We returned to the Hilton Curacao the first week of December, after visiting the same week two years prior. As we'd stayed previously, we knew the hotel was old, but it is all about the beautiful beach, water, and hospitality! We were not disappointed in most of these areas.
We booked using Hilton points - Diamond member. They did not have an ocean view room available on the executive floor upon check in so we took a room on the 4th floor. The room was not quite as updated as the room we had previously on the 5th floor, but it was clean, comfortable, and adequate.
We had issues with the lock on our room door on the 3rd day, which they could not fix, and Kathy was a wonder in finding another room for us (they were apparently booked full that week). We ended up with a room on the executive-5th floor, ocean view, next door to the executive lounge. We did hear a lot of door banging noise in that room in the morning and early evening when guests from the lounge would go onto the lounge balcony, however it wasn't during sleeping hours, so not an issue. Thanks for helping us out Kathy, and thanks to the gentleman that attempted to fix our door (and got us out from being locked in!!).
Service everywhere but in the restaurants is outstanding. We only caught a glimpse of Kimberly this year upon check-in the evening we arrived. Possibly she had some time off. She was such a pleasure during our previous visit. Kathy is also great - we saw her at the front desk and in the executive lounge. Most of the employees in the executive lounge are also great... We usually requested they book our dinner reservations for us, and it was always with a smile. The employees at the health club / towel service are also so nice. She even remembered our names and room number after the 2nd day. Now for the poor service, which continues from two years ago -- 90% of the servers at the restaurants and bars. I know people say it is just island time, and it isn't poor service, however we visited many restaurants on the island and never experienced service as poor as at the Hilton. The worst is the main dining rooms and breakfast dining. Pool bar/restaurant area and the outdoor bar are slightly better. Not only are you ignored at the restaurants, it is impossible to get assistance. During breakfast one morning, there was not a spoon on the table, and there wasn't one at any of the food stations. I asked an employee for a spoon and was told they couldn't help me, to find someone else.
We had lunch several times at the pool /beach restaurant and had good meals there 2 years ago. Menu seemed a bit more limited this year, and mid week they had a 'seasonal menu' change. Along with this change, came a charge for water. Early in the week, we could get a plastic glass of water with our meal at no charge (we also purchased alcoholic drinks). After the menu change mid week we were informed they could no longer provide us with glasses of water, we had to purchase $3 small bottles of water. Just another way to nickel and dime you... If service had been more prompt, we would have spent well more than $3 buy purchasing additional alcoholic drinks!
The Hilton still needs to make some improvements -- landscaping was very sad! Walking between the main hotel beach to the Hilton beach closest to the Marriott is not up to any Hilton standards. Totally overgrown with weeds, not sure how anyone could play mini-golf! It appears that at one time (and could be again) very beautiful as there are flowering bushes, etc. that just aren't maintained. Near the end of our visit someone was weed-whacking a 3 foot section along the path, but nothing else..
There were a few holiday decorations put up in the lobby areas mid week but nothing very elaborate; a few bows, a small tree. The Marriott next door was decorated lovely.
I visited the spa one day for a massage -- didn't use the last visit. I walked past all of the services rooms to get to mine; none were being used at that time on that day. I was the only visitor. The visit was very sterile and uninviting... no 'spa' music, no plush robe, no offer of water or tea, no offer to use a sauna or hot-tub prior to or after the service. The most uncomfortable massage table I've ever been on -- ended up with a crick in my neck 'after' my service! The therapist was good -- if she had better surroundings to work in. Since I was paying resort massage pricing, I expected a resort feel environment.
Please don't mis-understand. I love this hotel and most of the employees and would recommend it. I just think they have areas to improve on to be up to Hilton Resort standards. The beach is so peaceful and beautiful -- we always went down to the section near the Marriott. The snorkeling at that part of the beach is also outstanding, if you swim out past the area with boulders, past where the Marriott docks their boats. I think it is as good as anywhere on the island. We also visited Cas Abou beach, but didn't stay long, as we though the Hilton beach was just as nice, if not better. I'm not sure if this hotel is classified at a higher level than it was 2 years ago, or if Hilton in general increased the # of points for a 7 night stay... The same week 2 years ago was 155,000 and this year was 210,000 points.
We dined at several restaurants on the island and I will post full reviews in the restaurant section. Our favorites were Gouverneur and Fishalicious. We rented a car from National one day (located at the Marriott) and toured the island. Shete Boka is a beautiful area! We toured on ATV's with Eric's (awesome) and took a snorkeling/boat tour with Smallfield Adventures (very good time). We picked up some snacks at Centrum -- fun to look at all of the items you don't see in the U.S.!
All in all -- we had a great week and hope to get back again to Curacao and the Hilton.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
27 January 2012
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we highly appreciate your return to our hotel and want to thank you for sharing your feedback of your second stay with us!
Plesae be assured that we take your feedback, the positive and the negative, very seriously since we continuously strive to improve our hotel and services in order to ensure our guests' stisfaction.
We hope to see you back again soon at the Hilton Curacao to show you our improvements, especially in the areas of concern mentioned in your survey!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC