Stay No.31 In Sunny Curaçao the Breeze Blows Warmly

Curaçao isn’t always the first stop for novice travelers to the Caribbean, and that may be precisely why it should be high on a sophisticated travelers bucket list.

The beautiful Dutch Caribbean island has gorgeous beaches tucked into coves and expansive coral reefs like Blue Bay, renowned for excellent diving and snorkeling. But beyond these delightful Caribian hot spots, there’s so much more to see and do.

Curaçao has a less crowded feel than many other islands. Still, it is a hub for multicultural travelers, including those who make the long flight from Holland to find the familiar tastes of home far away from the often cloudy skies of Amsterdam.

The capital, Willemstad, is awash in pastel-colored colonial architecture, top tier restaurants, and exciting museums. Cultural destinations that many other islands can not claim.

One-stop not to be missed is the 17th-century Mikvé Israel-Emanuel Synagogue. At over 280 years old, it is one of the oldest synagogues in the world and certainly the oldest in the Americas. Sand that covers the floor is a nod to “Moses in the desert, leading his people out of Egypt and pays homage to the early Jewish settlers, who had to muffle the sounds of their footsteps and prayers when meeting in secret during the Spanish Inquisition.”

Nearby, be sure to check out the floating market where many Venezuelan merchants dock and sell their fresh fish, produce, and spices right from their boats.

Another stop worth visiting is the Museum Kurá Hulanda, set on the property of the hotel of the same name. The anthropological museum focuses on the many cultures of Curaçao and chronicles the origin of man, the African slave trade, West African empires, Mesopotamian relics, and Antillean art.

Where to stay:

Mondi Lodge

The former family compound has been lovingly transformed into a lush green paradise that has you feeling like you’ve stepped inside the pages of Robinson Crusoe. The wood bungalows let you soak in the tropical feeling, and the outdoor showers enhance your sense of adventure. A plunge in the pool before breakfast is heavenly.

Don’t panic, though; there is plenty to connect you to civilization like free Wifi and flat-screen TVs. The bungalows each have a kitchenette, and a delicious fresh breakfast is included daily at the main lodge.

Mondi is an excellent choice if traveling with children. Cycling, fishing, horseback riding, windsurfing, BBQ facilities, and so much more are available through the property.

Bij Blauw

A waterfront boutique hotel, Bij Blauw is a short ten-minute walk from Willemstad’s historical Center and 2.5 mi from the Curaçao Sea Aquarium. The lovingly restored 19th-century townhouse has nine rooms.

The family-run property has a young and vibrant vibe where Dutch can be heard spoken throughout the hotel. Adjacent, an upscale clothing boutique on the property is perfect for finding a great beach outfit for your stay or enjoying an espresso and chat with the owners who can be found on the terraces most afternoons.

The rooms are designed in an eclectic colonial-style, but with a modern twist. Make sure to take time for a meal at the restaurant downstairs overlooking the waterfront. The menu, created by the Dutch chef, incorporates fresh local fish and vegetables, all with an eye to his roots back in Europe.

Jan Kok Lodges

Jan Kok Lodges is the place to stay if you want to get closer to nature. Not far from beaches like Porto Marie, Daaibooibaai, and Cas Abou, it’s surrounded by lush tropical flowers and palm trees. The owners of Jan Kok, Dutch transplants, have a fantastic talent for landscaping and have made their hotel into a lush green oasis.

There are six apartments and three studios on the property that all offer a complete kitchen and free Wifi. There is a BBQ connected to each room, and they all provide lovely terraces perfect for sipping a cocktail while savoring the warm tropical breezes. We love the fully equipped outdoor kitchen available to guests staying in the studios.


This place is an excellent choice if traveling with a group. Get your clan together, go for a fantastic hike, and then relax afterward in the lovely pool. Great for a traveler who enjoys a self-catered apartment stay. Best of all, Jan Kok lodge maintains its own fleet of rental cars, so no need to venture far for transportation. Make your arrangments with one booking,

Jan Thiel Lodge

This historic plantation was founded in 1639 by its Dutch owner Jan Thielen and once covered more than 3,000 acres. Today it’s one of the few original landhuis that has accommodations for visitors.

The current Dutch owners recently opened their home to visitors. It offers six rooms, each with private bathrooms. The colorful decor throughout mixes modern with traditional design, all watched over by the houses K-9 mascot and his trusty pal a sheep.

You are well taken care of by the fantastic Loeki ter Steege, host par excellence, who daily whips up a fresh breakfast for guests to enjoy on the terrace as she shares her excellent tips on where to go and what to see on the island. When she is not looking after guests or exercising the horses, you can find her watching over the house, keeping the house menagerie out of mischief.

There are plenty of walking trails for your morning run in the estate’s defacto back yard, the adjoining nature reserve.

An insider tip, in high season, KLM offers very affordable flights from Amsterdam to Curacao. Possibly an affordable getaway for your next Europe adventure?


For more informaition and booking, go to:

Photography: Daniela Stallinger

Planning a visit to Curaçao? Here is the current weather and what to expect for the next few days.