by Amanda Norcross
Opened in 2012, Curacao’s Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort offers vacation luxury for less.
Among the resort’s family- and budget-friendly features are a kids-stay-free policy, which allows kids under age 18 to stay at no additional cost in a room with their family. The resort also offers an all-inclusive option, allowing guests to package their meals and accommodations in one easy rate.
We also love the resort’s location. It’s close enough to the candy-colored town of Willemstad (30 minutes away) and other attractions on the island, yet far enough that you can escape it all when you’re ready.
Our Editor Loves
- All-inclusive optional
- Three pools and beach
- Kids-stay-free policy
- Water Sports
- Children Programs
- Connecting Rooms
- Family Room 5+
- Free Wi-Fi
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
The Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort offers 350 traditional guestrooms and suites, with connecting options available for large or multigenerational groups who want to stay together. All accommodations offer mini-fridges, coffeemakers, flat-screen televisions, and private patios or balconies. In the bathrooms, you'll find showers/tubs, hairdryers, and Curaloe bath amenities that smell heavenly. Bathrobes are also provided, as are in-room safes and irons and ironing boards.
Cribs (no charge) and rollaway beds ($20 per night) are available. Note that it is not recommended to add a rollaway bed to a guestroom with two queen beds. ADA-compliant guestrooms are available.
Resort View guestrooms face the resort's gardens. They offer one king or two double beds, sleeping a maximum of four guests (five with a crib).
Partial Ocean View
At the Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort, Partial Ocean View means you can see the ocean above and through the palm trees that tower above your balcony. These guestrooms have one king or two double beds, and can sleep a maximum of four guests (five if you have a baby sleeping in a crib).
Premier Water View
The Premier Water View guestrooms feature unobstructed views of the ocean. They have one king or two double beds, sleeping a maximum of four guests (five with a crib).
The Royal Suite sleeps two guests, with one king bed only.
The Sunset Suite also sleeps two guests only, and is best suited for couples or grandparents traveling with extended family.
The Tula Suite sleeps two in the bedroom with a king bed, plus an adult or two kids on the sleeper sofa.
Santa Barbara Suite
The Santa Barbara Suite also sleeps two in the bedroom with a king bed, plus an adult or two kids on the sleeper sofa.
Sea Tradition Suite
The Santa Barbara Suite sleeps two in the bedroom with a king bed, plus an adult or two kids on the sleeper sofa.
Note: Most of the suites have a connecting room with two double beds for families.
Jaymy, our bartender, made our vacation time at Santa Barbara most enjoyable. He went above and beyond!! Thank you my friend❤️
Santa Barbara Resort is beautiful with the views, 2 pools, restaurants and relaxing atmosphere! Our excursion to Willemstad was fun as well and very colorful and the moving bridge was interesting.
We also had a day where we visited some local beaches and the National Park. Very fun day!!
Thank you Curaçao for a wonderful vacation!
by N V
We stayed here for a week- November 2nd to 10th. Right from the moment we arrived we were treated amazingly well. Daan at the front desk told us we'd received an upgraded room with beach access- wow, did this deliver!
Chilled prosecco, dessert and a killer view awaited.
We enjoyed the property was so expansive and gave us lots to explore. Yes, you might want to rent a car to see the sights but this is easy to do as the hotel has a car rental agency.
The one sour note would be the food. It's not made in house and relies on processed packaged foods. I detailed the dinner visits to The Medi elsewhere.
We considered going to Shore but decided the lack of gourmet prepared local prices didn't justify the price. At home I can pay $48 CDN at a Michelin star restaurant, and know it will be top notch. Alas, this is why I can't give 5 stars overall.
The resort has three outdoor swimming pools, one of which features zero-entry access. Pool towels are available with a designated towel card given to guests at check-in.
You won't find a large, overcrowded beach at this resort. Instead, you'll find an intimate stretch of sand with shallow water that's perfect for young swimmers.
Hotel guests can rent equipment for jet skiing, standup paddleboarding, kayaking, and snorkeling via Breeze Adventures. The first hour of snorkeling is free for hotel guests.
Epsilon Dive Center
The resort offers a full-service dive shop with equipment for diving and snorkeling, plus underwater scooters! All skill levels are welcome at the dive center, which operates between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily.
Guests are welcome to take the guided Hadali Hike at 8 a.m. daily. The hike lasts about an hour and offers great views of the property. You can also hike the property on your own.
Mountain biking is another popular activity at the resort. Because of the level of activity involved and because the resort provides adult bikes only, this activity is best for older children.
Camp Arawak offers activities for kids who want to make a craft, meet other children, or just enjoy a little downtime (while parents enjoy some downtime of their own). Lourdes, the kids' club director, pours her heart and soul into making this a special experience for children, with activities that include decorating photo frames (with seashells from the beach, of course), making personalized bookmarks, painting ceramic seahorses, and decorating T-shirts, plus hikes and trips to the pools. Lourdes is CPR-certified and lifeguard-trained, and, as the parent of a child with autism, understands the unique needs of each individual.
Camp Arawak is designed for children between age 4 and 12, but younger children are welcome to visit with a parent or guardian. The schedule and pricing are as follows:
- Morning: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. ($25)
- Afternoon: 1 to 5 p.m. ($35)
- All-Day: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ($60; includes lunch)
Old Quarry Golf Course
The 18-hole, par 72 champion Pete Dye Golf Course is a must for golfers. Kids are welcome to join private clinics, and private lessons are available.
Aside from massages, facials and wraps for parents, Atabei Spa offers youth treatments that include manicures, pedicures, and a 'Chilaxin Massage.' Bonus: Guests who book the all-inclusive plan enjoy a 20-percent discount at the spa.
Tafelberg Tennis Oasis
The resort has four hydro-grid clay tennis courts, which are lit up at night. Equipment is available to rent.
The resort offers organized activities daily. They include soccer and volleyball on the beach, water golf, and, a favorite for kids, iguana feeding! The weekly activity schedule is distributed to hotel guests and displayed at select locations throughout the resort.
The resort offers six onsite dining options, two of which are privately owned.
Medi serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a casual, kid-friendly atmosphere. Sit indoors or out to enjoy a bountiful breakfast buffet that includes an omelet station, and for lunch and dinner, a wide variety of a la carte options. You'll find cold and hot soups, salads, pizzas, sandwiches, and burgers on the lunch and dinner menus, as well as pasta, chicken, steak, and seafood entrees. A kids' menu is available and includes chicken nuggets, chicken satay and hot dogs. Be sure to save room for dessert!
Perfectly situated by the pools and beach, Splash offers light bites and ice-cold beer, wine, cocktails and smoothies. The same kids' menu that's offered at Medi is available here.
This open-air lobby bar features a small-plate, Asian-inspired menu that features some of the best sushi we've ever tasted. While it's ideal for a romantic dinner and/or a nightcap, it's equally family-friendly.
Shore offers fine dining in an open-air setting by the beach, and is best reserved for a date night. The exclusive menu features premium cuts of meat, as well as fish, and a fantastic wine selection. Reservations are recommended.
In-room dining is provided by Medi.
The resort has two additional, privately owned restaurants. Note that they are not included in the all-inclusive plan, but can be added for another fee.
Gelati Bella Italia
Don't miss the gelato here—end of story. Gelati Bella Italia also serves specialty coffee drinks and pizzas—a great option when you'd rather have dinner in your room.
Boca 19 offers dining at the Old Quarry Golf Course.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
- Experience Center
Visit the onsite concierge to arrange local excursions.
Wi-Fi is complimentary and works well throughout the resort.
Babysitting services are available via Chatterbox, which comes highly recommended by the resort. Babysitters can watch your children in your guestroom or at Camp Arawak.
- Fitness Center
The hotel's fitness center offers cardio and strength training equipment, and overlooks the pools and ocean—now that's motivation! It is open 24 hours. Note that you must have a key card to access the facility. Fitness classes, including kids' yoga, are offered for a fee.
- Retail Shops
The hotel has several retail shops where you can purchase beach wear, souvenirs, and the like.
Check-in time is 4 p.m. and check-out is at 11 a.m.
The Best Time to Visit
Winter (December to April), of course, is the most popular time to visit Curacao and the Caribbean. But you can score some great shoulder-season deals between May and November. Bonus: Because Curacao is located beneath the 'Hurricane Belt,' it's one of the few Caribbean destinations where you don't have to worry (as much) about the threat of bad weather.
As of 2019, nonstop flights to Curacao are available from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina, and Miami International Airport. Curacao is a about a two-hour flight from Miami, where many travelers connect from other airports. From Curacao International Airport, the Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort is about an hour's drive, with traffic.
It's easy to get around this resort, and nothing feels too far away. However, guests are welcome to request a golf cart for transportation at any time. You'll need a rental car if you plan to explore the island; resort parking is free.
Request a babysitter and treat yourselves to a romantic dinner at Shore.