We stayed at the Papagayo Design Hotel for 4 nights.
The hotel is brand new, as a matter of fact, it still is in the soft opening phase and construction work is ongoing finishing the last hotel rooms and some seaside facilities.
It is very confusing. Where are we? The hotel has no Caribbean feel about it. Especially the adjoining Papagayo Beach Club has a pretentious look and feel, “Van der Valk” meets Ibiza. However, next door restaurants and beachclubs Zest and Zanzibar do have the Caribbean feel.
As from the moment we checked in we could feel that the owners are in there for the money and the money only. They make you feel as if you were a walking ATM instead of a valued hotel guest.
Upon check in you will have to sign a sort of quit claim and pay a deposit. Not a deposit to cover for F&B expenses but to cover for eventually lost towels or damage caused by the guest. This is not very welcoming and makes you think that the real passion for the catering business is missing.
Rooms are OK. Lots of storing space and a comfy bed. The airco can be adjusted individually but to do so you need a chair to stand on or ask reception for a remote control. They try to discourage this as it probably will save money for the company when controlled centrally.
Breakfast buffet at the Beach Club is basic but has all the necessary items on it. Again we encountered an example of the money driven hospitality. When we asked for a café latte and a cappuccino we were told that only regular coffee is included in the breakfast rate and that we would be charged NAF 6,50 for a cappuccino or latte.
Staff at the Beach Club is professional. Sun beds are complementary but if you want to be sure to have one you should come early. Strangly enough it is not possible to have F&B expenses transferred to the room. You either have to pay cash upon ordering something or hand over a credit card to the staff as a deposit. Annoying and again not very hospitable.
The salt water pool is very dirty so you’re better off walking to neighboring Zanzibar and take a swim in the sea.
Room cleaning service is slow. On the first day our room was cleaned at 14.15hrs, on the second day at 16.30 hrs. We complained about it and then on the third day it was cleaned as requested before 14.00 hrs.
A soft opening period is used to sort out start up problems. Some of the inconvenience mentioned above might be solved but unfortunately it probably will not change the money grabbing attitude of the owners.
Next time I will bring my money somewhere else. I strongly recommend that you would do the same.
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- Also Known As:
- Papagayo Beach Hotel Curacao/Willemstad