Where stay in Bonaire

Sep 5th, 2006, 06:19 AM
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Join Date: May 2006
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Where stay in Bonaire

Where to stay in Bonaire? Main requirement: great (not just good)snorkeling right off the beach/shore in front of the place we stay. A beach would be great but as long as there is a pool or somewhere to lay while I am taking a break reading but hubby is out snorkeling so I can watch him (worries me for him to be out snorkeling by self and no one to make sure nothing happens).

How is the Sand Dollar and how is snorkeling from beach of it?

Our interests: snorkeling, exploring an island, snorkeling.

We are going to Aruba for a convention but first want to stay in Bonaire for a few days. In Aruba we're staying at the Hyatt Regency. Prefer not to stay in place like this in Bonaire.

Normally like to find quirky little place away from the crowds and resort atmosphere -- we like nice but doesn't have to be fancy. We find we get a better feel for an area if we stay away from bigger resorts. But in Bonaire will make an exception to our general rule if it is necessary.

Not looking to go "on a budget" so not interested in budget accommodations that do not meet the ocean front and snorkeling requirements.

Also, suggestions on transportation to/from Bonaire?

Any other hints/suggestions about Bonaire?

LvSun is offline  
Sep 5th, 2006, 06:49 AM
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Couple other things we are looking for:

Would like a balcony or porch - don't want to be hemmed in when in the room. Gotta have ocean view. Going first of January - is AC a necessity then?

Prefer to not be in a large crowded place. We like to be off the beaten path of tourism if possible.

Will drive to different spots for snorkeling but also want the convenience of a great snorkel where we stay.
LvSun is offline  
Sep 5th, 2006, 02:32 PM
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Try these two websites: www.vrbo.com or www.vacationrentals.com. Both have listings for house/villa/condo rentals on Bonaire. You might find something that will work for you.
harmeva is offline  
Sep 5th, 2006, 03:08 PM
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Between recent posts and searching you should be able to find something here under "accommodations':

RobertoB is offline  
Sep 5th, 2006, 03:51 PM
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Thank you.
LvSun is offline  
Sep 5th, 2006, 05:02 PM
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I assume you are interestedin Bonaire for diving and maybe some snorkeleing. Hurricane Mitch destroyed a lot of the best snorkeling, in my opinion, though it is far better than Aruba. But below 20 ft. the scuba diving is excellent. The island itself is a bit more interesting than Aruba but much more laid-back for R&R. I suggest for 2-3 nights you stay at a hotel vs. renting a house. You really want it to be easy. You will not find a Hyatt level resort/hotel in terms of ameneties which maybe just fine.The sites listed in earlier notes on this thread should give you enough choices.
StanKase is offline  
Sep 6th, 2006, 08:59 AM
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We stayed at the Divi Flamingo last October, it was not luxurious but ticked the right boxes for most of our requirements. We had a seaview room, you could see the fish in the sea from our balcony. The hotel has a small beach, you can snorkel right from the beach but then that applies to most of Bonaire. Bonaire is also not a mass tourism destination and is very different from Aruba. There are alot of great beaches to drive to where you can snorkel, including beaches within the Washington Slaagbai national park. You are given a map to follow if you go to the park, you need a four wheel drive. You won't find big flashy resort hotels here, people come for the diving.

More upmarket than the Divi is the Harbour Village Beach Club.
Odin is offline  
Sep 6th, 2006, 10:55 AM
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Odin reminded me it was the Harbour Village Beach Club that we stayed out. while divers go there it is more of a relaxing, mid-scale (Sheraton not Hyatt) facility. I remember a Don's Habitat (or similar name) but that is for divers almost exclusively and the accommodations were quite basic from what I saw.
Not to confuse you but we visited Cuacao 3 times in the past 4 years. while we went to a small place without much beach the Marriott, not the Hilton, is a resort on the large size but with a rental car in 20 minutes you can be on the WEST END where there are 7-8 quiet coves with moderate size beaches and few people mid-week or during holidays. Along the boulders that form each bay is very good snorkeling, as good as most of Bonaire in my opinion, Beach #1 Santa Cruz has a little beach and a fellow runs a modest operation where he would take your husband out for 2-3 hours to 3-4 different spots. While with a life vest, which we always wear, he would be 99% safe, but he generally leaves snorkelers at a spot and comes back on time and takes them to the next spot. He charges $15/person when he leaves you but for $50 he would take your husband to each of 4 spots and wait 30-35 minutes each while he explores the different spots. He has a modest restaurant with his wife at dockside and for $14/person he prepares a terrific home cooked lunch and the price includes a bottle of local beer. The West Eend has such good snorkeling that we have gone there 2-3 times each time we visit Curacao for 5-6 days. If you consider the island as an alternate go to the Curacao thread for I and others have recommended 5-6 good to excellent places to dine. The Portofino restaurant at the Marriott is not good art all but the beach bar has a good luncheon menu.Room rates are more like Aruba where Bonaire is less.
StanKase is offline  
Sep 6th, 2006, 11:40 AM
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We are going to Bonaire at the end of this month and staying at the Belmar. I will post a report when I get back early October, but I don't know if you want to wait that long. Owa
Sep 6th, 2006, 12:10 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 221
I would second the vote for the Divi. Remember, Bonaire does not have long stretches of natural beaches - it's coastline is rocky. Therefore I wouldn't call anyplace "great" for snorkeling - it is great diving. The Divi does have a small beach. The reef is not far offshore - in fact it's just beyond the pier where the dive gear shack is. The best thing about the Divi is that it is only about 6 blocks from town. It's safe to walk from the resort to the various restaurants in town, even after dark. I walked alone every night and was never worried. There are some cute places to eat within a 6-8 block area.

The Divi has oceanfront rooms - in fact on the ground floor the balconies actually hang out over the rocks along the "beach". Not fancy but clean, AC and showers worked, 2 nice pools. I would go back there.
tigerhawk is offline  
Sep 6th, 2006, 05:37 PM
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Thank you everyone. Still researching and will take your advice when making a decision.

As to Curacao, thanks for the info. Will be looking at Curacao for a side trip on our next trip to Aruba.
LvSun is offline  
Sep 9th, 2006, 01:06 PM
Join Date: Sep 2006
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I always liked private holiday homes more than resorts and hotels. Especially on Bonaire there are a lot of those homes. You can check two sites:
http://www.holiday-bonaire.com and http://www.sunny-bonaire.com

Good luck!
Annemiek is offline  

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