My wife and I just returned from one week at the Curacao Marriott Beach Resort for our 10th Anniversary. We are Marriott Reward members and pretty much had the option of going anywhere we wanted to go with our points. We used points for our stay and for the all-inclusive (food/drinks/activities) option.
We had an absolutely amazing week in Curacao. The Resort is beautiful... by far the best resort on the island. (The Hyatt is opening soon... but it seems more golf oriented than beach oriented.) The Marriott is walking distance from the Hilton. From what we could tell after walking around the grounds at the Hilton... it’s no contest between the two. We prefer a quant, small resort feel when we travel, which we got at the Curacao Marriott. (And I’m not talking about the real estate magazine definition of “quant” meaning a small fixer upper. I’m talking about a nice bed and breakfast “quant.”) With that said, it was a larger resort than we expected. It was the best of both worlds... big resort amenities with a quant feel. I think the beautiful landscaping effectively divides the grounds of the resort and helps create the intimate feel that we like.
The service at the resort was excellent. Everyone was happy, courteous and eager to please. All of the staff members we interacted with spoke Dutch, English and Spanish. We actually got to know many of the staff members over the course of the week and had a great time with Elvis, Giomarley, Cerita, Yvette, and Edward.
The room we booked with our points was a resort view room. When we arrived we inquired about upgrading. The upgrade cost for a beach front room through Marriott’s website was $100 per night. In our case, that would have been $100 per night on top of the points required to book the resort view room. At the resort we were quoted the same $100 dollars. After some negotiating at the front desk we settled at $50 per night to upgrade to the beach front room. Our room was literally 30 feet from a relatively quiet section of the beach. It was an amazing view and very convenient. If you are willing to stay in a resort view room, but interested in upgrading, I would recommend booking a resort view and upgrading on site. If the beach fronts are full, you’re out of luck, but you could get a great deal. The rooms are nice... not great, but clean and comfortable. They are due for some updating, which I think is in the works. They had a digital photo frame set up the the front desk showing what the new room interiors will look like... very nice.
One of the reasons we chose the Curacao Marriott was it’s beach. I was surprised to see that the resort is located on the “windy/wavy” side of the island, unlike the Aruba Marriott which sits on the very calm side of that island. While we were there, the wind was blowing and the waves were rolling from left to right along the beach the entire time. There are man made jetties (large stacked coral rocks) that protect the beach from the waves for the most part, creating a very nice, calm lagoon. The jetties are a great place to snorkel and they are full of beautiful fish. The depth ranges from 2 feet to about 20 feet. New coral is getting established on and around the rocks that make up the jetties. We snorkeled at the Marriott and the Hilton beaches. Again, it was no contest. For starter or even experienced snorkelers, the Marriott beach is beautiful, convenient and cheap
We didn’t have a problem with it, but there is a public beach that borders the Marriott beach. There is a high, solid panel fence that separates the beaches on land. But the water in the lagoon is a “shared” area. We were actually happy to see the locals enjoying the amenities of their beautiful island. But others may not see it that way so it’s worth mentioning.
I am an avid fisherman but didn’t take any charter trips while in Curacao. I looked into it a little bit, but I didn’t get the sense that fishing was a big priority on the island. Other than a few local fisherman, I didn’t see any charter fishing boats while we were there. I did a little fishing with my own travel rod and lures from the jetties at the Marriott. I caught a few small Jacks, two small groupers and some other crazy looking reef fish. (For the fisherman, a DOA shrimp was by far the most effective lure I had with me.) Water shoes are a must for walking on the jetties and I would recommend them in general. Portions of the Marriott beaches are soft and sandy and portions are rocky. The water shoes come in handy.
Here’s a few things you should know. Everything you purchase at the Curacao Marriott will have a 12% service charge and 5% resort tax added on.... including room rates. The food and drinks at the resort are not cheap. Cocktails are $7-$9, beers are about $6... plus the fees. Lunch items average $10 to $15, dinner’s $20 to $30. The food is pretty good. The breakfast buffet ($17) is excellent. The theme night dinners which run about $30 per person... are OK. Not great. Overall the food gets a GOOD rating from us. Even though we were all inclusive, we kept track of our spending for the week... out of curiosity. For two of us for the week we “spent” over $1800 on meals and drinks. I will say, we didn’t exactly hold back... knowing everything was covered. Two kids can be included in the all inclusive package for no extra charge, so depending on the pricing, the all inclusive could be worth doing.
Overall, we absolutely loved our time at the Curacao Marriott. We hope to return soon with our children.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Curacao Marriott Beach Resort & Emerald Bay Casino are located directly on a private beach in Willemstad, Curacao. Spend your days basking in the sun at our resort pool or beach, or experiencing all history and adventure Curacao has to offer through our on site Tour and Car Rental desk. Once the sunsets, you will experience amazing dining by sea at our beachfront restaurant Seabreeze. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Curacao Marriott Beach Resort And Emerald Casino
- Curacao Marriott Beach Resort & Emerald Hotel Willemstad
- Marriott Willemstad
- Curacao Marriott Beach Hotel Emerald
- Marriott Curacao
- Willemstad Marriott
- Curacao Marriott Beach Resort & Emerald Casino Willemstad