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.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Hyatt Regency Curacao Golf Resort, Spa And Marina Hotel