Travels in Aruba 2016 – part sixteen or another “Top 10 Reasons to Love Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort”

After our October 2015 trip to Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort in Aruba, I wrote the series “Travels in Aruba” including the post Top 10 Things I Love about Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort  if you’d like to check it out!

As Spence and I were enjoying our recent trip in May, we compiled a list of ten additional things we love about this exceptional resort.  The list was easy for us and exceeded ten things but for consistency, I’ve whittled it to ten, in no particular order:

  1.  Purun Spa  Tucked away in the Tara building is the peaceful, zen-like atmosphere of Purun Spa. Soft music, subdued lighting, fruit-infused water or ginger tea is available as you await your spa service.  With an extensive menu of services and expert staff (I had Margarita for a massage and facial), I emerged relaxed and refreshed.
  2. Movie under the Stars – Twice a week at 8 p.m.,they feature a movie as you recline on comfortable lounges on the beach. The tradewinds and starlit sky as we watched “An Officer and A Gentleman” made for a unique and romantic experience.
  3.  Making my birthday special – We celebrated my 60th birthday on this trip and on the big day, the staff at Elements brought me a Mimosa and this beautiful presentation of fresh fruit. What a way to start my first day of being 60!

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4. Sunday Happy Hour – During the Sunday Happy Hour, there are a select group of artists who display their work as well as a chef featuring an Amuse Bouche.  Spence bought me a lovely pair of earrings (last year I bought a bracelet here that remains a favorite). The art is lovely and the prices are reasonable. Plus it’s combined with Happy Hour – you can’t beat that!

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5. Driftwood Workshop – This year the resort was featuring a painting class on driftwood.  I met the instructor during our first Sunday Happy Hour. I was intrigued with her talent and signed up for the next class.  It was fun to create art and hang out with Maria Onni, our instructor and Nicole, from Guest Services/Concierge who took the class as well.  It happened to fall on a rare overcast day that even sported a couple of quick rain showers but even if it had been a sunny beach day, it was completely enjoyable and I’d take it again!

6. Carte Blanche – Located within the Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, Carte Blanche is open to the public but only if you’ve planned ahead to secure a coveted reservation to this limited seating, chef’s selected, multi-course gourmet meal.  I was lucky to get us a spot and the meal as well as the experience of watching a skilled chef create and plate the most exceptional food was a foodie’s dream come true.

7. Fresh Orchids – It’s the little touches and attention to detail, like fresh orchids in our room and even in the hallways. The orchid in our room was down to two blooms toward the end of our stay and was replaced with a new one, simply because housekeeping was paying attention.  And that’s typical of the attention to every detail that we’ve come to expect from everyone here.

8.  Aruba Aloe Bath & Body Products – In keeping with their eco-friendly policies,  rooms feature dispensers of liquid hand soap, body lotion, conditioning shampoo and body wash from the Aruba Aloe company. I’ve since ordered the products online as I loved the high quality – light scented, gentle and most importantly, I love the way my skin and hair feel after using the products for two weeks.

9. Complimentary iPad – This is particularly nice for any guest but in particular, as a blogger it was great to stay connected.  Though we somehow missed noticing this last trip, the alarm clock has both an iPod docking station and a sound machine with crickets, ocean waves and other sounds to help us relax  fall into a deep sleep.

10. The Sand Bar – During the day, Bucuti’s Sand Bar is “the place” for cold adult beverages (a Prosecco or Pina Colada for me – Balashi for Spence), as you relax in the open-air, shaded round bar while gazing at the beach and brilliant turquoise ocean beyond.  But there’s more…. as we discovered this trip – the lunch menu.  Over the course of our two week stay we tried the Element’s Ceviche, Tuscany Panini and Garlic Roasted Quesadillas. With lots of delicious menu items to choose from, two daily happy hours, a pair of love birds and Paco, the talking parrot, what’s not to love about the Sand Bar?

This ends “Travels in Aruba 2016”.  I hope you’ve enjoyed it – it’s been fun to share it with you and read your comments.  Many thanks!

Travels in Aruba 2016 – part eleven

This visit to Bucuti and Tara Beach Resort, I noticed something new was being offered to guests, a Driftwood Workshop.  Each Sunday during happy hour at the Sand Bar, they feature local artisans which is always fun. It’s where I met Maria Onni, who teaches the driftwood painting class.  One look at her work, you are enchanted and want to try your hand….I signed up the following day for the next class.

Maria is one of those artists who has natural talent and loves to repurpose driftwood, sea glass and other found items. Check out some of her creations:

I arrived for the class, set up in the Tara Lounge and learned it would be just one of the Bucuti and Tara Resort staff and myself for this class.  To my delight, it was Nicole (who I’ve enjoyed getting to know on both of our visits), who was the other student.  I loved the one on one attention Maria was able to give us as we learned how to work with molding clay (making eyes, noses and mouths) and mixing the acrylic paints as we fashioned our driftwood creations.  We each made two works of art and it was such a fun way to spend an afternoon.  Both Maria and Nicole are interesting and lovely, young women who I was fortunate to get to know over the two hours we spent together.  I would take this class again if offered on my next trip and would recommend it to anyone visiting Bucuti and Tara Beach Resort.  A truly fun day to be sure and special memories of this vacation!

Maria Onni sells her works of art in a kiosk in the highrise hotel area (across from Playa Linda) as well as teaching these classes.  She is so talented, if you are in Aruba, check her out!