My daughter Lesley and I have traveled all over the world, but we had never been to the Caribbean so we gave the Plaza Resort Bonaire and snorkeling a try. I'm glad I didn't read the reviews before we booked or I might have had second thoughts, but we had a wonderful time and we did not experience any of the "challenges" noted by other reviewers. In fact, we plan on going again next year with additional people and again doing the "everything included" (resort, food, drinks, car, etc.) package.
Our room was nice and big. The views, the balcony with private table, the AC, the cleanliness, were all great. The beds were comfortable. And best of all THE BATHTUB WAS FULL SIZED! Nothing irks me more than a postage size bathtub. The bathroom was spacious and lovely (marble countertops, double sink, toilet in a separate room, glass block shower, etc.). OK, the place isn't new and it's not on the same level as the Las Vegas Bellagio, but neither are the prices. And we came for the Caribbean experience not to sit in the hotel room!!!
We never used the pool as we did all of our swimming in the ocean, and we never went into the casino room, but people seemed to enjoy them. There were plenty of cabanas and lounge chairs on the beach. The outdoor restaurant was very good (best breakfast croissants ever and they were WARM!) and handy. I can't understand people complaining about it - one evening we had the buffet which included salad fixings (including toasted pine nuts, how often do you see that?), potatoes, rice, three kinds of shish kebabs (shrimp, chicken, and beef). and 5 star quality key lime pie. Another night they BBQ'd prime rib. And, hey, if the buffet theme wasn't to your liking you could order off a menu. The wait staff were very helpful and kept us in drinks. We had no complaints with the food whatsoever. Once we went to the resort's upscale restaurant, the Tipsy Seagull, and the food was incredible (try the cheese desert plate and the carpaccio) and believe it or not they took something like $40 bucks per person off the bill because we didn't eat at the free buffet. Wow.
We were thrilled to find that we could snorkel just off the resort's white coral beach - and less than 25 feet out we saw moray eels, cuttle fish, tarapin, parrot fish, an octopus, and a sea turtle. Because the snorkeling was so good so close to the building we even went out night snorkeling with flashlights without fear of getting lost.
I suppose people could complain that the walkways were dirty - but for crying out loud, there were hundreds of big iguanas and geckos and other lizards everywhere leaving poo presents all over the tile. The staff were constantly cleaning up after them - I'm certainly not going to fault the staff for not keeping up with the iguanas who probably outnumbered them 100 to one!
The bar on the beach was awesome. Very nice bartenders who knew their business and kept our glasses full of well-mixed drinks. Given that the drinks were included in the package deal I was surprised at how focused the staff were on keeping our glasses full and our evenings late.
Bottom line: we had a wonderful time and we are going back.
- 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