Really, this trip came down to making a choice - would you rather have beautiful Caribbean beaches and tropical drinks, or Elvis impersonators and gorging yourself at all-you-can-eat buffets? Originally, we weren't supposed to be in Curacao - but somehow a short getaway to Vegas morphed into a few days in the Caribbean. Really, our feelings on Vegas are fairly neutral, but it does seem to be a fairly standard getaway - not that far away, and cheap. Or so you might think ... surprisingly, coming to Curacao ended being all about the value.
Truthfully, the idea of Vegas being a value destination is a bit of a myth - sure, the cost of a flight from Calgary is relatively cheap, but a flight to Curacao isn't exactly bad value when you consider how much farther the flight is, and if you happen to travel there in the low season. Adding up flight and accommodations, the cost of five nights in Curacao wasn't that much more than Vegas. Granted, the Las Vegas accommodation would've been a fancy hotel with a big swimming pool and a spa, instead of the simple, but clean and modern, hotel we had in Curacao.
In that regard, Vegas does offer excellent value when you consider the class of hotel available for a relatively low price point, but the price of a trip here quickly escalates. Want to catch a show? Anywhere from $100 to $200 per person. A fancy multi-course dinner for two, complete with a bottle of wine? $200, easily. How about a spa treatment? Some gambling? Shopping? A few drinks? Cha-ching, cha-ching, cha-ching! In the end, I figured that five nights in Curacao was less than five in Vegas, making it an easy choice.
Of course, our particular trip to Curacao wasn't quite the same type of getaway that Vegas would've been - lacking in luxury, preparing our own breakfasts, packing lunches, and not doing too many tours. Sure, you could find some luxury here in Curacao, but overall, it simply can't compare to the blinged-out World of Vegas, and finding such luxury here likely would've ended up costing more than Vegas. But there's something to be said for a place that is more natural, and without any fake famous World monuments.
And after a few lazy days relaxing on the many fine beaches in Curacao, sipping on some cold, slushy tropical drinks, I think we'd both take "roughing it" in Curacao over Elvis impersonators any day!