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“Below expectations”

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Sand Dollar Condominiums
Ranked #9 of 21 Hotels in Kralendijk
Certificate of Excellence
Mammoth Lakes, California
Level Contributor
33 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Below expectations”
Reviewed 16 June 2014 via mobile

Compared to its neighboring properties, this "resort" falls short. Capt Dons and Buddys appear much nicer. Nicer grounds, much more well maintained, real restaurants on premises, and housekeeping more than twice a week. I do not understand how Sand Dollar justifies its cost when compared to neighboring properties. On the positive side, it is on Bari Reef and several of the people who work there were nice. But next time, I will stay somewhere else.

  • Stayed June 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Neil S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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272 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (84)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Bonaire
Level Contributor
19 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 May 2014

In the two weeks time I was there, I enjoyed so much of it, except I admit I didn't try the on site restaurant, where the pool is also located. I did watch many a tennis match on the grounds, but didn't use the court myself. The maid service came through once that I was very unimpressed by (it was a different person than usual), but the staff promised she wouldn't come through again and other times it was great. The security guard keeps the place well covered with constant walk arounds and careful scrutiny of cars as they pass, it felt so safe to be out there, walking the boardwalk along the ocean at any hour. The screened patio overlooking the oceanfront was awesome. I ate every meal inside from right there, reveling in the view. Using the AC in the bedroom at night also ensured a great rest.

There's several points on the stretch of the property (ocean side) to enter for snorkeling, and one for divers (that belongs to the resort), straight from the sandy beach area. The reef there is beautiful, and I'd check daily for an octopus I was fascinated by. Prices are high on the island, so much has to be brought in, water is desalinated and therefor costly, and electricity also has a high cost. It's just expensive to have all those things provided.

I tried several restaurants in the area, Between 2 buns, Captain Don's, and Gio's, Patagonia.....loved them all. Shopping is interesting, get produce on Sunday or Mondays, fresh off the boat. Buying at other days may mean you can't find what you want, or it isn't pretty. Many things are in Dutch, but many places carry a variety of option, and between the many places you can find most anything, if you'll put the time into looking for it.

Brand new beach loungers and fluffy beach towels are provided by the resort, and there's various spots you can nestle in oceanside for a great view and some sunning. What I loved most was the slow pace and quiet there. On weekend nights you may hear some live music for a couple hours in the evening, but I felt that was to be expected. Mostly though, it was serenely quiet.

I highly recommend the mangroves kayaking trip, if you're a diver and have a last day there you can't dive, it fills a couple of hours wonderfully.

Bird watching and iguana's heaven! The donkey's are nearly gone now, they rounded them up, has them all 'fixed', and most reside in a sanctuary now. The first trip to Bonaire they were roaming everywhere! This time, I only saw 4 the whole trip, out in the boonies. Goats still wander though.

Can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank c k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 May 2014

This was our first trip to Bonaire and we picked the Sand Dollar based on reviews and location. We stayed in A16 which was a one bedroom condo. The resort was really nice. The room was as I expected. This is not a 5 star hotel but that is not what I expected. It was clean, very comfortable, and well stocked with everything we needed. It was nice to have maid service twice a week. The staff was always helpful and nice to see security always visible although not needed. We didn't eat at the restaurant but stopped in a few times for drinks and enjoyed chatting with the bartender who gave us hints about the island and told us about Rincon day which was a local festival to enjoy. Our room was only a few steps from Dive Friends and made it so easy to pick up tanks and drop off our gear at the end of the day. Sand Dollar is well located in the middle of the island making easy access to both the North and South shore dive sites. Also we were close to grocery stores and pharmacy and Between 2 Buns was across the parking lot which was great for morning pastries and awesome sandwiches.

Room Tip: We enjoyed staying in the A units as they were close to Dive Friends. I would pick a downstairs uni...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Moose797
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Iowa City
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 May 2014

We rented directly from the owner, Mitzi (see VRBO) and were here April 19-May 4. This studio condo unit is at the far side of the complex,but you can easily walk to the Dive Friends office on site. The condo is very comfortable for two and has a well furnished kitchen. The owners even have binoculars to watch the parrots, iguanas and assorted lizards outside. The condo staff was very welcoming and they clean the unit on Monday and Thursday. We used the Dive Friends facility which is very handy because they have 5 locations to pick up tanks, shore dive from several offices, rinse gear and get coffee and water. The AC works well and the outside patio has shade all day long which is nice when you've had too much sun. There are several good dining choices right in the neighborhood, we really liked the Peruvian place at the end of Sand Dollar. I recommend this location and faciity. Mitzi and the on-site staff checked with us to make sure everything was OK.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank HawkeyesIowaCity
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wausau, Wisconsin
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 1 May 2014

If you are a diver, this a great studio condo. The dive shop (Bonaire Dive Adventure) is about 25 steps to the side (but insulated from any noise/traffic) and the ocean is about 50 steps in front of you. There is a small patch of sandy beach right in front that is great for catching sun, reading or taking a swim. Sandy beaches are not all that common on the island, so this is a real plus. If I had to pick one condo in this entire resort based strictly on location, this would be the one.

The Bari Reef out front is one of the better dive locations, especially if swim you 100-200 yards to the south. The dive shop is very well run. Andre is a kind man, Catherine was very responsive and helpful, and Carl provided a wonderful open water certification for me. Percy guided us on a night dive, too, which was enjoyable. There are more luxurious condos on the island if you want to pay more. We did need maintenance to unlock our safe during the trip and we received prompt service.

Susan, the owner, prepared us well and was very accessible for questions. She also referred us to Tellerin car rental which had a host waiting for us at the airport and led us to the condo. The truck we rented was in rough shape (driver window didn't work, thin tire tread despite a request for good tires) , but this turned out to be a good thing as there are many thorny bushes on the island that can scratch the vehicle. It didn't matter much if there was one more scratch on our truck. Also, we were able to just leave the car in the parking lot at departure. This pickup/drop-off saved us from waiting in long lines at the airport. We could have had a much nicer vehicle for the same price, but the convenience was worth it.

The resort was VERY quiet. There were other people there, but they didn't get out much. A coffee shop/breakfast place is a very short walk away where we would get lattes each morning. Also, we had a massage in the same strip mall which was good, but bring the proper change or they will say they don't have any - even though I saw otherwise and called them on it. There is also a convenience store in this strip mall, but the small Asian grocery store up the road about a mile to the north that had plenty of produce, spirits, etc, for more complete shopping.

All in all, plenty of great service from both the condo staff and dive staff, the excellent location, and reasonably prices made this a wonderful stay.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank steve h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
26 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 April 2014

Condo rentals and most are very good and some not so much as some people in our group didn't like the ones they had..ours however was great.

Look over the layout carefully if you want to do a lot of shore dives on the excellent house reef as some of the units are a far walk from the shore entry site...also try and get ground level.

On shop Dive Friends shop is Excellent.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BubblerB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bonaire
Level Contributor
100 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 179 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 April 2014

I've stayed at Sand Dollar twice in the past 18 months. It's a very convenient place for divers and snorkelers. As long as you don't expect frills, concierge services, modern amenities or shiny new rooms, you will enjoy your stay here.

The units are individually owned, therefore, they vary in terms of style and modern updates. The two units that I have stayed in (one in the A building and one in the B building) were not updated. The kitchens were serviceable, but not a place I wanted to linger. The rooms and outdoor facilities are clean and comfortable. I also appreciate that security guards patrol the grounds, so it feels quite safe here (but you must still locks your rooms and take precaution).

The real draw here is the proximity to Bari Reef - the most diverse reef in the Caribbean. Sand Dollar's units all boast views of the beautiful aquamarine waters. It's a short walk from the condos to the dive lockers and shore entry (or pier entry, if you choose BDA). The on site shore snorkeling is very impressive. Overall, this is a dive haven.

A few other tips-

There are several restaurants within walking distance. We like Plazita Limena, Between Two Buns (awesome lunch), Rum Runners for amazing pizza and the beach restaurant at Buddy Dive.

We prefer to dive with BDA. Their pier access is very helpful, and the service is great.

Make sure to rent a truck.

The A & B buildings are closest to the dive entrance.

Try to get a room with a screened in porch. Mozzies are everywhere here. Bring DEET and use it. This applies to all of Bonaire.

The staff is very nice and helpful.

Overall, Sand Dollar is a good choice for a low key dive trip.

Room Tip: The A and B buildings are closest to the dive entries.
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank luv4travelNJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sand Dollar Condominiums

Property: Sand Dollar Condominiums
Address: Kaya Gobernador N. Debrot 79, Kralendijk, Bonaire
Region: Caribbean > Bonaire > Kralendijk
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Kralendijk
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Kralendijk
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Sand Dollar Condominiums 2.5*
Number of rooms: 65
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sand Dollar Condominiums, member of the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame, offers guests everything they need to enjoy the best of Bonaire’s scuba diving with their “Ride to the Reef” packages including condo, diving and rental truck for island exploring. All Sand Dollar units have individual modems offering free high speed Wi-Fi, air-conditioned bedrooms, full kitchens, dining and living areas, and roomy porches or balconies overlooking the Caribbean Sea. The complex includes a pool, Eddy’s bar and restaurant, several seaside lounging areas, seaside grill areas, two tennis courts, deli and ice cream parlor. Several good restaurants and a full service gym are located within easy walking distance. Sand Dollar’s on-property dive partner Dive Friends Bonaire operates a dive center adjacent to the Sand Dollar Reception Office with a drive up tank station, rinse tanks, rental gear, private gear storage lockers that can be accessed 24/7. Tanks and benches for gearing up for shore diving Sand Dollar house reef Bari Reef are located seaside just steps away from a sandy beach entry. REEF organization rates Bari Reef the #1 site in the Caribbean/Atlantic for species richness, with a recorded 403 species to date. Tanks can be access from this are 24/7, enabling diving on the house reef dawn, day, dusk and night. In addition to having Dive Friends on-property facilities at their disposal, Sand Dollar guests have the added benefit of being able to swap out tanks for shore diving at any of the Dive Friends facilities at Dive Inn, Yellow Submarine, Port Bonaire and Hamlet Oasis. Dive boats depart from Dive Friends Yellow Submarine, a 3 minute drive in your rental vehicle, at 9:00 AM for morning 2-tank dives. You’ll be back in time for lunch to then take advantage of unlimited tanks for shore diving the rest of the day. Whatever your preference – studio or three bedroom, shore diving or boat diving, they have the condominium option and dive package perfectly suited for you and your fellow travelers. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sand Dollar Condominium Hotel Kralendijk
Sand Dollar Condominium Kralendijk
Sand Dollar Condominiums Bonaire/Kralendijk

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