Posts tagged ‘Insel Air’

November 16, 2008

Lap of luxury.

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Today was the day I said another said farewell to perfect little Bonaire and, it being my last day, naturally storm clouds rolled in. I puttered around my room and eventually ended up at the restaurant for a quick sandwich and some welcome WiFi surfing before Rolando arrived to take me to Flamingo Airport. I bid farewell to the lovely Rolando and eventually made my way onto the wretched 14 seater Insel plane I have come to loathe so much. I don’t like small planes and I especially don’t like small planes in bad weather. It was, predictably, a rough 20 minutes in the air before I was finally able to release my grasp on the bottom of my seat and unclench my jaw on arrival at Hato in Curacao. 

Stephen was there to meet me as arranged and we basically it hit off right away as he is quite the great conversationalist. We arrived at my first Hotel the Kura Hulanda which I have always known to be an exceptional property but have never stayed in it. It is not a normal hotel in fact it is as far from a normal hotel as can be imagined.It is essentially a village  in Willemstad that had a number of fine 18th and 19th century buildings that a Dutch billionaire bought up as a ruin and then restored with attention to every detail. It is now an 80 room luxury hotel in the form of a village and I don’t mean theme park here…it is completely authentic. You walk through a maze of cobblestone streets and lush landscaping to your room in one of the original homes in the area. My suite is so unbelievably beautiful and luxurious I was almost taken aback when the bellhop showed me around. 

Picture 2 king beds, antiques galore, a lovely sitting area, a writing area, a small dining area and a step-up bath and you get the picture. I can’t imagine a more atmospheric and spacious room anywhere. Now it is not a cheap room ( about $700 US a night) but honestly it is as romantic as all get out.The hardest part of this trip will be leaving the room.

 

I also had a chance to chat with Delno at Kura Hulanda’s sister property on the other side of the island. He suggested I stay with him for the rest of the trip and I am trying to figure out if that will be possible given the 45 minute drive from Willemstad. Still, he is one of the funniest and warmest people I know so I will try to make it work as I know we would have a blast. In any case I have decided I will come and visit him on vacation just for the pleasure of his company. We will discuss the logistics of this trip over breakfast tomorrow.

Now if you will excuse me I am going to sit in my antique dining area and admire my room.

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November 6, 2008

I’ve died and gone to Bucuti

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Well after a singularly uneventful and actually pleasant flight with Surinam Airways to Curacao, a rather boring 3 hour layover and a hair raising flight on a 10 seater prop I am in Aruba.Ricardo whisked me through immigration and customs and we headed to TGI Friday’s of all places for lunch. I dealt with it with the stoicism i normally reserve for Republican wins and even posed for a picture with the staff to be put in the newspapers at some point in the next few days. I really can’t say it is the milieu I really wanted to have immortalized in print but what can i say…i can sell out with the best of them.

From there it was off to my the Bucuti resort where I felt I was Barack Obama two minutes after being voted in. An attendant met me at the curb and walked me through to the Tara Suites reception area where they checked me in so quickly and pleasantly I was actually taken aback. Then co-owner Susan snuck up behind me and we hugged and promised to catch up properly after i recovered from my somewhat sweaty 10 seater experience. I was taken to my room and shown around by Mukesh the attendant/bell hop/guest services representative and then I was left alone to contemplate my room in all it’s environmentally friendly beauty. Quite simply it is gorgeous in the way that i would want to decorate my own place.It is sleek, comfortable, roomy and just plain stylish. The balcony…oh the balcony..it could easily be converted into an intimate 5 table restaurant without fear of crowding and has a view that would knock Sarah Palin’s toque off. I am in love with a room. Don’t get me wrong I have always loved the Bucuti with it’s beautiful grounds, exceptionally friendly staff and green ways but this room was just short of heaven. 

I say just short because I tried to get WiFi and found that it said I needed a card which I could get at the front desk. I walked down and handy dandy Mukesh ( from Surinam no less) came up to me most concerned that I seemed to be in need of something. He told me that had I scrolled down the page i would have seen that I could just use a credit card. That was useful enough but he then offered to assist me and followed me up to my room, scrolled the page down for me and told me that in future I need not do anything so stressful as coming down to the lobby but rather just call and Tara Suites/Bucuti would be up to my room to help. With WiFi enabled I can now say with no doubt in my head that I have died and gone to heaven.

As a reviewer  for a major publication I am supposed to be objective …and honestly i am…it really is that good. Small wonder this place has over 90% occupancy year round. This is high praise coming from me when I say I would actually pay to stay here.

After puttering around in the interstices of the net I showered and went down to meet Ricardo for our dinner at Mr. Jazz a new Cuban restaurant/Jazz club on the scene. Considering it is on the second story of a mall they did a great job transforming it into a realistic jazz club including a huge stage. I had a pork dish ( of course) which was a bit salty but it is a traditional dish and maybe it is supposed to be that way. Then we were treated to live music as the Marketing Manager/Jazz singer did his stuff belting out 70s, and 80s standards while patrons danced the night away. This really is one happy island. I told Ricardo on the way back to Bucuti ( how I smile at the very word) that I am sure Zoloft is one of the sponsors of Aruba.