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Dive Review of Go West Diving/Kura Hulanda Lodge & Beach Club in
Curaçao/Westpunt

Go West Diving/Kura Hulanda Lodge & Beach Club, Oct, 2013,

by Rick Bates, ON, CA (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 10 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 7250.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 2 stars Food 1 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling 4 stars
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments The diving:
Go West is a top notch operation with very friendly and helpful staff. Boats were quick, clean & roomy. We dove the east end with Ocean Encounters on a previous visit to Curacao but made two trips up to the Westpunt area for shore dives and they were so much better we vowed to return and dive up at the West End for a whole week. We were glad we did as the dive sites continue to be much better up there. (more fish life, more turtles, better viz, less crowded).
Go West also operates nearby apartments which we have not used, but have great reviews. They also have car/truck rentals and great packages available. There’s a nice beach at the shop for swimming, snorkeling or just lounging around, and a restaurant. Food was pretty good, but a little over priced!

The accommodations: BEWARE!

We booked a dive & stay package, incl breakfast, taxes and tips for three of us at $1300 US pp. through our travel agent, at Kura Hulanda Lodge & Beach Club which is in the adjoining property with the Dive Shop. Kura Hulanda also operates a hotel resort in downtown Willemstad.
We read about the great rooms but lousy food before going, so we planned on renting a vehicle and eating out most nights. Our lack of high expectations on the food proved correct. Breakfast was a terrible buffet cold, dry food, no eggs to order available. Dinner there the first night sounded promising for a “beachside BBQ buffet” for $32. It couldn’t have been worse! The food was terrible, and no BBQ in site, slow service, and no “atmosphere”. What a waste of money, but we didn’t have a rental vehicle until the next day, so we were stuck. The available food at nearby restaurants was not much better. However, we had several great recommendations for better dining to look forward to the remainder of the week, however we never had the chance to check any of them out. (read on)

That is the GOOD part about our stay! After three days of diving, we were called down to the front lobby around 1pm and told that the resort is closing its doors (bankrupt) and we had to pack our bags and we being kicked out! Bank trustees were on scene standing around waiting for us to leave, and all the resort’s staff, including all the managers had in fact abandoned the premises by now. Two of the front desk ladies did remain on their own time to help 50 or so guests try to find alternate accommodations and transportation to Willemstad. We found out that none of the employees were being paid for their last 36 days of work and all left quickly and pretty upset. Despite this, the “desk ladies” stayed making phone calls and advising as best they could on how to get us out safely. One said, “If I didn’t stay to help you, who was going to?” She was right. No one from the previous management, no one from the bank who was seizing the hotel or the trustees on site offered any help at all. You have to remember that Westpunt is over an hour drive to town. There are no other hotels in the area, and there are NO taxis here. They have to be called up from Willemstad ahead of time. There was supposed to be someone from the Curacao tourist & hotel association on site to help us find new hotels, but we never saw them or received any assistance from any officials whatsoever. All the other guests were eventually herded onto a bus and taken away. We managed to get in touch with our travel agent back home and finally made it out with a rented pick-up truck & spent the remainder of our vacation in Willemstad at the Renaissance Hotel.
Brian, the owner of Go West Diving showed up and explained that his operation was still open, and he is completely independent of the Kura Lodge. He assured us that we could finish our 5 day dive package at his expense (he has not been paid his share of our dive packages through Kura Lodge for several weeks). However we chose to take all of our dive gear with us, and opted to dive closer to town rather than make the hour plus long drive up in the morning for 8:30 boat trips. Brian & his staff were very understanding, and they stuck around to help other hotel guests make arrangements caused by the hotel closure.
So despite all this, or perhaps because of it, I still recommend diving the west end of Curacao and especially Go West Diving. Just be careful where you book your room!
Websites Go West Diving   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Indonesia (Wakatobi), Papua New Guinea, Australia, Fiji, Florida, Bahamas, Curaçao, Roatan, Bonaire, Turks&Caicos, Cozumel, Great Lakes, St Lawrence River, North Carolina, Tobermory, British Columbia, San Juan Islands WA, Gulf Islands BC, Nova Scotia
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather windy, rainy Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 82-84°F / 28-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50-100 Ft/ 15-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Asked to follow divemaster, surface as group if drift dives. 60 mins max
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 1 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments Rinse buckets available, no separate table though. Lots of space back at the shop for rinsing & cleaning
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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