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Reviewed December 19, 2010

This is an excellent high end resort. There are a few problems that they must rectify.

PROS
*Staff. Simply the best service. The staff are very well trained. I am keeping in mind that the hotel has only been open for approx 9 months yet the staff work as if they have been in their job for years! This level of service is felt throughout the resort - from the wait staff (Ryan at Shor) to Jaymy by the pool to Shirley or Augustus by the front desk. I could name virtually all of the staff at this resort. I have been to some excellent high end resorts ( I need to be more diligent with my reviews!) and the service here was the best I have had.
*The hotel is very clean and the rooms are excellent. The beds are excellent and comfortable even for those with bad backs.
*The restaurant Shor was one of my favorite dining experiences. The restaurant Medi was also excellent. As others have noted ensure you eat the Fish Tacos at the Swim restaurant.

CONS
Really the CONS are notes for the management of the hotel to address. . . . .

*The number one CON is the fact that there is no real beach at this resort. If you are looking for the white sand it is there. There is no blue water beach. It is really a sandy tributary from Spanish Bay to the ocean. There is also a Marina with a number of boats that borders the beach. The beach water is cut off from the Marina by a floating walkway. The water at the beach is slightly greenish perhaps because of the water being stagnant. There is a section of the resort that faces the ocean. The management needs to bring in some sand on a barge and built that area as a beach if possible. There is simply no way people are going to fly from the States or Europe when there is no real beach. The alternative to the hotel beach is to rent a car and check out other beaches around the island.
*There are two pools and they were fantastic. There are nice umbrellas, comfortable lounge chairs, and excellent service. What concerns me is that I was at the hotel when it was only approximately 30% full. If they were closer to full occupancy then the pools would be crowded. There needs to be at least one more large pool. Especially when you recognize that there is no beach and not too many people sitting out on the beach side.
*The resort is isolated. This is a CON only because it is a 45US cab ride ONE WAY to get to town and other restaurants. Really there are only two restaurants - MEDI and SHOR. If you were here for longer than 7 days the food would probably get repetitive. There needs to be at least two more restaurants onsite especially if the hotel was full given that each would probably hold 150 people tops.
*The food was on the expensive side and includes a service charge automatically.

OVERALL
I am rating the location lower because of the lack of a real beach. I am rating the value lower because it is slightly expensive. I am rating the rooms lower because I have had better rooms at other resorts so I can not give 5 stars. If you are really focused on great service and you are more of a pool person than a beach person this is the resort for you. I have uploaded several pictures to help you out. Happy Travels!

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank M F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 16, 2010

My girl and I just came back from our trip. We stayed at the Hyatt for five nights. All in all we were pleased with the Hyatt. We received one free night and our breakfast was included in our rate. I will say the breakfast @ Medi was average and I would've been dissapointed if we actually had to pay. The service was just okay at each of the restaurants which included Medi, Shor and the Swim bar. The weather was excellent even though we were told it had rained about 20 days in a row right before we arrived. The rooms were nice and clean and its true, we did not have a door on our shower or a vent to keep the heat in. That was the only part of the room I found dissapointing. The resort as a whole is very big & nice. I didn't mind walking all over the resort cause it is very scenic. However, they could have done better with the man made beach. I recommend spending your time @ the pool. My gf is a diver and she absolutely loved it. We did a dual dive/snorkel excursion one day which was great and not too expensive. Hyatt offered a shuttle service to town one day but it picks you up at 8am and doesn't pick you up until 2. You don't need that many hours in town b/c you'll go crazy spending that much time walking & seeing the same things. Overall, we enjoyed our stay but I don't see us going back anytime soon. Too many other dive places to visit first.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank dg1041
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 10, 2010

We just returned from an 8 night stay at the Hyatt Curacao. We picked this resort because it was brand new, thought that it would be nice and clean. We were also aware that is was a good hike from town. That being said, here was our experience at the Hyatt.

We arrived in Curacao mid-afternoon. We rented a Suzuki Jimny at the airport from Thrifty Car rental for $362 for the entire 8 days, we felt that was a good deal. We were actually given a 15% DISCOUNT because the car "was dirty".......Well, the car was actually filthy on the outside, but that was okay, it rained the entire time we were there and would have been impossible to keep it clean. Just for comparison, Hertz wanted over $800 to rent a Jeep Wrangler for the 8 days. Thrifty was the best deal.

You can check in to the hotel at the airport. They have good directions to the Hyatt, so getting there was not a problem. We found a much easier route to take into town than the hotel gives you, I don't know why they do not tell their guests the easier way.
The drive is a good 30-40 minutes from the airport to the hotel. Just to be prepared.....you will drive over the Juliana bridge, it is big and kind of freaky! As noted in many other reviews, once you get through the security gate for the resort, it is still a good 5-10 minute ride to the resort.

Upon arrival we found staff to be pleasant, and helpful, which was the case throughout our entire stay. I have no complaints regarding service, I feel that all of the staff were excellent. The resort was absolutely beautiful, but it did fall short in some areas.

The Hyatt is big! I do not know how many guests were there while we were there, it never felt crowded. They did have several big business conventions going on while we were there, but it still did not feel crowded.

The pools were lovely, we never had trouble finding a chair, most days the place felt totally dead. The weather was absolutely terrible while we were in Curacao, it rained almost all day, every day. The bad weather really impacted my vacation. We were only able to spend two afternoons hanging out at the pool. *The mosquito's and no see-ums were REALLY, REALLY bad and we were covered with bug bites! Don't forget to take some insect repellent with you, otherwise you will be eaten alive!

The grounds of the Hyatt were nicely landscaped with palm trees, and some pretty flowers, but the place was not lush. If you look closely you will see hummingbirds in the pool area.

A BIG problem I had with the resort was the "beach". Do not go to the Hyatt and expect to see a lot of that beautiful blue Caribbean Sea, and a nice sandy beach. They have a man made beach that I would never have even stuck my big toe into, it looked disgusting.
They Hyatt is on the ocean and the view is really obscured ( especially from the pool area) by some of the greenery they have planted. I was extremely disappointed by the lack of beautiful sea views and a nice beach. I was SO disappointed by these two things that I would never return to the hotel.

We stayed in room 2317, resort view. The room was nice, very pretty like the rest of the resort, tastefully decorated. We had the bathroom that did not have a door and I did not like it one bit. The shower had terrible water pressure, and it never got very hot, which is great if you like it limp and cold! We did not have a rain shower, just a regular shower head.
The bath products that the hotel provides were very nice, and they stocked them up every day.
The other BIG problem I had with our room were the towels and linens. I had a couple of bath towels that smelled really bad, can't explain it, just a nasty funk! The pillows on our bed also had this bad odor. I actually called housekeeping and had the feather pillows replaced with foam pillows and they still smelled bad. I had to spray some perfume on my pillow each night just to get past the bad odor. The humidity in the room was high, there was no fan to vent the bathroom, and the sheets felt uncomfortably damp every night. I never rested well while we were there. I did not expect a bad odor with the linen in such a new hotel, and certainly did not expect it form a Hyatt. This really bothered me, and affected my comfort level/stay. A big strike against the hotel in my book.

The resort has good dining. The breakfast buffet at Medi will set you back $50 for 2 people. It was just okay, and we only ate there once. We ate our final dinner at the Shor restaurant, which was one of the best meals we ate on the island. Shor is expensive, but the service was excellent. The Hyatt also has a little shop that sells snacks and GREAT ice cream.

We ate most of our meals away from the Hyatt. There ARE places near the resort to eat. Overall, I found dining in Curacao to be mediocre at best. We drove to Sylvia's several mornings and had her delicious pastichi, which was also a cheap breakfast. We ate dinner at El Gaucho,Tony Roma's and Barakeputt Mei Mei, each was just okay. We did see a rat on the salad bar at Barakeputt Mei Mei, probably should have left at that point.
We ate at El Fornio which I do not recommend, and The Governeur in Williamstad which was okay as well. We enjoyed a nice lunch at Daniel's Landhaus, on the way to the nice beaches. My husband had EXCELLENT onion soup dripping with gooey melted gouda cheese,and I had really good Pannekoeken.

Curacao is a fairly big island, and it took about an hour and a half to drive to Westpunt. We ate lunch at lodge Hura Kulanda. The food was awful, but the resort was stunning! It felt like the Caribbean should feel. It was very lush, lots of birds and beautiful views of that blue Caribeban Sea. It had a completely different vibe than the Hyatt. We visited several beaches : Big Knip and Little Knip, Playa Jeremi, and Playa Lagun. We went back a couple of days later and spent some time at Playa PortoMari.
Playa PortoMari was very nice! We snorkeled on our own there and had a great time. The water is crystal clear, and the beach is nice with chairs and umbrellas. There is also a bathroom and showers. We drove around Christoffal park one day, it was just okay as well. The Outback on Aruba is much cooler!

Willemstad is charming. The architecture is really beautiful, the colors are cheerful. The shops in Punda and Otrabanda and the usual shops you see all over the Caribbean. Willemstad was lit up beautifully at night.

There were a LOT of stray dogs everywhere we went. I found that to be quite sad. I bagged up my leftovers from dinner and tried to find a hungry dog to feed verses wasting food I had no way to store or re-heat.

We flew over to Bonaire on Insel Air for a full day. I would recommend it to anyone. Although the weather was terrible, I was glad to see Bonaire. It is very laid back, and completely different than Curacao or Aruba. A real nature lovers paradise. I wish we had been able to spend more time there.

To sum it up.....I am glad we went to Curacao. I was glad to return home from Curacao, it just missed the mark for us and weI will not be planning a return trip to Curacao. Aruba is a whole lot nicer and easier if I want to return to a Dutch island. Please feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank ebet123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
soniavdiaz, Manager at Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort, Curacao, responded to this reviewResponded December 17, 2010

Dear ebet123,

We are so happy to hear that our staff took excellent care of you during your stay with us. Normally the weather on our beautiful island is 81 degrees (27 C) year-round. Unfortunately, your visit coincided with one of the heaviest rainy periods we have experienced in quite awhile which contributed to an increase in mosquitoes and hampered our guests' enjoyment of our beach.

We were very surprised to hear your issue with our linens. We're happy to say that to date, your experience has been an isolated incident but we are looking into this and we thank you for bringing this to our attention. Hyatt prides itself on delivering high quality service to its guests and we appreciate your feedback as it will help us to improve.

Thanks again and we hope you will give our charming island and property another opportunity in the future.

Hyatt Regency Curacao Management

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 3, 2010

We just got back from a mini vacation to Curacao and it was by far one of the most beautiful islands we've ever been to. The Hyatt is far from everything, but that’s what we wanted. Just like everyone else mentioned, the resort is absolutely beautiful and the service is impeccable. What I found interesting is that Hyatt imported many of their staff. We met people from Holland, Philippines, Latin Americas, and lots of Koreans. Imported or native, everyone was incredibly friendly and we did not encounter any communication problems. There are two well appointed pools and a man made beach off the Spanish Bay. The golf course had some of the best views I have ever seen- far better than the resort itself. Everything to azure blue Caribbean waters to valleys and views of the Spanish Bay. The first three holes are amazing. I encourage everyone to either play or take a walk by the course, the views are breathtaking. If you are planning of playing golf, play after two as the prices are far more affordable than morning and afternoon tee times. The restaurants were great! We ate at Shor Restaurant two of the evenings. One evening our service was horrendous due to the influx of guests and the ratio of servers. However, they invited us back the next evening and the service was 100% better as was the food. Be prepared to spend an arm and leg for food. Each meal costs us at least $100. Average plate costs about $30++ and drinks $10 each plus service charges. The restaurant is beautiful with its open air concept. Not sure how it would fare in warmer-humid weather as November evenings in Curacao are just about perfect, minus the mosquitoes. Speaking of mosquitoes, bring your bug spray! It rained everyday during our trip and the bugs come out with a vengeance after every shower. The rain was not a determent to the trip. Each shower (sometime massive showers) lasted only a couple minutes. Island rain: they come fast and as fast as they come, they go. The other restaurants were good. Breakfast was the best, but the fares did not change much day to day. Our breakfast was included in our rate. If it wasn’t, I think I would have been disappointed being that it is about $25pp. Medi was also good as was the Italian Café.
The rooms are very well appointed and was large enough for two people. We paid for a premier water view room (right wing of hotel, room 1317) but it was a disappointing view of the Spanish bay inlet. Ask for a water view facing the Caribbean waters, not the Spanish bay- the views are far more superior on the Caribbean side. No problems with the air conditioner and housekeeping was great. We had no issues with the bathroom and privacy. Our bathroom had a door and a shower curtain. The rain shower was perfect!! I didn't want to leave the shower!
We rented a car through Hertz on the day we were leaving. Our plan was to venture into town and then go directly to the airport. Contrary to others commenting about road signage and difficulty getting into town, our trip was very easy. It took us about 30 minutes to get to Punda/Otrobanda and from there about 20 minutes to get to the airport. Both trips were easy to maneuver and the signage was not an issue. Park at the Renaissance parking garage as it is free to the public and walk around from there. Punda is only about a five minute walk and you can walk over the very cool floating bridge. Make sure to rent the car online BEFORE your trip. Prices are half the costs of what you would spend if you rented directly through the hotel location. We spent about $30 on rental and $7 on gas. We also booked a snorkeling tour through Ocean Encounters and were extremely disappointed. The tour was through their sister company, Pro Sails. We did not get to go on our trip because the boat broke. Wasted half our day and then had to go back to the hotel disappointed with no recourse. The people at Pro Sails are not very friendly minus the owner (Tao). The lady that was in charge of our trip didn’t even greet us when we arrived. She did not tell us what was going on. Maybe we looked like we did not understand English. Who knows? Can’t fault Hyatt and cant really fault the boat. It is what it is, but service wise, they dropped the bucket big time. Make sure if you are booking a trip through Ocean Encounters that it is not through a sister company. You may be disappointed…
The Hyatt is almost perfect. One thing I didn’t like about Hyatt was that it was missing a beach. There is a little dinky winky man made beach on the property, but no blue water or caribean white sand beach. You can take a tour to one of Curacao’s many beach locations but it would have been nice if Hyatt created a better beach front at the resort. For a romanic, relaxing vacation, the Hyatt was just about perfect. The people are so incredibly nice and the resort is beautiful. Diamond in the rough. Go before everyone finds out about this place.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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3  Thank LoveLife82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2010

This is a beautiful resort. The grounds are nicely kept, pool area is well designed, decent restaurant choices, nice workout room, friendly people, and overall a good experience. Conference facilities were great and the service there was outstanding.

One thing I’m surprised that one has mentioned is the MOSQUITOS! Serious mosquitos in the evening—swarms of them that had us all running for cover. Even the staff was borrowing our bug spray. Maybe a fluke that week, since it didn’t seem to be an issue for anyone else in these reviews, but we came home pretty bitten up.

The room was beautiful, the open glass shower was fine for us as a couple, but beware—don’t open the room door while someone is showering. Though the door can open without a direct shower view, the closet doors are mirrored and the angle from the front door, even if it’s only partially opened, is just right for giving a visitor an unexpected show in the mirrors.

Housekeeping was hit or miss—sometimes we got clean towels, other days the old ones were removed but no new ones were left, our room service tray and dirty dishes weren’t picked up…not huge problems, but not 5 star worthy.

Food was good, expensive for what it was. Gelatto was yummy and reasonably priced.

Service was overall great. Shernette remembered us by name every day at breakfast, Isaiah was very personable, Kelly at Shor gave us great tips for our stay and stories about the hotel opening—staff is definitely the best part.

Everything everyone said about the hotel being out of the way is true—the lack of a shuttle to town is a major inconvenience, and rental cars were not always available. If you like to get out and explore, prepare to pay for it and reserve a car in advance.

Overall, would definitely go again for a conference, but probably not for a personal trip.

Stayed: October 2010, traveled on business
1  Thank tripreview22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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