Curacao Resort for a group of Divers and non-divers

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cburdick1

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Hi everyone,

I'm putting together a trip for a group of families (probably 30 people) and for a few reasons, Curacao looks like a great destination. We are looking for a resort in Curacao that would satisfy divers and non-divers alike.

-We don't need uber-luxury, think Westin level accomodations
-Some of the non-divers will probably do Open Water check out dives, so having a 5 star dive shop on site or nearby would be great.
-Needs to have good non-dive activities that are easily accessible to the resort
-Walking distance to restaurants/shopping a plus.
-Nice beach and pool

I've done some research but would love some "on the ground" advice, I would appreciate it.

Thanks.
 

drrich2

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Curacao Trip Research Notes
Curacao Trip Report with SB Surge Jan. 2019

I believe someone else indicated that since I wrote up my notes and report there are now a couple of other A.I. options on Curacao. 'Families' usually means kids along, so I'm thinking staying in the Willemstad region instead of Westpunt may work for you.

I liked Sunscape Resort Curacao except for one thing; the price tag. But that said...we didn't rent a car, food and drinks were included (if I drank alcohol that might've mattered more), and it was nice...plus walking distance to Mambo Beach (not that I felt the need to go there; tried it on a cruise stop once, pretty crowded) and the Curacao Sea Aquarium (enjoyed that).

Richard.
 

Jayfarmlaw

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Sunscape checks all your boxes. With 30 divers you should be able to negotiate an excellent rate. Ocean Encounters is the on site dive shop and they gave us keys to the locker room so we could dive 24/7.

The house reef is a wall that is better than 90% of the reefs I have dove in the world.

I did a trip report on this forum last April. It was the best dive trip I have taken.
Edit- Here it is.

Trip Report - Sunscape Curacao, Ocean Encounters Diving A++++++

Please tell Norma at the pool bar and Jorge at the dive shop their Oklahoma "Brother" says hello.

safe travels,
jay
 

Jake 10

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Thank you @drrich2 @cburdick1 for the information , I am planning something similar but for a much smaller group, and this thread really helps schedule and coordinate
 

Damselfish

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I agree with Sunscape for a group like that.

(If by 5 star you mean "PADI 5-star" the shop there is not, but you don't need that. 5-star is just a marketing thing, there is no 1-4 star. They would have to follow rules that have nothing to do with quality, like only offering PADI certs and meeting certain numbers.)
 

digdug87

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I will also endorse Sunscape. The dive shop i dive with & work with have been twice in the last few years & we're thinking of going back in the summer of '22.
 

tkaelin

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Lions Dive. Much nicer than Suncape IMHO.
 

drrich2

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Lions Dive.

IIRC, it's adjacent to Sunscape and uses the same dive operator, and is not A.I. but has on grounds restaurants.

Oh, on the subject of the Curacao Sea Aquarium; while people vary in their views on marine mammal exploitation, and I don't want to get side-tracked into a debate here, if some of your group are kids a dolphin encounter can be magical. From one of their professional photographers:
20190118-1.30-ShowKiss-WvL 001.jpeg
 

Damselfish

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Lions Dive would be a good choice too. AI may be a big consideration between the 2. At Sunscape you have whatever included AI type stuff and meals - people often have strong preferences for AI or not. (I will say there are a ton of good restaurants on Curacao and places to explore which might be a shame to miss.) Lions you are a little bit closer to the Seaquarium and other “off the ranch” food and activities there but it's only like a 10 minute walk between the 2.
 

Altamira

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We have been at Sunscape for two weeks, with another two weeks to go. The resort itself has very nice rooms, grounds, and facilities. The sea wall protecting the swimming lagoon allows safe and enjoyable swimming with the fairly persistent choppy water on the outside of the sea wall. As mentioned Ocean Encounters is excellent, as is The Dive Bus (shore diving only) which is across the street from the north end of the resort. The reefs, including the house reef are still in great shape. AI is very convenient, including food, drinks, and tips. It is nice to come back from dives and not have to chase around to find food. However, the food is just OK, with a few exceptions being good. Perhaps it is a cultural thing, but they grossly overcook meats and fish. If you want a steak cooked medium rare, or fish properly prepared, forget about it. My wife said the Seafood Linguini at Da Mario was supposed to be good, but found it like chewing on rubber bands. In all fairness, the other menu items at Da Maria have been good. This is our first resort stay so perhaps our expectations were a bit unrealistic. The best food is found at Da Mario (Italian menu), and Himitsu (Japanese), and the Himitsu requires a reservation. There is a 24/7 coffee bar which has a good assortment of coffee beverages, snack sandwiches, and desserts. A nice touch to the buffet restaurant is an ice cream window, but it is only open from 1-3 daily.The resort management and staff are still in the recovery phase of their lockdown, so I don't think they are fully staffed, and the staff they have is not adequately/fully trained (there are exceptions of course). On the plus side, the staff is generally very friendly and helpful.
 
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