Plaza Hotel Curacao – A Story in Shades of Dark

Rainbow bedspreads in hotel room Plaza Hotel CuracaoCory drove the rental car down the dark alley. The only lights came from his dashboard and a few street lights shining over the sidewalk. I squinted at the map in my hands, the dome light burnt out and useless.

“I think this is it,” I said. “The water should be over there”—I gestured to the left—”and we can’t go any further, so this must be it.”

Cory inched the car up to a lone man standing on the sidewalk and rolled down his window. “Is this where we park for Plaza Hotel Curacao?”

“Sure,” the man said. He moved a cone, and Cory turned the wheel into a parking lot. There were no signs indicating that we were, in fact, in the right place. We decided to wander around the corner to make sure we were in the right place, and we immediately discovered a large lot specifically for Plaza Hotel Curacao guests.

A guard sitting on a chair barely glanced up as we entered the lobby.

The lobby was void of guests and several couches sat empty. A few fans leisurely turned from the ceiling. The only light in the room came from a few overhead lights. A man and woman sat behind the counter.

Cory took his cue to move the car, and I checked in for a stay. The woman was no nonsense, setting our key on the counter without a smile and no words more than those required to complete my transaction.

“Is there breakfast in the morning?”

She gestured down the hall. “Upstairs. American continental. You pay extra.”

“Where is the elevator?”

Again she gestured down the hall. No words this time.

Cory returned and we found the elevator to our room.

We unlocked the door, tired and happy to have finally reached our destination after more than an hour of driving around in the dark. I flipped the light switch, and a single lamp between two beds lit up. The beds were covered in ratty, rainbow-colored comforters. The bathroom was more industrial than home-like.

“What did you read about this place?” Cory asked me.

According to its website, Plaza Hotel Curacao is a luxury property in Willemstad, Curacao, which struck me as a bit odd as I stood in the shaded room, hunting for my pajamas in the dark.

So our room didn’t have the lovely white duvet displayed in the picture on the website. That’s okay. For your information, here are the other things available at Plaza Hotel Curacao that we didn’t experience ourselves but could very well be hiding in the shadows:

  • An awesome view of downtown Willemstad, Emma Bridge or the Caribbean Sea.
  • One of the best casinos on the island.
  • Several waterfront restaurants that are open until 11:00 p.m. (closed by the time we arrived at the hotel).

The pictures of Plaza Hotel Curacao are quite stunning, but all we wanted to do was crawl under the scratchy blanket and sink into sleep.


In the morning, we tucked our stuff back into our bag. A man behind the counter gestured toward the counter, where I set the key. We walked out into the morning—a gray, overcast day—and dumped our things into the trunk of the car. No need for a dome light today.

Rates start at about $115.00 per night.

4 Responses to “Plaza Hotel Curacao – A Story in Shades of Dark”

  1. Gray

    Wow. How do businesses get away with that?

    • JoAnna

      That, Gray, is an excellent question.

  2. Deb

    It is so disappointing when hotels do this. Thanks for pointing it out to your readers. More of these places need to be “outed”

    • JoAnna

      Thanks for your comment, Deb. I know a lot of people don’t like to write about the negative experiences they have when they travel, but I think it’s just as important to talk about those as it is to talk about the positive ones. Unfortunately, was a not-so-great night.


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