The tiny, breathtaking tropical island of Curaçao off the coast of Venezuela is like a slice of Europe in the heart of the Caribbean. Amazing history museums, lip-smacking cuisine, glorious hidden beaches, and delightful Dutch-colonial architecture make it a magical old-world island. Curaçao also happens to be extremely gay-friendly. In fact, it is a place so inclusive that while there are no exclusively gay hotels in Curaçao, most of the hotels are gay-friendly. What’s more, the island doesn’t have a gayborhood either. With an official motto that translates to ‘Live and Let Live,’ there was never a need for one either.
Curaçao also happens to be the most LGBTQ-friendly islands in the Caribbean. It has the honor of having the largest IGLTA membership in all of the Caribbean with 17 members. Its Pride Carnival is one of the longest and the largest spectacles in the Caribbean. What’s even better is that it is one of the prettiest spots in the Caribbean, making it a great romantic getaway as well. Its capital and historic port city Willemstad is a UNESCO World Heritage site. In fact, the city’s vibrant, brightly-painted architecture is one of the most recognized spots in the Caribbean. A bunch of heavenly and secluded beaches, some of the world’s best dive sites, and a fauna sanctuary all make Curaçao a great LGBTQ+ destination.
Curaçao and its real island life are best experienced while traveling around in the cutesy and colorful tuk-tuks. Keep your first day aside for this fabulous 2-hour tuk-tuk tour of Curaçao. It allows you to see not only the important sites but also the beaches and lesser-explored gems.
Lodge Kura Hulanda Beach Club
With the beach right outside your room, it’s hard not to fall in love with the Kura Hulanda Lodge and Beach Club. Perched on low, rugged cliffs and overlooking a stunning white beach, the gay-friendly accommodation on the remote western tip of Curaçao is a pristine haven. Even though Willemstad is an hour-long drive away, Kula Hulanda is for those who wish to get away from the bustle. In fact, it is perfect for gay couples looking for a romantic getaway.
Nature reigns supreme at Kula Hulanda Lodge, where it is common to spot fauna while simply walking around. The Kalki beach right outside might be a little rocky but is one of the best dive sites on the island. The digs are luxurious given the remoteness of the hotel. Rooms in two-story villas feature a bevy of plush comforts, including ensuite bathrooms, large TVs, fridges, and fabulous patios and porches with ocean views.
While there might be bugs here and there, the staff is more than helpful to assist guests with any issues. What’s more, there are tons of activities to do in the hotel itself, along with lush verdant gardens. A fitness center and an outdoor tennis court are great for those who don’t like to laze around. Two pools are perfect for swimming before heading to the three restaurants to dog into delish Caribbean food.
Floris Suite Hotel – Spa & Beach club
The urge to splurge in Curaçao will lead you straight to the adults-only Floris Suite Hotel in Willemstad. A proud member of IGLTA, Floris is easily one of the friendliest gay hotels in Curaçao and is the very embodiment of the first-class luxury. Caribbean spirit complements the Dutch colonial style of decor beautifully here, translating to contemporary comfort.
LGBT travelers staying at Floris particularly praise the hotel’s inviting atmosphere, the fantastic service, and the gorgeous pool area. What’s more, the hotel is also home to the gay-friendly Rainbow Lounge, which is extremely popular with gay locals.
Suites at Floris are outfitted with all mod-cons, plus blackout blinds for sleeping in late after a night of partying. Private balconies make for the perfect alcove to enjoy a glass of wine with fabulously sweeping views of the ocean. Workout worshippers have access to a fitness center, while the spa makes for the perfect relaxation space after hectic days of exploring Curaçao. Finally, make your way out to the private beach and sink your toes into the white sand while staring at a gorgeous Caribbean sunset.
Papagayo Beach Resort
A hop, skip, and a jump away from the picturesque Jan Thiel beach lies one of the most luxurious gay-friendly hotels in Curacao, Papagayo Beach Resort. It is just about a 10-minute ride south of Willemstad. Papagayo boasts of a playful, funky decor with kitschy details like palm-leaf textured wall decals and gilded eagle statues. The white-on-white ambiance lends a distinct Caribbean feel.
Perched on a lush hill overlooking the Caribbean are the resort’s standalone villas. Some even have private pools and wraparound patios with views of the ocean. The villas are a mix of 60 mod-infused ones and bright, shabby-chic accommodations. Guests particularly love the spacious accommodations, complete with full kitchens and open-air living rooms.
Papagayo is a world within a world, complete with a casino, a supermarket, bars and restaurants, and even a shopping plaza. A spa and a fitness center on-site cater to all kinds of travelers, right from the gym rats to leisure lovers. The landscaped grounds with palm trees and bougainvillea flowers are perfect for lounging around and relaxing. With most travelers requiring a car to explore the wonderful island, Papagayo even provides car rentals on-site. However, the best part about the resort is undoubtedly the infinity-edge pool at its beach club, from where one can star out into the turquoise waters of the Caribbean.
Papagayo Resort’s location in Jan Thiel is also great for joining this fun-filled 4-hour speedboat and snorkeling adventure out on the azure waters of the Caribbean.
Acoya hotel suites & villas
If you want to stay at a tropical Shangri-La, then the gay-friendly Acoya Hotel Suites & Villas is perfect. This tranquil oasis is located in the heart of Willemstad and a mere four-minute ride to the beach. With a name that is a clever play on the Japanese word ‘Akoya’ which means pearl, Acoya tastefully blends zen and Caribbean styles. Beautifully manicured grounds, blossoming flowers, and a small lake abuzz with a variety of fauna make this hotel a true tropical paradise.
The hotel boasts of a naturally-lit, open-air setup with chic and polished interiors, art-deco furniture, and a wood-lined pool deck. In fact, most of Acoya’s amenities, including the fitness center, outdoor bar, and restaurant, overlook the infinity pool deck. What’s more, the hotel offers free passes and a shuttle to Mambo Beach, which is where the hottest Saturday party takes place. It’s also where the unique Curaçao Sea Aquarium is located, which is one of Curaçao’s must-see attractions.
Suites and villas with full kitchens at Acoya boast of a modern-minimalist look. The main building suites feature outdoor balconies overlooking the lake and pools while Villas boast of garden views. The exception is the three-bedroom villa which even has ist own garden-fringed private pool. Apart from standard mod-cons, the suites and villas also feature Asian-themed photographs or those of Curaçao’s azure waters, adding to the zen vibe.
Sunscape Curaçao Resort Spa & Casino
If you’re looking to soak up the gay vibe of Curaçao, then stay at the Sunscape Curaçao Resort Spa & Casino. While Sunscape itself has a wholesome all-inclusive vibe, it is located right on Cabana and Seaquarium beaches. The hotel’s a stone’s throw from Cabana Beach where Friday and Wednesday night see the hottest gay parties happen in Curaçao.
Guests at Sunscape really needn’t step out for anything, if they don’t want to. The resort boasts of an array of beach activities, rock climbing wall, a dive essentials shop, five restaurants, three bars, and even a small cafe. A well-equipped fitness center for fitness freaks and a lovely spa to wash off all tiredness and relax are also present. Heck, there’s even a large casino and a few gift shops on the property.
Rooms and suites at Acoya are done up in a vibrant, Caribbean-inspired style with bright pops of colors in every room – think turquoise blue and bright lime green. All rooms come with mini-fridges, coffeemakers, iPod docks, flat-screen TVs, and a lovely patio, some of which boast of sweeping ocean views. Guests also have the choice of larger suites with kitchenettes and living areas.
Avila Beach Hotel
Gay travelers who like their hotels to have a bit of history to them will love the gay-friendly and upscale Avila Beach Hotel. Housed in an 18th-century refurbished Dutch-colonial mansion, it happens to Curaçao’s longest continuously open hotel. The hotel beautifully blends colonial and contemporary styles to create a unique staying experience.
A modern, sleek lobby featuring wall-sized historic photos of Willemstad and Curaçao greet guests on arrival. The hotel consists of a cluster of buildings, all painted bright yellow in typical Dutch colonial style. Three distinct wings, Octagon, Belle Alliance, and Blues, make up the entire property. The Octagon is a former residence of an exiled 19th-century Venezuelan leader. Apart from housing the most modern and sleek rooms in the hotel, it is very popular for events and weddings. The Belle Alliance sees suites arranged around a lush-green colonial-style courtyard, while the Blues has lovely wooden architecture and rooms with the best ocean views.
Overall, rooms at Avila are spacious and airy with lots of natural light. Modern, European-style decor in blue accents dot the rooms, which have all mod-cons necessary for a comfortable stay. Many rooms in the Blues Wing have small decks looking out to the ocean.
Baoase Luxury Resort
There’s more than one reason the intimate, gay-friendly Baoase Luxury Resort has consistently been Curaçao’s top resort. An atmosphere akin to a Balinese retreat greets you at the entrance of this 23-room property. Secondly, one of Curaçao’s hottest beaches, Marie Pampoen beach, is a five-minute stroll. And last but not the least, the romantic vibes that the resort radiates is out of the world.
Gay couples looking to indulge in a Curaçao romance will love Baoase, whose Culinary Beach Restaurant is considered the island’s best. What’s more, the restaurant even features an array of romantic meal experiences, like picnicking on a pier, under a gazebo, or even on the beach. What’s more, the resort lights candles all around in the evening and even leaves gift bags on the beds for guests. The Indonesian theme is ubiquitous in the resort, whether its the hand-carved, rustic Asian pieces, small footbath with bamboo ladles outside every door, and antique wood doors all over.
Villas and suites blend the best of indoor and outdoor living with open-air rooms and outdoor showers and baths. In fact, 50 percent of Baoase’s rooms even have their own private plunge pools. All rooms are flush with the latest mod-cons, while those with private courtyards even have soaking tubs, comfy seating, and rainfall showerheads, making it the ultimate in luxury.
If you are looking to get out of this beachside decadence, Willemstad is a 15-minute drive. However, the posse of fabulous gay clubs and parties at Mambo/Cabana Beaches is a mere 20-minute walk.
An open-air lobby beyond which lies two beautiful pillow-white beaches make the gay-friendly Hilton a true mid-range Curaçao jewel. The stylish beachfront getaway lies right on Piscadera Bay and is a 20-minute drive from Willemstad.
Nestled amidst sprawling, lush-green landscaped gardens, the Hilton is a bleach-white structure blending traditional Dutch styling with Brutalist architecture. Interiors are innately Caribbean-contemporary, complete with plush wicker chairs, azure geometric shapes, and an open-air lobby. The hotel even offers stunning views of the restored 18th-century Dutch Piscadera Bay Fortress, along with the ocean.
Rooms at the Hilton boast of island/ocean views out of their balconies and are spacious to boot. Contemporary prints, streaked sea-green carpets, carved wooden furniture, bamboo loveseats lend the rooms charm. However, it’s the outdoors that the Hilton is most known for. The tiny private beach boasts of a long wooden pier, an infinity pool overlooking the ocean, and lots of lounge chairs. The ambiance is truly a water lover’s dream and there’s even a dive shop. Amenities at the Hilton are top-notch as well. Gym rats will appreciate the 24-hour fitness and wellness center, complete with steam rooms and a sauna. There are even tennis and basketball courts on-site, as well as a mini-golf course. Moreover, the hotel even offers a free shuttle to downtown Willemstad.
If you’re on a budget and wish to explore the gay scene of Curaçao, then the fabulous, gay-friendly Hotel Dolphin Suites is the answer. One of the best budget gay hotels in Curacao, it lies within a stone’s throw of the Cabana and Seaquarium Beaches right on Mambo Beach boulevard. Here is an array of popular gay bars and beach clubs that host fantastic gay-friendly parties throughout the week.
Dolphin Suites doesn’t scrimp on comfort, despite being a budget accommodation. Guests have the options of suites, studios, and guest rooms, each of which features full kitchens. They’re great for whipping up quick and cheap meals, especially if you’re the shop-and-cook kind. Apart from a comfy stay, the hotel also offers a slew of amenities. The quaint garden terrace is great for lounging around and meeting interesting fellow guests. The outdoor swimming pool is heavenly for a swim and maybe even meet-cutes. What’s more, Dolphin suites even offer the choicest of scuba diving expeditions at as many as 65 of Curaçao’s best nearby sites.
Quint’s Travelers Inn
Gay travelers looking to explore the history of Curaçao will find staying at the lush-green gay-friendly Quint’s Travelers Inn in the heart of town convenient. To them, we’d recommend this insightful 2.5-hour historical walking tour of the lovely Willemstad. It takes you exploring the best parts of the city key to its history, including the oldest active synagogue in the Western hemisphere.
Modern studios and guestrooms dot this lovely, homely property, which also boasts of verdant, landscaped gardens as well as an outdoor swimming pool. Rooms are spacious and contemporary to the hilt, furnished with the hotel’s signature blue accents. They have all mod-cons, plus coffee/tea makers and fridges. Guests will find the lovely gardens and the sun-kissed terrace perfect for lazy lounge-about days. A heavenly swim in the outdoor pool is a great way to begin the day before heading out to explore Willemstad. Moreover, the property even arranges for car rental services. This is helpful especially if you want to head down to the fun parties at Cabana Beach, which is just a 15-minute drive away.
LionsDive Beach resort
If you want to stay big in Curaçao, look no further than gay-friendly LionsDive Beach Resort. For those of the LGBTQ set who love anything and everything water, the LionsDive resort is closest to utopia. The resort lies on Mambo beach, but guests also have access to a second beach which is one of Curaçao’s best dive sites.
LionsDive has a range of accommodations that surround the resort’s Olympic-size pool. They’re done up in lovely neutral hues, mostly white and beiges, with bright-green highlights mirroring the resort’s lively vibe. For those looking to splurge, there’s a penthouse suite with a wraparound patio with jaw-dropping, unobstructed 180-degree views of the ocean. There are a host of amenities at LionsDive, including four restaurants. LionsDive calls itself ‘Curaçao’s sportiest hotel,’ and rightfully so. It boasts of a fitness center offering yoga and spinning classes, as well as a 50-meter lap pool. Leisure lovers will love the smaller pool which lies on a patio overlooking the sea.
If you’re in the mood to party in the evening, there’s a posse of fabulous beach clubs right outside the hotel. They are known to host some of the wettest and wildest parties in Curaçao.
Just So You Know:
- Curaçao opened a gay center in the year 2010, which was an unusual first in the entire Caribbean. Housed in Casa Rosada in Otrabanda, the center hopes to break taboos surrounding homosexuality.
- Curaçao even has a Mr. Gay Curaçao contest every year to select a candidate to be sent to the Mr. Gay World Contest.
Get Some Culture in Curaçao:
- Curaçao Pride: Curaçao Pride is the highlight of the island country. The five-day event sees plenty of activities and parties. This includes a ‘Get Wet Weekend’ with boat trips, pool parties, and movies and tons of cruising.
Best Gay Bars / Clubs in Curaçao:
- Cabana Beach: Cabana Beach sees big gay parties on Wednesday and Friday nights.
- Rainbow Lounge and Bar at Floris Suite Hotel: This lounge at Floris, the gay-friendly hotel in Curaçao is known for amazing parties.
- Wet & Wild Beach Club: This club hosts a cool party on Sundays.
- Jacob’s Bar: The mojitos and tapas here are to die for.
- Mambo Beach: Curaçao’s hottest Saturday party happens at Mambo Beach. The party is notorious for going on until the wee hours of the morning.
Best Gay Saunas in Curaçao:
Curaçao doesn’t have a gay sauna and bathhouse scene yet. The hook-up site Adam4Adam is popular amongst the LGBTQ set in the Caribbean.