Lions Dive and Beach Resort in Curacao
It’s been a while since we wrote about a resort that we stayed at. We try to limit the frequency of hotel and resort reviews we share on this blog, but sometimes the travel experience is the actual resort. Our recent trip to Curacao would fall in this category.
Curacao is a small island nation in the southern Caribbean, located approximately 65 kilometers north of the Venezuelan coast. It’s a Lesser Antilles island country that’s a part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which includes the neighboring islands of Aruba and Bonarie. The trio is often referenced as the ABC Islands.
Before we get started, we feel it’s important to mention that we did NOT receive any form of compensation from this hotel. We did not get anything for free, nor did we get a discount.
Why did we choose Lions Dive & Beach Resort?
We only had 3 nights on the island, so we wanted a hotel that was located directly on the beach and close to amenities. Our research pointed us to the Lions Dive & Beach Resort.
This beach hotel is located on the southwest side of the island, about 7 kilometers south of the charming old town in Willemstad. It’s also within a stone’s throw of the Curacao Sea Aquarium, so that was definitely an added bonus. More on this aquarium in an upcoming blog post.
Our flight from Aruba arrived at the Curacao airport early in the afternoon. There is no ferry that connects the two islands, so you have to take a plane.
We jumped in a taxi that took about 30 minutes to get from the airport to the hotel. The cost was $ 40 USD. This is a standard rate. There was no meter in the vehicle. We tried to pay with our credit card, but the taxi driver’s machine was not working. Not surprising. We prepared for this by carrying $ US cash with us.
We arrived at the hotel about an hour before the official check in time. It must have been a busy day because our room was not ready. We left our bags with the hotel porter and decided to visit the hotel restaurant to grab a late lunch and a cold beer (or two).
The resort has four restaurants on its property – Nemo Restaurant, Hemingway, Piazza Mediterranean and Chill Beach Bar & Grill.
The Hemingway Restaurant is perfectly situated on the water. It’s a comfortable restaurant that has a good menu. We ate lunch there 3 times during our stay and each time the food was really good and freshly prepared. We enjoyed the tasty baguette sandwiches and our boys ate chicken nuggets and french fries.
The breakfast was a different story. It’s a buffet style breakfast that is overpriced and the food is left sitting in the sun all morning. Not good. The food options and quality was not what we would have expected for the price they were charging. That said, the restaurant was always full at breakfast and other guests didn’t seem to mind. It just wasn’t for us.
You can’t get much closer to the water than this!
Part of the Hemingway restaurant is on a wooden deck and covered with palapa style thatched roofs. The rest of the tables are placed directly in the sand. It’s a true beach bar and restaurant.
Fact – cold beer tastes better when your feet are buried in soft sand.
This big guy can be found lounging on the rocks beside the restaurant or slowing roaming from table to table. Don’t get up too quickly, he might be sitting under your chair!
The Chill Beach Bar & Grill is a fun spot and definitely worth visiting. We spent every evening at this beach bar during our stay. We didn’t end up eating there, but the meat skewers looked pretty tasty.
We had a great time drinking cold beer and watching the sun set while sitting in those big comfy wooden chairs with our toes in the sand. Good times indeed!
The Nemo Restaurant is an upscale fine dining restaurant that serves fish and meat entrees. We did not eat there but it looks like a nice place. Reviews say that the food is great, service is questionable, and the price point is quite high.
The Piazza Mediterranean restaurant is located on the other opposite end of the property, near the 50 meter swimming pool. We did not eat here either but it looks very comfortable. It’s an open aired restaurant and bar that has a limited menu.
The grounds are lush and well kept and the property has several buildings and gardens. It appeared the resort was quite full, yet we didn’t see many people around the resort. Most people spent their time at the beach. Good move.
We didn’t see any elevators on the property, so if you have trouble with stairs it would be best to ask for a ground floor room.
Here’s a great aerial photo of the resort that gives a better perspective.