caribbean

Aruba Trip at the Bucuti & Tara Resort

Aruba Trip at the Bucuti & Tara Resort

For most of us Boss Gals, working our booties off is quite the norm. Isn’t it? We are busy building our careers, our families, our little empires as we strive to create our most exceptional lives. But, if we don’t also take the time out to enjoy this lifetime, to explore, and broaden our horizons, and open our eyes to the vibrant cultures surrounding us, then no matter how much we build, no matter how much we conquer, we will inevitably miss out. Traveling is essential to our growth, our expanding wisdom, and to the nourishment of our soul and spirit. As they say, it is the one thing you buy that actually makes you richer.

 

And so, last week this Boss Gal and my beaux did just that. We went on an adventure full of exploration, relaxation, and luxury at its finest. Jeff and I had the pleasure of visiting the island of Aruba for five glorious days, and let me just say that the #1 Romantic Caribbean resort, Bucuti and Tara, did not disappoint!

IMG_7083.jpg

 

The island of Aruba, just off the coast of Venezuela, might be small in size, only 75 square miles with only 5 miles wide at its widest and 19 miles long—but it is Super-Sized when it comes to charisma, charm, natural beauty, and island hospitality. With its desert climate, Aruba’s weather is pretty much 85 degrees year-round. The white sand beaches stretch out for miles, palm trees blow in the trade winds, and the warm night air makes evening strolls a delight.

IMG_7001.jpg

 

And while the scenery and island-scape are spectacular, what struck me most was the joy of the island people. It is no wonder that Aruba is called the “Happy Island.” (It’s even on their license plates!) The locals and those that work at the luxurious Bucuti and Tara are personable, hospitable, and you can hear them laughing their notorious belly-laughs throughout the day. In the U.S. we laugh, yes. We giggle, yes. But in Aruba it is a deep and hearty laugh that starts from their toes! It became music to my ears.

IMG_7170.jpg

 

When Jeff and I landed in Aruba (after a flight from LAX to Miami, and then Miami to Aruba) we rented a Jeep since we knew we wanted to explore the island and see some of its rougher terrain. With our fiery red Jeep, we headed to Bucuti and Tara to check in.

IMG_7014.jpg

 

And what a greeting it was!

The concierge and bell hop met us as we pulled up. Stefano, our concierge gave us a glass of champagne, and immediately escorted us up to our room for a full resort and room tour. And this was not some VIP service, this is for EVERY GUEST! Wow, right? I know!! I have to say a heartfelt thank you to Suzanne, Susan, Amie, and Mitchell for coordinating all of our accommodations. Their attention to detail was remarkable!

Suzanne & I…. Thank you Suzanne!

Suzanne & I…. Thank you Suzanne!

 

You’ll have to make sure that you check out my resort and room tours on instagram, because words just don’t do it justice. It’s a must see. My favorite touch was the rose petals in a heart shape on the bed awaiting us! No wonder this place is the #1 most romantic destination resort in the Caribbean!

 The bathroom showcased a beautiful shower and a small digital touch screen on the vanity mirror so that you can play music or watch tv while showering and getting ready! HOW AMAZING, right?! I am blown away by this place!!

 Oh and they give you an iPad that is yours to use during your trip with free wifi in the room, throughout the resort, and even on the beach. And of course, no detail is too small for #BucutiandTara because they even made sure the iPad had a screen greeting me with a friendly, “Welcome Karen!”

 While the room was a luxurious haven, what we saw outside our balcony was spectacular! It is that kind of to-die-for view that takes your breath away—clear blue skies, the bluest ocean, and crisp white sand! And btw- there are more chairs and lounges than guests so you never have to worry about getting a spot! No waking up at 6am to set a towel down to secure your place. Just wake up leisurely, enjoy your complimentary breakfast at their oceanfront restaurant, then head down to relaxation on the sand when you’re ready.

IMG_7474.JPG

 

The resort offers different activities such as #movienightsonthebeach (they showed Martian while we were there) They also have a Wellness area with a smoothie bar so you can stop in during happy hour and get your #SmoothieMockTail.

 

Sitting on lounge chairs on the white sand beach, it is impossible not to relax! Our waiter on the beach, Oroville, was attentive, fun, and lively. I told him that I didn’t want to swim in the ocean for fear of sharks, and he kept saying, “Nah, no sharks here!” So from that day on, he earned the nickname Sharky.

IMG_7281.jpg

 

The water was so clear and beautiful, that I did manage to swim in it a few times. When there’s no murkiness to the ocean, I don’t start to hear the Jaws theme song in my head….

 

Jeff and I enjoyed a much needed couples massage in the beach cabana our first day. After moving boxes and more boxes from California to Arizona the week prior, we both were in seaside heaven to get massages!  I highly recommend a couples massage as a solid transition from airport stress to island tranquility.  

IMG_7079.jpg

 

The highlights for me beachside were the delectable ceviche which they serve with plantains (mouth-watering), and the distant “Whaddup!” From their pet parrot, Paco who hangs out in the outdoor bar area. I discovered that the owner had found Paco on the streets of Aruba. Apparently he had been brought to Aruba from the Rainforest of Venezuela, but had gotten separated from his family. Mr. Biemans took him to his hotel, and Paco has been with him for over 32 years! Well, let me tell you—Paco is an adorable and relentless flirt! He loves the ladies! When I went up to his cage, he walked on over, kind of showing off, and put his soft furry head to me so that I would pet him. What gal could resist that? He’s more like Paco Suave! Paco likes to mimic guests’ laughs, do a head-swerving dance to the happy hour steel drum music, and yell out his signature “Whaddup” to the guests. I will certainly miss that charming guy!

 Happy hour is a daily ritual with half priced drinks and complimentary snacks, and it is a nice gathering place for all the guests.  Whether you choose the circular bar or the lounges, you can relax and enjoy a magnificent sunset outdoors.

IMG_7182.jpg

 

One day, Jeff and I set out for some serious exploration. We took the Jeep and went all the way around the island. We traveled north past the California Lighthouse where we stopped into the Faro Blanco Restaurant with its breathtaking view of the coastline. And later, we headed past that to the rocky bad-ass terrain! While the western coast of Aruba is calm waters and picturesque sunsets, the eastern coast is like a fiery Latin temper! The highways and roads end, and you rough it on dirt roads with rocky outcroppings. The ocean waves crash against the land like angry outbursts. It is a spectacular sight, full of fury and strength unlike anything I had ever seen. Every once in a while we would see another ATV tour battling the terrain,  but for the most part it was just Jeff, me, and the tempestuous sea.  We stacked some zen-like rocks which seems to be a local ritual since you see these small rocks placed in various balance-defying formations. That was quite an adventurous day!

IMG_7252.jpg
IMG_7255.jpg

 

Dinner at the Resort’s Elements restaurant was always a treat, especially because you can’t beat the view from their dining deck. I couldn’t believe how attentive to each guest their staff is. Those of you that know, I have a handful of allergies which I cannot take lightly. Well, mentioning it to them only once, it seemed like the entire staff knew and was vigilant about it for me. That is what truly sets Bucuti and Tara apart from any other resort I have visited. They know their guests, they enjoy their guests, and creating a memorable stay for their guests is priority ONE. And their guests truly appreciate that attention to detail and personal touch, which is why the resort boasts so many repeat visitors year after year.

 

 

I had the distinct pleasure of meeting the owner Mr. Biemans, a delightful man who knows the names of his entire team. He makes it a point to greet each member of his staff personally, ask how their families are, and shows them genuine care and kindness. According to one of our beachside waiters, that is why they love working there. Mr. Biemans is also environmentally conscious, bringing the first net-zero resort to the Caribbean. Bucuti and Tara is not only environmentally conscious, but recently received Silver Leed certification. Sustainability, sincerity, and outstanding service seem to be his trademark—and it shows!

 

Our last night, we enjoyed a private cabana dining experience at the beach. The food was to die for. The chef put together a delectable meal with unique flavors and stunning presentations that made us feel even more pampered than we already did! We watched the sunset, sipped wine, and relished every little moment.

IMG_7429.jpg

 

Now as I am sitting on the plane on our return flight to the U.S. I am sad to see our experience come to an end. But, I feel like Aruba made its way into my heart. Its beauty changes you and its island joy seeps into your soul. I feel refreshed, renewed, and ever grateful for the experience and like one of their waiters, “Happy Vincent” likes to say, “Be happy, be smiley, and be romantic. They are all free!”

“Happy Vincent”

“Happy Vincent”

IMG_7274.jpg

























XO,

Karen