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“Great Hotel, Good Staff, Unusual All-Inclusive”

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Renaissance Curacao Resort & Casino
Ranked #6 of 32 Hotels in Willemstad
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 17 January 2013

I recently stayed at this lovely hotel for one week. I selected the Renaissance because I had been in Curacao via ship on three prior occasions and always admired the colourful resort and the fabulous infinity pool. The location is perfect and central to the downtown tourist sites, entertainment and shopping areas. Most of the staff was wonderful and readily willing to help. We received some great advice and hints about the island.

Knowing that it was an expensive island for food and drinks, I purchased an all inclusive package for myself and my two adult children. We checked into the hotel and had the package explained to us. I have been to all inclusives throughout the Caribbean and this was considerably different. There was one buffet type restaurant, a bar, the Espresso coffee shop, the pool bar and the sit down Cru restaurant with specified hours for eating. We received a list of what was included and what was not included in our all inclusive. The liquor list was adequate and contained one type of beer. There were no wrist bands. We found out that we would be receiving receipts for everything and that these would require signing each time we selected any food or drink service. I found this stressful and time consuming at first. We sometimes sat in the buffet waiting to sign our bill so that we could move on. These receipts were then turned in to the front desk but we were never charged since we were all inclusive although I did go to the desk to check from time to time. Further, because of the large cost of the meals and charges on these bills, I was confused as to tipping procedure. I noted that there was a 15% service charge already added. I left cash tips rather than add anything else to the bill. The buffet food was fine albeit predictable. We ate at the Cru restaurant on three occasions but since there was only one vegetarian option for my children, it became a bit tiresome.

The salt water infinity pool was more like a beach than a pool. It was particularly nice since there was no concern about wildlife under the water. It was easy to get towels and chairs and the food at the beach bar was great. The staff got to know us and ran a tab rather than make us sign for every food and drink order. We appreciated that. The food choices were most to our taste at this location. Particularly interesting was watching the movement of the massive ships in and out of the bay.

The hotel has a modern gym, Budget car rental and a tour office. There was some entertainment...a band in the lobby, a smokey casino, and a movie theater on the grounds.

We had a great week at the Renaissance. I would return here, knowing now what to expect.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with family
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16  Thank Hildetoronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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810 - 816 of 1,764 reviews

Reviewed 12 January 2013

This hotel was excellent overall with a good location and amenities as needed. Free WiFi was available in the lobby or at Starbucks across the street. Rooms were clean and turned daily with new towels and toiletries. Our shower became slightly clogged one day and was resolved by the cleaning staff by the next day. The infinity pool is amazing and the largest I've seen at a hotel. The location is excellent right near the canal, though the local restaurants are very pricey. The breakfast buffet is a good value at about $20 USD for all-you-can eat.

The only downfall was the lack of good front desk staff. With one exception, all of the staff we talked to knew little about the surrounding area. Here are some examples:

Q: Where is there a local supermarket?
A: No idea. Eventually we were sent to "Colon", which was a several block walk. We made this trek in the rain. A day later a local told us about Arti's supermarket, which was a block away and just across from the bus stops.

Q: Where is there scuba diving?
A: No idea, seriously. It took 5 workers before someone said "try the marina". Fortunately we knew about Ocean Adventures at the marina already. One worker didn't know if the sea aquarium/marina was in walking distance or not (it isn't).

Q: Where are there good places to eat?
A: Again, no idea. Most resort hotels have a list of local restaurants, what type of food their serve, price range, and location. No such thing existed here. Staff had no training or knowledge of local restaurants. We ended up using TripAdvisor via the WiFi to find places.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank lamb0176
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 January 2013

The hotel is located in town with walking access to shops, restaurants, and nightlife. I was traveling with my college age son. We could easily explore separate interests when we wanted to. I loved sitting by the infinity pool watching the ships entering and leaving the harbor. The staff were very friendly and often asked how our event of the day went. The king sized room was large enough to accommodate a roll away bed for my son. We spent 10 nights and are talking about going back next year.

Stayed: January 2013, travelled with family
3  Thank Wendy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 January 2013

I just returned from a six day stay at the Renaissance in Curacao. Syaff was warm and helpful from check in to check out and more. The room was very good, we stayed at an ocean view balcony king size bed room. Great view, normal, clean room. The pool is rather small, and the infinity beach is nice to have, although we did not spend any time on it, as we drove around Curacao and found amazing beaches. Breakfast was very good and varied. One night we ordered room service and it was quick and yummy!
The day we left, we checked out by noon but our flight did not leave until 7:00 p.m so we planned to spend the day at a nearby beach and asked if the hotel had shower facilities so we could shower after a day at the beach(we left our luggage at the hotel) They were SUPER kind and offered us a room just to take a shower at no charge even after we had checked out!!!! Is this NICE or what???
The only negative thing I can mention about our stay was the strong cigarette smell in the lobby, given they the casino is next to the lobby...it smelled all day...
I would definitively go back to the Renaissance!

Room Tip: Ocean view balcony room was nice, great view, amazing to see cruise ships arrive every day!
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  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank ceciQ-63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 January 2013

Great location near a lot of things to do. Man made beach pool is nice and service at the pool is great. The casino at the hotel is also great. For this I would give the resort higher marks but I have to subtract for getting ripped off, incompetent front desk and lowsy service at the restaurants. 1) my credit card was double charged for the room (they have yet, 2 months later figured it out) 2) 35 minutes at the front desk while the staff learn how to use the computer system 3) don't eat at the restaurants, your food never comes and they are full of excuses 4) my fault but I booked an inside room-- now this resorts definition of inside is like no other, let's just say pitch black, no outside light, like sleeping in a cave. Couldn't tell if I was waking up in the middle of the night or during the day! As an elite Marriott gold member they would not even swap me out despite that I was willing to pay (they probably couldn't figure it out on the system). Note to resort: train your people in customer service and your computer systems!

Stayed: November 2012, travelled with friends
4  Thank chicagowl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 January 2013

A 15 minute drive from the airport, and a short walk to the sights of Willemstad and dozens of restaurants, the location is excellent. Our ocean view room was half "ocean liner" view with the main dock for the cruise ships outside, but even that turned out to be interesting to watch the big ships pull up and tie down in the morning.

Wasn't sure I liked the fake beach / infinity pool but that feeling went away quickly. The pool area wasn't crowded at all, and swimming to the edge and just watching the ocean was pretty relaxing. If you want to find a real beach for snorkeling, we did not find any within walking distance, so note that a car is pretty much a must if you want to explore the island beaches. Parking is no problem at all, btw, they have their own multi-story garage.

As far as the hotel itself, it wasn't 5-star caliber but everything worked as expected, was clean, quiet, the staff was extremely friendly. It was everything I expect out of, say, a business-class hotel. If you are expecting luxury resort (based on price) you might be disappointed. Overall, though, I have a hard time finding anything to fault with this hotel.

Highly recommended if you are looking to be close to the action (if not the beaches) with a quiet home base to relax/recharge.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Dave O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 December 2012

I had the opportunity to take a last minute trip to Curacao and decided to take advantage of it. A friend of mine was going to be down there and was staying at this hotel so I decided to stay there as well (to make things easy.)

To get there it's about a 15 minute ride from Hato airport. Taxi took us with no problem and the cab ride ran around $25 USD. Once there we did have to wait a few minutes in line to check in but they had every desk working with people checking in/out so that can be expected at times. The lobby area is really nice and has free wifi and plenty of seating if you want to hang out. You can also get drinks from the bar attached to the lobby and there is a Starbucks (surprise) right next door to the lobby as well. There is a restaurant also right near the lobby area and some shops. The hotel itself is attached to a high end strip mall with a few shops and you also have the Rif Fort a very short walk away which has a lot of local shops and restaurants (you'll see plenty of cruise ship people there if a ship happens to be docked.)

Now for the room. I had an ocean view room with a small balcony on the top (4th - Room 403) floor that overlooked the 2nd floor (which is where the infinity pool and bar was located) and a nice view of the ocean. It wasn't a 100 percent transparent view because of the trees but you could easily sit out on the balcony and have breakfast while looking down at the pool area and the ocean (I did this every day I was there...it was great.) The room was very clean and very well appointed. There was also a safe in the room for valuables which is always a positive when travelling. One negative was no wifi in the room (I had free in room internet access with an ethernet cable but had my Macbook Air with me and forgot my adapter...doh) but most people wouldn't really mind that on a Caribbean island. There is free wifi in the lobby and the business center so it wasn't that big a deal. I also had one room service order which I had expected to be delivered at 10:30 AM not get to me until 11:45 after a few calls to the front desk (of which they apologized a few times.) The only other complaint I had about the room was the toilet kept running a couple of times but I knew how to fix it myself so I didn't have to bother calling maintenance. All were very minor inconveniences that had minimal impact on my stay.

Now for the amenities. I mentioned the business center on Level 2 with computers available for use and a printer (printing out your boarding pass is free.) They also have a small bar in there where you can get something to eat or drink if you want to work in there. Plenty of seating as well and it was never full. There is also an unbelievable infinity pool and small beach area with plenty of lounge chairs to lay out and get a tan or go swimming if that's what you want to do. You will be provided a beach towel and there are sand showers setup to rinse off after you go for a swim (and before you re-enter inside the hotel.) There is another bar/eatery with outdoor furniture if you'd rather just sit and eat and relax as well. The pool faces the ocean so it almost looks like you're swimming in the ocean which is really the highlight of this hotel. The wait staff is very friendly and will bring you whatever you want while you're lounging about.

There is also a casino on the first floor next to the lobby area with mostly slots (video and standard.) There are a few tables as well for blackjack and craps and roulette. It's very modestly sized when compared to a typical Las Vegas casino but they do give you a $5 free play upon checkin so you can always try your luck there. As with everywhere we encountered on Curacao they do take USD even though it's not their primary form of currency.

All in all we had a very enjoyable time staying here. I wouldn't say the hotel is perfect by any stretch but there are enough things to do in and around the hotel to keep you occupied if that's your thing. The staff is great and always has a great attitude as well. It keeps in tune with the friendly vibe of the island.

Room Tip: I would highly suggest an ocean view room with a balcony. Very peaceful and a nice upgrade from an...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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14  Thank stjohnismyfav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Renaissance Curacao Resort & Casino

Address: Baden Powellweg 1, Willemstad 0000, Curacao
Region: Caribbean > Curacao > Willemstad
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Casino Hotel in Willemstad
#2 Romantic Hotel in Willemstad
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Willemstad
#3 Family Hotel in Willemstad
#4 Luxury Hotel in Willemstad
Price Range: £144 - £277 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Renaissance Curacao Resort & Casino 4*
Number of rooms: 237
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in Curacao's capital city of Willemstad, in the heart of the Dutch Caribbean, Renaissance Curacao Resort & Casino offers experiences and activities for any traveler seeking the ambiance of authentic Caribbean charm combined with European sophistication. Featuring a private beach club, this Curacao resort is built around the historic setting of the Rif Fort. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Renaissance Curacao Hotel Willemstad
Renaissance Curacao Resort And Casino
Renaissance Curacao Resort & Casino Willemstad

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