Published On: Wed, Nov 8th, 2017

Jewelry designer Rebecca Zeijdel-Paz shares her local’s guide to the Caribbean island of Curaçao

Bon bini! Welcome to our beautiful island of Curaçao!
Photo: Courtesy of Rebecca Zeijdel-Paz
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If you’re looking for more than just a tropical escape (and a break from the crowds), Aruba’s lesser-known sibling island, Curaçao, is worth the visit. A constituent country of the Netherlands, Curaçao is a melting pot of cultures—its official languages are Dutch, Papiamento, and English—and with its close proximity to Venezuela, it’s not uncommon to hear Spanish across the island as well.

Culturally rich and layered with history, Curaçao’s beauty is comprised of more than just nice beaches and translucent Caribbean water. Among the beautiful beaches and coral reefs, there’s bustling nightlife with eclectic eats, as well as a plethora of historically picturesque towns and sights to explore—an idiosyncratic amalgamation that makes you feel as though you’re in a cool bohemian town in the South of France, but with the joie de vivre energy of the Caribbean.

Curaçao native Rebecca Zeijdel-Paz of Beck Jewels designs her line of tropical jewelry out of her studio in Williamsburg, a space she created to feel like a home away from home complete with a hammock, bougainvillea plants, and straw bags hanging from every nook. “Life [in Curaçao] moves in a slow rhythmic way; it’s warm and intoxicatingly beautiful,” Zeijdel-Paz says. Her longing to bring the beauty of Curaçao with her to New York was the reason she started designing in the first place. Curaçao’s tropical hues, diverse culture, and architecture serve as inspiration for her jewelry. And with every trip home, there’s always something new to discover.

“New restaurants are constantly popping up and local artists have been commissioned to paint incredible murals,” the designer, who spends much of her days exploring the abundance of markets, shops, cafés, and restaurants in the four colorful districts in Willemstad, says. Among her favorite restaurants in the capital are KomeMosa, and Omundo.

She ends her days with sunset drinks at the sceney beach clubs on the east side of the island in Jan Thiel. One of her favorites is Baoase. “This beautiful and very private hotel is decorated in Balinese style. Another example of the melting pot of cultures on the island.” After night falls, she heads to local beach shack Pop’s Place for the catch of the day, hoping for the dradu with funchi hasá (fried polenta).

While Jan Thiel is known for its trendy beach scene, Becky suggests spending a day beach hopping with the locals on the rural western side of the island. “Grote Knip is a favorite amongst the beautiful beaches in Banda Abao. Others include Porto Marie, Cas Abao, and San Juan.” So whether it’s the architecture, beaches, or food that you’re after, Curaçao has you covered.

Source: vogue.com

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