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Alya's TR - Nevis, St Juan and Aruba

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Friday 5pm – the beginning of a 12 night vacation!

Although I suppose I really shouldn’t really count the Friday night since we spent it in Boston. We used parksleepfly.com and paid $189 for an overnight room at the Holiday Inn (Boston St) and 12 days parking, a complimentary shuttle to and from the hotel makes this worth doing and even though we weren’t on the usual 7am flight (we could have easily driven to Logan on the Saturday morning) but a couple of years ago we visited Santarpio’s Pizza in East Boston and liked it so much that it has now become a tradition for the evening before any Caribbean trip.

For anyone who hasn’t had the chance to visit Santarpio’s – it’s a hole in the wall restaurant that serves good pizza with ‘atmosphere’ http://www.visitingnewengland.com/santarpios.html , perhaps not for everyone :-) We arrived at 9pm and it was so busy that we chose to sit at the bar instead of waiting 15 minutes for a table, we ordered the combination lamb and sausage served with bread and peppers and then a pizza and shared both – I can’t remember the name of the pizza but I decided to pick the peppers off before I ate it (N thought it was delicious but he loves spicy food) 1/2 a carafe of house wine for $5 (red or white is the only choice however it wasn’t too... bad) and a couple of beers for N – the vacation has well and truly begun.

Saturday - Arriving!
This was a late flight for us, we usually end up getting the first flight out but this gave us the chance to take advantage of the complimentary breakfast at the Holiday Inn, we left Boston just after 10am and after a 1hr+ layover in San Juan we flew direct to Nevis and arrived at 4:15. I love sitting next to the window and as we flew over Eustatia I did wave to Statia - ok so she didn't see me but the thought was there :-) The flight wasn’t full there were probably 25 of us on the plane and even though we were the last off the plane we were still through customs within 30 minutes. We both chuckled over the sign that says “Vance W. Amory International Airport” it’s almost as though they expect to have a regional airport at some point :-D

We hadn’t arranged a cab but were led by a porter to a sign saying “Nisbet Plantation” and before we could ask her to arrange one for us - an envelope was thrust into my hand and we were informed that this was our cab and it was paid for – Hmmmm… While checking in we did ask if we’d taken someone else’s ride but were reassured that we hadn’t and when we tried to explain that we hadn’t arranged or paid for one it was shrugged off, although she did ask for the envelope back!

The girl who checked us in gave off an air of total disinterest, she wasn’t particularly welcoming and we got the impression that she was really only there because she was being paid to, later in the week we when we had a query or wanted to book something we made sure someone else was in reception before we went in but I do have to say that she was the ONLY staff member that gave this us this impression

We had 2 nights in a Superior room before moving to a Deluxe Suite, the Superior had a cabin feel with exposed woodwork and a wooden floor; when we couldn’t figure out why one outlet couldn’t work we just traced the wire back along the wall :-D very rustic and relaxing. The room was hexagonal with a king sized bed and wicker furniture with a small screened porch that had a table and 2 patio chairs, this cottage (Stoney Grove) was on the far left side as you look from the beach so we did get some sound from cars using the access road to the beach (it’s right next to a speed bump so cars slow and then accelerate) but nothing too annoying and this was the only place on the resort that I saw humming birds. The bathroom was small with a tiled shower, a small tiled vanity and 2 built in closets in the bathroom there was plenty of hanging and shelf space. There was a fridge and coffee making equipment in the bedroom but no milk, when we requested some a carton of milk appeared in our fridge and we were charged for it when we checked out.

We unpacked and took a walk on the beach and had a drink at the bar, there had been an afternoon wedding and we watched them having their photographs taken on the beach while we drank our Caribs. Before dinner I had the best whiskey sour in a long time (I like them strong on whiskey and low on sour – Dan mixed a good one), I’m not going to describe the dinners (at all mainly because I can’t remember everything we had) but they were all totally delicious. We took advantage of their low season offer of the MAP plan and ate every dinner at the plantation - we found the bottled wine to be reasonable ($35+) and we enjoyed the choices we made. We ate every dinner on the screened porch that overlooks the resort and when offered a choice of tables we chose a table to the right in the hope that Roslyn would be working that night. She has a wonderful, welcoming smile and doesn’t miss a thing, no ‘island time’ with Roslyn! she doesn’t make you feel rushed in the slightest, just special.

The wedding party had a reception and a band by the beach bar so after dinner we took a wander down to the bar and ordered a couple of drinks, enjoyed the music and met some of the other guests.

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    Sunday - Relaxing!
    Having learnt my lesson from last years vacation - Sunday was a relaxing day on the beach, we had a dip in the pool and then ate breakfast before collapsing on the beach, N woke for long enough to eat lunch (conch fritters and a burger – very tasty) and to move his chair whenever the sun moved round to avoid a sunburn :-) I read Virgin Earth by Phillipa Gregory which I really enjoyed, so it wasn’t a waste of a day. Dinner in the Great House and since we had bought some rum in duty free we sat in the porch and had a relaxing nightcap.

    Monday - Monkey butt!
    Since we had decided to hire a car and needed to be at reception at 9am (there are no clocks in the room and using the phone for a wake up call just didn’t seem right) so a relaxing breakfast that could act as a wake-up call when it was delivered to the room seemed a good way to start the day. N (after sleeping most of Sunday) was awake well before breakfast arrived.

    We didn’t realize that Monday was a holiday so we decided to drive around the island and get our bearings – in the end we drove round twice :-D I can imagine that anyone who stays at Nisbet and doesn’t leave the resort imagines that all roads in Nevis are wonderful – trust me they aren’t but they are a hell of a lot of fun. There were goats all over the place but they have the sense to move out of the way, although we did get concerned when there were 3 cows walking along the road.

    On our first lap round we drove to Sunshine’s and I had a Killer Bee, I think it had just opened (11:30ish) since we were only one of 3 couples there, we did hear reports that later in the afternoon the place was heaving. We intended to eat at Four Seasons but we decided to visit Golden Rock for lunch and see if we could see any monkeys, the view was wonderful (if you visit here you have to check out the WC, very interesting) - we had a very relaxing lunch and then with map and a walking stick in hand (I was wearing the worst shoes for hiking) we set off along the monkey trail, I really enjoyed this although N was worried I might slip and sprain an ankle. A couple of minutes after I remembered a post here on Fodors and decided NOT to inform N that there were wild pigs in the woods I had to stop him and ask if he wanted pictures of wild pig :-) there was a mommy and 4 babes lying across the path, they weren’t worried in the slightest but after a couple of photos we decided to retreat. We took a walk into the plantation and wandered round by the pool where the monkey hang out sometimes but didn’t see any; until…… we decided to go back to the car and finish our second trip round the island and while pulling out of the parking lot we saw a monkey’s butt disappearing into Golden Rock grounds, we parked and looked around the plantation (camera in hand) but didn’t see the monkey again. Oh well, it’s only day 2.

    We stopped in at Four Seasons for a drink on the way back and while we had thought about eating here we were glad we chose Golden Rock instead. Four Seasons is not our kind of place – too ‘Stepford’ for us although we did meet an interesting girl from Boston when she ‘borrowed’ a cigarette from N.

    Dinner again at Nisbet, I don’t generally eat 3 courses but perhaps that’s why I put 6lb on – Ah, what the h*ll it was worth it. When dinner was finished we realized it was Monday so we decided to watch the last episode of The Apprentice we were joined by a delightful couple from Atlanta so we didn’t feel so sad and lonely :-)

    Today was room moving day, we did have a short discussion about staying in the Deluxe room but decided it could potentially get too complicated when it came round to checking out so, we packed all but the hanging clothes and went out for the day. When we returned we were escorted to our new room (Jessups) which is on the left again but is the closest on that side of the resort to the beach and the view to the sea is unobstructed – well apart from the beach bar :-) What a difference! No cabin feeling in this room all tiled floors, the bathroom was very spacious with a soaking tub (shower over) double sinks in granite countertops, 2 mirrors and new fixtures.

    The room had a separate walk in closet where they have stored the fridge and coffee making equipment, there was double the storage in the room (not that we used it), everything except the bed was larger than the Superior rooms and best of all was the porch! It was approx 3 times the size of the previous one with a sofa (pull-out), chair, coffee table and a small wicker dining table and chairs perfect for 2. It had shutters that opened to the bedroom that made the whole thing so open and airy - we both agreed it was defiantly worth the extra $ a night. I wouldn’t personally upgrade to the Premier since they didn’t have the screened porch and I would be concerned about staying in one of the downstairs rooms – they looked very dark.

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    Tuesday – Montpelier and Monkey!
    We extended the rental on the car and decided to drive to Montpelier for lunch, the journey up was very interesting but I can imagine that its way….. more interesting when you meet a car coming the other way down/up the one lane track especially in the dark – if you think of going there for dinner I would certainly recommend a cab. The food was good I had a portobello and goat cheese sandwich which was too much for me; N had a club sandwich and would recommend it, the salad was delicious. The resort looks wonderful, it was very quiet and looks to be very well maintained although most areas are reserved for guests so we didn’t get to see too much of the resort.

    We wandered around Charlestown on the way back and bought the required keychain for my collection and then decided since it was so warm to stop at Mingles for a Carib, the place was empty so we sat and enjoyed the peace and quiet. Have you ever wanted to say something sensible like “Oh look there is a monkey climbing over the fence and running across the grass, why don’t you take a photograph”? and frustratingly it comes out as “monkey, monkey, monkey”?? anyway we got our monkey photo :-D

    Wednesday – Snorkeling and more Killer Bees
    Wednesday was another early start, we shared a cab with a lovely couple from NC to Four Seasons for a snorkeling tour where we met up with another couple staying at Nisbet but even then there were only 12 of us on the tour. While waiting for the snorkel tour to begin we watched the guests at Four Seasons play organized beach games and decided that Nisbet was definitely the best choice for us. The snorkel tour was fun, not very good snorkeling but I think the trip to last year to Turks and Caicos has ruined most snorkeling tours for me, I certainly prefer off shore snorkeling but it was nice enough. The crew were a riot and kept the drinks flowing freely after we had snorkeled, we had arranged a cab back to the hotel but we decided to join our fellow snorkelers from Nisbet and the 6 of us headed to Sunshine’s. I had the ribs which were very good but I think anything would have tasted good after the amount of rum punch I drank and 2 Killer Bee’s didn’t certainly didn’t hurt. We spent the rest of the afternoon on the beach soaking up the shade while I applied extra aftersun to my left shoulder which did burn during lunch at Sunshine’s.

    Thursday – Last day
    The last day we decided to spend the day on the beach, we had lunch at the beach bar but that was just about as exciting as it got, except for the hermit crab scuttling along the beach that N managed to get some really amazing pictures of.

    Thursday night was the seafood buffet, we sat at the bar and socialized for a while but when we did decide to go through to the buffet there was a line waiting to be seated so we headed back to the bar and socialized some more and eventually we decided that since they didn’t have a table inside where we could be seated together that we would rather eat outside so they set a table for 5 and we sat by the pool. The food was delicious although I did feel sorry for the servers; it must have been so warm for them. We then headed back to the bar and socialized some more and said goodbye to everyone.

    Friday – Leaving

    We had breakfast (and said goodbye again), a swim in the sea and then a quick dip in the pool before we headed back to our room to pack. Our flight was 1:30 so we checked out of the hotel and said more goodbyes even though we were all heading to the airport – we all agreed it would be nice to meet again sometime on the islands and I have to say we didn’t meet or spend time with anyone that we wouldn’t be totally thrilled to meet again. As our fellow guests flew to St Kitts for their connecting flight to Florida I did say to N that this is why I enjoy smaller resorts there is the ability to create a small community (and welcome newcomers or lone travelers) for a few days and get to know people in a crowd.

    With only 11 people on the flight we had a choice of seats so we chose a seat on the right of the plane so we could see Nisbet from the air :-( We will go back!

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    Friday – San Juan!
    We flew to San Juan for the night, while I was researching this trip it made sense to spend one night in San Juan rather than have a long layover before flying to Aruba. I did some research and was torn between staying near the airport at the Water and Beach club (which looked like it could be an interesting choice for one night) or at El Convento, EJ’s Vieques trip report helped me make the choice and we booked El Convento. We loved it! We stayed on the second floor which has high ceilings (15ft+) with a view of a quiet side street, we took a walk around the old town and discovered that there was a food festival that evening, so we headed back to the hotel, had a quick dip in the pool, a shower and changed. We did take advantage of the wine and cheese hour before we headed out for the evening, they had closed some roads and set up tables in the street, there were bands playing and it was such a party atmosphere – we bought a glass plate from a booth on the street that did cause N a lot of concern on the next 2 flights when it was carefully packed in his backpack. Its now home safely and sitting pride of place in the dining room.

    We weren’t really hungry after the cheese and crackers but we did pop into Tantra for a cocktail, very hippie with hookah lounge and a belly dancer who appears every so often and surprises the people walking past the bar by dancing in the doorway. When we ordered I told the barman that I was too relaxed to look at the cocktail menu and to surprise me because I’ve never met a cocktail I didn’t like, he made me a ‘Seduction’ and it was very nice! Later we ate at a bar and had a delicious meat/cheese plate but since they didn’t have a business card (we collect them) I can’t remember the name but we did meet a nice couple of locals who were interested in the fact that we were traveling onto Aruba and would we recommend it? Hmmm…. depends what you’re looking for and if you know where to find it!

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    I'm loving every bit of your trip report, alya! Glad that you enjoyed Nevis--maybe that will whet Marion's appetite for her upcoming trip! Food festival in OSJ sounds like a lot of fun. Isn't El Convento lovely? So full of charm and graciousness.

    Looking forward to your next installment--keep 'em coming!

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    Ha ha! That was me that mentioned the wild :@) at Golden Rock. And it took us five days before we saw our first 8-|)...tantalizing isn't it?

    Great report...keep it coming. Wow, Aruba is so different from Nevis, this should be interesting.

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    I have to ask. How did you come to pick Nevis AND Aruba for one trip?! I've been to Aruba but not Nevis. I am, however, a researcholic so I know those 2 are COMPLETELY different. Did you do it just cause you could? :-)

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    caribtraveler, I think she booked Nevis because she had read all about it and wanted to try something new and fun. But they had already stayed at Bucuti in the past and loved it, and DH wanted a "sure thing" on vacation. So she cleverly found a way to do both!

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    I'm still here - but things are a bit hectic and I'm waiting for my new laptop so hopefully normal service will be resumed soon :-)

    Marion I don't expect you to see this and I'm sorry I didn't post earlier but anyway in reply to your other post.

    We both liked JI and Nisbet but as your soon to discover Nibset is a little more relaxed.

    The main big difference was the dinners - at JI we ate most meals with other guests we met over Hor d'ovres and decidedto share a table with, whereas at Nisbet we tended to find that most people ate in couples or couples who were vacationing together.

    I wonder if the difference is that at JI we 'went down to dinner' whereas at Nisbet we went 'out' for dinner.

    We also found younger guests at Nisbet than JI and we tended to socialise around the bar more. :-)

    EJ we loved El Convento, it's a very relaxing hotel full of charm - it was a pity we were only there for a night :-( Thanks for helping me make up my mind.

    Caribtraveler - EJ is right, I thought that 11 nights in one place might be a little bit boring for N and I wanted a quick connection from PR, when I realised that it would be an 1hr+ flight from PR to Aruba (and we have been there before) and a direct flight home on the Wednesday it seemed the ideal island to visit for the remaining 4 nights.

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    Great report! You visited some places that we missed on this trip. Next year....We met a couple who were staying at Nisbet and loved it for their honeymoon. I am checking into that place.

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    Took time for me to post - however, bet than late than ever???

    Saturday – Aruba!
    We arrived on Aruba, I was a little wary of booking a resort that we had stayed at before - especially when we enjoyed it so much the first time! However, we thought 11 nights on Nevis might be too much for N, he liked Aruba and Negril because you can easily leave your resort and get out and about. Fortunately since I didn’t have the time research anywhere else he was happy to go back to Aruba - Marion did the research for Nevis :-) she booked to visit after her DD’s wedding and posted asking if anyone would be on Nevis at the same time, I saw the post, checked it out and loved the resort, thanks Marion x x x.

    On to Bucuti! this was a resort that I found in 2004 while researching our first trip out of the country without our ‘offspring’ I used Google and was researching adult only resorts (no kids thank you) and after I chose the ‘without the words’ function and entered no “clothing optional, nudity, naked” and a few other phrases, I found Bucuti Beach on the 3rd/4th page and realized that this was perfect for us.

    We took a cab to Bucuti Beach www.bucuti.com, when we arrived at the hotel we weren’t offered a welcome drink of champagne (or even water) that we had received 2 years ago, although they did have a bottle of both on ice in reception but since we arrived at the hotel before the 3:00pm check in time and our room wasn’t ready we were given a voucher for a free drink and headed to the bar. We only had time to drink half of our drink before Marc came to tell us that our room was ready. We had requested a ground floor room and anyone who has seen my posts regarding Bucuti Beach knows that I recommend them – well, I have to say that now having staying on the 3rd floor where you can see the sea from your room and the privacy to sunbath topless without upsetting other guests (of course you could wear less ;-) ) is a real plus and well worth the time to take the stairs or the elevator.

    I have to say I did prefer the Tara Suites without the grass 6’ strip outside. How, when the resort is asking their guests to conserve water by not choosing to have their sheets/towels cleaned everyday do they justify the amount of water it must take to maintain that strip of grass???? Perhaps it cuts down on the amount of sand walked into the room but we didn’t find we walked in too much in 2004.

    Our room was just as I remembered it from 2 years ago – very well maintained and clean although even with 2 dehumidifiers, AC and an ionic air purifier the room still smelt a little musty. We did ask for some air freshener and we received a message on our phone and TV saying that they had sprayed :-) we bought some incense sticks that we burnt in the sink which did the trick. The rooms are nicely decorated and very modern in feeling, as you walk into the room there was a small lobby area with an entry table and mirror with the bathroom to the right. There’s a closet and small bar area with a microwave, sink and a small fridge and a seating area with a coffee table, sofa and a chair on the right, the bedroom is nearest area to the balcony (divided from the rest of the space by pocket doors which are mainly obscure glass) the bedroom is the width of the room and the outside wall is almost completely glass so the view to the beach is totally unobstructed. The balcony has two very comfortable chairs and a table although it was lovely to be able to go inside and stretch out on the sofa to read when it got too hot outside. The bedroom has 2 sets of curtains, one set of sheers and heavier drapes that block the morning light.

    I would recommend telling them that you are celebrating your anniversary since you receive a ‘Happy Anniversary’ balloon tied to a bottle of wine – we (as repeat guests) received a ‘Welcome Back’ balloon tied to a bag that contained a pack of crackers, cheese, cookies and a bottle of locally made aloe body lotion :-~ I’d rather have had the wine :-D Saturday we ate snacks at the bar and I wouldn’t recommend the food but the 3 hours of ‘Happy Hour’ were fun and the cocktails didn’t disappoint.

    Sunday – Yum O!

    N had the continental breakfast that Bucuti beach provide but for lunch we decided to eat Brunch at Le Dome – I had read lots of good things about it and have to say I agree with all of the good reviews – we didn’t arrive until 1pm and we only ate appetizers, I had the Prosciutto and Duck liver mousse, Melted Brie, Smoked Salmon, Shrimp Salad, and plenty of champagne :-D N had the Scrambled egg, Soup of the day, Shrimp Salad, Melted Brie, with a little champagne and lots of OJ – I did suggest a mimosa but he doesn’t like to mix his drinks! At $39 pp it was well worth it, the food was delicious, the champagne was free flowing and the service and attention was perfect – it was so relaxing, I can only try to imagine how popular this place is in high season and would recommend that you book well in advance. We left at 2:45 but there was no sense of urgency. We weren’t ‘stuffed’ when we left, just satisfied.

    We walked back along the beach but the sand was so hot that we had to walk in the sea – oh dear! Life is soooo… hard :-) A couple of hours laying on the beach a few dips in the sea and the pool and we were ready again for Happy Hour – too satisfied from Brunch to want to eat.

    Monday – shopping
    We took the bus into Oranjestad to buy sneakers for N, I would have liked to have bought a bracelet, while I do try to understand that the Sales people work on commission and that we were in town when there was no cruise ship in port – I hate to feel ‘stalked’ while walking around a store and even a polite “We’re just looking thank you” didn’t deter any of the Salespeople :-( I was more comfortable last year walking along the beach in Negril being offered ‘smokes’ – at least they gracefully take “No, thank you” for an answer. I simply wasn’t comfortable browsing.

    So, no jewelry – we ate at Mambo Jambo, food was ok but the bar was funky and I can imagine this is a good evening hangout. We decided to head back to the Bucuti but we weren’t sure about the bus times – as we entered the bus station there was a bus pulling out on to the main road that stopped and the driver asked us where we were staying we said Bucuti and he said ‘climb onboard’; Perfect timing and how nice of him to stop and ask? When we got back to the Bucuti we headed for the beach which is so nice although the surf was a little rough this year, we enjoyed the 4-5pm happy hour and then decided to try Pizza Bob’s which is apparently part of the Costa Linda resort although it’s closer to the Bucuti. We were very impressed and obviously not the only ones since the patio outside the restaurant was nearly full, we ordered a Caesar salad to share and a 14” triple meat pizza – our server recommended the 12” instead and I have to say he was right we didn’t finish the 12” :-) We did visit the Alhambra casino and managed to lose $1.50 between us, then again N went to Las Vegas in April and lost 25c – it’s a slippery slope :-) I’ve never been in a casino before and I have to say that no one really seemed to be enjoying themselves – they were all concentrated on a machine. Although we did meet another Bucuti guest who explained it – she plays the cheapest machines since you still get free drinks (apparently you should tip well so they come round more often) she never liked to lose more that $10 but could have 3 drinks in that time so it evened out for her, not for me though – not enough air/space, I did feel a little claustrophobic.

    Tuesday – N’s trip
    When we arrived at the airport in Aruba we were given a welcome bag, I looked through the leaflets and I found a Harley Davidson tour of the island, I passed it to N and when his eyes lit up I knew we had found something to do, luckily he got his motorcycle license a couple of months ago so he called them on Monday and booked for Tuesday - this is why we had to buy sneakers – he didn’t pack any.

    We were the only people on the tour with Larry as our tour guide but that just made it so much better, we set off along the main road past Bucuti Beach and the high rise area to the California lighthouse, I should probably explain that N normally rides a sports bike and his seating position is different – plus the fact that this was the first time I had ridden pillion, so I wasn’t sure how comfortable he was, I did think about asking him to drop me off at the Bucuti as we drove by :-) but decided I would try to relax and enjoy the scenery. When we stopped at the lighthouse, Larry met a local whose husband had just bought her a HD and she joined us for part of our trip. If you want to feel like a local dignitary simply hire someone to drive you around on a HD; men seem to have this instinctive reaction to wave at HD’s, I’m not sure they can control their arms :-D

    We visited the Natural rock which we didn’t visit in 2004, we had a cooling drink in the bar – N had a coke and I had a Balashi (being a passenger does have it advantages), unfortunately our local driver left us at this point but Larry did tell her to call any morning early and check if there was a tour because she was welcome anytime :-) In all we drove 70 miles, all on the back roads – at one point it started rain which was very relaxing but we headed to the other coast to get away from the clouds. We stopped for a drink at Charlie’s (another Balashi for me), the place was amazing and you could probably spend your whole vacation reading the walls http://charliesbararuba.com/charlie/charlie.htm we had our picture taken under the “We repair hangovers” sign :-) We drove back to the HD showroom and tipped Larry – he is so….. good, very friendly and informative.

    Again we ate at Pizza Bob’s – again the food was good and also the service, we had the same server who recognized us from the evening before and asked if we’d like the same order but we chose not to have the salad, pizza was good again

    Wednesday, I got up late, N went for breakfast and I have to say that after I reviewed the check out charges (and this is probably worth checking if one of you has breakfast and the other doesn’t), on the 2 occasions that N ate the complimentary breakfast they charged a double service charge! We had a last dip in the sea and the pool.

    There was a problem when we checked out but it was all down to their computers and I have to say that this was the one point that management let the concierge down, we had been accepted as repeat guests but ‘management’ came out to check the system and when he was happy that it was their issue not an issue with our CC (Thank you for speaking Dutch, that made us really comfortable- NOT) he said “We hope you come back to see us again” Gasp/shock/horror he didn’t know that we were repeat guests?

    My thoughts?
    We didn’t visit the High Rise area – the last visit was enough for us!

    Visiting Bucuti again? –
    The grass outside the Tara Suites seems such a waste of resources to me.
    The pool did seem a bit grubby but since we only used it late afternoon perhaps that was down to the guests not cleaning their feet before they entered the pool – we did see this.
    There was some plastic garbage flying around, after a late night dip in the sea I left some garbage on the Tara Suites reception desk.

    All in all we were happy to visit Aruba again and Bucuti Beach – I wouldn’t stay anywhere else; I do think however that we were so relaxed after Nevis that we really couldn’t be bothered to explore Aruba too much.

    It’s our 25th anniversary next year and we are trying where to visit – 2 island for a week each, we may go back to Nevis and then to Jamaica.

    So many islands – too little time!

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    alya, it was a pleasure to read the rest of your trip report. It was especially useful to me because my brother and his fiancee will be going to Aruba next year for part of their honeymoon and I'm in charge of helping them plan their activities. :)

    In addition to a week in a timeshare, they're going to have 2 nights extra to spend in Aruba before going home. Reading your comments on Bucuti, do you think the rates they charge for high season are a pretty good value? I just checked their website yesterday and the Bucuti garden view rooms were over $300, with the Tara Suites being significantly higher than that. Did you ever see any of their "regular" rooms?

    So...when and where will your next trip be?

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    Hi ej,

    They had almost finished the renovations when were there and while I didn't see into any of the rooms they used the same designer as the Tara suites - they look nice on the website, although the rooms are smaller.

    I just hope thay have worked on the corridors - we walked through to the 'library' which was basically a set of shelves in the Bucuti wing and the whole building felt very claustrophobic and grubby. I assume due to the attention to details that the resort has paid to the rest of the place that they will have fixed that before next year.

    Having only paid $260 for the Tara suites I personally wouldn't like to pay over $300 for a Gardenview room (phew!) the best think I suppose about travelling in the low season but I think your brother will be happy with these rooms

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  23. 23 What is the best place in Turks & Caicos?
  24. 24 Trip Report St. Thomas is dangerous
  25. 25 Punta Cana vs Santo Domingo, differences?
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