A pretty amazing day in Aruba and I am dead tired at 11pm. Let me get the most important thing out of the way off the bat. I have fallen deeply in love at Bucuti…with my bed at the Tara Suites. She is a lovely creature set on a platform base but her sleek insouciance is misleading as she has been created by some unearthly power or , more likely, Susan, to be the most comfortable bed I have ever slept in. Ignoring the obvious jokes I really have slept in many beds in my few years on the planet and this one is now the benchmark for that floating on a cloud feeling.
I left my cumulous sanctuary with reluctance this morning to venture into the world of off-roading with a Tomcar. We found Rancho del Campo and I looked at our Israeli Military designed vehicles with concern. They are strange. Essentially they are the illegitimate child of the unholy pairing of a dune buggy and a US military jeep. After a briefing from our guide Hiram we set off with me behind the wheel of the thing that sounded like we were in a blender. To cut a long story short I had the best time driving the Tomcar and no matter what I did the sucker refused to roll. The things are stable and other than the steering wheel banging your hands you would hardly know you were driving over rocks and climbing ridiculous hills. It was several hours of driving and at the end I missed the damned thing…I want one.
After the most exciting tour I have ever had in Aruba ( sorry ziplining in the Yucatan was slightly more exciting) I came back to stunning Bucuti. I had a couple of hours to kill so I walked around the property and realized that it is as beautiful as I remembered it. A walk on the beach with no shades also reminded me that Aruba sun plus white sand is a recipe for watering eyes and headache. Instead Bucuti made me do something I have never done in Aruba. I went and got towels from the towel hut and took off my shirt and tanned for 45 minutes. This hotel seems to be able to get me over my insecurities…talk about selling points.
Afterwards we went to a totally eyecatching new restaurant that I think will be a huge attraction for Aruba in the future…The Old Man and the Sea. When I entered I just loved the whole concept. It is a beach restaurant concept complete with light wrapped coconut trees and sand under your feet. I really like it and when we actually ate it was even better. We are not talking NYC food here as it wasn’t stacked and pilloried but it was tasty. It was seafood and it tasted pretty darned great. Then we met young Mr. Vieira who manages and owns the place and I was floored. A gentleman of 28 has no business being that clever and to make it more disturbing…he is also a local celebrity and pianist/producer/singer/judge of Aruban Idol and even would be actor. This place is more than deserving of Fodor’s accolades and so it shall be.
This is weird. In two days I have stayed at one property that is more than deserving of a Fodor’s Choice ( Bucuti..and may I find a higher rating) and now a great restaurant that should and will get one. This has been a good day. I hope tomorrow can match.