My wife and I stayed in the Tara Penthouse Suite (basically a larger version of the Tara Suites with a large balcony and on the top floor) from March 29-April5 and we loved our stay there. The room was incredibly spacious and the view from the top floor was amazing. We had the One Happy Honeymoon package which included a snorkel or sunset sail from Red Sail Sports, a bottle of champagne waiting in your room upon arrival, and the Romantic Dinner at the Pirate's Nest. Overall, the package was a good deal and Bucuti was an amazing place!
Be warned though: Bucuti is VERY picky about their towels. For example, they give you a towel card when you check in. You present the towel card to the Towel Hut justoutside the Sand Bar and they give you towels in exchange for it. This is very convenient as you never have to worry about taking towels to the beach, however, if you lose the card, you will be charged $15 for a replacement. In addition, we hanging out in the main lobby area and one of the front desk employees and some guests who were attempting to check out got into a heated argument over a missing towel in the room, and Bucuti was going to charge them $15 for it, etc...so be careful.
[The Tara Suites]
The big bonus with the Tara suites is that you have your own reception desk and your own group of activities coordinators. The activities coordinators basically can help you book anything from snorkel excursions to dinners, and can call cabs for you, etc...The regular activities desk, which is available to all Bucuti customers is open until 4p.m. (maybe 5, can't quite remember). However, the Tara desk is open much later (I think they close at either 6 or 7) so you can chill on the beach a while longer and still get back to the desk to book activities for the next day.
The spa was overpriced and even my wife didn't enjoy it that much.
[The Pirate's Nest]
BEWARE of happy hour. Only a selection of mixed cocktails are half off, and the beers are all full price. So make sure you ask before you order. In addition, forget trying to find a seat after 5p.m. (the happy hour runs from 4-6, and 9-10). The bar gets packed real quick, so if you want to get some cheap cocktails get there early. The service on the beach is pretty efficient: put up the red flag, guy takes your order, brings food in about 15 minutes, and you can charge it all to your room. The wings are ok, and the other tapas aren't bad if you're real hungry.
We had a dinner included in our honeymoon package at the Pirate's Nest, and while the setting was very romantic, the food was pretty crappy. They set a nice table for you with candelights right out on the beach, and then proceed to bring you five courses of crap.
[Things to do in Aruba]
If you get a chance, I'd HIGHLY recommend booking a tour with Gimini Bus Tours, and ask for Frank. We spent $60 on this trip and it was the best $60 we spent the entire week. Another family had booked the same day as us, but they cancelled last minute, but Gimini tours never cancels their tours, even if there is only one customer. So my wife and I had a private tour around the island for $60! He took us around to the Lighthouse, the North Coast, Natural Bridge, the church, and other places of interest. We then headed to Rodger's Beach for a DELICIOUS lunch at Coco Beach. We thought that Rodger's and Baby Beach were the best beaches on the Island simply for the view. A cool mix of blues and greens. Then we ended the tour by snorkeling at Baby Beach for about 45 minutes. So it was about a 5 hour tour for $60 and it was a private tour (and by the bus size, they can really only book 3 couples max). A private tour with a taxi is $0/hour and doesn't include food or snorkeling equipment. Frank even gave us some free T-Shirts, and he was incredibly knowledgeable about the island.
Flying Fishbone is definately an overrated restaurant. Simply for the fact that a bus does not go out there and the taxi ride is $26 each way from Bucuti. So that factored in with the cost of the meal, just didn't seem worth it for the food we got.
El Gaucho was definately the best meal on the island that we had. Although the atmosphere can be quite loud, the food is great and the guitar players are awesome! They go around to each table and you can request any song you'd like to hear. The 28oz porterhouse had a great flavor, but it was mostly fat and bone. I'd stick with the tenderloin or the Gaucho steak. The argentine grill is HUGE too!
We thought Tango would be a cool restaurant, since they have live tango dancing performaces. However, it was basically a lesser imitation of El Gaucho in terms of food, and the tango dancing is basically 2 people who dance to 2 songs every hour. They have "live" music for outdoor dining, but all that is is some guy singing along to karaoke tracks. HILARIOUS! But romantic, no.
If you're on your honeymoon, scope out Marandi, it's right near the airport and is located behind Havana. It's a little known restaurant and they don't advertise much, but the view and setting there is ABSOLUTELY gorgeous! My wife also bought a pair of their pants for $50, and so did a number of other women. =)
Le Petit Cafe had some real good food.
The grocery store isn't too far from Bucuti (about a 1 mile walk), so we walked there and got a taxi ride back for $6 to haul our groceries. Since the Tara Suites have a full kitchen with all the utensils you'll need, this was a cheap way for us to eat lunch throughout our trip.
Crystal Casino seemed to be the place where people were winning the most money. We lost a fair deal at Alhambra. But as with most casino's, they tend to only be available for deposits, not withdrawals. =) So don't expect too much.
Make sure you confirm the cost of the taxi with the driver before going in. The taxi rates are SET, i.e., there is a price list from Bucuti to pretty much any destination on the island. However, some taxi drivers will try to add a dollar or two, so be sure to get a taxi fare card from the activities desk. From the airport to Bucuti is $17. Don't pay anymore. On Sundays' and holidays and after midnight on any day, there is a $3 surcharge for any cab.
The L10 is the main bus you will need. It takes you to Oranjestaad, and to the high rise areas. A round trip ticket is $2, and one way is $1.15. If you go into Oranjestaad, the bus will stop at the bus terminal and you can pretty much walk to anywhere you need to go. Then come back to the bus terminal and catch a bus back to Bucuti. The buses generally come every 15-20 minutes.
[All in all]
Probably the best place to stay on the island. The staff isn't incredibly responsive (if you need something, they will usually send it with housekeeping later in the day or the following day) but they're real friendly and accomodating. The beach is by far the quietest on the Island and the views are awesome.
Check in is at 3p.m. In Aruba, you clear customs before you leave, so they recommend you get to the airport 3 hours ahead of your scheduled flight. Checkout is by noon, so make sure you factor those in as you book your flights.
- 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 & 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 Resort Aruba Palm - Eagle Beach