We are in between trips right now so I am going to recall our last visit to Curaçao in late February and early March of 2016. It was our 5th vacation there and the first one without our daughters. Flying out of Detroit we were delayed first because of mechanical problems and then because we returned from the runway back to the gate to leave a passenger off the plane. Very weird start to a vacation but also maddening because we figured we would not make our connecting flight out of Miami. And we were right.  Quite a few of us sprinted to the gate but found the plane was still there but the gate had already closed so we were rebooked on the later flight. That flight was delayed as well so we arrived in Curaçao late in the evening which meant the car rental offices were closed. We took a taxi to the hotel and were pleased to see that the Marriott was as beautiful as we remembered! Tip: Prepare for the unexpected and enjoy the things that work out.

View walking into Marriott lobby

The room we got was a regular room with ocean view. Nothing special until you walk onto the balcony and see palm trees and ocean. It was clean and comfortable. I recommend you book a package that has breakfast included. We thought we had but….didn’t. There is a pastry shop that has great coffee and light breakfast options.

There are suites available that are ocean front but we have always gotten the ocean view room since I love the palm trees. We like the Marriott because it is ocean front with a beautiful sandy beach. The swimming is wonderful. Some days the waves are huge and other days it is relatively calm. You can snorkel by swimming out to the drop off area or you can snorkel closer to shore by the rocks that help protect the beach area. We brought our own gear but you can buy or rent some from the Dive shop or check out a mask and fins at the pool area. The Dive shop also offers excursions. The beach is full of shells and I always return with a beautiful collection.  There is also a wonderful pool area that has shade, lots of lounge chairs and a swim up bar.  They serve lunch as well in the area you see behind Joe in the photo below.

Pool area

The sunsets are spectacular and we made sure to be on the beach every evening to experience the beauty of nature.

There are several restaurants in the Marriott and there are a few within a short drive. The city of Willemstad is a 15 minute drive. You can do some shopping, eat at numerous restaurants, admire the colorful buildings, and walk over the Queen Emma Bridge which is a floating bridge that actually swings out of the way of the ships that need to pass. And, it lights up at night!

We drove around the island and stopped at several beaches. We saw our first water snake at one of the public beaches. Tip: wear swim shoes and bring coins for the restrooms.

We also visited the studio of Nena Sanchez and bought several of her prints of island life. You can check out her work on Pinterest or pull up her website to see her colorful paintings. Her studio is across from a Flamingo Sanctuary!  Be sure to check it out.

Nena Sanchez Studio

This trip we decided to brave a submarine type excursion for the first time. It was exciting to see the ocean floor with all the coral, sponges and many small colorful fish. I was hoping to see a sea turtle, dolphin, or a shark but did not.

We love Curaçao and have done  many other  interesting things on our previous trips that I will add to a future post.