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Curacao...WOW!

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We returned this week from a wonderful "Spring Break" trip to Curacao and the Marriott. As the previous poster said, we too wished we had booked a longer stay...10 days would have been perfect.

Hotel: Overall extremely clean. The landscaping was in perfect condition as were the lawns.

Room: We used Marriott points (travel reward package which also included air miles). We had a room on the 3rd floor; considered a standard room...but what a view! We looked out to the hot tub and ocean. Very good location (especially with kids), 1st room off of the elevator (East side), and 3 floors down to the lobby, casino, shops, etc. Our room was very clean and new bedding, carpeting, and paint was obvious. The furniture was a bit worn, and I think should be replaced.

Weather: Glorious. Not as windy as Aruba, but a pleasant breeze poolside.

Food: All of the restaurants at the hotel were very good. I think the variety of the menu items would please anyone. We ate at the breakfast buffet in Portofino 1x ($15, and also at the Sunday buffet in the ballroom ($30). Note that children are half price at the buffets. The Emerald Lounge served very good crab cakes, a variety of ceviche, and as another poster mentioned the best dessert we have ever had--Fried Cheesecake. We had that on several evenings! The Seabreeze (poolside) served tasty/hot items and was also very good.
We ate off the property at Hook's Hut (table with our toes in the sand, very good) Gouverneur de Reveille (lovely in their courtyard with twinkling lights, very good), La Pergola (ok dinner, on the Punda side) , and Bistro Le Clochard (phenomenal dinner/service on their terrace with a view of downtown). All of these restaurants are on the water. Note that a pair of slacks/walking shorts/collared shirt for men, and capris/skirt or women were totally acceptable, even at the fine dining establishments. Othewise, shorts/t's were the norm.

Sights: The architecture downtown was beautiful (like a postcard). The Kura Hulanda complex in town was amazing...the museum was very moving. We also visited the floating market and the Jewish synagogue. Deep sea fishing (from the Marriott) was a highlight for my husband/son (caught 5 tuna and the Marriott grilled them up for us for lunch at the Seabreeze), and the dune fun/dune buggy tour was a blast and an opportunity to see the countryside. Took the ferry from the Otranbanda side to the Punda side (bridge was open at the time) and the sight of a huge tanker floating close by us was truly a sight!

Snorkeling: the sealife at the Marriott was like swimming in an aquarium. We brought our own snorkel gear and water shoes (needed), but you can rent equipment at the towel hut.

Internet: Did not use their service, but some people we met purchased a $10 access card at the hotel for 60 minutes of usage. If you had brought your own laptop, they offfer access from your room, which I believe was $12.95 for 24 hours.

Hair braiding: A lady was poolside on Tuesday and Thursday if you wanted your hair braided. $15 for a 1/2 head, $30 for a full head. Believe me, if you have been to any other island, you know what a bargain this is!

Casino: in the lobby; didn't win, but a nice diversion in the evening.

People: What really made the entire trip were the people...so friendly. The nicest we have met on any island. Everyone greeted us (as we did them) with a smile and a welcome.

Cabs: A cab to/from town is $10 each way. The Marriott offers a FREE shuttle to/from town (9-12 and 2-6) every day but Sunday.

The island is in the early stages of a major tourism campaign and we are glad to have experienced its charm before everyone finds out about this hidden gem in the Caribbean.
We will definitely be back!
Note: this review was also posted on t***advisor.

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