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Where To Eat, Stay and Play in Curaçao

By: Alyson Haley

Say Hello To Curaçao!

I’m excited to share my little trip down to the beautiful island of Curaçao, one of the Caribbean’s best kept secrets, earlier this Summer with you guys! It is one of the islands that make up the ABC islands, along with Aruba and Bonaire. These neighbors are the three western most islands of the Leeward Antilles in the Caribbean Sea that lie just north of the coast of Venezuela. Curaçao is a Dutch Caribbean island that is still owned by the Netherlands but is independently run. The country is, however, still reliant on the Dutch for international military affairs.

The island is popular amongst divers as there are expansive coral reefs but is appealing in other ways, as well. The colorful capital of Willemstad offers a unique colonial architecture that makes the Dutch influence inevitably easy to see. Curaçao is also home to the only moving pontoon bridge, called the Queen Emma Bridge, in the world. It might not be the most popular destination in the Caribbean but I almost think that gives it even more appeal. You can truly get away and relax if you want to but there are things to do if you’re looking for that kind of vacation!

Where To Stay

My friend, Lauren, and I had the pleasure of staying at Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort in Curaçao. It is located 40 minutes from the airport on the Southeast side of the island.

We were greeted by a wide open, breezy lobby and warm salty air, inviting you to hurry and get settled in so you can start enjoying your vacation. The staff couldn’t have been friendlier as they checked us in and escorted us to our room, where we quickly found a plate full of the most delicious treats. In addition to the aforementioned delectables, we feasted our eyes on a spacious, clean room that looked out over a small bay full of crystal clear light blue water. It’s Santa Barbara’s own little beach! 

The barge behind me makes for the perfect blockade between swimmers and boats, which I think is genius for families staying here with their small children. You can see kayaks behind me, which are available to rent for hotel guests.

Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort has so much to offer its guests, although one of the things I love about it is that you can do a bunch of stuff or you can literally just relax and do nothing! They have a private beach, as I’ve already mentioned, set with lounge chairs, towels and a small hut where you can order a water or a cocktail. There are quite a few pools with an outdoor restaurant, Splash. They have staff members at the restaurant that walk around the pool areas asking if you’d like to order anything. The service is exceptional! Ladies, if your man loves golf, set him up with a tee time! The golf course on their property was voted the #1 Caribbean golf course by USA Today readers and the views from some of the greens look pretty amazing! While he’s out there, you can enjoy a relaxing morning or afternoon at the spa or get a workout in in the gym!

Where To Eat


Shore is Curaçao’s leading authentic Caribbean fine dining experience and it’s located at the resort I stayed at, Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort. Lauren and I ate here on our first night at the resort and had such a hard time choosing our main dishes. We were tempted by so many options that sounded delicious! The gorgeous view from our table didn’t really help us focus on making a decision, either, but the staff was so patient with us between taking in the view and..(click to read more)