Aruba's Bucuti Beach woos couples with boutique chic

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ARU-BucuttiGrab a pina colada, settle into a cushy chair at the Bucuti Beach Resort's Sand Bar on Aruba's Eagle Beach and get ready. If it's sunset, it's showtime. 

Situated less than 20 miles north of Venezuela and 12 degrees north of the equator in the southern Caribbean, Aruba boasts sunsets that are rapid-fire affairs.

Gaze between wind-bent palm trees and watch the piercing orange sun speedily dip into the Caribbean Sea as it bids good-night.

If clients like getaways filled with sunsets, ocean views and romance, Bucuti Beach Resort, a few minutes' drive from the Aruban capital city of Oranjestad, is an ideal venue.

The 104-room boutique property is located in what is known as Aruba's low-rise hotel section. Travelers seeking more company and bigger hotels can venture a few miles away to the high-rise strip on Palm Beach, with its Holiday Inn, Radisson, Hyatt Regency, Marriott, Westin, Wendy's, Applebees and more.

With its low-key, European vibe, Bucuti blends into its environs much like a shell in the sand.  Guest rooms in the Tara Suites wing face the sea and feel like a luxurious extension of the beach.

The suites, with tiled floors, white walls, dark woods, abstract art and ceiling fans, feature a living room and a mini-kitchen with fridge, sink and microwave.

Eco-friendly functionality, such as solar-heated water systems and motion detectors to conserve energy, are an integral part of the resort's overall design. 

Even the awning above the Pirate's Nest dining patio, patched together from canvas squares, expands and contracts based on the tug of the tradewinds.

Bucuti, which markets itself as a wedding and honeymoon destination, is, in a sense, the victim of its own success. The couples-only property works hard to retain 90% occupancy because guests, many of whom may have recited marital vows at the property, cannot return with their children, according to co-owner Susan Biemans.

Bucuti discourages kids because "we want to offer couples a romantic time-out from the everyday distractions of tending to kids," she said.

Bucuti Beach Resort offers a wide range of romance packages, commissionable at 10%. Seven-night honeymoon deals through Dec. 22 range from $1,917 per couple in a superior gardenview room to $3,176 in Tara penthouses, covering room, taxes and service fees, bottle of champagne, candlelight dinner for two at the Pirates' Nest, snorkeling or a sunset cruise and a gift basket.

Bucuti has a five-night minimum-stay requirement and a no-smoking policy. Same-sex couples are welcome. For more information, visit www.bucuti.com/en/travel_industry.

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