Hilton Curaçao

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The Hilton Curaçao is one of eight hotels operated under the Hilton Caribbean brand, which has branches in the Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo and Trinidad.

Western facade repainted in blue

The hotel was designed by the architectural firm Toro-Ferrer from Puerto Rico, in association with Ben Smit, a local Curaçao architect, and was opened in 1967. Toro-Ferrer formed part of a team of architects that designed the first Hilton Hotel outside the continental United States, the Caribe Hilton Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico (opened in 1949), while Ben Smit had been involved in the design of the Hotel Curaçao Intercontinental (currently Plaza Hotel Curaçao). The Hilton Curaçao was the third seaside hotel to open in Curaçao, after the Avila Hotel was inaugurated in 1949 and the Hotel Curaçao Intercontinental in 1955.

The original building was a blend of typical Curaçao elements and contemporary architecture. The windows were inspired by the frontage line of houses on the Handelskade in Willemstad, Curaçao, while the main building material was concrete. The remains of the Piscadera Bay Fort, an eighteenth-century fortification built to safeguard the Bay from attacks by English, Spanish and French invading forces, were restored and harmonized in the landscaping of the resort.

View from glass elevator towards the Piscadera Fort and Bay

The hotel changed ownership in 1983 and was renamed Curaçao Concorde. In the following years it was consecutively renamed Curaçao Caribbean Resort and Curaçao Casino Resort until being branded Sheraton Curaçao Resort in 1999.

Lionstone Hotels & Resorts took over the hotel and the company operates it under a Hilton Worldwide franchise since 2003. An extensive refurbishment has been carried out that replaced the original grid exterior consisting of arched windows for more open balconies. The interior and exterior were repainted in pastel colors. Construction of an additional south wing was planned for 2008, but postponed due to a decline in visitor numbers as a result of the Financial crisis of 2007-2010. When built, this wing will contain 126 to 136 rooms, a new swimming pool and a partially enclosed / partially open air restaurant. It will be located on the site of the current Health Club, Kidz Paradise and miniature golf course. Funds for the construction of the south wing have been redirected to renovation of the aging main building, including a replacement of the two original 1967 glass elevators.

The main hotel complex is located on the shores of Piscadera Bay, but the resort stretches along the Caribbean Sea around the southern coast of the island. Recreational facilities include two private beaches (one at the Bay and the other adjacent to the Curaçao Marriott Beach Resort), three swimming pools, a dive school, two tennis courts, a miniature golf course, a Health Club, a spa and Curaçao Casino. Dinner facilities include Aqua (a buffet restaurant), Cielo (an Italian à la carte restaurant) and the Beach Bar & Grill.

References[edit]

  • Curaçao Architectural Style. Fonk H, Van der Neut R. 1999. Curaçao: Curaçao Style Foundation.
  • One Century of Architecture on Curaçao. Gill, RG. 1999.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 12°08′12″N 68°58′05″W / 12.1367°N 68.9681°W / 12.1367; -68.9681