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“Very Nice” 5 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 2014
Cleveland, Ohio
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Very Nice”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2014

Just stayed there for about two weeks (6/28/14 through 7/11/14). In my opinion and from the other resorts I saw on the island, Santa Barbara is probably the nicest resort on the island. FYI, I did not do the all-inclusive feature and am very glad I didn't because it was way over-priced. I broke down review into categories of Resort, Beach, Rooms, Food, Drinks, Cost, and a few others if you are looking for specifics. Feel free to email me for questions.


Resort: Resort was in great shape, looked amazing and well maintained. Very clean, lots of staff to help you with anything you need, and very easy to find everything. The resort has a very quite and peaceful atmosphere to it, so its more of a resort for relaxation. Hardly any noise at night, other than live music. If you are looking for a party scene this is most likely not it and if you have done any reviews on this you shouldn't be expecting a party scene here. When we went there were an even mix of couples and families; families were mostly at the pool, couples were on the beach. The resort is really not that big (distance wise from walking to main area to rooms) unless you are staying in the golf suites, then you are probably talking about a 3-4 minute walk to the main pool (which isn't that far). The resort is however located on the very southeast end of the island and is about a 15-20 minute drive away from everything. Resort is very secluded and private; Its about a takes about 10 minutes to get from the actual resort to the entrance. Resort had a pretty nice work out facility with modern/up-to-date work out equipment. We forgot to use the spa, so I don't know how that was. Didn't golf but the course looked pretty good. It looked amazing at first, but as a golfer I noticed some things it needed a little work on.

Rooms: Rooms are okay. They have a mini fridge; not stocked, but you can ask. Bathroom is nice and updated; cleaning ladies restock supplies every day and showers have soap dispensors. Beds are okay and the storage is okay; you really only have a closet and four small drawers. We stayed in a premiere ocean view room and you couldnt see anything outside, but they also stuck us in one of the worst rooms on the resort. We asked to be moved and they put little effort ino it, but that was really only our one (of two) bad experience. ROOM SUGGESTION: stay in rooms 2413-2401. These rooms are on the 3rd floor and will have the best view of the ocean in which you are not starring at someone elses room. Otherwise I would stay in one of the rooms with beach view. The resort hosted a wedding one night (2nd bad experience) and the reception was suppose to go to 4 am, thank god it poured on them that night because the music volume was comical; we just drank ourselves to sleep. The resort sent us an apple the next day as an apology, maybe that means something in the local culture, but I got a good laugh out of it (wish they would have sent a bottle to the room that night).

Beach/Pool: Resort has two pools right next to each other and "closed-in" beach. I never went in the pool, it did look a litte dirty, but I came to this resort for the beach. Beach was pretty amazing. The water is very clear, you can literally see everything with about 6-7 ft of clearity from surface. Snorkeling is alright at the beach, really not much to see but great for swimming. The water is closed in by a dock that you can walk around on and is probably about a quarter to half-mile long. Everyday we went to the beach there was hardly anyone at the beach and there is plenty of room to lay out on. Beach has little drink stands which you can get drinks from, sometimes the servers do rounds but usually you had to go to them. Fresh towels are at a stand by the pools if you need those. Little side note for towels, I would bring towel clips, Curacao is very windy. One major let-down was the chairs/chases were extremely uncomfortable. They look very nice, but are very stiff.

Food: First off, I am a picky eater. Food here in Curacao is normal, which means a lot coming from me. Resort has I believe "5 restaraunts", I would argue 3-4. They are all in very nice shape and look very nice. First is the Medi, which is like your main restaraunt that is always open. They have the best breakfast buffet every morning, you can't beat it. They literally have everything you would want. We never had lunch here, but dinner was okay. They have decent chicken, steak was a little fatty, & fish which was pretty good too. They did live music here a lot. Second restaraunt is the Bella Italian which we did a lot. Doesn't really look like a restaraunt, its more of a Gilotto and Pizza shop. They did a bunch of different pizzas and pastas which were pretty good. Very good Gilottos/Ice cream here.Third is Splash the restaraunt/pool bar which we typically did for lunch. Food was okay here we usually got hot dog, hamburger, chicken fingers, or a sandwhich with an appetizer. Fourth is the "nice" restaraunt called Shore. We ate here once it was terrible. The view is amazing at this restaraunt, they sit you on tables outside almost right on the water. Our food was great here all the way until we got our entres. Appetizers were great, even side dishes were great with our entres, but our main course was inedible. We got fish and steak and they cooked the fish to mush and the steak was hands-down worst cut of beef I have ever seen. Lastly there is a japense "spot" somewhere that we never saw. I think its in the lobby and you just order it and they bring it to you; we never ate it. Room-Service is the same menu as the Medi/Main eating area. We never made reservations for anything, was always very low-key. There are cats all over the resort at night too hanging out at the restaraunt for free meals. At the very end of the beach there is also a marina bar, never went there, but its there with food and booze!

Drinks: Drinks were fine here as they are almost everywhere else. They had a good wine/champagne selection here that wasn't completely outrageous. Good selection of beer; they have more beers than they list. Frozen drinks were very good as they always are. Prices are similiar to most bars in a downtown location. ($5 beers $10 cocktails)

Daily Cost: I always like to provide a rough estimate of what I spent on a daily basis to give people an idea. So this resort was a more upscale resort so the prices were a little costly, but not too bad. I believe we paid about $120.00 per day for the rooms, might have been a little less or little more, we booked ours on expedia. All your bills pre-include a 16% TIP, but we always gave a little more. As I mentioned, I did not go with the all-inclusive feature as it seemed like way too much. To give you an idea, if anyone has even read this far, myself and my girlfriend would spend on average:
$55.00 for the breakfast buffet
$60.00-$70.00 on lunch (two entrees and an appetizer)
$40.00 for drinks on the average day at the beach $120.00-$140.00 if we were trying to have a good time.
$80.00-$180.00 on dinner (usually got us bottle of wine, two entrees, and an appetizer)

Safe to say I spent about $300.00 a day for two of us on the resort. We ate out a lot, which is a lot cheaper.

Weather: Weather was very hot, but thank god for the wind. Extremely windy but you don't mind it if you are laying out. We had some-what cloudy weather with a lot of wind every day, but it was still about 88 the entire time. We had one day where it rained for about an hour.

Other: If you plan on leaving the resort, RENT A CAR!!! It literally costs a minimum of $20.00 with a cab to go one way anywhere. The price of a rental is roughly $42.00 a day and they have an Avis rent a car center at the resort. It might take you a bit to learn the roads but its well-worth it. We rented a car to explore downtown and some other places and also visit the west side of the island which has all the pretty beaches (this is a must-do). FYI the drive from one side of the island to the other took us about an hour and 20 minutes and we got lost a few times (its not that big). If you are worried about personals, lotions, soap or anything like that the mini-marts literally have everything you need. There is a super-mart called "best-buy" about 15 minutues from the resort which literally has everything you would need and the same brands, no different than your tops,giant-eagle,publix,wal-mart,kroger,heinez,albertsons or what ever grocery stores you guys have out there on the west-coast. Prices are about the same as they would be back in the states.

I could go on and on, but if you have any questions feel free to ask. I did a lot of excursions, ate out a lot, and drove all over the island.

Room Tip: If you want an ocean view and you are not getting the mega suite stay on 3rd floor in rooms 2414-240...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
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 24, 2014
Dear jeff J,

Wow! What a great review! You gave some really great insight to guest considering a stay at our resort. I am so glad that you explored the island - including the beaches on the West side. That is a definite must do! I noticed that you wrote a review on the Dolphin experience too. It sounds like you guys were busy!

I hope that we can welcome you again soon!
Philippe Eversdijk
General Manager
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1,156 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
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Aliso Viejo, California
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

This resort is top notch in my book. Everything from the decor to the friendly staff and the amazing view. Check-in was a breeze and you were met with a lemonade or a Blue Curacao drink. What other resort will greet you with a drink? The rooms were very nice and spacious and had the most comfortable beds. The bathroom was modern and open with a great tub and shower. Our balcony faced the beach and was just very quiet and relaxing. The pool and beach was very nice with great views and crystal clear water. The only draw back to the pool and beach were the uncomfortable chairs. They were hard and you really couldn't lay on them to long. But, that is really the only bad thing I had to say about this resort. The restaurants were very well priced and you were not spending an arm and a leg for food. Just like a normal restaurant you went to anywhere else. Overall this is a great spot to vacation to and can't wait to go back.

Room Tip: Ask for a none obstructed ocean view
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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 24, 2014
Dear Alan D,

One day definitely isn't enough!! We'd love to have to you back and hope that you can stay longer the next time! I really appreciate you sharing your experience and am glad that you stayed with us.

Safe Travels,
Philippe Eversdijk
General Manager
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Houston, Texas
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014

This resort is fabulous. It does indeed have everything you would need and you would not have to leave; however, if you're American, you can do that for cheaper at an all-inclusive in Mexico. Of course you want to leave and check out the beautiful beaches and the capital; therefore, you HAVE to rent a car. The resort is far from any of the really nice beaches, and I would recommend you rent from the airport because I think we paid more, but you can get one from the Budget counter at the hotel. The staff was very accommodating, and the walls are a bit thin and there was a baby crying in the room next to ours, so they let us switch right away (and the second room had a better view). You could also walk around the corner to a watersports rental to go snorkeling, diving, etc. Lots of food choices, few crowds, beautiful views, beautiful lobby with a little bar - very relaxing!

Room Tip: Ask for a room on the far side, next to the inlet, so you can get to the beach quickly (and it's...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 24, 2014
Dear KatyStephanie,

Thank you for calling our resort fabulous!! I am so glad that you enjoyed your stay.

To me the experience on Curaçao is different than Mexico or other islands. I encourage all guests to leave the resort and explore the island. The island isn't so commercialized that you feel completely removed from the culture. There are wonderful gems scattered all over the island's unspoiled natural landscape.

I hope that you can visit us again soon from Houston!
Philippe Eversdijk
General Manager
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Dallas
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
62 hotel reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014

My family stayed at the Santa Barbara resort in July 2014. The hotel facilities and grounds are beautiful, and the hotel staff was great. Our airline lost our luggage, which is apparently a common occurrence in Curacao. The front desk personnel provided all of the necessities that our family needed. One staff member stood out as truly exceptional. Rudolph, one of the bellmen was beyond helpful. He went out of his way to locate and deliver our luggage to the property.

All of the amenities at the resort are first class: pool, golf course, beach and restaurants.

The only possible negative to the property is the location. You need to be aware that the hotel is very remote. This is not a problem if you are utilizing their facilities. However, if you want to explore Curacao it can be very costly. Our family rented a vehicle to explore the island.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 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 24, 2014
Dear demetgolf,

I am so glad that you and your family enjoyed your stay with us! I see that you are a Top Trip Advisor Contributor with reviews in 47 cities. Wow! That's amazing!

I am disappointed to hear about your luggage, but am happy to hear that Rudolph was able to help. You are right, our resort is approximately 30 minutes from Willemstad. You can rent a car right on property for approximately $60/day to explore the island. Please, ask the team about the great local, experience that are close to the resort when you visit the next time. That's my favorite part about Curaçao - it has unique things to do that you can't find anywhere else.

I hope that we can welcome you back again very soon!
Philippe Eversdijk
General Manager
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Brooklyn, New York
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2014

This place is definitely one of my favorite hotels. It's a beautiful property that feels like it's own little world. Everything you need is on the premises so you don't have to leave if you don't want to. The beach is beautiful, the pool is gorgeous, they have one of the best gyms I have ever seen in a hotel, which is huge. Travelers who like to workout on the road know how hard it is to find a decent hotel gym but this place has it. The spa uses a lot of locally sourced products (especially aloe) and tries to be as organic as possible. The food and drinks are good, and you can get breakfast delivered to your room at no extra charge. One of my favorite meals on the Island came from MEDI, the on premises restaurant that specializes in seafood. There's also a lounge area where musicians come to entertain. The staff was friendly and the service was attentive. I don't have any complaints about this place. It's a versatile hotel that can work for families, business (especially because of the golf areas), honeymoons, general romance, etc. Do yourself a favor and book it.

Room Tip: Ocean view rooms may also give you a glimpse of the pool depending on where you are.
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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 17, 2014
Dear Starr R,

Thank you so much for a great review! I really appreciate you staying with us and sharing your experience. I, too, like to workout when traveling. So, I agree - a nice gym is always a great plus.

I hope that you can visit us again very soon!

Philippe Eversdijk
General Manager
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Coral Springs, Florida
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2014

My husband and I recently returned from this resort in Curacao. It was recommended to us by a very close friend in the business (thank you!). The resort is magnificent. The property is very well maintained, the staff is extremely attentive, the food is wonderful, and there is an incredible view of the magical blue water from everywhere. It is the type of place you go to for relaxation. We did venture into town twice and we were happy to just stay at the resort. I would return to this tropical paradise again. Oh, and by the way, it never seems to rain there, and yet there was a beautiful breeze at all times.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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, July 14, 2014
Dear Judy B,

Thank you for visiting us from Florida and for the great review! I am always amazed by the blue water every time I see it. I don't think I'll ever get used to it!

Curaçao is a perfect vacation destination with only about 22" of annual rainfall per year. When it does rain, it usually clears up very quickly so you can continue having fun on your vacation!

I hope that we see you again soon!
Philippe Eversdijk
General Manager
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Willemstad, Curacao
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2014

This is a caribbean luxury hotel with atached golfcourse located on the eastern side of Curacao which is amazingly gorgeous .The hotel is big ,with open spaceous architecture with an amazing view wherever your room is .You wake up to the seaview, the golfcourse or the local landscape and the singing of local birds! The rooms are big with all modern amenities .
The golfcourse is a challenging one due to the very strong breeze and the layout, but with very well maintained greens ,a good clubhouse with good equipment available so a good round of golf is guaranteed !
The hotel is quite far from most restaurants, shops , atractions and the city. But then again the driving time to everywhere is 10 minutes anyway!!The friendly , but sometimes slow staff can arrange for transport but the restaurants , pool ,spa ,natural beach and little shops can keep you entertained on location as well. Not a place if you are on a budget .But definitely worth it!

Room Tip: Southside rooms give you a view of the golfcourse and the sea!
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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 14, 2014
Dear angelfoodie,

As always, we love welcoming our island family to the resort. Thank you for spending some time with us to relax and recharge! The breeze off the sea on holes one and two on the golf course are definitely a challenge. I hope that you come back again to play soon!

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 Spa 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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