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“Slacking, but still a great hotel” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort, Curacao

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Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort, Curacao
4.5 of 5 Resort   |   Santa Barbara Plantation | Porta Blancu, Nieuwpoort, Curacao (Formerly Hyatt Regency Curacao Golf Resort, Spa and Marina)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Nieuwpoort
Certificate of Excellence
Curacao
Level Contributor
56 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Slacking, but still a great hotel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2014

This is the second time staying at the Santa Barbara Beach & Golf resort. The property needs some updating in the rooms, but the grounds are still impeccable.

Great pool, great beach, affordable room service.

This hotel is excellent for honeymooners or anyone seeking a relaxing vacation.

We wish to compliment Xiandra of the front office who assisted us through the reservation process and was extremely helpful and efficient during our stay. The overall service at this hotel is excellent, but Xiandra was superb.

We will keep returning!

Room Tip: Ask for a Premier Water View room
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SBR_Curacao_GM, General Manager at Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort, Curacao, responded to this review, July 7, 2014
Dear Myrouck,

It's always great to host our island friends and family. Thank for for staying with us! Thank you for recognizing Xiandra! I can't wait to give her a shout out at our next employee meeting.

I hope to welcome you back again very soon!
Philippe Eversdijk
General Manager
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1,313 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (391)
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Belo Horizonte, MG
Level Contributor
39 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2014

It is a good resort but for the price we can find better options much closer to downtown, like Marriott Resort and many others. Cleanness is not the strong part of the hotel team, the rooms were badly cleaned, just make beds and change towels! Food is OK but nothing special. The staff is cordial, but do not exceed expectations! I do not recommend and probably will not come back! Do NOT use the Ocean Encounters diving service at this facility! They charge you but do not give the service! The worst is that I've paid for a Full water view King room and receive a partial water view. The breakfast is rally bad, just a few options and no taste at all! The attendants are very friendly, mainly the reception lady!

Room Tip: I paid for a KING FULL view and receive a partial view!
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SBR_Curacao_GM, General Manager at Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort, Curacao, responded to this review, July 7, 2014
Dear J M,

Thank you for your review. We take feedback from the Trip Advisor community very seriously. I apologize that your experience did not meet your expectations. It sounds like you had an issue with your room. Please, I urge you and all guests, if you have any problems while at the hotel, please call the front desk and let us fix it. If you weren't happy with your room, we would have been happy to move you to another room.

Again, I apologize for your experience and hope that you would be open to try us again on your next visit.

Safe Travels,
Philippe Eversdijk
General Manager
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Valley Stream, New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2014

When I arrived my room wasn't ready but Xiandra took excelent care of allowing me to freshen up in another room till it was set up. The best part of my stay was the treament from a great and friendly, accomidating staff. Breakfast greetings and service from sweet Sherrett always started us off on a good foot for the morning. Then while at Splash Rolly was funny and great with making some awsome drinks. When leaving Roduff, Lordenz assitised on all travel information and where to go, which was very helpful going into town. My birthday dinner at Shore was a great surprise and Sander was excellent, not only because he's the manager but because he took it upon himself to personnally take care of my table. I had such a blast that I plan on returning with friends and family especially after Ilona Faas and John said they'd make sure the stay will be a even better one. I'm happy we choose Santa Barbra Resort because it was the place place on the island !!!

Room Tip: The rooms are great we had aocean view, with everything we needed and more.
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SBR_Curacao_GM, General Manager at Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort, Curacao, responded to this review, July 7, 2014
Dear Ed C,

Happy Belated Birthday! I am so excited that we could help you make it a very memorable birthday!! Thank you for recognizing so many staff members. I love to recognize the people who receive shout outs for great service!!

I hope that we can help you celebrate many more birthdays in the future!
Philippe Eversdijk
General Manager
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Orlando
Level Contributor
25 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2014

We stayed 3 days at Santa Barbara and it is just a stunning resort property. The rooms were some of the cleanest I have ever stayed in. I joked with my husband that I was going to find one of the women cleaning rooms and stuff her in my suitcase to come home with me. Every time they came and cleaned the room smelled like apples when we came back. For a wife and mother whose biggest relief on vacation is to have someone else doing the cleaning and cooking this was awesome!

It is a good drive back to the hotel part of the property so while not too far from things to do it is still 20-30 minutes to most things. We pretty much stayed on the resort for this part of our vacation and just relaxed. There are two large pools and even though the resort seemed pretty full there wasn't a lack of chairs or space in or around the pools. There were 4 different places to choose to eat at, all made a different kind of food and had a range of prices. We ate most of the time at Medi, primarily because we both liked the food and it was comfortable and available whenever we felt like eating. There is a little place that also serves ice cream near Medi that is delicious.

One of the days I went to the spa and had the mommy-to-be massage. Oh this was the best part! The spa was gorgeous and again super clean. The staff was friendly and the massage was wonderful! The price for my massage was also not bad, especially compared to some of the prices I have seen at other resorts. The cost was only slightly more than what I have paid for the same thing close to home. She gave me a massage that focused on the tension in my shoulders just like I had asked her to do. Once I was done with my massage there was a shower basically in the room with 5 or 6 body jets and a shower head. She turned it on and warmed it up so I could go ahead and take a shower and wash off the massage oil before getting dressed to go back to my room. I was delighted!

If you are looking for a beach, there is one with sand and water, but it is obviously man made and on the small side.

I would stay at this resort all over again and the first place you would find me would be the spa. I really don't think I have a single complaint or criticism. My husband and I went for a getaway, but if you are looking to travel as a family with children, this would be a great place as well, convenient, clean, comfortable, and good food.

Room Tip: The rooms on higher floors are definitely the place to stay. Their ground floor rooms would definit...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SBR_Curacao_GM, General Manager at Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort, Curacao, responded to this review, July 7, 2014
Dear EmeraldH,

I am delighted that you and your husband shared your get away with us. I am so glad that you enjoyed our spa. You mentioned our beach in the review. Actually, our beach is one of the larger beaches on the island. Curacao has 35 beaches on the island and they are smaller type beaches (when compared to what you see in Florida) that are located in inlets. So, many of the beaches on the island give you the feeling of your own private beach!

Thank you again for staying with us and we hope to see you again very soon with the new addition to your family!!

Safe Travels,
Philippe Eversdijk
General Manager
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2014

My husband and I stayed here for our anniversary weekend. When we arrived we were met and greeted right away. Escorted to the desk to check in. The lobby and view were beautiful.. During check-in Blue Curacao Lemonade was brought over to us.

The grounds are beautiful, and CLEAN. The hallways are dimmly lit in a calming way. Our room was very nice, modern, clean, and comfortable. They are energy conservative there. To turn on the room lights you just slide your key card into a holder on the wall when you enter the room. It helped us not to leave the key behind or leave the lights on. Also, when the patio door is open the AC is off and when latched back the AC comes back on. Pretty neat.

The food was good. Kind of expensive. The only thing that would've been nice would have been to have food options that were local or representative of the culture. All of the options were choices that could be had anywhere.

The resort was quiet, and peaceful. Just what we were looking for. There were children but not everywhere and between the pool and the stretch of beach you could find a place that was more remote to relax.

The resort is about a 20 minute ride from Wilhemstad and the cab ride was $100 roundtrip. That was our only dis-satisfier.

Other than, it was a fabulous stay.

Room Tip: The East wing was quieter. We had a resort view that was fine. We didn't spend much time in th...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SBR_Curacao_GM, General Manager at Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort, Curacao, responded to this review, June 24, 2014
Dear Tanya C,

Happy anniversary! I am grateful that you and your husband shared it with us!

Thank you for your review. I am glad that you found some great places to relax. Another option to visit Willemstad (and other parts of the island) is to rent a car which is less than the cost of the taxi you mentioned. The team at the front desk can provide directions and suggestions to the island's 'must see' places and some great local culinary delights. Plus, you can pick up and drop off the car right here at the resort!

We hope to see you again soon!
Philippe Eversdijk
General Manager
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Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2014

My boyfriend and I stayed at the Santa Barbara for 5-days/4-nights to celebrate his 40th birthday in June 2014. We decided on the Santa Barbara after a work colleague of his had himself stayed at the Sea Traditions area of the resort. It sounded like the type of semi-secluded resort option we were looking for (ie: enjoying the amenities offered at a larger resort, yet 'off the beaten path' enough to feel we had privacy).
Our arrival at the resort was disappointing. We were almost in the Great Room/Lobby before the doorman asked if we were checking in. This 'where is anybody?' would be a running theme throughout our visit. At the front desk, the guest service agent (once one arrived) seemed disinterested at best. This was 430pm on a Wednesday (check-in begins at 4pm). Meaning, I would expect staff to be at the desk, with a welcoming smile for at least that first hour. Alas, there was no greeting. Simply, 'last name on the reservation, please'. At a 3-star, business hotel, fine. At a luxury resort designed to be a vacation destination, it was disappointing. We were given a resort activities list for June but was told that, 'there wasn't a restaurant information sheet available as it is *low season*, the menus changed that week, and the new sheet wasn't available yet'. (This *low season* excuse would become a running theme as well.) After being so excited for this trip, excitement that lasted through 12-hrs of travel via planes, trains and automobiles from NYC to the resort's door, this 'oh well, ho-hum' attitude took a bit of the wind our of my sails - and the birthday boy's.
We then proceeded to the Sea Traditions and our room.
To give credit where credit is due, our room was lovely and beautifully appointed. The bed was amazingly comfortable, the furnishings tasteful - and CLEAN. Where the room was lacking - especially as we received no information at the desk - was finding the 'information binder' had none of the restaurants listed, nor a map of the resort(!). We had no idea when the restaurants closed, or where they were located on the resort complex. We decided to call the front desk for assistance and was told 'the Shore is open and we would suggest calling for reservations'. Wait, what? Where is the service in that?! So, we called, and made our own reservations, and did enjoy a delicious meal at the Shore.
(Again - credit where it's due - ALL of the food we ate at the Santa Barbara was delicious. Medi for breakfast daily, snacks from Bella Italia, dinner at the Shore. It was all of excellent quality and, at the Shore, beautifully presented.)
The next morning, walked over to the private pool area in the Traditions complex and was surprised to find a private 'group' that was using the space to hold some sort of meeting. We had paid extra to stay in this part of the resort as it is designed to feel exclusive, yet, it felt as though we were intruding on this group's meeting. If we were informed of this in advance, perhaps we would have elected to stay in a different room type.
After breakfast at Medi, we went to the Activities office to enquire about a sunset cruise and snorkeling. We were then informed that due to *low season* the sunset cruise only runs on Wednesdays. This was upsetting and disappointing. We had arrived on Wednesday! When our stay was booked weeks in advance, why wasn't any of this communicated to us? I had pre-book some birthday activities myself, but never received this activity information. That said, the woman at the Activities office did suggest some excellent snorkeling options and we thoroughly enjoyed her recommendations.
Of the items I did pre-book, the spa was outstanding (hot stone massage) in every way. Excellent service. State-of-the-art treatment rooms. No complaints there.
I had also pre-booked a birthday cake to arrive on the Friday morning of our stay. I had pre-paid for this and had asked that instead of a traditional cake (which my boyfriend doesn't like), if they could make a small baklava cake instead. This was confirmed in advance. On the morning, four pieces of baklava arrived in a pinwheel formation on a tray. The staff person delivering this was the one I had made the arrangements with and she could clearly see I was disappointed... I had asked for a cake. Even stating a small 6" cake would have been fine - it's just two of us - but I wanted a square cake to put candles in. I had even offered to pay an additional amount as they were making a specialty cake. Meaning, I don't know why I was then faced with 4 cut pieces. I was told that, 'oh yes, the chef did make an entire cake, if you would like more of it we can bring more out to you'. I honestly didn't know what to say to this. Why are you offering me the cake I ordered in installments? I let my disappointment be known and carried the 4 lozenges of baklava into the room myself. My boyfriend graciously appreciated my gesture - however, I was miffed. This was meant to be his 'birthday cake'. The fact that I pre-paid/arranged for this request in advance and did not receive what I ordered was upsetting. Later that night, someone brought around a bottle of sparkling wine, compliments of the dining team. However, my boyfriend does not enjoy sparkling wine/champagne, so this was of no interest to him.
On our last night at the resort, we decided to have a late dinner and drinks in the Great Room. Once again we had difficulty finding a staff member for assistance, but finally the sushi chef was located. And once plated, the sushi was excellent. While we were waiting for our food, we were asked if we wanted a drink from the bar by the very young, very inexperienced server staffing it. She did not understand what I mean by several basic cocktails (Amaretto Sour, etc.), so we chose to have our drinks straight and neat, by default. Once we all agreed on what we were ordering, the server then dashed in the opposite direction of the bar area. This was puzzling until we then saw her emerge with two glasses. The bar area was just a table with liquor and mixers on it. No glasses. No ice. It is the most bizarre, awkward set-up for such a beautiful room in a 5-star resort.
All-in-all, this is a visually stunning resort - and a tasty resort - but we found service to be severely lacking in the most important areas.

Room Tip: This a great resort if you want a peaceful retreat, yet are still close enough (20-30 minute drive...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SBR_Curacao_GM, General Manager at Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort, Curacao, responded to this review, June 19, 2014
Dear Tracy J,

Please wish your boyfriend a happy belated 40th birthday for me. I am grateful that you decided to spend it with us.

I want to sincerely apologize for your check in and cake experiences. It doesn't matter what season we are in, our goal is to provide top notch service to any guests that we welcome. However, it seems we missed the mark for those two situations.

I am glad that you enjoyed our spa. Did you love the private changing room and shower instead of the community locker room? It makes it feel so private!

I appreciate you taking the time to review your experience. We take comments from the Trip Advisor community very seriously and are always trying to improve.

Safe Travels,
Philippe Eversdijk
General Manager
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Ontario
Level Contributor
36 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2014

We are frequent travellers, and I would like to start off by saying something. When you travel, you are not at home. Nobody knows your favourite brand of rum, when your child needs a nap, or how soft you like your bed. When you travel to the Caribbean, you are on island time, not big city time. Relax. Stop rushing. Have a drink. Do not expect to snap your fingers for North American service. You are in another country. The resort cannot control whether there are too many kids for your liking, but remember, you were a kid once too, and someday you might be travelling with some of your own. Be gracious. If you don't want kids around, spring for an adults only resort. When I have thoroughly checked out my destination, by the time I arrive, I already feel familiar and know what to expect, as I think many travellers in this day and age can do with ready access of the internet. Be proactive. Be respectful and tolerant of the customs and speed of the country you are in. You are there to enjoy it!

Now.

This is a beautiful resort. Yes, it is a bit of a drive from the airport, but if you are booking this hotel, you will know this going in. The island is beautiful, enjoy the ride. We were welcomed warmly in true island style. The rooms were spacious and lovely for our family of 4. It is a fairly large resort, so sometimes there is a bit of walking, but nothing out of the ordinary.

The beach is very nice and the water is warm. Yes, the beach has boats going by on the other side of the barrier, but we loved watching them. The beach had no debris, and we loved the iguanas walking around! They do climb trees, however, and it took us a couple of days to find out why the beach chairs under the trees were always available! We always had good service from the beach and pool bars, but we also got up and got our own drinks if we wanted one. I appreciated the washrooms close by. The resort feels very safe, so we were comfortable letting our kids get drinks and snacks of their own while we stayed at the beach or pool. The pool was very clean and well maintained. We loved the fact that it was quiet. No blasting music or water aerobics. Aahhhh, peace and quiet! Even as a family with children (11-9), we never ran out of things to do. Again, if you have done your research, you will know that this is not an activity laden resort. It is a gorgeous place to relax and recharge.

The restaurants were all good. The all-inclusive was definately the way to go, as we stayed in the resort most of the time. 2 of our travellers are gluten-free, and each time, the chef or restaurant manager came to meet with us prior to ordering. This was very much appreciated. Dinner service from the menu at Medi was painfully slow, but the breakfast buffet did not disappoint, lunch was good (Hi, Alan!) and when they had a buffet for dinner it was excellent. I will admit, we did experience indifferent service from servers, and through the all-inclusive program, we did not tip extra. We tended to lunch at Splash, and now that we are home, we miss the papas fritas and queso! Shore was beautiful and delicious, and we loved how the staff even took the time to stop what they were doing to enjoy the sunset along with us. It is truly breathtaking!

My husband has golfed in many parts of the world, and found this course to be nicely challenging, well groomed and with incredible views. He golfed twice, and some of this photos from the course are my favourite of our trip.

We rented a car for a day, but found Willemstaad to be difficult to get around, so if you rent a car, rent the GPS also. It would have saved us some time, as we seemed to take the scenic route! We went downtown, which is typical of other cruise stop cities, and wished that we had spent the day at the beach instead.

We loved the Dophin Academy. It is so worth the money to see the dolphins in their natural habitat, and it was great to know that, although they are trained, they are taken out into the ocean for dives and can leave if they want to. The videos on overfishing and our responsibility in taking care of our environment were eye-opening and informative. Visit the Dolphin Academy if you can.

Our only surprise was that, upon arrival, we were informed that there was a separate menu for the all-inclusive package, which excluded some items in some of the restaurants. So rather than it being all-inclusive, it actually felt sub-par to be handed a limited menu when we had paid for all-inclusive. This was unexpected and disappointing, but it is my understanding that the separate menu has been discontinued, which was the right thing to do.

Oveall, it was a fabulous trip, and we cannot wait to visit this resort again! My kids ask me 3 times a week when we are going back, they loved it so much. We have never visited the same country twice, as there is so much world to see, but Curacao, and this resort, will be our exception!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SBR_Curacao_GM, General Manager at Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort, Curacao, responded to this review, June 24, 2014
Dear Luv3Girls,

Two words in your review really stand out to me "Relax and Recharge". That sounds like a perfect vacation to me!! Thank you for staying with us and sharing your experience.

I love your pictures. The picture of the sunset from shore is my favorite! Thank you for sharing!

I hope that you and your family can return to see us again very soon! We'd love to have you back!

Safe Travels,
Philippe Eversdijk
General Manager
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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)
Location: Caribbean > Curacao > Nieuwpoort
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Nieuwpoort
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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