My husband and I stayed at Bucuti the last week in March for our honeymoon. Friends of friends told us it was the best place to stay on the island, and we had heard such great things about the island from people who return to Aruba year after year so we went for it.
As most reviews noted, the beach is the best because it is not crowded. All the other hotels, both on Eagle Beach and the high-rise section (Palm Beach) had these blue plastic lounge chairs lined up inches apart. At Bucuti, every couple had their own little spot (umbrella, two chairs, table) and were at least 10 feet from the next loungers. To me, that is a big deal and worth a lot. The beach is beautiful, the water is gorgeous - I've read reviews where people said it was a little rough, but I know what rough ocean is and the waves were a piece of cake. The pool was small, but I thought it was super tranquil. I do think it would be nice if the hot tub was actually hot!
I read many complaints about people reserving oceanfront loungers. I noticed this as well and it pissed me off. I had my husband get up at 7 am to reserve the oceanfront loungers one morning and they were already ALL taken. The next morning I got up at 5 am and periodically checked to see when people were reserving chairs. At around 6:30 am, you see GROWN MEN scurrying onto the beach with towels and tying them around the loungers closest to the ocean. It was kind of ridiculous. Regardless, I decided to reserve a spot because I felt like I was being taken advantage of for only wanting to get out of bed at 9 am. So I got a spot on the ocean, went back to bed, and, when I finally went out to claim my spot later in the day, I felt horrible about it. After a few hours on the ocean I realized that I actually liked it better farther back on the beach - the lounge chairs are farther apart and there are more palm trees. Anyway, it's like some big weird game that goes on, meanwhile there are plenty of lovely spots elsewhere.
There have been a lot of complaints about the restaurant. Sure, the breakfast buffet is a little sickly (they need to get rid of those greasy plastic containers covering the fruits, meats, and cheeses), but if you get a fresh omelette or eat the french toast, you're fine. My husband and I skipped breakfast most days. As for lunch, I do think the food could be better. The Ranchero wrap was very bland and the Cuban sandwich was more like a bacon sandwich. My husband did not love the burger. Onion rings, fries, and quesadillas were all good. Hopefully when they redo the restaurant they also give the lunch menu a refresh. Frozen drinks were super yummy but no alcohol. My husband and I ended up buying wine and beer from the gift shop or the convenience store by the Alhambra casino. We would drink at our beach loungers and then "pre-game" on our balcony before dinner.
I thought the room was really nice! I was a little annoyed that we were given probably the crappiest room in the whole place (it was closest to the front of the hotel and faced other hotels, not really a "garden" view) - I mean, we were on our honeymoon! Also, at the same time we checked in, another couple with their (grown) daughter were checking in and I overheard the concierge upgrade them to a higher room category. At first I thought that they were returning guests, but then I heard them say something like "on our first stay here!". It's just kind of stinks to be on your honeymoon and paying a lot of $$ and hear other people getting upgraded for no reason. Probably makes me a little bit of a brat, but whatever! Getting back to the interior of our Superior room, I thought it was spacious, towels were nice, bed was okay. The TVs could use an upgrade - no HD for over $400/night?
As for the staff, the concierges were all great. Super helpful. There was one sever on the beach who was AWESOME - he came running every time you stuck that red flag in the sand! The other restaurant and bar staff were fine. I like that they had a little snack during "happy hour," but I didn't really notice any drink specials - that might be my fault though, my husband and I had our own drink system going on! We ate dinner at the restaurant one night - we did one of the "romantic dinners" in the little pavilions and I thought it was yummy.
A few other comments: my husband used the gym and loved it. I liked the free wifi everywhere, although it kicks you off fairly frequently. Easy to get a cab to go anywhere; we went to Palm Beach a couple times. We ate at Pizza Bobs like five times - I thought it was super delicious and just too easy to pass up.
Overall, I had a great time. The reason you stay at Bucuti is for the uncrowded beach and the no-kids policy - while wading in the water outside a different hotel during a walk, a kid threw a shovel at my foot and I remembered why I chose Bucuti. Would I return? I want to explore other Caribbean islands before I return to Aruba, but I can't imagine dealing with the crowds at the high rises unless I had kids...we'll see!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This adults-only, romantic resort is award-winning and owner-operated. Recognitions include Top 3 Beach Destinations in the World, Conde Nast Gold List, Top 10 Romantic Retreats in the Caribbean, Green Globe High Achievement Award, and TripAdvisor's 2013 Certificate of Excellence. Bucuti & Tara Beach Resorts is eco-friendly and offers a tranquil boutique experience with friendly service. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Bucuti & Tara Beach Resorts Aruba Hotel Palm/Eagle Beach
- Bucuti And Tara Beach Resorts Aruba
- Bucuti Beach Hotel
- Golden Tulip Palm Eagle Beach
- Golden Tulip Oranjestad
- Aruba Bucuti Resort
- Bucuti Beach Resort Aruba
- Bucuti & Tara Beach Resorts Aruba Palm - Eagle Beach