Where To Stay in Curacao (2021 Guide)

Last Updated:

If you are thinking about booking accommodation in Curacao there are a couple of important considerations. One of the main ones is deciding whether you want to stay in the somewhat touristy areas like many in the capital Willemstad, or head out a little farther to an Airbnb in a more subdued environment.

Some of the local neighborhoods away from the lively areas, like the much less populated city of Sint Michiel Liber, are more on the quiet side.

Either way, another thing you might want to consider is hiring your own transportation. The island is relatively small, but taxis can work out on the expensive side as they don’t have any meters. And you can’t rely too heavily on public transportation if you want to make your way around Curacao as and when it suits you.

The Best Places to Stay in Curacao – Tips and Advice

  • Which areas in Curacao are best: The capital Willemstad has a population of over 100,000 so the central regions of the city, along with the surrounding areas will offer the widest choice of attractions. Its Old Town area is actually designated as a World Heritage site.
  • Pietermaai is great if you want color and vibrancy, for instance, and Mambo Beach and Boulevard is ideal for aquariums and beach bars.
  • Jan Thiel is the area for sports, windsurfing, and beach bars. Willemstad is divided into 2 areas, Punda and Otrobanda. They are separated by water, connected by a bridge, and are great to explore on foot.
  • Sabana Westpunt on the other hand is a much less-populated region of the island and is all about quiet and sparsely populated beaches, coves, swimming, snorkeling, and nature reserves. You could easily spend an entire day in one of the National Parks and won’t get bored of being outdoors in this stunning region of Curacao.
  • The busiest beach on the island is easily Blue Bay. It is an area of the island swathed in stretches of white sand, with pristine, clear blue water and plenty of swaying tropical palm trees. It
  • Staying in Curacao on a budget: The key to saving money in Curacao is to stay in any of the budget hotels, guest houses, or hostels. There are only a few hostels, with prices ranging somewhere between $25 and $60 depending on the size of the room.
  • It’s worth shopping around when it comes to the apartments and hotels though. Some of these places offer great deals on accommodation price-wise if you don’t mind making a few comparisons beforehand. Also, there are plenty of Airbnbs with shared accommodation from upwards of $25.
  • And if it’s possible to make the trip during the off-peak period between May and November, you could find some of the hotel rates discounted by as much as 50%.

The formerly obscure island of Curacao is rapidly becoming more and more of a popular vacation destination. Located off the coast of Venezuela in the South of the Caribbean, Curacao is easy to access from mainland America.

The island is only around an hour southeast of the more well-known Aruba, and along with Bonaire, Curacao makes up a trilogy of the Antilles in the same region of the Caribbean.

With its tropical climate, untouched nature spots, pristine beaches, and variety of water sports, this picturesque and versatile little island provides a wide array of attractions.

Alongside the tropical backdrop, you’ll find contrasting historic colonial architecture, museums, and aquariums — a combination that makes Curacao an ideal getaway location!

Curacao Neighbourhood Guide

The 5 Best Areas To Stay In Curacao

1. Pietermaai

pietermaai

This is a lively and trendy neighborhood in Curacao that has undergone extensive renovation over recent years. Pietermaai is culturally rich, a fact which is immediately obvious from the colorful, historic architecture surrounded by cafes, restaurants, and bars.

As it is close to the city center you won’t find any public beaches in this particular area, but you will encounter plenty of eateries and nightlife. There is also a fair choice when it comes to accommodation, from luxury resorts with private beaches to boutique hotels and Airbnb-type apartments.

Hotels:

  • ($$$) Scuba Lodge & Suites • 20 mins from Hato International Airport, 3.2 km from Willemstad Floating Market and 10 mins from aquarium and maritime museums
  • ($$) BOHO Bohemian Boutique Hotel • 9 km from Curacao International Airport, 2.7 km from Seaquarium Beach
  • ($) The Academy Hotel • 10 km from Hato International Airport

Hostels:

AirBnB:

2. Mambo Beach and Boulevard

mambo beach and boulevard

Some of Curacao’s most popular attractions are located in this area of Willemstad, including the Sea Aquarium, and Mambo Beach Boulevard. Here you will also encounter some of the best and most frequented beach bars in Curacao as well as some of the liveliest beach parties.

If beach bars are not your only point of interest then you’ll be happy to know that the area also boasts a range of restaurants and shops. Then there is Mambo Beach itself, with its pristine beach and clear, blue water if you fancy putting your feet up on one of the many beach beds.

This region of Curacao is ideal for singles, couples, and families alike, and again you’ll find plenty of choice here in terms of accommodation.

Hotels:

  • ($$$) LionsDive Beach Resort • 5 mins Willemstad Center, 20-minute drive Hato International Airport
  • ($$$) BijBlauw • 500 m from the beach, 20 mins drive from Hato International Airport
  • ($$) Dolphin Suites • 11 km Curacao International Airport

Hostels:

The only hostels close to this area of Curacao are the ones previously listed for the Pietermaai district, but they are still in close proximity to Mambo Beach. However, the Bed & Bike Hostel has proved to be a very popular choice due to the free bicycle that it provides to every guest. Ideal for those traveling on a budget!

AirBnB:

3. Westpunt

westpunt

The name, which is close to its English meaning ‘West Point’, is something of a giveaway regarding the location of this particular area of Curacao. This is a quiet and somewhat more remote region than the others covered so far, and is actually the furthest point northwest on the island.

You can get here in a 40-minute drive from Willemstad, and you may find the trip worth it for the unspoiled beaches, coves, and nature reserves that make Westpunt ideal for a day trip.  The best-known beaches in the area go by the names ofKenepa Grandi and Kenepa Chiki — more affectionately known by locals respectively as ‘Big Knip’ and ‘Little Knip’. Bring your snorkelling gear!

Hotels:

Hostels:

Again there don’t appear to be any hostels closer to Westpunt than the previously listed ones closer to Willemstad.

AirBnB:

4. Jan Thiel

jan thiel

If you head over to the southeast region of Curacao you’ll find yourself in the rather more populated Jan Thiel District. You may notice the prominent volumes of traffic due to a somewhat limited infrastructure leading into Jan Thiel — i.e. only one road. So this is a popular area with plenty to do by way of outdoor sports and activities like cycling and jogging.

You’ll also find a fair bit of watersports like windsurfing and snorkeling in the nearby Caracas Bay. But if you are not exactly the active type then the beach is also perfect for lounging and relaxing, and there are plenty of beach bars and restaurants to choose from as well as a few local historical attractions.

Hotels:

Hostels:

There are actually 2 ‘Bed & Bike’ Hostels in Curacao within proximity of Jan Thiel, with the nearest being just over 1 km away and the other at around 5 km.

  • ($$) Bed & Bike • 14 km from Curacao International Airport/

AirBnB:

  • ($$) Palapa Beach Resort • 1.4 km from Jan Thiel Beach, 15 km from Curacao International Airport
  • ($) Villa Sol Paraiso • 14 km from Curacao International Airport
  • ($) Jan Thiel • 14 km from Curacao International Airport

5. Pundra and Otrobanda

pundra and otrobanda

Pundra and Otrobanda literally translate as ‘main point (or city)’ and ‘the other side’, which is basically what you have here in these 2 areas of the capital of Curacao. The Queen Emma Bridge, which dates back to 1888, connects the 2 districts. It is a pedestrian-only affair which means that both areas can easily be explored on foot.

Here you won’t find any shortage of cafes, restaurants, or bars, and there are also museums, shops, designer boutiques, nightlife, and a fair bit of historical architecture to take in.

Hotels:

Hostels:

Yep, you guessed it – the Bed & Bike Hostel is your best bet if you are in the Punda or Otrobanda vicinities. The nearest of the two is 0.8 km and the furthest is 7 km.

AirBnB:

Conclusion

So if tropical islands with a bit of colonial styling to boot is your thing, then you’ll find that the island of Curacao is right up your street. Unless of course you just want to escape the crowds and kick back on a pristine beach all day — which of course you’ll have ample opportunity to do in some regions of this scenic little destination.

Or maybe you need a mix of beaches, shopping and lively nightlife — again you won’t be disappointed! So here’s a brief summary of the highlights of all the angles that might help you decide on the absolute best place to stay on your trip to Curacao.

Best Hotels By Type:

  • LionsDive Beach Resort the best luxury hotel in Curacao for its own private beach set in an underwater National Park
  • BOHO Bohemian Boutique Hotel is one of the best in Curacao for its style, quality, and location
  • The 19th-century building that is the Academy Hotel in the center of Punda is undoubtedly one of the best cheap hotels in Curacao
  • The best family hotel in Curacao could well be the Dolphin Suites with its pools, mid-priced accommodation, location, and proximity to 2 of the cities main aquariums
  • The best romantic hotel in Curacao — assuming you won’t be sparing any expense — could well be the LionsDive Beach Resort, with its own private beach and endless list of amenities to ensure that wellbeing goes hand-in-hand with the romance