You're invited to take a trip with us...down memory lane as Bucuti & Tara celebrates its 35th anniversary. We're remembering the opening of Bucuti Beach Hotel and its place in Aruba’s rich history while celebrating its resounding triumph as a Caribbean hotel success story. What started as a hotelier’s dream almost four decades ago, has proudly become one of the Top 25 Hotels in the World according to Tripadvisor, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, Forbes, and more. Similtaneously, we're proud to be the Caribbean's first certified carbon-neutral hotel.
Tourism, a natural choice for Aruba
In 1985, as Aruba’s Lago oil refinery shuttered, coveted jobs were lost and the island’s leaders sought new opportunities for its community to prosper. Our sunny, arid island was not suitable for agricultural exports or manufacturing, and the days of mass technology were yet to be. Our budding tourism industry however, was tried and tested, becoming the focus of growth for the government. Hotelier Ewald Biemans, already a proven leader in the island’s tourism sector, answered the call to invest and was all-in for the community he loved, well before the arrival of off-island chain properties. Soon, Bucuti Beach Hotel was born.
Triumph despite an ominous start
Black Monday, Oct. 19, 1987 was the day the stock market crashed, however, for our Bucuti Beach Resort, that day marked its grand opening – 11 days ahead of schedule. From the day we opened, prosperity prevailed for our special Eagle Beach hotel. Inspired by the friendly, bright people making up the island community, Ewald incorporated the best of Aruba and has cared for the local community and its natural beauty as much as for the resort’s guests.
Innovation, adaption and the best workforce
Ewald's community involvement and his continual reinvestment in the resort and its staff of hospitality professionals since opening have been the secret sauce that fuels the resort's success. Being a pioneer and an early adopter while maintaining who we are at our core has been key to thriving in the global hospitality environment. The implementation of advanced technologies and innovations to create an efficient, desirable and well-organized workplace has been ongoing. Earning iconic industry awards and accolades have helped attract Aruba’s most ambitious and talented hospitality professionals. Beyond the extensive training, we care about our winning team of Bucuti Associates just as we do our guests.
“We are in the nature business”
As Ewald has long said, “we are not in the tourism business, we are in the nature business. People come from all over the world to experience the natural beauty of Aruba, especially our powdery white sand beaches, turquoise clear water, delicate coral reefs and cacti forests.” Protecting nature in Aruba has been paramount to his mission. Ewald believes in preserving Aruba’s flora and fauna for you and for future generations.
While Bucuti’s success in providing an exceptional vacation experience took off, the framework for sustainability soon followed. Ewald was compelled to protect the treasure that is Aruba and soon-to-be Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort by earning the world’s top eco-certifications of Green Globe, Travelife Gold, ISO 9001 and 14001, LEED Gold v4.1, and ultimately in Aug. 2018, it became the Caribbean’s first certified carbon-neutral hotel. In 2020, the United Nations honored Bucuti & Tara with a coveted Global UN Climate Action Award proclaiming the resort’s sustainability program “highly replicable and scalable” for hotels of the world to follow.
Local success, global stage
Bucuti's international media recognition has flowed with every award, accolade and certification, casting Aruba in the spotlight and highlighting its beauty, culture, people and quality of experience as a premier Caribbean destination.
A lifetime of ‘firsts’
For 35 years, Bucuti & Tara has been defying the norm, however, one thing it has not defied is our community. Launching beach clean-ups more than 30 years ago, our resort still maintains a monthly commitment shared by guests and staff. An early adopter of technology, our resort installed the first webcams and was called upon by Setar for Wifi testing as it worked to establish its system. As Aruba’s pet overpopulation continued to grow, we launched Stimami Sterilisami, a nonprofit organization to subsidize spay and neutering of local dogs and cats. Since 2016, as of Aug. 2022, more than 30,000 pets have been registered. Loyal and continual support of Turtugaruba, the Donkey Sanctuary and Pack for a Purpose (benefiting Imeldahof Children’s Home) have been a priority for us. Our Tara Eco warehouse even streamlines procurement of environmentally friendly supplies other island hotels and restaurants utilize as a dependable, economic, and sustainable solution.
That the future may learn from the past
As we eye the years to come, we are focused on continuing to elevate our high-quality offerings and relationships to benefit Aruba. Our next major goal is to achieve carbon negativity in 2023. We continue to freely share our initiatives to help others start their own sustainability journey or propel them along the path.
Coming soon: a fitting 35-year anniversary celebration rooted in the tradition of community service
Ewald and lifelong friend Greta Marie Cohen recently donated over 12 hectares (30 acres) of land soon to be transformed into a nature preserve in Noord. To celebrate Bucuti & Tara's 35th anniversary, 35 trees will be planted that will eventually provide shade for a planned walking/running trail on this newly protected tract next month for the community to enjoy. More about this exciting project, soon!
Thank you for being a part of the first 35 years of Bucuti & Tara's story and we look forward to keeping you a part of it for many years come.