We just recently got back from our vacation in Curacao, this is the second time that we go there (For the first time, which was 2 years ago, you can read here). The first time it was 2 years ago and we did the 3 ABC Islands. But this time, we just wanted to explore a bit more the Island of Curacao as it was our favourite one from the three.
And of course from the title, you can guess where we stayed. In our last trip to the island, we ended up by accident in the Zanzibar Club/Bar which apparently what Papagayo or Jan Van Thiel Area is famous for; and then we went for dinner there and we really liked it so we decided this time to stay in it. So find below my thoughts about the hotel and its surrounding:
Welcome drink when we arrived in Papagayo Reception.
The room is nice, you can have lobby view, Beach view but honestly if you will be spending the whole day out in the beach who cares about the view 😉 well at least for us we had lobby view but was with beach view so it worked out anyways. The rooms are very nice, white bathroom well designed for drying fast due to beach lifestyle coming in and out and multiple showers. The only small complaint I have is that the mirrors do take a while to steam out back to normal ;). There is 2 portions of Tea and 2 of Coffee and a decently medium size empty fridge.Which was funny for me to see but for the Dutch (the 80% or more of most tourists Curacao gets) seem to like to buy their own food at the Local Dutch Supermarket AH and stock the fridge, hence empty fridge. The bed is very comfortable, nice balcony to sit at. WIFI available and works very well inside the room and in the bars, but not so much at the pool and Lounge area.
A view inside the room with me in it 😉
One side of view from the balcony.
With your room, you get a bag with the name of the hotel in it that you get to keep, with your towels for the beach that you can change for new ones everyday at the reception.
The Papagayo Towel Bag which you see throughout the Island 😉
One thing I must mention is that, we saw some people arguing with the staff that takes your payments for the beds, and is that in all of Papagayo resort you have to pay for your beds to lay in every single day. The only area you don’t have to pay is a small area where there is a small swimming pool but its not that great there. Its better either at the beach, where Zanzibar is or at the Infinity salty pool. (Apparently in the past year people didn’t have to pay if they stayed at the hotel!)
View of the salty infinity pool at Papagayo Hotel
As mentioned before, there is AH (popular Dutch Supermarket), A small bar at the reception, Gym which was a pity that we didn’t go to but they even have lessons on a daily basis and can be used by the guests of the hotel, not sure about the villas around though. A small clinic, a juice place. Then 5 mins walking and you get to a small shopping centre with a SPA and a Casino. The Casino I have not used, its just not my thing but there are several across the island. The SPA I did try it and I liked it a lot. The service was nice, I had a food massage with my hubby and then I did Manicure and Pedicure and once you finish they give you both nail files they have used for you to keep and by staying in the hotel you get a 10% discount. And if you do 3 treatments you get 30% and thats what I did 😉
There is a main restaurant of Papagayo is where you get your breakfast and also once in the beach/pool side also get you drinks, food and chairs you are sitting paid from. The restaurant itself is really good and the food is very nice both for Lunch & Dinner and also the snacks at the pool specially the famous Dutch “Bitterballen” but the breakfast I found to be very expensive and not so great to be honest so we only had it the first and last day and the rest of days we ate somewhere else or took some healthy stuff from the AH Supermarket like we saw many do!.
Bitterballen in Curacao
Breakfast time…not that great.
Once a week there was Sushi day and you can order Sushi apart from the menu they always have, I would recommend sticking to the menu specially the club sandwich and the caesar salad, we had both several times. As to sushi, it was slow and didn’t taste so good. For Sushi best place would St. Tropez Club in the island, I will do a separate review on this, as it was a really nice experience.
Zest: Is a small but very nice restaurant right next to the restaurant above. They have a small menu but the typical stuff burgers, sandwiches and pastas. The Chicken sandwich and the burger were very nice, also the fries were freshly made and nice. The pastas, well since my family considers me a good cook, I can give my opinion to say that pastas were really not good we tried the two of the three they were offering and they were very oily and not so tasty and using same pasta.
One of the nice lunches we had at Zest with their umbrellas in the back 😉
Opposite this restaurant, there were different beds you can lay down on, with different blue towels with the name Zest on them and also they were more on the pricey side with a cute umbrella above every two beds, and when we asked apparently you get bottle of something to drink and some fruit.
Now a little below Zest, there is a restaurant right at the beach (not swimming area) and it is a sort of Tapas and BBQ one day a week. So we tried it the BBQ day and it was really really nice to eat with your feet in the sand, wooden tables and very very friendly staff.
Tinto: This has been the best meal we had in Papagayo area, (the best one for me is still Gouverneur, which needs a separate post by itself as well, as it is just unique) If you are into meats & grill this is the place to be. The menu is small but what they have to offer is simply delicious and very very good quality. Right at the beach of Zanzibar and a super professional and very nice staff, highly highly recommended.
In Tinto, all the photos were a bit blurry from the lights 😉
My hubby trying to capture the moment and I am doing the same ha ha ha 😉
Zanzibar Bar & Restaurant: Now comes apparently the bar/restaurant and the club to be a couple of times a week as they host dj and you can have a drink and party and dance right there were you were swimming so that part is really nice, also the bar atmosphere is really cosy and Ibiza like style of local Spanish Bars with Straw Umbrella roofs. Now the restaurant, I am really sorry to write this, but apparently many come from around the island because if its stone oven baked pizzas, now if you are really into pizzas and you appreciate a really good one, sorry this is no one even close. But apparently every night it is full. Our complaints and several people we spoke with was, the service is super slow, it is always hectic and the food was simply not ok, really sorry. The bottom line is here, is that in comparison to the rest of the spots on the Papagayo Area, it was the most affordable one, and yes if you are with a family with kids, this is your best option price wise. But quality and service not really. Although I must say, very very friendly people nothing to say, just the food is not that good.
Ice Cream Shop: At the shopping area where there was some stores, a SPA and the Casino, there was also a small Ice Cream place which apparently is also an Italian Place where you can get some Pizzas, we didn’t try the food but we did the ice cream. Well we were very shocked by how unfriendly the staff was there, I though we were about to get murdered!, for asking for an ice cream. The quality was very very poor, and the service was really really bad.
As a result, I want to say that the Hotel is really really nice, friendly service and we felt very comfortable. We are ver pleased both my husband and I with the whole experience. The only thing, it indicated Adults only at the time of reserving since there were also villas so we thought families will go to villas and adults or couples to the Hotel but to our surprise there were days there were more kids than adults ;)…so that part we didn’t understand. Didn’t bother us, we have kids as well its just why mention it is adult area only but its not!.
Well this is more or less the summary as much as possible for this hotel and its surroundings. I will make separate posts for Restaurants and Areas I loved too.
Thank you for reading…sorry its long!.