There are Caribbean islands that are known for their serenity, their silence, their utter void of activity. And then there’s Curaçao—a beautiful island, to be sure, but also a busy one. Both local culture and tourism here are centered around Willemstad, a capital city that’s one part bustling port, one part shopping center and one part gambling mecca. You can venture outside the capital to find that classic Caribbean serenity, but with just a few exceptions, the quality of the accommodations decreases the farther away you go.
Until now, that is. The new Hyatt Regency Curaçao Golf Resort, Spa and Marina, set about 20 minutes east of Willemstad, combines upscale accommodations and amenities with a bit of distance from the colorful, on-the-go atmosphere of Willemstad. And if—after a few days of relaxing by the pool, on the golf course or out on the open seas—clients decide they want a little more excitement, the capital is just a short transfer away.
subdued surroundings Built like a long wall stretching around its curving coast, the Hyatt’s 300 rooms all have the same amenities: WiFi and iPod docking stations, mini-fridges and balconies or patios looking out to a variety of views. Some give clients a view of the beach and long dock that serves its watersports program; others look out to short sea cliffs and a bit of the golf course; and still others offer a view of the resort itself, dotted with palm trees and earthy public spaces—a far cry from the bright pastels of the capital city.
Connecting those rooms are the Hyatt’s plush public spaces. Clients walking into the Hyatt for the first time will be wowed at the Great Room, a modern, breezy lobby with attached bar and wraparound balcony that looks out over the entire resort. Beneath its enormous iron chandelier, clients can enjoy a drink or snacks from the bar menu, browse e-mails and the web on its free WiFi, or simply curl up on a plush sofa or armchair and open a good book. With fresh air flowing in from the ocean, it’s a great place to beat the heat of the island’s intense afternoon sun.
Down at the water’s edge, a large stone pavilion also offers respite from the sun’s rays, as well as opportunities for a variety of group activities. Its location overlooking the sea makes it an ideal venue for weddings, as well as cocktail parties or other group events. It’s also used as an open-air yoga studio several times a week—just one of many amenities throughout the property designed to relax and rejuvenate.
delectable dishes There are plenty of reasons to recommend the Hyatt, but for us, first and foremost is its cuisine, which ranks among the best in Curaçao. MEDI is an anything-but-typical Mediterranean restaurant, serving wood-fired pizzas and tapas plates amidst glass wine cellars inside and on its sunny outdoor patio. Many dishes use ingredients fresh from a local farm called Finca del Sol, which clients pass on their transfer from the airport; others are imported from nearby Venezuela. They’re then prepared in an open kitchen and can be served alongside a varied selection of organic teas, the pet project of the restaurant’s manager.
Next door, the SWIM Pool and Bar Grill serves up Latin dishes, from quesadillas to mini Cuban sandwiches. Grilled meats are the star of the menu, from chicken to beef to shrimp—all served on skewers with perfect seasoning and texture. SWIM is a great casual dinner spot, and also delivers drinks and meals to clients poolside or on the beach. Its location between beach and pool is convenient, but plans are already in the works for a “Bacardi Bar” that will float in the ocean, saving guests the trouble of leaving the water for their next drink.
Over at the other end of the property, SHOR’s raw bar and American-style seafood pair perfectly with views of the sea and golf course. Fresh fish and shellfish is what SHOR is known for, but classic comfort foods like macaroni and cheese get the star treatment too, reinvented into unique gourmet dishes.
the hyatt experience Dining is just the first of many luxuries. The upscale treatment starts at the airport, where clients check into their rooms before complimentary transfers to the hotel. Once they arrive on site, they’ll enjoy a welcome drink in the Great Room—made with local Blue Curaçao, naturally—as their bags are taken to their accommodations. From there, they’ll have the chance to explore the property, from the free-form pool surrounded with daybeds, covered seating and a wealth of padded lounge chairs, to the beach, stretching along the western side of the property and bordered by the watersports dock.