Aruba's Bucuti adds business, fitness features

EAGLE BEACH, Aruba -- Bucuti Beach Hotel underwent a renovation here while celebrating its 10th anniversary.

The resort revamped its guest rooms, lobby and outdoor public areas. The main building was remodeled to include a business center, a fitness center and a gift shop.

According to management, 40% of its guests come back yearly. The visitor mix usually consists of Americans in winter and Europeans in summer. During the past decade, the occupancy level has averaged about 90%.

Rooms are larger than average, designed to accommodate visitors who prefer longer stays. The rooms are decorated in bright colors and have coffeemakers, refrigerators, a minibar and microwaves. Next-day laundry service is available.

The resort also keeps the noise level down, appealing to relaxation-seeking guests. "There are many Americans who want to get away to a resort that offers total peace and quiet -- just the sound of the ocean waves and the whistling of palm trees. That's what we offer," hotel owner-manager Ewald Biemans said.

Bucuti Beach keeps the noise level at a minimum, in part, by maintaining a kids-discouraged policy. "There's nothing for them to do. We have no programs for them," said Susan Biemans, who runs the hotel with her husband.

Action seekers can take a short bus ride into Oranjestad. The resort is within walking distance of 24 restaurants as well as the Alhambra casino and shopping area.

The on-site 150-seat Pirates Nest restaurant serves seafood and steaks. The restaurant also is home to a weekly limbo show. Honeymooners get a special table set on the beach, where they dine by torchlight and are served by a personal steward.

Rates through Dec. 18 range from $120 for a standard room to $180 for a suite. From Dec. 19 to April 4, prices range from $220 for standard unit to $310 for a suite, and from April 5 to Dec. 23, $130 to $200. The resort offers a European Plan or Modified American Plan with a dine-around feature covering nine local restaurants.

Bucuti Beach Resort, Phone: (800) 223-1108, Web: www.bucuti.com

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