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Belmar Oceanfront Apartments
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Reviews (216)
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All reviewsdive staffbuddy divethree bedroomshore divingnight securitycovered balconydive shophotel dockcommon spaceassigned unitgrocery storefull kitchenindividual ownersair nitroxbedroom bath unitshuttle driverdouble reef
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Reviewed 29 December 2013

This trip was to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary and Christmas vacation with our 2 college-aged sons. This is my third trip to Bonaire but my first stay at the Belmar. It won't be my last! We stayed in a "Classic Superior" 2-bedroom, 2 bath apartment for the week over Christmas. Let's start with the staff - just outstanding. Chrissie and her crew made our week a perfect one. They were so helpful in arranging restaurant reservations for an entire week of dinners. Not an easy task over the busy Christmas holiday. The dive setup is very good. They are affiliated with Buddy Dive - so they have a scuba tank cage that is fully equipped with air/Nitrox 24 hours a day. Each patio has a set of drying racks and there is also a lockable equipment locker next to the dive shop. The house reef - Sara's Smile is a wonderful spot. Easy entry via stairs and a very well marked line out to the reef itself. Great spot for night dives. For a different experience, be sure and try the UV - fluorescent night dive. The one draw back is that you have to drive to restaurants - all no more than 10-15 minutes away. Very well equipped kitchens complete with coffee makers, blenders, etc. Electrical outlets are both US and European configuration so charging stuff is not a problem. Free wifi but it can be spotty.

Room Tip: All face the ocean. Choose a bottom floor if you don't want to haul dive gear up and down stairs.
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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Thank swaynewilson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 December 2013

We have been coming to Bonaire off and on for 18 years. Once we found Belmar, there was no reason to try somewhere else. We are leaving for home tomorrow and hope to return. The diving is fabulous, reefs in good shape with lots of fish. Belmar has a dock open 24/7 for night or twilight diving, tanks are down by the dock. A pick-up truck is included in the package so you can get your tanks and take off to the numerable marked shore dives.

Sharon K

Room Tip: Fewer mosquitoes on the second floor. That's the only down side of a Bonaire vacation.
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank SKDiverBuffalo_NY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 November 2013

Four friends stayed at Belmar for a week (November 2013). There really is nothing bad to say about the accommodations, the staff, the service. The staff at Belmar was outstanding, very nice, helpful. Samuel was great about recommending dive sites. Unfortunately due to timing and incoming ships we were unable to do a night dive on the Salt Pier as we had hoped but the rest of our dives were outstanding. It was pleasant to stay a little "south" of town and the house reef was lovely. Certainly couldn't complain about the included Nitrox or the ease of getting tanks.

The only complaint was the bugs. One of our travelers has been to Belmar before and I had read several reviews and bugs was never an issue before. It appears that the bugs (no see-ums and mosquitos) are only a real problem with a confluence of factors. 1) I would, in the future, try and stay in a second floor apartment, I think the no see-ums are likely worse on the bottom floor, close to the sand. 2) The bugs are worse if there is no wind. If you plan to go, take DEET, regular "OFF" does not do the trick for those little pests.

The great thing about a bottom floor apartment is the ease of getting your gear to and from your apartment/truck after diving/cleaning etc. I noticed some people using the gear lockers but because we were so close to where our truck was parked we just toted our gear back and forth to our apartment, hung it outside on our "deck".

Only other issue we had the entire week was internet that didn't work well, strong internet usually about 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and again about 12 pm to 2 pm, then often not working the rest of the day. Really, we're on vacation so you might wonder why it matters. It really only matters because we believed we'd have internet and the ability to communicate with the states easily, if we had been told there was none we wouldn't have planned on it. But that issue is really minor in the grand scheme of things.

In fact, everything was easy from the minute we landed in Bonaire, getting to Belmar was easy from the aiport, getting a truck was a piece of cake, a quick orientation was helpful, lovely apartments, easy house reef and great staff. What's to complain about? Would definitely return and recommend to others.

Room Tip: Second floor would likely take away any chance of issues with biting insects.
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank JMJeffs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 November 2013

We have now stayed at Belmar three times, obviously returning because everything was great. The Office staff, many of whom are also Dive staff - and who all dive - are very courteous, and quite knowledgeable about the island, the dive sites, diving, and how to run an operation like Belmar really, really well. The "house reef" by itself is a good dive - check the photo of three fishy dive friends photographed at the Belmar reef - but naturally on Bonaire the attraction is Shore Diving. Staff advice about where (and when, just as important!) is great. We have arrived very early morning on a red-eye flight, early evening and late night (delayed flight) and are always met by a cheerful shuttle driver in a mini-van setup to move the right balance of human and dive gear cargo; the same service returns you to the airport and both arrival and return are included in your rental. There has always been some food and drink in the refrigerator waiting for us. Keys are all provided correctly; there is no confusion. A typical-for-Bonaire "crew-cab" short-bed pick-up truck is provided to hold all your dive gear; it's good for two dives each for 4 people or one dive each for 4-people and includes a 4-tank rack in the truck bed.
Bedrooms are air-conditioned so one can sleep well in the heat, (and open up the Dive Camera housing in a lower humidity environment), but the remainder of the apartment is essentially open to the large balcony, really a room unto itself; you can close sliding doors between the balcony and the large, long combination kitchen, dining area living room, but aside from an excessive desire for privacy, why would one? The tropics, the sea air, the breeze all waft in and envelope you. Incidentally, there usually IS a breeze here.
Kitchen appliances are all high end, many of them European; the Kitchens themselves have all top-flight cabinetwork and counters. Both Apartment and Balcony furniture is durable and comfortable and in excellent condition. Bathrooms are usually very modern and also feature European fixtures and trim. Power outlet availability is usually both 120 VAC (North American) and 220/240 VAC (European), although the numbers of each type of these outlets will vary somewhat from apartment to apartment. If there is anything missing from the kitchen, (like one glass too few), the staff can take care of that during normal business hours within a few minutes.
There is a Dive Tank lock-up area which is kept well-stocked throughout the day with 80 and 60 cubic foot Air and Nitrox tanks; extra tanks are available for night dives. There are good wash-down facilities for equipment and showers for divers, as well as a lockable storage room for hanging and drying your equipment. The Belmar "office" is a combination office, dive classroom and dive shop which perhaps sounds a bit chaotic but works very well indeed. The facility includes a nicely-kept, heated pool, ample deck area with chaise lounge, a combination dive and dive boat dock, a separate shaded dock also with chaise; both docks also have stairs down into the sea. The facility has night security on patrol.
This is the place to go if you want excellent facilities, staff, diving and prefer to cook and eat on your own schedule, (instead of like that at an all-inclusive resort). In short, are we returning again? Most definitely "Yes!" Our only problem is fitting in a return time between work and downhill skiing, but at the time I wrote this review, we had already booked our return for two weeks at the end of ski season.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Thomas W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 October 2013

The great experience started when we arrived on the overnight United flight from Houston at 5:30 AM. We were met at the airport by a taxi driver with a key to a temporary unit at Belmar where we were taken to get a little more sleep. They even had a little food and drink in the fridge for us. We transferred to our normal unit at check-in time later in the day.

The unit itself was very nice and well equipped. We used the kitchen for breakfast and lunch most days as well as dinner once or twice. There is a very good grocery store a five minute ride away. Our unit did have air conditioning in both the bedroom and living area.

Dive shop on site. Tanks available adjacent to the front office (to load into your truck for shore diving excursions) or at the dock on the water (for diving the house reef). We did 3 boat dives from Belmar to sites off of Klein Island as well as numerous shore dives around the island. We also dove the Salt Pier with Chrissie from Belmar as our guide. It was great.

The entire staff at Belmar are completely accommodating. They made the entire trip one that we won't forget. We will be back as soon as we can.

Bonaire is about diving and it is fantastic. Just grab some tanks, throw them in your truck and head off to the shore dive site of your choice. Shore diving with just your buddy sounded a little intimidating before we got there, but once we tried it, it was a blast.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Colocav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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