVER be closer to water in a hotel. The staff was very cordial and housekeeping did a great job. A walk down the beach provided shopping and beach bars. Sunday is CRAZY at Wet & Wild-Friday free ribs and chicken.
Other than the trip to get there involved a lay-over which took 12 hrs door-to-door, we would go back.

Room Tip: Ocean view or pool view
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bowling Green, Kentucky
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2013

We thoroughly enjoyed our week here in September. The staff was excellent. We were pleased to debunk some of the negative comments that we had seen in prior reviews. The private beach on the canal was not too rocky, the presence of the submarine crane was not distracting, the room cleaning schedule was very satisfactory, and the overall condition of the room was fine.

The most important consideration about a trip to Curacao is that Americans are not a very large proportion of tourists and you will have to adjust to the overwhelming presence of Dutch tourists and expats.

This resort's location is uniquely situated on a canal that enters and exits the ocean over a short distance. It provides good snorkeling and kayaking. Divers can swim right out the canal to sites. The proximity of the aquarium adds to the interest with the sea lions and dolphins that you can observe from your property.

You can cross a small bridge and enter a long strip of beach right across the canal that has a variety of shopping and eating. Aloha is a great reasonably priced lunch place with beach bar dining. Mambo's and the Cabana were OK but like most places the service is very much on island time. New York steak house past Cabana's was excellent including great service. Many nights one of the beach clubs would have a lively party.

Downtown we like Perla Del Mar in the Old Fort. My wife had a seafood casserole that was not your typical American casserole but a garlic tossed mixture of every seafood imaginable including whole small deep fried octopi. I don't remember the name of it but there was a very small Italian restaurant on a street perpendicular to the Polo store area plaza that was tremendous.

Cheap bus transportation to and from downtown is available and easy. We have traveled to a majority of the Caribbean islands and I consider the overall vacation cost in Curacao to be noticeably lower than the high traffic islands like USVI, BVI, St. Kitts, St. Maarten, etc.and better than most any other except the isolated Eastern Caribbean currency ones like St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, etc.

Curacao offers a vacation experience unlike any other. It can be as quiet or busy as you prefer. The shop personnel, local bus companions, Dutch visitors and expats are all mostly genuinely friendly. It felt like a trip that you could personalize with the amount of tourist activity that you chose as opposed to visiting some of the more well known destinations where you can get caught up in the wave of tourist things to do.

Room Tip: E bldg opens to the beach but is opposite the Sea Aquarium. Probably do not want E111.
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  • Stayed September 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
    • 5 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.
Columbus, New Jersey
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2013

We traded our timeshare week for a 2 bedroom unit. The unit was in building A ocean front and the views were wonderful. Many people suggest trying to get a unit facing the acquarium but I think those rooms can get noisy. I only see it as a value if you have children. This review is difficult to write because the staff were very friendly and nice. I don't know how Interval International can rate it with a gold emblem. The villa was just very outdated and I'm just used to nicer. I was told the place was only about 13 years old, but it looked like it was 20 or 30 years old and not updated. However, the unit was clean and the grounds were lovely. Everyone, including the other guests were friendly and the staff goes out of their way to make your stay enjoyable.

Some constructive criticism:
I know its expensive to update the kitchens and bathrooms, but they can update the furniture and and accessories (such as bedding and door mats).

Restaurant -- Again friendly staff but the food was only OK. What they can easily improve on though is the breakfast menu and the time they open. They don't start serving until 8:30am. Also the only items on the menu for breakfast were bagels, eggs, and pancakes. We asked them about fruit and they ended up giving us a lovely plate of fruit, yogurt, and granola but its not on the menu.

In summary, the place is clean and the staff are friendly but I wouldn't want to stay there again.

In general, I found the Island in general not geared towards visitors and tourists. The tourist businesses need to do a lot of work in order to compete with the other islands.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Lake Wales, Florida
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2013

We are not owners at this or any other resort. I booked online based on the reviews and am VERY happy with my choice - I will recommend this resort to anyone going to Curacao. We were in building A, room 302B. Ocean front, balcony. Awesome view.
Room:
The room is plenty spacious for two, it had two queen beds, but I wouldn't have wanted 4 people in there for any length of time.
Housekeeping:
Previous reviews were critical of the housekeeping, but I have no complaints. It was clean when we checked in, they came in every day and made the beds, replaced the towels, and cleaned the bathroom. Normally, when I stay in a hotel, I refuse daily cleaning because I don't really like other people in my room. I don't change my sheets at home every day and I don't need it done in a hotel.
Resort:
Grounds well kept and clean, landscaping maintained, pool cleaned daily, beach neat and well kept. Staff very friendly, accomodating, and helpful - they booked our rental car and snorkel trip for us. Restaurant clean, staff friendly, food excellent. Other travellers were very friendly.
Check in and out was smooth and effortless.
Misc:
We rented a car one day, otherwise used busses (cheap) and taxis (not cheap).

Room Tip: Buiding A has the best ocean view. Rooms overlooking /facing the pool would be loud at times.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Upper Tract, West Virginia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2013

I am convinced that many of the "reviews" listed here are not from actual guests. As I write this, I am sitting here and looking at my surroundings in room A201 which is a two bedroom. From what appears to be beard trimmings around the sink in the bathroom, to dried crumbs around the microwave, to doors going onto the patio not closing fully, to large tears on the couch, to a very old refrigerator that has many paint chips fallen off, to ice trays in the refrigerator being partially filled from who knows when and who knows what (one of them is really nasty looking). I took it to the front desk and asked, "Could you tell me what that is?" and she replied, "ice". The lighting was not very bright where she was, (I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt here) and I asked that she look at it in the "light". She did turn the light on at the desk and tried to make excuses.... I won't go any more into that any more other than to say, as another reviewer stated, the treatment was not pleasant and I was put on the complainers list. I am sitting here with no air conditioning. A young man came about 2 hours ago and said someone would be here to fix it. It is getting very hot in here, who's complaining? What I am trying to get across to each of you is that this place may have some good points, I just have not found them yet. Eating is outside unless you eat in your room. It may be lovely looking to eat outside beside the water, but it is hot and very humid.....as expected to be here. Therefore, I would really like a place to enjoy a meal in an A/C'ed room. I expect the representative from the "resort" to reply back to this review acting like she is sorry and wish there was something she could do .... after the fact.....as she has done on other reviewers. I am sitting here now, and would really like for you to come to my room and look for yourself and explain to me how you show pictures of what to expect here and then explain what I am looking at. I plan to give you updates on this saga. This is only Sunday ...
BTW, I took pictures of each thing and plan to post them. There is actually much more, but I don't want to come across as complaining.
Update...I am back home now and would like to finish my review of our stay. While I was talking with a girl at the front desk about all the above on Sunday, a girl named Zule came in and overheard what I was saying. She took interest and asked me to show her what I was talking about. I gladly took her to my room to view what I was talking about. At this point, house keeping had not been there since they do not work on Sunday. Zule made notes, took pictures, cleaned the crumbs and "beard trimmings", etc. herself, though that was not her job. She also came back when the maintenance man came to repair the A/C. She said I needed to speak with management on Monday. After orientation on Monday morning, I stopped by the front office to speak with management. I met with a manager named Aleyander who again came to the room to look. That day, she contacted me to ask if we wanted to change rooms and told me where the room was. I went to that room to check where it was, etc. At least 4 persons were really working hard to clean the room, even taking the lamp shades out on the outside patio to air after cleaning them. When the room was ready, around 4:30 pm, she contacted me to view the room. It was indeed very clean. I believe she did everything in her power to make the rest of our stay more pleasant, giving us a buy one get one free Island tour, and made every arrangement for our dinner at El Gaucho's restaurant (it was our 25th wedding anniversary) and we were surprised with a nice treat (a beautiful ice cream dish) from Martin (the restaurant manager), and lastly she arranged for our taxi trip back to the airport upon checkout. She and Zule are to be commended for their concern for the resort and its guests.
I would also like to mention Sarah, our new housekeeper. She was very nice. Also, Miss Emeline Robert and Mister Julio Hurtado in the membership office. Both of them are very charming and we enjoyed talkikng with them while we were at the pool one day.
As other people have said, the views are very beautiful and the grounds well kept. There were seldom more than 3 families at the pool any time when we were at the pool, other than at Monday's pool party or the happy hours. All of the rooms appeared to have good views and the waters on either side of the resort are gorgeous. We enjoyed watching the dolphins (at the aquarium) jump and play with each other while we were sitting on our balcony.
The island is worth seeing and I am glad we had the opportunity to experience it and its people. The first 3 days of our 7 day vacation were not pleasant, and it should not have happened. But it ended up being an enjoyable experience.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
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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 High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Willemstad
#4 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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