The southern coast of Curacao has always been popular for hotel developments. In the fifties most of the hotels were in the city center. After that, they dispersed over the island. However, there has always been an interest to develop hotels in the city center. New to the island is the development of 300+ room hotels, especially in the city center. The Holiday Beach Hotel is one of these new hotel facilities.
From baseball field to hotel
The lot between the old Holiday Beach Hotel and the Mangrove Park in Otrobanda has been vacant for decades. People now use this lot as parking place and baseball field. As Caribbean architects we were excited to design a new hotel next to the existing hotel. We started with a master plan for the lot of 25.000 m2 with an eye on urban planning and a logical connection to the surroundings. After that we engaged into the design of the 450 room hotel which will function as a standalone hotel. However, they will share amenities like the beach, the restaurants and the pools with the Holiday Beach Hotel.
The plan is to realize The Holiday Beach Hotel in the city center. However, the municipality has explicitly required that it should have park and/or beach like character. We brought in the park feeling into the buildings through the use of the central courtyard and the roof gardens. The courtyard consists of different green islands which are an extension of the mangrove park to the east. The green islands vary in height, types of plants and trees. They define the paths that interconnect the park-like exterior to the plazas with their vertical gardens, which function as natural ventilation chimneys. We brought the greenery through the vertical gardens to the roof terraces. This can also be used for roof top bars but also as relaxation hideaways.
The mass of the hotel is dispersed over the available plot. We staggered the building both vertically as horizontally to bring down the size of the building to a more human scale. There where the building staggers we have created plazas to reduce the length of the corridors and create a pleasant tropical experience. These plazas are interior spaces with a strong exterior character, where one can enjoy the constant trade winds of the Caribbean. Not withstanding the diverse appearance of the building it is based on the repetition of a standard module, which also keeps it cost efficient.
By enhancing the existing park and making a design that is based on the local culture and climate we have been able to create a unique experience for the guest within a standard hotel room setup. We were experienced with designing hotels. The new hotel is going to be part of the modern Caribbean architecture scene.