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Divi or Plaza?

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Atlanta, GA
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Divi or Plaza?

My husband and I are going diving in Bonaire in early April. We've never been there before and would like some feedback about where to stay. We want easy diving, a beach area for lounging, clean rooms/beds, and easy way into town for some nicer dinners.

Any thoughts?

New England
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1,678 posts
242 reviews
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1. Re: Divi or Plaza?

Plaza has a beach, Divi has a tanning pier but not a beach. Both have nice house reefs. I prefer the dive shop and set-up at Divi over Plaza but that is just my opinion. Divi is right on the edge of town making for an easy walk to restaurants while Plaza would be more of a walk to get to town. If you have a vehicle nothing is really far on the island. Are you open to other suggestions of places to stay or are you sure you want it to be one of the two you mentioned?

Edited: 15 March 2011, 22:37
Atlanta, GA
5 posts
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2. Re: Divi or Plaza?

I'm very open! Please advise. We are actually booked to go to Cozumel but we've been there many times and want something new. I am so open, I'm even open to different countries - LOL!

Bring it on! I'd appreciate all the info/suggestions I can get.

Thanks,

Chris

New England
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1,678 posts
242 reviews
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3. Re: Divi or Plaza?

Chris, great attitude!! I am making my 21st visit to Bonaire next month and though we travel to other spots it remains our favorite for diving. Can't beat the shore diving for ease and the convenience of your own schedule. Have you looked into purchasing a copy of Bonaire Shore Diving Made Easy by Susan Porter? It is available at www.bsdme.info.

Bonaire does not have long stretches of sandy beaches so finding lodging with beaches can be very limiting. There are small beaches at Harbor Village Resort and Eden Beach Resort. Since it will still be cruise ship season when you go you should know that cruise ship people visit the beaches at Plaza and Eden and the pools at Divi. I do not know anything about the dive op at Harbor Village. Their house reef is at the mouth of the marina and is not really a reef -- it is coral rubble with lots of little critters in residence and sometimes current.

Not sure of your travel style and diving preferences but we really prefer smaller places. We are usually on island for more than a week at a time so rent an apartment but when we are going for just a week our absolute favorite is Deep Blue View Bed and Breakfast. You will find great reviews here on TA. It is not on the water but the quality of the accommodations, the small number of divers on the boat (no more than 10) and the personal attention to all details make it very special.

Other options include Windsock Apartments with WannaDive right across the street. There is a small sandy area at WannaDive. Bruce Bowker's Carib Inn is a great spot right on the water. Excellent dive shop, small resort, basic but very clean rooms and within walking distance to town. Very popular so not always easy to get a reservation. Bel Mar is located closer to the southern dive sites and is associated with Buddy Dive so you have 2 locations to get tanks, one at Bel Mar and one at Buddy. No beach but a nice pool area and dock for diving. All of Bel Mar's accommodations are apartments. I have been inside once and it was quite nice.

Let me know if I can answer any more questions and feel free to send me a private message through TA.

Brentwood, Tennessee
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4. Re: Divi or Plaza?

Divi is terrific - the dive staff shows you a wonderful, safe time. In addition to all bluewaterdiva's great suggestions, you might want to check out Coral Paradise Resort. They offer beautiful accommodations, and partner with two nearby dive operations. Because their packages include the use of a Jeep, you can get to town plus shore dive - it's great to have that flexibility.

Ohio
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5. Re: Divi or Plaza?

Been to Bonaire three times. My husband has been there countless times as he has family that has retired there.

On our first trip in '07 there was no question to where I was to get certified and he get his advanced - his family booked us at Divi. Though we never stayed there (family twice and a condo past the Plaza for our honeymoon), we'll never dive anywhere else. The staff - from Serge the manager to the ladies at the desk, their service and knowledge are top notch.

We met people staying there and thought there room was well-appointed. It was their 8th annual trip to Divi.

We ate at the Chibi Chibi restaurant - never tried the buffet for the overnight guests. It was close, tasty and affordable between dives for lunch, but for dinner after a night dive, my husband was quite disappointed with the half-dollar sized fillet for over $20 when he got a steak 5 times the size for around the same price at the Unbelievable Restaurant across the street.

The Plaza is just beautiful and has a larger beach. We had a great lunch there. As stated in other posts, the Plaza is away from town, while Divi is on the edge of it all. Perfect if car rental will stretch your budget. Divi also has a small casino. Very low-key and only open in evenings. You'll see and share drinks and games with locals. Very friendly.

For a bit of both worlds - try next door at the afore-mentioned Bruce Bowker's Carib Inn South of Divi. We've purchased almost all of our dive gear there. Another family recommendation. Not only does Bruce have the best gear and rates, he probably knows the most about it.

Never stayed there, but just the path to the shop is magical. The place is stunningly beautiful. I can only imagine that Bruce offers one of the best dive operations on the island. Would be a great place for a little of both worlds - seclusion with walking distance to groceries and attractions.

NC
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80 posts
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6. Re: Divi or Plaza?

We just returned from Divi on 3/27/11 and LOVED it. We also walked to the Plaza to rent our car b/c Divi was out of what we wanted. It is a good 5-7 minute walk from Divi to Plaza so... from Plaza, it would be a 15-20 minute walk into town. The ease of diving at Divi is fantastic. We did a lot of shore dives from Divi. Their dive op is GREAT. We were very impressd.

7. Re: Divi or Plaza?

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Holland, Ohio
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8. Re: Divi or Plaza?

I have stayed at both places and would defenitely choose Divi. Friendly staff and while not everything may be as you are used to in a good hotel, at his it's "couleur local". I had a lovely time at Divi

Oregon
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9. Re: Divi or Plaza?

We were in Bonaire recently and had a wonderful time. It is alot different than say Playa del Carmen and Cozumel. Besides diving and snorkeling there is not alot to do compared to those other 2 travel sites. I only say this as a comparison.

I did visit the Butterfly Farm and the Donkey Sanctuary. I loved visiting the Donkey Sanctuary. I also visited the Friday artisans market. I was kind of disappointed that in june there were only about 5 vendors. I am an artisan and always like to see handcrafted goods which were hard to find in town. Most of the so-called handcrafted were made in other countries that were in the gift shops.

Our friends stayed at Divi Flamingo. We had a wonderful dinner at the resort restaurant. My husband and friend went diving off of the Divi Dock on one afternoon.

10. Re: Divi or Plaza?

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