The hotel is a very quick walk to the history center of Willemstad, with its iconic colorful Dutch-style houses that adorn every self-respecting post card display in the city. That means it’s also close to Queen Emma pontoon bridge which swings open to allow boats to pass, earning it the nickname “The Old Swinging Lady”, passage across which leads you the old Synagogue, and of course, the food markets, including the Floating Market and the Old Market. (Before you cross the bridge, make sure to pick up a fruit shake at one of the shacks.)
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The hotel is also convenient to attractions in its own Otrobanda district, of course, including the essential Kura Hulanda Museum, which tells the story of the slave trade in Curacao.
But this convenient location means that the hotel also provides very much of an urban experience – so if you’re picturing a tranquil beach resort, just you and some palm trees and a frosty cocktail – the island has plenty of those, including a Marriott resort that fits that bill, but this hotel is not what you’re looking for.
While the hotel says it has a “private beach”, called Infinity Beach Club, the Infinity actually refers to an infinity pool that looks over the ocean –the pool has a white sand bottom and a white sandy beach. And although that ocean is certainly tropical, the busy port of Willemstad has a great deal of commercial traffic. Expect to see many tankers making their way to the island’s refineries from Venezuela. The Infinity Beach Club is nice for a pre-dinner dip after a day of urban exploration, but not for an entire day of beach lolling.
Room choice is key at this hotel – you want ocean-facing, on the top floor. Several rooms are interior facing, and rooms that are on lower floors look right out onto a shopping plaza which is part of the cruise ship terminal. Even on that top floor, you’ll want to close your curtains at night, as the cruise ships dwarf the hotel and dock quite early in the morning.
The hotel has a casino, and several restaurants. There’s a coffee shop that’s inside the business center, called Express-O Coffee Shop, a full breakfast and buffet is available at the Nautilus Restaurant in the lobby, which has views of the ocean and the cruise ship port. Nautilus also serves lunch and dinner, and its menu is international, but you’ll want to keep a special eye out for local fare, for instance keshi yena, a casserole that blends island flavors with Dutch heritage – a savory stew which includes cashews and is topped with Gouda cheese. The pastry chef does an especially good job on cakes and sweet treats, so save room.
Cocktails and snacks are served at Blue Lobby Bar, which is just outside the Nautilus .
Up a level at the Infinity Beach, there’s the Infinity Beach Bar, where you can get snacks at your beach chair – mostly of the fried variety – and it also serves dinner, a nice option on a calm night. Rounding out the restaurant options on site at the hotel is the Cru Steak House and Wine Bar, which, despite its name, maintains a casual dress code.