Bati Bleki, August 19th, 2013

ELEMENTS IS OPEN AT THE BUCUTI. A restaurant with a healthy outlook on food officially opened this week at the Bucuti Beach Resort & Tara Suites. We were invited to try it out and I can personally attest to the fact that it’s all perfect from arrival when we were greeted in the lobby by Resort Manager Deborah Dintelman to dessert and after dinner drink at the beach-side lounge. Congratulations to the always-innovative boutique resort crew for the lovely initiative and considerable investment. The restaurant is open from 7am to 10:30pm, for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but hold your horses before you tear out of your chair, you gotta make a reservation, because resort guests have priority, and they simply don’t take walk-ins. Elements finds its home in a brand new glass construction, where the Spanish Galleon once stood, at the edge of the infinity pool. The indoor displays just a few tables and the deck a few more, nicely spaced with plenty of elbow-room, so you can’t possibly listen in on your neighbor’s conversation, the way you do in other famous seaside places. The ipad menu contains 4 different-style foods, World Cuisine, Vegan & Vegetarian, Natural & Vegetarian and Romantic Dining – available under four gorgeous beach palapas –   so you can travel between pages and view the pictures to help you decide what you’re going to have. We picked appetizers from the Natural & Vegetarian selection and main courses from World Cuisine and admired the culinary artistry of Executive Chef Kurt Hoffman with every bite. The gracious table service by our server Mirna, the efficient authority of Katharina, the Assistant Restaurant Manager and the ever-so-friendly Patrick v/d Berg who is Director of Operations and Quality Assurance, delivered a true continental touch to our dining adventure. Which brings me to the drop-dead gorgeous view, and the super-tasteful furnishings, tableware, glassware and the elegance, upscale sophistication of the complete package. I ain’t lying, it is that good. Patrick reported to us that the resort closed during heavy restaurant construction, and was only partially open, as the building was finished, for fear of inconveniencing guests. You know what that means. That means loss of revenue, which you can consider part of the investment. Owner Ewald Biemans truly raised the bar on seaside dining. Which brings me to the pricing. You cannot expect a 2013 Mercedes-Benz at Volkswagen rates. You want a Mercedes? You gratefully pay for one, because you can.

ARUBA WINE & DINE RESTAURANT WEEK, 2013. Make sure you eat out at Aruba’s Wine & Dine Restaurants in the coming week because they are offering a special, August 28th to September 4th, a 3-course dinners for just Awg 45, at Tango Argentine Grill, Cafe the Plaza, Fishes and More, Moomba Beach, Salt & Pepper and Hadicurari, with part of the proceeds earmarked for Huize Maristella. Tango Argentine Grill was recently renovated with a complete new interior dressing the booths up in black & white cowhide, and framing the open grill with rustic red tile. I wrote about Hadicurari not long ago. The new handsome chef really knows his Ceviche and Tuna Tataki, and cooks fresh fish to perfection. Sopranos, also a member of Aruba Wine & Dine, received a complete overhaul courtesy of interior decorator Joop Rooijakkers who kept the retro feel of the bar, also improving the outside greatly, with new seating arrangements and lights. The bar delivers live Bada-Bing-style piano every day, and our very own Angelo Koolman on guitar on Saturdays! The empire’s General Manager is multi-tasking Evert Gerards. He has a special talent of being everywhere at the same time, and he reports Salt & Pepper is also scheduled for renovations soon, and that veteran chef Ronald van Hasenbroek was hired as full-time food-consultant to spiff up menus and presentations across the board. I cannot abandon the subject without mention of Fishes and More, where Jeroen Kuling must be serving tons of Dutch mussels these days!

LIFESTYLES OF THE RICH & FAMOUS AT BLUE RESIDENCE. I took a hard-hat tour of Blue Residence on Eagle Beach, and concluded that if they allowed pets I would move in tomorrow. With the first building 80% sold out to a nice mix of American, South-American, Canadian and Dutch buyers, and the three other building coming along nicely, Sales Representative Nicole Muxi, reports that just like Oceania Resort Residence before, it will probably be sold out by the time it opens. All three of Blue Residence towers are considerably raised from street-level which permits amazing views from all floors and the architects took great advantage of the location by giving the condo a glass facade and large terraces, overlooking blue from every angle in front, and green from every angle in the back viewing the Bubali Bird Sanctuary. The complex boasts just 127 luxury apartments , enjoying the use of two large pools and a stylish club-house with an upscale gourmet restaurant, gym and spa. The Pering Group, developers of the project, started in 1950, and is today one of Venezuela’s largest, privately owned real estate, engineering, design, building and construction firms. Nicole who has a degree in engineering herself reports a furniture package is available to buyers, but those with a passion for interior decoration are invited to style their condo themselves!

LE GARAGE IS A WELL-OILED BEAUTY MACHINE. On the Bubali Road next to the Bubali Commercial Center you will find La Garage. It started as a clothing boutique and slowly but surely evolved into a hair dressing giant, first with one chair, then with one more, and one more. Sandra Gonzalez is the talented entrepreneur at the helm of the salon, she offers well-priced professional services, which propel clients such as Ivette Benavides to say, Le Garage is the BEST beauty salon in Aruba.  Married to Aruba Airport Authority Director Peter Steinmetz, Sandra attracts a diverse and colorful clientele, and opens on Sunday from 1pm to 5pm, to accommodate those who have to show up in the office early Monday morning, looking like a million dollar!              [email protected]

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August 18, 2013
Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster