Based on TripAdvisor reviews we were expecting this hotel to be fine but not spectacular. As it turned out, our 8 nights at Hotel Bonaca were brilliant - much better than we had anticipated.
Our family room was fine - yes the decor was a little dated but it was spotlessly clean (I have never been to a hotel anywhere in the world with so many cleaning staff - the pool area was scrubbed every single morning). The room had a separate bedroom with twin beds, then two full size single beds in the main room. The pillows were quite flat and lumpy but we asked for extra pillows which quickly arrived. The aircon was fine - the unit was in the main area so the bedroom got quite warm but even in the 37 degrees were experiencing outside it was not a problem.
The quality of the food in the restaurant was excellent - always plenty of it and even at the busiest times we did not have to queue for long. There was a salad bar, a pasta section, a main course/grill section, desserts and fruit and at least three flavours of icecream at lunch and dinner. My children are fussy eaters but there was always pizza (plain cheese or ham) and bread, as well as usually some plain grilled meat and often plain pasta or rice. On checking in, guests are asked to choose either the early (6.30) or late (8.15) sitting for dinner. We chose 8.15 which meant not rushing up from the pool to get ready for dinner, families with younger children seemed to go for the early sitting. The hotel bumpf asks for men to wear long trousers for dinner but this rule was not enforced (luckily as my husband didn't have any long trousers with him!)
Chefs were preparing hot food constantly during service so it was always fresh. Inevitably, a week of buffet food in an AI resort does get boring but there was always something new on the menu to tempt us.
The choice of drinks was not so good. The local soft drinks were incredibly sweet for my taste (no diet versions available) and the wine was not to my liking either. The pool bar serves drinks in very small plastic glasses (0.2l) which meant either constant trips or getting several drinks at once to quench your thirst. Under 18s are served their drinks in even smaller disposable cups. The pool bar plastic glasses were also stained with other people's sunscreen and seemed unpleasantly dirty.
Luckily the tap water in Croatia is drinkable so we drank a lot of that in lieu of soft drinks!
The pool area was clean and well maintained. I must admit to going down early to bagsy loungers in our favourite spot but on all but the busiest days there were usually loungers to be had for latecomers. Rather annoyingly, lots of guests reserved loungers in the morning not intending to use them until the afternoon. I think this is something the hotel could be more proactive about.
The loungers themselves are very uncomfortable - hard slatted plastic. We noticed lots of guests had bought pads with them or bought them from local vendors. Pool towels are available to rent from the hotel for 50 kuna returnable deposit - you can change the towels for clean ones daily.
Coming from the UK, we noticed that smoking is much more acceptable in Croatia and found it irritating to be surrounded by smokers round the pool or sitting on the terrace after dinner. The lobby and restaurant are non smoking.
The Animation team at the hotel really made the holiday enjoyable - they were engaging and entertaining without ever being pushy or in your face. Every day (except Saturday) there was a programme of sports (beach volleyball, water polo, table tennis, Boccia, football etc), fitness (Aqua aerobics, Zuma, stretching) and Kids club. My sons (9 and 11) felt they were too old for Mini Club but they were able to join in with some of the sports activities. The animation team also did various mini games and stunts (involving increasingly silly costumes) round the pool as well as organising an energetic mini disco and cabaret shows in the evening.
The hotel attracts guests from many different countries - there was only one other British family and two older couples there during our stay- but all the announcements and notices are in several languages including English. All the staff spoke English.
The location of the hotel is about 30 minutes walk from the centre of Bol and about 15 minutes to the beach at Zlatni Rat. There is a very pleasant promenade running along the waterfront linking Bol to Zlatni Rat.
We changed our booking to this hotel about a week before arrival as the hotel had reduced room rates by 20% - we therefore got AI for less than the price of half board at the neighbouring Bluesun hotel. This turned out to be a good decision as there were very few places close by to buy snacks, drinks and lunches. The prices on Bol are also higher than on the mainland so we saved a lot of money on food and drink.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set in picturesque surroundings with fragrant Mediterranean herbs and a lovely pine forest only 160 yards from the pebble beach, Bluesun Hotel Bonaca offers state-of-the-art facilities and impeccable services. Only a 10 minute walk from the center of the town of Bol and the magnificent beach Zlatni Rat, the hotel is a perfect destination for sun and sea lovers. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Bluesun Resort Bonaca Hotel Bol
- Bluesun Resort Bonaca Bol, Croatia - Brac Island