Last Updated on April 7, 2022 by Nellie Huang

On our recent trip to Curacao, we had the privilege of staying at the iconic Avila Beach Hotel. Here’s our detailed review!

If you’re looking for a place to completely kick back in a warm, gorgeous setting while keeping a safe distance from everyone, make it Curacao. The Dutch Caribbean island is studded with remote, empty beaches, lush tropical forests, cacti-studded landscapes, and spectacular sunsets. It’s also had very low infection rates throughout the pandemic.

During our trip to Curacao, we had the privilege of staying at the iconic landmark hotel, Avila Beach Hotel, easily the best hotel in Curacao. Dating back to 1780, the hotel has a rich history as the oldest operational hotel in Curacao and has hosted many important guests.

Staying at the Avila Beach Hotel, Curacao

Iconic Landmark of Curacao

To say that the Curacao history would be incomplete without the story of the Avila Beach Hotel is an understatement. The original building of the hotel, the Belle Alliance (now main entrance and lobby) served as a country residence for English Governors. The English started calling the house “The Pen”.

Perfect Setting

We chose Avila Beach Hotel for several reasons: first, we wanted to stay right on the beach. At the same time, it’s centrally located in the lively Pietermaai neighborhood and within a 15-minute walk to downtown Willemstad.

At Avila Beach Hotel, you don’t need to go far to enjoy both the beach and the capital city’s quirky culture. With its own private beaches and several historical buildings, Avila Beach Hotel definitely gave us the best of both worlds — being close to cultural and historical sights while having the beach right at our door step.

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avila beach hotel curacao

Private Beaches

Avila Beach Hotel has not just one, but two white sandy beaches. Both beaches are protected from the wind and waves by offshore breakwaters. The waters here are calm are great for kids. There aren’t many beaches in Willemstad — the ones here are definitely the best.

Just steps from our room, we could snorkel in the water and see schools of angel fish hiding in the breakwaters. There’s also an infinity pool right by the beach and next to the hotel’s main restaurant.

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avila beach hotel curacao

COVID Safety Measures

The hotel has gone through great lengths to keep everyone safe in difficult times like these. All their staff wear face shields, all payments are digital and check-in info is sent to your email. Sundecks and pool benches are spaced apart for social distancing. Here are more COVID measures that Avila is adopting:

What you can expect during your stay

  • All linens sanitized in high-temperature wash
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
  • Doctors available 24/7
  • Individually wrapped toiletries
  • 24-hour minimum vacancy between guests

avila beach hotel curacao sunset

Rooms with a View

Since its opening, the hotel has transformed from an 18-room guesthouse to 150-room luxury hotel. Today it has three different wings:

The classic La Belle Alliance rooms (pictured) are in the hotel’s original building and have been renovated into contemporary, stylish rooms. We stayed at the La Belle Alliance wing and had a comfortable oceanfront double room, steps from the beach. The rooms are on the small end, but facilities are high-end and brand new.

The Octagon rooms are housed in the modern buildings surrounding the hotel’s pool, restaurant and fitness centre. They are also slick and stylish, furnished with the trendiest decor.

Lastly, the Caribbean Ocean Front Blues wing are the hotel’s newest addition. Wooden suites that stand on stilts over the Caribbean Sea, almost like overwater bungalows. This is an adults-only wing, which definitely gives couples the private, romantic ambiance they’re looking for.

avila beach hotel curacao rooms

   

avila beach hotel curacao

Food and Drinks

The hotel has two restaurants and several bars spread over a large area. The Pen is its main restaurant that’s set right on the beach, with an open-air breezy terrace. Prices are not cheap, but the fresh seafood are definitely worth the price. Be sure to try the tuna poke bowl for lunch, and lobster croquette and grilled prawns at sunset!

The Blues Restaurant wasn’t opened during our stay, but I’ve heard that the Live Music Nights on Thursdays are particularly popular with locals. I also came here to get some sunset shots, so rest assured the sunset views here are spectacular.

Besides the in-house restaurants, there are plenty of great places to eat surrounding Avila. The hotel is located in Pietermaai, the trendiest part of Curacao packed with cozy bars and restaurants. It’s within walking distance to awesome restaurants including:

  • Rozendaels — perfect for affordable, traditional Curacao food
  • Fishalicious — one of the best seafood places in town
  • NulTwintig — a new restaurant helmed by two Dutch Michelin chefs
  • Restaurant Kome — great for cocktails and tapas
  • Serafina — Italian fine dining at its best

avila beach hotel curacao restaurant

Activities Surrounding Avila

In the hotel itself, there are plenty of things to keep you busy. We could spend days snorkeling and swimming at the hotel’s private beaches and pool. We also visited the hotel’s private museum — The Octagon was where Venezuelan liberator, the famous Simón Bolívar, spent time before he set out to assemble the forces that eventually put an end to Spanish colonial rule in South America. Today it serves as a small museum open to the public.

But we’re not the type of people to stay at a hotel the entire time and not venture out to explore. Avila Beach Hotel makes a great base for those who travel Curacao to see the island but also have a nice hotel to return to. There are plenty of things to do in Curacao, from swimming with turtles to exploring the UNESCO World Heritage Willemstad.

 avila beach hotel curacao beach avila beach hotel curacao

avila beach hotel curacao octagon museum

Overall Review of Avila Beach Hotel

The hotel is fantastic for those who have a soft spot for historical places. The history of the hotel is fascinating and staying here gives you a better sense of the island’s past. Avila truly hits the spot with its private beaches and location in the eclectic Pietermaai district. It’s definitely a place I would return to when I’m ever in Curacao again.

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avila beach hotel curacao

Disclaimer: Thank you to Avila Beach Hotel for hosting my family and I in Curacao. As always, thoughts and opinions expressed here are entirely my own.