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“Diving Made Easy”
Review of Buddy Dive

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Buddy Dive
Ranked #4 of 21 Hotels in Kralendijk
Certificate of Excellence
Hawthorne, New Jersey
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Diving Made Easy”
Reviewed 30 July 2014

This is a Scuba diving resort...They can't be any more clear about that in the advertisements. So if you are not into Scuba or Snorkeling, I would not see much point in staying here. They do have a pool and areas to hang out, but i would pick a different hotel if you are not a diver or snorkeler.
However, if you "are for scuba", this place is perfect. Here mare my cliff-notes of the trip.
We got a shuttle to and from the airport which was nice.
The hotel grounds were nice and well kept. Our room was clean and tidy, nothing fancy.
The breakfast each day was perfect pre-diving food. It's also overlooking the water which is crystal clear. The pictures they have on the website are a good indication of what the resort is actually like.
Having your own truck is nice if you want to pick your own dive sites, however they do offer boat dives as well and diving off the dock... I much preferred the driving option and exploring the island. There are too many dive spots around the island to just stay at the resort all week.. go explore.
The nightlife is pretty quiet around there unless some things have changed. However, we were so tired from diving all day that we were in bed fairly early. A dinner and a couple glasses of wine, we were all ready for bed.
There are some great restaurants around so venture out.
Ask the staff questions... they are great for scuba questions and underwater photography questions.

I am usually not one to go back to the same place twice, however Buddy Dive made it so easy to enjoy the beautiful waters of Bonaire, if I did get to go back to Bonaire, there is no question where I would be staying.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Evan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (201)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Quantico, Maryland
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 July 2014

We had apartment 714 which was roomy and wonderful. When we got there the air conditioning did not work. It was fixed very quickly and graciously. The breakfast buffet was good - never mind the laughing gulls. The truck was fun - it was already beat up so we didn't have to worry about more dents. We snorkeled off the resort dock every day - except the day we went to Kline Bonaire. Went to the Friday night BBQ. Good food; strong rum punch. I have made my husband promise we can go back next year.
Also went to Kite City - on Te Amo Beach now. Loved it!
National Park - takes a sense of adventure and some guts.

Room Tip: 714 or 715 - 1 bedroom "apartment" with a great ocean view
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank NannaAnn1948
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
McLean, Virginia
Level 4 Contributor
49 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 July 2014

The motto is eat, sleep, dive. There is no sandy beach and no real pool and bar culture. If you are looking for THAT kind of resort, go somewhere else.

If you want to dive ... a lot ... then this is a great place. Love the drive through and the convenience if all the shore diving. Overall the staff were great and everything was straightforward and convenient.

There was a lot of construction, but the improvements are nice. Our 1 BR apt had an odd layout in that the front door opened to the bedroom, but the room was clean and certainly diver-proof.

The only thing I would seek to improve is the attentiveness of staff at the pool bar. I am American, but have no affection for over-bearing service and I don't mind flagging down wait staff. That only works, however, when they at least glance your way sometimes. This they should do.

We had no problems with the petty crime everyone seems to talk so much about. It may have been because our truck was such a frightening beater, but nonetheless.

One final comment that I put out with great affection for all of my Dutch friends. This place is very Dutch. Case in point: Happy Hour is an hour (not a minute more), during which you get free popcorn (not discounted drinks). Yes, I know, why would it be otherwise? Silly American!

Book it and have a blast.

  • Stayed May 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank tmac23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 July 2014

We met friends and a dive group at Buddy Dive mid-July. We read a lot of reviews and info about Bonaire and Buddy Dive and set our expectations, as all good TripAdvisors do. We had a great trip.
Diving was wonderful. I read several reviews about not leaving the resort and diving the Buddy Reef all week. As nice as that reef is, go out and see other locations. We had a great time shore diving and actually enjoyed that as much or more than the boat dives. We packed the back of the truck with our gear, packed a small soft side cooler that we brought with us, with water and beer and went out and explored the island. We read enough to know that we had shore dive t-shirts, glasses and flip-flops that we did not worry about. Of course, we had no problems with anything missing. We had a great truck from Buddy Dive because we chose the extra insurance option.
We went to the Donkey Sanctuary one day and had a great time. It was not the tourist site I expected, but a real effort being made to control the donkey population and how they do that.
We went to Lac Cia and ate at the Beach Hut. Great sand floors, cold beer, good food, wonderful service and a beautiful view of the wind surfers. That was fun!
The food at Buddy Dive was all good. We ate there most of the time... because when we completed out dive and it is easy to hit the pool bar, now called Blennies. Service was great and food was always good. We ate lion fish at Ingredients one night which was very nice. We ran a bar tab and charged everything to our room and had no problems and everything reconciled. Breakfast was one of my favorite times of the day to enjoy the view and watch early boat divers preparing for the boat trip while I enjoyed by coffee and omelette. Friday's BBQ was a great way to conclude the week and watch another beautiful sunset.
We used the power outlets in the room without surge protectors. I have seen hit & miss reviews on it. My power chargers state they handled 120/240 50/60hz. I charged mobile phone, tablet and laptop with no problem. But hey, maybe that is just me.
We never did see the mythical sea horse. I guess we were not in the right place at the right time. That was a little disappointing. We did see turtles, eagle rays, frog fish, barracuda, tarpon and most of the other Bonaire habitat. As everyone states, visibility is amazing and coral is beautiful. People spend millions of dollars trying to make their aquariums look like that.
Beds were all 2-twins put together. We had no problem with them separating and if you do what you are there to do... you will not have a problem sleeping! Steps in the 3 bedroom / 2 level units are a little awkward. Showers were very good and kitchenettes well equipped.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Beach_Bum54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Valdez, Alaska
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 July 2014

We've just finished our 7th annual visit to Bonaire. During all those stays, we've stayed at the Caribbean Club, which is an associate property to Buddy Dive, located approximately 4 kl north of Kralendijk. We like this property because it is a bit more isolated, more personalized, and we love the personnel and locale. But during all those stays, we have taken advantage of the expertise of John and Suzy at the Digital Photo Shop at Buddy Dive Resort. John's experience with camera equipment is fantastic. His skill in photography is unsurpassed. He's been able to take a novice underwater photographer, give her confidence, fix her mistakes without making her feel awkward, suggested options and offered superb instruction. Suzy's bubbly personality and prolific artwork contribute in making Buddy Dive a top notch operation. Kudos and thanks from two Alaskans, who love Bonaire, and special thanks to John and Suzy, a fantastic couple, who help us share Bonaire's bounty when we return home!

Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank RozStrang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Naples
Level 5 Contributor
41 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 July 2014

Just returned from my third stay at Buddy Dive in Bonaire NA. Since our visit in 2010 Buddy Dive has taken over the resort next door and is about twice the size. We ended up in the new section and our two room with kitchenette reservation was upgraded to two one room kitchenette units with a connecting door.

We had only eaten breakfast and the big Friday BBQ previously at Buddy Dive and gone out for dinner in town. This time we had dinner twice at Buddy Dive. Very good and also a dinner at Ingridients, their upscale over the water restaurant, excellent.

We did not do any shore diving by truck this trip, just boat diving and shore diving in front of the resort. Visibility was generally very good and the staff at Buddy Dive were very helpful and professional. German and Nathalia got the whole boat load of divers a dolphin swim on Klein Bonaire. Battista delivered squids and a frogfish on his first dive ever, Murphy found the seahorse and the reef crusher.

John and Susie are still running the Photo franchise at Buddy and we were happy to get tips on photo subjects and island life every time we came up the ladder from out dives. Best dive ever!
You can rent a camera right there and try it out on the resort reef out front.

The resort was finishing up some roadway work and it never interfered with any activities or caused any noise issues.

Washington Park was a great trip and we saw caracaras for the first time on the way out. The island was in high spirits with the ending of the World Cup and Holland coming in 3rd.

We flew Insel Air from Miami to Curacao and then Bonaire both ways. The flights were generally good. One missing piece of luggage arrived the next morning in time for the first dive of the trip. Be aware that when you get off in Curacao to fly to Bonaire or return to the US you must go through security again. This does add about 30 extra minutes to the transfer.

Buddy Dive continues to be a diver’s paradise. People were diving out front all day and night. Some guests were never seen on the dock or boats as they dive on their own from shore with the trucks that the resort includes in dive packages.

Room Tip: A kitchenette is handy. Water view is nice
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank wethiker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 6 Contributor
99 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 July 2014 via mobile

The rooms are better than average for a Bonaire dive resort however you are there to get out and dive or see the Island. The shop is close and well organized. The boats take you to the best places or where the group wants to go. The dive masters are some of the better I have encountered. Hints for great dive trip. Go to curcaco a day early and then get an early flight to bonaire in the morning the next day. You will be relaxed and get a extra day of diving because most will come in that night and miss the mandatory orientation on their first day. Request a room in the 400 building. Close to restaurant and dive shop with killer views. Get the most beat up truck they have. The roads to the shore dives are challenging and more than likely you will put a scratch on a newer model. Dive slowly and watch the dives masters as they will point out things you might miss on your own. Remember you are on vacation so relax.

  • Stayed July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Dives-to-much
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Buddy Dive

Property: 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 Top resorts Hotel in Kralendijk
#3 Romantic Hotel in Kralendijk
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
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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