My husband and I were at the Plaza Resort, Bonaire, Aug 25-Sept 1, 2012. We did the 6D package that includes 11 one-tank boat dives (really it's 5 two-tank boat dives at 8:30am each day and one one-tank boat dive at 2pm in the afternoon). The package also includes transfers from and to the airport, hotel room, all meals and drinks, and a truck from AB Car rentals.
Note, the car rental shop is NOT on the property, it's about a mile up the road. There is a "hot line" phone in the lobby you can use to contact the car rental place. They will send a driver out to pick you up for free. AB Car rental also gives you a ride back to the hotel after you drop the truck off at the end of your trip (again, for free).
The dive shop has all the nitrox tanks you want, and they keep them filled for you. If you mark your air / nitrox tanks at the dive shop they will deliver them to one of the two shore diving locations you note on the tank. One shore dive entrance is by the Tipsy Seagull restaurant, the other is off the beach at the back of the hotel. We saw manta & eagle rays, barraccuda, squid and octopus on these shore dives. You can rent a locker and keep your gear at the dive shop after your dives, or you can carry your gear to your room and hang it up to dry. We dove with Jackson and Eddy was our boat captain. They are very professional, freindly and helpful. They asked everyone on the boat where they wanted to dive each morning and we ended up going where the majority wanted to dive. Really we had a great bunch of divers on our boat that had been to Bonaire many times and let us pick the spots since they had all seen it before (we got lucky).
The rooms are really big and there is plenty of space to lay your gear out to dry. The bathroom in our room looked as if it had been recently remodeled and it was very clean. Plenty of hot water (nice after diving). The only downside is the hotel doesn't have any clothes lines or hooks to hang up gear (so bring your own clothes line!). This would be an improvement for the hotel, but it wasn't a problem for us. We were on the first floor so we used the metal balcony frames above us to hang our gear with the clothes hangars in the closet. There is a safe and a small refrigerator in each room. The rooms have the energy saving room key slots. When you are in your room you put your key in the slot and the power / air turns on. When you leave your room you have to take your room key with you, so the power is off and the air turns off. The climate is tropical and humid, so if you are gone from your room for a while, don't be surprised if it's muggy and damp when you get back. Again, this was not a problem for my husband and me.
The food was great overall. The breakfast was toast, pancakes, and rolls, cereals, coffee, fresh fruit, scrambled eggs and baccon. The lunch is either buffet or you can order off the menu. The dinners were always tasty. The Banana Tree had a steak night, a fajita night, and a stir fry night. I don't know what else they served since we ate at the Tipsy Seagull two nights and also did the BBQ night on the beach. There seemed to be plenty of food and selections. The service was sometimes great, and sometimes slow, but you are on vacation so it's not a big deal.
We did not see any other hotels with beaches, so the Plaza Resort may be the only hotel in Bonaire with a nice beach. This is a good "down time" spot, so keep that under consideration when you book a hotel.
If you are diving, bring enzyme cleaner for your scuba gear, rash guards and bathing suits. I don't know why, but it gets REALLY stinky. We talked to everyone else on the boat and they said the same thing. The dive shop sells packets of "sink the stink" if you forget your enzyme cleaner.
There are mosquitos! We brought Deep Wood Off which kept them away. I forgot to spray myself the morning we left, it was early morning and I was eaten alive waiting for the airport shuttle. They have bug spray at the front desk and the restaurants but it has a very tiny amount of DEET in it and was not very good at keeping the mosquitos away, so bring your own.
I would absolutely go back to this hotel. I thought it was a great value for the money, and we had fantastic diving experiences. We have not stayed at the other resorts in Bonaire so we can't offer a comparison, but we would go back to the Plaza. Where ever you go, happy diving!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Enjoyment without limits, an all-inclusive vacation at Plaza Beach Resort Bonaire. This resort offers 126 spacious air conditioned oversized Suites, both Junior Suites and Grand Suites located either next to the Caribbean Sea or next to the marina laguna. Everything is included: from a delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet in our restaurant with sea view to water sport activities, a diving school and a cozy beach bar. With the best beach on Bonaire and a beautiful swimming pool, there is nothing that will stop you from having a vacation to always remember. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Plaza Resort Bonaire Hotel Kralendijk
- Plaza Hotel Bonaire
- Plaza Hotel Kralendijk
- Plaza Resort Bonaire Kralendijk