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“Not as Promised”

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Plaza Resort Bonaire
Ranked #7 of 21 Hotels in Kralendijk
Chicago
Level Contributor
18 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
“Not as Promised”
Reviewed 1 January 2014

The Plaza Resort is visible from the airport and less than a 5 minute drive. It is cheaper to take a taxi there than it is to purchase the transfers from the resort. Below are the positives and the problems we found with the Plaza Resort.
Good Points of the Plaza – They have an outstanding house reef right off their beach. Better than the marine park. The variety of fish you can see at a shallow depth is amazing. The Plaza has a lot of nature – we saw parrots, iguanas, lizards and crabs. The service in the only open buffet restaurant was very good. The young people working there were all very kind. The restaurant did provide “off” mosquito repellent for diners as the mosquito problem was awful.
Problems with the Plaza- We arrived early in the morning at about 7:30 am after traveling the night before. We had our dive equipment and suitcases. We were given keys to our room but no one to help us with our luggage. Our room was not near reception so we had to carry our things a long way to get to our room. When we got to the room I noticed the glass over the door was not there and had been boarded up with a piece of wood. I entered the room and was in horror. My husband and I are in our mid 50’s, married 32 years and have traveled a lot usually 3 times a year outside the US since we were first married. I have never seen such a terrible room. The room was full of dead bugs like it had been bombed and not cleaned afterwards and it smelled like mold. The tile floor was white so the bugs were highly visible. There were also live ants all in the bathroom so I assumed it had not been bombed but I could not figure where all the dead bugs came from. I left my husband with the bags and went to the front desk. I wasn’t able to get much assistance. I spoke to Danny who when I told him about the bugs he said there are going to be bugs. I told him we had traveled throughout the Caribbean, Central America, South America, South East Asia, and Mexico and never had a problem in our room with bugs. At first they would not find us another room. I waited a long time and my husband was out in the heat back by the first room because I did not want him to have to carry everything back. A second issue is that the Plaza does not abate mosquitoes and they were overrun with them. Waiting to get help with the room I got more than 18 mosquito bites on my right leg alone. By the time we got in a room I had more mosquito bites on my arms, legs, fingers and face than I had ever had in my life. I was wearing knit pants and they bite through the pants. After being told there was nothing they could do about giving us another room at the same price point, I was offered an upgrade us to a newer room at $35.00 a night more. I agreed because of the smell in the first room and the ants and mosquitoes. This may be a bait and switch tactic. I am not sure. I believe we should have been given a room that was clean, without bugs and did not smell at our price point. I wasn’t looking for fancy I just wanted a basic comfortable room. However, I was told there were no other rooms at our price point available. The upgraded room was clean. There are mini refrigerators in the room but they are empty and no one fills them with drinks. If you want water you need to go to the bar and ask for a bottle of water. Pop is not served in cans it is by a gun at the bar so you cannot keep cans of pop in the room unless you purchase the cans and bring them back to the room. The mattress was hard and there were ants and mosquitoes as well but we found a can of bug spray and I sprayed the windows, the door way and we had to leave for a while because of the bug spray but later we returned and did not have a bug problem after that. The first room I did not see a can of bug spray. Another problem with the Plaza is the food. Bonaire is an island that does not grow much in terms of fruits and vegetables or raise cattle like some other islands. As such food needs to be imported. There is one buffet style restaurant at the plaza and the food is “weird” and not seasoned like what we would eat in the US. The hot dog were not like what we would get here nor was the lunch meat. We eat a low fat diet and there was not much lean protein or fresh fruits and vegetables. They had pasta and the sauce usually was derived from whatever the soup was the day before. For example they had garlic soup one night and then the pasta sauce the next day was a garlic sauce. The food was far worse than what you would get if you ate at Old Country Buffet or Golden Corral. Also they do not serve mixed drinks with dinner only beer and wine. If you want a mixed drink you must go to the one bar at the resort. They also do not put hand sanitizer by the buffet. So there are children and adults alike whose hands are coming into contact with the food and there is no sanitizer. I mentioned it to the manager and he was very polite and told me it was not a legal requirement and not a practice in Europe. We left the resort after 3 nights and did not get sick. However, I did meet a lady who said there whole group had gotten a stomach bug. The other short coming of the resort was the bar. I really wanted a pina colada and was told they did not have the mix to make one. They were out. When we checked out we did not have any help with our bags. Typically an all-inclusive resort includes the services of a bell man to help you with luggage, mixed drinks at dinner, a stocked mini refrigerator in the room but these things are missing at the Plaza which leads one to question is this really an all-inclusive experience as advertised. When we moved from the first room we were shown to the second room where we stayed we did need help getting our suitcases up the stairs. A security officer helped us. The resort itself seems like it might be getting ready to go defunct. Most of the large resort is shut down. It is run down and the food is not very good. I am not sure why trip-advisor has it rated as high as it does. It might be nice if they had a feature which indicated the rating over the past 60 days because the ratings may include ratings from years ago when the resort was in better shape.We booked here because of the trip-advisor rating but after going to the resort I can assure all that it is a two star resort at best not a three or a four. It is only a two because it has an awesome reef on the property. The next time we go to Bonaire it will probably be via cruise ship so we can see all the nature and come back to the ship and have a delicious meal and a comfortable bed.

Room Tip: I am not sure if they use bait and switch tactics. We wanted a basic room that was clean without bug...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
9 Thank HiFred123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 December 2013

Pros: Our suite was extremely large and well furnished. It featured a tile floor, oak planked ceiling with a fan, full air conditioning, mini fridge, safe, hair dryer, flat panel TV with cable channels, and a sliding glass door with a beautiful tropical view. The large sandy beach was uncrowded and led to a close-by reef teeming with all sorts of colorful tropical fish for snorkeling and diving.
Cons: The all-inclusive meals are all buffet style meals that were boring and uninspiring. Nothing in the covered chafing dishes was labeled so everyone had to open and close each hot metal cover to see what was inside each one. Breakfast included bread and fresh fruit each day. Some days there were scrambled eggs, some days none. Some days the very fatty bacon was undercooked and swimming in grease, some days it was nicely cooked crisp, some days there was none. The two non-commercial two-slice toasters had a line to use, took forever, and consistently provided dried out, barely toasted bread. Eggs cooked to order including omelets could be prepared by the cook but they took additional time which made it difficult to catch the morning dive boat. Lunch some days included hamburgers, some days fish, and some days both. Cold cuts were limited and greasy but there was always plenty of pasta, breads, salads, deep fried sausages, and fresh fruit to be had. The Dinner buffet was somewhat better and usually included a meat and fish entree. You could also order off the menu which included a steak ($40 pp extra) or a lobster tail ($80 pp extra).
Minor Inconveniences: The resort ice machine was broken but you can get ice from the beach bar. The room air conditioner leaked water on some of our clothes but we dried the clothes on the porch railing and placed a new bath towel on the table below the air conditioner each day. The three-wall glass shower is completely open on one side which allows water to cover the bathroom floor which we remedied by obtaining extra bath towels from the maid. The bathroom window did not close completely but we lifted the corroded latches which allowed us to force it closed. The wet limestone area leading from the sandy beach to the reef was very slippery but rubber dive booties made the entry and exit so much easier.
In summary: Beautiful rooms with some minor inconveniences, but with all the great and reasonably priced restaurants within walking distance in town and a new large, well-stocked Van den Tweel supermarket within five minutes drive time, the all-inclusive is not the way to go.

Room Tip: Check out the room before you unpack and if you find issues ask for another room.
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Travel_Bears2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta
Level Contributor
33 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 December 2013

Second visit and week long stay, first was in 2007.
THE PROPERTY:
Pros - location. Super close to the airport (some would find this a con, but we rarely heard any planes), easy to get into town, can even walk if the weather is nice. The 18th Palm reef behind the resort is great for diving and snorkeling. There is a bridge to the ocean front rooms. If you spend a few minutes looking into the water you can see sea turtles and spotted rays swimming under the bridge.
Cons - I have never seen so much random trash that never got picked up. There were plastic cups everywhere, in bushes, between suites. Neon colored straws littered the ground. The Tipsy Seagull has a particularly difficult time keeping trash picked up. At breakfast after the BBQ the night before, there was a full chicken bone under my table! Napkins, used sugar packets, etc. littered the ground around all the tables. The sandy areas with beach chairs for sunning have a ton of beer bottle caps. Trash in the ocean washes up on the beach and never gets picked up. Maybe a local school group could volunteer to at least keep the beaches clean. It was so sad to see a 'resort' covered in trash. Although decking on the bridge was being replaced while we were there, there were other areas of decking (the poop deck) that had actual holes which were much more in need of repair. None of the previously beautiful water fountains on the property were working. The ice maker does not work. No as all-inclusive as you would think, they is a charge to rent masks and snorkels! Planned activites are slim, boring, and repetitive. A family would have a hard time here if they brought children and were depending on activities for entertainment. Also - local calls cost over $3.00 each from your room phone!!! Wish I had known and I would have asked the front desk staff to make all my excursion arrangements. You may not bring your own drinks or food to the beach/pool area. This is a stupid rule, as we have a mini fridge in the room, why can't I make myself a peanut butter sandwich and take it to the pool - the food at Tipsy Seagull was awful! Don't plan on relaxing by the pool after sundown - they take the lounge cushions in for the night! No drink service at the pool.
THE ROOMS:
Pros - size, the rooms are very large. We were in an ocean view room, upstairs. The view was outstanding, I would suggest rooms to the south end of the complex for unobstructed ocean views and no bar sounds in the evening.
Cons - for the SECOND visit in 6 years the air conditioner was not working properly. Only this time there was no electricity in the entire room! Which meant the mini fridge was warm, no lights, no a/c... where were we supposed to put the groceries we just bought on our way from the airport to the 'resort'? It took over 2 hours for anyone from maintenance to come address the issue - the front desk person just kept saying 'well it was working this morning'. The beds are hard. The floor is dangerously slippery when wet. This may be fine for a regular resort visitor but does not work for divers. There is no place to keep your dive gear except in your room, so you have to carry wet, dripping gear through your room to your back patio. Once the floors get wet you can barely walk on them. Some in our group actually fell on these wet floors. When it rained (daily, although for short periods) the outside patio of our front door created a huge puddle which then ran INTO the room and created an indoor water feature at the front door. There was no way in or out of the room without going through a large watery area. There is no shower curtain so when taking a shower, the bathroom basically floods. The bathmat really just acted like a sponge and was soaking before ever stepping out of the shower. I like the idea of no shower curtain but the design of the showers made this a logistical nightmare and I'm sure caused much extra cleaning for the staff. The water was reddish-brown for 2 days of showers. This is the same water they said was safe to drink. When I went in person to the front desk with a glass of water, he acted like he hadn't ever seen the issue before (the room below ours was also experiencing this) and said he would send maintenance. He sent a security person who said - 'let the water run' - (it had already been running for 2 1/2 showers!) When the water was still discolored the following day, we were told that the maintenance crew would be sent, they never arrived before we left. There is no place to hang wet gear on the back patio. Our drinking glasses were never changed out - they just flipped them over! The beds were made daily but sheets never changed. 3 squashed mosquitoes on the bathroom wall above the sink were never wiped away. The sticker on the renovated sink in the toilet area was peeling off, no one had bothered to remove it. The door handle to the toilet area fell off in my husband's hand. The rooms keys would suddenly no longer work to open our room - this happened twice! Always when we were trying to get somewhere.
THE SERVICE / EMPLOYEES:
Pros: there are many employees. The grandson of the owner finally listened to all the complaints and offered drinks and snacks as we waited for our plane, 1 hr before leaving.
Cons: no one smiles or makes any eye contact at all. They all act as if it is a burden on them for you to be at the resort. When I arrived at the front desk with my glass of reddish-brown water I waited behind a couple checking out. It was my turn now at the desk. A woman and her family (she had on what appeared to be a fur coat) flew through the lobby, the man at the desk then ignored me completely and spent the next 15 minutes checking her out. He finally returned to me and said "I had to check her out first!" like I hadn't already been waiting there to speak to him, I found him to be very arrogant. The activities director tried to throw me out of the resort when I was in the pool! This was absolutely the meanest person I met on the property. She asked where I was from and proceeded to tell me that the pool was only for resort guests. I explained that I had paid a tremendous amount of money to stay at her 'resort' for the week and I would be staying in the pool. She then said I had to use the resort pool/beach towels. These are not 'pool towels' they are no bigger than the shower/bath towels. They do not cover the chairs well when sunbathing, nor can you dry off and wrap up in one as they are so small. Not to mention, if you lose one or the tiny piece of paper that is your towel voucher, you will owe the 'resort' $10! So I was much happier using my own real sized beach towels. I wanted to go on a tour of some caves on the island, they were not able to help me arrange this at the front desk.
THE RESTAURANT/FOOD:
Pros- it is all you can eat, it you can stomach the food. Fresh fruit basket on 1 morning of our week long stay. Crisp bacon on only 2 mornings of our stay. The made to order omelets looked good, but we didn't have time to wait in that line since they only opened at 7 and we had to be on the boat by 8. There is a friendly restaurant cat that likes nibbles of bacon.
Cons - only 1 restaurant is open now - the Tipsy Seagull. Our package, thank goodness, only included breakfast. All meals are buffet style. Those who get stuck on their all inclusive plan, sucks to be you. Breakfast never changed. The cereal (froot loops) were too stale to be eaten. They ran out of donuts and these were not replenished for the last 3 days of our stay. They ran out of flavored yogurt and only had 'blanco' which is plain, unsweetened, for the last 3 days. They did add a fresh fruit basket on our last day. Bacon is not meant to be boiled - at least that is how it appeared- a huge, tangled, limp mass of bacon strips that couldn't be pulled apart. Bacon is meant to be crispy. The one dinner we had at the resort was supposed to be a beach BBQ. It is no longer on the beach - but at the Tipsy Seagull. The steel drum band is gone now. Not worth the $40 per person for BBQ dinner. The ground of the Tipsy Seagull was always strewn with trash.
DIVING/SNORKELING:
I will write a complete review of Toucan Diving under their own heading.
Pros: The entry/exit to the house reef (18th Palm) is one of the easiest on the island. There are many creatures, fish, etc to be found: beautiful corals, eels, tarpon, parrot fish, even octopus at night! Nice to be able to grab a tank at the pool, get in, dive, and then exit at the stairs/deck at the Tipsy Seagull and leave your tank there. Always had tanks available at the pool and Tipsy Seagull if you wanted to shore dive. Tanks could also be picked up at the dive shop if you wanted to dive off property.
Cons: No rinse tank on the poop deck, where one of the boats (Golden Eye) docks. Actually the rinse tank is there but it never had water in it for rinsing. The decking where the Golden Eye docked, had a hole, and weak areas right where people stepped out onto the deck off of the boat. Lots of raised rusted squared of metal on the poop deck. Trash not in trash cans. This seems like an injury waiting to happen. The rinse tank at the pool was always very low, you had to jam your equipment in to get a good rinse.
OVERALL:
This location is not worthy of the title 'Resort'. They seem to go out of their way to make visitors and tourists, specifically divers, feel unwelcome. There was such a decline in service and hospitality in 6 years that if we ever return to the island we will find a new place to stay.

Room Tip: Do NOT choose room #3109 - it floods INSIDE the room at the door when it rains and the patio at the...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank AtlantaClaire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Kralendijk hotels

Marietta, Georgia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 3 December 2013

We've stayed at the Plaza for multiple years for Thanksgiving week. This visit was great. The all inclusive was nice - lots of food! and drinks!. Also the new managment has really done great job. The grounds were clean, the pool was wonderful!! and once again the rooms were great. And last but not least the diving was fabulous!!!!

Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank 159sunandwater
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Almere, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 December 2013

Due to technical problems with our airplane, we had to stay over at Bonaire. This unpleasant happening is compensated by our stay at this resort.
Nice accommodation with friendly personnel. On a next trip to Bonaire this will be a good choice.

Room Tip: We were placed at the junior rooms with 2 double beds. This grand room (approx. 50m2) has a bathroom...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Hollywood1964
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
40 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 December 2013

Back to the Plaza for Thanksgiving again this year. This was a mistake. Definitely not up to it's usual standards. Has been bought by a large chain, and it shows. No more family atmosphere, the almighty dollar is all they are after. It is now all inclusive, a the food was Terrible. The entire hotel needs work. Had 2 broken windows in our room, told front desk. Said they would send maintenance, but when we left, still nothing. I know we will not go back there again.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank GBHSENOIA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
17 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 December 2013

I have been going to the Plaza Resort for nine years every Thanksgiving and have always enjoyed the stay but this year new management ruined the week. The General Manager would tell our group one thing and the Activity Director would rudely tell us something else contradicting the GM. The restaurant was terrible and never opened on time. The rooms had problems such as no hot water, no wifi signal, windows which would not close and standing water at the doors. Generally the property seemed run down compared to past years. The only area which performed outstanding was the scuba diving operation Toucan Diving. I got the distinct impression that the Plaza does not want divers there anymore. So next year we are going someplace else.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Larry A
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): £££
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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