I have been back from the Plaza Resort for 48 hrs and I'm ready to return based on what I saw first-hand, and conversations with the new owner of six months about his visions for the resort's future.
Prior to leaving for Bonaire, I did not research the Plaza Resort because we traveled as a group of 11 divers. Our group leaders chose the resort based on its location to the airport, quality dive operation, all-inclusive options, activities, and overall convenience. The group leaders had been at this same resort 15 years earlier when it was the only resort on the island and they saw large improvements in Bonaire overall and noticed expansion at the Plaza Resort.
First impression was that the staff was very friendly, knowledgeable, and patient but the place seemed in need of a little TLC. There was an un-used bar area and we later found an un-used restaurant area (more on this later). Many of the fountains were not working but otherwise the plants and areas were clean but in need of updating. I was a little worried but grateful to escape the bitter winter up North so anything would be good.
Our room was AMAZING! We had a Premium Suite on the marina side. Apparently the new owner has prioritized the renovations of room interiors over exteriors. When we opened the door everything was brand new! The layout was open, the designs simple and modern. The bathroom was spacious with a tub, shower, vanity and the traditional separate room for toilet, bidet, and 2nd sink. There was plenty of storage, a small frig, and a storage safe.
There was one active restaurant and one active beach bar. I don't know the whole story of why they stopped using both restaurants and both bars. I don't know whether it was over-capacity or some storm damaged them and they got accustomed to relying on just one. However, there are plans to re-open them both at some point. The lobby area and some rooms are separated by a bridge over the marina to a 2nd area with rooms, the beach, bar, and restaurant. The owner plans to sell the "mainland" side as condos and keep the other side as a resort week-to-week. There are grand renovation plans being worked out but no specific time frame was provided to our group.
Every night the new owner would work his way through the dining area and ask how guests if we were enjoying ourselves. He asked if we saw any problems or had any suggestions. Whenever we thought of something he'd pull out his iphone and jot down our suggestion or issue. His presence was readily felt as he was easily spotted walking around the resort, interacting with guests, and even joining in a little beach volleyball. He took us very seriously and wanted to be sure we had a good time.
The beaches are beautiful white sand and the house reef is a few yards out and teeming with a healthy variety of fish and wild life. The dive store would easily coordinate scuba tanks at convenient locations throughout the resort for shore dives. A quick note, a few folks in our group did do some shore diving. While there are MANY locations to choose from, some are tough with full Scuba gear and would be better for just snorkeling. My husband & I stuck to the boat for diving and the beach for snorkeling.
We came without our two children but saw a few families and I think we will be returning with the kids. There was a play area with swings, a wonderful pool area, and a few family-friendly amenities
I'm giving them a rating of 4 stars based on what they are like right now and the encouraging plans for the future. I feel a rating of 5 stars should be reserved for when they are fully renovated. I'd be glad to return and see them again after renovations.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Expedia, Booking.com, Priceline, TripOnline SA and Cancelon so you can book your Plaza Resort Bonaire reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Plaza Resort Bonaire Hotel Kralendijk
- Plaza Hotel Bonaire
- Plaza Hotel Kralendijk
- Plaza Resort Bonaire Kralendijk