If you’re a digital nomad looking for the next best place to work and live, check out Scuba Lodge in Curacao. Here’s our detailed review of the boutique hotel!
It’s the kind of place that’s hard to miss.
Splashed in bright pastel colors, Scuba Lodge is a 17th-century Dutch building set right in the heart of the Pietermaai district in Curacao’s capital city. After a complete restoration in 2008, it became one of the icons of the Willemstad. But it’s not just the architecture that has earned it island-wide fame — its restaurant is one of the locals’ favorite hangouts, its infinity pool is often seen in magazines, and the hotel is one of the most Instagrammed spots on the island.
Scuba Lodge was possibly one of the reasons why we enjoyed Curacao so much. We had the chance to stay here for close to a week and it made an excellent base for us to work and play.
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Perfect Location in Pietermaai
Scuba Lodge hits the spot for many couples and young families like us: oceanfront views, hip interiors, spacious accommodation, and an excellent location in the lively Pietermaai district with bars and restaurants just steps away.
We loved waking up to the sound of the crashing waves, then spending our mornings working on our laptops in our patio with a view of the sea in front of us. After a quick lunch, we would head out and walk to downtown Curacao (just a 10-minute walk) where most museums and interesting sites are. Some of the best beaches in Curacao are just a short drive from Willemstad.
In the evenings, we would always come back for a dip in the infinity pool at Scuba Lodge and watch the sun set, before heading out for a nice dinner at one of the many restaurants in Pietermaai. It’s definitely one of the best spots on the island to see sunset.
A Place with History
The small, intimate boutique hotel traces its roots back to the 17th century. The five buildings that make up the hotel were originally built by the Dutch as residential estates. Back in its heydays, the Pietermaai district flourished with beautiful estates, theaters, and restaurants.
But as people started moving outside of the city in search of lower prices, the area became a run down neighborhood inhabited by homeless people and dominated by criminals, prostitutes, and drug users.
A full-scale revitalization effort began in 1999. Many of the historic buildings were tastefully restored and converted into hotels, apartments, restaurants and bars. It took several years and multiple entrepreneurs to turn Pietermaai into what it is today. Pietermaai, and the entire old town of Willemstad, has since been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Scuba Diving Packages
Scuba Lodge is a dive-centric hotel, as its name implies. The concept at Scuba Lodge is simple: dive in the morning, explore in the afternoon, hang out at night. They offer dive packages that include guided dives, dive equipment and hotel stay.
The dive center runs a Westpunt trip very Thursday, where they drive in the Scuba Bus (a refurbished American school bus) to the most western part of Curaçao. It’s great for both scuba divers as well as snorkelers and is highly recommendable for couples, families, and groups of friends, of which some are certified divers and others might be not.
Every month, they also organise a Clean Up Dive that’s popular among locals and expats. Each dive they usually manage to remove around 20kg of trash out of their ocean!
Spacious Oceanfront Apartments
We stayed in a spacious 2-bedroom apartment with gorgeous cathedral ceilings and polished teak wood flooring. A large living lounge sits in the main center, with comfortable (but aged) teak sofas that sink when you sit on them. Two big bedrooms lie at the back of the apartment, each with a luxurious king bed and ensuite bathroom.
There’s a fantastic, stylish kitchen with more cooking equipment than we have at home. It’s sleek, all black, and ultra modern, making cooking honestly a breeze rather a chore.
The best part? Undoubtedly, the large outdoor terrace that opens up to jaw-dropping views of the Caribbean Sea. This part of the island sees big, crashing waves and the beach isn’t suitable for swimming, but it makes for a spectacular, dramatic setting.
One of the Trendiest Restaurants in Curacao
You never have to worry about going hungry at Scuba Lodge. The in-house restaurant, De Heeren at Sea, is one of the most popular spots in town — and it’s easy to see why. With killer sunset views and boho-chic interiors, the beachfront restaurant is one of the only places in town that let you eat insanely good food, with sand between your feet.
Constantly packed with locals and expats, the trendy restaurant has a modern, international menu with dishes like spicy marinara pasta. The food here is pricey, but it’s definitely some of the best we had on the island.
Breakfast is served here every morning, with the lapping waves and the morning breeze on your face. The breakfast basket is definitely a breakfast for champions: fresh oven-baked croissants, slabs of butter and jam, creamy homemade yoghurt with crunchy granola, orange juice, tea, and eggs cooked whatever way you like. I would skip lunch on days when I had the massive breakfast basket!
Scuba Lodge is great for families in many ways. Besides the fact that the apartments at Scuba Lodge are perfectly designed for kids, the boutique hotel also has an awesome playground right next to the restaurant. Families like us can easily have a relaxing meal while their kids have the time of their lives.
We enjoyed so many long breakfasts at the restaurant, slurping on yogurt with granola and working away on our laptops while our 6-year-old hung out at the playground. She made friends easily and always found new playmates there. Plus, the restaurant staff always made sure to bring some coloring pencils and papers to keep the kids entertained!
The hotel also has two swimming pools, one by the main building and another infinity pool right on the seafront. We spent many evenings enjoying the sunset while having a refreshing dip in the infinity pool. Both pools have shallow ends that are safe for young kids.
Overall Review of Scuba Lodge
All in all, Scuba Lodge encapsulates the spirit of Curacao with its funky, resilient character and rich history. We absolutely fell in love with it and felt very much at home here. By the end of the week, we did not want to leave (believe me, I tried to change our flights to stay longer!).
I highly recommend it to anyone who’s seeking a comfortable place to work and play while traveling Curacao. If you’re a digital nomad who likes island life, scuba diving, interesting history, this is the place for you. We would return to Curacao, just to stay at Scuba Lodge again.