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“Beautiful resort” 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
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Beautiful resort”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2014

My husband I visited the Santa Barbara July 22-27 with two of our friends. We had a great experience. The hotel is very nice, the grounds are stunning. It's right on the water! The two pools were clean, kid friendly, with plenty of chairs around and you could get toys, etc for the kids to have fun with from the towel stand. The beach is nice but very small. Again plenty of chairs to relax at. Water is beautiful and clear but there is a boardwalk/pier/dock separating the beach area from the rest of the ocean. This would be great for families with small children, but if you're looking for more of a "real" open beach experience, I suggest renting a car and going off the resort. We tried the pizza the first night, it was fine but nothing special. The gelato shop was really good with flavors changing daily. We did the breakfast buffet at Medi the first morning, it was good but pretty expensive. But that is expected at a nice resort like this one. We ate off the resort for the rest of our meals with the exception of our last night, we made late reservations at Shore, the resort's "fancy" place. Again, food was decent but expensive. Same with their Blue Curaçao liquor signature drink- guests receive a complimentary welcome drink (delicious)- but they are pricey if you order any after that! But like I said, it's to be expected at such a nice resort. The hotel staff were all pleasant, but especially the gentlemen that escort you to your room and show you around along the way. They were so friendly and welcoming. The man that escorted us (so sorry I can't remember his name) and the one who escorted our friends, both remembered us the remainder of our stay and acknowledged us with genuine friendly hellos every time we saw them. Overall the resort has a quiet, secluded feel to it- it really quiets down after dark! Wifi is available for free in the lobby (runs slow when there are lots of patrons using it), or you can purchase it for $16/24 hrs and it will work wherever you go on the resort. I would recommend this place to everyone.

Stayed July 2014
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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, August 4, 2014
Dear R R,

Thank you for the wonderful review. I am so glad that you and your friends enjoyed the resort and the island of Curaçao.

There are over 35 beaches on the island of Curaçao and all are small if you compare them to Florida beaches. Actually, our beach is one of the longer ones on the island. The beaches of Curaçao typically are located in intimate coves. Some beaches are vibrant hubs of activity and some will feel like your own private beach. I definitely recommend that guest explore the island on the West side and go beach hopping! It's a great experience.

Again, thank you for staying with us and I hope we can welcome you back again soon!
Philippe Eversdijk
General Manager
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1,053 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 (317)
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Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2014

My boyfriend and I live in Curacao and we love to go on vacation on our own island. This was the 4th time we stayed at Santa Barbara and again; We LOVED it!
The staff is very friendly, especially Achmed from the Front Office made our stay extraordinarily! This hotel is definitely recommended for couples that are looking for a quiet and romantic place to stay!

Room Tip: Room 2408 is an excellent room with a beautiful resort and ocean view!
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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, August 4, 2014
Dear Jillslijkhuis,

We love hosting our island friends and family and I am so glad you stayed with us. Thank you for recognizing Achmed who I will definitely give at shout out to during our next meeting.

I hope that you can welcome you back again very soon!
Philippe Eversdijk
General Manager
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Silver Spring, Maryland
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2014

This resort was one of the most spectacular I've been to. The staff was extraordinarily accommodating on EVERY level. The variety of things to do was great and I was really excited to see what each new day offered. Eloi is the person to ask any question at the front desk. Anything I needed was easily accommodated. Will be coming back again.

Room Tip: Ocean view is the best. The views are SPECTACULAR!
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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, August 4, 2014
Dear Doewhit,

Thank you for visiting us from Silver Spring! I am grateful for such a positive review and am so glad that you had an 'amazing time' in Curaçao.

I hope that you can visit again soon (maybe to escape the Maryland winter?)!
Philippe Eversdijk
General Manager
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Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2014

Well maintained complex friendly staff. The resort takes a bit of driving to the more crowded hotels and beaches on the island, but in return you get that peace and quit you might be looking for.
The pizza served in the restaurant really need some improvement, taste wise, baking time and more ingredients.
Why charge for the bath towels and wifi?

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 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, August 4, 2014
Dear Rworlduser,
Thank you for sharing your experience. You are right, we are about 30 minutes outside of Willemstad which means we have beautiful, sweeping views of the water and natural landscape and a peaceful environment. If you are looking for a night out, we can recommend some of the top local hot spots on the island. Then, you can return to relax and rejuvenate.

I would like to clarify that we do not charge for bath towels and we have complimentary wi-fi in the lobby.

Again, thank you and I hope you can visit again soon!
Philippe Eversdijk
General Manager
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Tampa, Florida
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2014

Just returned from a four day stay 7/24-7/28 for my cousin's wedding. This place was Dushi.(lovely) First the customer services from the employees was bar none. The wedding planner Gianni, I do hope I am spelling her name correctly did a Phenomenal job with the wedding. Every detail was impeccable. We must give Kudos to Keisha, Sharnett, Carl, Mayann, Monique, Razil and Ryan from the Medi restaurant. Our utmost love and appreciation go out to the BEST bartender Marvin and Raulo from the splash bar. We loved Curacuo and truly enjoyed our stay at Santa Barbra. I must not forget Agmeth and Xiandra at the front desk. My only bad review of this resort is the cleaning staff, I was not pleased at all with the cleaning schedule and they did not clean well. My husband and I are two clean freaks, so we would clean after they were finished. Wonderful time had by all.

Room Tip: Try to get a room close to the Lobby, or else its a LONG walk to everything.
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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, August 4, 2014
Dear Mystikallady,

First, congratulations to your cousin and I am so glad that you enjoyed the wedding. As I've mentioned before, I enjoy walking about the resort and seeing wedding celebrations!

I really appreciate you recognizing so many team members that helped you have a Dushi experience at the resort. I will definitely give them a shout out.

I hope that you can return soon - whether if it is for another wedding or just to relax!
Philippe Eversdijk
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2014

Phenomenal: that was my experience. I wish one word could let you see all the memories I created in this beautiful backdrop.

From the vivid Caribbean scenery to the luxurious finishes throughout the resort, the Santa Barbara & Golf Resort is a combination that truly overwhelms the senses.

We previously stayed at the main part of the resort and booked ourselves while it was under different ownership. This time we stayed at a Sea Traditions Suite booked by our travel agent, Susan Ward at Custom Travel Advisors.

The service was PHENOMENAL. At every turn, we were asked if there was any additional way they could accomodate. At our room, we were greeted with wine and a fresh and delicious olive, artichoke and hummus tray. The resort was exactly as I remembered it before however being on this side gave us a new perspective of the grounds.

In the room, I love the shower - which houses their awesome export, Curaloe from a nearby aloe plantation. These goods are beyond fragrant and I learned that their particular resort crafted a fragrance specific to them. It is divine. Handmade soaps from a local artisan at the botanical garden are wonderful touches that marry the sleek decor with it's island roots. Another thing I adored - the doors were air tight - as a woman, I LOVE that. I love seeing the little geckos outside and outside only and that is exactly where they and their fellow friends in the animal kingdom stayed.

There was a pillow menu that we loved too much as we had 10 pillows on our bed by the time we left. (I know, indulgent). The General Manager, Philippe and Luxury Manager, Dominique, Assistant Front Manager, Michael; Ludy at the pool bar and all of the great staff there at the restaurants and resort were amazing from the very second you stepped from your transport.

On the Sea Traditions side, it was like having our own resort. Most of the time we were the only ones at the pool on that side. Seeing the bluest sky you can imagine amongst the ocean and their perfectly landscaped and colorful grounds, elicit an internal gratitude for life that you get when beauty literally takes your breath away.

And, food - fresh, fresh, fresh - it was delicious. At Shore, the new chef is a island native who has come back after working in Michelin star restaurants around the globe. The tiger shrimp rolls, mahi mahi, tuna wasabi and the list goes on were SO good and the mojito of the day...yes, please! Actually yes, is probably the word I used the most on the trip. "Yes, I'll take more." "Yes, another one please." You get the drift. At Medi, again lots of scrumptious options and a yummy breakfast. The funny thing is you don't even realize until you step foot back to your local airport what greasy, fried food smells like.

There is an all inclusive option, that you can tailor for particular meals. We did the all inclusive and it was great. When you think of a service charge for every meal, it may make sense for you, it may not. At least you have the option. With that option, we had a discount at the spa and for golf, which we used. All inclusive at this resort, unlike others, does not include in room dining - but rather a discounted rate for that service.

If you go to the spa - you have to do the Pierda, hot stone, massage. Once again you are in a beautiful setting and receive wonderful service. If you want to work out, the facilities are right next door. All modern equipment and clean.

Although there are plenty of activities you can get through the resort, we opted to go with island native and superb island concierge, Gaby from Sand & Stilettos Concierge. Trust me when I say, she is the key to unlocking a different angle for your vacation. Her energy, knowledge and custom tailoring of an experience for you is what will make you want to come back. When we do, please know we will call her and opt for at least 2-3 days. The hotel should really use her as a preferred vendor as she is phenomenal!!!!

Back to the hotel....

As this was also a business trip, I was inquiring about real estate opportunities for clients and hotel executives were candid with all the questions I asked. This honesty, was again, greatly appreciated.

With more (and smart) development on the way, I cannot wait to share with my clients as this island has an authentic charm that some lack to due to an abundance of tourism.

The only iffy occurrence was the butler service. We didn't really use it and didn't have a true understanding of what it entailed. Out of seven days that was our only non five-star experience. Just be sure if you have this option, you truly understand it what it means and comes with.

The people, the service, the views, the breeze, the food - all of it will make you want to come back. This was a superb trip and you can see with the management, that it will only get better. They are truly listening to feedback to make your experience one that you will never forget.

I know this was one of those unforgettable trips for me and I am already planning my next trip back....

Room Tip: Love the sea traditions side. Next time I will either do this or an ocean view. Sea traditions is...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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, August 4, 2014
Dear Chrisitan R,

Wow! What a phenomenal review! It makes my day to know that the team delivered a vacation experience that was so memorable. That definitely is our goal for every guest. One of my favorite lines from your review was that the island has "authentic charm." It truly does.

I am so glad that you provided feedback on the butler service. We have taken measures to improve our communication to our guest about the service.

Thank you for spending time with us and I hope that you can come back and visit us again very soon!

Philippe Eversdijk
General Manager
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Cleveland, Ohio
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
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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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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