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Renaissance Curacao Resort & Casino
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All reviewsman made beachinfinity beachnautilus restaurantfake beachblue barinterior roomsalt watercruise shipall inclusive packageocean viewfresh water poolfloating bridgeparking garageconference roombusiness centerfourth flooracross the bridge
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Reviewed March 22, 2009

I recently spend a long weekend at the Renaissance resort in Willemstad. The property is well developed and looks to be winner for the future. I stayed in a ocean view room on the fourth floor which had a very nice view of the infinity beach and the dock where the cruise ships stay.

The key to enjoying this resort is to know what to expect. You are on the Antilles so there is a slightly more laid back interpretation of the principle of service. Little slower, some mistakes but always with a smile. Well, almost always.

I was there when they were in their soft opening phase, so they had some teething problems. None of which will be an issue in the future I imagine. They need to keep training the staff and find ways to please the customers while maintaining the typical laid back attitude of the island.

The strenght of the property is the formula and the way it is executed. This is also the danger. You expect a lot when you see the pictures and hear the stories. If they do not manage to match the service to the expectations they will be in trouble. I hope the staff of the hotel will be proud enough to work in this excellent resort to go the extra mile.

Food options are good. The breakfast buffet is truly 5 star, room service is limited but will be up to speed soon, the pool bar is still suffering from logistics but again they are still in the soft opening. One thing I would go back for in an instant are the quesadillas. They are magnificent.

The combination with the Fort next door, where you find a lot of eating options, is very good. A short strawl to there and another short strawl the city center. Location, location, location. City resorts are my cup of tea.

So, for now with the very good price you can get it is acceptable to good. You should realize they are still in the soft opening and probably will be for a while. When they get all their ducks in a row and when all the work is finished I am sure we have a winner here that will put Curacao strongly on the map.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled solo
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3  Thank Henkybaby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2009

My husband and friends traveled to Renaissance Curacao March 14th -21st. Hotel is in the perfect location being just steps away from the Punda area for shopping as well as restaraunts. The hotel itself is right now, the nicest hotel in my opinion on the island and you couldn't beat the price at $199/night. I went in expecting some "issues" because the hotel officially opened 2/9/09 and there were definitely some issues.
Inside the hotel, there are 3 areas to eat, the main rest. which is in the lobby and spills out onto the "mall", the pool bar which the kitchen isn't complete yet and then there is a "coffee bar". We decided to try the main rest. for breakfast and ordered, cereal and a bagel. The service was awful, it took 45 minutes and the bagel was as stale. We complained and were offered a comp. breakfast during our stay. The service at the pool bar is slow too because they need to get the food from the main rest. and carry it up but, I have to say the service is always with a smile. The coffee bar is not too good but there is a coffee bar inside the fort which was good.
When we arrived we were upgraded to "ocean view" but, the pool and their version of a beach obstructed the view. Rooms are spacious and beds are comfortable. However, for the first 2 days, every time we went to the room, our key was locked out which meant a trip to the lobby to have it re-set. After the 5th time, I had enough. Again, very apologetic but still, 5 times was way too many for that too happen. The front desk staff also acts as the concierge and, they do need to brush up on their knowledge. We basicly found everything on our on by walking around. The casino is open and does get crowded. The pool itself is small and the "beach" is manmade. It is impressive considering it is on the second floor above the shops but, it is still manmade. It is seawater and has some starfish in it. There was a group of Columbians that arrived on Thursday and they were not very courteous of other guests. The terrace for the main restaraunt was right under our room and this group would be out there until 3 or 4 AM playing instruments and singing and dancing. After some calls to the front desk they were finally asked to keep it down.
The cruise ship "mega pier" is directly outside the hotel and I have to say, the passengers are no bother at all. The ships dock everyday by 8AM and usually depart by 6PM. The Mall at the hotel is not even a 1/4 completed so right now, the passengers are just using the walkway from the pier through the mall. Security at the hotel is definitely present. You need to show your room key when entering the pool/beach area and give your room number. The guard has a print out of each guest room to match you to.
The Rif Fort is adjacent to the hotel and they have some shops and places to eat. We tried the mexican and it was not good at all but, there are several fantastic spots within 5 minutes of the hotel.
Across the foot bridge in Punda there are 3 place we highly suggest, La Pergola, which is Italian and they have great pizza, the Grill King which has great steak and garlic shrimp and Scampis, which has great seafood.
We did go to the Governour for dinner one night which is across from the ferry station, it was expensive and honestly, food was better at Grill King. We found a McDonald's in Punda and there is a Subway/Pizza Hut outside of the fort.
Shopping isn't as good here as some other islands I have been too but, Freeport Jewelers had some really great deals. To me, shopping seemed more of a "boardwalk". T-shirts, hats, Curacao themed items, and of course. an electronics store to match every jewelry store. On your way to the foot bridge, the street is lined with vendors selling everything from t-shirts to magnets. The stores and vendors are there from 9 until 5:30 Monday-Friday.
All in all, this was a great vacation. The hotel is beautiful, the people on the island were always friendly, and the location can't be beat. We will definitely be back once the resort is fully completed.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank reggiereilly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2009

My boyfriend and I chose Curacao for a diving vacation and we had a fantastic time. We stayed at the new Renaissance hotel which had only been open for a few weeks. The hotel is beautiful and in an excellent location.

I felt the best feature of the hotel was it's location. It's on the water in the heart of Willemstad. It's adjacent to the Rif Fort which is a historic fort that now houses great restaurants and shops. You will also find nightly live entertainment in the fort. It's an easy walk across the river via the pedestrian bridge to the main retail center of the city. The view of the city reminded me of the Small World ride at Disneyland. Lots of restaurants, shops and sight-seeing within walking distance. Cruise ships dock almost directly in front of it. Because of the Cruise ships docking right there, all the tours and activities depart from right in front of the hotel.

I also loved the pool area. They have a man-made beach with a salt-water infinity pool that appears to flow directly into the ocean beyond. Great sandy beach free of the rocks and sharp shells that frequent other Curacao beaches. Palm trees and thatched hut looking umbrellas. Pool/beach-side service with pretty girls eagerly offering exotic cocktails.

We experienced a number of "glitches" which can be attributed to the newness of the hotel. One of the elevators out of order half the time... the door locks kept going down which required returning to the front desk for new keys...getting in and out of the parking garage was tricky as the eletronic gate kept malfunctioning and you would have to wait for security to arrive. It took 40 minutes to get a sandwich at the pool because that kitchen isn't open yet, and they are getting food from another part of the hotel. We finallly gave up on asking the front desk staff any questions...they would smile broadly, disappear for 10 minutes and return with an answer that had nothing to do with your question.

I was surprised at the staff's lack of knowledge in regards to scuba diving and nearby dive shops. I was under the impression that diving was a major reason for visiting the island. This hotel was definitely not designed with divers in mind. However, the bathrooms are decent size to allow for rinsing gear, and there are balconys suitable for drying your equipment. We purchased laundry tubs from a local store so that we could haul our stuff from the car to the room without dripping all through the lobby.

One tip for anyone staying there...the Coffee bar at the hotel is horrible. However, in the adjacent Rif Fort there is a small place called Douwe Edberts that makes decent lattes.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this hotel to anyone considering Curacao. While there are some all-inclusive properties on the island, I think the proximity of the restaurants and activities for this hotel trumps the all-inclusive.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank lady_di0809
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 12, 2009

The Renaissance is a brand new resort hotel located right in the center of Willemstad. The top floor rooms weren't even finished yet when we visited in February 2009. They were offering great "opening rates" which was a great deal because we didn't even notice any construction work when we were there.

The lobby is nice.
Staff was friendly but seemed a bit new at their jobs, natural since the hotel had just opened.
The room was very nice, with all the comforts of a Renaissance (a Marriott brand).

We were in an oceanfront room, with a balcony with views of the swimming pool and the beach - actually the swimming pool and the beach are the same thing, because the "beach" actually leads into the large infinity pool - it's artificial but very nicely done. So the pool has a sand floor, and real star fish (but the water still seems very clean). There's also a second smaller pool without any sand bottom. The "real" sea is below, too rocky to swim in.

The hotel breakfast was very good, way above average, with many more unusual items such as salmon, as well as the standard omelette station and fresh fruits.

Some of the oceanview rooms had a less nice view, closer to the unfinished park and the cruise ship quay, which is very close to the hotel. All the cruise ship passengers walk through the Renaissance's shopping mall on their way to the town center, and pass in front of the hotel cafe, but they don't enter the hotel's beach area which is "upstairs" from where they pass.

A potential, future annoyance is if the hotel conference center gets busy it may alter the "resort feel". When we were there the conference center wasn't open yet.

There's also a pretty big casino by the lobby.

The hotel location is great, about 5 minutes walk from the historic town center. Parts of the mall next to the hotel are in a historic fort, with some nice restaurants.

The hotel gym is unusually good for a hotel gym, since it's brand new. Still of course the choice of weight machines is limited. To find a bigger weight training gym, there is a good one across from Denny's restaurant about 15 minutes walk from the Renaissance along the main road (away from the city center). It's a large gym with maybe 30 different machines (oldish but working), so very big - but no air con!!

I think the main negative of the Renaissance may be its price once the "introductory offers" are over. In summary - if you're OK with the rate you're getting at the Renaissance, you'll also like the hotel, because it's pretty great.

We did also love the Kura Holanda hotel, which has more atmosphere and quirky charm, and is more unique (and cheaper). It's a must to visit at least to walk around, have lunch or visit the historic museum.

But in the end we opted for the Renaissance for the lovely beach & pool area and the brand new rooms.

A cheaper alternative to both these hotels is the Howard Johnson, with an equally good location between its more expensive competitors. But the Howard Johnson is way, way simpler of course.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled with friends
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4  Thank roamingmatt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2009

This hotel is on a trajectory to be the class of the field in Curacao. We thought nothing could surpass the new pool at the Lions Dive, but the artificial beach has to be seen. The location is very accessible to the Punda sightseeing and outclasses by a wide margin the other hotels in the area. While we were there one of the pilot crews was trying to strike a deal to stay at the Renaissance which I think is indicative.

Having said that, if your sole goal is to veg out at a beautiful beach, you should probably look instead at the Hula Kulandra Lodge or rent a villa.

I recommend the parking at $10/day and the buffet breakfast.

They were still doing some work when we stayed there which didnt detract at all from our experience. The casino was very nice but fairly empty. Renaissance operates a sister property in Aruba.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank alexriderGB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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