I stayed in the Pietermaai district during my vacation in Curacao. For my last days, I splurged and and booked the Superior Deluxe Ocean View Room at Scuba Lodge Hotel. Although Curacao is an island, getting an ocean view room is still quite the splurge as there’s limited real estate. But I thought it was totally worth it at least for a few nights to experience the waterfront view and sit on your own balcony enjoying the ocean breeze.
About Scuba Lodge
The Scuba Lodge hotel is located about a 10 minute walk from downtown Punda. The hotel only opened in 2008 but the buildings themselves are renovated from structures built in the 1800s. I absolutely love the colorful buildings The Pietermaai area had an interesting history and was a vibrant community in the 1850s but became a ghetto in the 1900s. But in recent decades, lots of the old buildings have been renovated into hotels, restaurants, and bars. I really enjoyed the vibe in the Pietermaai district as there are so many restaurants within walking distance and many new establishments that maintained the historical characteristics of the cute buildings.
The Superior Deluxe Ocean View Rooms
There are many hotels in the area but because many are renovated from older buildings, each hotel only has a few rooms of each category. There’s only two Superior Deluxe Ocean View Rooms in the Scuba Lodge hotel so if you are looking for a longer stay definitely book early as it’ll be hard to find availability for your entire stay. For price comparison the Superior Deluxe Ocean View is $249 while the standard rooms are $179 during high season and $219 vs $155 during low season.
The room was located on the second floor, but there is no elevator so you’ll have to walk up stairs. The best part about this room was definitely the balcony but I’ll get to that in a bit. The main area of the hotel room had a king bed (I felt it was more of a queen) which was REALLY comfortable! There is air conditioning in the room as well as a fan. I liked the set up of the closet and there was a large sized safe for your valuables.
They had a cute chalkboard hanging by the door that they personalized for your stay. I thought this was a really cute touch. By the bed, there is also a desk so you can go on your laptop or just have a bit more storage area.
The bathroom was quite modern and it had a quasi double sink. The shower had a rainshower head but just okay water pressure. The appliances were all modern but the decoration in the bathroom was a bit bare. I do like that the drawers under the sink pulls out so there’s lots of storage available. There is also a hair dryer available for you to use.
When I travel I like to go to the grocery store and find local snacks. Luckily there is a mini fridge in the kitchenette so I was able to buy lots of yummy drinks. There’s also a kettle and also coffee available for your use. I didn’t use the stove at all but it is available if you wanted to heat up some food.
While the room isn’t particularly large or exciting, the balcony is definitely the best part of the stay. Facing out from the feet of the bed, you get a beautiful double door that opens up to a large balcony complete with outdoor furniture. There are two straw chairs and a coffee table so you can enjoy your time outside. There is a fan on the ceiling of the balcony to generate air flow when it gets hot in the afternoon. I was really sun burnt the previous days so it was amazing to be able to enjoy the outdoors without having the sun on my skin.
I spent the afternoon reading magazines, drinking coffee, and enjoying the warm ocean breeze! It was such a relaxing end to my vacation. The balcony isn’t very private though as it looks out to the restaurant and the pool. That means people can also look at you. That’s probably the only downside but the photo below shows the beautiful view from our room. In the Pietermaai area, there aren’t any natural beaches. If you want to go to the beach, you can visit City Beach 88 which is just 2 minute walk away and just opened in March 2018 as the only beach in Pietermaai!
In terms of amenities, one of the drawing points for me is the infinity pool! The hotel actually has two pools but the other one is in a garden setting and not frequently used. The infinity pool is small but as the hotel is small, it never gets too crowded. I woke up early one morning to get the pool all to myself and it was so relaxing! There are beach chairs available and you can get complimentary beach towels from the front desk. The pool isn’t very deep although I can’t touch the bottom at the deep end.
I actually ate at the Scuba Lodge Restaurant 3 times during our stay! Once for breakfast, once for dinner, and once for their Thursday night BBQ. Half of the tables are on sand while half are under the covered restaurant. It’s a really beautiful and romantic vibe especially during sunset and the torches are lit.
For dinner, I had the lionfish ceviche (which I didn’t like the texture), and a skewer of croquettes (which I thought was too fried and no flavor). The Thursday night BBQ was fun as it was a buffet for $25 USD. However, the BBQ meat is served and you only get one small portion of chicken skewer, fish, hamburger, and steak. I enjoyed the rest of the buffet though with delicious salads and fries!
Breakfast was my favorite meal of the 3 I had. The breakfast menu is really affordable and I really enjoyed watching the ocean while having my morning coffee and orange juice. It feels like the quintessential Caribbean vacation experience! You can get some bread with 3 eggs for just $6 USD.
Dive Center & Other Services
We didn’t go diving but a big feature for Scuba Lodge is the PADI dive center that’s on site. You can also rent snorkel gear here as well as dive equipment. The team goes out on dives most days of the week so it’s really convenient if you stay at the hotel. Another thing the front office can do for you is to arrange car rental. I shared my driving experience and would definitely recommend renting a car for a portion of your trip in Curacao. The front desk can help you book tours such as going to Klein Curacao, climbing Christoffel mountain, or making massage reservations. I’m not sure which company they would use but I enjoyed my massage at Natural Blend Esthetics about a 15 minute walk away.
Overall I really enjoyed the stay and the amenities available at Scuba Lodge Hotel. The balcony and ocean view was the perfect relaxing end to my vacation. If you are tight on budget, you can get a room with a balcony but not necessarily ocean view. The location is fantastic as it’s within walking distance to many restaurants, bars, and to downtown Punda. The convenience of having a restaurant and dive school on site is an added bonus!
I received a small media rate discount for my stay.