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“Plaza Resort Bonaire”

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Plaza Resort Bonaire
Ranked #8 of 22 Hotels in Kralendijk
Reviewed 2 September 2012

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!

Room Tip: Make sure your room is on the first floor if you're diving. You don't want to lug all your...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with friends
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3  Thank SCUBAgirl55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
plazaresortbonaire1, Manager at Plaza Resort Bonaire, responded to this reviewResponded 14 September 2012

Dear SCUBAgirl55,

Thank you for taking your time to write a review. We are happy to know that you have had a fantastic time here with us. We are grateful for your good comments about our facilities, rooms, restaurant and diving as we work continuously to make our guests vacation memorable.

Thank you for having stayed with us and we hope to welcome you again in the near future.

Kind regards,

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489 - 495 of 1,196 reviews

Reviewed 23 August 2012

We (my fiancé and I) went to Bonaire the week of Aug 11. We went with the DiveTech group from Houston. Originally when we booked this trip, I read trip advisor and went expecting a really really horrible experience. I was assured by the DiveTech owner that it would be fine and the scuba diving would make up for it. When we arrived we were pleasantly surprised. I liked another post that broke up the main sections so I did that as well. Hope my review helps you make your decision. We will be back to this hotel again. They seem to be improving their system so hopefully next time we go it will be even better.

Food:
They recently set up an all-inclusive in the resort and it exceeded expectations. They have a full breakfast buffet with American type food (scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, omelet station etc), Dutch type continental food, yogurt, cereal, and an assortment of juices. For lunch they have a “diver lunch” which is food that is buffet style BUT you can also order off a set menu. Their burgers, tosti’s (pretty much a ham and cheese Panini), and pizzas were really good. For dinner they have a buffet option, you can order pizza, or you can go to the Tipsy Seagull restaurant with a 36$ credit per person per night. The Tipsy Seagull restaurant was definitely over priced but with the credit you can eat a main menu item and still get a free dinner. Their lobster night is the slowest service because they are so busy. They insist that you have a reservation even if the restaurant is completely empty when you show up. The activities on the resort we didn’t participate in because we were shore diving :-). We did catch the end of their BBQ on the beach night after getting back from a night dive and the food was really good. It seemed to be catered in from a restaurant on the island but I’m not entirely sure. Also part of the all inclusive is the drink refrigerator at the dive shop. It was nice to be able to grab some bottled water and Gatorade on our way out to a shore dive.

Room:
The room was LARGE. They give you the option to upgrade to an updated room for extra money when you check in. Personally I am too cheap for that because the base room was more than acceptable. We did see one of the upgraded rooms because one of the people from our group decided to upgrade and it was definitely nicer decoration wise. The bathroom was larger too. When we got into our rooms, one of the only negatives of the week is that the soap from the previous guests was still in the soap holder in the shower (kinda gross). They give you the “environmentally friendly” option to not have your room cleaned and if you decide to not have it cleaned one day they give you a $5 coupon per day. We did this 3 days and used the coupons the last night at the Tipsy seagull so we could order more than just the main meal and still not have to pay out of pocket. The room cleaning was acceptable. They wet mop it everyday, make up the beds, and replace the towels. One thing that I did read on a previous post was to take your own washcloth or loofa because they in fact do not provide them.

Dive Shop:
The package that we bought had 10 boat dives included. We had Jackson as our divemaster the whole week. We also had Ger and Erica. The diving here is sooooo great. We always got to choose what sites we wanted to go to and they would show us the hard to find seahorses, rockfish, and frogfishes. The site choosing may have been because our DiveTech dive group had our own personal boat so I’m not 100% sure how they do this for the other boats. Erica and Jackson were great. Like I said at the beginning, Jackson was with us the whole week. He even took us down to the salt pier on a shore dive on his own time one day after work. He is great at finding the little things that normal divers would most likely miss. They provide lockers during the week (you have to give a $10 deposit but you get it back when you return the key). Some of the other reviews prepared me to deal with our own equipment and tanks. This is true. In the morning you analyze your own tanks and put them and your gear on the boat yourself. At the end of the dive they usually will remove the tanks from the boats themselves. There was always plenty of NITROX available and we never had an issue getting a tank even on the afternoon shore dives. If you are not NITROX certified it is a MUST before going to Bonaire. We did 4 dives a day sometimes with no DECO issues and not feeling pass-out tired at the end of the day. Everyone in our dive group was NITROX certified and had dive computers too. If you are in the Houston area and need to get certified or equipment, I would recommend DiveTech (http://www.divetechhouston.com/) plus they plan great dive trips too.

Beaches:
The beaches on Bonaire are very rocky. They have plenty of beach lounge chairs by the pool and hotel beach. There was a nicer sand type beach on the other side of the island where they wind surf. You can get there with your rental car if you decide to get the all inclusive package. We didn’t have much time to spend on the beach because we were diving so much.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank RebeDives
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
plazaresortbonaire1, Manager at Plaza Resort Bonaire, responded to this reviewResponded 29 August 2012

Dear RebeDives,

Thank you for taking your time to share your review. Your positive comments are greatly appreciated. We would like to host you again in the future.

Kind regards,

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Reviewed 22 August 2012

Just returned from Bonaire with another great group trip, everyone from the group had great things to say about the resort and the dive shop! I have been staying at the Plaza for over 16 years and have traveled with over 300 people to this resort over this time and not once have we had any major incidents. There is the occasional A/C problem or the occasional small issues but these are always handled ASAP and the hotel has always done the best they can do to accommodate my customers. People need to realize this is a tropical island and with this comes mosquitoes, humidity and a lot of maintenance that is required to keep a hotel like this running. With EVERYTHING having to come from the US or Holland to repair or maintain the property sometimes it take a little while to see changes, but I can honestly say I see great changes in the resort and I look forward to taking many more groups to the Plaza and diving with Toucan Diving!

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank Edward L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
plazaresortbonaire1, Manager at Plaza Resort Bonaire, responded to this reviewResponded 29 August 2012

Dear Edward,

Thank you for your review. We are more than happy to know that your group has had a fantastic time here with us. We are grateful for your comments about the Toucan Diving and service as we work continuously to make our guests vacation memorable. Thank you for having stayed with us and we look forward to your visit in the near future where we will be happy to host you again.

Kind regards,

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Reviewed 19 August 2012

Two friends and I stayed at this resort in mid-August 2012. We had and trip package that included hotel, meals, drinks and diving. The resort was quite nice; large, spacious rooms with huge bathrooms and balconies. The main restaurant, the banana tree offered delicious food and buffet breakfast and optional buffet lunch and dinner. The only complaint was the service, while friendly, was a little slow at times. The pool and beach area was great, with the pool looking out on the ocean and beautiful sunsets. The " Coconut Crash" beach bar was a favorite for nighttime sunsets and drinking. The bartender was excellent, and they had some entertainment with salsa dancing and live music etc. Some of the patrons were quite entertaining. The Tucan Dive Shop was a nice, professionally run dive operation with nice boats and decent staff and dive masters. The tank fills usually exceeded 3000 psi and you could come and go with tanks as you pleased. They only complaint was that at the end of the week I was billed for 2 extra boat dives that i did not realize were not on our package, but they were only $25 each so no biggie. The shore diving with the rental car included in our package was also a nice alternative to the boat rides and we did several of those. The resort is right next to the airport as well. Overall the trip was smooth and I thought the quaility and sevice here were quite decent. Not sure what all the complainers are whining about. No it is not club med but the price/quality were right on I thought.

Room Tip: Rooms near the boat canal are quite, ones near the Coconut Crash bar are not.
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  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank maguson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
plazaresortbonaire1, Manager at Plaza Resort Bonaire, responded to this reviewResponded 29 August 2012

Dear Maguson,

Thank you for your positive comments about our beautiful Resort. And we hope to welcome you again in the future. Please feel free to contact us with any further comments.

Kind regards,

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Reviewed 17 August 2012

I had the all-inclusive package which included meals at the Banana Tree restaurant. The food was terrible, really the worst. I am a chef and I love salt but most dishes were SO salty that they were inedible. The chef ruined the food. We were lucky that maybe 1 dish was edible. The food was also overcooked to the point that it was disgusting. Dry Dry chicken. Seriously, even my teens who live on salty fries could not even eat the food because it was so salty. Hey chef- you can always add salt at the table but can't take it off.
One night lovely mashed potatoes so salty we could not eat them. I love mashed potatoes! Every night, chicken pot pie/stew so salty inedible.
So you would think at lunch all would be ok. Nope, ordered chicken club off menu, so dry and 4 tiny slices at that. There was also a weird taste to the hamburgers that the kids would not even eat.
Breakfast was ok if you allowed time to have the lady make you an omelet. The buffet has weeping scrambled eggs- uggg!- soggy bacon and thin doughy sour-tasting pancakes. Ended eating cream cheese and jelly on bread.
So what did we all end up eating? Salad!
All this would have been ok had we not payed SO much more for "all-inclusive meal plan".
Next time just pay for the room and buy the "dive package" when you arrive for a couple of hundred bucks from the dive shop on premises when you get there.
Skip the all-inclusive. Food truly terrible.
"Fancy" tipsy seagull restaurant on premises is also terrible. Tiny portions of over-cooked fish. Terrible reviews are all true.

Room Tip: Skip all-inclusive and just pay for the room. Book a dive package when you arrive and sign the board...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank manhattandiver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2012

After working for two weeks on Bonaire, I thought a week of R&R and diving would be great. Plaza Bonaire had an all inclusive deal, including diving, nitrox, a car (which I didn't want but had to pay for anyway) and meals. I had not been to the island in 14 years, and remembered that the Plaza was a quality place at the time. It is evident that nothing has been done to update or modernize the resort since then. I could live with that, but combined with poor service and frankly dirty rooms, made for a disappointing environment.
The floor of my room was really dirty. I mentioned this at the front desk. Later, they tried to move me into a ground floor room facing the pool. I refused, as my room was top floor as requested and had a nice view.
Breakfast and lunch at the Banana Tree restaurant were fine, save slow service and dirty placemats, which were frankly gross. Dinner, however, contrary to the Room's information book, were limited to a repetitive buffet, that featured similar dishes most nights. Desserts, however were good; the sorbets and Key Lime Pie were yummy. Pizzas were also available and were good.
The Coconut Crash bar was a lively place, but filled with chain smoking European guests every afternoon and evening. A visit equaled smoking a pack, so best to grab some chairs and move down the beach.
The Dive operation was good, but I kept get getting moved off the boat where I had made friends, which was annoying. You are booked onto the same boat for your entire stay. Most staff were helpful and personable, but it was evident there were control issues between certain staff that were causing tensions. Dive guides really didn't guide, but acted as Dive Masters observing the divers. One was excellent and worked really hard at finding interesting critters for the guests. In their defense, the divers present were really inexperienced on the whole and needed watching.
I still managed to enjoy myself; however this resort is in need of a complete overhaul, beginning with a thorough cleaning.
The spa is worth a visit for a massage; excellent and well priced.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled solo
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Thank Cadlinella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
plazaresortbonaire1, Manager at Plaza Resort Bonaire, responded to this reviewResponded 21 August 2012

Dear Diaulula,Thank you very much for your review and our apologies that at some points your stay in our Resort wasn't as expected. I'd hope next to these points as mentioned you had a great stay with us. Currently we are developing our quality and service and we are thankful for getting your feedback.
We look forward to see you back soon and with your next visit you will see our improvements in quality and service.

Sincerely,

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Reviewed 31 July 2012

First off, anyone traveling to Bonaire needs to understand, this island is not as developed as neighboring Curacao and Aruba. The local government has done it's very best to protect the environment and keep the island's reputation as one of the world's foremost diving destinations. With that in mind, Plaza Resort, like most other Bonaire resorts appears rustic and not well maintained, but the reality is, it serves it's purpose as a roof to rest under in between dives. The pool is clean, there is a bar on the small beach, and you can walk off the shore to 25 feet of pure underwater bliss. They keep air tanks stocked so never have to worry about reloading your own oxygen and there are two restaurants on property. You will not find any American attitude on Bonaire, and certainly not at Plaza. It is primarily Dutch managed and operated, and most guests are from Holland as well. The location is good, and you are a short walk from the small downtown area, and a quick cab ride to the tiny airport.

I rated this as average as a comparison to other resorts we have stayed at around the world. If I was comparing this only to other Bonaire resorts, it would likely get higher marks. On an island that has limited accommodations, Plaza is not a bad choice by any means.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank JohhnyTram
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Plaza Resort Bonaire

Address: J.A. Abraham Blvd 80, Kralendijk, Bonaire
Region: Caribbean > Bonaire > Kralendijk
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Kralendijk
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Kralendijk
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Kralendijk
Price Range: £77 - £336 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Plaza Resort Bonaire 3.5*
Number of rooms: 126
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

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