Published On: Tue, Jan 20th, 2015

New delights await travellers to Curacao

Acoya2WILLEMSTAD - In the lower reaches of the Caribbean, the Dutch island of Curacao sports a healthy tourism economy fueled by a growing mix of cruise passengers and hotel guests.

The latest hotel to open is ACOYA Hotel Suites & Villas, located not on a beach, but in a pleasant residential neighborhood on a small lake about five minutes from the very popular Curacao Beach Boulevard and ten minutes from downtown Willemstad. Free shuttle service is available for both the Curacao Beach Boulevard and downtown.

It is no surprise that, when the resort opened last November, it was an immediate hit.

“We’re different from the other resort properties,” said general manager Valerie Trenidad, a 30-year hotel veteran in Curacao. “We have a country club setting and our accommodations are more spacious – you don’t bump into your husband every two seconds.”

Impressive are the two and three bedroom suites. To round out the collection are 31 deluxe rooms in the main building, plus 37 (two-, three- or five-bedroom) villas spread around the property, garden view – lakefront or with private pool. All have free wireless internet access, 40-inch LCD TV with cable. The suites and villas feature fully equipped kitchens and spacious living rooms.

“It’s like you are staying in a private home,” said Trenidad.

Other amenities include a dive center and a wellness center, which is celebrating its grand opening this month.

The poolside gathering spot and social center for the mostly European guests and locals alike is Restaurant Seasons, a successful food and beverage operation run by Michael and Dave Deleur. These respected restaurateurs have been delivering epicurean rewards for 22 years in Curacao, most recently near the Avila Beach Hotel prior to opening at ACOYA.

The fine dining menu features steaks, seafood and their own specialties.

“Our signature item is sautéed goose liver served with sauce Calvados and in white wine and honey stoved apple,” said Michael Deleur. “Or maybe you prefer homemade ravioli with a filling of mushrooms and truffle served in a creamy butter truffle sauce.”

That will do, nicely. So will sampling the house rum punch overlooking the pool. What’s the secret of maintaining a popular restaurant? Deleur said, “Provide good food and entertainment – and make sure the drinks are served fast.”

Every Saturday morning the brothers offer a highlight called Gossip at Seasons. What is it? A special offering of the best coffee and pastries on the island.

When you go

ACOYA Hotel Suites & Villas is owned by local entrepreneur Mahesh Daswani. It is part of the Choice Hotels group and an Ascend Hotel Collection member. The resort is tranquil and family-friendly. Restaurant Seasons is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner daily. For additional

Chris Roberts is a freelance writer based in Hollywood, Florida.

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