Lions Dive and Beach Resort Curacao
Today, we’d like to revisit our time at the Lions Dive and Beach Resort Curacao.
Curacao is a small island nation in the southern Caribbean, located approximately 65 kilometers north of the Venezuelan coast. It’s a Lesser Antilles island country that’s a part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which includes the neighboring islands of Aruba and Bonarie. The trio is often referenced as the ABC Islands.
Disclosure – before we get started, we feel it’s important to mention that we did NOT receive any compensation from Lions Dive and Beach Resort Curacao. We did not get anything for free, nor did we get a discount.
Why Lions Dive and Beach Resort Curacao?
We only had 3 nights to spend on Curacao, so we wanted a hotel that was located directly on the beach and close to amenities. Our research pointed us to the Lions Dive and Beach Resort Curacao – more info about the beach resort here.
The Lions Dive and Beach Resort is located on the southwest side of Curacao, about 7 kilometers south of the charming Old Town of Willemstad, the capital city and designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It’s also within a stone’s throw of the Curacao Sea Aquarium, so that was an added bonus. This was a family vacation, so it’s important to have things to do with kids.
How to get to Lions Dive and Beach Resort
Our Caribbean trip included stops at both Aruba and Curacao. We spent the first four nights in Aruba before departing for Curacao. There is no ferry that connects the two islands, so you have to take an airplane.
Our flight from Aruba arrived at the Curacao airport in the early afternoon.
We jumped in a taxi that took about 30 minutes to get from Curacao airport to Lions Dive and Beach Resort. It cost $40 USD, which is apparently the standard rate. The taxi did not have a meter.
We tried to pay with our credit card, but the taxi driver’s machine was not working. This is not surprising as ‘broken meters’ are common in the Caribbean. We were prepared for this – we always bring $US cash when we travel.
We arrived at the hotel about an hour before the official check in time. It must have been a busy day because our room was not ready. We left our bags with the hotel porter and decided to visit the hotel restaurant to grab a late lunch and a cold beer.
Restaurants at Lions Dive and Beach Resort
Lions Dive and Beach Resort Curacao has four restaurants – Nemo Restaurant, Hemingway, Piazza Mediterranean and Chill Beach Bar & Grill.
Hemingway Restaurant is perfectly situated on the water. It’s a comfortable restaurant with a solid menu. We ate lunch there three times during our stay and each time the food was really good and freshly prepared.
We enjoyed the tasty baguette sandwiches and our boys ate chicken nuggets and fries.
The breakfast was a different story. It’s a buffet style breakfast that is overpriced (in our opinion) and the food is left sitting in the sun all morning. Not good.
The breakfast options and quality was not what we would have expected for the price. That said, the restaurant was always full at breakfast and other guests didn’t seem to mind. It just wasn’t for us.
You can’t get much closer to the water than this!
Above and below – Hemingway Restaurant at Lions Dive and Beach Resort Curacao.
Part of the Hemingway restaurant is on a wooden deck and covered with palapa style thatched roofs. The rest of the tables are placed directly in the sand. It’s a true beach bar and restaurant.
Fact – cold beer tastes better when your toes are buried in sand.
Above – you can dine with your toes in the sand at Hemingway Restaurant.
This big guy can be found lounging on the rocks beside the restaurant or slowing roaming from table to table. Don’t get up too quickly, he might be sitting under your chair!
Chill Beach Bar & Grill
Chill Beach Bar & Grill is a fun spot and definitely worth visiting. We spent every evening at this beach bar during our time at Lions Beach and Dive Resort Curacao. Although, we did not end up eating here, but the meat skewers looked tasty.
We had a great time drinking cold beer and watching the sun set while sitting in those big comfy wooden chairs with toes in the sand. Good times indeed!
Above – enjoying happy hour beer on the beach.
Nemo Restaurant is an upscale fine dining restaurant that serves fish and meat entrees. We did not eat there but it looks like a nice place. Many of the Nemo Restaurant reviews say that the food is great, service is questionable, and the price point is quite high.
Piazza Mediterranean restaurant is located on the other opposite end of the property, near the 50 meter swimming pool. We did not eat here either but it looks very comfortable.
It’s an open aired restaurant and bar that has a limited menu.
Grounds at Lions Dive and Beach Resort
The resort grounds are lush and well kept. It has several buildings and gardens. During our visit, the resort appeared to be quite full, yet we didn’t see many people around the resort.
Most people spent their time at the beach, which makes sense because the beach is the strength of this Curacao resort.
Note – we didn’t see any elevators on the property, so if you have trouble with stairs it would be best to ask for a ground floor room.
Here’s an aerial photo of the resort that gives a different perspective.
Above – even at peak times, we felt like we had the resort to ourselves.
Our Room at Lions Dive Beach Resort
Our room was small but nice. It was newly renovated and the beds were comfy. The resort caters to Europeans, so the beds have European style bedding with thick duvets.
The room was equipped with a small fridge, television, WiFi and a pod coffee machine.
We captured the above photo from the ‘balcony’ of our room. I’m using italics for the word balcony because it was actually just an open-aired walkway with a chair.
See photo below – our room was in the middle, on the second floor.
We did not like this shared balcony.
It was not private and other guests would often walk past our glass door, which meant we had to keep the curtains and door closed at night. We would have enjoyed sitting on the balcony at night but it was not very inviting and we felt like we were disturbing our neighbors.
Not a big deal, because we spent most of our time on the beach, but we felt like we were stuffed in the back of the hotel in the less desirable rooms.
We paid $300+ per night, so we would have expected better for that price.
Be careful when you make a cup of coffee in your room.
We couldn’t figure out how to use the coffee machine and lost one of the coffee pods (each room only gets two coffee pods). We asked for another one and the hotel actually charged us for it. A small charge, but SUPER annoying. Short sighted, really.
Unfortunately, we can’t seem to tell our story about this resort without bringing up this unnecessary charge for a coffee pod – it left us with a negative feeling about the staff and hotel.
Swimming Pools at the resort
The beach resort has 3 pools. It has a 50 meter pool for swimming laps, a wading pool for kids (pictured above) and a regular size pool beside the Nemo Restaruant (pictured below).
The pools are not very big, when compared to other big resorts you find in the Caribbean, but we didn’t mind. We actually prefer smaller sized pools.
Surprisingly, we were the only ones at the pool during the day.
In the evenings, the 50 meter pool is used by residents and expats from the community. Many of the swimmers wore branded swim suits that were sponsored by the hotel, so we assume that outside guests are allowed to use the pool if they are a part of the swim team.
Above – regular size pool in front of Nemo Restaruant.
Related – Reflections from our first trip to Aruba
Beach at the resort
Let’s get to the main reason we came all the way to Curacao. The beach!
The beach at the resort is awesome. It’s protected by a row of rocks, so the water is always calm. The water is warm and clear, so it was an ideal spot to swim and snorkel.
We spotted a few fish but there is no reef in the section in front of the hotel.
There are plenty of beach chairs available for guests of the hotel, so we did not have to worry about reserving chairs. No matter what time of day, there was always chairs available. We liked that. It’s annoying when people get up early and put a towel on a chair to reserve it, only to disappear for hours.
The sand is so silky and soft. We loved it. More importantly, our boys loved it. We spent hours playing on the beach and swimming in the protected cove. It was perfect.
Below are photos of the beach at Lions Dive and Beach Resort in Curacao.
Travel tips for Lions Dive and Resort Curacao
- The resort offers a free shuttle to the Old Town in Willemstad. Return shuttle departs two hours later, which really isn’t enough time to explore the town. You can take a taxi back to the hotel or spend the whole day in the city and wait for the evening shuttle to bring you back.
- Rooms are equipped with fridges but there are no grocery stores on the property. The closest store is a 45 minute walk. Resort offers a shuttle to the grocery store, but times are limited.
- There is a large shopping mall beside the resort called Mambo Beach Boulevard. It has several outdoor restaurants, bars, cafes and shops (but no grocery store). We had dinner there and would recommend it.
- Alcoholic drinks are expensive at the hotel restaurants. Small bottles of beer cost US$5-6. When we went into town we purchased beer from a convenience store for US$2. Stock up if you like to drink beer on the beach at sunset.
- Curacao Aquarium, said to be one of the most popular attractions in Curacao, is right next door to the beach resort. It’s a 2 minute walk from the hotel to the aquarium entrance.
- Lions Dive and Beach Resort is known for it’s Scuba diving and snorkeling excursions. We did not go scuba diving on this trip but the facility, boats and equipment look very good. It looks like a professional outfit.
- We booked this resort using Hotels.com. We paid approx. $300 per night. This was during peak season, so it was an expensive time to visit. More info about the resort here.