Aruba is one of the ABC-islands and a part of the Netherlands Antilles. Its location makes it one of the safer islands to go to during the hurricane season in the Caribbean.
We visited the Bucuti beach resort on Aruba in August 2007 as a part of our honeymoon. We stayed 5 nights in the Tara Suites Penthouse - and loved it! It is so beautiful you never want to leave... For our last 2 nights we moved to a regular Tara Suite (no vacancy on the top floor) - which really couldn't compare... So if you're willing to pay a little extra - go for the penthouse!
Nevertheless, I'm sure we'd been happy with the tara suite or even a regular hotel room if we hadn't started out with the penthouse. It's just that when you've had the greatest suite for 5 days...everything seems very small... All in all - I would definitely recommend the penthouse.
A benefit of staying in one of the penthouse suites is that you have your own large palapa down on the beach. However, it didn't seem to be a problem to get one of the smaller ones any time of day if you were to stay in a regular room or a tara suite.
We had lunch at the Pirates Nest, which was great: quesadillas, hamburgers, sandwiches, salads etc. We also ate at the Pirates Nest for the romantic dinner on the beach. Although we were quite content, I can understand why people aren't all that pleased with the food. Some of the courses were very nice, and others..well, not all that nicely prepared. Basically, we didn't go to Pirates Nest for dinner any of the other days. However, we heard about other people that were very happy with their dinners there. But I believe you would be let down if you expect gourmet food.
The breakfast was more than enough for us. It is US style, but no eggs. Unless you are dying to eat eggs...you'll be fine! You have the option of eating inside or at the beach on the porch of the Pirates Nest. Because of a bird issue we ate inside throughout our stay.
The "fitness center" is basically a large palapa. I tried the threadmill a couple of days. However, because you're outside it was just too hot. The first day I managed 15 minutes before I felt I was overheating, the other time 25 minutes... So perhaps a run along the beach is as good - at least you feel the breeze. One good thing though: they had a tv in there, so you can watch the news while working out.
The pool is nice - mostly because of the style they've chosen for the furniture. It looks really classy! This hotel is not recommended for its pool though. It is the beach that is magnificent! The hotel is couples only (no children and no cheesy pick up lines) and is located on the widest stretch of the beach.
We enjoyed the Bucuti a whole lot, and will always have good memories from our honeymoon. If we ever go back to Aruba, we'd definitively go for the Bucuti!