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“Okay Resort; Trip Advisor Reviews Misleading”

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Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort Aruba
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Manchester, New Hampshire
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Okay Resort; Trip Advisor Reviews Misleading”
Reviewed October 3, 2012

My wife and I traveled to Aruba this past September to celebrate our wedding anniversary and while the resort wasn't "horrible", all the positive reviews are misleading to prospective travelers. This is not an insult to the resort or the people who work there, but by no means should they have the #1 ranking on TA. It's actually fairly bizarre, to be honest.

To start, the resort is obviously located in the 'low rise' section of the island. This part of the island unquestionably has the best beach; Eagle beach is seriously remarkable. Those reviews are in fact accurate. It's also true that people hold chairs with their towels and then don't show up for hours on end, so be prepared to beat people to the punch. Unfortunate, but true. Pool is fine; good area to read as it's less crowded and their are better lounges. The gym is located in a hut outside; while extremely humid/hot, I guess we were just happy they had a gym at all, so can't really complain about that.

The lodging is broken up into two parts; the Bucuti and the Tara Suites. We stayed in the Bucuti and despite that we were only two people, they gave us a room with two Queen beds. When we asked for a room with a single King bed, we never received a response and got the run around from the front desk. Bizarre. Room was old, had stains on the floor and was very ordinary. We've traveled a fair amount and have never been more disappointed in our lodging. Supposedly the Tara Suites is the "newer" section and is better, so aim to stay there if you're going to be staying here.

The on-site restaurant ("Pirates Nest") is an overpriced eye sore that needs to be replaced. The food is beyond average, yet the prices are very costly, which again, isn't surprising for Aruba. You're much better off walking to Pizza Bob's/Subway for lunch rather than eating here. For dinner, there are so many good restaurants on the island, you'd really be doing yourself a disservice by eating here. The one bar that abuts the restaurant is okay; servers were nice, but slow. They offer half off drinks for "Happy Hour" but that doesn't include beer or spirits, but just the mixed frozen drinks they make which, as you surely can guess, aren't very good. The free breakfast is actually okay, but becomes boring after the first few days. You can eat breakfast in the Tara Suites Lobby or the Pirates Nest; go to the Tara Suites Lobby. Much cooler and quieter.

The concierge service is as advertised; they will make all your dinner/excursion reservations with a smile. Very nice people. The front desk staff, as indicated above, don't really follow up or pretend to care about you. Generally, I don't get caught up in check-in service, etc., but when you contact them 3 different times and are ignored, it just doesn't leave a good taste in your mouth. I think they were training new staff while we were there, in fairness to them, but still no excuse.

We ate out at Madame Jeanettes, The Screaming Eagle, Gianni's, and Papamiento. Also, Pizza Bob's is great; eat there one night and save money. All fantastic restaurants that are easy to get to by cab. You can pretty much get a cab at all times to go anywhere and they are all very safe/easy. Bring some cash b/c the cabs can add up if you leave the resort a lot at night, which you probably should. There just isn't anything to do really on site; you can walk over to the Alhambra Casino, but it offers pretty much nothing in the way of entertainment.

I'd probably advise prospective travelers to stay in the high rise section if they are heading to Aruba. Yes, it's more crowded, but it's also closer to everything you want to be around. I guess it ultimately comes down to what your preference is.

The island of Aruba is really great and geared toward tourists; we'll definitely be back, just not at this resort, unfortunately.

Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
9 Thank Aruba03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed October 3, 2012

from the moment we steped into Bucuti as far as my wife and i was concerned the best holiday experiance we have to date started from greeting to the moment we left for home wonderful roomand the best of all the ever so friendly caring staff this is a happy island and a happy crew loved talking to all of them towel ladies the gardener who is so proud of his garden and the waiting staff are so happy please never change. BUCUTI is as title says 100% in every way cant wait to return
special thanks for sorting out for me to see a doctor in local town thanks once again

Room Tip: we were on first floor known as car park side still looks out onto gardens and wildlife plenty to se...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank richard0625
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Luxembourg
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed October 3, 2012

We were in Aruba in Sept 2012 and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was our first Caribbean trip and we were not disappointed. We loved that this was a couples only (no kids) resort which meant the pool area and beach area were calm and people respected each others privacy and peacefulness. In addition its one of the main hot spots for weddings and honeymooners so be prepared to be surrounded by young couples in love! Not a place for people having domestic issues :-)
The beaches are to die for and the sea is warm and clear.
The staff are extremely service orientated and friendly and we could not fault the concierge or reception team at all.
This really is a fantastic place to go on holiday.
Only one or two small points - the Bucuti wing as it's the older building it has air conditioning but the rooms also require additional de-humidifiers and air purifiers which means there is a lot of noise in the room. We tended to turn off the air purifier and de-humidifier at night in order to just have the normal air con running... This is something that when the rooms are upgraded should definitely be reviewed / improved.
The bathrooms were clean but a bit old fashioned they definitely need an upgrade (ie walk in shower instead of bath tub!) but in general the normal rooms are spacious and the beds quite comfortable.
We especially loved the outside gym but are happy to know they are as we speak building a new air conditioned gym and new exclusive restaurant on the resort which will be opened (rest.) as of Jan 2013. We have been quite picky in our feedback but will definitely be going back. It was fantastic and well worth the travel from Europe

Room Tip: The TARA Suite is the new block with Ocean view - so new rooms and great view for all rooms, these r...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TAWN01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lausanne, Switzerland
Level 4 Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed October 3, 2012

Great place for a honeymoon or a romantic vacation on the beach. Great beach, quite and relaxing, with no kids and seats far apart from each other. The food from the restaurant was great and it was very pleasant to have dinner outside a few steps from the beach and the sea. The rooms were nice and big, the bed was comfortable, the service very good in general, with a couple of exceptions.
On the negative side, we had the impression that the service was more friendly with old American couples (good tippers, I imagine) while almost bothered by the young ones (mostly Italian and mostly speaking poor English). On top of that we had a unpleasant experience one evening with the restaurant: we reserved a table for dinner and when we arrived our reservation was not considered (we were told by the mitre d' that if you reserve after 6pm they can not check it) and we were asked to wait almost 20 minutes, even though there was a table for two available (evidently for someone more important than us).
I will still strongly recommend both the restaurant and the hotel, just do not expect too much from all the members of the staff.

Room Tip: We had rooms with garden view, at the ground floor of the Bucuti wing. We never felt the need for oc...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank oliviero80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ontario
Level 6 Contributor
159 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed October 2, 2012

My husband and I got married in August, and I really wanted to go on our honeymoon immediately after the wedding. We had his friend, who is an avid traveler, advise us of where to go; he let us know that it was hurricane season in the Caribbean so there were only a few islands we can select from. As well, he suggested we stay within the same time zone as we were only going for 2 weeks, just to decrease the amount of jetlag we would go through. We chose Aruba and Bucuti seeing that it was rated the #1 resort, it was all adult, it had beautiful beachfront and Aruba seemed to be very easy to navigate for foreigners.
As soon as we arrived to the driveway, we were greeted by the desk staff who brought in our luggage, welcomed us with champagne, a cold towel (and boy is it hot over there), water bottles and got us checked in. We then were shown our room (we got a corner Tara Suite which had a beautiful view) and got a tour of it as well. As we were on our honeymoon, we got free champagne, flutes, and snacks as welcome gift. The staff are exceptional in service, wherever they are, and always greeting us when we pass by. There was never an issue at breakfast service, room service, or anything else.
The beach is absolutely breathtaking; it is definitely advantageous for the resort to be adults only because the beach area is quiet. There was never an issue getting loungers; we managed to get ones very close to the water every time, if not the first row, almost every beach day. They make an effort to keep the sand clean of sea vegetation. The pool was great too; they don't use chlorine to keep the pool clean, so when you open your eyes underwater, it actually doesn't sting! The hotel is definitely advantageous for being in the low rise area because it's less busy and the water is crystal clear (you can see fish swimming around your legs and biting your toes). Easy towel exchange service. The beach is a lot nicer than the high rise area, which we visited and found it to be extremely crowded, all the palapas taken, and the water so murky that I could not see the bottom.
Breakfast had a lot of variety, but after staying for 2 weeks, it did get repetitive. The only suggestion I would have about the breakfast is to get some meats that were lower on the sodium; I found the sausages, bacon, and the smoked salmon EXTREMELY salty, to a point where I was nauseated after the meal. But of course, I never learn so I kept on eating the smoked salmon.
If you have time, check out their bar (the Sandbar), especially during happy hour. They make pretty good drinks, and happy hour is half price (get a frozen cocktail for about 3.50).
Booking our excursions was a breeze; my husband planned all our excursions and went on Tripadvisor to see what the best restaurants were; we made a list of the ones we wanted to go to, and did an excel sheet with excursions and dinner plans after; we then handed it to the Concierge Chantal and she booked everything for us for the two weeks. Easy!
I would definitely recommend the Bucuti exclusive sweetheart sunset cruise; we met a lot of newlywed couples on it and had a blast (it's a open bar booze cruise with appetizers on a catamaran, how can you say no to that). Great sunset, and met some great people that we ended up socializing and going out with during our stay.
There's free wifi, and free access to a computer and printer if you need to print off boarding passes or do some research. During our stay, there were a few hiccups with equipment, such as the elevators, the internet service, the locking system; but it didn't put a damper to our stay.
We also took advantage of the spa, seeing we had some money left in our budget. They have a great welcome package deal on a massage and facial, so both my husband and I went. The massage was great; the facial, well my poor husband who has never experienced one was a little weirded out by it but I can confirm it was a great facial.
The facilities were extremely clean, and getting room service was possible pretty much any time of the day. Their gym was outdoor, which made working out really hard for me because I hate working in a really hot environment, but I heard they are building an indoor gym, which will be a great asset. They have free books as well, but when I checked, most of them were in Dutch so I couldn't take advantage of them.
Overall, our stay was fantastic. Yes, it is pricier than most hotels in Aruba, it being not all inclusive, but I would definitely recommend it, especially if you're not bringing children, are coming for a honeymoon, and looking for a quiet beach. Would I come back? Definitely. I'm officially a convert for Bucuti!

Room Tip: I would definitely recommend the Tara Beach Suites / Penthouses; the building is a newer, and the ro...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Joanie T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level 6 Contributor
62 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed October 2, 2012

My husband and I stayed in a Tara Suite for our honeymoon in Aruba. Overall, the stay was nice and we enjoyed the hotel, but found it to be somewhat of a disappointment given the high expectations and #1 TripAdvisor ranking. In fact, several of the other honeymooners we met at the hotel also had quite a few complaints, yet none of them showed up on TripAdvisor.

First, the pros: The room was excellent - nice comfortable bed, sitting area, and bathroom. We were on the first floor, so we could exit our room right onto the beach. The service was quite good - the concierge was able to help us book a few excursions, provided restaurant recommendations and helped us make reservations. The free breakfast was good. The sand and the water at Eagle Beach are immaculate and the area is very quiet and relaxing. We enjoyed our "dinner on the beach" on our last night.

Now the cons: The maids came at the oddest hours and almost always when we were in the room. We should have put the "do not disturb" sign on the door, but we figured they wouldn't come at 9 am either way - which they did and woke us up by barging into the room when we didn't race to the door when they knocked. We were unable to adjust our AC to below 74 degrees, so the room was on the warm side. The privacy in the rooms on the first floor is not great as people can walk past your patio freely directly in front of your room and window. In fact, when the lawnmower was working, we could not have our blinds open at all. The food at the restaurant was only ok and super overpriced, but this is not unusual for Aruba. The chairs on the beach were nice, but we never woke up early enough to snag a set that close to the water. There isn't much to do in the area at night without taking a cab to the high rise district, but that's usually not a problem for honeymooners. Finally, I would highly advise couples to avoid the sunset cruise offered on Wednesday nights for hotel guests only. First of all, we were advised to meet in the hotel lobby 15 minute before the scheduled pick up time of 6 pm... but the bus did not arrive until around 6:30. I imagined a romantic catamaran ride with just a few other couples. The catamaran provided is actually quite small and we were smashed onto it like sardines with the 13 other couples on board. Flowing drinks were provided, but the snacks were stale Chex Mix, some cheese and olives, and tiny skewers of fruit. To make matters worse, the driver of the catamaran was talking to a neighboring sunset cruise catamaran and we kept sailing next to them so that the other catamaran was actually blocking our view of the sunset for half of the trip. The entire experience was less than romantic, especially for the price. I would definitely recommend that you skip this.

Overall, our experience was pleasant but we were still quite disappointed given the high expectations and the fact that we paid well more than we would have another similar establishment.

Room Tip: Ask for a room on a higher floor in the Tara Suites for more privacy, although the floor level rooms...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank gnahzmap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 2, 2012

We stayed here for our honeymoon and loved it! The staff was extremely friendly and helpful; we were greeted with champagne when we arrived. Our room in the Tara Suites had an amazing view of the beautiful beach. The whole atmosphere was very peaceful and relaxing. We highly recommend it!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Katie W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort Aruba

Property: Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort Aruba
Address: L.G. Smith Boulevard 55 B, Palm - Eagle Beach, Aruba
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Aruba > Palm - Eagle Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#1 Romantic Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#2 Family Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#4 Business Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort Aruba 4*
Number of rooms: 104
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This adults-only, romantic resort, located on Aruba's spacious and beautiful Eagle Beach, is award-winning and owner-operated. The 4-star and 4-diamond resort receives high satisfaction ratings and recognition that includes #1 Hotel for Romance in the Caribbean 2017, Top 3 Beach Destinations in the World, Conde Nast Gold List, and Green Globe High Achievement Award. Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort is eco-friendly and offers a tranquil boutique experience with friendly service. The intimate atmosphere is exclusive and relaxing to couples seeking tranquility and romantic experiences. No groups and no all-inclusive packages available. Two top restaurants available on property and romantic beach dining. Breakfast is free daily.Resort's website offers you the Best Available Rate including all taxes and fees, free breakfast and free WiFi. (Not all-inclusive) ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bucuti And Tara Beach Resorts Aruba
Bucuti & Tara Beach Resorts Aruba Hotel Palm/Eagle Beach
Bucuti Beach Hotel
Golden Tulip Palm Eagle Beach
Golden Tulip Oranjestad
Aruba Bucuti Resort
Bucuti Beach Resort Aruba
Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort Aruba Palm - Eagle Beach

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