After tying the knot surrounded by our nearest and dearest, Alex and I hopped on a 6 a.m. flight eager to experience a once-in-a-lifetime Aruban honeymoon. Planned by my sister-in-law Lindsey Rose, a basically-adopted Aruban due to her frequent island trips for her public relations career, the schedule was placed in our carry-ons without much prior analysis by me and Alex. We arrived in Aruba with a clean slate of enthusiasm and undetermined expectations beyond a prolonged and giddy wedding high.
There's clearly a reason behind Aruba's descriptor "one happy island," because we depressingly departed as one (very) happy married couple.
We arrived at Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, a boutique adult-only resort on the world-renowned Eagle Beach. Its majority-European clientele brought an extra sense of prestige to the place, whose amenities and attention to detail were impeccable from check-in to check-out.
The resort treated us to an indulgent private sunset dining experience on the water. High waves crashed against the soft white sand shore, beckoning our champagne flutes to (almost) crash, too! We learned that Aruba's southern caribbean location clears any hurricane weather, which means constant wind and constant sunshine. You never have to worry about rain or stormy weather in Aruba!
Our private cabana dinner not only welcomed wonderful staff and scenery, but it also introduced the indulgent dining offerings of the resort. By the end of the week, we became friends with the entire Bucuti culinary and bartending staff (who called us "the honeymooners"), and we took full advantage of their perfected breakfasts and decadent cocktails. Happy hours from 4-6 p.m. (which boasted half-off any alcoholic beverage) became an ultimate priority...we weren't ever guilty about it, either!
I also was blown away by the beachside service. The suntanning beach beds were almost as comfortable as our room, and replenished beach towels and ice-cold hand towels (delivered throughout the day) were incredibly refreshing. Plus, the mojitos and greyhounds were delivered within moments of our last round melting down!
One morning's unexpectedly strong winds kept us from a stand-up paddle-boarding experience; so instead, the lovely Bucuti concierge arranged a romantic couples massage in their luxurious spa. The mix-up felt meant to be.
Our six-day itinerary balanced serene seaside leisure with thrilling adventure.
While we definitely did not feel forced to exercise during the vacation, we were offered a beachside Pilates class that we could not pass up! Manchebo, a beautiful wellness resort next-door to ours, offered a complimentary session followed by a green smoothie. Alex had never tried Pilates before, so you can imagine the entertainment from start to finish. Here's to new beginnings, right? We were so appreciative for the opportunity!
Our UTV tour of Aruba through De Palm Tours was absolutely surreal. Alex and I shared our own UTV, wearing fashion-forward bandanas (sarcasm) over our faces to protect ourselves from the desert sand. We offroaded through the Aruban desert to the Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins and the California lighthouse. Though we thought we landed quite the tan considering our four-hour excursion, a shower proved that our skin tone was, rather, a nice coating of dirt. We worked on our natural tan the next morning.
On our final afternoon, Seabob Aruba allowed us to experience the water through a wild underwater jet ski-esque vehicle. We snorkeled to Antilla, a World War II German freighter that sits 70 feet deep underwater off Malmok beach, and we caught sights of beautiful fish and boats while in the open water.
Because of Aruba's identity as a Dutch colony, the country's international influences elevate the culinary offerings of the island.
Most notably, we were honored to sit at The Kitchen Table by White, a curated sixteen-seat dining experience with the most immaculate, locally foraged dishes I could have ever imagined. The meticulous preparations utilized the spices, seasonal harvests and specialties of Aruban cuisine in a contemporary presentation. The four-hour evening was simply exceptional; and as a food fanatic, I was wildly entertained by the open kitchen environment with prep work all performed right in front of our place settings. Plated by the master chef himself, each course was almost too stunning to touch.
Cheers to the most magnificent honeymoon we could have ever envisioned, and special thanks to the Aruban partners who made our trip amenities possible!