Tropical Tidbits Summer 2019
by Susan Campbell
There’s lots of new and cool in the Dutch Caribbean ABC Islands, and a great new family resort coming to Cancun, as well! Let’s have a look…
New in Curacao
A new Museum of Natural History has just opened on the grounds of the beautiful lush forests of ex-plantation Landhuis Bloemhof (bloemhof means garden of flowers,) just outside of downtown Willemstad. Now visitors of all ages can enjoy informational tours, wonderful interactive exhibits, and indoor and outdoor activities centering around the island’s fascinating geological past. Also, on the grounds is one of the most incredible art installations in the Caribbean called “The Cathedral of Thorns”. Local visionary Herman van Bergen is the creator; he has been painstakingly building this life-sized structure from locally sourced thorns that, when completed, will be an impressive shrine to religions from all over the world. It’s a must-see when on island.
On the marine life front, the annual Curacao Dive Festival is returning this year (Sept.29-Oct.5th) and it will be bigger and better than ever. The week-long event features all kinds of underwater adventures, professional training, gala parties, and informative conferences, and many resorts are offering great stay and dive packages to promote it.
There’s also a new stand-alone private island stay owned by luxury resort Baoase called “Isla Kiniw”. Located off their property out in Spanish Waters with Table Mountain as the backdrop, the tiny island hosts one luxe Caribbean style villa that sleeps up to 8 people with its own private beach, infinity pool, and access to a private boat, a putting green, a helicopter pad and watersports gear. It’s bound to be a visiting celebrity favorite, especially during the famous Curacao North Sea Jazz festival.
New in Bonaire
Though well known as a diver’s paradise, Bonaire has not really been on the discerning diner’s radar… until now! Ever since the new upscale Delfins Beach Resort added divine seaside eatery Brass Boer to their offerings, foodies in the know have been flocking there in droves to sample the unique gourmet fare inspired by none other than Dutch Chef Jonnie Boer and his Michelin star restaurant De Librije in the Netherlands. Chef Jonnie and his wife Thérèse are big fans of Bonaire, so they decided to bring a taste of their favorite specialties to its shores. The menu is designed for sharing, the concept is to choose three or four small plates each and share them communal style, and there is also a selection of dishes specifically designed to be shared by two. You can also book a private pier dinner (Table 14) for up to six people, and their wine list is also top notch.
New in Aruba
Ever wanted to sleep in a luxury treehouse? At Aruba Ocean Villas, now you can! The latest creative stay to be added to their selection of South Pacific style overwater bungalows and chic beach villas is a split-level treehouse. The thatched palapa style abode has a living area, a deep soaking tub, and even a real piano inside so you can rock-a-bye your baby in the treetops all night long. This lovely little boutique resort in Savaneta now also offers guests complimentary reef-friendly sunscreen made by locally owned Aruba Aloe since the island has now legally banned sunscreen that contains coral-killing chemicals. See all their seriously special stay options here:
New in Cancun
Opening December 2019, the new Now Natura Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa will be the latest AMResorts’ installation to grace the shores of Mexico’s most popular winter escape region. When complete, this new family-friendly all-inclusive resort complex will offer 556 rooms on its own beach along with their signature “Unlimited Luxury ®” program that includes scads of fine food and drink at numerous outlets as well as 24/7 room service. The new resort will also have all kinds of cool things for families to enjoy like a lazy river, waterslides, and a ‘rollglider’ ride, plus their signature supervised Explorer’s Club and Core Zone Teen Club will keep the kids busy with all kinds of fab activities so parents can slip away to enjoy the signature Spa by Pevonia fashioned after a tropical grotto. Keep your eye on their website this fall as there’s bound to be lots of great opening special packages.
Award-winning travel journalist Sue Campbell is based in Montreal but makes it her business to be on top of everything cool, hot, and new under the sun throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. World Traveler welcomes her as a regular columnist.
Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @suectravel