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“Great Resort Hotel” 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)   |  
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Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Nieuwpoort
Florida
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Great Resort Hotel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2010

We recently spent 6 nights at the New Hyatt Resort in Curacao. This a beautiful new resort, opened only a few weeks, that will be one of the top resorts in the Caribbean when it is completed.. The size of the hotel is massive, the grounds and the private beach are very impressive. The hotel is located on an old plantation that includes a beautiful gold course. The hotel location is about 30 minutes from the airport and 20 minutes from downtown so I would recommend renting a car unless you just want to just lay around the pool and play golf. We enjoyed everything about the hotel. The service was fantastic. The staff caters to your every request with a great attitude. We ate at the Shor restaurant two nights and the Mediterranean restaurant one night. The Shor was our favorite as the food was good and the open air dining right on the water made for a wonderful dining experience. Outside of the hotel, we ate at The Boat House(seafood), El Gaucho(steak) and Snappers( very casual seafood on the water) least favorite. All three of these restaurants are located within 15 minutes of the hotel (it takes about 5 minutes to leave the hotel) and the food was good. We used the onsite dive operation located at the end of the beach. They have a very good dive boat, all new equipment and great dive masters. They too want to make you experience the best. The diving is good but not as good as Bonaire. Our ladies also visited the Spa and were very satisfied.
We went downtown for lunch and walked through the shops, which was an enjoyable afternoon. We also drove to the other end of the island just sightseeing and stopping and snorkeling at several of the beaches, which are beautiful.
We had a wonderful time and look forward to going back in a few years to see this great resort when it is finished.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled with friends
    • 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
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927 people have reviewed this hotel

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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 (277)
Date | Rating
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  • Danish first
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English first
Dallas, Texas
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2010

I went with my wife for a few days, I don't want to enter to details.

First of all, the worst food i've ever had for such a high price, I speak about the Lasagna, Lemon Pollo, Gnudi, Paella and I just have one word for it, TERRIBLE.
SHOR was regular and SWIM was very simple, no taste what so ever only the Shrimp Coctail and the Hamburger was very good.
When I ordered my wine I tought that the waitress was mistaken with the glass. My wife and I was talking about the glass that the miss was mistaken with, she came back and asked if everything was ok, and I told her that I asked for my wine and she got the wrong glass, she was very nice and she told me "Let me tell you about the history about the glass...... Mediterrane Style" and she changed it for me with a regular glass of wine and every time we went there she allways served the wine in a regular glass of wine and if she wasn't serving us she would tell someone else to do it. Very poor the recycled water glass and the milk glass that they use for the water, I don't know what they were thinking when they designed this.
It's very interersting the difference of nationality of the people working there, amazing view, explendid coctails, very freindly pool-staff, the loneliness of the Resort is filled with the kindness of the staff.
Even if the Resort isn't 100%, we enjoyed our stay and we expect that they improve there mistakes.
We will surely return !

Thank You Joseph, Mateo, Speedy Jenny, Moon Sun and Jestina.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Denver
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2010

We had the pleasure of staying at the new Hyatt for 10 days in May! Tho' the resort was not completely finished when we were there, the restaurants, pools, spa, and golf course were all open for business. We were the first guests to stay in our room and were among just a few people in the resort. I'm sure the Hyatt would have liked to have had a better occupancy, but we really enjoyed the peace and quiet! It was nice to go to the pool in the evening and share it with just a few others. The resort and the grounds were gorgeous, and the employees were friendly and helpful. Being that the resort had been only open 2 weeks - there seemed to be way too many employees standing around looking for something to do. On the other hand they were very eager to talk with us, and we enjoyed getting to know them and hearing their stories. Very few of the employees who had "guest contact " were from Curacao - they were contract workers from all over the world - Denmark, Korea, Philipines, Africa, and other Caribbean Islands. Everyone spoke english - though at times limited, and not always with great understanding.
The private beach was beautiful, white sand, lots of lounge chairs and umbrella's, and you could snorkle right there and see many different fish and coral.
I love the Grand Hyatt Bed with lots of pillows and the big flat screen TV in the room. All TV channels are in English. Our room was missing a coffee maker - apparently they had not arrived yet from the supplier - but that should be taken care of by now. All the rooms have a blacony or patio with two chairs and a table which we used every evening.
The one thing I did not like about the room was entering directly into the bathroom and looking straight at the shower that has no curtain - just a clear, half-glass panel that does not move or close. I would hate to share a room like this with my children or with a friend. Only the toilet was behind a door. Just poor design.
The resort is in a rather remote spot - so you definately need a car - unless you don't want to see the rest of the island. It is an $80 round trip cab ride to Willemstad.
As much as we enjoyed the resort, I'm glad we rented a car and explored Willemstad and the other beaches and snorkle spots on the island as well.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Raleigh, NC
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2010

I'm astonished by all these glowing reviews on this hotel. My wife and I just returned from a weeklong stay at the Hyatt for our anniversary. I have also been a Diamond member for the last 8 years, and have also stayed at many properties in the Caribbean. Maybe it depends on what you are used to.

First of all, the resort is beautiful, there is no question about it. The setting is gorgeous, the rooms are beautiful, and since the hotel is still not fully open (only about 1/4 of the rooms are ready), it is very quiet - when we were there, the total number of guests hovered around 90. This makes for a very quiet vacation, for now.

However, this resort is Extremely Isolated!!! It takes ten minutes just to get back to the main road, and by our count, 20 minutes to get to the closest restaurant off-property (El Gaucho). It is at least a 30 minute drive down to Willemstad, and anything approaching restaurants or shopping. This would be acceptable if the restaurants on the resort were up to the task. Unfortunately, they aren't. We didn't think it was possible to butcher lasagna, and yet the Medi restaurant rendered it inedible.

We dined at Shor three times. The first time, the server didn't even put in my entrée order, so my wife's dinner arrived, and mine didn't come for another ten minutes. The second time, we asked for a simple hamburger (which they advertise heavily on their lunch menu), and the server had to go ask for permission to do this - and then looked down his nose at us for ordering off the menu. The third time, although we specifically requested tap water, we were charged for bottled water - at a cost of $12!

The Swim bar didn't have any food that we really found appetizing - the pizza empanadas, the Cuban sandwich, the burger, and the chicken quesadillas were all strangely prepared, and not very good.

Thankfully, as a Diamond member, our breakfast was free - which is a relief, since two breakfast buffets would total $50 every morning. For one week there, we spent over $1000 just on food and drink, and we did not order a lot of alcohol at all, so that gives you an idea of the prices.

The only bright spot in the restaurants was when we found the little pizzas that the general store makes - it honestly saved the trip for us.

Be aware that every bill you receive at the hotel will have a 15% "service charge" on it. This means if you don't notice this, and tip the usual 20%, you will end up paying 35% in service charges/tips! We couldn't get a clear explanation of what this charge was for, even after we asked a couple of times - we don't know if that charge was going to the server, or into some kind of tip pool, but it makes tipping very awkward and difficult to figure out.

We had constant problems with the pool service - even though the number of waitstaff at times outnumbered the guests at the pool, we often could not get someone to come over to take our drink order, and ended up having to go over to the bar to get something to drink.

There is also a bit of a rodent problem that the hotel is working to address - at the Shor restaurant, we watched a mouse run back and forth between the tables, picking up crumbs. There was also a very large rat in the pool area one of our last nights there. We brought this up with one of the pool staff, and she confirmed they are aware of the issue, but are trying to figure out the best way to control the problem. In the meantime, they are cleaning the lounge chairs every morning and evening to ensure they are safe for their guests.

The two pools are nice but basic, but they are very small - we can't imagine what they will be like when the hotel is at full occupancy - there really isn't enough room for the number of people they are expecting. Be aware that the "beach" is manmade - there are no waves, because they have constructed basically a lagoon using a floating pier that sections off the lagoon area from the open water which has a lot of boat traffic to and from the marina that is not associated with the Hyatt. It is still very nice, but if you are looking for the "sound" of waves, you won't get it here.

Really, to sum up this resort - it is great if you don't want to go anywhere at all, and don't mind mediocre food. The facilities are gorgeous, but the service is very spotty - the one wakeup call we requested for our departure day never came, there were continual fire alarms, and when we called to ask if they were real or drills, we were informed that a letter explaining the alarms had been placed in our room, when it had not. When we told the manager we had received no such letter, he was very rude with us.

We also received a letter under our door our last night, letting us know they could not accommodate any late checkouts - remember, this hotel is at about 10% occupancy, so they are not short on rooms!!!! If they are trying to get the Diamond members out as quickly as possible, I can't imagine what someone without status would experience.

The resort is really nice, but very expensive, very isolated, and the service is simply not up to even Hyatt standards, much less any other first-class establishments - there were some great people there, but the constant missteps by others and the overall poor food choices/quality really dragged down the entire experience. We would be hard pressed to say that we would return. We just wanted to balance out some of these stellar reviews with a little dose of reality.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2010

My husband and I traveled to Curacao on a honeymoon after getting married in San Juan, PR. We had originally reserved 5 nights at the Marriott Beach Resort in Willemstad, but decided after 2 nights to try another location, after being disappointed by the service, rooms, and privacy at Marriott [a better place for families or groups of friends]. The Hyatt and JUST opened the previous month, and was offering introductory rates - we couldn't have found a better time to visit as it was un-crowded, brand new, and with a world-class, international staff who had traveled from all around the world to be part of the new hotel. The grounds are breathtaking - the hotel is situated in a more remote location on a peninsula with a contoured, hilly terrain, and the combination of beach, sky, desert, and sea is just amazing. It's not everywhere that you see a beach and cacti in the same location. The hotel was obviously designed with the environment in mind - the design and colors play off of the desert/beach combination with natural, earth-y, light colors that add to the visuals rather than take away from it. Most of the common/public space is open-air - with views of the sea and the beautifully landscaped hotel grounds. We were greeted with complimentary Blue Curacao drinks upon check-in, and helped by very friendly front-desk and bell-boy staff. All of the rooms have full balconies - we stayed in a beautiful room with an ocean view, overlooking the hotel grounds, and the marina. We were also treated to a complimentary bottle of champagne delivered to our room during our first night.

A few highlights:
- The staff and the drinks/cocktails at the pool bar/lounge are exceptional. The best mojito I've ever had!
- The spa is world-class - it wasn't quite finished when we visited, but it was still amazing. I was so happy with my first massage experience, that my husband insisted we return the next day for a couple's massage. You are greeted with refreshments and a tranquil and beautifully designed waiting lounge. Each suite/room has a changing/dressing area as well as an outdoor shower with private relaxation lounge. We were treated to a complimentary bottle of wine to enjoy after our couple's massage. We were also given a few local products as a marriage gift. The staff and massage therapists were wonderful.
- The service and the food at the Shor restaurant were exceptional. Our servers were so attentive, friendly, and thoughtful - and treated us to a complimentary dessert on our last evening there. The views from the restaurant are also spectacular.
- The rooms are tastefully and beautifully appointed, and I appreciated their efforts to be green [e.g. the AC shuts off if you have your balcony doors open]. We also spoiled ourselves with room service and had breakfast in bed or on the balcony every morning - the menu has a lot of options and is not that expensive, and their staff were very attentive.
- The pool area is really beautiful and they've done a great job with higher-end touches like the cabanas, the lounge chairs from Restoration Hardware, and convenient towel and bar service.

I would recommend this to any couple who wants to get away and spend some time in a peaceful paradise where time stands still and you're treated like a king and queen among an incredible backdrop of natural elements.

  • Stayed May 2010, 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.
Jacksonville, Florida
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2010

I travel 90+ nights a year for business. For my wife & I tenth anniversary I booked a four night award stay at this property. I am fortunate to see & stay at thee best hotel/resort properties in the US with brands ranging from The Ritz-Carlton, The Four Seasons & Waldord-Astoria. This sparkling new Hyatt property is an absolute must stay at for any traveler wishing to stay & keep American standards/expectations while on the island. The well appointed room, phenomenal service, attention to detail and beautiful property made our first time trip to Curacao a new annual trip for us. It is an isolated property, but there is no need to see the rest of the island when you are at thee best of the best there is to offer on Curacao.

  • Stayed June 2010, 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frankfurt
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2010

The hotel opened recently and had about 50% of the hotel rooms completed. Not yet very busy and some minor construction still to complete.
The golf course, gym, pool, restaurants, etc. everything is fully operational.
The place is very far away from everything else. Only chance to leave is by car. even to walk to the main gate is a reasonable walk already. Good idea to bring everything along you will need. Limited possibilities to buy few items at a high price.
It's a quiet place to relax.

Staff is friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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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)
Phone Number:
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*
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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