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.
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.
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.
• 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
SERVICES & FACILITIES
• 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
• 24-hour fitness center features state-of-the-art fitness and
• Three full-service restaurants (Shor, Medi & Splash)
• Four lounges
• Three outdoor pools
• Four clay tennis courts
• Camp Arawak
- Bicycling and jogging trails
- ATABEI Spa
- Tennis – four clay courts
- Beach Volleyball
- wifi (additional charge)
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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.