As I mentioned last week, in 2015 my five girlfriends and I took our second Caribbean trip. (You can read about our 2014 trip to Turks and Caicos here.) We contemplated going back to Turks and Caicos because it was a near perfect experience, but we all agreed we wanted to try a new place.
We narrowed down our islands to St. Maarten, Curacao, and Barbados based on flight availability for a Wednesday through Sunday trip and villas that fit our criteria list (ocean or beach front with a private pool--not an easy list to accommodate on our $100/person/night budget). We also had to navigate around everyone's personal schedules. My friend Anne Shaffer literally put together a spreadsheet to help us organize the dates and villas available. (Tip: When planning a trip out of the country with six girls, start at least a year out as villas and calendars fill up quickly!)
We ended up deciding on Curacao, an island I hadn't even heard until a friend visited there a few years back followed shortly by Emily Maynard's season of The Bachelorette. We actually almost stayed at Emily's villa, but we weren't as keen on the location.
We ended up booking Villa Las Olas at Jan Thiel beach and we were not disappointed. The below pictures were taken with my iPhone, so make sure to visit the previous link for better pictures and a video of the villa.
What I Liked About the Villa:
- The Danish Modern décor was the perfect setting for a vacation. It was so easy to relax surrounded by white modern furniture coupled with natural wood accents and tropical foliage.
- The layout of the villa was perfect. The kitchen opened up to the large pool deck where the shaded outdoor dining and living rooms were located. There was also a living room inside but we only sat in it one night when there was a storm. If we weren't sleeping or showering, we were outside enjoying the salty, ocean air.
- I loved the covered lounging bed next to the pool! We could easily fit three girls on it, and it was perfect when you wanted to get out of the sun and read a book or take a nap.
- The villa came with a portable iPhone speaker so that we could have music by the pool when we were sun bathing or in the kitchen when we were cooking. No need to bring your portable speaker on the plane!
- The location of the villa within a gated community made us feel very safe. We could walk to several restaurants and bars and even a grocery store. Unless you really wanted to explore the island, you really didn't need a rental car here.
- The villa caretakers were awesome and did our grocery shopping for us for a small fee and were on call if we had questions about the villa. They were also easy to communicate with before the trip and responded to all of our questions quickly.
- We did have neighbors to the right and left, but because of the way the houses are positioned and the noise of the sea, the villa felt very private.
- The infinity pool was lighted at night and we came home just about every night after dinner for a swim. The pool was pretty spectacular during the day as well.
- The villa is also located a 1-2 minute walk from Jan Thiel beach.
What I Did Not Like About the Villa:
- Everything was so amazing, it's hard to think of any negatives. One of the only things I can really think of is that Jan Thiel beach is more of a man-made beach. It is very small and can be crowded. We didn't get to enjoy long walks on the beach like in Turks and Caicos on the 12 mile stretch of Grace Bay Beach. I don't really think we missed the beach, though, because our villa was so awesome and we never wanted to leave!
- If I'm being really picky, the white chairs next to the pool were chic but a little annoying as you could only sit in one position. We took turns using the flat covered lounger, so it wasn't a big deal.