Review: Curaçao VIP Lounge – Hato International Airport, Curaçao
The Curaçao VIP Lounge was the only business class lounge operating in the Hato International Airport near Willemstad, Curaçao. While we weren’t expecting greatness from a Caribbean Airport Lounge, we were quite pleasantly surprised with the facilities offered at the Curaçao VIP Lounge. The space was easily accessed through a Priority Pass membership. Read on to see how our experience was visiting this comfortable and newly renovated space.
This post is one chapter on our trip during the pandemic to Curaçao in the Southern Caribbean. This trip was enhanced through Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status and Hertz Gold Plus Rewards. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.
Read more from this trip:
- Introduction: The Caribbean Coves of Curaçao via American Airlines First Class
- American Airlines Business Class: Vancouver – Dallas Fort Worth
- Dallas Fort Worth Airport Marriott, Texas, USA
- American Airlines Admirals Club Lounge – Dallas Fort Worth C Gates
- American Airlines First Class: Dallas Fort Worth – Miami
- American Express Centurion Lounge Miami
- American Airlines Admirals Club Lounge Airlines – Miami Gate D30
- American Airlines Business Class: Miami – Curaçao
- Curaçao Marriott Beach Resort, Curaçao
- Cas Abo Beach
- Grote Knip Beach
- Klein Curaçao Island
- Crossing the Queen Emma Bridge into Willemstad, Curaçao
- VIP Lounge Curaçao – Hato International Airport, Curaçao
- American Airlines Business Class: Curaçao – Miami
- JW Marriott Miami, Florida, USA
- Turkish Airlines Business Lounge, Miami, USA
- American Airlines First Class: Miami – Los Angeles
- American Airlines Business Class: Los Angeles – Vancouver
Review: Curaçao VIP Business Lounge – Hato Internatonal Airport, Willemstad, Curaçao
As our Dutch Caribbean adventure came to a close, it came to depart the Carribiean for the Pacific Northwest region of North America. We departed the Curaçao Marriott Beach Resort and drove to the airport which was situated just 11 kilometres from town.
We returned the car with Hertz. We had a thorough check with the car rental return, including the spare tire and tools. We checked out and closed our contract at the island counter.
The Curaçao Hato International Airport is set up into an older arrivals hall and a newer departures hall. We wheeled ourselves over past the arrivals hall where we entered the country and onwards to the departure building.
It was quite a walk along side the older yellow building. I passed by the directional sign in the parking lot which set out a whole series of directions from our spot on the airport property.
It was quite a walk through the Carribean heat from rental car return over to the departures terminal. If I were doing it all over again, I would make sure to drop the bags at the departure terminal, then return the car. This would make for a cooler walk in the Caribbean heat, without pulling lots of baggage.
Checking into American Airlines Business Class:
Once at the Curaçao Hato International Airport Departures Hall, we entered into the cooling air conditioned departures hall and checked into American Airlines First Class. The newer facility was pretty sterile, clean and without much personality.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the public departures hall was the interesting flight display monitor. The board revealed a whole host of Caribbean flights to some interesting regional destinations in neighbouring Aruba and Bonaire.
During our check in process, we had our vaccination pre-tests checked and MrsWT73 had to complete a paper attestation certifying her vaccination status for flying into the United States. We received boarding cards for our American Airlines Business Class Curaçao – Miami, American Airlines First Class Miami – Los Angeles, and American Airlines Business Class Los Angeles – Vancouver flights.
We proceeded to immigration on the first floor. Although they had E – Gates to depart Curaçao Immigration and Customs they all appeared to be “out of order” today. As a result, we received an old fashioned stamp to get out of Curaçao today.
Locating the VIP Lounge:
We headed upstairs into the secure side departures hall. After security screening, we had a pass through the large Praha duty Free section.
The VIP Lounge is discreetly located across Gate #4 at the west end of the large Penha duty free zone that occupies much of the departures hall at Curaçao Hato International Airport. While there were lots of interesting alcohols, there weren’t many deals being offered by Penha Duty Free.
Making our way down the concourse, we eventually came to Gate #4 and the VIP Lounge which was tucked away behind some grey storefront.
Accessing the Curaçao VIP Lounge:
Our international flight with American Airlines Business Class did not automatically include lounge access to the VIP Lounge Curaçao Hato International Airport.
Instead, the Curaçao VIP Lounge is accessible through a variety of Lounge memberships. The lounge is a member of both Lounge Key and Priority Pass membership. The lounge is also a part of Loungebuddy, Diners Club International and DragonPass.
Our access today was granted courtesy of Priority Pass Select membership with the American Express Platinum Card.
The lounge is also accessed for business class passengers travelling on through Avianca, KLM and COPA so if you are travelling on these carriers, there are chances that your business class ticket will include lounge access.
The lounge is also accessible through cash or credit card payment. Entry was available for $32 USD at the time of our visit.
The reception agent processed our entry through the American Express Platinum Card and waved us into the lounge.
Inside the Curaçao VIP Lounge:
The lounge has been recently renovated with new paint and furniture. Just past reception immediately upon entering the lounge, was the primary seating area. It holds about thirty passengers in comfortable lounge chairs. The space was marked with high ceilings along with day light windows that led in a fair amount of light.
The lounge is set up in an L shaped seating configuration, with additional seating moving around the side of the lounge. The seating itself was comfortable and spacious.
Along the back wall of the lounge was additional seating, along with a play area and the nearby full service bar. This was the darkest space of the lounge, given that it didn’t have any window facing areas.
The wifi in the lounge worked, although it did drop on occasion. Fortunately, it was fairly easy to re-connect with a few pop up windows to pass through in order to re-gain connection through a smart phone.
Food and Beverage:
During our visit to the lounge, which was over lunch hour, there were light snacks available. Near the reception, the food station was set up.
The foods included green salad, cubed meats and cheeses, salad dressings, parkerhouse rolls and chicken noodle soup.
I was pretty impressed with the amount of food on offer for an unbranded lounge in a Caribbean Airport. There was more than something for everyone. The salads were fresh and the food had a good crisp taste to it.
The food service was available on Japanese style small trays. As I mentioned in, the food was surprisingly fresh. I enjoyed a green salad that was crisply cut and not wilted by any means. The cut cheese / sliced meats were also freshly cut and tastier than expected.
In addition to the food in the lounge, the lounge partnered with food service provider in the airport. Food was available for order by scanning a QR code from within the lounge. The external food seemed to be on a cash basis, and I didn’t see anyone taking advantage of the restaurant food.
The lounge featured a full service bar. The drinks were on offer were the usual spirits and white wine chilled in a large ice bucket. The lounge entry offered a maximum of three drinks per person, which was tracked through a stamp on the back of a voucher issued at check in.
We enjoyed a surprisingly good visit experience prior to departing on our American Airlines Business Class Curaçao – Miami flight back home.
Overall: Our Experience at the VIP Lounge Curaçao
The VIP Lounge Curaçao Hato International Airport was a surprisingly reasonable lounge for a sunny island airport. It was much better than our offerings that we had experienced in French Polynesia, Fiji and our usual haunts in Hawaii. The lounge did not get a lot of visitor traffic but the food quality and freshness was much better than expected for an island airport. I wouldn’t hesitate to return to this location as part of my travels through Curaçao.