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.
- 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