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Where to stay in Bonaire?

Discussion in 'Bonaire' started by geoteckrob, Sep 6, 2012.

  1. geoteckrob

    geoteckrob Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Sacramento, California
    I know this has been covered many times. My wife and I just booked our airefare for our first trip to Bonaire for a week in January. Now I'm searching for that perfect hotel, villa, condo, etc. I've checked out Buddy Dive and Capt Dons, but getting mixed reviews. Any thoughts?
  2. gbf

    gbf Manta Ray

  3. weezieharris

    weezieharris Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: arkansas
    We just got back from Bonaire Saturday and stayed at the Caribbean Club. We had a one bedroom cottage which had a small kitchenette, sitting area, bedroom, and bath. There is an onsite restaraunt and dive shop. The staff in both areas was extremely friendly. This is more of a "budget" resort but everything was clean, comfortable, and again, the staff was great. The resort is located a little further north than Buddy Dive or Captain Don's so it was peaceful and quiet at night.
    There are several reviews on Trip Advisor if you want to do more research.
  4. chauncy19

    chauncy19 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Cape Cod MA USA
    Well it really all depends on what you like and how much you are willing to spend. I am sure the place mentioned above is great (hato that is). Again it really comes down to what you are looking for in a vacation rental. I personally would not stay at Buddy's,or Capt Don's or Plaza etc. Prefer smaller places and don't need a restaurant or bar or pool on site. I do like being on the water but again that's me. You need to articulate what is important for you to get any "good" advice.
  5. Broct

    Broct Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Seattle
    Our group stayed at the plaza Resort

    18 palms house reef - easy in and out
    Nice boats and crew
    Car/SUV rental on premise
    plenty of tanks
    Near the airport - get into the water faster :wink:

    We stayed in the Villa, so lot's of walking to get to places. Wife didn't care for that
    Food is pricey so you are better off at times to head out into town as it is not much more
    Pay for wifi (free in Jan 2013)

    I would stay here again. Feel free to ask me any questions.

    Sent from my Transformer TF101 using Tapatalk 2
  6. wwguy

    wwguy Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Boise, ID
    I heartily agree with the endorsement for Beachcomber Villas. The reviews on the VRBO site are accurate (including mine.) It's located oceanfront just north of Captain Don's, right in front of the popular "Cliff" dive site.

    We've been visiting Bonaire regularly for 15 years and have stayed at a variety of resorts, condos, and apartments. We stayed at BCV for 3 weeks last winter. We were so impressed that we left a deposit for our next visit before we left the island. This time we're returning with another couple for their 1st Bonaire trip. We're all counting the days.

    Further advice:
    - Book your rental truck with Poppy at Telerin. You can pick it up and drop it off in short-term parking immediately in front of the airport.
    - Book your diving through Dive Friends Bonaire. They have several locations for picking up tanks for shore diving, including one just a few doors north of BCV in the same complex.

    Feel free to PM or email me with any additional questions about BCV.
  7. diversteve

    diversteve always tired Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    We liked BelMar Condos. They're in Belnem south of town so quiet. Oceanfront - less than 50' to the dive dock if you're on the ground floor. Pool is between the complex and the ocean. They're somewhat newer than Buddy Dive or Habitat and there's only about 20 units total. Far enough from the airport to be quiet at night and 5 minutes driving to the start of all the good southern dive sites. About Belmar

    Their house dive is decent but there's better. The other Buddy Dive shop is on-site at the south end of the property so you get tank exchange privileges for the Buddy Dive drive-thru when diving north. They also send a boat down at least several times per week depending on demand. Your condo key gets you into the public area of the diveshop 24/7 for tanks, analyzer, suit storage etc. The ground floor units have dive lockers outside the back door, the upper get lockers by the dive shop. 20' behind the units to the parking lot - it's a pretty compressed property and it's on the main road going north/south in that area.

    All face west for the view. Full kitchens but as is typical in many places on Bonaire only the bedrooms have a/c. All the units have nicer patios with nice furnishings. If there's one small complaint it's that the master bedroom (at least in our 2BR) was in the back. So a garden rather than ocean view.

    From there it's about a five minute drive to the Plaza Resort - the nearest food options. Another five minutes (or less) to downtown. They have a night watchman but IDK how needed he is - we left our door open all day. The couple next door left theirs open all week. It's a pretty quiet, residential neighborhood. Near the road to Lac Bay also if you want to boardsail/kitesurf.

    Not that BelMar is any closer but all the other north dive resorts previously mentioned are driving distance to town also. But you don't really want to stay in town either as all the diving (except for Divi and Carib Inn) is north or south. And there's cruise ships now. And it's a really small downtown.
  8. DiveMaven

    DiveMaven Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Kihei, Maui & Vancouver, WA
    We always stay at Den Laman when we're on Bonaire. The condos are on the 2nd and 3rd floors, with a security door at the bottom of the stairs to access them. Den Laman is ocean front and on Bari Reef, an excellent house reef with great diving. Full kitchens and full A/C in the livingroom and bedrooms for the 1 and 2 bedroom units. We get an ocean front unit so we can sit on the lanai in the evening and watch the sunset, then at night we'll often watch the lights of the night divers in the ocean in front of us.

    Bonaire Dive and Adventure has 24 hour access to tanks and weights, and you simply back your truck up to the tank room to pick up multiple tanks. Tanks are also available on the dive dock, and nitrox is the same price as air. They also have 24 hour access to the gear room, which is locked up at night for security, but you'll be able to get in whenever you want.

    Bottom line is that there aren't many "bad" choices on Bonaire. It's a matter of finding what best matches your desires and going for it.
    FlyinV likes this.
  9. drrich2

    drrich2 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southwestern Kentucky
    I posted a review of Dive Hut, a reputable budget option, in this forum section the other day, and another place or 2 were mentioned in that thread.

    In the past, when I've evaluated online offerings for different places, some (WannaDive and Buddy Dive) shops included what amounts to free nitrox upgrade in the basic package deal, whereas Captain Don's at least sometimes did not, so be sure you're comparing apples to apples when you price.

    Buddy Dive and Captain Don's are both reputable, and located side-by-side, and have nice housereef dives. I stayed at Buddy's once and liked it.

  10. Drewpy

    Drewpy Orca

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: No. California
    Check out Bamboo Bali..a small, wonderful resort across the street fro BD, run by a great dutch family, private..quite..a real gem!

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