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“Must Stay Here--Great for families!!”

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Lions Dive & Beach Resort Curacao
Ranked #5 of 32 Hotels in Willemstad
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 7, 2013

My family of 5 stayed in the Lions Dive Apartments from July 16-24, 2013. We arrived the first night around 10 pm after a VERY long day of travelling. I was pleased that the check-in process went so quickly. We were escorted to our room and settled in. We took the elevator up to the third level. My first impression of the apartment (Room 222), was that I loved it. The room featured a kitchen equipped with dishwasher, stove, oven/crisper/microwave, refrigerator and all the utensils/pots/pans one could need. The bathroom off the kitchen had toilet, sink and shower. The only thing I disliked about this bathroom was there wasn't a door on the shower. There was a glass panel on one half, but water always got on the floor. The bathroom connected to a bedroom which had a queen sized bed and a single bed. There was an awesome closet/cabinet area, television and a desk. This room had a door connecting to the balcony. Off the kitchen through a sliding door was the living room area. Here there was a sofa bed, chair, desk and television. The living area had windows that could be folded open to the balcony which had table and chairs. Off the living room was the master bedroom. Here there was a bed, television, dresser, cabinets/closet. There was a door which opened to the balcony. The master bathroom had a shower (with a door!), bathtub, two sinks and a toilet.
We ate a few times at Piazza, but did not make it to the other restaurants. I liked their pizzas and their Hawaiian sandwich. Our family used the pool a few times, but spent most of our time at the beach. We swam and snorkeled. There are many fish to be seen. The swimming area here is excellent. The break-wall is so nice. It keeps the swimming area calm.
One thing I loved about this place were the shuttles offered. The supermarket shuttle came twice daily, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. It was nice because we often cooked meals in our room. The shuttle drops you off at the supermarket and takes you back to the hotel and hour later. The other shuttle goes to Willemstad twice daily. This shuttle drops you off at Wilhelminaplein. You're dropped off on the Punda side and can go to many shops and eat at restaurants. We went to the Plein Cafe Wilhelmina.
The hotel offered quite a few amenities. There is even a gift shop located on the premises. There is also a space at the business center where you can print boarding passes and check-in to flights.
The staff at this hotel was exceptional. The front desk people were friendly and helpful. The waitresses/waiters at Piazza were kind. One person I would like to comment on especially was our housekeeping lady. I never caught her name, but she was absolutely wonderful. Each time she'd clean our room she'd chat with us and was incredibly helpful. One of my sister's was working on laundry and couldn't understand the directions on the washing machine, she found our housekeeping lady who helped her get tokens and start the laundry. It happened that the laundry machines near our room weren't working, so she helped take the laundry to the other laundry room. We appreciated her. She was absolutely wonderful.
Next to the resort, there is a shopping mall type building being built. It is open during construction. There is a great tourist shop, Souvenir City. I also really liked the Aloha Beachbar. The food was inexpensive and delicious. Try the peanut sauce!
I hope that I haven't missed anything of importance! I really enjoyed my time here!

Room Tip: Room 222. I don't have any major complaints about this room. Just know that down the beach a bit...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank Caitlin M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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288 - 294 of 875 reviews

Reviewed July 29, 2013

Vicki from Caradonna set this trip up for us, and I see other people praising her services. She did a great job giving us everything we asked for on our vacation.

Second, a disclaimer: Go to Bonaire instead, it's better, but if you are going to Curacao, Lion's Dive has so many advantages:
1. Ocean Front Rooms have amazing views and privacy. This is an absolute MUST for us, and we spent every night on our porch. The view is completely unobstructed.
2. The dive shop is super convenient. I don't know why some have said otherwise. The boats are comfy, the service is good, the dives are scheduled so we never had any repeats in 5 days of diving, which has happened often in other places.
3. Dolphin Encounter: Swim with the dolphins. At $200 a person if you buy photos (and you gotta buy photos), it isn't cheap but it's really a priceless experience. I'm about to hit 50 and I can't think of a better experience I've had. Really special! The trainers are great with the animals.
4. Lots of beach seating. No fighting over chairs or marking territory by 8 a.m., which we had to do in the Bahamas. Not too crowded and very comfy.
5. Everyone is from the Netherlands. The tourists are mostly dutch. This isn't really a plus or a minus, but it does make it a little more interesting.
6. Oporto restaurant at the end of the Otrabanda strip is one of the best dinners we have ever had anywhere, for $100 including champagne. You must go there.

Ok, now for the quibbles:
1. No shampoo and conditioner? What's up with that?
2. Breakfast buffet is limited, exactly the same every day and not so great, but edible.
3. The employees aren't that friendly. We felt interrogated every morning at breakfast, it became a joke since it was always the same surly girl acting like she'd never seen us before.
4. BIGGEST FLAW: Curacao in general is a little ghetto. The only other place we've been that was like that is Belize, and Belize has better diving.

Everyone praises WestPunt, specifically Playa Kalki. Well, as we parked a group of teens was mad-dogging us and loitering around us. Before diving, we went back up to the car to check and they were still loitering. But thank goodness they knew we were watching because the car beside us was broken into. Then at Playa Cas Abou (a lovely place) the dive shop said we could dive but security said we couldn't. We though about blowing him off but we were afraid that he would vandalize our truck. A lot of little encounters like this with the locals is the only thing we didn't like.

Oh, and don't eat at the Iguana, which is the most popular restaurant in Curacao since it's right on the waterway. Inedible. $10 for raw chicken wings. It is really horrible so if you insist on the ambience, just have drinks and eat elsewhere. Dinner usually costs $40-50 for two people "cheap" and $100 "expensive" so its really worth it to spend more on dinner if you can.

Room Tip: Ocean Front all the way, baby!
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank T0ddE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2013

Beautiful resort but not ideal for divers. The dive operation was great, but hotel is more for tourists/beach activities than diving. No hooks for swimsuits in the bathroom, for instance! Very limited selection of food and quite expensive. Hemingways Beach Bar/Grill a big disappointment. Service was poor and the food marginal. Buffet breakfast, included in dive package, at least had many selections to choose from. Fortunately we discovered the Piazza which had very good food and great service. And Nemo's was very good, although pricey.
Hotel staff were very good. Multilingual and patient with requests.

Room Tip: Beach front rooms have great views, but the pool area was pretty too.
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank helena s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2013

My wife booked this location for us to stay at. I admit I was a little scare with it not being all inclusive, but boy was I wrong! The staff was top notch and the resort was perfect in size. There is a breaker so the waves are not bad for little kids and if you dive, there is a great dive shop on the resort that is one of the top 100 according to PADI. Have kids, like the beach and good food? This place has it all!

Room Tip: We had a ocean view and the porch was great at night when the kids were sleeping. Mini fridge, AC a...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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Thank George W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2013

The recent vacation my girlfriend and I took to Curacao (June 27-July 4) was wonderful. We used Caradonna Worldwide Dive Adventures to arrange a trip package which included: Free shuttle from the airport to our lodging, seven night stay at Lions Dive and Resort with ocean front room, four days of two tank boat dives, unlimited shore diving during those four days, and free shuttle back to the airport from Lions. The Caradonna agent helping us, Vicky, was great and helped us decide on the right package for us. They have packages with airfare, but my gf and I decided to arrange our own flights.

When we arrived in Curacao, immigration and customs were a snap. When we exited the airport, the shuttle driver was waiting for us right outside with our names on a sign, and he promptly took us to our hotel. We tipped service providers fairly consistently, but no one seemed to really expect it. Apparently, tipping in Curacao is typically around 10%.

We expected it to be hot, humid and generally muggy feeling, but we were pleasantly surprised by how breezy and NOT humid it felt. The humidity was worse in New Orleans where we had come from! The weather was great the entire stay, although it was sunny and hot. We kept thinking we would have at least one truly humid and hot day, but it never came. The bugs were manageable, and I think Lions must treat their beach with something, because I never had a big problem with them there. I did keep bug spray on every time I went out though.

Lions Dive and Resort was absolutely outstanding! My gf and I enjoyed everything about it. We ate at all three restaurants at least once during our stay, and the food was great at all three. Hemingway’s was the main restaurant/bar out on the beach, and all three meals were available there. The only downside was that breakfast was a $15 per person buffet, and it was $15 regardless of whether you had only a cup of coffee or five pounds of food including an omelet made to order. The vibe at Hemingway’s is always laid back, and they have live music often. The staff will bring drinks to patrons sitting out on the beach too. Nemo’s was the upscale seafood/steak place on site. They had nightly specials, and the food was very good. While pricey, it’s good to remember you’re overlooking a beautiful beach on a Caribbean island. Our favorite was Piazza, mostly because of the casual atmosphere and super friendly staff. The theme there was pizza and casual Italian. It is also open air, but it was always comfortable for us. If you go there, look for Elaine and Lita in the evenings. They were AWESOME, and part of why we returned a few times.

The entire staff was very professional, accommodating, and friendly. I really felt like I was at a resort, not just a place to stay. The grounds are very beautiful and well kept. The room was comfortable, WELL AIR CONDITIONED, and clean. Our ocean front room was well worth the extra money, and we marveled at the beauty of the area from our balcony every day. There was nothing but sand and a few beach chairs between the ocean and us.

The diving was incredible, and the staff at the Ocean Encounters dive shop on location at Lions was professional, knowledgeable, and friendly. Every boat dive was great and well organized. We also did a lot of shore dives from the resort location. The entry was easy, and the reef was very pretty close to Lions. The dive shop staff was easy to work with when we wanted to do shore dives, even after hours. If we wanted tanks, we just asked, and viola! Tanks. If we said we wanted to dive late, they gave us the locker room key and placed full tanks out for us along with a dive flag. When we completed dives after hours, we just left the dive flag and empty tanks in the locker room, and the staff picked them up the next morning. Easy! We loved all 17 of the dives we did while there.

Our last two dives on the island were up at Playa Kalki (Alice in Wonderland site), and they were by far the most breathtaking dives of the week. We rented a car at Lions and headed up the day before we left the island. We brought our own tanks and gear, so all we had to do was pay $5 each to use the Go West dive shop facilities at Kalki. The small fee got us use of a locker, access to the showers, rinse bins, hanging area, etc. The shore dives we made there were well worth the long drive. Incredible! I wish we had seen more big sea life while we were there, but we did see a few turtles, sting rays, lots of eels, and even eagle rays.

Oh, and we saved money by bringing a dive bag with our own dive equipment (except weights of course). The extra bag cost us $40 each way, but it was cheaper than renting unfamiliar equipment for six days. **tip** To save on weight in the dive bag, I carried both regulators and the big night dive light in my carry on backpacks.

Our departure from the island, like our arrival, was equally simple. The shuttle picked us up in plenty of time to breeze through security and sit at a nice airport bar while we waited. We expected to be charged a departure tax of $39, but apparently ours was included in our airfare.

Everything on the vacation went like clockwork. The only issues we had were ones we created for ourselves (like diving with a rental car key in my pocket, causing a rental car disaster. Paid $350 for a new key. Dang new cars).

I would definitely go to Curacao again, and I’d definitely stay at Lions Dive again. I would also use Caradonna Dive Adventures again to book us.

Room Tip: Ocean front rooms on the second floor are great because you are right over the beach, but you can us...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Nola_Travelin_Mark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 27, 2013

I stayed here first week of June with a disabled dive group.
The rooms are clean, the staff friendly, the Breakfast buffet was plentiful. Fresh fruit, Juice, GREAT coffee, Pancakes, omelets, bacon, sausage, salmon, assorted breads and more.
It got the day started well and carried me thru two dives and early afternoon before I needed
lunch.
Very well run dive operation, Ocean Encounters has their act together which really showed as many of our divers need additional help in and out of the water.
Great Job by all.

Room Tip: Many good rooms
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Larry F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 23, 2013

I stayed at this resort about 10 years ago and totally enjoyed it. Since then, it has experienced a lot of growth and updating and is still completely lovely. The beach is probably one of the biggest on the island and is well kept with lots of places to relax. If you like sun, there's plenty. If you prefer to be shadier there are lots of palm trees and mini-cabanas to relax under.

The breakfast is OK but, I think, a little pricey. So after the first day we opted to take the free shuttle to the grocery store and get some cereal, etc. and enjoy our breakfast on the lanai instead (the rooms have a small fridge). Piazza and Nemo's are especially nice restaurants with good food (Nemo's is only open in the evening).

The rooms are comfortable and well maintained. However, there aren't a lot of amenities like shampoo, lotion, etc., so bring your own. There is soft soap dispensers at the sink and in the shower but no wash cloths so either bring your own or plan to wash with the soap in your hand.

Overall, a great place to stay and very convenient to the dive shop, the acquarium, the ocean, and food. Highly recommend!

Room Tip: Totally enjoyed having an ocean front room. They also have apartments which, I would think, would b...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Chris M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lions Dive & Beach Resort Curacao

Address: Bapor Kibra, Willemstad, Curacao
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Curacao > Willemstad
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Willemstad
#3 Luxury Hotel in Willemstad
#4 Family Hotel in Willemstad
#5 Romantic Hotel in Willemstad
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Willemstad
Price Range: $156 - $486 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Lions Dive & Beach Resort Curacao 4*
Number of rooms: 137
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located at the longest white sandy beach of Curacao, just minutes away from the picturesque Dutch colonial city of Willemstad, is sportive 4* Lions Dive & Beach Resort. The resort offers every desired accommodation; a stay in a comfortable hotel room, with your family in a large apartment or a romantic stay in a suite or penthouse. For the sportive guest, the resort has a lot of opportunities: train in the 50 meter sports pool, discover the underwater world with diving school Ocean Encounters or a workout at Body Beach Wellness Club. Of course Lions Dive is also the place for a sun, sea and beachy holiday. Have a massage on our private beach or relax in the Santai Spa. Enjoy our culinary features at the 4 bars and restaurants in the resort. Or just walk to the next-door boulevard with various shops and restaurants. With the personal touch of management and staff, we will give you a real Caribbean Experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lions Dive & Beach Resort Curacao Hotel Willemstad
Lions Dive And Beach Resort Curacao
Lions Dive Beach Hotel Curacao
Lions Dive & Beach Resort Curacao Willemstad

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