Gay Nagle Myers
Gay Nagle Myers

While health and wellness activities have been a major focus at many resorts in the Caribbean in the past couple of years, one resort in Aruba has taken the concept to a new level.

And the timing is perfect as it ties in with the recent announcement by the Caribbean Tourism Organization that 2018 is the Year of Rejuvenation, which declared that wellness is an important aspect of the Caribbean tourism product.

In a major upgrade to its existing wellness program, the adults-only, 104-room Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort on Aruba's Eagle Beach introduced the Caribbean's first "Healthy Hour" and expanded its wellness offerings with complimentary activities and classes.

The Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort in Aruba.
The Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort in Aruba.

"We want to support and inspire our guests, give them knowledge and practical experience so they can live their lives to the fullest while here and long after returning home," said Ewald Biemans, the resort's owner and CEO. "We are on a mission of continually expanding our healthy lifestyle offerings to provide our guests with the most fulfilling vacation experience possible," he said.

Healthy-minded couples now can toast one another during the Healthy Hour, which runs daily from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. and offers half-priced nutrient-packed smoothies ($4.75) and craft $4 mocktails at the resort's SandBar.

Smoothie ingredients include vitamin A and C and a potassium-rich mix of watermelon, strawberry, coconut water and ginger, antioxidants drawn from almond milk, blueberries, spinach and cinnamon as well as high fiber from mango, banana and flaxseed.

An example on Bucuti & Tara's mocktail menu: watermelon di basil, a detoxifying blend of watermelon, cucumber, water, basil, old-fashioned bitters and aged balsamic vinegar.

Sounds yummy, and healthy.

Snack offerings range from funchi croutons with chopped local tomatoes, garlic and olive oil on Sundays to rice paper wraps with vegetables and marinated tofu on Mondays, oven toasted vegetable spring rolls with a papaya dip on Thursdays and vegetable kebabs with peanut butter dips on Saturdays.

Then there is tai chi on the beach as one of the new complimentary wellness activities, and consultations with the staff's wellness and nutrition specialists.

The lifestyle enhancements are the latest additions to the resort's customizable wellness program, first introduced in 2016, that offers tailor-made itineraries to support guests' individual wellness goals.

The five-night Couples Wellness Retreat package features accommodations in an oceanfront Tara suite, daily breakfast, welcome amenity, a meeting with an in-house nutritionist to create a meal plan to take home, couples massage and daily activities. This is priced from $4,175 per couple through April 2; price drops to $3,180 from April 3 through Dec. 23.

As Hugh Riley, CTO secretary general, said in his 2018 Year of Rejuvenation message, "the notion of being rejuvenated in the Caribbean is one more reason to let us pamper you this year." Bucuti & Tara has offered ample reasons for guests to be pampered and healthy in 2018.

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