Pros

  • Located right in the center of Punda, the historic downtown area of Willemstad
  • Lots of shopping, dining, and attractions close by
  • Rooms have updated bedding and flat-screen TVs, upper floors have views
  • Breakfast room with basic breakfast options
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Cons

  • Budget hotel is old and the style is very outdated; a lot of work is needed
  • Cleanliness is not up to standard
  • Some rooms have cracked windows and other notable issues
  • No pool or fitness center
  • No restaurant at the hotel
  • Not located near a beach
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Bottom Line

This 80-room hotel is the epitome of a budget option, with a dated look and feel, peeling paint, and an overall lack of amenities. The rooms have some updates, like new bedding and flat-screen TVs, but look closer and you’ll find cracked windows and less-than-tidy conditions. The San Marco’s main redeeming quality is its location -- right in the middle of historic downtown Willemstad. Only if you are on a strict budget, are only staying one night, and need to be in the center of town should you look into the San Marco -- actually, even then, consider other options before choosing this hotel.

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Amenities

  • Casino
  • Internet

Oyster Hotel Review

San Marco Hotel and Casino

Scene

In a historic district, but it has a mismatched, clearly budget style in need of many updates

The San Marco is in an old, historic-looking dark red building that matches the Dutch colonial style of Punda, the name of the downtown area of Willemstad. The history and charm ends there -- the interior of this budget hotel is a hodgepodge of forms, none of which are up to contemporary standards. The lobby is bright and spacious, with a few antique-looking pieces of furniture and a pair of modern red velvet chairs -- this is typical of the mismatched style of the hotel, where some pieces are new, while others appear to have been around quite a while. The hotel’s biggest (read: only) pro is the central location, making it easy to walk to dining and attractions around quaint Willemstad. The crowd is international, including a mix of families and young groups of friends.

The hotel is peppered with random pieces of furniture that don’t seem to have a theme. The hallways are dimly lit, and a bit musty, and feature old-fashioned wallpaper that is peeling in places. To give another example, this is the kind of place where the remote control is handed to you at check in. (Indeed, ours was.) And to give you an idea of the decor: Each bathroom is adorned with a single plastic rose covered in glitter, placed in a vase of hot pink sand. It's definitely a budget-minded option, but think hard about what you're willing to sacrifice for the low rates.

See More Scene

Location

In a pedestrian section of downtown Willemstad, near historic sights, dining and shopping

The hotel's best quality is undoubtedly its location: It's right in the center of the colorful downtown of the capital Willemstad, known as Punda. This charming, historic neighborhood is a UNESCO World Heritage site, notable for its Dutch and Spanish-influenced colonial architecture, featuring cobblestone streets and brightly-painted buildings. It's just a five-minute walk to the picturesque Queen Emma walking bridge, which connects across the bay to the other side of the town.

The San Marco is in a pedestrian district of town, blocked off to cars, so taxis are only able to drop guests off a few blocks away. The entrance to the hotel is in a side alley, though it is located in a very touristy area, so guests shouldn’t feel wary of the location. Across the street is a liquor store/souvenir shop that also serves happy hour drinks. There are many open-air cafes, restaurants, markets, museums and shopping within a five-minute walk of the hotel. The main drawback of being in town, however, is that it's not close to the beach -- a bus, taxi or rental car is needed to reach some sand. It's a 20-minute drive to the airport.

See More Location

Rooms

Small flat-screen TVs and updated bedding -- but overall run-down and not the cleanest

Rooms are decently sized, and have a few updates such as bedding featuring bright pink pillows, bold stripes and polka dot fabrics, and new hospitality-style artwork. But despite these few improvements, it’s clear that the building has experienced some wear and tear over the years. Some of the windows are cracked, even held together with tape. And guests would be wise to double check the cleanliness of their linens -- we found a number of hairs under the pillows on the bed.

The furnishings are sparse, consisting of a bed, night tables, and a small desk. All rooms do include a small flat-screen TV. The bathrooms are old, dim and like everything else, in need of updates. Fixtures may be a bit rusty and there could be marks in the tub. There is a plastic toilet paper dispenser, as in a public restroom, perhaps to prevent the extra rolls from being stolen.

The fifth and sixth floors are home to the Superior Rooms which include better views, as the hotel rises above the rest of the low buildings in Punda. The rooms on the south side of the hotel have ocean views. Superior Rooms also have mini-fridges.

See More Rooms

Features

Amenities are slim: a basic breakfast area and a dark casino consisting mainly of slot machines

Amenities at the San Marco are few. There is no pool, beach or fitness room. There is no formal restaurant in the hotel (except for a grill in the back of the casino) but there is a breakfast room that serves hot breakfast items in the morning. Guests can choose from a basic menu of eggs, toast, ham, and a few other options, as well as tea, coffee and juices.

The dark, smoky casino is filled mostly with slot machines and other machine games, but there is an area with a few table games. There is a small bar and grill in the back that serves beer, burgers, and other bites. The casino is a popular spot with locals, but the vibe is a bit sketchy and tourists may not feel comfortable here at night. 

There is a small business center consisting of two computers next to the front desk that are available for guest use. There is also a small gift shop next to the lobby selling souvenirs, T-shirts and other sundries. There is free Wi-Fi around the property, but it didn't work properly during our stay.

See More Features

Oyster Hotel Review

San Marco Hotel and Casino

Scene

In a historic district, but it has a mismatched, clearly budget style in need of many updates

The San Marco is in an old, historic-looking dark red building that matches the Dutch colonial style of Punda, the name of the downtown area of Willemstad. The history and charm ends there -- the interior of this budget hotel is a hodgepodge of forms, none of which are up to contemporary standards. The lobby is bright and spacious, with a few antique-looking pieces of furniture and a pair of modern red velvet chairs -- this is typical of the mismatched style of the hotel, where some pieces are new, while others appear to have been around quite a while. The hotel’s biggest (read: only) pro is the central location, making it easy to walk to dining and attractions around quaint Willemstad. The crowd is international, including a mix of families and young groups of friends.

The hotel is peppered with random pieces of furniture that don’t seem to have a theme. The hallways are dimly lit, and a bit musty, and feature old-fashioned wallpaper that is peeling in places. To give another example, this is the kind of place where the remote control is handed to you at check in. (Indeed, ours was.) And to give you an idea of the decor: Each bathroom is adorned with a single plastic rose covered in glitter, placed in a vase of hot pink sand. It's definitely a budget-minded option, but think hard about what you're willing to sacrifice for the low rates.

See More Scene

Location

In a pedestrian section of downtown Willemstad, near historic sights, dining and shopping

The hotel's best quality is undoubtedly its location: It's right in the center of the colorful downtown of the capital Willemstad, known as Punda. This charming, historic neighborhood is a UNESCO World Heritage site, notable for its Dutch and Spanish-influenced colonial architecture, featuring cobblestone streets and brightly-painted buildings. It's just a five-minute walk to the picturesque Queen Emma walking bridge, which connects across the bay to the other side of the town.

The San Marco is in a pedestrian district of town, blocked off to cars, so taxis are only able to drop guests off a few blocks away. The entrance to the hotel is in a side alley, though it is located in a very touristy area, so guests shouldn’t feel wary of the location. Across the street is a liquor store/souvenir shop that also serves happy hour drinks. There are many open-air cafes, restaurants, markets, museums and shopping within a five-minute walk of the hotel. The main drawback of being in town, however, is that it's not close to the beach -- a bus, taxi or rental car is needed to reach some sand. It's a 20-minute drive to the airport.

See More Location

Rooms

Small flat-screen TVs and updated bedding -- but overall run-down and not the cleanest

Rooms are decently sized, and have a few updates such as bedding featuring bright pink pillows, bold stripes and polka dot fabrics, and new hospitality-style artwork. But despite these few improvements, it’s clear that the building has experienced some wear and tear over the years. Some of the windows are cracked, even held together with tape. And guests would be wise to double check the cleanliness of their linens -- we found a number of hairs under the pillows on the bed.

The furnishings are sparse, consisting of a bed, night tables, and a small desk. All rooms do include a small flat-screen TV. The bathrooms are old, dim and like everything else, in need of updates. Fixtures may be a bit rusty and there could be marks in the tub. There is a plastic toilet paper dispenser, as in a public restroom, perhaps to prevent the extra rolls from being stolen.

The fifth and sixth floors are home to the Superior Rooms which include better views, as the hotel rises above the rest of the low buildings in Punda. The rooms on the south side of the hotel have ocean views. Superior Rooms also have mini-fridges.

See More Rooms

Features

Amenities are slim: a basic breakfast area and a dark casino consisting mainly of slot machines

Amenities at the San Marco are few. There is no pool, beach or fitness room. There is no formal restaurant in the hotel (except for a grill in the back of the casino) but there is a breakfast room that serves hot breakfast items in the morning. Guests can choose from a basic menu of eggs, toast, ham, and a few other options, as well as tea, coffee and juices.

The dark, smoky casino is filled mostly with slot machines and other machine games, but there is an area with a few table games. There is a small bar and grill in the back that serves beer, burgers, and other bites. The casino is a popular spot with locals, but the vibe is a bit sketchy and tourists may not feel comfortable here at night. 

There is a small business center consisting of two computers next to the front desk that are available for guest use. There is also a small gift shop next to the lobby selling souvenirs, T-shirts and other sundries. There is free Wi-Fi around the property, but it didn't work properly during our stay.

See More Features

Best Rates

Amenities

  • Cable

  • Casino

  • Gameroom / Arcade

  • Internet

  • Kids Allowed

  • Laundry

  • Meeting / Conference Rooms

  • Poolside Drink Service

Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.