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.
- 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