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“Great location, full service hotel”
Review of Avila Beach Hotel

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Avila Beach Hotel
Ranked #7 of 32 Hotels in Willemstad
Certificate of Excellence
Munich, Germany
Level 5 Contributor
66 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
“Great location, full service hotel”
Reviewed 2 February 2013

We were quite satisfied with our stay at the Avila hotel. We opted to stay in the Octagon wing and had a spacious room, but the "partial view" was pretty tiny, indeed. Being on the second floor, we could just make out a glimpse of the water. I would have like to have seen the rooms in the Blue Wings since they wee all directly on the water and had nice balconies overlooking the ocean. The room itself was fine, but a little quirky. This particular room was outfitted with 220 power, instead of the US standard that we had planned on. The hotel gave us a transformer and luckily we had brought along a travel extension cord, otherwise we would have been able to operate only one 110 device at a time. The toilet and shower shared the same basic space and it was impossible to shower with out getting this whole area soaking wet. The faucet on the sink was very cheaply made and lose. We did appreciate the coffee maker and mini-bar which had room for our own things. There was also a small cooktop that could have been used.

The public areas of the hotel were really nice. We enjoyed the beach and I was really impressed with the teeming sea life right off the beach. We ate twice at the Bell Terrace restaurant and he food was OK, but not spectacular. we also ate twice at the Blues. The first time was "Burger Night." I enjoyed mine a lot, but my wife's was a tad underdone. We only had breakfast twice. That's run as a buffet and, for the price, we didn't find it much of a bargain, since we tend not to have a large breakfast. There was also a coffee shop in he hotel and I was very happy with the cappuccino and we ate there once as well. We really enjoyed hanging out at the Schooner Bar, next to the beach. The only beer selection was Amstel, Amstel Bright, Polar, and Heineken. As a beer lover, a little more selection would be nice, and having to make a point to ask for a glass each time wore on me after a while. My wife liked several of their mixed drinks. The view was gorgeous, but he service was often a little slow.

We utilized the fitness room several times. Being a runner, I was dismayed that there were no good outdoor jogging routes, so I had to use the treadmills. They face out a glass window with a beautiful view of he ocean. The equipment was good stuff an had an integrated iPod port and TV screen with CNN, ESPN, and a Fox channel from Miami. There was also Deutsche Welle and a couple Spanish language and Dutch channels. The fitness space is jammed packed with equipment and it looks like a lot of locals use the facility - especially in the evening. We never had to wait to use a treadmill, but the weight area was often being used by others. There is a separate mens and women's locker room and each had a sauna, which we did not use, Outside, there was a coed hot tub, but this was closed during our visit.

We had rented a car for this trip, but in hindsight it probably wasn't necessary. To walk to the heart of downtown was 20 minutes, though the neighborhood wasn't so beautiful. it we always felt safe. For the few times we wanted to explore the island, we could have rented from Budget since they have a desk right in the lobby of the hotel. There is a supermarket and gas station less than a half mile from the hotel and we were able to get our own beverages and snacks there. Also, there are some good restaurants nearby if you want to go somewhere different - Seasons and Fishalicious were just across the street. We also liked Mondo Bizzarro and Ginger which were a few more blocks away and slightly difficult to find, so be sure to ask someone.

Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank BayernTrips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Harrogate, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 February 2013

We stayed at the Avila Beach for 10 nights in January and had the most lovely, relaxing time. It is the perfect size in a great location. We stayed in the newer bedrooms which were large, very comfortable and well organised. The Hotel has its own protected beach which is good as the sea often looked quite lively and there was plenty of sea life if you enjoy snorkelling. We noticed a few guests had toddlers and it really is ideal for this age.
The Hotel also has a great pool and the pool bar served excellent salads and stir frys for lunch.
All the staff were friendly and kept it very clean. It also has a gym with modern kit which I used frequently as it was too hot to run outside during the day.
We travel a great deal and this was meant as a relaxing stay, meeting friends and guaranteed great weather... It totally delivered. We travelled around the island to sight-see and were very pleased that we were staying at the Avila.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank vicaragegirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 January 2013

We had a great stay at Avila. It's located about a 15/20 minute walk from the canal in Willemstad, close to many good restaurants (options galore within 5 min walk), 10 mins walk to the grocery store, and an excellent scuba shop (see review of Altlantis Diving).

Our room was nothing fancy, but again, the location was spectacular. We were at the end of the blues wing, and our balcony faced the hotel beach, and out to the sea (we lucked out with the end unit). For New Years Eve, we were able to enjoy the fireworks from our balcony, and ate breakfast 4 times on the balcony aswell. The proximity to the grocery store made it easy to grab some groceries, and the room had a mini kitchenette. I read someone else bought soap and a scrubby (as these items were not provided in the kitchenette) but we just left the dishes, and an extra tip- the staff took care of the rest!

Speaking of the staff, we found them quite helpful! We had made reservations for dinner on New Years before leaving Canada, knowing we were only arriving a few days before, and that reservations could get tricky, however, when we called to confirm, the day before, the restaurant (Wine Cellar) had lost our reservation. With little time, the front desk staff at the hotel were able to find us a table, and arranged a pickup (one of the only restaurants we were unable to walk to). I wish I could remember how to spell the young lady's name, as she deserves some sort of award- she called over 10 places, trying to find an open table! Thanks Myracella (sp?). Other front desk staff helped us with other dinner reservations as well. They were always super friendly and helpful.

On restaurants- we ate at all of the restaurants on site. We were impressed with our steaks at the Blues, on jazz night- it was super crowded,so we really didn't see the live jazz, but it sounded great! We enjoyed Belle Terrace for Antillian night- a buffet with all local, traditional food, and were serenaded by a 3 piece band, playing traditional music. The pool bar had great lunch options - very tasty, not fancy! The only restaurant on site we were disappointed with was the cafe for breakfast. Just standard breakfast buffet, but pricey for what it was. Staff at restaurants were almost as helpful as those at the front desk.

The beach was not huge (but typical for Curacao). If you like snorkelling, definitely do it at the hotel. We are divers, and thought the snorkelling we did right infront of our room (literally infront of the Blues Wing) was some of our coolest fish experiences. We were tempted to gear up and dive right there (saw flying gurnard, spotted drum, many trumpetfish, file fish, cornet fish, several puffers, and huge schools of tangs just snorkelling!) if you're going snorkelling, go beyond the wave blocking structures to see the most diversity!

Room Tip: Blues Wing for best views! End units (188 was ours) are best!
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank flutterbee1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Windsor, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 January 2013

Avila Hotel has the best of both worlds. It's close to the centre of town (about a 20 minute walk) and its on the beach. The hotel had everything we needed: pool, nice beach-set up, good restaurants and friendly staff. We stayed in one of the older two-bedroom suites and we were very comfortable. There are also some very good restaurants no more than a 5-minute walk (e.g. highly recommend Rosendael's and Fishalicious). We also enjoyed being able to snorkel right off the beach.

We rented a car for a couple of days and this came in handy for exploring the island. Definitely recommend a trip to Westpunt to see the wild northern coast, Christoffel Park and a lunch stop at Jaanchies. We also had a great time at Seaquarium beach, bar hopping. I did feel that the Avila had the best location.

A note to High Maintenance types: If you are expecting pampering service and high end accommodations, Curacao is not the place for you. Avila Hotel was perfect for us because we don't need a lot of hand holding and we don't freak out at small hiccups. The kitchenette could have been stocked a bit better -- we bought our own dish soap and scrub and paper towels -- not a big deal as there was a supermarket about a five-minute drive away. Hot water was at times not available and the safe needed some reprogramming. All these minor inconveniences were promptly dealt with by the staff.

Room Tip: The Belle Alliance Suites are great.
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank back2deisland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 January 2013

We stayed at this hotel from research on trip advisor and were happy that we did. Our room was very nice. We spent a little extra and stayed in an upgrade that gave us a small kitchen (two burner, with bar fridge). I recommend this as the breakfast buffet was $20 per person per day. We preferred cereal with fruit, yogourt and coffee on our deck in the a.m. There is a grocery store (Boulevard Marketplace) about 10 min walk from the hotel that is very good from food to wine and beer.
The facilities were good here, infinity pool, nice beach, and plenty of lounge chairs and towels. There is also a beach bar for all your needs. The lunch here was very good. Only had it one day, as we were out most others. Dinners on the other hand were average. Not terrible, but not great either. There are many restaurants around the hotel, 3 of note are Rosendales (book a table outside), Season's, and Fishalicious. All great restaurants, and they are in order of pricing, Fishalicious the most expensive, but also the best.
A little disappointed by the Jazz restaurant on the pier of the hotel. There are other places for Jazz if interested - namely Miles Jazz, Vinal & Cigars - a great little bar.
Back to the hotel - the staff was very helpful, the grounds and room well kept, nice bed. In addition the location was very good, approx 15- 20 min. walk to downtown Willemstad. This was perfect for us, close enough to go to without being downtown.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Snake007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, IL
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 January 2013

Just got back from Curacao and a 5 night stay at the Avila for my 30th birthday, and I must say i am sad to be home. The Avila did not disappoint! The pictures on the website were an accurate representation of the hotel. We had a great view of the sea from our room and everything was clean and nicely appointed. Nothing super fancy, but nice enough to make you feel comfortable (we stayed in the Octagon wing - room 419). We forgot our adapter for the outlets, and the maintenance team came and brought us one and an extension cord so we could plug in a few things at once - great service!! They even left us a bottle of wine in the room for my birthday.

The two beaches were beautiful, as was the pool. We had lunch at both bars a few times. The food at the Pool Bar was cooked right in front of us and was very fresh and delicious. My only complaint was the minimal variety available for lunch. The food that we did have though was delicious and reasonably priced. I thought the drinks were pretty reasonably priced too. We've been to several islands and found the mixed drinks to always be pretty pricey at resorts, but here I didn't think they were so bad. The service was a little slow at times, but it's the islands and it's not like I was going anywhere. I did find that there were some consistency issues with drink sizes and strengths, but that was also not the biggest of deals.

We had breakfast at the buffet twice. There was a good variety and everything was pretty fresh. I didn't think the US$20 was bad. We also ate breakfast one morning at the Cafe. I had one of the best cappuccinos I have ever had - it was carmel flavored and tasted great! We ate only at the Blues restaurant and the food was fantastic. It was burger night (probably one of the best seasoned burgers I have ever had) and grill night while we were there. There was also live jazz, which was pretty great.

Everyone was very polite and friendly. Pearl, our housekeeper was great, as was Jermaine, one of the pool bar waiters we seemed to get every day. All in all, we were very impressed with the hotel. Great facilites, great location, great stay! I can't wait to go back and leave this cold weather behind!

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank illiniguy17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
media, pa
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 January 2013

Glad I waited to get home to dig too deep into the reviews. We had a very enjoyable experience. We were in Room 291 in the Blues Wing right at the end of the pier.

Our room was not very modern (like the newer parts of the hotel) but comfortable, clean, and (reason we chose it) you couldn't beat the view. We could even look down from our deck and watch the tropical fish. The bathroom had a funky smell but all was clean. Simple tile floors, high wooden ceilings, weird pillows but comfy enough. We went to the gift shop at the hotel for a bottle of wine (no beer) and to a shop around the corner for beer. Saved a ton compared to the hotel bars and since housekeeping fills your ice bucket each day, we enjoyed our own happy hour on our deck each night and watched the sunset.

Grounds were immaculate. Staff was polite but laid-back/slow (it is the islands after all) and Schooner Bar and Pool Bar were often out of food and drink. Pool Bar food better than Schooner Bar. Blues Bar food was below average and drinks were so-so. Breakfast was pricey and so-so - as others have said, go early or you get what you get. There are cheese, pastries, omelet station, yogurt, etc. There was an advertised "manager's cocktail hour" on Wednesday that never happened ("We only have it some Wednesdays") and the sign advertising it disappeared Wednesday afternoon. Friday "Happy Hour" was, as far as I could tell, a brief tray of hot food and no drink specials. See above regarding buying your own booze. Gym was modern/new.

I'd strongly suggest walking to the Scuba Lodge (5-10 minute walk) for their fantastic breakfast. We also left the grounds all but one night for dinner. There are several restaurants a very short walk away (Fishalicious, Rozendaels, Pan e Vino). Scuba Lodge and Saint Tropez were fantastic but a little dicier walking at night and (I think) too close to call for a cab. The area is not built up and you'll see a lot of broken glass along the way, some roaming dogs, and a REALLY creepy green house along the way. But we braved it and were glad we did.

Organized trips: unlike any other island vacation I've been on, day trips are not advertised/shoved down your throat, and only shared when you ask. There are limited options from the hotel but we enjoyed a short Eco Tour that was organized for us by the hotel

Overall we were very happy with the location of the hotel and thought we had the best of everything there (beach but convenience of town). Comfortable and clean. Wish it were last week and I was back on the deck with that bottle of wine. :)

Room Tip: We stayed in Blues Wing Room 291, right on the edge of the pier on the upper floor. Can't imagin...
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank evodkativ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Avila Beach Hotel

Property: Avila Beach Hotel
Address: Penstraat 130, Willemstad, Curacao
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Curacao > Willemstad
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Willemstad
#4 Romantic Hotel in Willemstad
#4 Spa Hotel in Willemstad
#5 Luxury Hotel in Willemstad
#5 Family Hotel in Willemstad
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Willemstad
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Avila Beach Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 150
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Family run boutique hotel comprises the islands original governor's mansion dating from 1780. Located on two romantic private beaches, the hotel is just minutes away from downtown Willemstad. The new Octagon Wing features 68 spacious rooms decorated in sophisticated neutrals with splashes of vivid Caribbean colors and has transformed the hotel into a contemporary luxury resort & spa. Avila Hotel nevertheless continues to be a reflection of the island of Curacao. Friendly. Intimate. Understated. Welcoming. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Avila Beach Resort
Hotel Avila Beach
Avila Beach Hotel Curacao/Willemstad

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