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Buddy Dive
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Reviewed 22 May 2014

Everything about this place is for the diving and I could go into great detail about how good Buddy Dive is at accommodating the active diver. However, you find out how good they really are when you have a problem. On my last group trip, one diver's luggage was lost for 4 days by Insel Air. The Insel Air people, when you can get one to talk to you, are like talking to a wall. But, the office managers at Buddy Dive stayed on the phone with them and got the guy's luggage delivered. Meantime, the dive shop manager gave him FREE rental gear until his own arrived. All was saved thanks to the excellent help from the Buddy Dive staff.

Room Tip: They have lots of room options. Make sure they know your needs when you book.
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank TimSchmitz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 May 2014

I last visited in 2011 and a lot of updates have happened in the last 3-years (for the good). We now know they have at least 3 different room classifications do to the size of our group (7 couples in the 500 and 600 series buildings); anywhere from a large 1 bedroom, to a medium 1 bedroom to a small studio type room (with a porch and no overhang). All rooms had updated appliances and furniture throughout.

The only downfall was the pool; while scuba diving classes are given in the main pool people are discouraged from relaxing & enjoying the pool. The scuba diving classes are important but it would be nice to have a pool for people to enjoy also (while on vacation or relaxing after a long day, too many people in the pool goofing around get SHUSHED by the staff).

A few other quick notes:
WiFi has improved
Roads and Sidewalks are being improved
Beach and Pool chairs need to be improved

Buddy Dive is more of a diving location than a resort or hotel and the drive thru air tank/nitrox make it one of the best in the area for diving

I will still return to this location

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank jeepseadoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 May 2014

I have been to Buddy Dive Resort regularly for a number of years, and my recent stay was marked by indifferent employees and service in many areas.

The physical plant of the resort is tired and needs a thorough walk-through by management. Beach chairs are ripped or otherwise broken, the grounds need attention, and guests are not notified of anticipated inconveniences such as water being turned off midday due to sewer construction. Our toilet would not flush and we were told that the septic tank was full. This problem could have been avoided by noting the number of guests residing during a given week and pumping based on population.

I have always rated the dive operation more favorably than the physical facility. That is not true based on my recent stay. The dive operation seems to operate on a two tier system: dive groups get a guaranteed number of boat dives, and generally have the larger, more mechanically sound boats, and pay a lower rate for their package. Individuals receive no price break, have to make due with however many spots are available on the boat scheduled for them (12 or 16, depending on the boat) even if more people want to go. This leads to vying for the sign up chalk. The lesson: individuals take the leftovers.

There are some excellent dive masters on the boats, but in general, the dive staff seems overworked, and with less time to be friendly than in the past.

Overall, Buddy Dive could regain its glow with attention to detail and putting ALL guests on an equal footing. We all are there for the same reason - to experience the superb reefs and underwater world that makes Bonaire so special.

Stayed: May 2014, travelled solo
1  Thank Vvvvvvvbb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 May 2014

The Good
We stayed here last week and it was my first dive resort stay. We were impressed with the way in which diving is integrated into the resort experience. Since Bonaire is a shore diving island, trucks are provided along with a drive through tank pick up/drop off station. Shore dives from the resort are easy as can be done by either climbing down the stairs or jumping off the dock. The reef behind the resort is world class and you could be happy even just diving this one alone.

Breakfast was a buffet with many options, set in a seaside locale. It was quality food that gave you energy for the day. The lunch provided at the poolside bar was ok. Dinner at Ingridients was excellent. The room we stayed in was more of a suite - with a separate bedroom, living room/kitchen, bathroom and a large patio. The only AC was in the bedroom but it worked well and an overhead fan cooled the living room. Thankfully it was on the first floor so we didn't have to lug dive gear up and down the stairs.

The Not So Good
We only managed to boat dive a couple of days despite having purchased a package for 6 boat dives each. The boat lists fill up quickly and you are out of luck if you are there too late. This upset us, it is not right to charge for a service and not provide it.

Also, I had emailed the resort requesting information on a private instructor to finish my advanced rating. I did receive a response but when I got there the woman in the dive shop said it was too late and the only class was meeting later that day. I specifically wanted to do my rating later in the week and she did not make much of an effort to accommodate us - either you fit into their system or you don't. We gave up on the resort and finished the rating along with two more through a resort next door who was very willing to help.

Also, there was construction going on with a jackhammer right outside our door much of the week. That aspect was awful - no warning or discount provided. It is just up to you to deal with it. Wifi can be slow at times, purchase a pay-as-you-go, no contract USB stick at Digicel for about $70 with plan in town. You can use that all over the island and it makes a good backup if you must connect for work, etc.

The free transfer from the airport was a large yellow school bus full of guests at the airport who all arrive on the same plane and all of your bags are loaded on a separate flatbed truck. For this reason at times this resort felt kind of college dorm/hostel-like. If you are in your 20s you may think it's normal. If you are older and used to 4 and 5 star hotels you may find the experience lacking. They could address this by realizing some of their guests are able to purchase an upgraded option which would eliminate the feeling of being cattle.

Overall a good experience. The reefs of Bonaire are astounding. Don't expect a lot of sharks and rays but the diversity of fish is stunning and the ease of getting to them is unbelievable. Our favorite restaurant was Mona Lisa's and there are good restaurants down by the cruise ship pier as well. The gelato at Gio's on the main street is wonderful.

Room Tip: You may want to ask for a room on a lower floor so you won't have to drag your gear up and down stairs.
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank DCSoutheasternUS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 May 2014

Facility has been upgraded during my many visits to Bonaire and landscaping is beautiful. Staff is very friendly and helpful and willing to do anything to make your stay more enjoyable. Our dive package provided boat and shore diving and was excellent. Hard to beat diving in Bonaire. Remember that Happy Hour is 5 to 6 pm every day and Mangocolada is wonderful. Overall, It was a very relaxing week.

Room Tip: Our Room 711 was perfect.
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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2  Thank tomg201
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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