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“Paradise on Earth... We'll be back!”

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Sorobon Beach, Wellness & Windsurf Resort
Ranked #14 of 22 Hotels in Kralendijk
Reviewed 20 February 2012

We recently returned from our first trip to Bonaire after a wonderful week of snorkeling and windsurfing. We booked our stay at Sorobon Beach Resort through Ann Phelan at Caribbean Wind & Sun Vacations. Ann also arranged our truck rental through Budget, two trips on the Woodwind, and windsurfing gear rental at Jibe City, and answered numerous questions in the months leading up to our trip. We highly recommend her services to make your trip run smoothly.

The Sorobon Beach Resort was the most beautiful spot on the island, a tropical oasis amidst the otherwise dry desert-like terrain. It’s the ideal location for windsurfers, snorkelers, and those who just want to lounge on the beach. Divers might be happier on the other side of the island in and around Kralendijk closer to dive sites. Ann picked what we felt was one of the best “chalets” for us, #25, with privacy, lovely gardens, a beautiful view of the bay, and only steps from the beach and the amazing turquoise water. The chalets are simple but very comfortable, with AC in the bedroom, a safe, a basic kitchen, and dining and sitting area. We loved having breakfast on our terrace each morning accompanied by hummingbirds, butterflies, yellow sugar birds, geckos, and an occasional iguana. Then we’d walk next door to Jibe City for a few hours of windsurfing or head out for some snorkeling. When we needed a break from the sun, we’d come back for lunch and a siesta under the thatched-roof palapas on the beach. There was never any problem getting chairs on the beach, even though the resort appeared to be full. Most of the guests were Dutch, with very few Americans, and several multi-generational family groups, with grandparents, parents, and young children. On the days cruise ships were in port, the crowd seemed to be mostly over at Bonaire Windsurf Place with only a few at Sorobon.

We only ate one breakfast and one dinner in the resort’s open-air restaurant; both meals were good but in our opinion a bit expensive, and with two kids in college, our budget is limited. We shopped at the new grocery store in town and made most of our breakfasts and lunches in our chalet and went out for several dinners in town (Cactus Blue, Plazita Limena, and Paradise Moon, all very good). It’s only a 10- to 15-minute drive into town but watch out for donkeys and goats in the road on your way back from town at night!

For early risers, the sunrises over beautiful Lac Bay are definitely worth getting up for. We also enjoyed sitting out on the beach at night under the stars, sipping rum punch and watching the full moon rise up over the bay. The Sorobon’s pier is a great place to watch young, future world champion freestyle windsurfers practicing their tricks at the end of the day. We also walked straight out from the pier for about 20 minutes for some awesome snorkeling along the reef.

Service at the resort was friendly and helpful, and everyone speaks English. We arrived on the island and 5:30 a.m. and were able to stow our luggage in the office and use the beach facilities until our room was ready, a little earlier than the 2:00 p.m. check-in time. Our room was cleaned every day, with fresh towels, and a very nice member of the grounds crew even came to trim some branches that were scraping the roof our chalet. The beach bar’s friendly waitstaff delivers drinks and lunch to your lounge chair if you desire.

Only two very minor disappointments: there were kayaks but no paddles (we were told they’d been stolen and new ones had been ordered) and there were no microwaves as advertised on the resort’s website.

We fell in love with the windsurfing on Lac Bay and the snorkeling around Bonaire. Compared with other islands, Bonaire is very relaxed and comfortable— no beach vendors hassling you to buy necklaces or drugs; no concerns about safety; easy driving, parking, and finding your way around; friendly, helpful people; very low key. We hope to come back someday soon and we wouldn’t think of staying anywhere else but the Sorobon Beach Resort.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank rhipple21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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108 - 114 of 285 reviews

Reviewed 16 January 2012

This hotel worths every penny. Staying in a nice room located only 25 meters from turquoise-blue, warm and shallow waters is priceless!!!!!

Room Tip: Best rooms are those closer to the beach, specially if you have young children that want to stay on...
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  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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Thank JorgeAndresVivas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 November 2011

The owners were completely deaf to suggestions, even safety suggestions. Something as simple as removing an extension cord so people don't trip was ignored. Food was inconsistent. One night it was great and another it was dreadful. They encouraged us to stay at the resort and eat, but decided after the second awful meal to go elsewhere to some really great restaurants. Encouraging cruise ship passengers to come and use the beach ruined the tranquility of the resort. These guys are windsurfers, not hotel managers (the owners, that is).

  • Stayed: March 2011
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13  Thank Babsmoreno
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 November 2011

To describe Sorobon Beach resort as ‘basic beachfront bliss’ doesn't even do it justice. The warm staff and well-kept facilities make it feel as though you’re visiting your friend’s island outpost where there are only a few orders to the day: hot beach, cool dip, snooze under palapa, watch geckos scurrying around; repeat.

Leave your jewelry and resort casual wear at home, you’ll need more bathing suits than clothes, loose shirts than button-ups and flip flips than heels.

The one- and two-bedroom, clay-roofed and whitewashed chalets are all duplexes clustered around one of only two white sand beaches in Bonaire. You don’t spend much time in the room, but when you do there’s a simple kitchen and bathroom, small but efficient bedroom with safe and a/c, and living area with a kitchen table and chairs. The rooms appear to have been given a refresh when the new owners took over the hotel a year ago. No phones or TVs in the room add to the undone paradise feeling of the resort. If you want something, you need to walk to reception and ask. The chalets' piece de resistance is the outdoor shower that gently spouts water out of a conch shell.

The resort just misses the sunset in the eve, but the friendly beach bar's tropical atmosphere helps you forget! Windsurf schools, also with beach bars, sit beside the resort, giving the location a youthful, sporty draw.

Finally, the hotel restaurant serves healthy Bonaire food {lots of fish, wahoo was my fave} with a few Euro and N. American twists. The service is good and the atmosphere is approachable and well-imagined with pillow-clad wooden banquettes and white triangular sails to shade from the sun.

WHAT TO KNOW
- Because of the hotel’s location near the mangroves, mosquitoes and noseeums are worst in rainy season: oct and nov. Bring bug spray. The biting bugs do not bother people during the day, but unless there’s a strong wind at night, head into town for any al fresco dining.
- The hotel will pick you up from the airport, just advise them in advance. If you don’t hear back via email, call them.
- Free wifi in the open-air lobby area.
- Note: you must being your own soap, shampoo and conditioner for the bathroom and kitchen.
- Most people rent cars in Bonaire, the hotel-front parking is free. If you rent for more than 3 days, the hotel can arrange for a rental agency to pick you up. Word to the wise, don't rent from Budget, they have terrible, slow, highly questionable and unethical service. They went against our signed contract and over-charged us anyway, which we are taking up with Budget Corporate.
- Each room has a casual patio/lanai with a hammock, simple wooden table, chairs and clothes line to dry went items.
- It takes 13 mins to drive into town and 10 mins to get to the airport. Don't go fast on the road, as there are donkeys in the area who might run across. Taxis to and from the airport, cost $20.
- Finally, the resort's service was impressive. All staff are well-trained and exceeded my expectations at every opportunity.

TIPS
- Don't miss the flock of flamingos flying by the beach around 6pm every night.
- The island is very safe, but when at dive sites, leave your car unlocked with windows open and NOTHING in the car, otherwise, lock your car elsewhere and as always, don't leave anything in it.
- In town, the City Cafe is a fun hangout with excellent service and good pub food.

Room Tip: All rooms have some sort of ocean view, however, some are closer. When I return, I'll request on...
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank tripstyler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 October 2011

This was the highlight of our trip to Bonaire... my wife & I spent so much time here it was truly amazing. Although we did not stay at the hotel (rented apartment with friends) we were only 15min drive away. This is by far the best resort / hotel I have ever been to... the food, drinks, service was always exceptional. the beach is white sand, the lagoon/bay is protected by a double reef system which means you have about a KM of clear turquoise water all to yourself. The condos looked amazing and we will 100% stay there next time. Peaceful, calm, serene, chilled, relaxed you name it this is the place... Well done to to the staff who truly looked after us always... nothing was a problem...not even when it rained..

Room Tip: Facing the beach
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  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank John M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 September 2011

We stayed at Sorobon Beach Resort in September, 2011. We went there with the expectation that the facility would somewhat resemble the description on their website. However, despite their claim of a "fully equipped kitchen furnished with all the necessary gadgets," we arrived to find our kitchen lacking paper towels, dishwashing soap, a sponge, coffee maker filters, and a striker for the gas stove. The receptionist told me that they did not provide these items, but they did give us matches for the stove, which were useless after a day or two due to the humidity. Although each unit had a useful clothes line, one had to obtain clothespins by harvesting them from unoccupied units (this technique was suggested by another resident). The front desk told us twice that housekeeping would bring some over, but they never appeared. Similarly, our unit had a mosquito net for the bed (important during Bonaire's rainy season), but no hook in the ceiling from which to hang it. Again, the front desk agreed to address this, but I ended purchasing an eye hook at the local hardware store and doing the job myself when no hook was forthcoming. Although kayaks were available, as advertised, the resort had no proper kayak paddles. Luckily, I had heard rumors about this issue and we brought collapsible paddles with us from home. This would have been a show stopper for us, as our main reason for staying at SBR was for easy access to the reef in Lac Bay. The web site also states that "the entire resort has high speed wireless Internet," but this is no longer true either. The only success I had with getting a WiFi signal was in the outdoor lounge area, not a good place to linger with the prodigious number of mosquitoes during this time of year. We did not eat in the restaurant, opting instead to have several remarkably good meals in Kralendijk for about 10-20% less. During one of the afternoons while we were there, a large influx of noisy non-residents showed up on the beach, making it difficult to read or sleep on the beach. We learned subsequently that the resort allows non-residents to visit the beach for free, presumably to bolster business at the beach bar. The management was kind enough to let us stay in our unit for an hour beyond check-out time, which saved us an hour of killing time elsewhere waiting to go to the airport.

Perhaps the truest statement on the SBR web site is that they sit "on one of the most beautiful stretches of sand in the Caribbean." I will not dispute that statement. However, we have arranged kayak rentals with the nearby Windsurfing Place for our next Bonaire trip, and may choose to stay elsewhere.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank SnorkelBubba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 August 2011

Our family enjoyed our stay at Sorobon Beach Resort tremendously! If you want to get away from it all, except windsurfing, this is the place. The beautiful bay, casual atmosphere, helpful staff, comfortable accommodations, and convenient location to fabulous windsurfing and snorkeling allowed us to get into the rhythm of the island and leave the rest of the world behind.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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Thank Cathy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sorobon Beach, Wellness & Windsurf Resort

Address: Sorobon 10, Kralendijk, Bonaire
Region: Caribbean > Bonaire > Kralendijk
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa
Hotel Style:
#5 Spa Hotel in Kralendijk
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Kralendijk
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Kralendijk
Price Range: £130 - £401 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Sorobon Beach, Wellness & Windsurf Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 34
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tranquil and private surroundings. Brightest hue of turquoise in the Caribbean. Sunshine and warmth every day of the year. This is how you will remember the Sorobon Beach and Wellness Resort – 15 adorable bright blue chalets tucked in-between palm trees and lush gardens on the charming island of Bonaire. With a rich history of more than 25 years, the resort invites everyone who search for unrefined enjoyment in nature and unconditional love for serenity. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sorobon Beach Hotel Kralendijk
Sorobon Beach, Wellness & Windsurf Resort Bonaire/Kralendijk

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