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Curacao, anyone?

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Sep 5th, 2002, 06:11 PM
  #1
tosca
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Curacao, anyone?

Has anyone been to Curacao? We were thinking about visiting the BVI's but the prices are a bit steep. Curacao seems like a more affordable place to go. We gather that it has a different flavor/atmosphere than the BVI's, but both appear to be fairly quiet. Any thoughts about the island or recommendations regarding accomodations?
 
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Sep 6th, 2002, 10:42 AM
  #2
Lois
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We were there this past May and loved it. It's a very large island so to really see it you will need to rent a car. The first couple of days were scary driving until you get used to it. I wouldn't call it a pretty island, It's like Aruba and mostly desert. There are lovely coves and beaches once you are out of the city towards Westpunt. We went for the snorkeling and stopped at a lot of beaches. Very windy, just like Aruba. The food was not as good as in Aruba, they serve a lot of red meat rather than seafood but but can find good meals. We actually asked the front desk staff to make recommendatons. Stayed at the Marriott Emerald Beach which is probably the best on the island but other resorts looked nice. There's a lot of new building construction going on near Willemstad. They are building a couple of new hotels near town and a new cruiseport. Like all islands nothing is really cheap. WE found a grocery store and bought our breakfast items(fresh pastry and fruit) a few times rather than eating at the hotel restaurant. We had a refrigerator and it helped cut down on costs. Very friendly people, very Americanized.
 
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Sep 6th, 2002, 11:04 AM
  #3
John
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Lois is right on. Curacao is a windy arid island (will remind you of Arizona on the beach). The North (windward) side has spectacular coast line with waves crashing onto rocks. The South (leeward) has many small coves which contain the beaches. The beaches are wonderful and the unique thing is that you can "walk" out into the water and snorkle directly off the beach. The reef is close in. The snorkling is outstanding. As Lois said you should rent a car to see some of the sights. There are "Landhuizen" which are old ranch houses/estates from colonial times. Some are open to tour. Some are restaurants. There is a nice nature park near Westpunt.
The main city of Willemstat(?sp) is divided by a waterway overwhich goes a "floating" bridge. Shopping is good. It is also a cruise ship port.
The people are friendly and you feel safe everywhere.
The negative is that Curacao is the Oil Refinery for the Venuzuelan and other crude oil. The Refinery is right in the city.
There is an old fort (Fort Nassau) which is high atop a mtn overlooking the city and ocean. The old fort is now a fabulous restaurant. Great place for sunset, drinks, and dinner.
All in all Curacao is interesting and the kind of place you go to once, unless you are a diver.
One advantage, like Aruba, it is out of the Hurricane belt and safe to go to the the late summer and fall.
We went once, loved it but probably will not go back. Too many other nice places to go to, easier to get to.
HOpe this helps.
 
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Sep 19th, 2002, 04:51 PM
  #4
putch
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did anybody say at the avila hotel in curacao?
 
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Sep 19th, 2002, 08:01 PM
  #5
Elizabeth
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We loved Curacao! The restaurants will tempt you with tantalzing food and there's lots to see on the island. We stayed at the Marriott and enjoyed the moonlight on the beach at night as well as the drinks at the bar next to the beach. The staff is attentive to their guests and the residents of Curacao are very friendly.
 
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Sep 21st, 2002, 06:46 AM
  #6
putch
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has anyone been to the avila hotel? does it not having a pool really make a difference? also, is it situated on a good spot in curacao, in terms of snorkeling, restaurants, etc. and not too close to town
 
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Sep 21st, 2002, 02:25 PM
  #7
Sally
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Yes, I stayed at the Avila Beach Hotel, albeit quite some time ago (7 years or so). It is a wonderful hotel, on the beach, quiet location, great music nights on Friday and Saturday (but in a separate little building at the end of a pier, so the music won't bother you in your room). As I recall, the hotel is divided into 3 sections with different room types: the main building with the most basic and cheapest rooms, a newer building with more comfortable rooms, and a building at one end, with its own separate little beach, with specious apartments (this is where we stayed). There is also a nice bar outside, and a pleasant restaurant.
All in all, much recommended. This hotel is not in the town (Willemstad), but it is within walking distance.
 
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Sep 21st, 2002, 02:48 PM
  #8
putch
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did the fact that avila hotel had no pool in any way make your stay there less pleasant? the truth is i rarely swim in the hotel's pool but, psychologyically, i lik to know there's one ther if i want to. how was swimming and/or snorkeling from the shore of the hotel?
 
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Sep 22nd, 2002, 01:25 PM
  #9
Sally
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As I said, it's been a while since we were at Avila Beach, so my memory is a bit hazy. Anyway, I don't recall that the absence of a pool was a problem at all. The hotel has several nice beaches, and the water is excellent for swimming. As to snorkeling, I really don't know because we hardly ever do that. I vaguely seem to recall that the hotel had snorkeling equipment for rent, but I may be mistaken. Perhaps someone else can help you here?
(One thing I do recall is that one afternoon some local boys swam in and starting catching fish and cleaning them on our, private, little beach. We called the hotel security people and they 'chased them off' in an amiable way. We were not happy about this incident, however.)
 
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