At Bucuti and Tara Beach Resort in Aruba, the immaculate sugar-sand beach is expansive. While taking in the beauty of the ocean, walking on the beach is a source of exercise and discovery. Here are a few of my discoveries:
I’m always looking for what I call “hearts in nature” and this trip, found this piece of coral that was shaped like a heart, a lovely discovery.
I hope you’re enjoying “Travels in Aruba 2016” – there’s much more to come. If you’re even thinking about a trip to Aruba, check out my earlier series, under Categories, called “Travels in Aruba”.
While in Aruba we celebrated Mother’s Day and after seeing that there was a special menu being offered at Bucuti and Tara Beach Resort’s Elements Restaurant (our favorite in Aruba) we made reservations. It didn’t disappoint!
Mother’s Day Dinner Menu
Smoked Salmon Carpaccio – Norwegian smoked salmon thinly layered over frisée greens with pumpernickel wedges and balsamic emulsion
– or –
Cauliflower Cream Soup – Roasted cauliflower unified with a hint of truffle butter and gently infused with parmesan cheese
Grilled Mango Sea Bass Fillet – Carefully pan seared and topped with fresh mango salsa
Set on a mirror of Passion Beurre Blanc and served with roasted seasonal vegetables
– or –
Twin Tournedos Argentina Style – USDA choice tenderloin steaks char broiled and accompanied by a savory Chimichurri sauce and seasonal vegetables
All main courses are served with choice of garlic mashed potatoes or wild rice
Mint Chocolate Crème Brûlée -Flavorful custard with a touch of mint and flamed caramelized sugar
Spence and I both selected the Salmon Carpaccio appetizer.
For our entrees, I chose the Sea Bass and Spence chose the Twin Tournedos – mine with the wild rice and his with the garlic mashed potatoes.
And of course, we saved room for the Mint Chocolate Creme Brulee – did you have any doubt?
A truly scrumptious meal and memorable Mother’s Day!
For this next installment, as promised, I’m going to talk about the daily breakfast included with our stay at Bucuti and Tara Beach Resort. Spence teases me about photographing my food when I travel “Laura’s Eating and Drinking Vacation Diary” as he calls it. But come on, if you’re a foodie it makes sense!
At home, I’m lucky if I can get Spence to have the occasional yogurt for breakfast. He just isn’t a breakfast guy – until we get to Bucuti.
Serving till 11:00, we stroll down around 10:00, are greeted by Martin who seats us (we prefer inside). Then comes the decisions – what to choose?
eggs to order – Nancy or Marjorie (depending on the day) will prepare eggs expertly including omelets – a favorite of Spence’s
Bacon and sausage
Potatoes – different varieties each day
Specialty items that change daily – some of which were eggs benedict, arepas, red beans and rice, empanadas style meat filled little goodies were among my favorites
4 kinds of juice plus fruit or veggie infused water
2 -3 kinds of meat – ham, pastrami, mortadella to name a few and 2-3 kinds of cheeses – always including gouda
smoked salmon or smoked trout with cream cheese, onions and capers
fresh fruit platters – multiple varieties each day including: pineapple, papaya, watermelon, cantelope, honeydew, mango, dragon fruit and passion fruit as well as bananas, apples, kiwi and orange on the other side of the buffet
easily eight types of bread as well as pastries, croissants, bagels, english muffins, banana bread and pound cake with an assortment of jams, spreads and butter
Yogurt and topping of granola, dried fruits
Cereals (3-4 varieties)
I’ve probably forgotten something but I think you get the drift. Amazing. This year I got to try dragon and passion fruit, both of which I’m totally smitten. Succulent, perfectly fresh and delicious, I had to stop short of gorging on these, such a treat. With attentive, friendly service from Nakarid, Ricardo and Lina, it is the best way to start each day when staying at Bucuti and Tara Beach Resort.
Each morning at Bucuti and Tara Beach Resort, we enjoyed the breakfast included with our stay (more about that in future posts, I promise). Though we opted for indoor seating which provides a stellar view of the beach and ocean, many guests sit a bit closer outside on the deck. On several occasions we saw this colorful bird and though we have no idea what kind it is, it didn’t diminish our enjoyment as he stopped in after the guests departed, looking for a bite of croissant or a nibble on a piece of papaya.
When in Aruba, you are surrounded by the sugar sand beaches and the ocean which varies between shades of teal, turquoise and indigo depending on sun, clouds and the depth of the water that can’t help but captivate your attention. On land, there is equal beauty in the flowering trees and shrubs at every turn. With my love of gardening and photography, I was compelled to take these pictures and share them.
Spence and I decided to check out some new spots while in Aruba on this trip which led us to the Hilton Inn. We visited their casino, small, quiet but with good drink service and suprisingly, generous slots!
After the casino, we strolled through the hotel and decided to visit their pool bar, Gilligan’s Beach Bar and Grill. I had a delicious Pina Colada, Spence – Aruba’s own beer, Balashi.
We perused their menu and decided on an early dinner. I ordered the Foccacia with Prosciutto Flatbread and Spence opted for the Gourmet Bacon Cheeseburger, both were delicious. This was a fun spot with both servers and guests engaged in a rousing soccer game between Manchester and Real Madrid that was being televised on screens over the bar. Good times.
As we left, we investigated sounds from exotic birds near the pool bar and found these beauties.
Follow along with this series, Travels in Aruba 2016 – there’s more to come. Also, check out my October 2015 series Travels in Aruba!
Bucuti and Tara Beach Resort is our home away from home in Aruba. An adults-only resort, they truly cater towards couples and a romantic, care-free experience. This year we were ready to experience something unique – a movie under the starlit sky. Each Sunday and Wednesday, they select a movie and this time was An Officer and a Gentleman, a movie I hadn’t seen in years and Spence had never seen. With front row seats, we lounged on the beach on a balmy night and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Very romantic!
Spence and I got home a week ago from a return trip to our beloved Aruba. Last October we travelled there and had so much fun that four days later, we booked two weeks in May to coincide with my 60th birthday.
Those who’ve followed this blog may recall my 15 part series, Travels in Aruba from 2015. Hands down, it collectively brought the most activity to Spence’s Girl since it’s launch. I’m hopeful that you’ll enjoy this series as well.
We awoke well before the crack of dawn to arrive at the airport to check our bags by 4:00 a.m. and took off shortly after 6:00.
Arriving at our final destination around 2:30, we picked up our rental car and headed a short distance to Bucuti and Tara Beach Resort. Having stayed there last trip, there was no question that we’d return there, we’d even requested and got the same room.
Upon our arrival, we were offered cool, lavender scented cloths to wipe away the travel grime – and a glass of ice cold champagne. Nicole, who we’d met last year at check-in, took care of the formalities this year and got us settled in. As always, they’d provided lovely welcome gifts.
Knowing that the first of two daily cocktail hours commences at 4:00, we scooted down to the Sand Bar for drinks and our first sunset of the trip. Life is good!
We opted for night one to have dinner at Elements, the restaurant at Bucuti and Tara Beach Resort, which we think is the best on Aruba. The menu is creative, food delicious, presented beautifully and excellent service guaranteed.
For our first night, we opted for a light meal and the selection of appetizers was very appealing…..what to choose???
US Currency is accepted in addition to the Aruba Florin. Prices are posted in both currencies, even slot machines and bill breakers in casinos use US Currency. It’s easy!
They drive on the proper side of the road – this is great if you’re renting a car as we did. And for once, I did all the driving (usually Spence drives) and it was very easy to get around. Even with the round-abouts.
The people are friendly! Known as One Happy Island, Aruba has the most delightful people. We didn’t encounter one person who wasn’t smiling. I suppose if you live in paradise there’s a reason to be happy every day.
The sunsets are stunning. (as are the sunrises) Don’t take my word for it, here’s proof:
5. The water is safe to drink – and tastes good. Considering that Aruba is a small island, surrounded by salt water, that’s an accomplishment. It’s great not to worry about safety and the resulting dysentery that can come from visiting places where the water is questionable.
6. The beaches are pristine – white sugar sand and at least where we stayed, that sand extended into the water which was easy on the feet!
7. The color of the water is beyond description. Dependent upon the time of day, depth and cloud cover, it spans every shade of teal, turquoise, cobalt and everything in between.
8. Upon leaving Aruba, Customs and Immigration for both Aruba and the US are handled at their airport. Though it’s slightly confusing, we got through it with time to spare.
9. There’s so much to do. Whether you are into water sports, beach time, casinos, tours, hiking or dining, Aruba has it. And speaking of dining, fresh seafood is plentiful.
10. The weather. With an average rainfall of less than 20 inches a year, an average daytime temperature of 82° Fahrenheit (27° Celsius), a location completely outside the hurricane belt, and the constant cooling influence of the trade winds, Aruba is one of the most temperate islands in the Caribbean. The difference between median day and night temperatures, and between summer and winter temperatures, is just 3.6°. The rainfall occurs mainly in short showers during November and December.