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Lions Dive & Beach Resort Curacao
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Reviewed 4 February 2012

Pluses-Very nice beach, nice calm water conducive for shallow-water snorkeling. Room was fine, reasonably clean. Close to town, shuttle to town and to a nice supermarket. Negatives-desk staff not well-trained or knowledgeable, food at Hemmingways including breakfast just adequate. You get very little help as far as orientation.

Room Tip: get a room on the beach(we were upgraded). There is free wifi-but it is not free to go to the seaquarium.
  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Ozer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 February 2012

Staff were rude, food was average, room was basic. Not many emenities, European power outlets were not mentioned at all on website or in telephone conversations with staff. We were charged for the in room safe even though we never used it. Will never stay here again.

  • Stayed: January 2012
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7  Thank MHendersen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 December 2011

Us: American Family of 4, kids age 7 and 10. 6th Caribbean vacation.

The pros: Great location with large beach areas protected by man-made breakwall. Plenty of seating seaside. Good off-beach snorkeling around breakwall. Resort offers three restaurants (Hemingways, Nemo, and Piazza). Nemo's is more upscale and more expensive, but offers very good meals. Piazza is more lite fare, but we found it to be rarely open. We could occasionally find someone to serve lunch there. Hemingways is in-between and offers buffet breakfast as well, right on the beach. Food quality is average and prices in USD are good. All staff were friendly and courteous and tried to be helpful. Room cleaning was acceptable.

The cons:
- Mosquito's and lots of them. They are everywhere and eat at you through the night. Bring mosquito repellent.
- Language is a bit of a barrier, as well as payment in USD (cash or credit) at some locations. The island is a Dutch island, and most locals and visitors speak dutch with some being bi-lingual English. English speakers will need to look past it, try to work through it, and have fun with it.
- Room was small and cramped for a family of 4. The oceanfront room, while oceanfront, did not allow access directly from the room. We didn't spend much time there so it wasn't a big deal for us. Beds were a bit uncomfortable.
- While the staff was great, the other guests were not. I found the other dutch guests to be generally rude (cutting in front of us in lines, not yielding walking room on sidewalks) and dirty (Leaving their garbage on the beach, throwing plastic cups into the water). Maybe it is a cultural thing I don't understand.
- Smoking is very prevalent and is permitted everywhere generally.
- Being a Dutch island, topless sunbathing is permitted and some guests do it, so be prepared.
- There were no resort activities geared toward children.

Other:
The adjacent Aquarium is fun, and the Dolphin encounters are great. Highly recommended.

Room Tip: Families should go with suites or apartments. "Oceanfront" rooms are not worth the extra cost.
  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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14  Thank Paul_J18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 December 2011

We enjoyed our first visit to Curaçao quite a bit, but were somewhat satisfied with Lions Dive -- which has strong points and at least a few challenges.

--> BEST ASPECTS: Ideal setting on a clean, ample-size beach with walk-in snorkeling (superb, thanks to breakwall with submerged plant growth that's a fish magnet). Plenty of adjustable loungers with cushions, thatched-roof palapas, wooden huts. Kid-safe wading areas, food/drink service, seaside massages/manicures, a few nearby shops, short walk (beach or roadside sidewalk) to popular seafood restaurant/club (Mambo Beach).

--> OTHER AMENITIES: Twice-daily free shuttles to supermarket and downtown. Public bushalte (stop) right outside driveway for convenient access ($1 USD) to downtown and popular Jaan Thiel Beach (highly recommended). On-site car rental (National/Alamo). Free terminal to print boarding passes. Three Internet terminals ($5 for 30 minutes).

--> DOWNSIDES: No tour desk/concierge.Inconsistent staff at desk, where check-in was handled w/out warmth or responsiveness to questions.Bus question later stumped 1st clerk. Housekeeping poor (floor stayed sandy, shower soap dispenser unfilled 2 days, past guest water bottle under bed). No hair dryer until requested. Snorkels/fins provided for fee, though site promotes snorkeling.

--> OFF-SITE: Next-door Sea Aquarium is free to Lions Dive guests and well worth at least two visits to see dolphin, sea lion and small shark-feeding shows. (Swim with dolphins for a fee.) Walk along curbed road (5 mins) past nearly adjacent Breezes Hotel to Sea Side Terrace + adjacent Surfe & Turf small bayside restaurants for value and friendly proprietors/staff. This is beach food as it should be served! Ask for homemade pica (hot) sauce if you dare.

--> DAY TRIP: Book a 90-minute ferry to Kleine Curacao, an uninhabited island with pristine, broad beach, sea turtles visible to snorkelers, an abandoned lighthouse and a photogenic, rusting shipwreck on shore. Go with The Mermaid ($95 USD), which serves tasty continental breakfast and barbecued buffet lunch in its own beach structure (indoor bathroom). It also has beach chairs, small shelters, free snorkel masks, ultra-friendly crew.

A rival operation (Pelican) sails there with a catamaran that stays anchored offshore for snorkeling, with lunch served on board. It promotes open bar, but our crew provided complimentary beer and rum/cola.

Room Tip: Avoid first floor, as patios flood from rain. New wing wraps around 50-meter infinity pool, but is furthest from restaurants/bar.
  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank Alan_Stamm_0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 November 2011

We liked the Lions Dive a lot! The apartment we stayed in was wonderful, great for families with children like us, two bedrooms with two bathrooms and a kitchen! And let's not forget the lovely balcony and living area overlooking the pool and ocean! The staff at the resort was friendly, sometimes a bit slow (in the restaurants) but very nice. The food in the restaurants is not exceptional but for the price you pay its pretty good, especially at Hemingway beach bar. You'll love the dining on the beach overlooking the ocean...also great for kids who can just run around and play on the beach while we had a nice dinner! The dolphin encounter we did with the kids was amazing, and just minutes away from the resort at the dolphin academy. Downtown Willemstad is like 10 minutes away with the free shuttle service, loved the floating bridge and all the amsterdam-style houses! We also went on a great tour to the western part of the island, they pick you up right at the hotel. We couldn't have wished for a better trip! thank you Lions Dive!

Room Tip: When with a family try to book an apartment, it gives you a lot more (kitichen, living area and amazing balcony!) then two seperate hotel rooms and the price is about the same!
  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank Joel J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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