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Help! Can't decide between Curacao or Turks & Caicos

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We are planning a honeymoon for early May and narrowed it down to Turks and Caicos, the Villa Renaissance, or Curacao, staying at the Kula Hulanda Beach Club. We don't want crowded beaches, not interested in all-inclusive, and not too concerned with clubs/nightlife, as it will be our honeymoon. We do want to relax, some exursions like a boat-trip, snorkeling, good food, etc. Does anyone rate one island/resort over the other? We really appreciate any input! Thank you!

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    How curious (to me anyway) that you've narrowed it down to those two islands. They're so different. I've been to both although I did not stay at those particular resorts.

    Here are some comparisons (all personal opinions of course):

    Beaches and water:
    --T&C's beaches are long (you can walk and walk and walk.. ), soft white sand, incredibly beautiful blue calm waters. We did a boat tour to nearby cays and it was fantastic. Curacao's beaches are not that long (at least the ones I've seen), beautiful blue calm water. Most of Curacao's beaches are rocky. Both offer snorkeling. I actually did not snorkel that much so I don't think I can give you a fair assessment of which island is better. Because of the rocky beaches in Curacao, I have to give the edge to T&C.

    Island beauty:
    --I didn't find either island to be pretty. For me, island beauty is lush natural scenery that just make you go "wow". In Curacao, I did find the homes with Dutch architecture very pretty. The beauty of T&C is all in its beaches.

    --I give the edge to T&C. Lots of great restaurants with great food to chose from. In Curacao, we experienced only one great dinner, the other restaurants were okay or good.

    Crowded beaches:
    --Well, I went at different times to both islands. We were in Curacao in high season (February). We noted a lot of tourists (nice mixture of Latin Americans, Europeans and Americans). We were in T&C during low season (October) so there was barely anyone there (appeared to be mainly Americans). My sense is that T&C is the least touristy island, but that's just a sense not based on any facts/numbers.

    Stuff to do:
    --Much more to do in Curacao. You can go see the Hato Caves, walk around town to see those homes with Dutch architecture, etc... T&C is really all about the beaches and water activities, not much else.

    My T&C Trip Report:

    My Curacao Trip Report:

    Hope this helps. If you use the search feature on top of your screen, you can find a lot of posts on those 2 islands.

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    I have been to both islands as well and agree with most of what caribtraveler has posted with the possible exception of the restaurants -- we enjoyed many great meals on Curacao and overall the service was better. We went to T & C several years ago and I have to say that the concept of service had not really yet been learned, we had some of the worst restaurant service ever, maybe it's better now. If you are all about spectacular beaches and water, T & C is the better choice although Curacao's cove beaches are very pretty and the snorkeling is good -- we stayed at the Marriott but when we return we want to try the Kura Hulanda Lodge, it wasn't yet open when we were there. Overall Curacao has more to do and is much more scenic (the city is like a Little Amsterdam) with a very interesting european/caribbean vibe, you feel like you are in a foreign country which you do not get in T & C. Forgive me, T & C fans, but other than the beach and the water, I thought T & C the ugliest island I have ever seen with no obvious culture or charm. Even the palm trees had to be imported, the place looks like the moon due to the limestone. I'm a beach person so despite all that, I still really liked it. Kura Hulanda Lodge will be much more private. If you are looking for one long strip of beach lined with resorts, then choose T & C. If you are looking for an overall destination with pretty beaches, charm, culture and privacy, choose Curacao.

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    Having been to Provo - January '05 (Ocean Club) and Curacao - January '04 (Marriott), agree with much of what's been said. Some other points to consider:

    Retaurants. I thought both islands had good restaurants. In TC you'll probably be with a 5-15 minute cab ride to most restaurants, some within walking distance - at KH Beach club its a good half hour if you go to Willemstead where most of the best restaurants are. Also suggest you check on reviews of the on-site restaurants -since its your honeymoon, you may not want to make much of an effort for dining.

    Snorkeling - Curacao's small beaches are "rocky" due to coral washed ashore. There are lots of small beaches you can visit with very good off shore snorkeling - many near KHBC, but also around the island. For Provo, there's fewer spots with walk in snorkeling - the main one being Smith's reef. Both islands had good boat trip/ snorkel excursions.

    Weather - both are arid islands so should be dry, but Provo is further north (close to Bahamas), Curacao is further south (near Venezuela) - suggest you compare temps, rain, winds in May.

    Scenery - though I really enjoyed Curacao and its Dutch architecture and culture, there are a lot people who are put off by the oil refineries on the island. Probably not a big issue if you are KHBC as they are are closer to Willemstead. Provo seemed more built up with condos, lots of development/construction going.

    If it were me, I'd go with KHBC. Good luck with whatever you choose.

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    We have only stayed at the Marriott on Curacao, so can't tell you anything first hand about Kula Hulanda. We can tell you that we love the island. It offers secluded beaches and is tailored to honeymooners as well as couples who have been married a while. If it's relaxation and privacy you want, you can get it there. There is also an extensive array of dining and entertainment options.
    Curacao is definitely a place I'd want to be!

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    This may be contrary to what others have posted but here goes...I've been to Provo and Curacao both. We stayed at the Curacao Marriott about 5 years ago and visited Provo more recently in 2005. Grace bay beach is beautiful. Long stretch of sand and the water is a beutiful shade of blue. The hotels are lined up on GB but are not close to each other. I am a fan of calm/clear blue water and white sand beaches. Curacao beaches are nice but cannot compare to those on T&C. I also found many of the beaches to be quite crowded on Curacao (which is a real turn off for me). T&C is not a lush island but that was fine by me. It still has an "islandy" feel in my opinion. I thought the Dutch Architecture in Willemstead was very interesting and the shopping was decent however I thought the refinery in the center of town was Very ugly. Overall Curacao is more populated/busy compared to T&C. To me Curacao did not have an islandy feel at all. Driving is a bit more difficult on Curacao than on T&C. The restaurants were good on both islands but as someone pointed out already, they are a bit more difficult to get to on Curacao. If you are looking for some culture then Curacao may be for you however if you are primarily interested in the beaches then Provo wins in my opinion.

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