More about Lodge Kura Hulanda & Beach Club
Loved Lodge Kura Hulanda
Our trip to Curacao exceeded our expectations. Our only regret was that we didn't stay longer. Lodge Kura Hulanda was fabulous! Although it is on the northern tip of the island, if you are interested in a relaxing vacation, this is the place to be.
Rodger and Etsel (the bartenders) were wonderful! They kept us entertained in the evening and would create drinks that were always perfect.
I expected the food on the island to be a little more Caribbean in nature, but it was average at best. Based on reviews we read on Tripadvisor we decided to get a rental car and we were happy that we did. It is worth the cost, but their gas is very expensive, but cab rides are even more expensive.
At the last minute we decided to upgrade from a garden view room to a garden view suite. The garden view suite exceeded our expectations. The rooms were clean, spacious and modern. It had a patio that was set up like a huge outdoor living area. We packed snacks and bottled water for the trip and the efficiency kitchen was the perfect place for our food items.
The grounds are clean and beautiful and the staff was courteous. We will definitely return.
Kura Hulanda Museum
A fascinating and visceral approach to understanding the history of slavery in the Netherland Antilles, the Kura Hulanda is a museum of anthropology. Its downside is that it presents a confusing variety of subjects, from the prehistory of early man to pre-Columbian gold crafts. However, the most notable exhibit of the museum is the history of the slave trade in the region. Torture devices, metal restraints, and even the belly of a galleon carry slaves is exhibited poignantly. It is one thing to read about slavery, but another thing to experience it first hand by handling the manacles that were used to bind people and sitting on a reconstructed platform below the decks of a slave ship. The platform "beds" were eerily reminiscent of those built in the concentration camps of Auschwitz.
Museums and Parks
There were several museums and parks in Curacao which we were not able to see due to the shortness of our visit. One museum recommended was the Kura Hulanda which offered exhibits such as the Lands of Abraham, the Black Holocaust, Pre-Columbian Gold, and Contemporary Art among others.
Of note would be the museum's exhibit on Anne Frank. Many of Curacao's early settlers were Jewish (Sephardic) and an important part of local history .
Kura Hulanda Museum- a must see
This is a must see when you go to Willemstad. The museum is located in many different buildings and its is absolutely beautiful. The museum spans ancient history to mostly slave history and specifically slaves in Curacao. You could potentially spend a lot of time here or not much time at all. There is a gift shop, sculpture garden, coffee shop and cafe area.
Off the beaten path - well allmost
Otrabanda, meaing 'other side' is literally located on the other side of the harbor. Even though some of the main cruise liners dock near the riffort village there are plenty of shops that offer some local flavour.
Worth a visit is Kura Hulanda. A renovated area made by Dutch businessman and filantropist Jacob Gelt Dekker. There are shops, restaurants and a five-star hotel as well as a museum and usually some exhibitions. Many shops have local music and woodcraft. In the more touristic shops around the Brionplein the prices are also higher but the local shops can be found on the Breedestraat.
Quiet, relaxing beautiful seaside resort
We started our trip in town at the Hotel Kura Hulanda, which is quiet and beautiful, but had the feel of being in a gated compound. When we arrived at the Lodge Kura Hulanda, we welcomed the openness and remoteness of the this hotel. The resort is about a 45 minute drive from Willemstad to the cactus strewn north end of the island. The area is low key with a couple small restaurants offering local fare which most all look out at the incredible teal sea. We appreciated the isolation of the hotel where those looking for nightlife may be disappointed. The lodge has a nice pool, and a small but picturesque pristine beach with incredible snorkeling a few fin kicks away. Renting a snorkel set is $7 a day so bring your own if you plan to snorkel often. I don’t dive but those that did said the easy shore entry and underwater sights were incredible. Ocean Encounters is the dive shop right on the premises.
Our upstairs oceanfront room was perched on the cliffs and was nicely furnished and included a balcony to sit out on and view the ocean. Lower oceanfront offer private patios. The room was equipped with a small kitchen area stocked with utensils, small stovetop, microwave and coffeemaker. The lodge store has limited food supplies so if you want to do any food preparation, plan ahead and pick up supplies on your way to the lodge. The two restaurants onsite offer good food with great presentation and service. There is a beach café which was fantastic for lunch and drinks during the day. The beach café staff were a treat. The Caribbean buffet offered one evening, was simply incredible. Local dishes and fresh fish grilled to order outdoors under a warm starry night was fabulous. Like the Hotel Kura Hulanda, the theme is very quiet and relaxing. Music is soft. No party atmosphere or nightlife.
You can visit nearby spectacular beaches one after another. Most offer some facilities like a beach cafe and palapas for shade. Santa Maria Beach has a snorkeling trip to some spectacular caves and kayaks to rent. Little Knip is gorgeous. Mambo Beach in the south end of the island is the happening beach with lots of action. You would need a rental car for anything outside the lodge. However, you may not want to leave this paradise once you get there.
I would not recommend either Kura Hulanda hotels for children, although we did see a few. Check out the Marriott or Sunset Waters where kids will feel more comfortable to be free.
We would definitely return to the Lodge Kura Hulanda.
Well-designed resort, outstanding snorkeling, & attentive staff
Annoyed at being bumped to the Lodge from another overbooked resort, being city people, we had concerns about boredom at the lodge's remote location on the far west end of the island. Our fears were completely unfounded.
Lodge Kura Hulanda is the perfect place to get away from it all. We'd planned to get about the island more, but the resort was so appealing that we opted for a more relaxing holiday than we'd originally planned.
It has a great layout, and the suites are well-designed and maintained. Our ocean-front suite had beautiful views. We ate breakfast on its sizable patio, and being on the west end of the island, the sunsets are absolutely stunning! We loved the fact that there was local wildlife flitting about - this added to the charm of the Lodge for us.
The snorkeling here was outstanding. We loved the intimacy of the small beach, and enjoyed seeing the incredible variety of aquatic life by snorkeling through clear azure waters. The rocks/coral beach is worth it for the amazing array of fish, turtles, and octopi you can see by snorkeling straight from the beach.
Rounding out the experience -- the staff were fantastic. You can imagine that having been advised only 2 weeks before our trip that we were being bumped from another hotel, we arrived with something of a chip on our shoulder. The staff's patience, attentiveness, and enthusiasm completely turned around our experience. They were phenomenal!
We've been singing the Lodge's praises ever since we got back. We highly recommend the Lodge -- also its in town sister hotel is quite lovely -- next time we would be inclined to split our time with a couple days in town, and the rest at the Lodge.
Fantastic hotel, great staff, beautiful location, best place on the island...
My husband and I have just returned from a 2 week vacation to Curacao. We spent our first week in the Lodge at Kura Hulanda and had a fantastic week, everything about the hotel was wonderful. Initially we were a little nervous as we had read a few reviews on here that weren't as positive but we lliked the look of the place so much we booked it and we are so glad we spent the full week here. We had an Ocean front studio which was just fabulous. The room was huge with an unbelievable view of the ocean, outside patio area and an outside sun chair area as well.
The staff at the Lodge were all superb, from check in to the restaurants and the bar, they were all so friendly at all times. We found service to be the perfect pace, being European I think we tend to take longer over meal times so it suited us just perfectly. The food was really nice, we ate in the different restaurants there and thought all the food was excellent. The beach bar during the day was great for lunch too. The beach was also nice to sit by during the day, the snorkelling was brilliant as the reef is quite close to the beach.
We did our PADI course at the dive centre near the Lodge and had a great experience there too, the centre is absolutely five star, the teaching was really excelllent and to be able to learn while diving from the shore was perfect.
We would definitely stay at the Lodge again in the future, we split the rest of our weeks stay at the Kura Hulanda hotel and the Marriott and were pretty disappointed after such a wonderful time at the Lodge, particularly in the Marriott. We definitely thought the Lodge was the best hotel of the three...
Beautiful and quiet
My wife and I recently returned from a short trip to the Kura Hulanda Beach Club (5 days in late June 2006). We had a wonderful time at the hotel and would recommend it to many other people, depending somewhat on their vacation preferences. We especially appreciated the great snorkeling in the house reef just a few feet away from the beach and the quiet, laid back & secluded nature of the resort.
We found the rooms well maintained and in near new condition. The house staff, and the islanders in general, were friendly and helpful. The location (Westpunt) is about 30 minutes drive from the airport and 45 minutes from the downtown or historic sections of Willemstadt. The hotel was probably about half full during our stay and therefore particularly quiet, but we don't imagine that it would feel crowded or rushed even with all the rooms full. There is little activity after sunset, so if you're looking for an active nightlife this is not the place to come. If you're looking for a beautiful place to lay around, taking an occasional dip in the water to see the fishes and forget the rest of the world, this is a pretty good place to visit. Guests were about 50/50 American / European and included a mix of older couples, younger couples, and younger couples with small children.
The house beach is a short strip of sand perhaps 7 meters wide and 75 meters long that becomes pebbly right before the water line - bring your water shoes. There were plenty of beach chairs and shade umbrellas and we were not bothered by any vendors selling beach souvenirs or the like. Beach chairs might be at a bit more of a premium if the hotel were fully occupied. There is a shallow (1 - 4 meters deep) reef that extends about 60 meters out from shore, at which point it slopes down more steeply and you'd need scuba equipment to follow. The shallow reef makes for great snorkeling, the best we've ever encountered right off of a hotel beach, but would make ordinary swimming and running around in the surf more difficult. The beach is well protected and the water was calm enough for swimming and snorkeling throughout our stay, despite heavy surf on other parts of the island.
Pool - looks nice, didn't try it. Exercise room - looks nice, didn't try it. Internet connection - quite fast from the two public use computers in the business center. Dive shop - chatted with the staff, seem nice & competent.
The hotel restaurants are okay but nothing to get excited about. The only other local restaurant of note, Jaanchies, had better seafood and considerably more local character than the hotel. We felt that the paucity of dining options would become annoying over a longer stay, but didn't bother us during our 5 nights. However, if fine dining is important to your vacation experience this isn't quite the place for you.
The weather was quite nice throughout our stay, the temperatures were high but the humidity was low and a gentle to moderate breeze was blowing most of the time. Although the breeze was a bit of an annoyance when reading or eating ourdoors it quite effectively keeps the bugs away so we had no need for insect repellent at any time.
Get a rental car, much more cost effective and useful than taxis or transfers.
The island has lots of other nice beaches, we liked Lagun (great snorkeling, close to the hotel) and Porta Marie (lots of nice sand, pretty good snorkeling).
Don't fly through Puerto Rico if you can help it - terrible service & many cancelled flights
Don't fly through Miami if you can help it (but preferable to Puerto Rico), miserable airport & lots of lost luggage
As a gay couple my partner and I were a bit nervous about staying in the Caribbean. The Kura Hulanda Hotel ended up being the perfect choice for us! The entire staff was friendly, comfortable taking pictures of us, and were quite respectful of our romantic vacation. For weeks before our trip I have been reading reviews about this hotel -- most of the complaints you will see in other reviews did not seem to affect us. The weather was PERFECT high of 90's during the day with a constant breeze. At night it cools off substantially to the point where we did not use AC. It rained twice during the week for less than twenty minutes each time. We had no problem with insects at all -- there were dragon flies all over the property but we found that to be festive and not really bothersome. The property itself is lovely. They have planted tons of flowers, trees, and exotic plants. At night just walking the property is an event in itself. The beach is perfect, it is quite rocky so I do suggest bringing beach shoes for swimming but once you enter the ocean it is simply heaven. We spent most of our days snorkeling and laying out while sipping a frosty beverage that is served right at your beach chair.
I happen to be pretty picky when it comes to hotel rooms. We choose the one bedroom ocean suite. The room was perfect, an AMAZING view of the ocean. A private outdoor shower. A large bathroom with a substantial tub -- I am 6'6 so any tub I can take a bath in gets my vote. The living room is simple -- lots of storage, a nice kitchenette -- but we spent most of our time out of the room.
We opted for the all inclusive plan. The restaurants on property are fairly expensive, so we prefer to just be done with it before we get there. My advice with food is to stick with basics. We are giving them a solid B+ for food. In truth the service is slow, but its vacation, where are you going? Some dinners were amazing and some were nice -- all in all I was pleased. A good example would be the first night we ordered dirty martinis -- they told us they were not quite sure how to make them and seemed quite enthusiastic about learning -- they brought two martini glasses with vodka and olive oil -- by the third attempt we just moved to wine :-). What impressed me the most was the next morning at breakfast the Manager came over and said: " I hear you requested a drink and please let me know what it is, I assure you by dinner we will have it made correctly." We never complained and yet they were right on it -- great service!
All in all our vacation was spectacular! The beach the pool the energy of the entire property is well worth it. We highly recommend it and will surely be back. For other gay travelers we found the hotel listed on lots of gay websites so its a friends environment for all!
House in Willemstad, needing badly renovation
Kura Hulanda Hotel in Curacao
Has anybody stayed at the Kura Hulanda Hotel? I'm thinking about taking my family there (2 adults, 2 children - 12 & 6). I was just wondering if the pools, museum, and restaurants would be suitable for children.
Also, are there any rooms with kitchen facilities, or 2-bedroom suites? I can't seem to find any information about room layouts.
Any information is greatly appreciated.
Kura Hulanda Hotel for kids?
My husband, myself and two children, ages 6 and 12, are planning a trip to Curacao during the summer of 2004. Has anyone stayed at the Kura Hulanda Hotel? Is it a place to bring children?
My kids are pretty much satisfied with a pool to swim in, and a beach to go to occasionally.
Also, are there any two bedroom suites?
Any information is greatly appreciated.
Re: Kura Hulanda Hotel for kids?
Kura Hulanda is the best hotel I have stayed in the Caribbean, it is awesome! Now the fact is it is not really a children place, you can bring them over there no worries, but keep in mind you don't have a beach access, but a shutlle to the beach. You have 2 nice pools... The good thing about this hotel is that you fell at home in a little village, you can walk downtown and they have 3 fantastic restaurants... The decoration of each room is fantastic! A must!
Re: Kura Hulanda Hotel for kids?
I live on the island so I never stayed at the hotel. But I have been there a lot. It is the nicest place around. But children I do not know.No beaches around. But very wel located and good restaurants.
mosquitoes + hotels
I'm planning to travel to Curacao in early July.
What is the mosquito situation at that time of year? Are repellents, mosquito nets, etc. required? Any difference between Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao in terms of mosquitoes in July?
Also, I'm thinking of staying at Kura Hulanda - a few days at the Hotel and a few days at the (beachfront) Lodge. Any opinions?
Thanks in advance!
RE: mosquitoes + hotels
Honestly, I've never had a problem during any time of year in the A-B-C islands. The near-constant trade winds usually keep all the little pests away. If you or anyone else has experienced problem with mosquitos, I'd be curious to know under what conditions/season.
RE: mosquitoes + hotels
O, well, we DO have mosquitos here...but, indeed, the trade winds blow them away, most of the time. Some people may suffer more then others, we blame it on their 'sweeter blood'. If you're staying at Kura Hulanda you will surely have an airconditioned room, so you won't feel the bother sleeping. Be sure to bring along your favorite repellant, or else you can buy them here at the supermarkets and drugstores, and most hotel stores.
Kura Hulanda is, in my opinion, the tops. The Otrobanda-located hotel is at walking distance of most interesting points, and in the middle of local life. The Westpunt-located lodge is nearby the fisherman's harbour of Playa Kalki and Westpunt Beach, and in the countryside, amidst nature and tranquility.
If you need more information, feel free to mail me!
RE: RE: RE: mosquitoes + hotels
Are you kidding me ? No mozzies in the ABC !!!! I have been to Caymans, St Lucia, Bahamas, Dom Rep, Puerto Rico, St John, St Thomas, St Maarten, Bermuda and Trinidad and I PROMISE YOU the bugs in Curacao are far far far worse than anywhere else. At night, without spray YOU WILL BE BITTEN. A LOT (and my wife who has "sweet blood" was bitten even with spray).
I was there in November so maybe you'll be OK in July but that would be hard to believe.
on the plus side we stayed at the kura hulanda beach club and it was great but out of the way. when we went into the city, the city hotel let us use their pool and shower in their spa (you need to ask at the reception at the beach club for them to get a green light on this). the pool at the city club is a dream after a hots days sight seeing....good luck !