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View Full Version : Condo for Family of 4 - Which One?



Mooth
05-03-2012, 08:33 PM
Hey BT - After a few years of flirting with Curacao and Aruba, we're ready to head back to Bonaire. On Curacao we stayed at Royal Sea Aquarium. On Aruba, the Costa Linda. We liked both of these quite a bit.

The two times we've been to Bonaire previously, we stayed at Sand Dollar - the last time primarily for the Sand Penny Club, which may be dufunct. We found it to be ok, but not especially nice. The pool was moldy and is close to the road and away from the ocean. Also the landscaping and decor are not that nice.

We'd like to stay in a nicer two bedroom that is oceanfront - more well appointed, cleaner, maybe with a nicer pool area. We enjoy having a fresh water pool after diving in salt water almost all day. Having kids around would be a bonus, but not necessary. We'd probably enjoy Harbour Village, but do not want to spend the $$$ to stay there.

I am thinking about Belmar, Bonaire Seaside Apartments, Bellafonte, Buddy Dive and Caribbean Club. Bellafonte sounds nice, but they don't have a pool. Buddy Dive gets some sketchy reviews in terms of their accommodations.

Kids will be 8 and 12. Son will be snorkeling with a program, daughter may be certified by then.

What do all you BT experts recommend? : )

ModFreddie
05-03-2012, 08:47 PM
Plaza or Capt Don's is my vote unless you are going for a private rental...

Mooth
05-03-2012, 10:01 PM
BTW - We need a 2-bedroom. We don't like to be on top of each other on vacation.
In response to MF, I'd like to like Capt Don's, but they wanted to charge us to dive off their shore last time we were there, and that sort of annoyed me. So not in love with the vibe there....

stretch
05-03-2012, 10:55 PM
I would go to the Plaza resort if you want to be on the ocean . Nice pool and good snorkling. If you
want a cheaper route you could stay at Waterlands village and walk over to the Plaza resort and buy
a beach pass. Waterlands has a nice pool and there are condo's on the canal or in the beauriful
gardens. It is about a 5 minute walk
from waterlands to the plaza.

wwguy
05-04-2012, 11:43 AM
We'd like to stay in a nicer two bedroom that is oceanfront - more well appointed, cleaner, maybe with a nicer pool area. We enjoy having a fresh water pool after diving in salt water almost all day. Having kids around would be a bonus, but not necessary. We'd probably enjoy Harbour Village, but do not want to spend the $$$ to stay there.

I am thinking about Belmar, Bonaire Seaside Apartments, Bellafonte, Buddy Dive and Caribbean Club. Bellafonte sounds nice, but they don't have a pool. Buddy Dive gets some sketchy reviews in terms of their accommodations.


Belmar has what you're asking for. We stayed there 10 years ago with our 13 year old son. I haven't stopped by in recent years, but have heard that the apartment have been recently renovated. I suggest renting an apartment on the ground floor so the kids can come and go to the pool and dock via the terrace doors. All Belmar apartments face the ocean and pool.

Buddy Dive only has a few rooms that might qualify as "oceanfront". I've heard that it's tough to reserve specific rooms, and that rooms are assigned at check-in. Otherwise I love the staff and facilities at Buddy. We stayed there a couple of times in the late 90's and still stop by once in a while for happy hour to visit with old friends.

While near the ocean, I wouldn't consider Caribbean Club to be an oceanfront resort. It's up on an ironshore bluff above the ocean, and the main road to northern dive sites runs between the resort and the sea. I don't have any insight on your other suggestions.

Carib Inn has one 2 bedroom oceanfront unit, and a pool, but the room appointment and amenities are a little more basic than some other properties.

Like Caribbean Club, there are several places that aren't oceanfront but have pools and are within short walking distance of the sea. A few that come to mind are Hamlet Oasis, Coral Paradise, and Yacht Club Apartments.

kob
05-04-2012, 12:50 PM
Mooth -- prior to owning our own place, we stayed 5-6 times at Bonaire Oceanfront Apartments, which are just north of downtown, right next door to Bobbejans and within walking distance of all the downtown restaurants, Karels, shopping, etc. There are 2 bdrm condos, a nice pool, right on the sea. There is a Buddys dive shop on site as well with air/nitrox readily available and a locker to store your gear. If you don't need all the amenities of a resort, BOA is a place to consider.

Have a great trip !!

carter
05-05-2012, 11:53 AM
Cap't Dons cottages, 2 bedrooms, 2 baths. You will love it.
Regarding that charge for diving I can only say I support that policy! First off, it is not a charge for diving. It is a charge for using their docks and facilities! You can dive at Capt. Docs free of all charges just don't use the docks and facilities. I have seen carloads of divers sneaking on to the property especially at night. They then use Don's tanks that are always left outside awaiting Don's paying guests.. The non-guests than leave empties in the locker area, when they are suppose to be brought upstairs to the tank station for filling. i have even seen these non guests block the dive dock while they change into gear. I am a paying guest; I pay for the use of the facilities and I believe others should as well. It is a small payment and well worth the cost for what they get.

DiverVince
05-07-2012, 04:16 AM
Vince your post has come to my attention from one of our users, Do you realize that you are the only owner on this thread that bascially advertised his own condo... please no more self advertising..Mooth..Why don't you check out Bellevue; a small intimate oceanfront condominium in Belnem. There are several 2 bedroom condos which the owners rent. Directly oceanfront, a freshwater pool, dive gear storage and set up area and.... on top of that a nice soft sand beach leading to a great reef directly in front. In all honesty, from my perspective it's really hard to beat!

I have changed your signature... to a more TOS friendly one :)

Philip Gelber
05-07-2012, 09:43 AM
Belmar is oceanfront with a pool and a dive operation. The apartments are almost all renovated and are spacious and well-equipped. The div op is a branch of Buddy's and has small and large tanks, nitrox and air, available all the time. Not cheap by Bonaire standards but when compared with the Caribbean at large is a real bargain. The 3rd floor penthouses are huge and an have awesome views. pg

cvanasse
05-07-2012, 02:24 PM
Sand Dollar offers oceanfront condos with 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, a splendid house reef, swimming pool, restaurants, dive packages if needed, etc...

teninepit
05-07-2012, 04:02 PM
I have stayed at both bellafonte and bellevue. As Vince mentioned, belleuve is a very nice small condo property with pool and sandy beach entrance and nice diving/snorkeling right there. Priced very reasonable in my opinion. Perhaps just as big of a question is where do you wish to be in town relative to things. Many people just love the northern side, ie buddys/capt dons area and many like myself prefer southern area Bellevue, belmar, bellafonte while still just 10 minutes or so to grocery store and town. I really prefer the southern dive sites so that is why I stay down there. Just depends I guess what you overall are looking for. But nothing is terribly far from anything.

Bellevue probably is a tad cheaper than belmar if a pool is a must on the southern end. I always use buddy dive located a belmar for diving too.

Hope this helps.

J Brown
05-08-2012, 10:06 AM
Belmar's penthouses are not renovated just yet. Something like 18 of the 22 are completed.

Mooth
05-08-2012, 09:35 PM
I love Bonairetalk. You ask questions, you get answers!

I plan to further investigate Bellevue and Bellafonte and possibly Capn Don's 2 bedroom cottages. Anybody have anything to say about Bonaire Seaside Apartments? Not sure about Bonaire Oceanfront - it looked pretty basic in the pictures, but they can be deceiving....

Sounds like Caribbean Club may be far from the ocean - it does overlook it, though, yes? Plaza may be ok, but there are lots of mediocre reviews on TA and other sites, so I wasn't initially interested. Have the service and maintenance improved?

Thanks for all the input so far!

ronindiana
05-09-2012, 09:12 PM
For the money, Bonaire Oceanfront Apartments is the best buy! Close to town, Diveshop on site, nice pool, great people. Good ocean view. Half the money of the other properties mentioned, a hidden jem! We will Be there for 2wks the 19th of May... Ron

Mooth
08-17-2012, 09:48 PM
BTW - I found a good deal on a Bellevue two bedroom that included all taxes for a week at under $1800. Quite happy with it, but now I have a single night at the end that I'm having a hard time booking. I'm amazed there are so few hotels that have a room that can sleep four, and I'd really like to keep it around or under $175 for one night. Very challenging.....