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“Fantastic vacation”

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Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort Aruba
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
New York
Level Contributor
213 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 187 helpful votes
“Fantastic vacation”
Reviewed July 7, 2009

I just got back from the Bucuti. This hotel is fantastic. it is in the low rise section with a huge beach (only problem is that there is a 3 foot drop to the water- a 3 foot sand dune), lots of straw umbrellas to sit under. It is very quiet ( unlike the high rise section). Only a couple of older kids ( I have no clue why the parents would bring the kids here when this is supposed to be a romantic hotel). The room nice ( garden view). The only problem with the maid service was that they took all our dirty towels and forget to give us new ones. That was OK, as one phone call corrected it. We had a romantic dinner on the beach at Bucuti which was fantastic. Great food and atmosphere. It is very windy, but it cools you off. The pool is refreshing and the 'couches' around the pool are TOO comfortable ( you can easily fall asleep). It was half way between the airport and hight rise section. I would definitely go back to Aruba and ONLY stay at Bucuti!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank noelle1156
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Boston
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8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed July 7, 2009

THE ROOM:
I want to start this review by saying that we stayed in the Bucuti wing, and not the Tara Suites. So many of the reviews we read were by people who stayed in the Tara suites, so our one concern booking our trip was whether the Bucuti wing would be any less of an amazing experience than we read about in the Tara reviews. And I can now say that we had absolutely NO complaints! One suggestion is to ask for a room overlooking the interior grounds (I believe they are all the even-numbered rooms) because we actually had a small view of the ocean from our second floor room, and although the perimeter of the grounds are all very beautiful and enclosed with plants/vegetation, there may be a small chance of seeing the parking lot from an upper level room on the odd-numbered side of the Bucuti wing. The room was beautiful, modern and very comfortable. our favorite features were the electronic "do not disturb" buttons that you simply press instead of hanging a sign on the door nob, the very trendy sliding door to the bathroom and the color and style of all the furniture. The building itself is set back only slightly further from the beach than the Tara Suites. I think the walk to the beach was maybe extended by about 30 seconds or so from the Bucuti v. the Tara Suites. Everything is in extremely close proximity.
THE BEACH:
Can't say anything other than it's the most beautiful, quiet and breathtaking beach I have ever seen. We were concerned by a review we read that it was too rocky, and although it was a bit rocky getting in at certain parts of the beach, it never once stopped us from swimming in that amazing water. Also, if you take walks (and you should!) towards the high rise district, but without getting too far away from the hotel, you can find entry ways that are more rock-free. Again, it did not stop us from enjoying the water and beach at all.
SPECIAL OCCASIONS/SERVICE:
We were celebrating an anniversary and it was also our first significant time away from our young kids in over five years, so this trip was pretty important to us in the way of expectations. Bucuti did not disappoint. The concierge is fabulous and was in touch with us before our trip. They can make all your dining reservations. Definitely tell them if you are celebrating a special occasion as restaurants frequently brought us champagne upon arrival. And speaking of champagne, we told the hotel it was our anniversary and were greeted with a beautiful basket of goodies, including champagne, which we drank on the hotel's deck one night while watching the sunset (highly recommend doing that!!) and relaxing on their awesome double-bed loungers.

GROUNDS:
We loved nearly everything about the hotel grounds, including its intimate feel, the great trendy furniture, the deck area overlooking the ocean where we ate each morning. My husband was hesitant about the hotel before we booked because of the small pool, but it was actually a beautiful pool, perfectly situated so you can see the ocean from inside and great lounge furniture. That said, we only spent a couple of hours in it because the beach and sea was so gorgeous (and my husband is usually a pool person!)

FOOD AND DRINK: Ok, so our one big gripe, as you probably already read, is that the breakfast was pretty mediocre. Part of it is presentation, and part of it is just the quality of the food. However, I think the key at Bucuti is to find something you like and just go with it. For example, they make pancakes (fresh to order) which we both absolutely loved, so I ended up ordering those each morning and I was perfectly happy. And other than that, the view from the deck makes you forget you are eating mediocre breakfast food! Lunch food is ok at the Pirate's nest (shrimp wrap was really good and sandwiches are enormous, so definitely share!), but we definitely recommend eating dinner off property. It's so easy to get around, taxis are always available and the hotel can tell you exactly what it should cost to get anywhere. We highly recommend Yemanja, Chef's Tables and Mirandi for dinner. Also enjoyed the setting at Papiamento and Madame J.'s.
Happy hour with 1/2 priced drinks happens twice a day. They have beach side drink service (red umbrellas are provided that you can stake into the sand when you want service). However, the bar is incredibly close to the beach (everything is) and so if you are ordering frozen drinks and it is very hot out, I would recommend just getting it directly from the bar as drinks tended to melt quickly in the hot aruba weather!
OVERALL:
Our biggest recommendation about Bucuti is that you not get too fixated onthe little negative things people write in the reviews. People can say negative things about the Ritz and the Four Seasons, as well, and while there were little things here and there that were not perfect or "five star" our only memory of Bucuti is the unbelievable quiet, the gorgeous setting and peaceful feeling we felt our whole time there. If you are looking for a break from a hectic work life, a break from the demands of caring for young kids, or just some place to reconnect, you will not be disappointed. We can only hope that we are able to return in the near future!

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
9 Thank aairg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed July 4, 2009

Getting only one (maybe 2, if I'm lucky) opportunity to vacation a year, I research my destinations to death, and so far Tripadvisor has proven to be an invaluable resource. And they are on the money with Bucuti. If you want the condensed version of my review, here you go: if you are a couple, and you love the beach, book this place now. If you are traveling with kids or teenagers, don't bother (for their sake as well as the other patrons'). If you are a pool person, who wants drinking games, and loud music by the pool, this place is also not for you.

Now for the lengthy version:
We are a couple in our early forties, looking to vacation in the Caribbean. We chose Aruba because the weather is always great, we heard about the trade winds, and, of course, the great beaches. On that front, Aruba did not disappoint. As far as lodging, we wanted Oceanfront, relaxing, with a touch of luxury, without killing our bank account. And Bucuti fit the bill.

Rooms:
We wanted "oceanview". Since we booked late, we got a "superior" room (garden view). To get oceanview, you need to book either a "deluxe", a jr. suite (really 2 deluxe rooms attached), a Tara suite, or a penthouse suite. None were available when we booked, but I'm glad we did not book a deluxe, or a jr. suite. These rooms face the ocean, but you really have no view; the Pirates Nest blocks the view. Upon checkin, I inquired about a Tara suite, and we were upgraded (for a fee, or course), for 5 out of our 6 nights (switching rooms after nights 2 and 3). Switching rooms was going to be a pain, but when we got to our 4th floor suite, it was a none issue...what a view from the balcony! On our 3rd day, we left our luggage packed so they could move us. When we got back from sightseeing, we were informed there was a cancellation, and we would not have to switch rooms, we could remain in our current suite for the remainder of our stay, and that 3rd night upgrade was complimentary (thanks Prince and Antwoine!). The upgrade from Superior to Tara was 86$US per night...IMO, well worth it. That said, I found that the other amenities in staying in the Tara building to be nominal. The Tara concierge, though friendly and helpful, was not as knowledgeable as the regular concierge. The breakfast, though served indoors, was not as varied as the regular breakfast provided to other guests. We did not take advantage of the Tara spa, so I can't comment on that.
BTW: they also have 4 "bungalows" at ground level, that I did not see the appeal.

Food:
There is only one restaurant, The Pirate's Nest. You can eat outside, or inside, but inside it is still "open air". At night, outdoors it was not easy reading the menu, and if you order a "high maintenance" dish (ie., a whole fish, that involves fileting), it is difficult to manage in the dim lighting. An "American Breakfast" was included; eggs, bacon sausage, home fries, omelettes, pancakes, french toast, etc... I find the negative criticism on the breakfast funny...how much can you improve upon that, and conversely, how bad can they mess up scrambled eggs. They will make you other items to order (ie., boiled or fried eggs, french toast, omelettes). The coffee I will say, was terrible; it was one of those all purpose machines.
Lunch was adequate; nothing to rave about, but nothing that should swing your opinion about staying here. I will say this: DO THE ROMANTIC DINNER! We found out about this on our last day (evidently we missed a one-hour reception where we'd have gotten the lowdown on this) and managed a reservation (thanks to our friends Bill and Janet). For 120$US (including a bottle of wine) you can't go wrong...the service and the setting are worth the price. And the menu items seem to be prepared with a bit more care than the regular dinner menu items. A bit of advice: don't order the red wine. I gather the bottle you get is cheap, so if you are going to drink cheap wine, drink white...the chilling typically masks the quality, or lack there of.
BTW: The French Steakhouse, next door at the Manchebo was pretty good.

Pool:
Good news: if you want to hang by the pool, there are always spots available. Bad news: its a small pool, behind the restaurant, with no view of the ocean. And I'm not sure if there was service at the pool. I would not recommend Bucuti if you want pool activities. No pool bar, either.

Beach:
What can I say. It was the best. And if you are thinking Manchebo (next door) may be better, it isn't. The palapas at Manchebo were far from the shore, and due to erosion, we did not see many people in the water at the gorgeous tip on the Manchebo beach (soon as you go into the water, there is a 4ft drop). A word on the palapas: yes, people get up early to "reserve" a "front row". It happens a most beachfront resorts, so get over it. If its that important, get up a 7am and beat the rush. That said, we were generally up by 10 am, and managed to get a palapa, one or 2 palapas removed from the beach. BTW: the front row palapas are closer to one another, so we favored the ones behind those which were more spaced out.
NOTE: I read a review which complained about the allotment of beach towels; how some people got more than one per person. Well that was a Tara Suite perk...each room was entitled to 4 towels instead of 2.

Bar:
I am not sure if it was regarding the Bucuti Beach bar, or the Manchebo beach bar, but a reviewer complained about the amount of alcohol in their drinks. I can tell you this: we were not short changed in liquor at the bar. You can see them make the drinks, and they are pretty heavy handed. A few points of contention: drinks are in the 6.50$US (10 oz. beer) - 8.50$US (fancy frozen drink) range, so most people take advantage of happy hour (1/2 price drinks, 4-6pm, 9-10pm)). BUT, happy hour does not include beer and wine. Why? Next door, at Manchebo, happy hour (5-7pm) is inclusive of all drinks. Regardless, paying 3.50$US for a grey goose martini is a bargain. And, as is the case everywhere you go, tipping will get you better service. I added a tip (on top of the included tip...see tipping section below) and found that whenever my wife got a daquiri, midway through her drink, she would get "topped off" (not all bartenders did this, one in particular took very good care of us; I won't say his/her name in case they are not supposed to do that). One complaint: can they find some other music to play? All they played, day and night. was the satellite equivalent of "Lite FM" (Billy Joel, Bee Gees, Captain and Teneille !!!)...after a while it got tired.

Beach service:
Here's the deal: you get a broom stick with a red flag. When you want something to drink/eat at your palapa, you put up the red flag. If you want something ASAP, don't bother. Get up, take the short walk to the bar and place your order (they will take it to you if you don't want to wait). I found the attentiveness of this method haphazard. Its all subject to where the "beach waiter" is, whether he can see your flag, and schlepping along the sand to get your order, and schlepping back slowly to deliver your order takes time. I would recommend simply hanging out at the bar. You meet other folks, and it becomes a party.

Tipping:
I don't get it. Everywhere you go, there is a "15% service charge" added to your bill (not just Bucuti). So are you supposed to tip? Seems that you should if you want better service. Though that irked me, I just resolved to the mindset that whatever I paid did not include a tip, and that 10% was a great tip.

Staff:
Everyone was friendly, "Attitudes" were the exception and not the norm. We had an issue with our bill, and though it was somewhat a frustrating process (must wait till the supervisor gets in at 10am, yet my airport transfer was scheduled to pick us up at 10), it was resolved.

Final remarks: I would highly recommend this place. We spoke to a couple on their honeymoon, and a young couple who got married there (Good luck to Steven and Faith), and both raved about Bucuti. So it wasn't just us.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Matador
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chester, ny
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed June 26, 2009

Bucuti Beach resort is in the low rise section of Aruba. The beach is large and the palm umbrellas are spaced well apart for privacy. We were on our honeymoon and looked for a hotel that was quiet and had no children. We definitely chose well. The Tara Beach suites section was were our room was. All the rooms have a balcony that overlook the ocean. The room was a suite with a large sitting area and a king sized bed. The concierge service was outstanding. We used them for dinner reservations, car rental, booking tours and sails. They always were extremely helpful. If you are looking for a relaxing and quiet vacation with superb service then the Bucuti Beach Resort should be your first choice. What a gem!

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank looking2retire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
carmel, NY
1 review
Reviewed June 25, 2009

We just got back from our wedding/honeymoon at the Bucuti. We loved it there. The beach is absolutely amazing. The Wedding went well. I hope Aruba allows couples to have a legal wedding on the beach so that you don't have to go to the civil house. I wasn't impressed with the civil house. We had Nashette as our wedding coordinator. She got the necessary things done. I would've appreciated a little more communication on her part as to her whereabouts etc... in case I needed her, which did happen when there was a mix up with our pix and Nashette was unreachable. We used Paul van Driel as our photographer. He was a lot of fun and made the ceremony very enjoyable. He even sewed my dress! The strap kept popping off...The pix came out great! The romatic dinner we had on the beach during sunset. The food was very good. I especially enjoyed the shrimp dish. We stayed at the Tara suites. very nice. The bed a little hard for my liking but all in all good.
we will definitely go back.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank carolfleck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
washington, dc
1 review
Reviewed June 24, 2009

I just got back from a week honeymoon stay in the Tara Suites. I decided to stay here based on the reviews on this site and was not disappointed. I enjoyed how quiet and relaxing the beach was in front of the resort. We spent a couple days just relaxing on the beach and even took a nap underneath the palapa. There was always one available during our stay. Many people just seemed to relax on the beach the whole day as the constant breezes kept you comfortable. Breakfast in the Tara Suites was pretty good. I ate french toast and pancakes everyday (i love breakfast). It wasn't IHOP, but the food was pretty good. I found the staff very friendly and pleasant. One thing my wife didn't care for and I guess I could have done without as well, were a couple ladies out on the beach topless. Not sure if that's normal there, but you can just look the other way. There a few restaurants in walking distance, but we often went to the high rise area to eat and people watch. Our stay was as bit as nice as we thought it would be and more based on the reviews.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank nextexcursion
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
coastal27
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed June 19, 2009

We wanted to stay somewhere other than the big resort style hotels for our honeymoon. I searched TripAdvisor & found Bucuti. We absolutely LOVED our stay. It is a little far from the hustle & bustle, but this is what we wanted. It is quiet! No kids running around. Perfect for a romantic trip. We had an oceanfront room. Fantastic view. Excellent furnishings. Very "Green" hotel. Concerned w/the environment. Front desk extremely helpful in setting up bus tours, etc. Buses/shuttles available. Dunkin donuts w/in walking distance if you're a coffee lover. :)

  • Stayed October 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank coastal27
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 Top resorts Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#1 Luxury Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#1 Romantic 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 & 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

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