With cool, crisp autumn nights rolling in, now's the time to ponder where you'll sunbathe far from home this winter. Why not look to Curaçao? This off-the-beaten-path island, part of the Dutch Caribbean, appeared on the last season of ABC's "The Bachelorette." (Not that that's why we're suggesting it.)
Curaçao's Sandton Kura Hulanda Resorts offers an intimate getaway. As a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World it is actually two resorts, further maximizing your exposure to Curaçao. For an in-town experience, stay at Sandton Kura Hulanda Hotel & Spa in downtown Willemstad; for a beach getaway head to Sandton Kura Hulanda Lodge & Beach Club on the island's West End. With a reservation at either you get access to a free shuttle that allows you to check out both during your stay. The driving time between resorts is about 20 minutes.
With just 80 rooms, the Sandton Kura Hulanda Hotel & Spa in the capital city of Willemstad is charming to the core, complete with Dutch Colonial courtyards and buildings dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. You don't have to pick just one pool either. There are two on the property, including one in a grotto surrounded by natural rock formations. In addition, you don't have to flee the hotel for a glass of wine or amazing dinner. Book a table at one of three restaurants on site: Jaipur Restaurant (Asian cuisine next to a waterfall), Astrolab Observatory Restaurant (next to the Indian Marble Garden with locally inspired dishes like grilled conch-meat sandwich and banana soup), and Jacob's Bar and Terrace (Spanish tapas and happy hour specials overlooking the village). Unwind at the hotel's spa or stick to your fitness regime in the gym. No room at the hotel is alike, but all feature hand-carved mahogany and teak furniture, antiques and art (including hand-painted walls by a local artist) high-thread-count linens, high-speed wireless Internet, and a flatscreen television (so you can keep up to date on your favorite television dramas and sitcoms, and football team too). Because the hotel is located within a village complex, you are just a few hundred yards away from the Museum Kura Hulanda, an anthropology-focused museum.
A world away on the island's West End, the Sandton Kura Hulanda Lodge & Beach Club is a chill beachfront retreat on 350 acres away from the hustle and bustle. Sink your toes into white sand on the beach, or relax in a freeform pool with beach and sea views. There are 42 guest rooms and 32 suites tucked into either a two-story building perched on a cliff or a building with lush garden views. Also on site is a dive shop and the ability to rent bicycles should you want to further explore the area. Like the Sandton Kura Hulanda Hotel & Spa, there are three restaurants. Pick from Watamula Restaurant (sea views from under a thatched-roof hut and an innovative seafood-focused menu), Christoffel Terrace (from sea-view tables on a cliff, enjoy themed prix-fixe dinner menus or signature items like Tropical Dream Burger for lunch), and Kalki Beach Bar & Grill (beachfront lunch daily and a BBQ dinner Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays).
The (Sweet) Deal
Sandton Kura Hulanda Resorts is offering Fodors readers the chance to see and experience one of the most unique hotel properties in the world. Stay at Sandton Kura Hulanda Hotel & Spa or Sandton Kura Hulanda Lodge & Beach Club and receive 20 percent off room rates (for all room categories). Must be booked by November 1, 2012, and travel completed by December 23, 2012.
Photos courtesy of Kura Hulanda Resorts