Sophisticated Living Indianapolis

JAN-FEB 2018

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NO SHELL UNTUR NED Exploring all that the island of Curaçao has to offer 60 Written by Caylee Matthews Curaçao rewards the curious. Located in the Dutch Antilles, it is the largest and most rugged of the 'ABC islands' (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao). Some of its gems, such as the famed UNESCO- protected, pastel-hued colonial buildings that line the waterfront in its capital city of Willemstad, are easy to come by. Discovering others is a bit like hunting for treasure in an off-the-beaten-path antique store. If you are willing to put in the effort, there are scores of interesting personalities and places to be found. Tucked rather nondescript along a residential street just a five-minute drive from Willemstad, Baoase, the island's only five-star resort, fits the theme of finding the extraordinary in the unexpected. Originally built by Ad Van Der Valk as a show of affection for his wife Bibi Rutten (the name 'Baoase' is a Dutch play on words to mean 'B and A's oasis'), the couple decided relatively quickly that the site was too special to be limited to a few get-togethers for family and friends throughout the year. They increased the number of guest accommodations to 23 luxury suites and villas and built an island to serve as a surf break, which created a tranquil private lagoon for swimming. Jesse Zahn-Van der Valk, Ad's daughter who now serves as Baoase's co-general manager with her husband Jesse, said she and her siblings were initially skeptical of their father's plans. "We called him the 'cowboy of the Caribbean' and thought he'd be better off throwing money into the ocean," she said with a laugh. Possessing an ideal blend of genuine warmth with a perfectionist's eye, Jesse has her sights squarely focused on catapulting Baoase into the ranks of the world's top beachfront resorts. ere is a discernable Balinese influence throughout the entirety of the property. Several guest rooms are oriented around a meandering freeform infinity pool; the remainder are free-standing oceanfront villas with private plunge pools. e lushly landscaped grounds are dotted with Asian art. Our beachfront pool suite presented an eclectic mix of old-meets-new: tall carved Balinese painted panels and doors with a lovely patina adorning the walls near the entry and bathroom were intriguingly juxtaposed with electric blue LED accent lighting on the ceiling above the bed. Both the shower and stone soaking tub were located in a walled courtyard; a covered patio with dining table and wet bar adjacent to the private plunge pool was an ideal site for a romantic multicourse hot stone dinner one evening. Beachfront pool suite at Baoase

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