It’s always been one of the greenest hotels in the Caribbean, but Aruba’s Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort has taken its sustainability push to a far more significant level, both with a carbon-negative push and a new program to help travelers take a carbon-neutral vacation.
The adults-only resort on Eagle Beach was already the Caribbean’s first certified carbon-neutral hotel, meaning it did everything it could to offset carbon emissions.
That had resulted in what was a very minute emissions gap — but the plan is now to go fully carbon-negative this year — and help take that philosophy right to the heart of the guest experience.
Bucuti is working on a number of initiatives toward that end, from going toward 100 parent paperless; adding a new rooftop variable refrigerant flow system; adding rooftop solar panels dedicated for water heating; using only indigenous trees, shrubs and plants to add to the resort’s landscaping; and creating a self-sufficient microgrid of solar panels for administrative offices.
“With climate change happening faster than scientists could even predict, going carbon-neutral is no longer a choice — and it’s almost no longer enough,” Ewald Biemans, the resort’s owner, tells Caribbean Journal. “It can be done as the United Nations noted that the sustainability program at Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort is ‘highly replicable and scalable.’ Beyond that, going carbon negative contributes to our own vulnerable spot along the Caribbean coastline as much as it helps as share in this global movement.”
The hotel was already the first hotel in Aruba to be certified LEED gold; it’s also Green Globe platinum, Travelife Gold and, of course, CarbonNetural certified.
But now the resort is giving its guests a chance to offset their own carbon use, the only resort program of its kind in the Caribbean. (Luxury airline Tradewind Aviation was the first to offer Caribbean travelers the chance to offset their carbon emissions).
Bucuti calls it it the world’s first Carbon Offset Concierge, and it includes a host of carbon-neutral experiences for travelers.
The goal is to help guests offset their own emissions from flights, airport transfers and island excursions through certified programs.
That ranges from the option to use an EV taxi or the resort’s EV car for exploring Aruba via clean energy.
The resort’s Elements eatery offers full vegan and vegetarian menus, and travelers can hike the island’s Arikok National Park with their own refillable water bottle.
Even better? The resort doesn’t charge for the Carbon Offset Concierge service, which also helps calculate the carbon emissions want to offset based on their vacation plan and then provide options to purchase credits from verified programs.
That typically amounts to about $30 per person for the entire stay.
“As long as people can, they will travel, and here at Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, Aruba, our promise to them is they can have a dream vacation that is as healthy for them as it is the planet thanks to our door-to-door climate neutral vacation,” Biemans says. “The Google 2022 Travel Search Trends revealed that among the top six search criteria is sustainability. By Bucuti & Tara providing travelers with the world’s first carbon-neutral vacation, we are giving them the control of how they impact the planet and there is peace through purpose.”