Curacao in Jan/Feb

Old Oct 12th, 2005, 11:02 AM
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Curacao in Jan/Feb

Can any one tell me what they think of the expenses I will run into in Curacao. We are going to stay for 2 weeks at the Marriott for our 30th anniversary. And I would like to budget accordingly.
Any and all feedback on the
marriott would be helpful.
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Old Oct 12th, 2005, 01:25 PM
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Where are you planning on eating your meals? Do you eat three meals a day and big or small meals? How much do you drink? Are you planning on spending a lot of time just laying out in the sun? Planning a lot of tourist things? There are so many if's. We may be able to give you an idea if we have a better picture.
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Old Oct 12th, 2005, 01:41 PM
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It's really hard for anyone to set "your" budget since it's difficult to know another person's desires. For instance do you plan to have all you meals at the hotel or do you plan on eating out? Do you prefer upscale dining or are you the type that thinks pizza and a coke are great for dinner or perhaps something in between? Do you drink alot? If so, is it beer, regular cocktails, exotic cocktails or perhaps wine? Do you enjoy watersports? Are you interested in taking guided tours, day sails, snorkel or scuba trips? Do you plan to rent a car or take taxis to get around the island? All of these activities have various costs involved and what you spend will depend on your particular level of comfort. What may seem reasonable to me may not be for you. As a general guideline you are going to find prices are probably a little higher than you'll find "back home" if you live in the suburbs but probably comparable to what you'd spend at any good resort or big city near where you live.
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Old Oct 12th, 2005, 04:59 PM
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Hi CC,

There are a number of options at the Marriott for meals including a breakfast package which is what we had. If you tend to eat a later breakfast, it's almost enough to get you through until dinner. Very well presented and spotless, with an omelette and waffle station, fresh fruit, hot dishes, cereal, yogurt, bagels and pastries.

There's a very nice deli that serves salads, sandwiches and pizza all day, and also has wine, beer and soft drinks. The outdoor cafe poolside is open for lunch and dinner but I wouldn't recommend it for dinner.

The Portofino restaurant was fine for dinner and midrange to expensive depending on the entree (pasta--$17 to lobster-$45)...much as you would find at any resort. We also used room service for the days we had a late lunch and just wanted something light for dinner. The service was extremely good-- prompt, and formal, even for a clubhouse sandwich and beer!

There are other dining options on the island if you rent a car or use taxis. If you are there for 2 weeks you may want to look at the cost for a rental for only a few days each week to give you an option for dining and beaches. I think our rental was $65/day but we had a discount on our tour package.

They have a convenient car rental agency at the Marriott which is what we used and were quite happy with. The island is less developed than some and therefore quite easy to do a "drive/see" in a day. There's a grocery nearby where we stocked up on iced tea etc as there are bar fridges in the room.

If you have snorkel equipment take it with you since you can use it from the beach at the resort. I used water shoes and it helped as the shoreline is rocky in spots.

Take advantage of the shuttle to Willemstaad but book it ahead as it gets busy. There is not much to see in the town besides the postcard water view and Kura Hulanda, but it is worth a trip. It's not a shopping destination though. I think the taxi from the Marriott into town was $10. The taxi stand is near the shuttle drop off if you want to go back to the hotel earlier.

We really loved our stay at the Curacao Marriott and would highly recommend an ocean view room. The rooms are well appointed, and everything we needed was provided, always with a smile.

As far as excursions, the activities desk at the hotel seemed more than happy to make arrangements for those who were interested. I can't help you much with those since it was more of a relax and read type vacation for us, but there were all sorts of people who spent the days diving and only showed up at Happy Hour! Most people took advantage of that since the tropical drinks were in the $5 range.

Hope that helps you with some aspects of your budget. I might suggest you think about only going for one week unless you got an incredible deal. The Marriott is a wonderful resort but I think the island itself is limited in variety and activities unless you are a diver, though admittedly we could have seen much more than we did.

In any case, you will have a relaxing and romantic time!
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Old Oct 13th, 2005, 02:39 AM
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Thank you all for your help. We are divers so the main reason we are there is to dive. But I also want to soak up the culture. I heard it was carnival time during the days we are there. We really don't eat fancy, so the breakfast and dinner idea is a good one. Can you bring food from the US into Curacao? Are there "american" snacks avaliable there? So maybe my folding cooler is a good idea also. Is there a good selection of liquor (name brands) on the island. The less to carry there is better. I have my cooler mugs so we can make drinks in the room and carry the to the pool for lounging. I read somewhere the Marriott has an all-inclusive option avaliable. Does any one know of the cost upgrade? Thanks for all your help!
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Old Oct 13th, 2005, 05:33 AM
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I was at the Curacao Marriott in March and loved it. However, I would not do the inclusive plan, a large part of the appeal of Curacao is all the great restaurants. We bought snacks and drinks at the large, well supplied grocery store in town and kept the stuff in the refrigerator in our room. I would highly recommend renting a car to explore and go back and forth to all the restaurants, maybe not for the entire two weeks but for at least a week. You are also within walking distance of a number of restaurants -- the Hilton is right next door, the Floris Suites across the street and Hook's Hut is nearby. We did not find Curacao to be really expensive but we are used to Philadelphia restaurant prices. Most of our nice dinners ran around $125 including a bottle of wine. We loved the Kura Hulanda complex, wonderful atmosphere, very interesting restored buildings.
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Old Oct 13th, 2005, 07:57 AM
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Hi CC,

I always carry a thermal mug for poolside...addicted to iced tea. Bring a corkscrew as well if you don't make a habit of it when travelling...just not in your carry on!

There's no problem with bringing packages of snacks in your suitcase but the grocery is very good and you'll have no problem finding familiar brands. Likewise with the liquor which was fairly reasonable.

As mentioned, there is no reason to do an AI there as the restaurants are very good elsewhere. I would think the breakfast plan would be worthwhile if you wanted to look into that.

We liked Floris Suites across the road (outdoor dining) and heard wonderful things about Landhuis Daniel but didn't have a chance to visit this time. Lunch at the Kura Hulanda complex was fabulous, as was the site itself.

Since you dive you will have a terrific time for your two weeks, discovering all the different beaches on the island. Don't miss the Boca Tabla sea caves. It's a wonderful spot to explore for an hour or two.

Happy Anniversary!

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Old Oct 13th, 2005, 10:25 AM
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I have to disagree on the dining at Portofino Resurant at the Marriott. It was well below average in quality of preparation, taste and service. The only yjing that was good was the presentation. But yo cannot eat preparation.
We has 1 appetizer, 2 different entrees and 1 glass of wine each and the tab was $70-$75USD for 2.

With so many reserurants in the $50-$100/ couple price range Portofino is one to miss. LaRousse is outstanding, Le Chousand (spelling?), Kura Haulanda, Floris Suites and Avalon are far better.
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Old Oct 14th, 2005, 06:49 AM
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The Portofino was not 4* dining to be sure, but the convenience, airconditioning and varied menu were qualities that apppealed to us.

Our second evening dining there we sent back a meal since the fish wasn't prepared as described. The chef came out with two new dishes and apologized profusely. Another evening though was quite good, but the fact it can be uneven would mean you wouldn't want to have all your meals there.

The seafood entree was around $21 each, the appetizer about $10 and with wine the dinner was certainly not inexpensive. But there are the salad/pasta selections that are less costly.

I wouldn't completely rule out dining there, especially if you need to factor in a taxi ride or other costs just to eat off property.
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