Best Area to Stay in Curacao: Ultimate Neighborhood & Hotel Guide

Best Area to Stay in Curacao: Ultimate Neighborhood & Hotel Guide

Best Area to Stay in Curacao: Ultimate Neighborhood & Hotel Guide

Are you looking for the best areas to stay in Curacao? Then you are not alone!

Curacao is a tropical Caribbean paradise. The island is fairly big, so it can be hard to choose where to stay in Curacao for your vacation.

Over the last two years, I have stayed in Curacao for many months in many different places and hotels. And let me tell you one thing: there is no ideal area to stay in Curacao.

While some places might be amazing for honeymooners, others are great for adventurers. Some areas are ideal for nightlife, others for budget travelers.

In this post, I want to share my wisdom with you and give you insight into all the best areas to stay in Curacao for every taste and budget.

Let’s dive in!

Table of Contents

  • Curacao Neighborhood Guide: an Overview
  • Where to Stay in Curacao Map
  • Best Places to Stay in Curacao for Couples & Honeymooners
  • Where to Stay in Curacao for Divers & Adventurers
  • Best Area to Stay in Curacao for Families
  • Best Area to Stay in Curacao for First Timers & All-Inclusive Lovers
  • Where to Stay in Curacao on a Budget
  • Best Area to Stay in Curacao for City Lovers & Night Owls: Willemstad
  • Best Area to Stay in Curacao for Luxury Travelers
  • Best Area to Stay in Curacao for Digital Nomads
  • What Area in Curacao is Safe?
  • Which Areas in Curacao Are Not Safe?
  • What Side of Curacao Has the Best Beaches?
  • Is Curacao Cheap or Expensive for Hotels?
  • Is it Safe to AirBnB in Curacao?
  • Conclusion: Best Areas to Stay in Curacao
  • FAQ: Where to Stay in Curacao
  • About the Author

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daaibooi beach in curacao
Curacao Neighborhoods
❤️ Couples: Santa Barbara
🤿 Divers: Playa Lagun
🍸 City Lovers: Willemstad
👪 Families: Jan Thiel
🏖️ First Timers: Mambo Beach

Curacao Neighborhood Guide: an Overview

First Time in Curacao

mambo beach curacao best area to stay in curacao

Mambo Beach/Sea Aquarium Beach
  • Beautiful Beach
  • Great Resorts
  • Sea Aquarium
  • Close to Willemstad
  • Good for Excursions
  • Mambo Beach Boulevard for Restaurants, Shopping etc.
  • Best Hotels: Sunscape Resort, Lion’s Dive Resort

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For Couples/Honeymooners

where to stay beach chair curacao

Santa Barbara Beach/Royal Sandals Resort
  • Secluded, Beautiful Beach
  • Adults-Only Luxury Resort
  • Over-water Bungalow’s
  • Stunning Nature Area
  • Infinity Pool
  • Best Hotel: Royal Sandals Resort

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For Divers and Adventurers

playa lagun in curacao at sunset

Westpunt/Playa Lagun
  • Off the Beaten Paths
  • Great Dive Resorts & Studios
  • Close to: Christoffel Berg, Shete Boka National Park, and the best Diving & Snorkel Spots on the Island
  • Best Resort: Lagoon Ocean Resort

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For Night Owls & City Lovers

willemstad hotels cute colorful houses

  • Vibrant Nightlife and Bars
  • Great Restaurants & Shops
  • Stunning Architecture, Culture & History
  • Instagrammable
  • Colorful Houses
  • Best Hotels: Saint Tropez Ocean Club, Renaissance Windcreek Hotel, Scuba Lodge

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For Families

jan thiel resort

Jan Thiel
  • Family Friendly Beach
  • Safe Neighborhood
  • Kids-friendly Resorts
  • Activities & Excursions
  • Best Hotels: Papagayo Beach Hotel, Livingstone Jan Thiel

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Luxury Travelers

porto. mari

St. Marie (Coral Estates)
  • Gated community
  • Luxurious Villas for rent
  • Beautiful private beach
  • Amazing restaurants
  • Secluded
  • Safe
  • Best Hotels: Coral Estates Luxury Resort

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Where to Stay in Curacao Map

where to stay in curacao ultimate map

Best Places to Stay in Curacao for Couples & Honeymooners

The best spot to stay in Curacao for honeymooners is Santa Barbara Beach

Santa Barbara Beach is a stunning stretch of white sand off the beaten tracks. It’s known for its beautiful turquoise waters and palm-tree-lined shores. The beach also has a coral reef offshore that’s full of colorful marine life.

Santa Barbara is the perfect area to stay in Curacao for couples because it is so far off the hustle and bustle of the island. Some day tours to Klein Curacao also pick up people there.

At the same time, I felt like the drive to the area was super long from Willemstad and the airport. If you wanna go to the city a couple of times, this might not be your best choice.

You have absolute peace and serenity there – the perfect place to relax and enjoy the honeymoon.

If you don’t like resorts as much but still want a tranquil hideout, check out the Coral Estates instead.

Hotel Tip: Sandals Royal Curacao All Inclusive Couples Only

Where to Stay in Curacao for Divers & Adventurers

If you are on the island for some adventure, you should stay far out west. On the impressive rugged cliffs on the western side of the island, you can find some pretty neat spots to stay.

Whether you want to hike the Christoffel Berg, check out the Watamula Hole, snorkel with turtles, or see Shete Boka National Park – there is an adventure for everyone in the West. The Christoffel National Park is only a short drive away.

My favorite place to stay out West is Playa Lagun. The beach is famous for its sea turtles and is extremely calm and quiet. It is the perfect starting point for adventure excursions and beach hopping.

As mentioned before, this area is a bit less touristic and safe than around Willemstad. Wandering outside the dive resorts at night is not really recommended. I never felt unsafe per se, but the feeling was a bit different than in the touristic areas.

Playa Lagun is also an amazing place to stay for Scuba Diving and one of the best snorkel beaches on the island. Here are also some of the best dive resorts in Curacao.

Hotel Tip: Lagoon Ocean Resort

Picture of a bay with super clear blue water and blue skyes and

Best Area to Stay in Curacao for Families

Jan Thiel Beach is located on the southern coast of Curacao and is known for its fully serviced beach area with lots of entertainment for young and old. This is the best place to stay in Curacao for families.

It’s a great spot to play in the sand with your kids, grab a bite to eat, and go for a snorkel in the Caribbean Sea.

Jan Thiel Beach is super safe, so you won’t have to worry about the little ones. There are plenty of child-friendly hotels as well in this area.

The beach itself is lined with bars and restaurants, as well as beach chairs and umbrellas available for rent. There are also several water sports activities available such as jet skiing, kayaking, sailing, and snorkeling.

Hotel Tip: Papagayo Beach Resort

Best Area to Stay in Curacao for First Timers & All-Inclusive Lovers

Mambo Beach

Mambo Beach is a stunning beach with a bustling boulevard and it’s a great place for all-inclusive lovers and people who are on the island for the first time.

The beach has an array of white sand and crystal-clear blue waters that sparkle in the sun, perfect for swimming and sunbathing.

There are plenty of restaurants and bars on the beach, so you can enjoy some yummy snacks while soaking up the rays.

In addition, there is an exciting nightlife with clubs offering live music, DJ sets, dance floors, and karaoke nights which can be enjoyed until late into the night.

The sea aquarium is also located on Mambo Beach, which is a great spot for an excursion.

Lastly, Mambo Beach is right outside Willemstad, so you can easily reach the capital city for a day away from there as well.

Hotel tip: Sunscape Resort & Spa Curacao

mambo beach curacao drone shot

Where to Stay in Curacao on a Budget

There is no perfect area to stay in Curacao for Budget Travelers. You can find great, budget-friendly hotels everywhere on the island.

Many hotels that are not directly located on the beach are much cheaper than the beach-side resorts.

Make sure to book your hotel close to any attractions or beaches you may want to visit, then you can save some money on not getting a rental car.

A good budget-friendly time to go to Curacao is in December. You can save a bit of money for sure.

Here are some of the best budget-friendly accommodations in Curacao:

☀️ Scuba Lodge

☀️ Bed & Bike Jan Thiel

☀️ Marazul Dive Resort

Best Area to Stay in Curacao for City Lovers & Night Owls: Willemstad

Willemstad, the capital city of Curacao, is a great place to stay for city lovers and those who want to check out the nightlife of the island.

It has a vibrant culture and history, with interesting architecture, bustling streets, diverse eateries, and plenty of attractions. You can check out the famous Queen Emma Bridge and the Handelskade.

The city also has a wide variety of hotels to choose from that offer great value for money. Staying in Willemstad is usually a great idea.

The city is safe and you can walk everywhere. Many of the island’s best restaurants are in Willemstad, so you will never run out of fabulous places to eat.

Keep in mind that most of the city is located by the water, but there is no direct beach access. If you are looking for a beach vacation, you have to look outside the city center for your hotel.

Hotel Tip: Renaissance Resort by Marriott.

Best Area to Stay in Curacao for Luxury Travelers

Piscadera is one of the best areas to stay in Curacao for luxury travelers. It is located on the western side of Willemstad, with beautiful white sandy beaches and stunning views of the Caribbean Sea.

The area has become a popular destination for high-end tourists, with luxurious resorts such as The Ritz-Carlton and Marriott, offering top-class facilities and amenities.

Piscadera is located right outside of Willemstad, so in a few minutes of driving you can reach all the hot spots of the island.

With its idyllic location and abundance of luxuries to enjoy, it’s no surprise that Piscadera is one of the most sought-after destinations when it comes to luxury travel in Curacao.

Alternatively, you should check out the Coral Estate Luxury Resorts a bit farther out west. They have beautiful villas for rent.

Tip: Many private Curacao Tours offer pick-up service in this area.

Hotel Tip: Curacao Marriott Beach Resort

Hotel Tip: Baoase Luxury Resort

baoase beach

Best Area to Stay in Curacao for Digital Nomads

Digital Nomads will enjoy staying closer to Willemstad, since there are many co-working spaces and shared office amenities available.

Another big perk of staying in the area of Willemstad is, that you can meet like-minded people. There is also an abundance of cute cafes from where you can work at.

I have worked in Curacao as a digital nomad and totally loved it. I stayed at the Acoya Curacao Resort, it is a great, budget-friendly spot for digital nomads who want a tad of luxury.

Hotel Tip: Acoya Curacao Resort Villas & Spa

What Area in Curacao is Safe?

In Curacao, areas like Willemstad’s tourist districts (Punda and Otrobanda), Jan Thiel, and the resorts around Mambo Beach are considered very safe. These places are often well-patrolled and full of travelers.

If you are mainly looking for safety when booking your Curacao hotel, you might want to stick to these places.

I have never felt unsafe in any of these areas in Curacao. Of course, I would not walk around alone outside at all on the island, so keep that in mind.

Do you need travel insurance in Curacao? Yes, travel insurance in Curacao is highly recommended. Unsafe roads, water sports accidents, and food poisoning are only a few examples of when travel insurance could come in handy. EKTA offers worldwide travel insurance with 24/7 service and no hidden fees or restrictions.

Which Areas in Curacao Are Not Safe?

While Curacao is generally safe for tourists, some areas can be a bit sketchy, especially at night.

Places like some parts of Otrobanda away from the tourist zones, and neighborhoods like Seru Fortuna and Marchena, are less safe. Koredor, Scharloo, Fleur de Marie, Seru di Kandela, and Seru Loraweg I would personally avoid.

Grote Berg and Koraal Specht also have a reputation for being unsafe. Even during the day, I did not feel completely good being by myself in these areas.

Most of these areas do not have any hotels in the first place. But I would be cautious about renting cheap Airbnb and houses online. Stick to known hotel brands, well-rated places, and popular areas and you will be fine.

About certain areas, I am a bit on the fence safety-wise. Playa Lagun and Sabana Westpunt are beautiful and great places to stay, but you need to be extra careful. As a female, I would not want to be there by myself.

What Side of Curacao Has the Best Beaches?

The best beaches in Curacao are usually found on the southwestern side of the island.

Places like Kenepa Grandi, Cas Abao, and Porto Marie offer amazing blue waters and white sand.

You can also find great beaches a little more to the east, like Mambo Beach, Santa Barbara Beach, and Tugboat Beach.

In the northern part of the island, there are no beaches at all. It mainly consists of rugged cliffs.

The eastern part of Curacao is owned by one single person, so there is nothing there for tourists.

playa porto mari beach drone shot

Is Curacao Cheap or Expensive for Hotels?

Hotel-wise, Curacao is pretty expensive I would say. Of course, you can also find good budget deals and avoid travel in the high season.

To give you a bit of an estimate about what you can expect when planning your stay, here are some average hotel prices in Curacao.

In Curacao, hotel prices can vary a lot, but this is typically what you can get:

  • Budget hotels: Around $50-$100 per night. Think basic amenities but clean and comfy.
  • Mid-range: You’re looking at about $100-$200 per night. These often have pools, maybe a restaurant.
  • Luxury: Easily $300 and up. Think all-inclusive, with ocean views, and top-notch service.
  • Extreme Luxury: Some hotels easily cost more than $400 per night in Curacao. In that case, you can have a private villa on the beach or an over-water villa.

Is it Safe to AirBnB in Curacao?

Yes, generally I would say it is safe to AirBnB in Curacao. I have done it before, and we were not disappointed. We booked a house in Playa Lagun and it was dreamy.

However, I would remind you to be cautious when booking budget accommodation online in Curacao. You might end up in a really bad neighborhood.

There are a couple of gated communities where AirBnB properties are popular, like Coral Estate, Jan Thiel, Playa Lagun, Sabana Westpunt, or Blue Bay. Stick to these areas to avoid nasty surprises.

Conclusion: Best Areas to Stay in Curacao

These are the best areas to stay in Curacao, depending on your preferences and your budget. With this useful guide, you absolutely can’t go wrong when picking your hotel for the ultimate Curacao beach vacation.

Most hotels in Curacao are absolutely divine, and I hope this makes the choice a bit easier for you.

For more inspiration on things to do in Willemstad head over to this blog post.

If you need a personalized itinerary for your vacation in Curacao, check out my shop for the Ultimate Curacao Travel Guide Book.

Read about the cheapest time to go to Curacao to plan the perfect vacation.

FAQ: Where to Stay in Curacao

What part of Curacao is best to stay?

The best part of Curacao to stay in depends on individual preferences and budget. Some popular areas include Willemstad, Mambo Beach, Piscadera Bay, Playa Lagun, Jan Thiel Beach, and Santa Barbara Beach. These are all great options for a beach vacation with plenty of activities and attractions nearby. To help narrow down the selection even further, consider your desired accommodation type (hotel or resort) and the amenities you desire (restaurants, spa services, etc.). With this useful guide, you absolutely can’t go wrong when picking your hotel for the ultimate Curacao beach vacation.

Where to not stay in Curacao?

Areas in Curacao that are often mentioned as less safe include Seru Fortuna, Marchena, Buena Vista, Souax, Koraal Specht, Tera Kora, Jongbloed, Wishi/Marchena, Steenrijk, and Barber. These areas are generally less touristy and might have higher crime rates. I would not stay there for my vacation.

Is Curacao a Party Island?

No, I would not rate Curacao primarily as a party island. Don’t get me wrong, you can find lots of cool beach parties and great nightlife in Curacao, but it is not the main thing on the island. It is not obvious if you don’t look for it.

Is Curacao gay-friendly?

Yes, Curacao is considered one of the more gay-friendly destinations in the Caribbean. The island is pretty open and tolerant, with a few LGBTQ+ events and bars. While public displays of affection are generally accepted, it’s always good to be aware of your surroundings. But overall, most travelers find Curacao to be a welcoming place

Is Curacao good for families?

Yes, Curacao has a lot to offer for families. Beaches with calm waters are great for kiddos, and many resorts are family-friendly with pools and activities for all ages. There are also cool places like the Curacao Sea Aquarium and the Ostrich Farm that the little ones might love.

blonde girl pink dress in front of blue door santorini

About the Author

Sabrina is a passionate travel blogger and content creator, originally from Austria. She spends most parts of the year abroad at various destinations with her husband.

She provides slow-paced itineraries that focus on quality over quantity. Sabrina wants to help her readers to get more out of their travel experiences – while doing less. Read more.

The post Best Area to Stay in Curacao: Ultimate Neighborhood & Hotel Guide appeared first on Shades of Summr.