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A Postcard from Curaçao | Episode 10| Avila Beach Hotel (Watch Video)

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Tenth in a series of inspirational postcards from our friends at Dive Curacao.

Welcome to episode 10 where we are visiting the Avila Beach Hotel which is the oldest operating hotel in Curaçao that received its first guests in 1949 and has a history that dates to 1780. 

Located on the eastern edge of Curaçao’s historic Pietermaai district, the Avila Beach Hotel is an award-winning luxury beachfront property that has been completely transformed over the last 240 years.  In fact, the main lobby and entrance called the Belle Alliance was the first building constructed and it is named after “Auberge de la Belle Alliance”, the alliance against Napoleon.  Interestingly, over the years, the Avila Beach Hotel has served as a private hospital, a boy’s boarding school and even a Governor’s home.  But on February 1st, 1949 with only 18 beds, the “Hotel Avila” officially opened its doors.

In 1959, Dr. Pieter Hendrik “Gungu” Maal, the owner at that time, took the initiative of creating a beach and a massive pier to protect the beach from the destructive powers of the sea. In March 1959, the beach was opened and since then, “Hotel Avila” has been called the Avila Beach Hotel.

Further transformations followed when Mr. Finn Nicolaj (Nic) Møller, a Danish entrepreneur purchased the hotel in 1977.  Starting in 1992, new wings were added, the Blues Bar & Restaurant was built on the original pier, the Octagon Museum was restored and extra facilities were constructed that included a tennis court, a sea terrace and a new sandy beach.


Travel Tip: For special occasions book the stunning La Belle Alliance Penthouse which has open concept living room with French doors that open to a spacious balcony giving you a nice outdoor feeling. This luxury penthouse is equipped with a kitchen with breakfast bar, 2 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. The large balcony offers a stunning view to the sea and the luscious garden below.


In 2007, after the successful completion of the Octagon wing, the hotel opened the Avila Wellness Club, Conference and Banqueting Center, an infinity pool and renewed the Octagon plaza to offer a shopping area and a place to organize concerts, large events and weddings.

Since 2015, the Avila Beach Hotel is owned by the Vogels Family and today it remains to be one of the few family owned hotels on the island where is not only world renowned for its personal touch and the incredible accommodations (that now consists of 143-rooms, 2 private beaches, a full-service spa and gym, and 3 restaurants) but is also now an industry leader in the area of sustainability.


Travel Tip: Dine in style at The Pen which is a unique semi-open air restaurant with an exceptional menu that provides you with a taste of the Caribbean using local and regional ingredients complemented with a stunning view.


Under the guidance of Robbin Vogels, the General Manager, the Avila Beach Hotel is dedicated to lead the way through innovation and the practice of sustainable initiatives such as efficient energy use, recycling, and waste reduction.

Robbin says: “Innovation and sustainability is what we strive for. A higher efficiency is sought after in all business decisions at our hotel, restaurants, spa, and gym, so it is not limited to just saving energy and recycling.  Robbin went on to say, “Being the oldest hotel on Curacao we have a rich history and deep connection with the community. All opportunities for a better environment and both the well-being of our employees and the Curacao community are being fully exploited. Together we can create a better world, even on a small island such as Curacao.”

To further underline this commitment to the environment, the Avila Beach Hotel together with Coral Restoration Curaçao signed a partnership agreement in February of 2019 to repopulate the hotels house reef with staghorn and elkhorn corals.  By doing so, this has improved the quality of the reef and it has added a natural layer of protection against storm surges and erosion.

The Avila Beach Hotel is absolutely steeped with history and tradition, and of course the award-winning quality is obvious from the moment that you step up into the main lobby.  But what really sets the Avila Beach Hotel apart is their personal touch.  Because it is not about the beautiful beach or that comfortable room that makes Avila Beach Hotel, it is their employees or what they call, their “Avila Family” that provides you with that personal touch that creates those lasting memories and an incredible Curaçao experience.

Tune in for Episode 11, where will be visiting the Blue Bay Golf and Beach Resort, a plantation that dates back to the 1800’s, that was occupied and plundered by French pirates.  We will also be visiting with Blue Bay Dive and Watersports to not only dive their beautiful house reef but also to discover more about the sustainability initiatives with Project AWARE.

We hope you have enjoyed this Postcard from Curaçao and we also hope to see you soon.  Don’t forget to subscribe to our mailing list and to the Dive Curaçao YouTube Channel to be automatically notified.

Sincere Love from Curacao,

Bryan Horne, Dive Curacao

Tilo and Yvonne Kuhnast, Nature Pics Films


Videos produced and edited for Dive Curacao in cooperation with Nature Pics Films.

Bryan Horne wasn’t born in Curaçao; he’s a Canadian native, drawn to the Island “out of a passion for scuba diving and the underwater world.” Moving was always going to be a life-changing decision, but in diving, Bryan had found his calling. As the founder and owner of Dive Curaçao, he spends his days showing off Curaçao’s hidden undersea treasures – and does his part to preserve them for future generations.

Gear News

Introducing the Mares Magnetic Connector BCD Accessory

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The innovative magnetic securing system by Mares is the ultimate way to connect your diving accessories and equipment. Gone are the days of dangling hoses and lost dive lights. The Magnetic Connector is a versatile and unique system that includes many uses such as an octopus and console holder, torch/dive light hook, camera attachment, and much more!

The Magnetic Connector’s simple yet effective design allows you to quickly find the connection site,
especially when the connection point is not easily visible. The audible “click” of the attachment
also lends assurance that everything is securely connected. The advanced engineering of the
mechanical closure system locks the fastened item in place safely and reliably. It can hold over
60kg (132 lbs.) of equipment.

The Magnetic Connector’s compact design not only keeps your diving accessories secure but as
streamlined as possible. In fact, the Magnetic Connector is even shorter than a double-ended
carabiner and just as easy to install. By simply unscrewing the connector’s head, the threaded pin
can easily connect to all BCD D-rings.

Another valuable benefit is its 360-degree free rotation, which allows for the perfect placement of
your equipment and accessories. The free-swiveling ball head also allows the connector to tilt in
every direction for maximum comfort. The Magnetic Connector is currently available in two color
options, black and yellow.

Although it is rugged and extremely secure, Mares still made it easy to use by allowing divers to connect and disconnect their equipment to it, not just single-handedly, but with the use of only two fingers! The Magnetic Connector is simple, quick, and safe. It unlocks quickly even under a full load and is the smartest alternative to a carabiner.

Features:

  • SIMPLE AND SECURE
  • FAST AND EASY MAGNETIC CONNECTION
  • SINGLE-HANDED USE
  • 360° FREE-SWIVELLING
  • SAFE UNLOCKING, EVEN WITH A FULL LOAD
  • DESIGNED TO ATTACH TO ALL BCD D-RINGS
  • HIGH-QUALITY, STURDY MATERIALS

For more information visit the Mares website by clicking here.

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Gear News

Hammond Drysuits launch CoreTek Base

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For those times when you need to layer up, or for warmer days when you need something lighter just to take the cool edge off the air temperature, the next must have item for your kit bag is the CoreTek Base from Hammond Drysuits.

The CoreTek Base has been designed to be worn next to the skin. It is the perfect extra layer for those cooler days, and the ideal layer on its own for the warmer ones.

CoreTek Base features:

  • 100% Polyester for easy care
  • Snug fit for superior warmth
  • Brushed fabric for maximum comfort
  • Longer length to remain tucked in to keep warm

Our three-piece undersuits, CoreTek and CoreTek X, have been well received by customers since their launch in 2018,” comments Chris Hammond Managing Director for Hammond Drysuits. “Customer feedback has resulted in us reviewing the layers in order to extend the temperature range they are
effective in. As our clients sail and scuba dive around the world, water and air temperatures vary, and this is the layer we have been missing from our product range.”

Sizing: Unisex Small, Medium, Large, X-Large and XXL
Available: Now
Price: £14.95

For more information visit the Hammond Drysuits website by clicking here.

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Competitions

Explore the amazing triangle of Red Sea Reefs - The Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone on board the brand new liveaboard Big Blue.  With an option to add on a week at Roots Red Sea before or after. 

Strong currents and deep blue water are the catalysts that bring the pelagic species flocking to these reefs. The reefs themselves provide exquisite homes for a multitude of marine life.  The wafting soft corals are adorned with thousands of colourful fish. The gorgonian fans and hard corals provide magnificent back drops, all being patrolled by the reef’s predatory species.

£1475 per person based on double occupancy.  Soft all inclusive board basis, buffet meals with snacks, tea and coffee always available.  Add a week on at Roots Red Sea Resort before or after the liveaboard for just £725pp.  Flights and transfers are included.  See our brochure linked above for the full itinerary.

This trip will be hosted by The Scuba Place.  Come Dive with Us!

Call 020 3515 9955 or email john@thescubaplace.co.uk

www.thescubaplace.co.uk

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