I spent the final week of February in Curacao with three girlfriends. Curacao is one of the ABC islands - Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao. It is just off the northern coast of Venezuela.
We flew from Boston to Miami, then Miami to Curacao. Each flight is just about three hours. If you're used to taking a direct flight to Puerto Rico or the Bahamas, this is much more of a commitment in terms of travel time.
Curacao is the most naturally beautiful place I have ever seen. The ocean water is so clear and it is the brightest shade of blue. No camera can accurately capture it.
We stayed in an area called St. Willibrordus. The locals call it Williwood. This area is about a twenty minute car ride from the airport. We had rented a private home in a gated community called Coral Estate.
Coral Estate has two sides - a hotel, complete with pool, beachfront, restaurants and spa, and the section we stayed in, which is rows and rows of private homes. Even though we stayed in a house, we were still able to use all of the amenities.
On our first morning, we woke up giddy with excitement. We had booked treatments at 8 The Experience, the spa on the Coral Estate grounds.
When you check in, the receptionist gives you a robe, a pair of flip flops, a Turkish towel and a key to your locker. All of the treatment rooms have windows or cut outs that overlook the ocean down below. So as you're being rubbed down, you hear the sound of waves crashing.
In addition to massages and body wraps, the spa also offers three temperature rooms - a steam room, a sauna and a freeze room. We were instructed to go from hot to cold, the exposure is supposed to jump start your circulation.
Three of the girls booked what's called the "Stress-Fix Body Massage" and I decided on the "Body Polish." I was escorted to a room with windows overlooking the water. I needed to pinch myself! This felt incredibly luxurious.
My massage therapist, Tibi, scrubbed my entire body with a sea salt exfoliant. After rinsing it off, she painted me from head to toe with a clay mask. I had to lay perfectly still for five minutes while it dried. Once that was rinsed off, she applied a cooling balm, wrapped me in a sheet, then massaged my scalp while all of the moisturizing ingredients worked their magic. I have never felt so blissed out!
While the treatments at 8 The Experience are incredible, the star of the show is the private pool deck behind the spa. When you book a treatment, you get access to the pool deck for four additional hours.
In the center of the outdoor area is a wading pool.
It's surrounded by plush day beds, ideal for leisure reading.
They also have two hot tubs. They were built into the cliffs overlooking the ocean.
I could not get over this view!
We maximized every minute of those four hours. We swam, we read and we even ordered lunch from the poolside restaurant, Koraal, which is just outside the spa's doors.
8 The Experience is an Aveda spa and salon, so when you check out, you have the opportunity to purchase any of the products that were used during your treatments.
We had the best, most relaxing time during our visit. We kept turning to each other and asking, "Is this real life?"
Because we're in complete denial that we may never get to go there again, we're all following the spa on Instagram, @8_the_experience.
If you are planning a trip to Curacao in the future, you have to make an appointment here. You do not have to be staying at Coral Estate to take advantage of this stunning place.