Santa Barbara Resort (formerly Hyatt Regency Resort)
The Santa Barbara Resort Curacao is exciting for this island, which has traditionally boasted smaller, more low-key resorts and hotels. Several of the properties on the island are luxury hotels, but on a smaller scale that you might expect of Caribbean islands with more established tourism infrastructures. The Santa Barbara Resort is the first large-scale luxury resort with extensive world-class facilities and amenities. It opened in the spring of 2010, and brings an air of lavishness and extravagance to the island that had previously been lacking on the island.
Part of the lavish extravagance is the Santa Barbara Plantation in Curacao that contributes to this area becoming one of the premier and most exclusive year-round resort communities in the Caribbean. The planned community of Santa Barbara Plantation in Curacao features more than 4,000 beautiful oceanfront acres on one of the most pristine parts of the island’s southern tip. It is located on the bay called Spanish Waters about six miles south of the capital city of Willemstad (about 25 minutes by rental car). The name Spanish Waters is part of the colonial history of the island, as this is where sixteenth-century Spanish galleons put ashore to refill their water casks.
Santa Barbara Plantation in Curacao offers more than 100 terrace homes and villas, as well as 125 single family lots available for purchase. The villas are available for sale as well as vacation rentals. Part of the resort complex is the Seru Boca Marina, which has floating slips for 128 vessels up to 150 feet in length. This is one of the best marinas on the island, and is perfect for those on yacht cruises from the nearby islands of Aruba and Bonaire as well as further afield in the Caribbean. Also here is Marina Village, with more vacation rentals right near the beach and marina.
The Santa Barbara Resort is located on 27 acres within the Santa Barbara Plantation on beautiful Barbara Beach. Barbara Beach Curacao has a number of facilities if you have come for a day excursion, including changing rooms, toilets, showers, a small beach bar and restaurant, and a scuba diving operator, which partners with the hotel. The beach is technically private, but day trippers will have no problems visiting.
The Santa Barbara Resort boasts 350 luxurious rooms, suites, and beach bungalows with all the amenities you normally expect from an international caliber resort property. Additionally, there are several dining options from elegant gourmet to the bar and grill located poolside. There are boutiques and gift shops, fitness center, tennis courts, business center, and full-service spa.
The Santa Barbara Resort is located in the southernmost part of the island, in an area that has remained pristine and undeveloped until now. The nearest developed beaches are Caracas Bay and Jan Thiel Beach—both located to the northwest in the direction of Willemstad. Because both of these beaches and Barbara Beach lie alongside the protected Underwater Marine Park, the scuba diving and snorkeling here are excellent. The scenery in this part of the island is stunning, with rugged hills excellent for hiking and dramatic views of the sea. There is also horseback riding here, and the rugged hills are excellent for mountain biking.