We reached the resort by taxi from the Hato airport; cost is US $40 one-way for the half-hour ride.
On arrival we were diverted from the front desk to the Preferred Club, where we sat and sipped "champagne" while going through the checkin process. That was fairly painless, but it seemed to take quite a while. All of the staff were pleasant and helpful.
Our unit was #2419, in building 2, which is on the east end of the property. We had a "resort view," which meant we could see a little of the water, but mostly we saw the back of the Himitsu and Da Mario restaurants. Even numbered rooms in building 2 face outward from the resort (i.e., east), which is probably advantageous from the point of view that the prevailing wind is from the east, and if the a/c quits you can open the balcony and corridor doors to get ventilation. This became relevant on our last night at the resort, when the a/c in all of building 2 quit, and being on the west side we had next to no breeze, even with the hallway and balcony doors cracked. An attempt by the maintenance guys to get the equipment working led to a flood and power outage about midnight; power came back on about 4:00 a.m. Needless to say, it was not a restful night.
The room was clean, modern, and well-appointed, though it really could use a ceiling fan. The air-conditioning was adequate (when it worked); there is a control box on the wall that allows you to select the temperature and fan speed, though there was no discernible difference between LOW FAN and HIGH FAN. There is also a mini-refrigerator, which is stocked with bottled water, soft drinks, and 7-oz bottles of beer. The refrigerator didn't work particularly well, but it kept the drinks cooler than room temperature.
Since we were in the Preferred Club, we had the use of an "exclusive" beach at the west end of the property -- i.e., as far as possible from our building. The Preferred beach supposedly had a "beach butler," who would take drink orders, but we never saw him or her. (There was a bar at the Preferred pool, but it didn't open until 11:30 and had a limited selection.) The beach chairs on the Preferred beach are more comfortable, though.
The guests were largely from the United States but with sizable numbers from Canada, the Netherlands, U.K., Argentina, Brazil, and France. Most staff members speak English, Dutch, Spanish, and Papiamentu, switching from one to the other seemingly effortlessly. There are some whose English is limited, but Spanish always worked.
We arrived in the evening, and when we decided to go for dinner (at about 7:00) we ran into a problem cited in many of the reviews: We were told at Oceana, the seafood restaurant, that we could not be seated until 9:00 or 9:30. I immediately went back to the Preferred Club room and spoke to someone there; she had the food service manager paged, and he arrived in a few minutes. I explained that we had just arrived, had been traveling all day and were tired and had no interest in walking from restaurant to restaurant being told we couldn't be seated. The manager, Aladdin (not sure of the spelling), listened attentively and asked when we would like to have dinner at Oceana. I told him 7:30, and he arranged for us to be seated.
As we got further into the week, we determined that the best place to eat without hassle -- and to get freshly prepared, good-quality food -- was the buffet. This runs counter to our experience at other all-inclusives, but we found that the buffet had a daily selection of two or three hot dishes that evidenced good-quality ingredients, well prepared. We skipped the pasta station in favor of the other hot entrees, mostly beef and pork stews, and they were excellent.
Here are our impressions of each restaurant:
Buffet: See above -- good choice.
Oceana (seafood): Tasty seafood, but dishes tended to be oversalted (this was common across all of the restaurants). We paid extra for a "romantic dinner on the beach" at Oceana, and while the waiter tried really hard, he wasn't really up to the task. Also, the lobster was flavorful but extremely salty.
Da Mario (Italian): The food is about as Italian as I am (hint -- I'm not the least bit Italian), and the one night we went the service was atrocious. My entrée was edible, but my wife's was not -- pork overcooked to total dryness. After about 20 minutes waiting for refills on wine, we gave up and left. We tried to give Da Mario a second chance on our last night, but it was closed.
Himitsu (Japanese): Edible food, but definitely not authentic Japanese. We weren't able to get a teppanyaki table, but those seated at the side tables get the same food -- the chef prepares extra, and it's plated at the teppanyaki table and delivered to the side tables. The meal starts with an interesting take on miso soup, served warm rather than boiling hot as it usually is in a Japanese restaurant. This is followed by tempura and a single piece of sushi, then the main course (vegetables, then beef, shrimp, and chicken).
Bluewater Grill: We went there for lunch one day -- never again. Hamburgers and hot dogs are the only choice, accompanied by French fries. Our hamburgers were pretty much cooked to the texture of hockey pucks, and were essentially tasteless. I didn't have the nerve to try a hot dog. At night (when it's open) the restaurant turns into a steakhouse. We had dinner there once; after we mentioned our awful experience at Da Mario to Wendy, a manager in the buffet, she tried to set up another dinner to give Da Mario a second chance, but it was closed, so she set us up with a reservation at the Bluewater Grill. It turned out pretty well; I'd rate Bluewater (as a steakhouse) second after the buffet.
Drinks at the bar often gave the impression of being watered, and the bartenders use the inferior quality well liquor unless you ask for a name brand. The Rendezvous Bar (in the lobby) has Hennessy cognac instead of the awful swill at the beach bar; they also had Absolut vodka, which was definitely an improvement over the well vodka.
The Rendezvous bar was the best bet for a wide selection and quick service; service at Sugar Reef, the bar by the main pool, often bogged down because it is also the service bar for the buffet and Da Mario at a minimum. Manatees, the swim-up bar behind Sugar Reef, was only open 11:00-4:00, which seems silly -- why close so early? Maybe because it's low season, but there were still plenty of potential customers in the pool, and often there were three employees "upstairs" and no one paying any attention to the pool area.
Staff: I can't say enough good things about the staff -- Wendy, Omar, Stefany, Norma, Rolando, Priscilla, and many others. Everyone was genuinely friendly and helpful -- not the forced, plastic Disney friendly, but the real thing. As you can see from the review, we had some problems, but I found that they were resolved quickly and satisfactorily if we simply brought them to the attention of a staff member.
We didn't participate in any of the activities, but it looked like the water aerobics crew was having a lot of fun in the pool. Beach towels were no problem -- just go to the hut and take what you need.
Some general tips:
1) The printed handouts received at check-in talk about "resort elegant" dress or something like that in restaurants at dinner -- i.e., long pants and collared shirts for men. Don't believe it. I saw men wearing flipflops and shorts in all restaurants at all times.
2) The handouts also say "no reserving beach chairs," which is an exercise in fantasy. People reserved beach chairs all the time, and no one complained. Admittedly, we were there in low season; it could become an issue when the place is fully booked. The handouts actually say that Security will pick up any items left for more than an hour, but guess what? That doesn't happen. (The foregoing isn't a complaint, just a statement of fact.)
3) In building 2, even-numbered rooms face east. These will be quieter, since you won't get the noise from nightly social events at the resort, though I don't know how much noise they pick up from the neighboring Mambo Beach area. (Even-numbered rooms also get more breeze.)
4) If you want to eat dinner in one of the non-buffet restaurants, be prepared to either get there when they open (6:30-ish) or wait a long time to be seated. If you don't make the first seating, you'll be given a pager with an approximate time. Obviously, families with small children won't want to exercise this option.
5) If you have a problem, bring it to the attention of a staff member in a calm, clear, and non-confrontational manner, and it is highly likely that the problem will be resolved to your satisfaction.
Overall, Sunscape was a good place to relax and do very little, though the option to be more active is there for those who want it. The facility is nice, and the staff are outstanding; food and drink range from mediocre to pretty good, which I think is about all you can expect of a mid-range all-inclusive.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Endless fun in the sun.Enjoy a fun-filled getaway of a lifetime at Sunscape Curaçao Resort, Spa & Casino (previous Princess Beach Curacao Resort, Spa & Casino). Located Soutern-western of the Caribbean and just off the coast of Venezuela, the 38-mile long island of Curaçao offers idyllic weather, exquisite beaches, spectacular snorkeling and much more to families, couples, singles and friends. At Sunscape Curaçao all guests will enjoy an Unlimited-Fun® vacation where everything is included from top-shelf spirits and daily refreshed mini-bar, to limitless food and beverages and endless daily activities. Guests can enjoy the on-site dive center at Sunscape Curaçao where they can catch a boat right at the resort to the National Underwater Park and enjoy diving and snorkeling at one of the most popular diving sites in the world. Located just 10 miles from the International Airport Hato and two miles from the capital city of Willemstad, guests can enjoy everything that Curaçao has to offer. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Breezes Resort, Spa & Casino - Curacao Hotel Willemstad
- Breezes Resort, Spa And Casino - Curacao
- Breezes Curacao Hotel
- Breezes Resort Curacao
- Superclub Breezes Curacao
- Breeze Curacao
- Sunscape Curacao Resort Spa & Casino - Curacao Willemstad