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If you’re looking for a picture-perfect resort built close to the edge of one of the Caribbean’s finest white-sand beaches, you’ll want to read all about our experience at Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, minutes north of downtown Oranjestad.

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[Sunrise at Eagle Beach]

We had our hearts set on a spring trip to the neighbouring Netherlands Antilles islands of Bonaire and Curaçao, only to see our flights evaporate and lodgings refunded due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Following lockdown, we once again set out to plan a (delayed) 20th wedding anniversary trip (fingers crossed).

Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort

Aruba requires additional health insurance, an online embarkation card/approval process plus a COVID-19 molecular test either pre-flight or upon arrival (with mandatory hotel room quarantine while awaiting results — get tested before flying!). With negative test result paperwork in hand, we boarded our Air Canada flight to Aruba, including a short layover at Toronto Pearson International.

Eagle Beach from the air

It wasn’t hard to spot Eagle Beach from the airplane: Bucuti & Tara is located at the point where the largest swath of beach joins the sapphire Caribbean. As we approach the “low rise hotel zone” about 15 minutes from Queen Beatrix International Airport, the resort’s sleek white building comes into view at the end of the road.

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For the past 33 years, Bucuti & Tara has welcomed guests from around the world. This gorgeous adults-only property is geared toward romantic celebrations. For five years in a row, Bucuti has been named No. 1 Hotel for Romance in the Caribbean and No. 8 for Romance in the World by Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards.

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With a friendly greeting from our personal concierge, we’re led into the modern lobby where a glass of champagne (there’s non-alcoholic bubbly too) and a cool, aloe-infused towel refresh our long night and morning of travel.

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The beachfront resort’s 104 rooms are divided into two wings. The Bucuti Wing contains 63 rooms (48 with garden view, 10 with ocean view plus three bungalows and two ocean-view suites). The five-story Tara Wing comprises 36 oceanfront suites, four penthouse suites and one deluxe room.

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We’re soon escorted to the Tara Wing to settle into our Tara Suite with a commanding view of the ocean. Bucuti & Tara offers touch-free check-in via their website, so you can change and get onto the beach or in the pool that much quicker.

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This quiet resort is a gem in a sea of bigger chains up the road. Staff are friendly, helpful and easy-going.

Tara Wing, lobby
[Tara Wing, lobby and concierge desks]

You’re left free to simply enjoy at your leisure, whether it’s a refreshing dip in the ocean or freshwater pool, or unwinding with a book on a thickly-padded lounge chaise. We quickly feel right at home here as we soak in every moment of our stay.

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Tara Suites are elegantly furnished with dark wood, marble-topped counters, white tiles and a cream-coloured sectional sofa. The coffee station is stocked with PURO Fair Trade coffee pods; underneath the counter is a fridge and space to store snacks and sundries. The room includes a microwave plus cutlery and dish/glassware to enjoy a cup of coffee, glass of wine and snacks on the balcony.

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There are two flatscreen TVs with cable, plus a TV built into the bathroom mirror. Aruban-made aloe toiletries are dispensed at the walk-in shower and near the dual sinks. The airco is quiet and a sleek wooden fan gently spins above the bed if desired.

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The bedroom and living space can be closed off via wooden accordion-style doors. A dark wood ‘Jenga’ style cabinet houses both a HEPA-filtered air purifier and a dehumidifier.

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[Jet-lagged but happy!]

Free guest wifi stretches across the entire property so you can check on life back home from your beach lounger. And speaking of beach time, each and every guest is guaranteed a sun bed and umbrella. Ample space between you and your fellow guests naturally promotes physical distancing, too.

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Not only is there dry cleaning/laundry service available, but guests can take advantage of free self-serve laundry facilities — just pick up some detergent in the on-site gift shop and you’re good to go. On a small desk in the corner is an iPad loaded with a guest directory, Skype, resort activites, menus and internet browser.

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As for COVID-19 safety, the property maintains strict health and cleanliness guidelines.

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[Environmental touches such as refillable water canteens for guests to use and keep]

Rooms are throughly cleaned each day using a special UVC light; we even noticed hand sanitizing stations in the elevators.

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Included with your stay is a full breakfast at either Elements or Tara Lounge. Both venues offer the same menu; you only need decide if you’d like to sit with an ocean or garden view.

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[Tara Lounge offers both indoor and outdoor seating]

Bucuti & Tara’s Elements is Aruba’s premier ocean view restaurant offering both European and Caribbean dishes. The restaurant is a regular Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence winner. And this year, Elements was named by USA TODAY as the Best Restaurant in the Caribbean.

Vegan entree, Elements
[Vegan entrée, Elements]

Chef Marc Giesbers has brought Elements to the forefront of Aruba’s blossoming vegan experience by expanding its current vegan menu for fans of plant-based dining.

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[The view from SandBar]

Adjacent to Elements is the resort’s beachfront SandBar, for cocktails and lunch.

Mocktail at Bucuti & Tara
[The refreshing Nohito with lots of strawberry and mint!]

From 3 to 4 pm daily is Healthy Hour, with half-priced smoothies and handcrafted Bucuti-designed mocktails. Their regular happy hour is from 4 to 6 and 9 to 10 pm (with live steel band music from 5 to 7 pm).

SandBar at night, Aruba
[SandBar at night]

At Senses, enjoy a gastronomic five- to eight-course chefs table experience created by Executive Chef Kelt Hugo Maat and Maitre D’ Bas Kruisselbrink.

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Wellness + Fitness

The resort gym is open 24/7 and has recently added a new line of human-powered eco-fitness bikes and treadmills.

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These electricity-generating bikes allow guests to burn calories while simultaneously creating kilowatts sent directly to the resort’s power grid.

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Bucuti’s freshwater, infinity-edge pool is centrally located to both hotel wings and overlooks the sugary white sands of Eagle Beach. Poolside red flag service is provided by the SandBar, Bucuti’s exclusive guest beach bar.

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There’s also a daily morning wellness program featuring yoga, tai-chi, Pilates and a mindfulness beach walk.

Couples Massage at Bucuti & Tara


Purun Spa offers a full-service menu with a focus on therapeutic and rejuvenating treatments inspired by nature (Purun is an old Papiamento word for “water container”). Aruba’s natural resources of water, coconut, aloe, sea salt and white sand are incorporated into many of the spa’s treatments.

You can also enjoy the soothing waves and ocean breezes with a spa treatment right on the beach — the ultimate indulgence!

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[The Bucuti Wing]

Sustainable Tourism

After becoming the Caribbean’s first certified carbon neutral/net zero resort a couple of years ago, Bucuti & Tara just became the first hotel in United Nations history to receive the coveted Global UN 2020 Climate Action Award for Carbon Neutral Now.

Green Globe has also named Bucuti & Tara as the World’s Most Sustainable Hotel/Resort. As well, they’re LEED Gold-certified for their status as the highest-ranking Caribbean resort for extensive retrofitting.

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Bucuti also received the first-ever WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Climate Action Award, the highest award in hospitality and sustainability.

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[Weekly movie night on the beach]

A well-known island environmentalist, Austrian owner Ewald Biemans takes pride in educating both guests and the local community when it comes to the importance of conservation. Biemans also spearheads several widely-recognized environmental initiatives.


Local Attractions

Bucuti & Tara is close to downtown Oranjestad’s boutiques, shops, restaurants, bars and cafés, world-class shopping, Divi Links nine-hole golf course and Arikok National Park.

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The resort offers a variety of tours, from snorkeling to golf to fishing. We opted for a day out with Pelican Adventures aboard their luxury Monteforte III schooner.

Bucuti’s nightly pricing includes all taxes and fees, a full American breakfast daily, local calls, Wi-Fi and complimentary iPad use.

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Getting There

As of this writing, Air Canada offers nonstop service from Toronto, Canada to Aruba’s Queen Beatrix Airport on a weekly basis.

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Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort is located at L.G. Smith Boulevard 55B in Oranjestad, Aruba.

We were graciously hosted by Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort for the purpose of this feature. Opinions, as always, remain our own. Non-watermarked images courtesy of Bucuti & Tara Resort.

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