View Full Version : Den Laman Condo information requested & ?

05-08-2011, 10:27 PM
My wife and I are in the planning stages of a trip for 2012. Den Laman condos looks interesting. Would appreciate any information.

Advise concerning other places to stay encouraged.

We will be arriving on Saturday 05/12/2012 and departing on a Sunday via Continental from Houston; if we can afford it, will stay two weeks, if not, just one.

We are nitrox certified, working on our advanced dive certs; each of us having about 50 dives logged.

We would appreciate comfortable accommodations with air conditioning, ocean view, easy access to dining, easy access to air tanks, secure gear storage, preferably away from any little children (did I say quiet?). Since we will be in the ocean quite a bit, a pool is not necessary.

We are not party animals and we prefer not to be around obnoxious party animals. We do enjoy a good time, however, we do not find it necessary to become intoxicated in order to have fun. A couple of beers, wine, a martini, scotch on the rocks - all are good in moderation.

We are Christians and would enjoy fellowship at a church while we visit. Suggestions and referrals are appreciated.

We will probably want to schedule a few boat dives too (preferably to some wrecks). Any car/truck/SUV OK. Would like a night UV dive. Studio or one bedroom. Depending upon price, we might extend stay for a second week and depart on 5/27, if we do we will of course want more dive time. We do not need a television (probably won't watch it anyway), but would appreciate internet (CAT5 wired or wireless). A shower with hot water would be nice.

You might ask 'Why are you looking now?' - We plan ahead. We must plan and save for our trip. My wife must schedule her time of with her employer at least 6 months to a year ahead of time to guarantee the days off which we want. If we don't start putting it together now, we probably won't make it.

This year we spent 10 days diving Key Largo and will be visiting the Grand Canyon for ten days at the end of this month. In 2009 we spent two weeks in Roatan; in 2009 7 days in Belize and 10 days in Death Valley. You get the idea.

We do not have to stay in a hotel or at a resort and would enjoy a private residence shared by it's owner.

Thank you.
Jim Lefeber

05-09-2011, 06:54 AM
We've stayed at Den Laman on several occasions and were always pleased with the accommodations, other than a minor glitch with the wireless internet.

Den Laman is modern, well-equipped, well-maintained and ideally located, especially for first time visitors. Bari reef is the perfect introduction to diving on Bonaire.

The "house" dive operation is Bonaire Dive and Adventure. We've always found them to be a very responsible with a great staff, especially their naturalist. You can't go wrong staying at Den Laman and diving with BDA.

The dive package prices with Den Laman or Sand Dollar are quite competitive with other dive resorts. BDA also provides guests with a very convenient gear storage area -- convenient both for boat diving and loading up for a shore dive excursion.

The Den Laman complex includes a respected photography shop and nice restaurant directly below the condo units. The restaurant is small and usually shuts down pretty early -- never have experienced a noise problem. If you reserve an oceanfront condo you'll have spectacular sunsets and a nice view of Bari reef and BDA's wonderfully equipped pier.

You can enter the water from the BDA's pier or via a small sandy beach area or a ladder. We usually use the ladder when we return from shore diving on Bari because the rinse tanks and the shower are literally right there. A near perfect setup. And if you take your time coming back you'll almost always be greeted by Red Lipped Blennies perched on the lower steps of the ladder.

Right next door to Den Laman and BDA's dive shop (to the North) you'll find the somewhat older and slightly less expensive Sand Dollar condo units -- often you can rent directly from the owners via www.VRBO.com, but you can also buy a dive package directly from the resort. Each unit is uniquely decorated by the owners but the local management company seems to keep all the units in generally good condition. You'd be more likely to run into kids at Sand Dollar, but mid-May is still a bit early for family visitors.

One word of caution -- and this applies to any place you stay -- if you come in on the CO Redeye out of IAH then you might well find yourself with lots of time to kill before you can get into your condo unit -- especially if it was rented the week before. And even if it wasn't rented you'll want to make advance arrangements for early arrival. Sometimes this might involve an extra rental night, or a fee for early morning access. Keep in mind that you could find yourself on the doorstep to the condo by 8 am and not be able to check-in until 2 or 3 pm if the unit was rented and needed to be cleaned. So make sure you know your flight information and convey it to the resort when you make your reservations.

Other resort condos in the same general price range include Buddy Dive, BelMar and Captain Don's.

05-15-2011, 09:23 AM
I was glad to see this post when I finally figured out where everyone had gone.

We're staying at Sand Dollar next April and will dive with BD&A. The positive review of them was heartening, as was hearing that the restaurant under Den Laman didn't party loud and late!

And Jallej, I'm with you on planning ahead! We plan a year or more out to guarantee vacation time also. Besides, it makes the wait more bearable when you know that the trip is in the works.


05-15-2011, 12:33 PM
Jallej, we have never stayed at Den Laman, but from your wants, it sounds like the place. I am pretty familiar with it, and know people who have styaed there. You have one of the great reefs right outside your door in Bari. There is a great restaurant downstairs, called the Sunset Grill. Boats go out from there, as well as a dive shop there as well. It is all good.:)

Wen Pederson
05-15-2011, 12:47 PM
Hi Jim:

check out: www.BonaireBeachcomberVillas.com (http://www.BonaireBeachcomberVillas.com)

Might fit what you're looking for. Good price, new place, on the water with the Cliff right in front. And Leanne couldn't be more accommodating!


05-15-2011, 11:34 PM
Wen, not my question. Been to Bon so many many times. ;);)

Wen Pederson
05-16-2011, 10:04 AM
My reply was directed to Jim Lefeber, "Jallej". Should've made that clear. Sorry.

05-16-2011, 09:35 PM
My cordial thanks to all who responded and offered suggestions and advice. My wife and I have chosen a destination for us in Bonaire next year! I have to admit, it was a little difficult because there are many very nice places to stay. One in particular we really liked, but it was a little beyond our budget for a two week stay.

So, we will see you in Bonaire in April 2012! Perhaps there are those out there reading this, and planning, who would like to get together and participate in some shore dives around the island? We'll post when the time is closer.

Thank you again,
Jim Lefeber

A dolphin in Roatan - Anthony's Key at about 60 feet

Caribbean reef sharks in Roatan (before I figured out white balance) at about 75 feet

My favorite Roatan crab at about 35 feet

Cool sea turtle in Key Largo at Molasses Reef at about 35 feet

05-28-2011, 08:50 PM
Jim, my wife and I have stayed at Denlaman our last two trips and have thoroughly enjoyed both. The building is not that old and everything is pretty modern. You are close to town about a 20 min. walk if you choose, and the best reef in the carribean out front. If you are somewhat budget minded a studio would be fine. They have full kitchens like the apartments, just no separate living/dining area. I believe they are at the front also, not ocean front. Have a great trip.

05-30-2011, 08:22 PM
Nice Pictures. The only Issue I have had with BDA was that there was a Group at Sand dollar when we stayed there last time and we had a hard time booking our Boat dives. The Group booked theirs on Saturday when they got there I was going by the Sign up for dives the day before like they said in the dive Orientation. Just ask if you can plan early if you want Boat dives.