Overall we had a great trip. You cant beat the hotel location and all of the things to do around the area. We stayed Saturday-Wedn. You have to realize that this is more than just island time. People here are in no hurry at all. If you're an american, you'll feel very slow here. You have to almost ask for everything. Customary tipping is about 5-10% at a nice restaurant (the owner of The Wine Cellar gave us this information)
First off, there is no REAL beach. The area where renaissance is has rock walls and such along the coast line. So the renaissance beach is really a salt water infinity pool, with sand. It honestly felt like a real beach and I preferred it to a real beach since I knew what was in the water. It gets to about 6 feet deep or so at the wall. Which over looks some rocks and the ocean where the cargo ships travel and the cruise ships dock. Second, when they offer you an upgrade to a balcony that is "beach/ocean view". Remember, its a fake beach view and the you're looking at an ocean full of cargo ships and rigs. It's not the most romantic thing and may not be worth the $50 extra per night, unless you enjoy sitting on a balcony. The area is not very exotic.
Third, Drinks are free in the casino. So pre-game there. Sit at a slot machine with a dollar and spin every few minutes. Also, goto the local supermarket, but not the one that is over the floating bridge, everything is expensive there. If you take a left at La Bahia, you'll see one on the left after a few blocks. 32oz Presidente for $3.50 (it is usually $4 for 8oz at the restaurants and hotel, or free in casino).
The local scene was great. A lot of europeanish and (im guessing) venezuelanish culture around there. We went to mambo beach on sunday night. That is the night to go. Do not go any other time. We had a blast. 2 dance areas. 1 hiphoppish and the other was pretty much zumba lifestyle.
We also visited Santa Cruz beach and the blue room cave. We rented a van. It was 8 of us so it wasnt very expensive in the end. About $90 per day, and we opted for $25 extra to have it dropped off at the airport. We were able to visit a few beached that day.
We visited Lagun Beach to rent our snorkeling gear. We ate lunch there and they offered us a nice discount on rentals.
We read and heard a lot about Captain Goodlife. He is the one who operates the tours there and has a restaurant. His wife cooks the food (he does as well if he's not on the water), and he takes people for a tour. He might seem a little aggressive at first, but he's a hard working man and doesnt have time for low ballers. It's $20US for a 2 hour tour around the area that stops at the cave, beach and his fathers sunken ship. You can also see his daughters grave sight, a very special place. We didnt have 2 hours to spend, so we agreed on just the cave for $15. He was nice enough to drop us off at the ship while he took another set of tourist back to the dock. 8 of us gave him a $20 tip and he couldnt thank us enough and he made us some of his special Orange Fries. Which were very good. Its good to see a positive person, working hard after going through some hardships.
The casino at renaissance was rough. The only thing I enjoyed were the drinks. One of our groupmates won big on the slot machine, but that was about it. They have card games and roulette. Their Blackjack isnt your typical one. It is the one where dealer shows 1 card. The 3card table was pretty hot. but a rollercoaster ride. It was entertaining to see people spending hundreds/thousands on hands/spins. and even better seeing them win.
It was great trip. A lot to do around the area. I would go back.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in Curacao's capital city of Willemstad, in the heart of the Dutch Caribbean, the 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