It felt fitting that everywhere you went in Aruba during the second weekend in May, you heard Prince’s “Purple Rain.”
Not only because it was a proper tribute to the late singer, but because on a Tuesday night, looking out from the private cabana at Elements Restaurant on the beach, that’s exactly what color the sky was: a striking purple, fading into shades of lavender and indigo as the sun continued to tuck itself behind the ocean.
The view itself is unbeatable — fitting for the Bucuti, which has been rated by TripAdvisor as the No. 1 hotel for romance in the entire world — and the vibe changes between the first and second half of your dinner at the restaurant, located at the adults-only resort. The Sunset Seating at 6 p.m. takes place near the patio where happy hour unfolds until 7 p.m. — but after that, it all goes quiet, save for the sound of the crashing waves (you can also opt for a later dinner, the Moonlight Seating at 8:30 p.m.).
Bucuti & Tara Reach Resort Aruba
We were invited to enjoy a delicate salad of seared pepper-crusted tuna to start, served with cucumber tomato “confetti” and salsa, followed by a soup called the wild mushroom cream cloud, and we started to get full right around the time that the garden greens with crispy julienne duck arrived. It took all we had to enjoy the petite filet mignon and braised chicken (the juiciest) on creamy leaks and somehow find a way to shovel in some chocolate cake. But we did it all.
The price is $190.44 per couple for the Romantic Dinner, which includes complimentary wine or Champagne with an appetizer, entrée, dessert, and tea.
In addition to the Romantic Dining menu, there is also a healthy and eco-conscious dining menu, which carries a “low carbon footprint dining approach” and holds the only LEED Silver Certification in the Caribbean, due to the restaurant’s consistent commitment to saving water, energy, recycling and reusing, preserving the natural elements, and reducing food waste by lowering portion sizes in its three-course meals.
As if all this weren’t romantic enough, the hotel also features movies under the stars (on the beach itself) twice a week.