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“Excellent location but hotel still has some things to improve on...”

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Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort, Curacao
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Nieuwpoort
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 27 March 2011

Let me start off by saying that we had a fantastic time in Curacao. The Hyatt is a beautiful hotel and the layout is pretty nice. The beach still leaves some to be desired, but the views from most of the rooms are fantastic. If you are trying to get to bed at a decent hour but are anywhere near the pool or Medi, don't count on sleeping as there is loud live music until 1 or 1:30 in the morning each night. I'm not sure why they thought that was necessary, but again, I think they are figuring out what works and what doesn't.

Food- Medi was very good, Shor was excellent. The Swim poolside cafe was just that, a poolside cafe and was just ok. I wouldn't expect it to be top notch. It did take awhile for the food to arrive on some occasions, but overall I'd rate the food as very good. Drinks can get expensive at $8-$12 per drink, but they were usually very well made.

Location- As everyone else mentioned, it's far out. I liked it, as it was far enough away from the cruise ships but still was close to the ocean and ocean activities (diving, snorkeling, etc).

Facilities- The hotel has a great layout, with almost all rooms with an ocean or partial ocean view. The rooms are rather large, although as other reviewers mentioned, the shower is a little strange that it faces the hotel door and does not have any shower door.
Because it's a new hotel, the amenities are top notch. Conference rooms were more than enough to handle very large groups.

Service- This is where the hotel needs to really spend some time. The service was slow almost all the time, staff overall didn't seem friendly (especially at Medi), and we sat by the pool for an entire afternoon without being asked once if we wanted a drink by the drink lady that walked by 5-6 times--it was as if we were invisible. All in all, if the hotel wishes to really be top notch, they have got to learn to improve service.

Overall, it's a good hotel, great location, just don't expect very good service.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled on business
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3  Thank mtuts007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 20 March 2011

Ok, like most people on tripadvisor I have travelled extensively all over the world. Business and Leisure. Cheap and expensive. The Hyatt Curacao is in my opinion a perfect example of doing too much too fast.

The details... Curacao. First of all - we must look at Curacao. Don't get me wrong - I like Curacao. It's perhaps one of the most unspoilt yet "built up" pieces of paradise. No, it does not have the beaches of Aruba. No, its not as cheap as Mexico. Yes, everything is a bit rough (trip from the airport the first 20 minutes looks like the third world). And yes - there is not much mass tourism (outside the two cruiseships a day and downtown willemstad).
Considering that Curacao is not totally into the service industry, compared to f.ex. Aruba, you will also meet a different mentality of whoever you interact with. Yet, the climate is perfect, the island is big enough to go explore and you have basic anemities such as 24 hour power, clean water and perhaps the worst roads in the caribbean. ;-)

Now, back to the Hyatt. Hyatt is built on the Santa Barbara Plantation. Yes, its away from everything. Its 40 minutes from the airport. 60 minutes if its rush hour. Yes, there is nothing else at Santa Barbara. Theres a few gated communities (most notable the Seru Boca, nice 2-8 mio USD homes) and the Golf Course. The location is in my opinion the absolutely best in Curacao. Trip to downtown willemstad is around 25 minutes / 25 usd by cab. If you stay at Mariott (which is horrible) its 10 minutes. If you stay at the dutch hotels in Jan Thiel you are 15-20 minutes away. Not that big a difference once you stand on the beach over looking a 180 degree waterview, a man made beach, pier, Spanish Water inlet and just pure beautiful landscape.

The Hyatt completed around 8 months ago. (depending on who you believe) and there is no doubt that a lot of though went into the design and layout. However its a bit unclear to me if its supposed to be a 4 star or a 5 star resort. The building materials are beautifully crafted but there is a noticeable difference from the common areas and to the rooms. The rear side of the hotel has a bit of a motel feeling to it with the open plan towards parking. On the positive side, 90% of the rooms have a seaview or partial seaview. There is no doubt that the property has a lot of potential.

Now, everything else is a different story. A hotel can have a magnificent location. A hotel can be nicely designed and built "right". But at the end of the day, the hotel business is also about service and anemities. And here we definatly hit a few issues. Depending on how much you want to go into detail, you could probably do a three page review. But the headlines are simple.

- Cleaning. Simply not good enough.

- Service. The employees on the surface do the right things but 80% or so, basically just go thru the motions. There are serious work to be done for the management team. A lot of stuff slips thru the cracks.

- Load. We stayed at the hotel when it was 25% full and when it was 103% full. Let me say it this way, if you stay here at the same time as one of the massive conferences - you will end up not being a very happy camper. The staff simply does not have the experience to pull off a 100% full hotel. No, its not ok to wait for 1½ hours for lunch. No, its not ok that every single eating venue is 100% full. No, undercooked food is not ok. No, getting the run-around when calling reception is not ok.

We luckily ran into one of the quality control people and a lot of the issues were handled (after second and third attempt). We ended up being comped a part of stay, if that had not happened, we would be looking at a 1 star review.

The resturants and breakfast buffet was nice - nothing amazing. Obviously food quality varied wildly. The only consistent place reall was Shor. Probably because thye don't share a kitchen with the rest of the hotel. Definatly high quality and great service.

At the end of the day, we would still visit the Hyatt Curacao. We would ofcourse make sure there were no conferences. I am sure that in time, it will be a nice resort. Especially if management makes up their mind on wether they want to be a 5 star luxury hotel or a 4 star conference hotel.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled with family
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7  Thank MorganJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 March 2011

This is a resort where the pictures don't do it justice -- it is so much better in person. The Hyatt Regency resort in Curacao is the only resort worth staying at on this lovely island if you are looking for a calm, relaxation, peace, and great views, but don't want to sacrifice amenities, great dining, and lots of activities. The resort has excellent food, great activities for both kids and grown ups -- although it's a bit of a turn off to see 15% Resort Service Fee on every check you receive (even if it isn't room service) and you're not really sure what it's for. Additionally, everyone is super friendly and helpful.

Everything was clean and the location couldn't be better -- secluded and isolated -- just like an island vacation ought to be.

The only recommendation for this resort that we have, would be to add a hot tub/jacuzzi of some sort near the pool area -- right now there are just two pools, and at night time when it gets a bit breezier it might be nice to have a place to hang out that's a bit warmer.

Would definitely come back and stay here again.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank lawlessa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HyattGuestRelations, Customer Service Representative at Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort, Curacao, responded to this reviewResponded 30 March 2011

Dear lawlessa:

Thank you for taking the time to post your comments in regards to your recent visit at the Hyatt Regency Curacao Golf Resort, Spa & Marina. It sounds as though you were able to enjoy a relaxing & peaceful getaway. I’m happy to hear you enjoyed the dining options offered at the property. Hyatt takes pride in employing world renowned chefs. I’m glad the employees were friendly & made you feel welcomed. We look forward to seeing you again.

Sincerely,

Nick B. – Customer Service Representative

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Reviewed 16 March 2011

This is a very beautiful new property in Santa Barbara. If you want to venture to Willemstaad often you should rent a car. Be aware that there are very few road signs, and your road trips will be an adventure! The best part of the Hyatt is hanging out on the beach...yes the one everyone has griped about. You do not have a white sand beach, but you have a great place with beautiful (and very swimmable) water to enjoy without massive crowds. Chairs, towels and beachside service are readily available. The best part of the beach is the boat dock and boardwalk that stretches across it from the start of the beach to the marina. If you like scenery it is very nice with all types of boats docking from one end to the other. You can ignore them, or you can watch them while you swim. Aside from the beach, there is everything available at the hotel should you choose not to leave the property...note this is a gated property with a 2 mile drive. You can't just walk down the street! The hotel offers a small store (Bella Italia), which also doubles as an ice cream shop, coffee shop and pizzeria. All types of drinks (including beer, wine and liquor) snacks, some toiletries, and books are available at the store (and the pizza is very good). There are
3 other restaurants on the property. The higher end one is called Shor, and it is next the golf course club house. This restaurant is popular all through Curacao, so if you want to go there for dinner you need to make a reservation a few days in advance. The food in all the restaurants is good (not great). The rooms are very nice, and the housekeeping service is good. Yes, the tub surround is see through and it is a long way up, but this adds to the ambience of the room. Since I did rent a car I ventured to some of the other hotel properties on the island. The Hyatt was, hands down, the most beautiful property.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled solo
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2  Thank Stephvabeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 March 2011

I stayed at this resort along with 200 or so others that were there for a convention. There were 2 conventions happening during this time.
Resort is very nice. Everything looks brand new and we didn't have any issues with anything except the service. I am not sure, but I think maybe having 2 conventions happening at once overloaded them as the wait times to get your food at all of the restaurants was horrible.
SWIM-This is a bar near the pools where you can get food and drinks. Wait time was horrible and I am had to remind the server I was still waiting for my drink after waiting 15min or so. Food was good
SHOR-Great restaurant, awesome food, but also slow to get food and very hard to get reservation.
MEDI-Good Food, wait times seem a bit better
Great pools and great beach. Lots of canopy bed and shaded chairs along the pool and beach
Rooms were great, but it is European style, so the bathroom is open concept. First thing you see when you walk in the room is the shower and there is no shower curtain so might be kind of akward if you go with a friend...
There is wifi in the rooms but you have to pay for it
other than that and the slow wait times which may have been caused by the 2 conventions, this was a great resort and I would go back for sure

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled on business
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2  Thank eknighton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HyattGuestRelations, Guest Relations Associate at Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort, Curacao, responded to this reviewResponded 18 March 2011

I am glad to hear you enjoyed your stay at the Hyatt Regency Curacao Golf Resort, Spa and Marina. It sounds like you were able to sample the many different food offerings provided at the resort. I’m excited that you were able to relax and enjoy our pools and beach. Thank you for the feedback you provided. We look forward to welcoming you back to Hyatt in the future.

Brock S.- A Guest Relations Associate

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Reviewed 11 March 2011

Beautiful hotel; sandy beach; lots of water sports and activities; very friendly attitude; amazing golf course; A++ restaurants; immaculate landscaping; very clean.
Since the hotel is fairly new, <1 year, they are still managing the growing pains with housekeeping and the restaurant service level. Nevertheless, you can observe that they admit their flaws and are taking corrective action to improve. We were very pleased with this hotel and will definitely stay there again when we visit Curacao. Lovely place!

Tip: Shor is a wonderful restaurant but you need to make reservations as quickly as possible. If you like to golf, be prepared to pay approx $400 (fees+club rental) for two.
Bring your snorkeling gear; cross the channel and there's a nice spot for snorkling.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank magali369
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HyattGuestRelations, Customer Service Representative at Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort, Curacao, responded to this reviewResponded 14 March 2011

Dear magali369:

I’m pleased to hear of your recent stay with us at the Hyatt Regency Curacao Golf Resort, Spa & Marina. It sounds as though you had a great time enjoying the different activities the hotel offers. The beach & snorkeling spots sound incredible. I’m happy to hear you enjoyed dining at Shor. Hyatt takes pride in employing world renowned chefs. We look forward to welcoming you back!

Sincerely,

Nick B. – Customer Service Representative

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Reviewed 10 March 2011

Let me start out by saying that if you are considering a trip to the Caribbean, I highly recommend Aruba over Curacao. Curacao is extremely humid and we were absolutely eaten alive by mosquitoes while we were there (October). :(

We started our Curacao vacation at the Marriott, which was terrible when we arrived and we left after the first night. We had looked at the Hyatt online, so we decided to move there. From the moment we arrived, our vacation took a turn for the better. I am going to say this in all caps: IF YOU GO TO CURACAO, THERE IS NO PLACE YOU SHOULD BE EXCEPT THE HYATT. Once we got there, there was no reason to leave. At all.

Amazing service. Great food. Gorgeous resort. We lounged in the beautiful pool area and enjoyed having fruity drinks delivered to us in our chairs. We cannot recommend this resort highly enough. If only it were located somewhere without any mosquitoes...

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank AmyMP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HyattGuestRelations, Customer Service Representative at Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort, Curacao, responded to this reviewResponded 14 March 2011

Dear AmyMP:

I’m happy to hear you enjoyed your stay, this past October, at the Hyatt Regency Curacao Golf Resort, Spa & Marina. I’m glad the service went above & beyond your expectations. It sounds as though the food was delicious. The pool area sounds absolutely amazing. We look forward to welcoming you back!

Sincerely,

Nick B. – Customer Service Representative

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Additional Information about Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort, Curacao

Address: Santa Barbara Plantation | Porta Blancu, Nieuwpoort, Curacao (Formerly Hyatt Regency Curacao Golf Resort, Spa and Marina)
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Curacao > Nieuwpoort
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Nieuwpoort
Price Range: £90 - £353 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort, Curacao 4.5*
Number of rooms: 350
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort captures natural Caribbean charm and delivers it with an international elegance and sophistication. Just 35 miles from Aruba and served by a modern international airport, escape to paradise and embrace Curacao’s magical sea, sky and sun on 27 acres of rare natural preserve. At the same time, feel that every need is provided for, with exceptional service and refinement. Enjoy superior amenities like the Pete Dye designed golf course, a luxurious spa, resort pools with Caribbean views, an alluring white sand beach with a swimming lagoon, and sophisticated dining. Relax with the rare luxury of privacy on a secluded island within an island sequestered from the hustle and bustle of town center, and explore unlimited diving, snorkeling, boating and geo adventure right outside your door. Whether you are seeking an intimate retreat, or a lively and invigorating amenity-filled vacation, the resort creates a truly magnificent opportunity to experience the best of both worlds, and create your own. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hyatt Regency Curacao Golf Resort, Spa And Marina Hotel

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