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The Royal Sea Aquarium Resort
Ranked #10 of 32 Hotels in Willemstad
Certificate of Excellence
New Jersey
Level Contributor
26 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Loved it!”
Reviewed October 17, 2006

My wife, two children (ages 1 and 2), and I loved the R.S.A. resort and Curacao.

About the resort: Although it does not look like much when you approach it from the road -- it is simply beautiful. It is a relatively small complex on some sort of small island. There are 3 pools, including a kiddie pool, as well as a jacuzzi. It has a small private beach on the lagoon. The beach is small, but great for kids and there are so many beautiful public beaches on the island to visit.

/The room: Our one-bedroom suite was better than expected. Our room (204) overlooked the dolphin show. It had a large bedroom, full kitchen, livingroom, walk-in closet, and vanity area separate from bathroom. A large terrace stretches across the whole suite allowing you to enter it from the livingroom or the bedroom -- which is great if people are sleeping in the livingroom (which has two murphy beds). The only thing missing was a washer and dryer although there is one by the pools.

Service: The service is great and the resort is spotless. My wife loved coming back to a spotless room, especially with two toddlers who tend to make a mess on a daily basis.

People on the island: We found everyone in Curacao to be extremely friendly and helpful. Learning some words, like thank you, in the local language, which is a mix of Spanish, Portugese and Dutch, will go a long way. We never felt unsafe no matter where we were and we drove all over the island. You never feel trapped at the resort for fear of safety.

A car: We needed wheels as we felt there was not enough to see and do at the resort. The Aquarium next door is fun for a day. There is a larger beach in walking distance, but the best ones are about a 40-50 minute drive and are just amazing (see photos).

Food: We found the local supermarket (Strada) had everything we needed, even diapers, wipes, swimmies, etc. We would recommend bringing your own babyfood and formula. We liked all the restaurants (except Hemingways) and recommend a visit to the Kura Hulanda Resort in Willemstead.

If you love big resorts with lots of activites or the all-inclusive thing, this resort is not for you! It is not a partying kind of place but is great for a family with small children.

  • Stayed September 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank Seeyalaterbuddy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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487 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (104)
Date | Rating
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English first
Windham, ME
Level Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed August 12, 2006

The Sea Aquarium Resort is a very nice, clean, small and beautiful resort on its own small little island. It is beautifully situated if you are interested in relaxing, diving, or your family is interested in animals.

We are Marriott owners, and this is the second Royal Resort we have traded to. Although much smaller than in Mexico the same quality appointments and staffing are evident.

The only “constructive” comments I would make regarding the resort is that our master bedroom mattress was very very firm. (A bit too firm and uncomfortable for my wife.) Also, there was only one washer and dryer for the whole resort.

I'm also a diver, and on this trip my 10 year old daughter and my 13 year old son obtain their PADI Open water Certification through Ocean Encounters. I can't make enough positive comments regarding Ocean Encounters. It is a family run operation that is top notch from… top to bottom. (No pun intended) It is right across the causeway from the resort. If you or someone in your family are looking to get certified, you might ask for Sherman. He is very experienced, very patient, and in short... very good. Although getting certified is not easy (especially for kids) he made the whole experience fun and enjoyable.

My daughter is an animal lover. The Sea Aquarium next door was just fabulous. After reading the Red Week reviews, I had requested a room overlooking the dolphin pens. It was much better than I could have imagined. My daughter watched the dolphin show every day during lunch from our balcony. The room you want is B304. It overlooks both the dolphin pens and the ocean. She was in heaven.

As a hotel guest you get free admission to the Sea Aquarium. It is certainly not to the level of a US Aquarium, but still very nice. Look for the program guide at the entrance to the Aquarium. It will list every feeding, training, demonstration, and show that takes place all day every day. We also chose to purchase a Sea Lion snorkel for $69 and a dolphin swim for $149. Both were great!!!

The Sea Lion snorkel includes a training encounter where my kids met a new friend… Sarah (the sea lion). The dolphin swim also is more than just a swim, and they learned dolphin anatomy as well as certain training commands… which they used with Bonnie and Teresa. The professional pictures they took... as you can imagine... were simply spectacular. (and as expected lightened my wallet considerably.)

We like to eat out when we travel so we tried several restaurants. Prices were not as bad as I was expecting… even though the exchange rate was not favorable. I was dropping $110 to $150 for 4 including drinks. The Blue Ocean is the resorts restaurant… and it is ok… we ate there twice. Hemmingway’s is very close just across the causeway and was also ok. We very much enjoyed Kontiki Beach which is about a 10 minute walk down the beach. It is private table interspersed in a tropical garden. Very nice atmosphere and the food was very good as well. Our favorite restaurant this trip was The Rib Factory. It is a small local restaurant about 15minnutes from the resort. It is a very small place but they do have some really good ribs with three very good homemade rib sauces… I had to try all three. If you like spice like I do, then you might try the “hot”.
In the room their was also a restaurant guide called the Big Red Restaurant Guide which as very good when coupled with the recommendations form the folks at Ocean Encounters.

All in all, my family considers this trip to be one of the best we have gone on. Without reservation, we can recommend the Royal Sea Aquarium resort.

  • Liked — the Sea Aquarium
  • Disliked — the Laundry facility
  • Stayed July 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
15 Thank wcdoering
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wisconsin
Level Contributor
34 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
Reviewed July 4, 2006

We stayed at Royal Resorts Sea Aquarium Resort. We loved it! We had a 1 bedroom suite. It had two Murphy beds that folded out into the family room and a full kitchen, including dishwasher, full fridge freezer, stove, oven, etc. There were plenty of dishes and cooking utensils. We had our two boys along (ages 6 and 9) and this room was perfect for us. We made most meals in our room, so I don’t have anything to report on restaurants in Curacao. There were sliding glass doors in our family room and bedroom and these opened to the pool area. The front door (other side of our room) opened to the beach side of the hotel. The staff was excellent and helpful with everything we needed (taxis, clean beach towels, internet service, questions about lost luggage,...) The security guard was very friendly as well. It was very quiet during our stay. We were often alone or with a couple of other people at the hotel's beach and at the pools. Our kids participated in the Kid's Sea Camp program while we were there and they loved it. We dove with Ocean Encounters which is right next to this hotel. The Sea Aquarium is also next to the hotel and we enjoyed visiting it many times. It was great to walk around the hotel and see the sea lions anytime you wanted. The hotel offered a free shuttle to the grocery store Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. The rooms were cleaned daily (except Sundays). The hotel offered a washer and dryer for you to use if you wanted, you just had to purchase "tokens" to use it.

  • Stayed June 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank ScubaJanet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed June 15, 2006

We are heading back to The Royal Resort Curacao/Sea Aquarium this July for the third year in a row. It is true that it is not a posh luxury resort, like the Ritz or the 4 seasons (which I do LOVE as well, I'm totally a luxury hotel kind of gal). So, if you're looking for a full service hotel with a spa and a golf course this place is not for you.

Having said that...The rooms are HUGE! Which is a big plus for our family of 5. It is a condo with a kitchen that has full size appliances including a blender and toaster. The condo has a master suite with a King bed and private bathroom (simple but clean), there is a large living room area and an adjoining room with two double beds and another bath.

There are large balconies with a table and chairs that overlook the ocean and or the Sea Aquarium (where you can watch the dolphins "play" at all hours of the day). Last year I got to watch Tom Cruise and Kate take a dive with a sea lion from my balcony. I have GREAT photos of that one (Sorry, I signed an agreement from Tom's "people" not to distribute them)!

The beach is small and does not have fine luxurious sand but I wasn't much for sitting still at the beach. Yes the stone break walls and cove near the Resort is man-made. In fact, Dutch, who rebuilt this part of the island works to maintain conservation of the reefs and employs security guards for the beach and resort areas so you don't need to worry about local crime.

The time share salesmen/women definitely will corner you but they do pay for lunch and then just say NO if you're not interested. They're just doing their job. It's no different than going to Disney or any other timeshare resort! And one of them is a GREAT massage therapist! Sometimes it is good to get to know them a bit!

For us, the large space, Kids Sea Camp and the full service Dive shop onsite are what keep us going back. The food isn't great and there is only one restaurant but it is just a short ride into town to the local restaurants and grocery stores so we always stock up and eat "at home". Kids Sea Camp also provides some of the meals. Check them out at KidsSeaCamp(--) if you're a diver with children.

I hope this helps give you a better picture of what the Royal Resort has to offer.

  • Stayed July 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
14 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grand Haven, MI
Level Contributor
20 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed June 12, 2006

We arrived for our 2 week stay at the Royal Sea Aquarium and were impressed at the friendliness and service of the staff. The room was spacious, clean and overlooked the Sea Aquarium in Curacao. The staff knew the island and gave good directions to anything we wanted to see. We would highly recommend this resort. The only negative was the restaurant associated with the resort. Our least favorite one on the island. Not great food, cleanliness or service.
The island itself was a disappointment. There are very many oil refineries in the center and the air quality for someone with asthma is not good. We would suggest anyone with lung or breathing problems bring medication and inhalers.

Helpful?
6 Thank Sharon V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Woolwich Twp, NJ
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed June 6, 2006

My husband and I recently traveled to Curacao and stayed at the Sea Aquarium Resort. The resort itself was very nice. The rooms were very large and well kept. The island is very humid so the rooms did have a musky smell. The bedrooms had a dehumidifier running in addition to the air conditioner but it did not seem to help much with the humidity. At least they make an attempt to help with the humidity. The staff was friendly and as helpful as they could be. However, there was some disapointment here. First, upon check-in, I was advised that they did not take American Express. This was a suprised to me because their promotional materials and advertisements stated that they did. As you know, you need a credit card upon check-in at any hotel. Generally, I travel with traveler checks, my American Express and usually a Master Card for those few folks that who do not take it. However, this time, I forgot to grab my Master Card. Luckilly, my husband had his visa/mac card and we used this to check in. Otherwise, I would have been forced to leave $200.00 on account with the hotel until check-out. Also, just an fyi, most restaurants and store on the island also did not take American Express.

Another very disapointment experience was with my travelers checks. The resort advised me that they would charge me 10% fee to cash in my travelers checks. I have traveled extensively in the caribbean and have never before been charged to cash in travelers checks by the resort where I stayed. The gentleman who check me in also told me that I should cash them in because the restaurants and stores on the island did not take them. I was outraged. I had $900 in AAA travelers checks and was insulted that they would charge me $90 dollars to give me back my money. I did not cash them in at the resort. I went to a bank in town and they would cash them in for a 3% fee, however, they only took your passport for identificaiton. We did not have our passports with us, they were locked up in the safe back at the resort. So I never cashed them in. I just started asking in all the stores and restaurants for myself if they took them. All but one restaurant took our travelers checks. The restaurant that did not was a small local spot. It seemed that travelers checks were not their normal course of business. Most of the wait staff had to check with their managers to see if they took them but they usually did take them. Most of the stores in town also took them. However, I was so uncomfortable at this point that I believe that if I ever go back, I will not take them.

The resort did not have much in the form of activities planned. Those few activities that they did offer (orientation, cocktail party, one volleyball game, beer and hotdog party) was not well advertised and only lasted for a short time. They were very lame. I expected more in this area. We also found that if you asked them a question, they would help as much as they could ( I say that because they seemed limited in knowledge on some things) but they did not volunteer much informational on their own. Example: During our stay there was a local holiday. Everything for the most part was closed for the holiday. However, no one at the resort told us that. We found out it was a holiday when we drove into town and nothing was open. Also, many of the restaurants closed on Mondays. This information was also not given until we attempted to make reservations for dinner. A couple were also closed on Tuesdays.

The resort has 30 2-bedroom units with lock-off capability for the efficiency unit. Since it is a relatively small resort, you got to know everyone staying there and the staff got to know you. One nice perk was that you could sit by the pool and the staff would walk around and ask you where you were having dinner and make the reservations for you. A down side was while they did offer pool side waittress service, they only can around maybe once or twice a day. The resort is only 3 years old. They are still learning and hopefully at some point in the future, will have it all together.

Overall, we had a good time. Sorry this is so long but some of the information could make or break you trip.

  • Stayed May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
18 Thank Valerie G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
USA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed June 1, 2006

We had the pleasure of staying at The Sea Aquarium resort May 13-20, 2006. The 2 bedroom unit was immaculate. The kitchen equipment supplies were more than adequate. The unit view was absolutely fabulous! We were in a unit that faced directly towards the ocean. The mid-week clean supplied by the staff was great and very thorough. We have travelled all over the world and this was probably one of the most clean rooms we have ever seen! The Front Desk staff were pleasant, other than forgetting to call us a taxi and make dinner reservations for us one evening. Always confirm your reservations!

The property amenities were adequate with swimming pools and restaurant/bar. The beach and pool areas were not busy during our stay. It was great having a dive shop located across from the property (walking distance). The diving was great! The dive boat captain and crew were respectful, helpful and very friendly. The Curacao Sea Aquarium is literally next door. Swam with the Sea Lions (amazing!) and toured the aquarium (free enterance for resort guests).

We would highly recommend this property. It was clean, the staff friendly, safe and in a beautiful location!

  • Stayed May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
14 Thank RMBKW
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

Property: 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:
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Willemstad
#8 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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