We - husband, wife, 9-year old son, and 2-year old daughter - just spent a fantastic, sun-soaked five days at Baoase. Baoase is a boutique resort; it reminded us a lot of one we stayed at in Koh Samui, Thailand. I believe Baoase is the only boutique resort on the island; I hesitate to use the word resort because it may invoke thoughts of buffets, towel games, and cheap drinks, but none of those things come even close to what we experienced at Baoase!
We originally reserved the Deluxe Banyan Tree Loft room, but were pleasantly shocked at being upgraded to the Garden View Two-Bedroom Villa with a Private Pool. What a fantastic turn of events this was; we were thrilled with the villa (and pool!!).
Here are some thoughts:
AIRPORT. Not enough carts to go around and no porters; other than that, got in and out without a hassle.
AIRPORT TRANSFER. We opted for this due to the amount of luggage we were hauling; it was $120 for 2 adults and 2 children. This was probably our only complaint about anything we experienced with the resort .. our driver was not waiting for us when we got to the airport; we waited a good 15 minutes until he walked up - no sign - and asked us if we were headed to the resort. After that .. it was basically two trips in silence. He was on time for our return trip. We tried to ask questions about the island on the way out to the resort, but he spent a lot of time on his cell phone and ignored much of what we said. It was just a really uncomfortable experience. Regardless, we still recommend using the airport transfer done through the resort; we had problems getting taxis to understand where we were going and I would hate to do that from the airport. Plus, it's about a 30-45 drive.
BABYSITTING SERVICES. $39 for two hours; we were please with the gal who came and sat with the kids while we enjoyed dinner down on the beach.
BAR. Appeared to be very well stocked. I thought the fruity drinks were on the super-sweet side and opted for vodka tonics instead; very well done! My husband enjoyed their mohitos as well. They make some excellent smoothies that the kids loved.
BEACH. It is a well-protected, man-made lagoon. Nice sand, nice water. We found it to be clean and well-appointed with enough chairs for anyone wanting to be down at the beach - there's no towel game being played here. If couples want a quieter, more private area to lay out away from families, there were some secluded areas with chairs. Overall, we spent more time here than at other beaches on the island though our initial intention was to drive to a new beach every day. There are baskets of beach toys out for the kids; floating rafts; kayaks; fishing gear; snorkeling gear.
BREAKFAST. This was included with our package; it's fantastic. They don't do buffet, which minimizes waste and flies, in my opinion. They do have a nice juice bar complete with Prosecco for mimosas, milk, and various juices. A bread plate - substantial! - plate of meat and cheese, as well as some donuts/ breakfast rolls is brought out. Various coffees are available .. I had a cappucino every morning. Lots to choose from on the menu; my favorite was a quesidilla with brie/ prosciutto/ egg.
CAR RENTAL. We rented from Prins for the entire time we were there; $172. Edward was fantastic; my husband was picked up from the resort and taken back to Prins (which is by the airport) to get the car .. he returned it the day before we left and they drove him back to the resort. If you're traveling lightly, I'd recommend you have them grab you at the airport and then meet you at the airport to retrieve the car. We had too many bags; there's no way we could have fit even one of them in the little car we had. We did bring our daughter's car seat and it fit in the back seat perfectly. We set up the rental online, but Baoase may be able to do it for you as well.
CAS ABOU. This was the only beach that we visited; bring water shoes to avoid tearing your feet up on the coral along the shore and extending about 3 feet into the water. $6 to get in and $3 per chair; pretty beach, nice water.
FAMILIES. There were more families at the resort than couples during our stay. I don't see where kids were making an impact on anyone's romantic vacation, to be honest. Plenty of opportunities for solo romantic dining and plenty of room on the beach. No ones kids were running around like mad, or causing a ruckus. I think that families and honeymooners can co-exist here without any issues whatsoever. I say this having been to a boutique before sans kids; the families who were there had zero impact on our experience.
GROCERY. There is a grocery about two blocks away - safe to walk to. We grabbed things here like beer for the room, kefer/ milk for the kids, cheese/ bread for snacking.
MENU. We ate at Baoase twice for dinner; the menu is nice, but there's no way we could have eaten there every night. Portions are fairly minimalistic and there's just not that much to choose from. Instead, we dined off-site three nights at Tandoori Heights, Bistro Le Clochard, and Dal Toro. I reviewed all of those separately. We had lunch on the resort a few times; LOVED their chicken nuggets!! I hope they add some more items to the menu in the future.
MOSQUITOES. The only thing we did not like about our trip. My recommendation is bring a really good spray and try to keep your room/ villa as closed up as you can (or at least the sleeping area). I'm not sure if the island and the resort spray or not, but they're pretty bad. Lots of complaints about this on the flight back to Miami.
OWNER'S PRIVATE VILLA. Yes, the owner of the resort has a villa that is a part of the resort. It has it's own pool and a private beach as well. This villa is available for booking when he is not in town and I believe they make it available for weddings as well. The owner having a private villa on the site affected our vacation not one bit.
POOL. Very nice salt water pool. Some of the villas have poolside access.
SERVICE. Did we have to get up and order drinks at the bar while at the beach a few times? Yes. Did we mind? Nah, not really. Service is slow paced, but friendly; if you want something, just wave someone down. The only time we were semi-irritated was when we showed up for breakfast and none of the tables had been cleared; we were told to seat ourselves, but no tables were set up .. we finally chose one and kind of waited a few minutes while the staff stared at us and we stared at them .. finally, I walked over and asked them to please clear the table and set it up for four; done. Conversely, at dinner one night my husband was about to order a bottle of wine when I asked him why he didn't get a mohito like he had wanted. He said we would just do wine; I took the kids back to the room and he came back with a mohito about 10 minutes later. It seems someone had overheard me saying that and made sure he didn't walk away without one when we were done. THAT is thoughtful service!
SMOKING. It is a smoking resort; much like Europe, they do smoke in restaurants, on the beach, etc. Can't really escape this if it bothers you.
SPA SERVICES. There is not a spa on-site; however, you can request the spa menu and they will set up services for you. It's a very basic menu .. massages and pedi/ mani. I didn't do anything only because I was too lazy to set anything up.
STAFF. Other than our driver, everyone we encountered at the resort was super friendly and willing to accomodate just about anything we asked for. From Sandra and Kimley in the beginning when we were making the initial reservation, to Andre when we arrived and checked up on us throughout our stay, Claire who made arrangements for us, Matthias who was super friendly to both of our children, Tom who did a lot of the beach service, all of the ladies during breakfast and dinner - we have not a single complaint about any of them. If something is not to your liking, or there is some confusion - tell them. They will fix it - immediately.
TIPPING. Baoase does not (as far as we could tell) add service charge to anything. We tipped 20% on anything we signed a check for. We also set out tips in the room for housekeeping. We watched other guests and it didn't appear that anyone was tipping at the beach/ breakfast .. we maybe should have asked about this.
TOPLESS. Yup, you guessed it ......... there were topless guests of the female variety on the beach. Had a good time explaining to our son why they had their tops off and that it was okay - it only got hard when he asked why I didn't take mine off LOL. Even more interesting was the fellow who decided to change his swim shorts - down they went, grabbed the new ones, up they went - in full view of the entire beach. Was kind of funny, truth be told. Anyways, if this offends you, be aware.
TURN DOWN SERVICE. They have a turn down service every evening. They consistently came and tidied up the beds/ towels, but one night they lit all of the candles inside and out - we loved this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - but never did it again to our disappointment. Two nights we were left with some tasty chocolate treats.
I've read all the reviews here on TA for Baoase. I would never talk down anyone's review on TA - ever - considering I've left some pretty ugly ones myself and been attacked for them via private message. I would like to offer this though about Baoase and Curacao in general: Curacao is not an island dependent on tourism. It doesn't have the same flavor and feel of the more commercial islands. If you are going to Curacao expecting Four Seasons/ Ritz Carlton style pampering, fast paced anything .. you aren't going to find it. What you are going to find at Baoase is a phenomenal boutique hotel experience that is going to provide you with a laid back, friendly, yet Curacao-style luxury. We enjoyed and highly recommend.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC