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

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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: Where to Stay in Curacao

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
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
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: Lagun Ocean Resort
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
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

Where to Stay in Curacao Map & My Take On It

where to stay in curacao ultimate map

Curacao is a beautiful Caribbean paradise, with many nice spots and corners. As I have mentioned before, I have stayed in Curacao for many months over the last few years. We have tried lots of different hotels, resorts and areas to stay in.

Willemstad is the cultural center of the island. You can find fancy restaurants, shops & boutiques, bars, and clubs in the capital city of Willemstad. It is a great and fun place to stay for younger people who crave some hustle and bustle.

Willemstad itself does not have a beach, but there are a few hotels with artificial beaches, such as the Renaissance Windcreek Hotel. We loved that hotel and can totally recommend staying in Willemstad.

If you want to be close to Willemstad, you should stay in Mambo Beach. We stayed there for our first time on the island, and nothing but fond memories. We loved the Sunscape Resort the most. It has a huge, private beach and it is within walking distance of the Sea Aquarium and the Mambo Beach Boulevard.

Mambo Beach is great for families with kids as well. But an even better place with the little ones is Jan Thiel Beach. It is said to be the safest spot on the island. There are many Dutch people, that’s why it wouldn’t be my first choice without kiddo’s.

If you love adventure or just want to be secluded, stay out west. The views from the cliffs in Playa Lagun are amazing, and they have so many cool houses to rent there. I loved our stay there, although getting groceries and stuff is a bit of a drive. It is sadly also a bit less safe, but our house was well protected in the resort.

Lastly, if you are on a honeymoon you should splurge and pick the Sandals Resort in Santa Barbara Beach. It is the most romantic resort on the island in my opinion.

For more details about each area and bonus content, keep on reading.

Best Places to Stay in Curacao for Couples & Honeymooners

Santa Barbara Beach

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. You can go snorkeling, kayaking, and on boat rides from Santa Barbara Beach. There is even a big golf resort on the Santa Barbara Plantation right next door.

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.

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. Luckily, lots of tours start there or offer pickup, so it is not a big issue in my opinion.

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

view of Santa Barbara Beach in Curacao

Hotel Tip: Royal Sandals Curacao

Author’s Choice
pool at sandals royal curacla
Sandals Royal Curacao All Inclusive Couples Only
  • 5 * Resort
  • 2 Infinity Pools
  • Beachfront Suites & Villas
  • Adults Only
  • Amazing Restaurants
  • Great Location

The fabulous Sandals Royal Curacao is one of the most romantic hotels on the island. It is the only couples-only hotel on the island.

Sandals Royal Curacao is a newly built hotel located on Santa Barbara Beach and it is the perfect hotel for honeymooners. The resort features an array of luxurious amenities including beachfront suites with two-story infinity pools and private balconies, outdoor dining venues, fire pits, and so more.

How much more romantic can it get? Oh yeah, they do have a heart-shaped pool there with private villas surrounding it.

There are seven restaurants on-site offering food from around the world. You will have access to top-notch spa services treatments ranging from massages and facials to body wraps and aromatherapy sessions.

This is the most romantic hotel in Curacao and I could not pick a better spot for a honeymoon. This is also an amazing place to stay in Curacao for couples. It is pricey, but well worth it in my opinion.

Where to Stay in Curacao for Divers & Adventurers

Playa Lagun

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.

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

Hotel Tip: Lagoon Ocean Resort

Lagoon Ocean Resort
sea turtle in curacao
Lagoon Ocean Resort
  • Houses and Studios For Rent
  • Amazing Ocean View
  • Safe & Secure Resort
  • Pool & BBQ Station
  • Dive Shop & Restaurant
  • Free Parking
  • Breakfast Service

The Lagoon Ocean Resort has a very special place in my heart. The small houses are located right on the cliff and provide an unobstructed view of the ocean and the sunset. I have stayed there myself multiple times and loved it so much.

The little houses in beach decor offer everything you could possibly need. The resort has a pool, a BBQ station, and direct access to a great restaurant. They even offer to bring you fresh bread and other groceries for breakfast at your house.

It is quite a drive to reach the Lagoon Ocean Resort. They do offer airport pickup, but I suggest getting a rental car if you plan on heading out by yourself.

This is also the best place to stay in Curacao for diving, there is a dive shop and school right next door.

I absolutely loved these houses, and staying there was like a dream for us. I have so many precious memories from that sunset view!

Best Area to Stay in Curacao for Families

Jan Thiel Beach

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.

There is nothing you can’t do at Jan Thiel Beach.

Hotel Tip: Livingstone Jan Thiel Resort

Author’s Choice
jan thiel resort
Livingstone Jan Thiel Resort
  • Family Friendly
  • 4 * Hotel
  • Children’s Pool
  • Family Rooms
  • Restaurant

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 sparkles 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.

mambo beach curacao drone shot

Hotel Tip: Sunscape Resort & Spa Curacao All Inclusive

Author’s Choice
sunscape curacao author on hotel pool
Sunscape Resort & Spa Curacao All Inclusive
  • All Inclusive Hotel
  • Huge Private Beach
  • Outdoor Pools
  • Different Restaurants
  • Dive Site
  • Spa

Sunscape was my very first hotel I stayed at in Curacao. The resort has the biggest private beach on the island.

The All-Inclusive resort was the perfect choice for our holiday – especially the first one on this island.

They offered everything we could possibly need and to never get bored. The suites and rooms are beautiful, and you can even upgrade your stay to a VIP area with a private pool and bar.

The beach is perfect for beginner snorkelers. Its close proximity to Mambo Beach and Willemstad also offers plenty of opportunities for a day outside the hotel, in case you crave one.

This hotel is perfect for couples, families, honeymooners and divers. It truly has it all. We loved our stay at this property and can absolutely recommend it.

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. There are also quite a lot of free things to do in Curacao, so you can save money on activities.

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, the capital city of Curacao, is a great place to stay for city lovers and those that 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.

There is one exception to this, the Renaissance Resort by Marriott.

Hotel Tip: Renaissance Wind Creek Resort Curacao

The Renaissance Wind Creek Resort in Curacao is a beautiful and luxurious resort in Willemstad’s Otrobanda district.

It is connected with the Rif Fort Shopping Center and Mall, so there are a lot of stores and restaurants just outside the hotel.

The hotel is the ideal place to stay in Curacao because it has a huge, artificial infinity beach. This is the only hotel in Willemstad with beach access.

The view from the hotel is simply stunning and all the cultural highlights of Willemstad are just a few steps away.

I love this hotel because the location is impeccable. You can do so many things without a rental car, and that is amazing!

Best Area to Stay in Curacao for Luxury Travelers

The best areas to stay in Curacao for luxury travelers are Piscadera and Willemstad.

The fanciest resorts and most exclusive restaurants and beaches are located in this area. These areas offer a mix of everything: beaches, city and nature.


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’s, offering top-class facilities and amenities.

For those looking to explore, there are plenty of activities to choose from in this area, including, sailing, water sports, and diving. 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.

Tip: many Private Curacao Tours offer pick-up service in this area.

beach beds and umbrella at piscadera bay in curacao

Hotel Tip: Curacao Marriott Beach Resort

The Curacao Marriott Beach Resort is a luxurious hotel located in the picturesque area of Piscadera. This five-star resort offers private beach access, two pools and a spa and wellness center, and several restaurants and bars.

You can also enjoy onsite water sports activities such as kayaking, snorkeling, deep-sea fishing, and paddle boarding. There is no need to leave the resort if you don’t want to, they have got you covered!

We went to the Curacao Marriott Beach Resort for a day to visit friends and enjoy the amenities. And I was truly jealous – the resort was fabulous and I did not want to leave!

Overall, the Curacao Marriott Beach Resort is one of the most luxurious resorts in Piscadera which makes it an ideal destination for those seeking luxury travel experiences in Curacao.

Hotel Tip: Baoase Luxury Resort

The Baoase Luxury Resort is a stunning five-star resort located in Willemstad. It is one of the most luxurious and exclusive spots on the island. Baoase is the best place in Curacao for luxury travelers to relax and unwind.

The resort itself offers cute private poolside villas and even A PRIVATE ISLAND you can rent. I mean how luxe is that?

The resort has its own private beach, which is perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and water sports. Baoase Luxury Resort also has a private marina with boat rentals ideal for exploring the nearby islands.

Baoase Luxury Resort truly stands out as one of the finest resorts in Curacao and one of the best resorts that I have ever seen.

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, and it is a great, budget-friendly spot for digital nomads that want a tad of luxury.

Hotel Tip: Acoya Curacao Resort Villas & Spa

I have spent months in Acoya Curacao and I found it to be the perfect place for Digital Nomads. They have great internet connections and the villas and apartments are fully furnished.

Every room and villa has its own kitchen, living room, and even a desk for working. There are two restaurants in the resort, and you can catch the free shuttle bus to the supermarket or the beach.

In between work sessions, you can jump into the pool or take a walk around the resort and see the turtles in the pond.

This is a great place to stay if you are looking for a house or an apartment that comes with lots of amenities and is safe as well.

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 of 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’s 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?

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

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 or 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 of 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.