This Dutch Caribbean atoll is full of brain-off, blissful activities, from swimming in hidden beach lagoons to hiking in national parks. But if you fly all the way to Curaçao to hole up in your hotel, we won’t blame you. The island's resorts are so luxe you may never want to leave. Here, our top picks.
Baoase Luxury Resort
Set directly on Mambo Beach, Baoase is your vacay bae, if you will: all 23 rooms feel like private villas, with exposed wood beam ceilings and Balinese-inspired decor, some with plunge pools overlooking the sea. Don’t miss sunrise yoga on the sand, and for those looking to detox, try the hotel’s 3-day cleanse—you may actually return home slimmer than when you left.
Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort
Spread out over 2,000 acres, Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort is the place to stay if you like your beach vacations to be busy. You can golf a Pete Dye-designed course, kayak around local inlets, play tennis on one of only four Hydrogrid clay courts in all of the Caribbean, and get scrubbed down with Curacao liquor and brown sugar at the spa….all without leaving the hotel property.
Renaissance Curacao Resort & Casino
Marriott’s most colorful hotel, Renaissance Curacao Resort & Casino sits within the Technicolor town of Willemstad, and was painted to match the Caribbean—all corals and turquoise blues. There's plenty to keep you entertained onsite, from perusing the hotel's boutiques (including Mont Blanc, Armani Exchange and more) and indulging in the five bars and restaurants to trying your luck at the on-site casino. But we guarantee that the hotel's infinity pool will be your favorite memory from your trip: order the grilled mahi mahi and a watermelon mojito as the sun sets over the se.
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Scuba Lodge & Suites
Scuba Lodge & Suites is consistently ranked among the best in Curacao—and with good reason. With just 28 rooms and 11 apartments housed in restored historic buildings, it has a boutique feel but the amenities of a full-scale resort: towel service at the infinity pool, massages on the sandy beach, and even a team of dive instructors who’ve completed more than 8,000 dives.
Van der Valk Kontiki Beach Resort
Thatched roofs. Private terraces. Rain-showers. Van der Valk Kontiki Beach Resort has all the trappings of a quintessential Caribbean stay. There's also a beauty salon for mani/pedis right on Cabana Beach, loaner canoes and water scooters at the resort’s RonRon Watersports, and beach beds set out on the dock for all-day lounging.
Boutique Hotel 't Klooster
Set in a renovated 1932 Fraters van Zwijsen monastery, in the buzzy Pietermaai District, Boutique Hotel 't Klooster is for those who like to stay close to the action (guests can easily walk to outdoor cafés, restaurants, and high-end boutiques). The clean-lined, high-ceilinged rooms center around a leafy courtyard complete with hammocks and a turquoise plunge pool, and nearly all are fitted with private outdoor showers and a terrace. JS tip: There's no spa, but book an en-suite deep tissue massage the day you land to kick off the vacay right.
Avila Beach Hotel
The Avila Beach Hotel is the perfect choice for travelers looking to add some culture to their beach vacation; the property sits on a quiet lagoon within easy walking distance of Curacao's historical landmarks like the Jewish Cultural Historical Museum, Mikve Israel-Emanuel Synagogue, and Curacao Maritime Museum and Postal Museum. The 143 rooms are outfitted with tufted headboards, oceanfront balconies and bath amenities by Rituals. You can dine at any of the resort's five restaurants, but our favorite is undoubtedly Beach Bar, built to look like a landlocked wooden schooner. Don't miss its extensive coffee menu which goes far beyond Irish—think Mexican (with tequila), French (with Grand Marnier) and, of course, Caribbean (with dark rum…what else?).