Entries in ‘Netherlands’ Journal

Relax at Hyatt Regency Curacao Golf Resort, Spa and Marina, Netherlands Antilles

Monday February 20, 2012 at 12:12 AM | 1 Comment

"Hyatt Regency Curacao" resort, "Netherlands Antilles"

Take your pick of three swimming pools at the Hyatt Regency Curacao Golf Resort, Spa and Marina

Caribbean Vibe with Dutch Hospitality

When traveling in other countries, sometimes I am embarrassed by the lack of foreign languages that I speak.  The Europeans routinely speak three to five languages to my two, if you count my rusty  high school and college Spanish.  On a trip to Curacao, I learned that the locals spoke Papiamentu, Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and English. While flip flops and sandals were the preferred footwear of choice over wooden clogs from the Netherlands, there was a strong Dutch influence on the island of Curacao in the Dutch Caribbean.

Located at Santa Barbara Plantation, the Hyatt Regency Curacao opened in April of 2010 and is a full-service Dutch Caribbean resort, situated on 27 acres between the Caribbean Sea and Spanish Water Bay. The largest island of the Caribbean trio universally referred to as the ABC Islands, Curacao is located only 35 miles from Aruba and Venezuela. Curacao’s southern coast, with its vibrant blue waters, offers scuba diving, snorkeling and sailing.

"Hyatt Regency Curacao" "Barbara Beach"

Relax at Hyatt Regency Curacao’s private Barbara Beach on the Spanish Water Bay

The snorkeling at Curacao was top notch. I have snorkeled in Hawaii and many places in Mexico, including Paradise Reef in Cozumel, Mexico – one of Jacques Cousteau’s favorite dive locations.

"Hyatt Regency Curacao" lobby, Dutch Caribbean

Hyatt Regency Curacao open air lobby

Gourmet Dining to Family-Friendly Activities at Hyatt Regency Curacao

If you are anything like my family, you’ll have a golfer, shopper, swimmer and horseback rider in the group, all wanting to go in different directions. The same thing applies to food choices; one likes seafood, while the other prefers steak and potatoes. While you won’t find any  Stroopwafels on the menu, I did see  Bitterballen, a Dutch fried meatball, offered on the room service menu. I ordered the Saffron Risotto, with shrimp, scallion and pecorino and was not disappointed. Impressive quality and speedy service is what I have come to expect from Hyatt Regency Resorts, and once again, the Hyatt delivered. If you enjoy seafood, the open air SHOR restaurant, over-looking the Caribbean Sea, is not to be missed.

The Hyatt Regency Curacao, with its golf course, swimming pools, private Barbara Beach, tennis courts and Camp Arawak Kid’s Camp (ages 3-12) will keep everyone happy. I spent a lovely morning visiting downtown Willemstad and had lunch at Marshe Bieuw at the Old Market. Joining me at the communal table was a Curacao police officer. With the low crime rate in Curacao, I would feel comfortable sending my teenagers together on the downtown shuttle to Willemstad in the day time – $12 per person roundtrip.

"Hyatt Regency Curacao" hotel room, travel, Nancy D. Brown

Hyatt Regency Curacao Waterview King, Room #1306 faces the Caribbean Sea

• 350 guestrooms, including 15 suites, 16 Sea Traditions rooms, 195 kings,
128 doubles, and 12 accessible rooms
All accommodations offer:
• Full balcony or patio
• Hyatt Grand Bed
• Voice mail, telephone with message light, wireless and wired Internet access port
• Flat-screen plasma television with remote
• Electronic lock
• In-room safety-deposit box
• Deluxe bath amenities
• Tea pot
• Iron / ironing board
• Mini refrigerator
• iHome alarm clock radio

"Hyatt Curacao Spa Suite" "Sea Traditions"

Sea Traditions Suite #3101 with spa bathroom perfect for honeymooners

• Concierge
• Business center
• Car rental desk
• Multilingual staff
• Assistive devices for persons with disabilities
• Safe-deposit boxes at front desk
• Airport Shuttle service available at a nominal fee
• Valet and self-parking
• Gift shops
• In-room dining
• Tour desk

• The property features  the Old Quarry Golf Course, an 18-hole, par 72 golf course designed by Pete Dye.
It is approximately 7,200 yards, includes a driving range, a 3,000-square-foot pro
shop and the 5,000-square-foot Shor restaurant. Lessons and caddies are available
• 4,500-square-foot ATABEI Spa has four treatment rooms, including a couples
treatment room
• 24-hour fitness center features state-of-the-art fitness and
weight-training equipment
• Three full-service restaurants (Shor, Medi & Splash)
• Four lounges
• Three outdoor pools
• Four clay tennis courts
• Camp Arawak

Activities include:

  • Bicycling and jogging trails
  • Diving
  • Golf
  • Snorkeling
  • ATABEI Spa
  • Swimming
  • Tennis – four  clay courts
  • Beach Volleyball
  • wifi (additional charge)

Connect with Social Media:
UPDATE: Hotel name change. Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort

If You Go:

Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort
Santa Barbara Plantation, Porta Blancu, Nieuwpoort,
Curacao, Dutch Caribbean

Photos courtesy of  Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California.

I was a guest of the resort.

Related Post:

Horseback Riding in Curacao


Best Things to See and Do in The Hague, Netherlands

Friday September 17, 2010 at 12:12 AM | 4 Comments

If you come to The Hague, get your picture taken in front of the Palace Noordeinde

Things to See and Do in The Hague, Netherlands

The first place I take a visitor from out of town is to the historic city centre. The Binnenhof is an old palace where the government is seated. You can walk through the working palace of the Queen and the shopping streets around Noordeinde. After this,  go  to the beach side resorts. The Hague is a metropolitan city by the sea, which is unique in Holland.

When I crave Dutch cuisine, I often think of Indonesian restaurants. In The Hague there are many Indonesian restaurants that are delicious and refer to the special relationship the city has with the former colony.

To escape work I go to one of the many terraces or the beach.

For complete quiet, I can hide away at one of the many green parks, such as Westerbroekpark. There is a nice Tea house in this park where you can rent row boats – an ideal place for some peace and quiet.

If you come to The Hague, get your picture taken in front of the Palace Noordeinde, the working palace of  Queen Beatrix.

If you have to order one thing off the menu at Restaurant Dayang (Prinsestraat 65), get an Indonesian rice table.

Holland America Line, antique, Hague, Nancy D. Brown, travel

The Hague is my one stop shop for antiques – where I found this Holland America Line piece

The Hague is my one stop shop for antiques – visit the weekly antique market at Lange Voorhout.

When I’m feeling cash-strapped I go to the beach for a picnic by sunset.

For a huge splurge, I go to Restaurant Saur, Lange Voorhout 51.

Photo ops in The Hague include the Hofvijver near the Binnenhof, a beautiful and characteristic pond around the palace where the government is seated. The Lange Voorhout, a historic lane with trees is also beautiful and where  people strolled around to be seen in the old days.

– The skyline (called The Resident):

– The Kurhaus Hotel at the beach of Scheveningen.

The Pier in Scheveningen is a nice vantage point with restaurant. Weather permitting, from there you can see 30 km South West (19 miles) along the flat coastline to  the Rotterdam Port Entry and the Electricity works and to the North East site (approx 50 km) you can see the Steelworks near the point of entry to Amsterdam Harbour (IJmuiden – Velsen)

The most random thing about The Hague  is the The Hague Festivals.  The three best weeks of the year can be experienced in The Hague from June 10 to 27, the city is completely given over to The Hague Festivals. The Hague Festivals offers cultural, musical and entertainment events for both young and old. Well known names from the festival period include The Hague Jazz, Festival Classique, Den Haag Sculptuur, PopHotSpot, ShoppingNight, Veteranendag and Parkpop. However, you can also visit less well known festiviteiten such as Jazz’in de Gracht, Zandsculptuur, Zenith Festival, Wild Wonders, Ut Haags Notûh Festival.

In The Hague an active day outdoors involves Nordic walking or hiking  through the dunes and over the beach. One of the things you see a lot in The Hague are water sports: sailing, wind- and kite surfing and kiting.

My favorite walking route is  through the Binnenhof in the late afternoon in winter. It has a very special and romantic ambiance.

There are many museums in The Hague. I had the pleasure of visiting the Mauritshuis Museum – the museum that houses Johannes Vermeer’s “Girl with a pearl earring.”  You may enjoy Gemeentemuseum Den Haag (translated Municipality Museum), with recent exhibitions such as Kandinsky & Der Blaue Reiter and Haute Couture. Voici Paris!

For a night of dancing, go to Millers, the new Hotspot on the Plein (translated Square), which opened end of April, 2010.

The Scheveningen Casino is the spot for late night dining. The Casino is open until 2: 00 AM and Des Indes claims their kitchen is open until 1.00 AM.

To find out what’s going on a night or on weekends, read NL 70, although it’s  not in English.

In the spring you should attend Queensnight on 29thof April. As big as Queensday is in Amsterdam, as big is the night before in The Hague.

In the summer you should attend The Hague Festivals in June and the fireworks festival in August.   * During the The Hague Sculpture festival from June to August on The Lange Voorhout

In the fall you should visit the Crossing Border festival for music and literature.

In the winter you should go for a High Tea in the Hotel Des Indes.

Hidden gems in The Hague are the little gardens and terraces that a lot of the restaurants in the city center have. However, they are indeed hidden from the outside, like Schlemmer on the Plein or Lola Mir at Noordeinde.

For a great breakfast treat or espresso, go to the Juni in the Molenstraat.

tulips, holland, Nancy D. Brown, flowers, travel

Just outside of The Hague you can visit the tulip gardens.

Just outside of The Hague you can visit Delft or Leiden by bicycle, both approximately 20 to 25 km (12 to 15 miles.) If you visit in the spring time, stop at Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse, Holland to see the tulips.

The best way to see The Hague is to walk or ride a bicycle.

If you have kids, you won’t want to miss Madurodam, the miniature city of Holland. www.madurodam.nl

Local’s Perspective from Happy Hotelier Guido Van Den Elshout “if you look at the triangle enclosing the three main Dutch cities: Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Den Haag, which triangle we Dutch usually refer to as  “The Randstad,” the area covers approximately the same area as for instance Greater NYC (beyond Manhattan),  London, Paris or even Berlin. My analogy is then: The Hague is the Central Park area of The Randstad,  plus it has beaches!”

What are your favorite things to do in The Hague,  Netherlands?

I was a guest of the Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions.

Related Posts:

Things to See and Do in Middelburg, Zeeland, Netherlands

Things to See and Do in Zeeland, Netherlands

Things to See and Do in Zeil, Netherlands

House of Parliament photo courtesy of Darren Cronian. All other photos courtesy of Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown.

Things To Do on raveable

Things to See and Do in Middelburg, Zeeland, Netherlands

Friday September 10, 2010 at 12:12 AM | 1 Comment

1582 St. Joris Doelen Guild House, Middelburg, Zeeland

Take a picture in front of the St. Joris Doelen Guild House, built in 1582

Best Things to See and Do in Middleburg, Zeeland The first place I take a visitor from out of town is to the abbey which dates back to 1120. When I crave Middelburg cuisine, I turn to a cafe on the plaza. To escape work I go for a walk down Kuperspoort – Cooper’s Gate. For complete quiet, I can hide away in a secret garden. If you come to Middelburg, get your picture taken by one of 1,001 monuments.

Middelburg is my one stop shop for Boterbabbelaars – a hard butterscotch candy. When I’m feeling cash-strapped, I order hot frites, served in a cone. Photo ops in Middelburg include Tall John and houseboats on the canal. The best vantage points are taken by climbing the clock tower – all 204 stairs! The most random thing about Middelburg is the 1850’s strip show at the Zeeuws Museum. Have I got your attention?

Frites, middelburg, zeeland, nancy d. brown, travel, holland, netherlands

When I’m feeling cash strapped I order hot frites, served in a cone.

In  Middelburg, an active day outdoors involves walking and bicycling. There are three walking routes to follow in Middelburg. Middelburg’s best museum is the Zeeuws Museum with its Flemish tapestries.  Watch the short video for a preview. You can tell a lot about Middelburg, the capital of Zeeland, from visiting the town hall. In the spring you should look at the tulips. In the summer you should attend the art and culture route and a ring rider event. In the fall you should visit the opera.

Tall John, Middelburg, Zeeland, Holland

Tall John – A photo opportunity in Middelburg, Zeeland

In the winter you should sit by a cracking fire after ice skating. A hidden gem in Middelburg is the East Church with 17th century Baroque style. Spanish Street is typical Dutch architecture. Just outside of  Middelburg you can visit Zierikzee and see the boat museum. The best way to see Middelburg is to walk or take a boat on the canal. If you have kids, you won’t want to miss Miniatuur Walcheren. What are your favorite things to see and do in Middelburg,  Netherlands?

middelburg garden, zeeland, netherlands, holland

For complete quiet, I can hide away in a secret garden in Middelburg

For more information on Middelburg, Zeeland click here. I was a guest of the Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions. Related Posts: Things to See and Do in Zeeland, Netherlands Things to See and Do in Zeil, Netherlands

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