Since 1994, the Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao has had a special place in my heart. Every now and then I organize workshops or retreats on the island. After my recent writing retreat in March 2019, I discovered many new places, which I will share in this blog.
Places to stay
Plantation Landhuis Jan Thiel
This old plantation house, converted to a Boutique hotel, is the perfect location for a workshop, retreat or family getaway. I helped 8 participants, including 6 locals, to write their book in 1 week. That’s how I got to know the fantastic Landhuis Jan Thiel. Situated on top of a hill to catch the breeze, with a swimming pool, gardens, beautiful views, delicious breakfasts, and dogs, chickens, horses and a sheep who thinks she is a dog … 🙂
My next writing retreat (March 2020) will also take place in this secret paradise.
World Heritage hostel and apartments in historical Otrobanda
For some city vibes, a great place to stay is world heritage apartments and hostel. In a colorful, recently restored old neighborhood, walking distance from all the sights of Willemstad (Otrobanda and Punda).
Want to get away from it all? Drive 45 mins to the ‘other’, wild side of the island, called ‘Westpunt’ and stay at Lagun Blou apartments Simple apartments, overlooking beautiful Lagun bay. Climb down the stairs in the steep rocks to take a swim in the clear blue waters. Buy a freshly caught local fish when the fishermen return on the beach around noon.
A low key, very popular local eatery by the water. De Visserij, a cooperation of local fishermen, provides the freshest fish you can imagine. Fishermen literally park their boats at the railing of the restaurant and lift their fish up to the kitchen. Normally on the island fish is fried; here they learned to prepare it the Japanese way (seared tuna with sesame seeds and soy dressing: delicious!) or simply grilled. You have to wait in line to order your food, but as they say on the menu: it’s worth the wait… Highly recommended!
This high-end place provides the best view of the island. Fort Nassau used to be a bit ‘stuffy’ but the new owners really turned it around. I was there to give a presentation and the delicious bites afterwards sparked my curiosity for the restaurant, so I decided to stay for dinner. To my surprise, the menu wasn’t as expensive as I was used to from years ago. And the food was seriously a-ma-zing.
This unattractive restaurant, located in a shopping mall, does not immediately attract your attention. Until you notice that all the local business people flock there for lunch… Craving‘s sushi rolls are creative and tasty (a bit pricy, but worth it) and their Tempura cheesecake is my favorite: it is the number one of my top 10 best desserts around the world…
The best roadside snack: Dushi Loempia. I used to take a detour to taste their wonderful lumpia (make sure to ask for the spicy one ‘ku pika’), but now they have a location near Salina, in the center of the island!
More tips (in Dutch) in another Curaçao blog