I recently visited the beautiful island of Curaçao. To learn more about Curaçao as a travel destination and my experience, check out my last post.
Now, I would like to share my experience at the Sunscape Curaçao Resort.
Choosing a hotel for vacay can be tricky. It is difficult to understand its proximity to attractions and landmarks without being familiar with the destination. Also, things like service, cleanliness, beach and food are very important factors. The internet helps greatly, but sites like TripAdvisor can be so confusing because experiences can be so subjective. I have stayed in hotels that were wonderful and have been littered with negative reviews on TripAdvisor. I hate also stayed at hotels that I didn’t like which had great reviews.
I think it is important to note that many times, if people are motivated to actually sit down and write a review online, it’s because they have had a negative experience. Think about it. Have you ever asked to speak to a manager or person in charge at a store? Was it to report good service? Most often not. So, just keep an open mind when reading online hotel reviews. And, if you have had a great experience at a hotel, take a few minutes to write them a positive review.
When we booked Curaçao, we checked out the reviews for Sunscape and they were mixed. There were glowing reviews and then people complaining about small things. So, we decided to go for it.
The Sunscape Resort is a four star all- inclusive hotel that is located 10 miles from the International Airport Hato and two miles from the capital city of Willemstad. It was previously a Breezes hotel.
Our airport transfer was efficient and pleasant and we did not have to wait very long to check in. The lobby of Sunscape was clean, modern and welcoming.
After reading reviews, we noted that the Flamingo and Pelican buildings contained recently renovated rooms. I e-mailed the hotel a few weeks before our trip requesting rooms in these buildings. Sunscape responded that they had made a note of our request, but could not guarantee anything. At check-in we were told that rooms in these buildings would not be available until the following day.
Chris, at the front desk offered us two adjoining rooms on the first floor of the Heron building in the meantime. He said to see how we liked them and that we could switch the following day if we wanted. We never ended up switching as we liked our rooms very much. It was also handy that our rooms were connected, we had the door between the two unlocked so that all four of us could go back and forth.
The rooms were clean and well maintained all week. They each had a safe, and small refrigerator containing beer juice and sodas. When we requested water on the first day, the two bottles were replenished daily.
The Sunscape Resorts grounds are beautiful, lush and well kept. The rooms are spread out in buildings across the property and there are 6 bars and 4 restaurants.
The resort is located on a quiet beachfront strip, along with a couple other resorts and some rental properties. The Sea Aquarium is also on the strip and there is a beauty salon, dive shop, and grocery store within walking distance.
Food at the Sunscape resort was very good. There are 4 a la carte restaurants, a buffet , grill ( during daytime hours only) and cafe.
The World Cafe restaurant is the open air buffet that is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
We woke up every day for breakfast. I know this sounds like a given, but believe me this is a testament to the quality of the breakfast food because we like our beauty sleep!
Mornings included fresh eggs and omlettes made to order, bacon and sausage, fresh fruit, and smoked salmon. The star of the breakfast services in our eyes was a delicious Danish blue cheese. We ate it every day!
Being the seafood nut that I am, I loved that the lunch and dinner buffets featured delicious fresh fish daily. Our buffet favourites through the week also included jerk chicken, roast beef and macaroni and cheese! The foods were varied everyday for lunch and dinner and everything was always fresh and plentiful.
The a la carte restaurants did not require reservations. Instead, you were required to go and check-in and then were given a pager. The pager often did not go off for hours, so we actually would have preferred a reservations system.
Our group had good luck at DaMarios Italian a la carte restaurant. Both times that we had dinner there, we walked right in without having to go away with a pager first. The food here was very good, especially the garlic bread!
Oceana is the seafood a la restaurant on the resort. It is beautiful setting, with tables located right on the beach. The menu features calamari, octopus, red snapper and shrimp. All were delicious, but our favourite was the red snapper. This restaurant was extremely busy during our stay. We waited two hours to eat there and tried to return again only to find out that it was booked solid for the whole night by 7:30pm.
We were excited to find out that the resort had a Japanese a la carte restaurant, Himitsu. However, this was by far the worst experience. We waited for a table for a couple of hours and then sat through a painfully slow service. The meal was brought out in small plates for the entire table to share. We left before the meal was fully served, joining some other frustrated (and hungry) Himitsu-goers at the buffet.
Our favourite a la carte restaurant was the Blue Water Grill. This is interesting, as we had read negative reviews about it. Just goes to show that you can’t take those reviews for truth until you experience for yourself. If we had , we would have missed out on one heck of a good steak. We returned to this restaurant a second time. The steak was that good. The potato soup was also incredibly delicious. Nom!
There was also a cafe located in the lobby of the resort. The Coco Cafe features baked goods, specialty coffees and organic tea. I really appreciated the variety of tea available because I have been on vacations where I can’t find a green tea bag to save my life.
During the day, there are two grills open. Burgers, sandwiches, fries, popcorn and other snack items can be found here. The Blue Water Grill restaurant becomes the more central of these grills and it gets VERY busy. If this was low season, I would hate to see what the lineup for the grill looks like during high season. There is a second grill located in the Oceana restaurant during the daytime. This one is way less busy and had we known about it sooner it would have always been our first stop.
Now, let’s talk about our favourite stop…the bars.
There are 6 bars in total on the resort including one in the lobby, disco and a swim up bar that was only open late afternoons. We never had to wait very long at the bars as they always seemed to be well staffed. My friends and I had our fair share of pina coladas topped up with Curacao liqueur, wine and Amstel beer! Champagne at the swim up bar also because an afternoon tradition.
Our favourite bartender was without a doubt , Chin Ping. He was friendly, helpful and his creations were delicious. Often making us creative cocktails with fresh fruit, we quickly learned why Chin Ping has won 2nd place for best bartender in Curacao. We think he’s #1!
The hotel amenities included gym with sauna and a spa. We had a look at the spa price list and it was pretty outrageous. Mani/pedi with paraffin was $150. Needless to say, we did not partake.
Sunscape also offered bicycle rentals free of charge.
There are guided bicycle tours. Or, you can just take a bike on your own and go exploring. They will also lend you a lock if you need it. Also free of charge for guests is an introductory scuba lesson in the pool for non-certified divers. Certified divers receive one complimentary off shore dive a day. We did not give this a try , but saw the boats with divers coming and going a few times.
There is a rock wall on the resort, but we never saw staff there during our stay.
What we did do lots of, is snorkeling.
I can not say enough about this experience. It was without a doubt one of the ultimate highlights of Sunscape. One of my friends and I travelled with our own snorkel set, so we just had to borrow flippers every day. This was never a problem and they were always available. However, we had trouble borrowing snorkel sets for the rest of us as they were ALWAYS taken. We eventually found out that they only had 5 sets for the whole resort. Staff told us they had ordered more, so I hope this problem has been rectified.
Snorkelling was wonderful right off the resort. Venture behind the break wall to see more aquatic plants and marine life. Also, grab some bread from the buffet and the fish will flock to you. The greedy buggers even nipped my friend’s lip when there was no more bread to be had. Good thing they dont have teeth…
The Sunscape beach was beautiful however, the shore was very rocky , so water shoes are a must. We eventually discovered that it was less rocky and quieter on the far right side at the end of the property.
We always found chairs when we needed them and we particularly appreciated the close proximity of the beach to the pools. That way we could camp out on chairs and go back and forth between the two.
The pools were well maintained and we enjoyed them. There is also an adults only pool on the property.
We also gave windsurfing a whirl. Not easy. But, the most unique watersport we did on our vacay would have to be walking on the ocean in giant water balls.
Sunscape definitely had some really cool activities that we had never seen at resorts before. Speaking of which…boxing anyone?
There is an amazing entertainment team at Sunscape. They are fun and friendly, always putting together fun events around the resort.
Trivia challenges, karaoke and dancing were just some of the activities that this great team put together for us.
O’Bryan, Gino, John, Chucho and Rohan were outstanding, even putting on a fire breathing show one evening. The take care to ensure there is always lots to see and do around Sunscape , and they encourage people to get involved.
In addition to the entertainment team, there was live music nightly. The singers in the Divas show were incredible, effortlessly singing songs from greats like Celine, Whitney and Mariah!
Sunscape also screened family movies nightly on the beach, complete with popcorn and refreshments. We never actually watched any of the movies though, they were all a little young and there was so much else to be doing.
The disco at Sunscape is a bit on the sad side. Although there is a dj and bar in there after 11 pm , it was never very busy aside from people playing pool. Maybe that is a low season thing?
Sunscape also has a Casino on site. We didnt spend alot of time there , but when we did we lost. Womp womp. The machines seem dated in there but it was very nice that we recieved a buy $5, get $5 coupon at check-in.
Throughout our week at Sunscape, we met lots of friendly and attentive staff. All staff members would greet us happily as we saw them around the resort and we did not find there to be a language barrier as stated in some of the reviews.
I would definitely recommend the Sunscape Curaçao Resort. It is a very good 4 star option. It may not be as luxurious and indulgent as some 5 star resorts but it is clean, fun and charming. The beach is very nice and the staff are stellar. These are the elements that matter most to me as a traveler.
I hope you enjoyed the TNL Travels posts on my experience in Curaçao.
If you’ve stayed at the Sunscape Curaçao Resort, or are thinking about it please share your thoughts below!