We loved Curacao! The Hyatt Curaçao is a beautiful resort in a beautiful area though quite remote from Willmestad and other attractions. Use the hotels directions from the airport which are not the same directions Google Maps will give you. Check-in was not very efficient but the front desk personnel are very friendly and helpful. We stayed in Room 1451 which was a nice standard room and had a nice view. Neither my wife nor I found the bed comfortable and they have a metallic base which makes noises when you move around. It was quite the hike to the lobby, restaurants, and pool. My communications with the concierge prior to our trip was extremely lacking. She could only understand or respond to one question at a time and was really not very helpful. Once at the resort I asked the concierge if Christoffel Park would be open since Monday was a holiday and she assured me it would be. Wrong. Did I mention that the Hyatt was remote? It was a long drive to find out it was closed but we enjoyed the scenery in Westpont regardless. When I came to talk to the concierge about details on Carnival, she had an absolute look of disgust on her face that I was bothering her. And the information she provided was useless. I talk to another guest later who was a Hyatt Diamond member and he also said the concierges at this Hyatt were awful. We spent the first day at the pool and screaming kids were quite annoying. And the poolside service was not that great. I would expect much better from a resort of this caliber. It would be nice if there was a separate adults pool. The lounge chairs were readily available at the pool and the beach, but are the hardest I've ever experienced. After the first day we stayed at the beach and it was very relaxing but they should have towel access there as some parts of the hotel are a very long way from the pool. We asked one of the employees for a menu and it took 30 minutes for him to return. As a Platinum member we received Internet for free which was nice. Free breakfast would also be a nice benefit though there seemed to always be a line for breakfast. The fitness center was more than adequate. My wife and I both got massages at the spa and they were excellent. The spa was very nice but it would have been better if they had an area with whirlpools, saunas, etc to hang out before or after the spa services Coffee in the room is instant coffee. There were coffee cups in the lobby but I never saw coffee being provided.
Activities. We went to Cas Abou Beach. It was very crowded and no chairs were left to rent. It was a pretty beach but I didn't find the snorkeling very productive. We arranged through the marina at the Hyatt to do a full day trip to Klein Curaçao. They used Bounty Adventures for this. The trip was supposed to start at 8:00 but the catamaran showed up closer to 9:00. It takes about 1 1/2 hours to get to the island and there were a few people getting sick because of the rough seas. The water was very clear but the snorkeling was not that great around the island but was very good right next to the boat where they were dumping food off. We walked around the island and that was a mistake. The other side of the island is like walking through a huge garbage dump. Apparently trash from the oceans accumulates there so there were tons of plastic bottles and other garbage. We took some photos of the shipwreck and lighthouse but that is pretty much all to do on the island. One thing that became clear is that Mermaid Boat Trips has the best setup for this tour. They have facilities on the island including restrooms, shower, and lounge chairs. They also cooked your lunch on the island whereas with Bounty Adventures you had to come back to the boat to eat lunch which was a pain. Mermaid Boat Trips charges a few dollars more and alcoholic drinks are extra. I don't think they pick up at the Hyatt. We also went downtown a couple evenings and shopped around. There are some high end shops in Otrobanda, close to where some of the cruise ships dock (in ocean).
Dining. First of all, get ready for European portions. Don't they know Americans like to eat until stuffed? The first night we decided to eat at the Medi restaurant at the Hyatt. I had the best spaghetti (Rustica) I've ever eaten and my wife enjoyed her meal. I asked if I could get the spaghetti for lunch another day and they agreed to cook it. The jazz music and outdoor table was excellent. Next we ate at Fishalicious in Punda which was very good. The Red Snapper was one of the best I've eaten. My only complaint was that their online menu was outdated and they didn't have Halibut or the desserts listed. It wasn't in the nicest area as evident from the security guy in the parking lot with the Rottweiler. We ate at La Bahia in Otrobanda which has a great view of the ships coming through the Santa Anna Bay and the floating bridge. My wife ordered the shrimp cocktail which was breaded and she said it was fantastic. My shrimp meal was pretty good as well. Walking back to our car, parked on the Punda side of the floating bridge around 10pm was a little hairy as some unsavory characters were close to our car acting strangely but thankfully there was no incident. We ate at the other Hyatt restaurant Shor which has a nice setting close to the ocean. The shrimp cocktail had a strange taste and consistency to it We had the salmon and the grouper. They were good but not memorable. My wife had the apple pie and ice cream dessert and it was excellent. I had the brownie and ice cream and it was not edible as it was hard as a rock and I returned it. Do yourself a favor and eat at the Wine Cellar, rated the #1 restaurant on the island by Tripadvisor! This is a French restaurant owned and run by a Dutch man (opened in 1971) and his 2 sons. It was a culinary experience and the 3 men regularly came to our table and checked on us. We had the mushroom soup and it was fantastic. I had the Grouper and it was very good. My wife had duck for the first time and it was also very good. For dessert, the walnut and cashew pie with ice cream was excellent. But be prepared to spend some money and spend at least 2 1/2 hours. On our last evening, we went to Espetada House. I highly recommend this restaurant and it is the closest restaurant outside the Santa Barbara Plantation security gate (go outside gate, turn right at the circle, and its right there on your left). We had the Portuguese salad which was excellent and the shrimp and tenderloin skewers with the peanut sauce and both were excellent as well.
By the way, I highly recommend getting a rental car because of the location of the Hyatt. I got the cheapest car at Thrifty for about $200 for the week. It was a crappy car! Use a different car rental company.
Despite some of the issues, we would most likely stay at the Hyatt again when visiting Curacao as the location and resort were very beautiful.
- 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