When you arrive at the Curacao International Airport, you’re greeted by not only the warm breeze and friendly smiles, but also with a sign that says ‘Bon Bini’ or Welcome in the local language called Papiamentu.
With luscious lagoons with more flamingoes than people, the architecturally-fabulous capital city of Willemstad, thirty-eight beaches and clear views of Venezuela from Mount Christoffel, the islands highest point at 1,237-feet, Curacao charms with a mélange of Caribbean flair and European panache. Although Dutch is the official language, a blend of Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, French, English and Arawak known as Papiamentu is the favored language of islanders. “We call Papiamentu ‘Tutti Frutti’ because it represents the wonderful mixture of cultures that make up Curaçao,” said Andre Rojer, marketing manager, Curaçao Tourist Board, “Visitors who speak other languages can easily learn a few words like ‘dushi’ which you’d use to grab the attention of your sweetie.”
What will also grab the attention of your sweetie is the “Curaçao WOW!” slew of deals and discounts valid through November 1st. More than twenty island hotels and resorts are courting lovebirds with one free night for every five booked as well as a gratis day of car rental and diving. Visit www.curacao.com/wow or call 1.800.328.7222.
It’s no surprise that the islands oldest hotel is also one of the most romantic for couples who covet a jazz set as they toast the sunset. Nicolaj ‘Nic’ Møller is not only the owner of the sixty-year old Avila Beach Hotel, but a musician with two CD’s to his credit. A Dutch Colonial mansion where Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands stays on official state visits, the family-run hotel with the legendary Blues Bar perched on the tip of a natural breakwater has a 1926 Rolls-Royce available for a glamorous spin after tying the knot. Check out the Avila Hotel
Love is always in the air at Angelica’s Kitchen. A pharmacist-turned-foodie, Angelique Schoop runs the popular cooking school in her century-old childhood house in Otrobanda where chef wannabees prepare a five-course meal from plantain soup to pumpkin pancakes drizzled with Curacao liqueur. “Only 10% of the folks who enroll in the classes can actually cook,” she says scurrying about the kitchen painted in sea greens and blues, “the rest just like to eat and learn.” Visit www.angelicas-kitchen.com
For tourism information – Visit www.curacao.com
Speaking Papiamento – A Primers Dictionary
|bon dia||good day (before noon)|
|bon tardi||good afternoon|
|bon nochi||good evening; good night|
|di nada||you are welcome|
|mi number di telefon ta …||my phone number is …|
|bél mi||call me|
|kon ta bai ku bo||How are you?|
|kon ta ku bida||How is life?|
|hopi bon||very good|