10 Best Vacations Places

We sent our beautiful traveler and her lovely mom on a Thanksgiving trip to Curacao! They were so kind to share their pictures and write a really thorough review of the island for us since it’s one of the few places we haven’t been yet (it’s on our list!!). Here is her review and after you’re done reading it, let us know when we can plan your next trip!

Our Curacao Trip!

Quick overview
The island of Curacao is off the hurricane and tourist path but as easy to get to as any of the other Caribbean islands from the east coast. It is part of the Dutch Netherland Antilles islands, using the Netherlands Antilliean guilder for its currency and enjoying Dutch military protection. The island has a European feel to its city centers and sturdier construction to its buildings which provides a more inviting, safer feeling than many of the Caribbean islands I have been to. The downtown area is safe to walk around in and milling with international tourists from the cruise ships. The beaches are quiet and beautiful getaways and easily accessible. The food is international and you can find just about anything you could want to eat. The US dollar and credit cards are readily accepted and the locals speak English, Spanish, Dutch, and their own blend of Portuguese and

Renaissance Resort & Casino
After an easy $25 taxi from the airport, the Renaissance Hotel’s staff were welcoming and friendly. While I have been in lobbies that make more of an impression, the lobby was tidy and opened onto the casino and restaurant. Surrounding the entrance to the hotel is an upscale shopping and restaurant area that houses Tiffany’s, BCBG, several other jewelry stores, a movie theater, cigar lounge and a busy Starbucks.

The casino is small but provides cards, roulette, and slot machines. The restaurant off the lobby celebrates most American and Dutch holidays and has themed nights, such as an international buffet featuring Indian dishes, jambalaya, seafood soups, fried rice, and desserts. When we were there they had a cute little set up with a carving station for Thanksgiving. The hotel also provides room service, which I found affordable, but fairly bland. There also did not seem to be a shop or vending area where you could purchase snacks such as candy bars and chips easily. This was the only downside I found.

The hotel is home to its own Starbucks, that allows room charges, a poolside lounge with very good food and drinks, and an infinity pool with sand bottom that gives the illusion of being on the beach. A second infinity pool with cement bottom is also available for those who don’t want to get sandy. While hanging over the edges of the pools you can witness iguanas munching on the bushes and sunning themselves on a rock wall, as well as crabs playing in the water outlets. Occasionally these creatures will get friendly and venture onto the walls of the pool or even the beach! Don’t worry, they don’t bite though and mostly keep to themselves.

You can also watch cruise ships and huge shipping freighters as they dock or travel up the channel to unload cargo and passengers. There is also a Dutch navy vessel that patrols the mouth of the harbor and it is entertaining to watch the navy shore vessels and pilot boats race out to guide their captains safely into port.

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