Lodge Kura Hulanda & Beach Club
Travel Blogs from Curaçao
... would get a whole apartment for the same price; WOW! not complaining there!
We had a pool in our view, lovely Caribbean breezes day and night, topped off with warm welcoming temperatures around 32 degrees Celcius.
I decided to do some grocery shopping, draw some cash and chill for the rest of the day. Hello Curaçao! :)
My friend, Herman was only to arrive the next day, so I took an early night in, enjoying full custody of the whole apartment!
It's only 30 miles from Aruba so I pictured the ship going in circles since we had all night to get here. We took a 2 hour tour, it was pretty good. Govt is restoring many houses. There used to be a large Jewish population. Willemstad is a World Heritage site. Only 13% income tax. Gas $7 gal. Venezuela rents refinery and makes a fortune but charges ...
... my breakfast over the interactive tv and got much healthier options, ordered for 7.30 to 8am as it's a bit later start.
I have promised myself a video of the Dad Dancing which is on display most evenings by the Passport Bar, I'll have to go ...
... we first narrowed our list down to four different places. Jamaica, Curacao, Grand Cayman and Turks & Caicos. Grand Cayman and Turks are English colonies and would not perform weddings without the proper paperwork. We just wanted a ceremony for us and nothing else, so they were out of the question. Claire had already been to Jamaica and was not ready to go back, so we ended at Curacao. We both did a lot of the research and it is one of the ...
... tourists). The local language is astonishing, many things I can understand from Spanish and German, e.g. Danki, Bushalte, Buon nochi etc. The help of the locals was needed, they have a special bus system and LP (Lonely Planet travel guide) did a very bad job here, hope this might help other travellers who read this blog in the future. Basically there are big busses which ...
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TravelPod Member ReviewsLodge Kura Hulanda & Beach Club Curaçao
Vår fina resorthotell. Perfekt för en smekmånad. Här är utsikten underbar och det är rent och fint. Det är mysigt och vi storttrivs.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Lodge Kura Hulanda & Beach Club Curaçao
Kura Hulanda Lodge isn't your typical vacation spot with the sound of highways, horns, lines of tourist waiting, or fast food restaurants back to back. The only sounds you will hear is the sound of the wind, surf, and the clink of an empty pina colada glass by the pool. Situated at the west end of the island, away from the city of Williamstad it is a place to unwind and capture mental pictures to take home for a lifetime. The waters off the beach are so blue, you would swear they're artificially colored. Each day of our week was sunshine and temps in the high 80's. We rented a garden suit situated on the second floor with a walk out balcony. Each morning you would see dozens of green and yellow parrots flying between the cactus and the tree tops. We had a kitchenette and were able to enjoy coffee and breakfast by ourselves and with high speed in your room - you could touch base with "reality" if you had to with your laptop. Each evening you would find your bed turned back, with a "quote of the day" on your pillow and chocolates to boot. The big choice of the day was whether to sit by the pool or walk down to the beach. The beach has a wonderful grill/bar and drinks and food are brought right to your beach chairs. A dive shop is located just a few feet down the beach for divers. This island offers so many beaches and Kura Hulanda also offers rental cars right on the property - so jump in and visit Knip beach just 15 miles down the road and stop and enjoy all the various restaurants along the way. This island is a cultural experience...unlike other islands that have become tourist traps. The staff were not only friendly, but become part of your family. We have a son with disabilities and by the end of the week most staff knew some sign language. If you visit Curacao be sure to take the day excursion on the SHAMEEZA. Shameeze is a 65 foot sail boat docked at Sunset Waters, just 20 minutes from the Kura Hulanda. You sail from 10 am - midday stopping at several snorkeling beaches, enjoy a lunch onboard the ship and get the island from a whole new perspective. Our day with the SHAMEEZA crew was our favorite day. Various excursions can be booked right in the lobby of the Kura Hulanda. On our last day we waited for our driver to take us to the airport; but never showed. Realizing that we were close to missing our flight back to the US (which wasn't sounding bad to me) a staff person went to management and explained our situation. One of the management personnel jumped in his car and drove us the 35 miles into Williamstad to catch our flight! You don't get personal caring service like that at most establishments and we greatly appreciated their support without having to ask. Peaceful, beautiful, relaxful and enjoyable. We plan to return again as we feel Curacao will soon become an island "discovered".
We stayed at the Lodge for 4 nights and we loved it. We had a first floor oceanfront room with 2 outside sitting areas. We did get bug bites but I think it was mostly from walking in Christoffel Park. It is in the middle of nowhere (unless you live there) but the beach is beautiful and if you have a rental car (which I believe is a must), the island is not that big. There are some other restaurants in the area but largely the lodge is in a remote area. There is supposed to be great diving off the beach but we used a different dive shop and didnt dive at the lodge. We did not experience any of the negatives other people reported in their reviews. I asked about the electrical generator and they did finally get one so we never had electrical problems. There is only one 110V outlet so bring adaptors. Also, bring a clock as the rooms do not have clocks.
The staff was very friendly and helpful. Yes the service was slow in the restaurant but this is the Caribbean so things are slower here. If you want to be served quickly, dont go to the Caribbean. But why would you want fast service-the restaurants have beautiful views and pleasant breezes-enjoy! According to my boyfriend, the Watamula has the best rack of lamb he has ever tasted (I do not like lamb so I didnt taste it). He was so happy with the meal, he went into the kitchen and hugged the chef. There are lizards running around and sometimes they will visit your table.
They are still working on the lodge but overall everything is complete. The rooms are large and comfortable. They come with kitchenettes that are stocked with plates,glasses and silverware. You can wash your own dishes or pay the hotel $10 to wash them for you.
The lodge is a beautiful quiet retreat. If you a looking for wild times, dont stay here. I also would not recommend the lodge for people with young children or teenagers. My boyfriend and I enjoyed the lodge very much and would return tomorrow.
Beautiful but lots of problems
My boyfriend and I stayed at the lodge the second week of January. The island is beautiful and much larger than I expected. There are lots of activities (we hiked, snorkeled, visited Boca Tabla park, went to Willemstad, and explored in general, etc) but you will need a rental car if you want to do any of these activities. In general, I found the roads to be in much better condition than other islands I've visited, so there wasn't really a need for 4x4.
The beach (Playa Kalki) at the Lodge is one of the nicest and is very clean. As for the coral on the beach...there is lots of it and the beaches tend to drop off dramatically once you walk in. We brought water shoes with us, but we didn't end up using them at all. However, if you have sensitive feet, I would recommend bringing them.
The rooms at the hotel are lovely and brand new. The kitchenette is fully stocked (no pots and pans, but they brought them to us when requested) and we generally ate breakfast in our room. The bathrooms have great, very deep, bathtubs (they also have hairdryers). We were on the first floor of the ocean view rooms, which includes a small patio that you walk onto from the room, followed by a larger stone patio just for you. We loved our room and thought it was very comfortable. The maid service was great. One thing to note is that our room did not have an alarm clock or clock of any kind, which would have been nice.
If you are looking for lots of action at night, staying at the lodge is not the right choice. It's very relaxed and truthfully they were only about half full when we were there. It's a great place if you are looking to escape.
Now, for all of the bad things.... The Lodge has some major problems which should be rectified immediately. They repeatedly lost power while we were there (once for over 20 hours!) and we ended up spending three of our seven nights without air conditioning. (Also, no hot water and everything in our fridge had to be thrown out) This wouldn't be so bad, however there are no screens on the doors/windows and there are biting insects, lizards, etc. As the week went on, staff members did say that this was a common occurrence on that end of the island. Apparently, they have a generator on order and as I was complaining at check-out, they told me that the power company was going to lend them a generator until theirs arrived-which they should have by now, but certainly worth calling ahead to check. The power outages were enough to really disrupt our vacation, however there were other issues.
We felt that the restaurant service (on the entire island), especially at the Lodge, with the exception of the beach bar, was excruciatingly slow. To the point where we would ask for our check four times before we actually got it. And forget getting refills on water or second drinks without repeated requests. We have traveled extensively and realize that this is a more relaxed culture in general, but nowhere else in the Caribbean or Latin America have I experienced worse service. If the food was fantastic, it might have made up for it. Overall, terrible service and mediocre food.
We did have some difficulty getting to the airport on our final day, which had nothing to do with the hotel. However, if I had the trip to do all over again, I would rent a car at the airport and drive myself to the hotel instead of depending on taxis or getting a rental car at the hotel which we did. In fact the taxi driver that took us to the airport yelled at us for being so late.
I really don't feel the need to return to Curacao. The island is beautiful, but there are so many other places....And other islands with better food and service.
Lots of potential
The Lodge Kura Hulanda is set in a beautiful location. The facilities are new and we enjoyed the one bedroom ocean view room. However, the service leaves a lot to be desired. One evening we waited 45 minutes before anyone came to our table to take our order. My husband went into the kitchen to get a waitress and after giving her a drink order, she was gone another 30 minutes. She then brought the incorrect items. There were only 6 people in the restaurant and there should have been better service. We stayed at the Lodge for 8 nights and felt pretty much ignored by the wait staff. On the last day, after waiting 50 minutes for a sandwich, we asked to speak to the manager. He admitted to having difficulty with the serving staff and said that they will be getting a new food and beverage manager in a few weeks. We hope so. The breakfast buffet is absolutely terrible. Fortunately, we had a small frig in the room for fruit and breakfast foods. We look forward to going back to this beautiful location to see what changes they will be making. Anything would be an improvement.
Great location...if you're a couple
My father & I stayed at the Lodge for a week on our annual Father-Son trip. The hotel itself is great- everything is brand new, the staff helpful, and the internet access was reliable and fast in-room. The downside to this property is it's proximitry to civilization- there is literally NOTHING in Westpunt, and it's a 40 minute drive to Willemstad (and, if you don't have a rental car, it's a $50US cab ride to town). If you're newlyweds, or a couple looking to escape the kids, city, etc... this is perfect. If you want to do some sightseeing, choose the Kura Hulanda Hotel in town- it's very nice, and it's closer to civilization- same owner, same high standards.
Food and bev. service was very good- helpful employees, quality food.
If you're in good physical condition, climb Mt. Christoffel-it's worth the view!
Absolutely amazing. . .
My husband and I stayed at the lodge the days prior to Christmas and had an amazing experience. The lodge is beautiful -- the pictures do not do it justice. When we booked our reservation there were no reviews on the lodge and we knew we would be taking a chance. The lodge far exceeded our expectations.
We rented a car at the ariport (you should defnitely rent a car if you plan to spend time on the northern part of the island where Westpunt is located). The drive to the lodge was easy and we arrived to a very hospitable staff. The front office people could not have been more curteous and helpful throughout our stay. They tried to accomodate every request. Dan, the bellboy, showed us around the grounds and took us to our room. We stayed in an ocean front suite which was spectacular. The garden suites were just being completed and they too looked beautiful but were obviously set farther back from the beach (the hotel should put in a pool back there if they are wise). The room was spotless and had all the amenities that one could ask for -- we had not expected a full mini-kitchen, 2 tvs, a porch, and a separate living room. The cleaning service was also so friendly and made our room feel spotless every day.
The beach was beautiful. The beach bottom is coral and we had expected this so we were prepared. The snorkeling was incredible. (I would suggest bringing your own equipment). We saw so many fish -- much more than our snorkeling experiences in Hawaii and Costa Rica. There are about 5 large bamboo umbrellas on the beach and we always had to share with other guests, but this was never a problem. The beaches in Curacao are not very big. This was defnitely one of the prettiest beaches we went to on the island.
The restaruarnts at the Lodge were alright. We didn't think the food on the island was good overall, and the lodge food was above average. The service is slow, but the atmosphere is slow-paced. . . The grill on the beach was my favorite place to eat and they tried to accomodate my requests. The bar area was nice in the evening -- they had great music playing. The pool area was very pretty, but we never spent time there. The fitness room was in great condition and was fully up and running (with at least 4 tvs above the exercise equipment). There is also a nice tennis court on the grounds.
If you are looking for a wild time, the lodge is not the place to go -- there is not much to do at all in Westpunt. We had our car and could drive to places during the day. We hiked Mount Cristoffel one day and that was awesome (it is a tough climb so be prepared) and visited Boca Tabla. They are both very close to the lodge. We also explored some of the other beaches on this part of the island. And we had a super lunch at the restaurant overlooking Playa Forti. Having a rental car was key to our experience -- we could come and go from the hotel as we pleased.
Overall, we could not have been happier with our stay. The staff was wonderful (we asked for games and they were even able to find us games!) and the hotel and the grounds were truly beautiful. I would highly recommend the lodge to anyone who is looking to relax and get away from it all. . . (it is not a great place to take kids who need lots of things to do!). We loved it!
We spent the last 2 days in Willemstad and that was enough time -- we couldn't get a reservation at the Kura Hulanda Hotel there, but we did visit it and it is AMAZING. I bet that as the lodge ages it will also figure out all that works and be very successful -- just like its bigger sister hotel. . .
Lodge Kura Hulanda - not quite like the Hotel
Re: Lodge Kura Hulanda in Westpunt (not Willemstad). My wife and I relocated to the Lodge from the Hotel in Willemstad (We spent 4 days @ the Lodge after spending 3 days at their property in Willemstad -very nice).
Location: The Lodge is in Westpunt, which is on the Western side of the island (about 45 min from Willemstad). The location is incredibly beautiful. The photos on their website do not do it justice. There is little aside from lush vegetation surrounding it, save for a few local homes. So to say that the locale is remote is an understatement. There are no surrounding businesses or stores.
Beach: There is a small strip of beach which is still being developed. Workers were constantly trying to clear the beach of coral while sunbathers were trying to catch some rays. In addition, the bech bar was still under construction, with beachgoers less than an earshot from power saws, etc. It made for a less than ideal environment. There is tons of white coral (beautiful to see while living, but a nuisance if you are trying to walk on it). Like a previous poster stated, BRING WATER SHOES!!! There are beach lounge chairs and some shady palapas (but not nearly enough). If you ask staff, they will bring chairs down to the beach for you. If you like to dive or snorkel, this is a wonderful location as the habitat is unsurpassed. The sand flies are indeed ferocious. I think the bug spray was an appetizer or signal for them to zero-in on us. That said, I think bugs are part of the 'Caribbean experience'.
Pool: Single pool on the property. Spacious pool of uniform depth (5 ft or so, I think). The pool area is nice and may be better for soaking in the magnificent sun than the beach (less mosquitos!). There is an adjacent fitness center, if you feel the need to excercise all the food you are given.
Rooms: The view from our room (1BR oceanview) was spectacular, especially at sunset. The guest rooms are wonderful and spacious. Ours had an outdoor patio with ocean view. Everything is very new. New tile thru-out, all new bathroom (couldn't locate a hair-dryer, though), new furniture. There is even a small kitchenette, which includes a little stainless-steel sink, a small fridge with freezer, and a microwave. There are no utensils or plates, though. Just 2 wineglasses and 2 water glasses. There are a couple of ice machines located strategically around the property as well.
Dining: The food here is pretty good, if limited. We often had the catch of the day wrapped in banana leaves at Watamula Resturaunt, and various sandwiches and salads at the pool bar. It was all fine. The mixed drinks are very good. Ask Curdley or Edsel to make you a "Bon Bini" (not on the menu). It is a colorful drink with rum and blue curacao (ubiquitous here, of course).
Housestaff: The staff are friendly and helpful (or at least try to be) with very few exceptions. Ecko is the house manager. Nice gentleman who tries to be accommodating of most guest requests.
Overall: Our biggest disappointment here was finding the property still being completed, even though it was supposed to be done last August, in some places not looking at all ready for business. To their credit, the bar staff (Ruud, Edsel, Curdley) offered to bring us drinks on the beach, if we so desired.
The beach is okay for sunbathing - just beware of the above construction if your trip will be in the next few weeks. The beach is conveniently located (just down some stairs, not a long walk), but, again, strewn with coral. BRING YOUR WATER SHOES!!!!
Other issues we have run into are bathrooms out of order in lobby and other areas, fitness room under constant worker intrusion for construction, etc., limited internet access - not working when we arrived, but fine later in our stay.
Almost forgot: I should also mention that older travellers may have some difficulty at this property. Agree with a previous posting - getting in and out of the tub is truly an acrobatic feat, it's up very high in relation to the floor. And if that doesn't do you in, the stairs down from the room to the groundfloor in the 1 BR oceanview surely will. My wife and I nearly fell on more than one occasion, and we were being cautious! There are also various areas around the lodge where a "step down" or "step up" sign might come in handy. Also, if you don't like little critters (like my wife), you might not like it here. There are tons of geckos and lizards running around. There were also PLENTY of dragonflies buzzing about. You spend a lot of time swatting away flies from your meal.
All in all, I think this is a beautiful, friendly property. For the price we paid, it was a good deal. We had a good time. I'm confident the staff will iron a lot of the problems out in the coming months.
However, I don't feel a need to come back. There are so many islands, so little vacation time...
We just got home from a week in Curacao at the Lodge Kura Hulanda. We thoroughly enjoyed the trip.
The lodge itself was beautiful, and very new. The grounds were also very nice, with many mature trees, although many of the smaller plants had not really grown in yet. We had a second floor suite, which was larger and better equipped than we expected. It had a great fold-out kitchenette that look like it came right out of an Ikea ad.
The staff were very friendly and helpful. The food at the restaurants was good (not great) and reasonably priced for hotel food. I agree with others that the Astrolab restaurant at the sister hotel in town was a big step above (both in quality and price).
The beach is sandy, but there is coral at the water line, so consider water shoes. We came for the snorkeling, which was very good towards the dock (at the dive shop next door). You can just float around and see all kinds of fish. We took the introductory scuba course at the dive shop next door (which was great) and were extremely impressed by the coral and fish at about 5m depth. Afterwards we snorkelled around the area and found it great from the surface as well.
The lodge is at the end of the island, so if you want to do more than lay in the sun and drink rum, you may want to rent a car. There are many other beaches nearby, with either more fish or more sand, depending on your preference. A visit to the other side of the island, eg Boca Tabla, is also worthwhile, as it is much rougher and quite impressive. Finding a good map was hard to do - we found one at another hotel, but I'd suggest looking in town as the gas stations and near by supermarkets didn't have any.
The mosquitoes didn't seem as bad as some previous posters said. They only seemed to be a problem at night. I suspect it depends on the time of year.
The lodge management seems to pay attention to the feedback cards (and maybe this forum). Extra equipment for the suite's kitchen showed up on the second day, along with a note explaining that washing your dishes could be included for an extra fee. A hair dryer also showed up. The bar by the beach was up and running. On the other hand, the fitness center's treadmills were still out of order.
I'm not sure listing all the details does the place justice. If you'd like a beautiful hotel, with friendly staff, a quiet location, and are ok with the place still being on a bit of a learning curve, you'll enjoy the lodge.
Rough around the edges
My wife and I stayed at the resort the last few days of Nov. and first few of Dec. The hotel is well looked after and everything is nice and new. If you like it quite and not much to do it is the place for you. The beach is small and has lots of Coral upon entering. The snorkelling is great especially on the far side of the dock just around the rocks. The food is good but the service is a little slow and the wait staff a bit inexperienced . I'm sure all of this will improve with time. The one big disappointment I had was that in the advertising for the Lodge they said there was bicycles to rent. When I asked they didn't have them yet. I was really hoping to do this as some really nice beaches are close by but too far to walk. It would have been nice to get away from the resort. Overall, this was a good deal for the price and if you like it quite. P.S. Take bug spray as the sand fleas were wicked.
A mixed bag
I am writing this review from the computer room at the Lodge Kura Hulanda in Westpunt (not Willemstad). We have been here for 2 days, after spending 2 days at their property in Willemstad (very nice).
First the pro's: This place is incredibly gorgeous. The photos on their website don't do it justice. The view from our room is spectacular, especially at sunset. The grounds are lush and well cared for. The guest rooms are wonderful and spacious. Ours has 2 outdoor patios with ocean view. Everything is very new. New tile thru-out, all new bathroom (couldn't locate a blow-drier, though), new furniture. We especially like the kitchenette. It's all in a Scandinavian-looking cabinet. It includes a little stainless-steel sink, a small fridge with freezer, and a microwave. There are no utensils or plates, though. Just 2 wineglasses and 2 water glasses. There are a couple of ice machines located strategically around the property as well.
The pool area is nice, but during our visit overtaken by children (not a lot of children, just not very well-supervised ones). I have young kids, so that in itself does not bother me, but twelve year olds whipping rubber balls at my head is annoying.
The food here is pretty good, if limited. We've had the catch of the day wrapped in banana leaves at Watamula, and various sandwiches and salads at the pool bar. It was all fine. The mixed drinks are very good. Ask Edsel to make you a "Bon Bini" (not on the menu). It is a colorful drink with rum and blue curacao (ubiquitous here, of course). The staff are friendly and helpful (or at least try to be) with very few exceptions.
Now for the cons: First of all, yes, there are lots of mosquitoes here, and they take no prisoners. I even got bitten on the sole of my foot. (We didn't encounter mosquitoes at the hotel in town, but maybe they had just sprayed). And yes, I've been wearing lots of bug repellent. However, this is not a huge complaint, because you will find this problem on any Caribbean island.
Our biggest disappointment here was finding the beach bar boarded up, not looking at all ready for business, though 3 staff people (at the hotel and the lodge) had informed us otherwise. To their credit, the bar staff offered to bring us drinks on the beach if we so desired.
The beach is okay to sunbathe on, and we plan to try the snorkeling tomorrow. We don't dive, but there is a dive shop on site that seems to do good business. The beach is conveniently located (just down some stairs, not a long walk), but strewn with coral. BRING YOUR WATER SHOES!!!! (We tried to buy some in Willemstad, but the merchants only carried women's size 5 and men's 8. We ran into this problem at 3 or more stores. It was very puzzling). We are really wishing we had those shoes. Also the beach drops off pretty suddenly, so be ready. Not a great beach for kids. The swimming is actually fine, once you get over the coral. There are beach lounge chairs and some shady palapas (but not enough). If you ask staff, they will bring chairs down to the beach for you.
Today at the beach we were driven away by the stench of kerosene, which some locals were burning in a discarded car wheel on the site of the "Beach Bar." Yuck. We informed management, who reacted quickly. When we checked back later, the kerosene fire had been turned into a barbecue party, with hot dogs, etc. Whatever. At least it smelled good instead of toxic.
The restaurant service here is very patchy. Friendly people, but seemingly untrained. You gotta give them a break, I guess, since the place is so new. But they really need to bump it up.
We are also having a problem with our plastic key card to our room. We've had it re-coded already because we couldn't get into our room. Then today, it wasn't working again, but we were informed that there is no one on site who can re-code it for us until tomorrow. That was at 5 pm on Sunday. Where is the management???? So we must be escorted back to our room by staff whenever we want to get in. Not too happy about that.
Other issues we have run into are bathrooms out of order in lobby and other areas, treadmill out of order, internet not working when we arrived (fine now, though). I should also mention that if you're old enough to worry about breaking a hip, don't come here. Getting in and out of the tub is an acrobatic feat, it's up so high. And if that doesn't do you in, the stairs down to the beach surely will. There are also various areas around the lodge where a "step down" or "step up" sign might come in handy. Also, if you don't like critters, you might not like it here. There are tons of geckos. We also have a LOT of dragonflies outside our room. We even had a toad in the room when we checked in! These didn't bother us, though.
My final complaint is that we got a package that included a free dinner, which has caused some confusion. Management really needs to smooth this process out. I shouldn't have to convince staff that my meal is already paid for, and ask in advance if it's okay. Had a little trouble with this at the hotel in town as well, but they took care of it with a voucher I could present to the server.
All in all, I think this is a beautiful, friendly place. For the price we paid, it's a good deal. We are having a nice time here. I'm sure they'll iron a lot of the problems out in the next few months. I don't feel a need to come back. There are so many islands, so little vacation time...