An up close and personal look from our Local Guru in Curacao!
Name: Nicky Spijkerman
Occupation: Social Media Executive at Curacao Marriott Beach Resort & Emerald Casino
Birthplace: Oldenzaal, a small city in Holland
How long have you lived on Curacao: Since August 2008
Why did you move there?: I got to know this beautiful island when I did my third year internship on Curacao. Back in Holland I couldn’t get used to the cold weather anymore and I couldn’t wait to go back to Curacao!
What's your favorite thing about Curacao Marriott Beach Resort & Emerald Casino?: The stunning arrival experience! The view from our lobby overlooking our pool and Caribbean sea is absolutely breathtaking! So far I haven’t seen a hotel that beats our view.
Favorite restaurant on island?: Kome in Pietermaai. This description comes from their own website and it couldn’t be more true. The food is simple, but surprising and absolutely delicious!
"Kome features a chef driven menu where worldly cooking techniques lay the foundation for the creative freedom Chef David and Pastry Chef Susan live for in the kitchen. The chefs cook things that make them happy, like homemade sausage, tasty sandwiches, curry’s or stews; fried chicken, fresh bread, pie or something altogether surprising and new!"
Favorite bar/club on island?: I have several favorites! For example, Zanzibar’s happy hour on Saturday 5pm is great. With your feet in the sand enjoying the live music. Another great bar is Omundo, in Zuikertuintje, especially fun on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Bar 27 in Punda is also great! A lot of live music with different bands.
Favorite place to unwind in Curacao?: The beaches. Without a doubt. We have the most stunning bays, like Cas Abao Beach, St Cruz Beach, Playa Grote Knip and many more.
Where’s the best place to enjoy the outdoors?: Christoffel park. A climb up our Christoffel mountain is worth the trip!
What’s one thing that Curacao has to offer that you can't find anywhere else?: Our historical capital city, Willemstad, is truly one of a kind. The gorgeous St. Anna Bay divides Willemstad into two major districts — Punda on the east and Otrobanda on the west. Just steps from Punda and Otrobanda, you’ll find Scharloo and Pietermaai, home to a wealth of gorgeously restored mansions. These historical suburbs are listed along with Willemstad on the UNESCO World Heritage List, commemorating their unique value to the world's cultural and natural heritage.
Where is the gay area/ neighborhood?: We don’t have a gay neighborhood. Our island is not very big and very respectful and welcoming to everybody. Our philosophy is ‘Biba i laga Biba’ — Live and let Live
Best gay club/restaurant/attraction?: In Punda, The Gallery Lounge.
What three things do I have to pack to enjoy your island?:Sunscreen lotion, beach wear and sun glasses
Best time of year to visit?: All year around! Our Caribbean climate is always sunny.
I’m on island for 24 hours: What are 3 things I absolutely have to do?: Enjoy the best local cuisine in Plasa Bieuw (Punda), go snorkelling in the Blue Room and swim with the dolphins
What’s something people would be surprised to learn about Curacao?: Curaçao is a true global melting pot, mixing together more than fifty nationalities. And although Dutch is the official language, and English and Spanish are also widely spoken, many residents speak Papiamentu — a curious Creole blend of African, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, French, English, and Arawak Indian.