Come to Curaçao, just off the Venezuelan coast, for Caribbean island life with a Dutch twist. The accommodation options range from budget-friendly homestays to luxe apartments, so whatever your style, there’s a hotel to suit you here.
Curaçao is the largest of the group of islands making up the Leeward Antilles. Most of the accommodation lies in and around Willemstad, the picturesque capital whose colorful, historical façades and liberal, easygoing atmosphere make it something of an “Amsterdam in the Caribbean.”
On the southern edge of Willemstad, in the beachside suburb of Jan Thiel, the simple charm and practical yet immaculate rooms of Adonai come with a small swimming pool, terrace and well-tended gardens. The shared lounge and kitchen make it a particularly convivial choice for travelers, while the personable host’s enthusiastic hospitality adds the feel and vibe of a cozy homestay.
Sitting on a small headland overlooking Caracas Bay, these modern suites and condos occupy a clutch of low-rise buildings almost lapped by the limpid Caribbean. Pitched roofs, balconies and a gleaming-gold paint scheme offset a slightly utilitarian look. Some accommodation faces inland towards a marina, while the pool and deck have a view of a small harbor inlet. All suites have kitchens, with the pricier ones boasting jacuzzis, too.
The intricate convoluted coastline of Spanish Water, a marina-dotted harbor, is riddled with coves, slender peninsulas and little headlands; the four two-bedroom apartments at Luxury have partly colonized one of the latter. Each pair shares a palm-fringed swimming pool and an idyllic jetty for boat access. The well-equipped accommodation is bright, modern and spacious. Terraces come with awnings, and the cul-de-sac location means these apartments are particularly quiet and traffic-free.
About one-third of a mile (.5km) inland from Spanish Water at Jan Thiel, this smart modern villa comprises two well-appointed ground-floor apartments and a slick first-floor penthouse. A spacious terrace accommodates a pool, with thatched palapas, or pavilions, at each end lending an appealing though slightly incongruous international look. It’s available as a whole – say for families or groups of friends needing all seven bedrooms – or individually, almost like a mini-resort.
At first glance, the cluster of candy-colored little cottages and houses resemble a children’s theme park, but this supremely quirky property used to be the island’s famous Ritz ice-cream factory. Reimagined as much as restored, Curaçao’s “only real hostel” comprises two- and four-person dorms with flexible booking options for more privacy. Together with the adjoining sister hotel, the village-like complex with a poolside movie screen feels a bit like a cartoon but almost resembles a film set.
In a quiet residential neighborhood in Willemstad, O Casarão features simple, comfortable rooms with the feel of an intimate homestay. The slightly elevated location beside a small hill lends city views from a cool and spacious veranda filled with wicker furniture and a long wooden table. Studios and suites have kitchenettes, while the pool and terrace feature shady sail-like awnings and barbecue grills.
Sitting inside a converted, one-time parliament building, Bed and Bike has a range of private rooms and dormitories infused with a cheery youthful vibe and the trademark “colortopia” of the island. It lies just on the edge of the lively and historic Pietermaai quarter of Willemstad and encourages you to explore the city, if not the island, on rental bikes. Communal kitchens and a simple restaurant and lounge area help enhance the convivial atmosphere.