Just wanted to share with everyone a great vacation spot that doesn't seem to get much press...Curacao. My wife and I were looking for a place to enjoy our annual rewards trip and I came across Curacao in the Marriott catalog of resorts. Wow, what a treat! Pros of hotel: Great beach, clear warm water, great snorkeling/scuba, great pool, great service, easy cab ride to anywhere on the island. Things to note about Curacao: The island itself is arid and similar to the Southwestern US, so don't go looking for a tropical island. The water and beaches are like that of anywhere in the Carribean though...excellent. the people of Curacao are all English speakers and extremely friendly.
Food - The food at every restaurant was excellent, especially the Friday night Fish Market at Mambos.
Golf - Golf was so so at the only course on the island. Had the fairways been greener it would have been excellent. It is a beautiful course situated on the ocean with amazing crystal clear water below...bring a camera. When I went the fairways were in need of watering, but I could imagine this as a world class course with good maintenance.
Shopping - In town is great for tax-free shopping. Watches and jewelry are great deals. Electronics are really no less except when you factor in no tax.
Activities - There are plenty of things to do on the island: Sequarium, best dolphin show ever, better than Sea World and you sit very close. The Seaquarium is really small but offer alot. Aquariums themselves are nothing special, but the Dolphin show, Shark feeding, close encounters animal experiences are second to none..how about snorkeling next to sharks or an open water ocean dive with dolphins. You can google Seaquarium in Curacao to learn more. Caves, there is a cave you can tour. If you like cave tours it's fun. This cave is warm and humid though, as opposed to your typical cold cave, so no need to pack a jacket, you'll be warm in there but it's a good tour. The guides are laid back and friendly. Short tour.
Who would want to go to Curacao - People looking for a relaxing, laid back vacation. Not looking for a ton of adventure and excursions, but more for relaxation with enough activities to knock out one a day for a week. Wonderful scuba and snorkeling and beach/pool lounging. Great restaraunts keep you full every night. There are many great places to each around the island (2 of the best are right near the hotel, one across the street - Sjolette - and one down the road about 1/2 mile - Hooks Hut - request a beach table for dinner)
Definnitley a place to consider for your enxt vacation.
I thoroughly enjoyed Curacao on my brief tour from a cruise ship that also went to Aruba. Although Curacao is more beautiful, Aruba is much safer at night, and the general population is better educated, happier, and friendlier.
I've spent a total of ten weeks over the last 5 years in Aruba, and I'm planning another two week trip this year.