First, I think it important to emphasize that all travelers will base reviews on their own past experiences and their current expectations. To some, the Avila would easily rate as a 5 star. To others a 3. So it is often difficult to give a totally objective review relevant to all travelers.
From our perspective we are in our 50’s, from the Toronto area of Canada and have traveled to at least 10 mostly all-inclusive resorts throughout the Caribbeans. Prior to deciding on the Avila we had a good idea of what to expect in Curacao and how to “temper” some of the negative reviews of other travelers.
We stayed in the Blues Wing, room 288. The view faced east looking at the Blues bar and nice beach. Had the morning sun and a bit cooler in the evening which was nice. It was just beautiful but always very windy. Nice deck with lots of room for a table and wicker armchairs. We noted many of the other decks had loungers but felt it wasn’t something that we cared enough to have one brought over.
The room was sufficiently spacious and had a 2 burner stove-top, fridge and sink. Bathroom was nice and had a double sink. At the risk of sounding fussy, our wish list would have included a TV with more than 1 English channel (CNN), water temperature which was easier to regulate, and an overall makeover of the room. It was a bit tired and in need of some updating and furniture (a higher table and perhaps a couple of comfy armchairs), some paint and decorating, new windows and sliding door, stuff like that. Not a complaint, but something which would add so much in relation to the investment.
With the exception of beach service (not sure if they had it as we were never asked), the service everywhere was excellent. Whether the dining room, blues bar, front desk, room attendants, all were helpful, polite, and friendly.
The common areas including decking, walks, pool, and even the restrooms were spotless, clean and very modern. A 10 in every respect.
The swimming and snorkeling is also excellent. Lots of fish/marine life and you could snorkel in the protected area or venture out past the retaining walls if adventuresome.
We enjoyed all of our evening meals either at the terrace dining area with a lovely view of the bay or in the blues room. Service was exceptional and we could always relax in total comfort. Terrace offered very good upscale food albeit a limited menu and would loved to have seen even more offerings. Blues room was more relaxed fare but still offered a good steak, ribs, chicken, and burger type menu.
One of the nice features of this hotel is the proximity to Willemstad. It’s about a 15 minute walk and 10 more minutes to go over the foot bridge. Walking at night was discouraged due to the possibility of crime.
Like life, it’s often about the small things and following is a list (mostly for the Avila’s attention) that we felt were minor irritants and could easily be improved upon -
- Out of about 50 or so books in the library only 2 were English the rest Dutch (we ran out of reading material).
- No facecloths ever delivered despite request (cultural thing not to use?).
- The only breakfast option was the $20pp buffet. We enjoy just fruit/cereals in the morning and it was difficult to get room service. Upon further insistence we were provided with the order forms (none in room) which you could not call in or leave on your door. It had to be delivered to the front desk before bed. Did arrive in the morning on time and always consisted of some breads and 3 types of fruit + juice. So/so.
- Except for the blues bar which had good music twice weekly, there is nothing in the way of evening entertainment (and one English TV channel). Billiards, games room, shuffleboard…?
- On the beach areas there is very little shade or umbrellas and no attendants monitoring when to move or set new ones up. Also, the few select shady spots were constantly “reserved” by those who feel their “special standing” allows them to place their beach towel on the loungers then leave them there day in and day out. This, I just don’t get and would like to see rules in place to keep this in check.
- This area does not have long beaches for walking. Each beach area tends to be nice but small and blocked off to the neighbouring beach.
All considered, the Avila is a lovely place offering exceptional value and we would certainly return on our next trip to Curacao.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Avila Beach Resort
- Hotel Avila Beach
- Avila Beach Hotel Curacao/Willemstad