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“2nd experience”
Review of Buddy Dive

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Buddy Dive
Ranked #6 of 22 Hotels in Kralendijk
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 11 September 2013

Just returned from a week of diving, the second such adventure (last in September 2012) with Buddy Dive Resort. Here's a long and detailed review but, I hope, organized!
-1- Diving As always, the dive operation is efficient and well organized. Two access points, the dock and the 'drive thru' have air and nitrox. This year nitrox testers ashore and on boats were much more convenient and improved. While I don't use it, trimix is also available. Staff are friendly, interested in the customer and always willing to provide a few moments of personal attention, from helping old guys remember how to set up their dive computers to checking equipment, etc. Buddy Reef, one of the most convenient and easy shore dives possible, remains always interesting, full of new sights, and makes for enjoyable excursions. This year I was particularly pleased with the boat dives. Danny (Danielle) was my dive master for 5 of 6 dives. Really knowledgeable and able to pick the sites and know where and how to find the marine life there. I know many others are good, but if you have the option ask for Danny!

-2- Rooms. Once again I was in one of those not recently remodeled. A/C is only in bedroom but trick is to set low in the daytime and open up the bedroom door. Rest of the apartment was always quite comfortable. Upside...I had a lower level and patio provided good place to work log book, dry out equipment, etc. Fridge seemed new and was large. Microwave worked very well. Downside...mosquitoes. Daily service staff open the door and leave it open while cleaning. You can expect the critters to enter. Ask for their bug spray and during day after cleaning spray the apartment. Smell is gone by the time you return from diving and you won't be troubled. Ants. Left a bag of sugar out while I sat outside to drink early morning coffee. In span of 30 minutes or less bag was overrun with ants. Keep open stuff in the fridge and keep your counter clean. Misc. TV remote was missing a battery and battery compartment cover. I didn't report since didn't intend to watch TV, but small items seem to get overlooked.
-3- WiFi.. single biggest gripe. Rarely will you get a WiFi signal in your room. But almost always the connectivity is good at the bar (could that be on purpose ?!?). Not this year. Early in the week a power outage hit the island (Buddy has generators); afterward internet was out but from what I learned only for part of a day downtown. But I never again was able to get internet at Buddy. They kept repeating the mantra that the island was down; that proved false. The logon security system is antiquated at best and most of felt the IT source they contract with doesn't know squat since the problem never seems to get fixed. If Buddy is going to advertise WiFi (with the implied connection to internet) they need to get that done!
-4- Vehicles. My room came with a truck for the week. It had a couple of minor mechanical issues I spotted first use and the office arranged for it to go to shop; those items were taken care of. But on first outing for a shore dive I found that the tailgate was rusted shut. Gearing up in the boondocks for a shore dive is really much more difficult without benefit of that tailgate. As a dive resort, Buddy should at least insure that those functions related to diving are operational. Otherwise, I had A/C and the truck ran just fine.
-5- Reception. Good office staff, reasonably well organized to handle the continual arrival/departure of large groups. They were also helpful with various questions...my truck issue, directions, etc.
-6- Food. With rare exception I chose to eat meals at the bar location. For the most part food was quite good. Exception? They almost always have rotisserie chicken. Last year it was melt-in-your mouth delicious. I ordered it one night and got a half chicken that must have been reheated...a little overdone..and the huge amount of spice rub on it very much detracted from the meal. Recommendation? The lunch menu needs a few lite fare, quick items for fast turnaround between dives. I chose to buy meat, cheese, and hardbread to make stuff in the room. This year Buddy opened a new restaurant. Sorry, I was going to try it but found it was closed the two days I had available to do so. Heard it was upscale and quite good.
-7- Overall. I got in 18 dives in the 5 days available to me and some leisure activities ashore. Thoroughly enjoyed this trip and will most likely join my dive club when they return again to Buddy Dive next year. I've never even looked at any of the other dive resorts in Kralendijk and based on two year's experiences would have no reason to do so. Great place and seems to be response to guest comments.

Room Tip: I believe the 'suites' (2 bedrooms or more?) on the north side of the property are recently...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled solo
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3  Thank John D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 4 September 2013

The only thing that annoyed me was having to wait around until 3pm ( the plane arrived at 5am) for the room to be ready. They did not offer to stash our bags, etc. That would have helped a lot.The room was a nice size. the hvac worked well though it was only in the bedroom. The mattress was good enough that my back did not trouble me like usual on a different mattress. Pillows- good. Kitchen needs a few more utensils and a couple more pots. No oven to cook with, only a cook top and microwave. Linens were good. Maid did a good job everyday. Pool bar people were pleasant. Dive shop made diving easy and painless. The diving was inexpensive as diving goes. No extra charge for nitrox. Boats good, Dive masters good. Also, the bill at the end of my stay- they give you a summary, but they also give you a detail of each item on that summary. John at the camera shop was a gem. Mama Loo in the dive shop is a sweetie who will calculate your dives and come up with the best deal for you. I usually go a different place each year but I think I am going go back here next year. The minor inconveniences were greatly overset by the ease, comfort and beauty of the resort.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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3  Thank quiltedb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 September 2013

stayed 8/10-8/17 on our 1st scuba trip. The 1st night the a/c unit in the bedroom froze and dripped water all over the floor. I told the front desk and they got it repaired right away. just needed more Freon. they gave us a coupon for a free dinner.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank CTOCONNOR2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 September 2013

First, I will admit to being a non diver so am reviewing the resort from the surface. I know their dive shop is popular and may be run differently, but most of the rest of the place needs a serious attitude adjustment. The front desk staff were nice most of the time, especially at check out time when tip envelopes were provided. The nice restaurant on site, "Ingredients", and the breakfast were great. However, the surly staff at pool bar/restaurant put a downer on the whole place. Also, having requested a single occupancy room back in March, I was placed in a suite with three separate bedrooms and was charged accordingly. This was arranged by a third party travel agent who should have been more forthcoming. NO beach at this place. Will not return. A very bad price to value ratio.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank jeretom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 September 2013

This resort is perfect for those that want to dive Bonaire. The dive shop, rental kiosk, and boats are well staffed and equipped. The rental trucks are functional (ours had A/C). The rooms are large, clean, and well equipped/maintained, though not luxurious. However, since Bonaire is really only for diving and windsurfing, you can't ask for more. The cost of the hotel and dive package is an excellent value.
When I go back to Bonaire, this is where I will stay.
The only downside is that the restaurant is only Ok - a bit overpriced and the quality isn't great. However, it is convenient and acceptable, especially if you're tired after a day of driving and don't want to drive or walk to any restaurants.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank dhikeman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 September 2013

This is my sixth visit to Buddy Dive. The owner's daughter was getting married the week we were visiting, so room request were not honored. In fact at check in we were told that we did not request a certain area of the resort. Are you kidding me? The good news was most of the wedding guest were not diving so the dive area was not crowded. We love Buddy Dive and the dive operation and dive masters. I know they do not guarantee room request but the only thing that bothered me was I was told I did not ask for an area when I had. Also, I found out that someone else brings gifts to the hotel booking agent and he received a room in the area I had requested.
The room we stayed in has been updated and is nice. The only air conditioning unit was in the bedroom and it did not cool the rest of the unit. Also the bed in our unit was very hard.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank cathyinwv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 August 2013

This resort isn't fancy but is ideal for divers, the trucks are a little old but great for shore diving. Staff are fantastic, we had an early wake-up call for the day we left. The call was right on time so we picked up the phone said hi and hung up. They sent security to the room to make sure we were actually up.

There were two surprises, they opened a new restaurant (Ingredients) and while the name is unimaginative the food is excellent and very reasonably priced. The reef at the hotel is one of the nicest dive sites on the island with the bonus of having a resident purple mouth moray.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank EdmontonDiver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Buddy Dive

Address: Kaya Gob. N. Debrot 85, Kralendijk, Bonaire
Region: Caribbean > Bonaire > Kralendijk
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Kralendijk
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Kralendijk
Price Range: £126 - £231 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Buddy Dive 3.5*
Number of rooms: 77
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Experience Bonaire and Buddy Dive Resort. An unhurried, unspoiled natural paradise offering spectacular sunsets, gentle breezes and crystal clear, turquoise waters. Buddy's is a resort where you can DIVE DIVE DIVE, take part in a multitude of activities or just sit back, relax and enjoy the atmosphere. At Buddy Dive, we're known for our casual atmosphere, personable staff, spacious accommodations and a dive operation that has something for every diver: comfortable boats, complete rental and retail center, exceptional staff, and a unique "Drive Thru" with a two-lane air/nitrox fill station. No matter which apartment you are staying in, you're never further than a giant stride away from our popular and lively house reef which is perfect for diving and snorkeling, day and night. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Buddy Dive Kralendijk
Buddy Dive Hotel Kralendijk
Buddy Dive Bonaire/Kralendijk

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