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“Be very aware” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sand Dollar Condominiums

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Sand Dollar Condominiums
Ranked #9 of 21 Hotels in Kralendijk
Certificate of Excellence
Woodstock, Illinois
1 review
“Be very aware”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 November 2010

I now understand why this condo received the range of 1 to 4 stars. My friends and I have gone to Bonaire for many years, but this was the first time we decided to try out the Sand Dollar. (my favorite place so far is still Den Laman) I arrived with 4 friends in October for our 11 day stay and were adivsed that the condo next to the one assigned to us was under re-construction and there would be the sound of a jack-hammer Mon-Friday 9-4! Thankfully that had two other 3-bedroom condos available. We did check out the original 3 bedroom condo assigned to us and it was a DUMP! The smell of mold knocked us off our feet! We then checked out the next condo that was available in two buildings over, which was lovely! Clean, nice kitchen and faced the water. Three large bedrooms, comfy beds, three FULL baths. Perfect! I did pay 45 dollars for internet access. Because of their lack of technology is not the greatest. Don't plan on using your computer during the day. We usually only had connection after 10 pm. At least it was connection so that wasn't really an issue. Here is something we DID discover. The maid service. Those gals will eat you out of house and home! We noticed all of the beer and Diet Coke disappearing at a rapid rate. Then the food! I had brought a package of Beef Jerky from the States and one day when we came back from diving, the package was opened and most of the jerky was gone! Food is expensive enough over there without having to feed their staff too. The rim of my toilet was dirty and had some hair on it, so waited to see if they would ever wipe it off. 11 days later, it was still there! That was a real thorn in our sides. They were good about leaving plenty of towels though! :)

The diving was fabulous as usual. We would stay again (maybe) if we could have the same condo unit. However, to friends I would suggest Den Laman over Sand Dollar.

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled with friends
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank CorgiGirl79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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263 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (83)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
58 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 October 2010

We just returned from a two week dive vacation staying at the Sand Dollar. We had a studio, the ocean/sunset view awesome, bed very comfortable, kitchen great for quick breakfasts, lunches and the occasional left-over dinner. The room was well cleaned daily with plenty of fresh towels. Our unit (F7) was very well stocked with dishes, paperback novels and lounge chairs/table on the patio. There is a good market just to the north and Eli's just across the road. It was easy to access both north and south shore dives. Bonaire Dive and Adventure was a good operator and it was a short walk to our gear and the 9 o'clock boat. We booked through VRBO and the owner was lovely to work with. We would happily return for a replay. In keeping with the Bonaire vibe, this is a comfortable place for the independent diver. In September, it was quiet and sleepy, just fine for us!

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank GeoCaribe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
79 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 September 2010

We are still here at Sand Dollar, and I thought I'd write before I get home and have no time.

Overall, the resort is acceptable...we made the best of several things. Many reviewers have talked about the A/C problems, so when I made our reservations, I requested A/C in the entire unit. When we arrived, they said they would come and turn it on, but after we had unpacked, it turns out our unit doesn't have A/C in the living room, only the bedrooms. They only had one other room with A/C, but we had already unpacked dand deccided to stay.It has been 90+ here with high humidity... we melted!

The buildings all have a fresh coat of paint,, and our unit was very nice inside...freshly updated,, clean, bathrooms were fine, beds comfortable. No problems there.

We also asked for a room with a great view. Our room has a view of a wall and the ocean...about 40/60 view. We are the ONLY ones in our entire building! Why did they stick us in a room with no view??? The place is truely deserted.

Regarding the pool...it is at Eddy's restaurant, behind the complex. Not easy to find, and not in a great locale as the other resorts have theirs by the ocean.

The dive shop is run by a very grumpy man with a 'do it yourself' attitude. Service is not their first thought...nor in the top 5. On the dive boat...they hand you your tank and that is it. No place to put the tank except between your legs...or on the bench you are sitting on. And Heaven help you if your tank falls over...it is completely your fault whatever damage is done, you have to pay for. They will actually just stand there and watch you haul your heavy gear off the boat only pointing to the correect hand rail. If you ASK for help they will extend a hand...and that is about it. The Dive Master and crew essentially stand by just watching, but my thought is that they are told by the owner NOT TO HELP. The thought is that we should all do everything by ourselves and be responsible for everything, which is fine, but there were plenty of 70+ year old people on our boat...and older women who could use a hand. The plus side of their non-service attitude is that I've completely remembered how to take care of my equipment...from A-Z, because the other resorts we've been to take such great care of you.

Sand Dollar is in a good location, but the parking lot could use maintenance. Lots of weeds, etc. Overall, very desert-like, no landscaping or trees really.

Buddy Dive and Captain Don's and a place called "Dive Friend's Hamlet" are all right down the street and all have landscaping, giving a more 'tropical' feel in the desert. I looked at the rooms at Buddy's dive and they are essentially the same interior. The difference? A tropical feel exterior, restaurants, bar and pool are by the ocean, not behind the buildings on the road.

Most of the people we met here had stayed here before and were very happy to come back again. Perehaps the price? It is definitely less $$ for those who just want to dive and want no other amenities.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank WineDineDive
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DFW
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 August 2010

The SAND DOLLAR "Resort" ...wish I had a picture to show you the large donkey poop that sat outside our patio door almost the entire week. Buyer BEWARE - the pictures online does not match the reality...a pool ? we never found it...a grill outdoors - we never found it which was probably a good thing since we didn't bring a shovel to move the poop, and no one else on the island had one, or cared either. The internet, available for $25/week was unreliable and SLOW...like "dial up slow" and we had to ask them to reboot their system a couple of times.
Keep diving separate from this hotel

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with friends
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank csndfw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Outside of Washington Dc
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 July 2010

We stayed at the Sand Dollar for family reunion, one set of the folks are avid divers and really enjoyed themselves, the rest of us only snorkeled and the stay was not nearly as much fun for us. We were booked in adjacent 3BD units, it calls itself a condominium and means it, and decor was from the 70. A/C is in the bedrooms, we sent a good amount of time in the living rooms and the only one of the two units had an AC unit for the main area and we had to pay an additional $10 per day for it to be activated. Also had to have the AC unit repaired. Dishwasher was not screwed into the counters so it kept tipping out at unusual angles, Dishwasher wash arms were damaged/broken, I open it one time to find them sitting on the dished had been just washed and were still dirty. Oh yea and it was once run by the cleaning folks and it leaked all over the kitchen floor. But it did have a kitchen and we used it every day.
We were in the D building on the bottom and never heard noises from any other rooms, but the place seemed pretty deserted overall. Rooms really are direct water view, just not close enough to have breezes to keep the mosquitoes away. Bring bug spray if you plan to site outside, we had a huge patio and stayed outside until the end of our trip when no one could put up with another bug bite. Bedrooms, beds, linens and bathrooms were all acceptable to very good. Our bathroom off the bedroom (one of three or four baths in the unit) must have been made for a giant. I'm 6'2+ and stepping down from the shower almost required a leap and the mirrors were about 6' off the ground. You do get your money’s worth from a square foot perspective, these 3BR are large. It was nice to park directly in front of your unit. We were directly across from the Eddy’s. They took great care of us and we enjoyed omelets and other breakfast items there every morning and ate there for dinner a few nights. Dinner menu has about 10 choices; our group probably tried ever one at least a couple of times. Everyone was satisfied and enjoyed their meals. They are cooked to order so it takes a few minutes if you have a large party, (we were 10+.)
First off they really cater to the Divers, Dive shop is just that don't expect assistance with anything outside of dive related activities,
Overall SandDollar needs maintenance, and they were working on it. They were repainting exterior trim, redoing sidewalks and replaced the exterior lounge chairs along the water front during our week... If we had arrived a week later I would have been happier about the exterior presentation.
Last thoughts, we had beautiful sunsets over the water, you really are right on the water and they have a lot of water frontage, our group really enjoyed scuba and snorkeling right on property. Our divers were happy with the diver staff and how close we were to the dive dock. The units seemed dated but the location was outstanding. When traveling with large groups of families, accommodations have to made for it to work for everyone. SandDollar provided the space we needed to enjoy our family vacation together and still want to be a family afterward.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank FAMILYW2KIDS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
69 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 July 2010

Spent a delightful five nights in an oceanfront 2-BR, 2-bath unit on the second floor (avoid the first floor due to noise from above). Great restaurants on and adjacent to the property, including the Sunset Grill (it truly has one not to miss). Dive or snorkel right onto the reef from the seawall in front. Escaped to this condo after a rather unpleasant experience at another place just down the road (on the non-ocean side). Sand Dollar is near the two major dive resorts (Captain Don's and Buddy's) if you want to go out on dive or snorkel boats. Had one of the best "drift snorkel" tours ever off Klein Bonaire, on a Buddy's dive boat. Swam with a big turtle for 10 minutes. Bonaire is utterly undeveloped compared to most popular Carib destinations, not a Hilton or Holiday Inn or Sheraton in sight. Very low-key and definitely low-rise. Off-season is a big bargain for air and land costs too. Go!

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank GlobalTourist10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
18 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 June 2010

We returned to our favorite condo on Bonaire - Sand Dollar Condominium. Although it had rained the previous 2 weeks, we enjoyed the desert climate and recent greening of the environment. It was hotter than we've experienced before. Next trip, we will try for a unit with A/C in the living room, too. After visiting the dive facilities at Buddies Resort next door, I was reminded how much better the setup is at Bonaire Dive and Adventure, adjacent to Sand Dollar.

Every morning, we sidestepped the iguana and blue tail lizards along the path to the dive shop. Surprisingly, around the neighborhood where we were staying we saw a herd of well-fed goats and a few feral donkeys grazing. Iguana and pelicans were frequent visitors at the dive dock. During our briefing, a pod of dolphins swam through the channel between the resort and Klein Bonaire.

Most of our dives were from the shore on Bari Reef, starting around 11 am and 5 pm, lasting about an hour each. Bari Reef is a short swim from shore directly in front of the resort. The reef starts at 18 feet, and descends to a sand shelf at 105 ft, with a few sand chutes along the way. The dusk dive is especially fun, we call it “the changing of the guard”. Creole wrasses are madly pairing off while other fish are scrambling to find a place to hide for the night. Meanwhile, the night hunters are waking up and beginning to cruise the reef. For example, Charlie the 5-foot tarpon likes to tail the divers who may inadvertently scare up a snack for him. Emerging from the dusk dive, you are just in time to toast the sunset with a cocktail before dinner! We had some great food at various restaurants, as always, although a couple of our favorite places have disappeared.

Unfortunately, permits for the Salt Pier and Town Pier are still not being issued until the damage done by rogue waves from Omar is repaired.

As we have in the past, we dove with the naturalist (Jerry) one day. He always has an interesting land presentation and diving with him is reliably worthwhile.

I brought my computerized reference guide to Caribbean reef fishes. Browsing through the reference guide helps to jog your waterlogged brain, or give a name to a species you didn’t know before. We saw two or three different turtles a number of times during the 2nd week, and even while snorkeling during the last day. We also saw an octopus, usually hiding out in a crevice next to the dock during many of our dives.

One of the highlights of the trip was a full moon night dive! Below is our dive buddy’s log book entry for that night. It will be hard to beat. Alas, my camera was out of commission most of the second week, so not many new pictures:

Date: APR 28, 2010 Location: Bari Reef, Bonaire
Time IN: 10:45pm OUT: midnight Bottom Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Maximum Depth: 40 ft.
Visibility: fine below 25 ft.
Bottom conditions: reef and sand chutes
Temperature Air: 80’F (approx) Water: 82’F NO current

Highlights:
● Sea plumes in the sand at the top of the reef
● Sleeping parrot fish, lying in odd positions, with motley coloration to mimic the rock they were leaning against, no cave, no protective membrane
● Flashing eyes of shrimp everywhere
● A crab crawling up the inside of every azure vase sponge
● One gorgonian with 8 basket star fish, plus some babies with only 2-3 arms
● Two octopii out hunting; one extended his mantle over a coral head and turned brilliant aqua
● Long, ugly, tiger cucumber, shrinking from the light
● Brittle stars fully extended and crawling everywhere
● Very large arrow crab, about one foot fully extended
● Chain moray out hunting; several others coaxed out of their holes

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank aircarl
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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