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Lions Dive Curacao

Discussion in 'Lesser Antilles' started by PNW Dive Girl, Oct 20, 2014.

  1. PNW Dive Girl

    PNW Dive Girl Dive Charter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Portland, OR
    224
    7
    18
    I'm looking a heading to Curacao with 2 other couple in Feb or Mar 2015. I'm looking for a hotel/resort that has shore diving and a pool. The 2 other wives don't dive and the 2 other divers aren't as experienced as my husband and I. I've stayed at Sunscape when it was Breezes and don't think that an all inclusive works for this group. Is Lions Dive my only option?

    My husband and I are experienced divers and really want to just shore dive, the other two divers want to shore dive from the hotel/resort and boat dive.

    Any recommendations?

    Thanks!
     
  2. irie1029

    irie1029 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Fort Wayne Indiana
    301
    57
    28
    I really liked Kura Hulanda Lodge Curacao Hotels | Hotel Kura Hulanda Resort | Luxury Resorts in Curacao on the west end. It likely still has a shuttle to town (their sister Hotel Kura Hulanda) for the non-divers day trips. There are other places to eat and shore dive near the West such as Sol Food. Dive West GO WEST Diving - EN - Curacao Padi Scuba Dive Center - GO WEST Diving is the operator at the lodge and they are great and offer really well run boat dives for experienced and inexperienced. I stay at sea aquarium across from lions dive 2 weeks every year and use Hans Curious to Dive CURious 2 DIVE - Diveshop Curacao for all my shore dives. If you stay west as least do a couple dives on east end with Hans the director bay tug boat pier dive is awesome topography. Personally I would split the trip between east and west it is a really very diverse island. If you stay east I know plenty of places to keep non-divers occupied. Enjoy!
     
  3. Damselfish

    Damselfish ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boston
    9,145
    1,696
    113
    Second Kura Hulanda Lodge. Nice resort with beach and pool, probably the best on-site shore diving, and other good shore diving at that end of the island. Many shore dives are off public beaches with a few facilities, so the non-divers could also hang out someplace like that while the rest of you go diving. Possible drawback is that for better or worse, it's far away from most restaurants, shopping, and everything else on the island. There enough restaurants around that end of the island to get by, but nothing like the selection near town. (No idea what the food at the resort itself is like after the change in management, but it really had no place to go but up, from my last experience, and most of the units have kitchenettes.)

    A good diver-nondiver compromise place to consider might be the Marriott Beach resort, which is much closer to town, but has on on-site dive op and shore dive. (Although someone wrote a review here recently that made it sound like the place was starting to need some attention, but I have no recent direct experience.)

    I only stayed at Lion's dive once and it was a very long time ago, but from what I know I'm not really a fan. While a much more convenient location to lots of things nearby, the area is way too busy for my taste. The on site shore dive was not so great back then ago, requiring a mucky swim through a small harbor to nothing too special, and I doubt it's gotten better. And like many Curacao resorts the on-site op is Ocean Encounters, which I'm not really a fan of either - it's been awhile but seems often too crowded and mother-henish for my taste. YMMV. (I agree Seaquarium Resort with some independent op might be something better to look into in that area, plus their condo type units would probably work out better with a small group like you have.)
     
  4. PNW Dive Girl

    PNW Dive Girl Dive Charter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Portland, OR
    224
    7
    18
    Thank you! Royal Sea Aquarium looks interesting! I've thought that Kure Hulanda might be too far out for the non divers. I'll take another look. Thank you!
     
  5. irie1029

    irie1029 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Fort Wayne Indiana
    301
    57
    28
    Sea Aquarium is a timeshare. You may want to check on Timeshares for Sale, Timeshares for Rent, Timeshare Ratings, Timeshare Reviews, Timeshare Advice all provided by Timeshare Users Group or Royal Sea Aquarium Resort, The Willemstad Curacao, Timeshare Resales Rentals and Sales for a deal but mind you rarely do they come open. Sea Aquarium is very small, friendly and peaceful I am certain you will love it. Lions dive and Mambo beach across the channel is plenty of hub-bub if and when you want it. If you stay on east or downtown you really need to do a day or two west. Let me know if I can be of help further.
     
  6. diversteve

    diversteve always tired Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location:
    26,281
    5,854
    113
    Lodge Kura Hulanda is 45mins. away so although it is very nice, it's a long ride for the non-divers even on their shuttle. Nice pool and they're on one of the better dive sites - Playa Kalki. Really there's not much else out there to do honestly. Only maybe 1/2 dozen restaurants - some open part time like Sol Foods also. One thing to consider is they have some larger cliff-front villas with full kitchens. If you were interested in doing some meals, stop at Centrum Market south of the airport rotary for food first. They sell cheap ($1) coolers for the ride out. The beach there is at best average - it's a lot of ironshore and coral in the water.

    I've read similar comments about the Marriott as Damselfish but it has non-diver advantages. Piscadera Bay is 2 miles from downtown, it has a really nice pool/bar area and a small casino on-site. Caribbean Sea Sports on-site but their shore dive isn't what our "expert" - my friends wife is a Curacao native dive guide - considers worth swimming out to since Blue Bay Wall is five minutes away by car and there's other better sites within 10mins. drive or less. I haven't stayed at the Marriott or seen the rooms but have been on the grounds several times - we stayed a week in condos across the street.

    There's two Marriotts also - we're both referring to the Emerald Beach property. The Renaissance is in the heart of the cruise area so it's always crowded during the day. It does have the advantage of being on one side of the swinging bridge right near the Rif Fort shopping/dining/fort complex. It also has the best casino on Curacao. Superior Producer is near there also. But if there's a cruise ship docking at the Megapier you can't dive it except at night. The Dive Bus guides there as one option.

    The Hilton in Piscadera Bay has been referred to as a dump. The grounds are average but the hotel building has to be 40-50 years old. I've not seen a room. Someone that posts here with Hilton Points stays at the Marriott. Had a really average meal there at their better restaurant and service was so slow I thought my server had left for the evening.

    Another choice could be ScubaLodge. It's probably just far enough from the downtown shops to be less affected by the traffic in that area - the cruise ships all dock across the harbor and cruisers walk/shuttle over to that side. I really don't know for sure though where it is. I'd be most concerned about morning traffic if you're driving out of there to dive somewhere else. Heading south should be fine along the road that eventually goes past Sunscape etc. They have a dive site there and a pool. Obviously the advantage for the non-divers would be they could walk everywhere downtown. Most of the really good south of town diving is 5-15mins. from there. Scuba Lodge & Suites - Oceanfront boutique hotel Curacao
     

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