New York weather is so unpredictable, especially with erratic temperature changes. If you’re looking for the perfect warm weather retreat, ditch your coat for shades and sunshine and head down to the hurricane-free Caribbean Island of Curaçao.
About Curaçao Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao make up the ABC Islands, and are part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In The Beach Boys song “Kokomo”, the band paints a picture of two lovers taking a romantic retreat to Kokomo Beach in Curaçao. However, many people don’t realize that the Kokomo is located in Curaçao. In fact when people hear Curaçao they might think of the famous blue liqueur made with dried peels of Laraha oranges from Landhuis Chobolobo. Given Curaçao has wonderful white sandy beaches with limestone cliffs and signature blue cocktails at the Curaçao Liqueur Distillery, but it also has restaurants showcasing local ingredients, a vibrant art scene, and rejuvenating spa and wellness facilities.
Hotel Accommodations Livingstone Jan Thiel Resort has one of the largest swimming pools in Curaçao and its conveniently located near the best beaches, restaurants, and nightlife on the island. Guests at Livingstone receive free admission to Jan Thiel Beach, a short walking distance from the resort. The Livingstone Jan Thiel Resort accommodations include colorful houses that were transformed into beautiful and spacious villas, apartments, and hotel rooms. Jan Thiel Beach provides the perfect combination of sun, sea, and shopping. Zest Mediterranean is a walkable distance from Livingstone and is the perfect place for a long, leisurely waterfront dinner. For the location and price point, Livingstone Jan Thiel Beach in Curaçao cannot be beat.
Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort Curaçao is a popular destination for visitors as well as locals. This resort was voted #1 in USA Today’s 2018 and 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards for being the Best Caribbean Golf Course. Besides a challenging golf course, Santa Barbara also has a diverse range of dining options, a breathtaking beach, and poolside cabanas. Santa Barbara even offers day passes for the beach for only $15 per car which visitors can use as a voucher for the spa, golf course or restaurants on premise. Special rates are also available to locals who want to enjoy the beautiful resort grounds. The rooms at Santa Barbara Golf Resort are decked out in Caribbean decor, for a luxurious yet authentic island feel. Local amenities are even provided in every hotel room including Curaloe shampoo, conditioner, and body wash which is organically grown and bottled in Curaçao.
(Photo Credit: Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort Curaçao website) Resort Dining Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort provides an array of mouth-watering restaurants to dine at onsite including, Shore, where Chef Heinrich Hortencia is known for redefining local flavors. Shore serves up fresh, sustainably-caught fish, as well as the highest quality cuts of meat and produce grown locally. Some island-inspired dishes include Curaçao Fish Stew made with the catch of the day, plantains, coconut milk and curry, 1855 Black Angus Rib Eye topped with Caribbean rum butter, and Shore Club Sandwich filled with plantain tostones, grilled vegetables, goat cheese, tomato salsa, and basil.
(Photo Credit: Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort Curaçao website) Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort recently opened a Burgers+ Beers restaurant showcasing house-made burgers, homemade potato chips, and cold refreshing beers. Burgers and beers are the perfect grab and go for beach and pool-goers, as well as locals who want to pull up their boat to dock, dine, and party. Food Network’s Burgers, Brew & ‘Que definitely needs to feature this fabulous spot.
Beach Bites Karakter is a seafront restaurant where you can enjoy a locally-inspired menu and a stunning waterfront view where the 2017 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition was photographed. For a starter, consider the sea-bruschetta made with tuna sashimi, mango, teriyaki and bruschetta smoked salmon, topped with a dollop of truffle mayonnaise to elevate the ordinary to extraordinary. Enjoy a taste of Dutch cuisine and order Bitterballen (Dutch meat-based ball that is deep-fried) for an appetizer. Karakter also offers a catch of the day that showcases local, fresh caught fish. Wash down your meal with a Blue Lagoon made with Blue Curacao, vodka, lime juice, and lemonade.
(Karakter Blue Lagoon)
Farm to Table Brunch HofiCas Cora, is the first farm to table restaurant in Curaçao, paving the way for sustainable efforts and local produce consumption. Friday through Sunday, HofiCas Cora serves up brunch favorites showcasing local ingredients grown on the farm including The New B.E.L.T (a sandwich with bacon, egg, kale, tomato jam, garlic sauce and fried onions), Huevos Rancheros (two sunny side-up eggs served on a flour tortilla with black beans, tomato salsa and avocado) and Cinnamon & Pumpkin Waffles (made with home-grown pumpkin.) “We are inspired by world-wide cuisine and classic dishes and incorporate our own Caribbean flair to it, using our local ingredients,” said owners Joshua and Femi Peiliker.
(HofiCas Cora Huevos Rancheros)
(Photo Credit: Number 10 Curaçao Facebook) Lime Refresher One of the local favorites at Number 10 Curaçao is a drink called awa di lamunchi. During the warm weather months, lemonade is a popular drink in the US because the acid in lemons stimulates salivation, making you feel hydrated. However in Curaçao, limes are more easily accessible than lemons. Awa di lamunchi, is the national drink of Curaçao made with limes. If you like citrus sippers, try awa di lamunchi at Number 10 on a hot and humid day.
Sweet Endings Kome offers a sweet way to end a meal, homemade ice cream. Some flavors showcase local fruits including toasted coconut and mango lime sorbet. Kome even elevates vanilla ice cream from ordinary to spectacular with specs of fresh vanilla bean to add extra flavor and freshness.
Spa & Wellness 8 The Experience is a luxury salon and spa that provides open-air treatment rooms, for the perfect combination of luxury meets nature. If you’re looking to melt away stress and relieve muscle tension, consider a massage treatment from 8 The Experience. Refresh and recharge with a Chakra Balancing Massage. Customers will choose three Aveda Charka Cards (Grounded, Nourished, Intention, Wisdom, Harmony, Insight and Expression) then, they will be asked to close their eyes and inhale 3 different aromatic pure-fumes mists made with essential oils based on the cards that they’ve chosen. Then, customer will choose the scent they like best to balance the charka that needs healing. This aromatic massage treatment will recharge your soul and spirit so you can fully enjoy your trip. After your session is over, soak in some sun by the outdoor meditation pool or enjoy heat and hydrotherapy with a cliff-side jacuzzi soak. Be sure to bask in the Sahara Sauna before your massage to soften stiff muscles for an optimal treatment and The Forest Steam Room will release toxic metabolic waste before or after your massage. The Igloo ice bath is a great way to release inflammation after a massage and will cool and calm the body.
Get Artsy Paint and sip studios have been sweeping the nation as a social gathering and a way to channel artistic ability. However, Serena’s Art Factory is not your typical paint-your-own-pottery place. Serena Janet Israel, founder of Serena’s Art Factory, helped herself out of a tough financial situation using her mold making and artistic abilities to create a body-positive mold of a woman called Chichi, representing a valued female role-model, the big sister. Israel is now is empowering Curaçao locals by inspiring them creatively, teaching them a craft, and providing employment opportunities for the developmentally disabled and those economically struggling. Sit outside Serena’s property as you peacefully paint, enjoy being outdoors, and feel inspired by the artistic energy.
NYC is home to a variety of street art. If you’re an art lover who’s looking to explore the street art scene when traveling, check out Francis Sling’s colorful murals in Curaçao.
(3 o’clock Romance by Francis Sling) If you’re looking for a treasure trove of Instagrammable photo ops, take stroll and explore the street art in Skalo. Plan a trip to Curaçao and Feel it for yourself!