The one Island that will thrill you and I’m sure you haven’t even heard of it!
If you know me at all you will know that I suffer from a severe case of the travel bug. I come home from an amazing holiday in Morocco and instantly start dreaming up the next place to go. So obviously, since I just came from the desert I was craving a beach escape! I saw some pics of a super cute, colorful, Caribbean island pop across my Instagram feed and had to check it out. How come I never heard much about this place so close by?
Curaçao is a Dutch island off the coast of Venezuela and as soon as I started checking out some of the Curaçao hashtags and feeds, I was hooked!! The pictures made the island look vibrant and colorful….and the beaches looked breathtaking.
After a couple days of fawning over the pictures, my fiancé picked up on my subtle hints (a constant stream of DM’s of my favorite Curaçao insta posts) and booked us direct flights for a 4-night stay! In case you missed that bit, Curaçao is only a 4-hour DIRECT flight from New York City!!!
Unfortunately, a week before we were set to fly to the island for a romantic getaway, my fiancé had a family emergency that kept him in NY. He surprised me by asking my best friend Cody to fill in for him.
After getting off the plane in Willemstad, Curaçao’s capital, Cody and I jumped in a car and sped to the west side of the island to explore the beaches.
Speaking of exploring the island … I HIGHLY recommend getting a rental car! If you are there for a few days, it shouldn’t cost you too much. By having a rental car, you will save yourself the expensive taxi rides ($35 for a 5-mile ride to the airport!), the unreliable public transportation, and best of all you will have the freedom to explore various pockets of the island at your leisure! And in case you’re wondering, Uber hasn’t made it to Curaçao yet.
Hitting the Curaçao Beaches
My seatmate on the flight to Curaçao had said great things about Playa Lagun so once we picked up our rental car Cody and I decided to make it our first stop! The 40-minute drive took us through some beautiful scenery, so it seemed to fly by.
My seatmate was nice, but to be honest, his taste is very different than mine. I was underwhelmed with the beach; the water is stunning but there aren’t any of the amenities I love at the beach. If you do make it to Playa Lagun, bring your own towel, beach chairs, umbrella and cocktails!
Those of you who know me well know that when I travel, I love to find a beach with a fun restaurant, an option for a cabana and fun/fresh cocktails! So after a bit of time at Playa Lagun we decided to head to Kokomo Beach.
Kokomo Beach is an adorable beach with a fun open-air restaurant that overlooks the crystal blue water, endless beach chairs and a fun dock in the middle of the bay for guests to swim out to. On top of all that, there is a swing out in the water that’s the perfect place for a sunset picture. Cody and I had a blast at Kokomo even if we did spend too much time taking the perfect picture on the swing!
You would think our day would be complete after going right from the airport to two different beaches, but we decided one more stop was in order before checking into our hotel! Koraal Curaçao is a GREAT pitstop during the trip from the beaches (west side of the island) back to Wilmstead.
Koraal has two amazing restaurants, the one on pool level is ideal for sunset drinks and the second is more casual and right on the beach. Koraal also has an infinity pool with one of the best views on the island! Koraal’s location is great if you’re into snorkeling and the beach has a pier that you can swim out to. We loved the service and chic vibes plus the view was STUNNING!
After the sunset we decided it was time to leave Koraal and head back to Wilmstead where our hotel, Hotel Bijblauw, is located. After checking in we headed over to Saint Tropez next door for some sushi and dance music to finish off our night. Saint Tropez has a gorgeous infinity pool and fun music to go along with sushi and delicious cocktails! If you are looking for day party vibes in Wilmstead then this is your place! They also have a great dinner scene!
Hotel BijBlauw – Super Cute, Great Location, Amazing Food
When I was deciding where to stay in Curaçao I looked at a bunch of options but chose to stay at Hotel BijBlauw first because of its central location and the surrounding restaurants and nightlife.
BijBlauw is a family run hotel, when I arrived everyone knew my name which made me feel super at home! The service at this hotel is top notch.
The owners named the property, BijBlauw because blue evokes the color of the sea and sky which means positivity and happiness for them. The pictures of BijBlauw online are stunning and after spending some time on the island I can confirm that it’s the cutest boutique hotel on the island! If you are a fan of the HGTV show Fixer Upper than you will love this hotel! I feel like Chip and Joanna designed this venue. The restaurant tables were made from restored shiplap!!! I mean could you ask for more in a tropical design?!?
Boase is a place that encourages you to unplug from the day to day stresses in life, which is why they don’t offer wifi on the beach or at the restaurant which I found refreshing. Don’t worry you will have all the wifi you want in your private villa and private pool are.
As you would expect for a resort of this caliber the food was exquisite! The meals had my mouth watering and then the endless fresh snacks they had delivered to our cabana kept my tummy full We honestly felt spoiled rotten during our stay at Baoase!
If you feel like spoiling yourself to the max and escaping the rest of the world then this is the resort for you! That is why I would rank it the BEST honeymoon spot in the Caribbean and funny enough Travel and Leisure Magazine must agree with me as they rated it the #1 resort in the Caribbean!
Nightlife in Curaçao
Apparently, Friday and Sundays are the big nights for going out. I happened to be there Saturday through Wednesday, so I missed the Friday shenanigans but made up for it on Sunday night.
The place to go is Mambo Beach! There is a strip of restaurants, bars, and clubs! Whatever your style is they have it there! I ended up at a club called Wet and Wild. It’s literally on the beach! Great DJ, cheap drinks, and the lovely ocean breeze!
Curaçao – A Gem of the Caribbean
All in all I think a 4-7 days is the perfect amount of time to explore all the corners of Curaçao!
You can stay in one property or mix it up like we did. I felt like mixing it up was the best way to explore everything and I wouldn’t change a thing.
I honestly, love that Curaçao isn’t on the map as far as American tourism is concerned. It made me feel like I was going someone super remote when it is only a 4-hour direct flight from New York! I also loved that I was the first of my friends to discover a place, though I’m sure by the time I go back lots of my friends will have a stamp from Curaçao on their passports!