Fancy an ice cream in one of the Caribbean's best-kept secret islands? We visited The Ritz Village in Curacao, a unique hostel located inside a former ice-cream factory, turned into a laid-back, cozy colorful hostel. Be ready to be half-naked most of the time - you will love the swimming pool and jacuzzi area- surrounded by colorful buildings. The Ritz Village is the 5 Star Hostel in Curacao - a barefooted visit by Hostelgeeks.
What we cover:1. The 5 Stars of The Ritz Village
2. How to book and compare rates
3. Neighborhood and location
Curacao is one of the Caribbean’s best-kept secret islands. A paradise and dream destination for beach lovers, world travelers, and diving addicts. And of course, we could not resists to combine this dream destination with a stunning hostel.
We are Hostelgeeks, an independent travel brand and your shortcut to the most outstanding hostels in the world, the 5 Star Hostels. If you are enjoying the Caribbean, you can also find our 5 Star Hostel in Costa Rica, Casa Zen Guesthouse.
The Ritz Village Hostel is by far the largest and only 5 Star Hostel on the island of Curacao. With one or two bunk beds per room, the dorms are simple but spacious. The general area, which is shared with the hotel guests, offers a pool bar and restaurant with plenty of seating area, an outdoor swimming pool with lounge chairs IN the water, super comfy sunbeds and last but definitely not least: a Jacuzzi!
Related article: +110 design hostels to fall in love with.
Have a look at the video. Not bad at all, huh? We collected 22 cool hostel videos from our 5 Star Hostels.
The Ritz Village offer doesn’t stop in the swimming pool. Since the opening of a second hostel building in January 2017, there is a special area for hostel guests only. A staircase from the ground floor will lead you to the sunny rooftop terrace, with its own lounge area, sunbeds, and … a second Jacuzzi!
There’s no hot water at The Ritz Village (like on a big part of the island), so it is always nice and cooling to jump in the pool or Jacuzzi. We had a closer look on what’s behind the colorful surroundings, the hip facilities, and this peaceful atmosphere.
The Ritz Village is a 5 Star Hostel because…
1. Preserving natural resources
The Ritz Village is committed to protecting the environment and conserving natural resources while providing the best possible services. Since water and electricity on Curacao are among the most expensive in the world, The Ritz chooses to offer ‘refreshing’ ambient temperature showers, rather than higher room rates. This is a common practice on Curacao and for sure, this is something the conscious traveler is looking for.
There are more unique hostels in islands, let’s have a look at:
- STAY Hostel in Rhodes, Greece
- Caveland Santorini, a former winery and here you actually sleep in caves
- El Nido in Palawan, Philippines is home of SPIN Designer Hostel
The topic of fresh water and resources is a common one among islands around the world. Many islands take different approaches, depending on development and urgency.
In Curacao fresh water is made out of seawater. Although the quality is high, the desalination process consumes much energy. Electricity is generated by diesel engines at the refinery, a technology that dates back to the 1960s. This practice is non-sustainable.
How does The Ritz fit in here? The Ritz takes a position to contribute to a better environment for the Island.
The Ritz offers an environmentally safe laundry service. In order to minimize environmental damage caused by excess laundry, the rooms will receive fresh sheets and towels after three nights sleep. We ask our guests to hang up their towels and bathmat to dry for re-use. All rooms are non-smoking, and housekeeping staff uses. Here is an overview of different hostel room types.
All rooms are non-smoking, and housekeeping staff uses environmentally friendly cleaning products.
For electricity, this 5 Star Hostel encourages guests to conserve electricity by turning off the air conditioner, the lights, and other electrical devices when they leave their room, as well as keep their air conditioner at a moderate temperature.
The Ritz Village let guests be aware of how they can actually cooperate and make a difference as well.
The next big project of The Ritz Village is installing powerful solar panels. We will keep you updated about it. Their decisions and actions remind us at Mosaic House, the 5 Star Hostel in Prague, which are eco Pioners, and produce 0% emissions. In fact, many of the accommodations at Hostelgeeks are up to the newest standards. Have a look as well at the Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof, they only run on green energy.
2. Industrial design with modern and colorful atmosphere
For almost 70 years The Ritz had been the largest ice cream factory in the Caribbean.
Therefore we wondered: How does a hostel in a former Ice Cream factory look like? No surprise here, the design is based on the industrial history of The Ritz.
Since 2004, the complex has been lovingly converted into a hotel and hostel. During the renovation, The Ritz incorporated many original details, such as the spans, windows, floors… and antique fixtures from the factory. This keeps the integrity of the historical building intact.
There is also the Ritz Museum nearby for people interested in knowing more about the ice factory and the value of it for the people on the island of Curacao.
One can still see what the original functions of the buildings were, even though it’s been adapted for modern uses: factory office and storage were converted into a functional modern atmosphere while keeping the integrity of its colorful history.
All buildings were restored and renovated with the factory in mind, showing its former industrial past. Just like Swanky Mint, the 5 Star Hostel in Zagreb, Croatia, where you can still see that it was a dry-cleaning factory.
The floors of this 5 Star Hostel were redone in polished concrete with an industrial coating. Some rooms show also the industrial roof construction in the loft. The inner supports of the buildings are made of steel pipes, and profiles and are left exposed.
3. From former ice cream factory to 5 Star Hostel
The most remarkable and exciting about The Ritz Village Hostel is its history! Okay, okay…besides the island as a location and its swimming pool.
The hostel is located in what for 70 years housed the Ritz Ice Cream Factory, the largest ice cream producer in the Caribbean before its bankrupt 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.
It is located in the capital of Curacao, Willemstad, which is listed on the UNESCO Heritage list since 1997.
The two buildings are definitely monumental, paying homage to its ice cream past, and conserving building names such as Cornetto and Scoop… It is very meaningful for the population that the industrial style of the architecture is kept.
Other unique and pluses of The Ritz Village Hostel are the central location, the fact of having a swimming pool, and Jacuzzi where guest can relax. There is as well a mini market, dive shop and car rental on site. All you need in just the same place.
Here is a handy guide on Curacao and how to get around.
In a nutshell, The Ritz Village Hostel is an interesting gem, located on a beautiful island. Go and see it for yourself.
4. Curacao laid-back flair
The vibes at The Ritz Village are influenced by the Curacao laid-back flair, meaning: being relaxed and easy-going. That is exactly what makes Curacao special, same as the hostel-hotel.
The lounge area is a large one. It is the perfect place to hang out and mingle with fellow travelers. After all, a hostel is a social hotspot for fellow hostel mates to connect and discover the island altogether.
Any plans already? Share your plans. Saying
„wanna join me on the snorkel tour?’’
Is the perfect conversation starter. Are you more an introvert traveler? No problem, we get it! The Ritz setup a smart notice board for those looking to create or join a group to go diving or explore the island. This helps to connect people and inspire travelers to take tours. Many friendships started here.
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It is easy, simple and works perfectly for travelers connections!
In addition to that, there is a perfect community vibe around the swimming pool and Jacuzzi. That goes even without saying, wouldn’t you agree? Surrounded by colorful small houses, it is the place where no-one seems to be in a rush. And believe us: NO one is in a rush when lying at The Ritz swimming pool.
They do also offer movies night around this area. Enjoy a film while sipping a cocktail on the terrace, or even better, from your inflatable in the swimming pool!
Due to the Village experience of the property, guests and staff interact quite a lot. It is normal that the receptionist or even the bar staff helps the guest to organize their daily activities and tours. They are walking guide books. No wonder so many guests love to leave compliments in their online reviews. We totally agree.
For special occasions, The Ritz organizes cool events. There is to mention the New Year’s drink, anniversary parties, and more. Smart advice: Stay at the Ritz during the birthday of the owner Hans Robben. He invites all guests for a drink at the in-house bar. Cheers!
For whom do we recommend The Ritz Village Hostel? This hip Curacao hostel is perfect for solo travelers, singles, friends, and couples as well of course – no matter what age. It also comes with a female-friendly vibe, with female dorms available.
Here is an overview of 7 pros and 4 cons of female dorms.
Last but not least, here is something special we noticed: the Reservations Manager knows all the guests by name, and even the owner sits down by the pool and talks to the guests when he has finished his work. As mentioned, don’t forget to come here for his birthday.
We love it when a hostel has this kind of family vibe, where it feels like staying with old friends. Thanks, Ritz team!
5. Passionate and interactive
The staff, an important key to a good, quality hostel.
As you might have figured already: The team behind TheRitz -Village is very passionate, and they know what they are doing. The team has a morning meeting. They check and discuss the daily work, like special events going on in the island so they can inform the guests.
Also, the team keeps an eye on the check-ins for the day. Do any guests celebrate a birthday, maybe even a honeymoon?
The Ritz team loves to chat with guests, share tips, ideas and help. There is a personal approach, especially from the Reservations Manager and the owner, as mentioned above.
Many guests confirm in online reviews the experienced staff at The Ritz. As we pointed out earlier, the staff are walking guide books, so don’t be shy, approach them, and get the fist hand experience to explore the beauty of Curacao.