Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort Aruba
11 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
We chose this hotel as we wanted a quiet...
"We chose this hotel as we wanted a quiet location for our honeymoon.
It was perfect, nice and quiet, no tacky evening entertainment, just two happy hours each day and during our 2 week stay there was only one family - it is mostly couples that stay here and as such is not really designed for kids.
There is only one bar, right on the beach and the restaurant is situated on the beach too. The food and choice is very good, and the portions large.
We pre-booked the dine-around programme which allowed us to eat three course meals at the hotel or various restaurants around the island, which was great for variety and good value if you have a huge appetite.
We would recommend Le Dome Restaurant as especially good.
There is not that much to see on Aruba, inland is mainly cactus with a few sights to see, and downtown is full of restaurants, casinos and jewellery stores -designed to attract the many American tourists. However, the main draw to this island is the snorkelling, diving and watersports.
The sea is warm and our hotel certainly has the best position on Eagle Beach. Clean beach towels are provided daily and there was always free loungers and shade available (although July is in the quiet season).
The staff in the hotel are lovely, very friendly and happy to help. They especially treat honeymooners well, with a special discount package available around the island.
The rooms are very clean, the facilities are very good although the bathrooms need to be updated.
We paid a lot more for a deluxe room; unfortunately this was identical to every other room, except we were on the ground floor with a sea view, which was slightly blocked by palm trees.
The sea view was better in the standard rooms on the upper floors for a much cheaper price! However, there is a new building in this hotel which has very modern, well designed rooms and better sea views!
A lot of the other hotels in Aruba are high rise, and quite ugly pre-fabricated concrete structures.
So overall we thought Bucuti Beach Resort was the best and we would recommend Aruba to someone looking for a relaxing time, a clean white sand beach, good food and a splash around in a lovely clean warm sea."
- Travel date: Sat 20th of January 2007
BEYOND PARADISE !!!!!!!!
"This was the most incredible place we have ever experienced. After doing a lot of research about the island and places to stay and see we decided to stay at the Bucuti. We were looking for a place that could offer convenience but yet away from the hussle of the high rises. The Bucuti was exactly the place! There were very few children and most of the tourist were not from the U.S. which gave a more cultural feeling. The Bucuti beach was beautiful, quiet and relaxing. There were palm trees and huge shaded umbrellas with enough space between them to ensure privacy. Some of the ladies chose to lay out and swim topless including myself and no one made a big issue over it .Like I said this place is more cultural and not really for children not accustomed to certain things. If you are looking for the typical tourist place packed with people and children......go to the high rise area. The Bucuti Staff was so pleasant and friendly. Most of them could speak 4 to 7 languages including English and went out of there way to accomodate us. We had a standard room with basic amenities which was kept clean and tidy. There are only 63 standard rooms at the Bucuti. Now they have the Tara Suites that face the ocean and are very luxurious. It really depends on how much you want to spend for a room.We plan on upgrading on our return.The Pirates Nest (Bucuti Restaraunt) was OK for lunch but for dinner we would recommend walking to some of the other places close by. Le Dome was the best place around for elegant dining and next door was French Steak House that was very good also.
We chose to stay away from the tourist trap guided tours that were over priced. We rented a jeep for 4 days and went on our own adventure around the island.The natural bridge and the natural pool was breath taking however getting to the natural pool was beyond any 4 wheeling experience we have EVER had! A true adventure in it self!! Be sure to take the tennis shoes and snorkel gear! As a matter of fact make sure you take your snorkel gear everywhere. Baby Beach was also a great snorkeling location. Don't forget the underwater camera!!There are a lot of secluded beach areas you can travel to if your wanting to get a little frisky with your mate. Pack a small cooler and have some FUN!!!
We cannot say enough about Aruba and I could go on and on about its beauty and tranquility.We cannot wait to go back and the next trip will be for 2 weeks instead of 1 week.
It really did pay off to do the homework and research before the trip.We knew what to expect. Aruba,The Bucuti, the adventure, was more the we could have ever dreamed........."
- Travel date: Wed 18th of August 2004
"My husband and I spent 6 nights (7/26-8/1) in the Tara Suites at the Bucuti Resort. The room, view, and location were all perfect. The beach is by far the best on the island, spacious, quiet, and beautiful.
In terms of transportation, we mostly used the bus service, which was only $2 round trip per person. The second day we took the bus to the large grocery store and stocked up on breakfast/lunch food, milk, water, and beer. This saved us a lot of money and allowed us to have lunch on the beach everday. We only ventured out one morning for breakfast, at the Dutch Pancake House in Seaport Mall. I highly recommend going there!
For dinner, we had the most wonderfuli dinner up by the California Lighthouse at La Trattoria! The view is incredible and we saw the most amazing sunset we had ever seen. The sky turned pink, orange and purple than night. Everyone was up taking pictures. The Bucuti did not recommend this place, I guess there is better italian food on the island, but we thought the food was good, but the view made it the best dinner of the week. We also ate at El Gaucho, The Pirates Nest, Salt & Pepper, Carlos & Charlies....everything was great. The last night, we had reservations for the Flying Fishbone, but at the last minute decided to get food from the Sand Bar and drink a bottle of wine on the lounge chairs. It was perfect.
The island is full of things to do, but we mostly took time to relax. The sun is incredibly hot, but we never had a problem getting chairs in the shade at the beach. Wear sunscreen! We wore 45spf almost all week and still got tan. We saw many burnt people and we did not want to be one of those people!
We did go on a sunset cruise and snorkeling trip with De Palm tours and had lots of fun. We rented a Jimmy one day and toured the island. The other side is worth seeing, but after half a day, we were ready to go back and relax at the beach.
We were so sad to leave Aruba. The people were very friendly. We were always grateful of the service we received and maybe that is why we had such good service. We will be back and would stay nowhere but the Bucuti. If you go there, you won't be disappointed!
Just a side note, I did notice a few instances when some Americans were being very rude. As an American, I was very embarrassed by a certain encounter that I saw: I was standing in line at the gift shop when I heard a man from LA telling a dutch woman that "all Americans know that the world hates us, and ya know what, we just don't care!" I was mortified by this! Please- Speak for yourself, not for the whole country."
- Travel date: Mon 2nd of August 2004
Best vacation Ever!
"My husband and I stayed at the Bucuti from July 6-13th. We received champagne when checking in and free drinks at the bar (because we had to wait a few minutes for our room). When we went to our room there was a balloon attached to a gift bag filled with champagne, cheese and crackers, as we were celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. The Tara Wing Suites are just beautiful and have a gorgeous view of the beach! There are many wonderful restaurants in Aruba. The French Steakhouse was very good and had a great piano player! We went on the Atlantis Submarine and the ABC Jeep Safari Tour. Both were great! We checked out the high rise hotels but definitely prefer the huge, quiet, romantic beach at the Bucuti! This is the most beautiful beach in Aruba! The Bucuti 's location is great. The hotel is close to many restaurants, a casino and a few gift shops. The staff at the Bucuti is very friendly and helpful! We would love to return to Aruba and would definitely stay at the Bucuti!!"
- Travel date: Sun 25th of July 2004
"After much research, and including the rave reviews on this message board, my boyfriend and I chose to stay at Bucuti (the main hotel) from 7/16 - 22 for a much needed holiday. What a mistake! Aside from the location of the hotel and the beach (which was beautiful), the hotel itself has a wealth of problems. First, the service is extremely poor! Upon our check in we were snarled at by Maria, the receptionist. You have to sign your life away that you won't steal the safe lock, beach towels etc...They gather up deposits for everything. It simply sets a poor tone. I would expect this at a hotel that gears towards partiers etc, but not one that bills itself as a high end resort for couples. After check in, a porter greeted us. As my boyfriend, who is British, was speaking with him, he proceeded to make a nasty comment about how happy he was we weren't American! The porter was quite surprised when I mentioned that I was in fact an American. Anti-American sentiment is alive and well here - moreso than I have found in Europe or the Middle East. We had booked the "beach break package." It was a sham. No welcome drink (as promised). We had to fight to get our taxi reimbursed (as promised). Breakfast service breaks about 10 sanitary codes. There were actually flies - not just flying about as the restaurant is outside - but nestled into pre-cooked food!! Service was abominable. The "activities desk" serves as your concierge until 5pm. After that, the front desk acts as the concierge. To get them to make reservations or call a taxi was like pulling teeth. I have been all over the world and never have I experienced such bad service. We would not return to this hotel."
- Travel date: Sat 24th of July 2004
The Bucuti - a Special Place
"My wife and I stayed at the Tara Suites from July 10 through July 17, 2004. We had high expectations based on reviews posted here and elsewhere. Our expectations were exceeded.
Other reviews accurately describe the facilities. The suites themselves are new, spacious, private and comfortable. The balconies directly overlook the beach. They face west, and so every evening offer memorable sunset views. The beach is the widest we have seen, with palapas spaced far apart, in sufficient number that there is never a problem obtaining one. The outdoor dining area by the beach is attractive and pleasant. The swimming pool is ordinary at best, but unnecessary and virtually unused.
The location is, in our opinion, the best on the island. The Bucuti is a short eight dollar taxi ride (or a public bus ride) from downtown Oranjestad, but away from the relative congestion of both downtown and the high rise area. Through the Tara Suites concierges, it is easy to arrange island tours, snorkeling trips, or other desired activities.
There are good restaurants within walking distance, particularly at the Manchebo resort which is immediately adjacent to the Bucuti. The Manchebo offers an a la carte breakfast option that is less expensive than the buffets (a full buffet at the Pirates' Nest restaurant and a continental buffet at the Tara Surites) that were the Bucuti's only breakfast offerings the week we were there. The Manchebo also contains the French Steakhouse, an excellent choice for dinner.
Perhaps the greatest strength of the Bucuti is not the location, the facilities, or even the beach, but the atmosphere. The staff is friendly and extremely helpful, without being obtrusive. The small size of the resort insures personal service. The clientele consists principally (although not exclusively) of couples of varying ages from North America and Europe. Based on comments we exchanged with other guests during the week, the guests' one common characteristic appears to be a recognition of how fortunate they are to be there, enjoying the high level of service, the beauty, and the tranquility that mark the Bucuti."
- Travel date: Mon 19th of July 2004
Beast beach on Aruba
"Aruba is beautiful. The Bucuti has the best beach on the island. Aruba is not about untouched off-the-beaten-track adventure, its about luxury but relaxed lazing in the sun and elegant and delicious food. We went there on our honeymoon in July 2004 and the weather was not terrible, but not fantastic. It was overcast on 3 days out of 7. But its still hot when overcast, around 80F. In 7 days though we got enough sun to get burned and then tanned. Be careful of the sun, its deceptively powerful.
A nice thing about Aruba is that when you are baking on the beach there is a breeze to keep you cool. It can get gusty, but for some reason the sand does not blast you too badly. I am not really always a beach person but the Bucuti beach is uncrowded and just perfect. I loved it. Baby Beach is also nice for swimming.
The Bucuti main hotel rooms are not bad. Functional and clean, nothing to complain about. Be careful about leaving your valuables in your room and your balcony door open. While we were there some guests were robbed in their room while they slept when someone came in through their balcony door. Also, I chased a thief on the beach when he tried to steal from someone next to us. Didnt catch him though. But dont be put off, I never felt unsafe and apart from these 2 incidents never saw any shady characters waiting to rob us. Just be careful about valuables, you'll be fine. Dont take anything you dont want to lose to the beach and keep your passports and jewellery locked in your safe. This is the price you pay when tourism is the main money spinner in a place. Thieves love tourists.
The Tara Suites rooms are very beautiful and elegant and look out onto a truly lovely stretch of beach. As a suprise I check us into the Tara Suites for the last night. Although this particualr room smelled musty, it was straight out of GQ magazine with snazzy decor. The Bucuti staff are helpful and pleasant. Overall a good hotel experience.
Eat at Le Dome if you want a pricey but very elegant and delicious dining experience. Also, Cafe Piccolo at the Hyatt and Cafe Baci at the Wyndham are 2 of the best Italian restaurants I have been to. The restaurant on the beach at The Aruba Beach Club is a bit nicer than the Pirates Nest and only a 2 minute walk down the beach. The Pirates Nest is not bad but not really too special. Its good for when you just feel like taking 3 steps from your beach chair to snack on a tuna pita.
Last bit of advice: When returning to the USA expect a LONG line at the security check point.
To sum it up: Aruba is a great place to go for a relaxed beach experience and there are superb luxury things to do like casinos and top class restaurants. The Aruba sunsets we saw were just amazing. Think purple-orange tropical sunsets with palm trees on a white sand beach and a cocktail in your hand. Nice. I would recommend the Bucuti to people going to Aruba as it is not in the high-rise high-population section of the island, has a massive uncrowded beach and at night you jump in a 5 minute $10 taxi and you can be at the luxury hotels in the high rise area."
- Travel date: Thu 15th of July 2004
Best honeymoon ever!
"My husband and I were honeymooning at the same time as the couple from Atlanta--and we agree with everything they said! Aruba is a beautiful place with a fabulous ocean, and when we make return trips (which we surely will), we will always stay at Bucuti. The staff was incredibly friendly and helpful, arranging activities for us and even rebooking our flight home when the last leg got cancelled. The Pirate's Nest served great meals and was right on the beach. I'm sure there are many great restaurants in Aruba, but when you have a good one steps from your room and steps from the ocean, why go anywhere else?
The Tara Suites are gorgeous and a great bargain for the style and comfort that they offer. With dinner for two on the beach available and two happy hours a day (with a great steel drums player to boot), a stay there is certain to be memorable, romantic, and relaxing. If you're still not convinced, email me and I'll send you the photos!"
- Travel date: Thu 15th of July 2004
Bucuti was Awesome!!
"My husband and I stayed in the new Tara Suites at Bucuti 7/5-7/11. The only bad part was leaving to come home! The suites are fantastic - very modern and stylishly decorated. The beach is beautiful and never crowded. We really enjoyed the "couples only" environment. We had also stayed in the high rise section and definitely prefer the Bucuti/lowrise section better. It is nicer, less crowded and very relaxing. We will definitely return to Bucuti soon! Also, the WIFI internet access was a huge plus. We loved it!"
- Travel date: Mon 12th of July 2004
Best Hotel on Aruba!
"My wife and I stayed in the Tara Suites for 7 nights from July 3 - 10. The hotel is everything I wanted from a beach front hotel -- great service, clean, safe, and of course a superb beach. We NEVER had to worry about getting a spot under a palm tree because the beach is so big.
Sitting in the sun, steps away from the blue sea with a little flag you can use to summon an attendant for drinks/food is what the Bucuti is all about. We took a tour and the guide said the Bucuti is the locals favorite, and we agree.
We will return. If you're bringing kids, stay next door at the Costa Linda - same beach with kid focus."
- Travel date: Sat 10th of July 2004
The Bucuti Is Perfect
"My wife and I stayed for 8 nights in the new Tara Suites wing. We strongly recommend upgrading to the Tara Suites - our beachfront view was amazing. The rooms were fantastic. Our favorite part was how private the beach area in front of the Bucuti is - by far THE best spot on THE best beach on the island. Very few kids - those that were there were far away (we couldn't understand why any family would want to stay at a place made for couples to begin with). We couldn't believe how much better our hotel and beach was vs. the high-rise area on palm beach. Just remember though, this location isn't within walking distance to many shops or restaurants, so you will have to take the bus or rent a car. We suggest renting a car for at least a few days anyways to explore the island.
So far, Aruba is our favorite spot in the caribbean, and if you are a couple in search of a perfect, peacefull relaxing honeymoon/vacation - the Bucuti is it. We also feel Aruba has the friendliest people."
- Travel date: Fri 2nd of July 2004