Stayed in December 2012 - 2BR
Overall: The place had good points and bad. If you like modern architecture, lively beach bars and music playing all day at the beach, you may like it. I wish they gave more thought to the room design (see below “room”) because with a little more attention and thought this place could be much better. It had a good location and wasn’t bad for the price. I liked it okay but I’m not sure that I’d stay there again if I return to Bonaire (I’d probably try Sorobon Resort next time because it seemed quieter and had a much nicer beach and the atmosphere was more my speed).
Reservation/check-in/front desk: Although their website says early check-in is possible, when I inquired in advance of my stay their reply was “If you would like to have a guarantee early check-in , I advise you to reserve an night extra prior to your arrival.” Isn’t the idea of early check-in so you don’t have to pay for an extra night? Some of the statements on their website were different than the signage at the resort. For example, website said check-in at 3pm and sign at resort said check-in at 1pm, internet fees, etc. I reserved directly with the hotel via e-mail and fax (their English website isn’t very good and you can’t reserve that way). At one point, I tried to inquire about restaurants but front desk staff wasn’t very helpful and couldn't recommend a restaurant.
Room: We rented a 2BR apartment #402 for $222 per night. It was very spacious, clean and recently remodeled IKEA-style (I had requested a renovated apt after reading TA reviews). Comfy beds and linens. Dining room chairs were covered in white cotton twill (bad choice for sunscreen/bug spray-covered bodies). Small bars of soap (but not shampoo) were provided. The entire week, there was only lukewarm (not hot) water for my shower. Surprisingly, I got used to this and it wasn’t too bad. Management responded quickly when we reported the light bulb in the bathroom went out (would not have bothered to report except that this was the last working light bulb in the bathroom!). Oddly, no baking sheet provided for the tiny oven. No salt and pepper. We lucked out as dish soap and coffee filters were left by a previous occupant. We only cooked breakfast and had what we needed. All three A/C’s were “on” upon our arrival. There was no “off” button or any way to adjust the A/C in the living room and master BR. The second bedroom A/C had a remote control. After a couple of days, we realized we could flip the fuse to turn off the living room A/C. I guess that’s why the fuse box was unlocked. Wish they would have explained that to us at the beginning. The only TV was in the living room which was fine (there were two big, empty spaces with outlets on the BR walls, though). There was a small safe in the master BR but I couldn’t fit my laptop in it. I was unable to make an internet connection. I gave up after two tries because each time you have to go to the front desk and get a code and the code expires after a day. With persistence, I may have been able but it didn’t really matter to me anyway. There was a partial ocean view from the master BR. The first floor was rather dark. The landscaping was not much and it appears this phase of the renovation is incomplete. The patio had a resin table and two resin chairs. The bar was very close and you could hear music/people at night. We were worried but found it did quiet down on Fri night at a reasonable hour (we had an early flight on Sat). Some of the units had more private patios. There weren’t adequate places to hang beach towels, swimsuits, etc. No place to rinse snorkel gear (we used the shower). No hand towel or towel rack in the first floor powder room. Rain collects on the front patio as it isn’t tilted to go down the drain (housekeeping mopped the patios after rain because of this design flaw). No screens in windows. Manual drapes (had to stand on a chair to pull them back) were hard to control. No alarm clocks or any clock at all. No binder or brochures with resort or local information or a Spice menu.
Resort: Parts of the resort were under construction but this did not bother me other than it being somewhat of an eyesore when you drove up and having to walk over plywood sometimes. We did not use the pool but it looked nice, It most definitely was not opened daily at 7am as the sign by the pool stated (island time, I guess). I picked this resort because it’s one of the few with a sandy beach. I read somewhere that Eden “beach” is really a giant sandbox (i.e. not a real beach) and that is quite accurate. Some of the pictures of the beach I saw (including some on the resort’s very own website and Tripadvisor) may have been older and before storms because it looked like you could walk right into the water. Now, there is a cement wall between the real beach (a few feet of wet sand and coral rubble) and Eden “beach” (i.e. the sandbox). You have to step down to go in the water (or find the staircase and go down a couple of steps). Once you’re in the water, you’re on rock rather than sand but it’s still nice. You can see some fish if you snorkel. Also, the beach looks very big on the resort’s website but it doesn’t seem that big when you’re there and it’s mostly covered with outdoor furniture. You have to step down a couple of cement steps to get to the water. Their signs say it’s against the rules to bring your own food/drink to the “beach”. The beach bar and restaurant were very new, modern and nicely architected (sign at entry of resort proclaims “Piet Boon designed") although I never ate in the restaurant. There was a sign that stated Happy Hour was Fri, Sat and Sun but it failed to list what times it was. The guests were mainly Dutch and some South Americans. There were a few Americans but not many. They provide lounge chairs but signs stated you pay for beach bed ($15) or cabana ($25) which seem to go unused but take up lots of space and obscure the sea view somewhat. There were also big flags in front of the water that said “Caribe Watersports” but didn’t seem to serve any purpose. There were cool, modern firepits in front of the water that they lit at night. There was music playing at the beach at all times that I was there. In the evening, it got quite loud. I did not use Wannadive other than to purchase a marine park tag but they seemed cool and knowledgeable. Their website says the resort has a gym but I did not see any signs of it.
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- Also Known As:
- Eden Beach Hotel Bonaire
- Eden Beach Bonaire
- Eden Beach Resort Bonaire/Kralendijk