Often when you think about visiting the Caribbean you imagine its crystal blue waters and an expensive resort or cruise. However, you can now explore the island of Curaçao with the budget friendly The Ritz Village Hostel.
The hostel is located just a three minute walk from downtown Willemstad thanks to a new walking bridge. It is located in Scharloo, the old Jewish neighborhood, where many of the houses on the street still belong to those families.
If you need any help planning your trip around the city or island, the staff are always present and ready to give a suggestion.
The thing that caught our eye in the first place about the Ritz Village Hostel is the building itself. It is located in what for 70 years housed the Ritz Ice Cream Factory, the largest ice cream producer in the Caribbean before its bankruptcy in 1999.
When the owner and manager of the hostel, Hans Robben walked onto the abandoned property and fell in love, The Ritz Village was born.
Two of the colorful buildings are actually UNESCO heritage sites and all the buildings pay homage to its ice cream past, with names such as Cornetto and Scoop, while the industrial style of the architecture is kept.
The entire complex is almost its own little village, with a minimart, dive shop, beach store, car rental and even a statue gallery! There is a hotel and cottages available within The Ritz Village, with a pool, jacuzzi, lounge chairs, restaurant and bar; all accessible to those staying at the hostel.
There is also a small kitchenette with a refrigerator and microwave to prepare some simple meals for your adventures. Next to the kitchenette is a large chill area with tables, benches and very large pillows.
For those who are staying longer or are perpetual travelers, there are laundry machines available on the premises.
At just two years old, the rooms provide everything the modern budget traveler needs, whether they are a couple, individual or group of friends. There are rooms of different sizes ranging from two beds or four beds.
The rooms have shared bathrooms and showers, with private bathrooms available for just a few dollars more per night.
The beds come with complete sheets and towel, which can be changed every five days at no charge. There are also large lockers for each bed, with the lock included, which is nice for us having been robbed at a hostel before when our lock did not fit the lockers. Most importantly, for the warm Caribbean climate, air conditioning is in every room.
The best thing for us, as travel bloggers, in the rooms are the complete desks for each bed. This combined with the fast and reliable WiFi make the Ritz Village Hostel the perfect stop for digital nomads or remote workers looking to explore the Caribbean.
The most important thing when hostel traveling is the community atmosphere. As the only real hostel in Curaçao, there is also a notice board for those looking to create or join a group to go diving or explore the island in a more economical way.
Other guests seem in no rush to leave, as the property and island provide a nice relaxed feel. It must be because of all the colorful buildings!
The atmosphere and amenities will only improve, when a new building for the hostel opens in December 2016, doubling the number of beds, complete with a new jacuzzi, bar and additional common space.
Come and explore the little Caribbean island of Curaçao with the budget friendly and nicest amenities at a hostel we have ever stayed in. See you at The Ritz Village Hostel!