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“Excellent Dive Operation” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Buddy Dive

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Buddy Dive
3.0 of 5 Resort   |   Kaya Gob. N. Debrot 85, Kralendijk, Bonaire   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #5 of 20 Hotels in Kralendijk
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Excellent Dive Operation”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2012

Just spent a week at Buddy Dive with Oceanblue Divers, out of NYC, for the annual Coral Spawning. It was by far one of the best dive trips I've ever done.

Everyone was super friendly and the staff was purely amazing. The diving was great. Can't wait to go back next year.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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579 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (144)
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English first
Memphis, TN
Top Contributor
109 reviews 109 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
93 helpful votes 93 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2012

We have been diving all over the Caribbean, but this was our first trip to Bonaire. We chose Bonaire because it offers excellent diving and kitesurfing. We really enjoyed Bonaire and plan to return. We met many people that come here every year. Bonaire was great, and we plan to return, but we will continue to discover new locations as well.
Diving
We made 5 boat dives – all to Klein Bonaire. These were nice, but the shore dives on Bonaire were better. Next time I would probably skip the boat dives, although it was nice to do on our first trip. The water is so warm – no need for a wetsuit. There were several large dive groups there, and the resort was at full capacity. Even so, they always had full tanks available, and there was never a long wait at the drive through fill station. The dive staff was very friendly and helpful. You have to sign up for the boat dives as soon as they post them, as they fill up quickly. At 8:30 AM they post the 8:30 AM dive for the following day, at 10:30 AM they post the 10:30 dive for the next day, etc. Most days they only had single-tank dives, but they did have a 2-tank dive one day.
Resort
We stayed in a one-bedroom, and were glad we had extra room. The accommodations were fine, basic, and about what you expect out of a dive resort. It was nice to have a kitchen. The TV was very small and old, with lots of static – usually not a problem, but the Olympics were on and the only reason we were trying to watch TV occasionally. The bathroom was small and they only gave two small bath towels – no hand towel, no washcloths. They do provide two beach towels – be aware they charge you $20/each if you lose them or do not return them. We never ran out of hot water taking showers. Our rooms were very clean throughout our stay.
Food
The breakfast buffet was very good. It could get pretty crowded during peak times around 7:30AM, when all the divers are trying to fill up before their first dive.
We ate at the Buddy dive restaurant twice for dinner. The food was good and reasonably priced.
We went to the local supermarket and bought groceries to make our own lunch daily to save money. I recommend Van den Tweel Supermarket for the best selection and prices are reasonable.
Our average dinner bill was around $50 - $60 for 2 people – much less than we expected. We ate at Rumba Café and Casablanca – which was very good. We also found a food truck selling shawarma and burritos – a good, cheap late-night dinner option one night. We ate at Mona Lisa – food was pretty good but long wait and our bill was $140 for 2 people.
Trucks
The trucks provided were manual transmission. The roads in Bonaire are extremely rough, even in town. Given the rough roads, and the wet divers and gear, the trucks were in fairly good shape. The AC worked very well. It cost $80 USD in gas for the entire week.
Kitesurfing
We went kitesurfing 3 days at Atlantic beach. There is a large community of local kitesurfers. Depending on the time of day, 15 to 35 kiters are on the water at a time. Kitesurfing was great. Even kited around a sea turtle and saw dolphins on the surface. The conditions are deep water and offshore wind, so not good for beginners.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Egmond
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2012

This was our first diving holiday as a family.
3 diving, 2 boys under10 for the rangers and seal team.
I cannot fault the resort. Friendly enthusiastic staff. Good facilities. Excellant accomodation.
The only problem was with the boys instructor, constant moaning about over enthusiastic children who wanted to do more than sit at he pool. I haven't seen her on the site since however.
Breakfast was good plenty to eat, not so good on fresh salad or veg but still satisfying.
Great views, easy access to buddy dive reef. Boat trips were great. Prices in bar were reasonable and very accommodating with children. The supermarkets are quite expensive!

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Cape Coral, Florida, United States
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2012

This was my second trip to Bonaire this year. I always dive with buddy dive. The staff there is friendly and helpful. The house reef is great. Go off the dock 60 feet and you are at a sea wall. Did 6 boat dives and I saw more marine life underneath the boat than away from it. There were a lot of photographers. Everyone was carrying either a huge camera or a small one. Many did not have good buoyancy control and they kept bouncing off the coral reef. The staff felt that the divers were causing a lot of damage to the reef. A well known author of fish ID books was spotted (and photographed) lying on top of a coral while taking photos. They should check the divers' buoyancy before letting them onboard.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Myers, Florida
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2012

This was my 4th trip to Bonaire, staying at Buddy Dive all four times. Each time gets better and better. Diving their house reef (Buddy’s Reef) I believe has to be some of THE BEST diving on the island. The ease of gearing up and just going off the dock couldn’t be easier. There are too many creatures to list here, but we’ve seen some AMAZING stuff on Buddy’s Reef. We always explore the island, but are always a little happier diving “at home”.

The staff ( housekeeping, dive shop, front office, restaurant, etc) are extremely pleasant and always have a smile and kind word for you.

Food is very good and the portions are huge. I took back to the room at least half of my plate each time. The breakfast buffet (my favorite) was the best thing to start each morning.
Our room was #409, upstairs 1 bedroom with an ocean view. It was fantastic. Having the refrigerator in the room was wonderful, keeping cold water available after every dive, and leftovers from lunch and dinner. We didn’t cook much but having the kitchenette is nice for really cleaning regs and masks after each dive. They have plenty of dunk tanks for your gear, I just like the extra cleaning and drying in the room.

I highly recommend the dive and drive package. You can grab a couple of tanks and do some shore diving at your leisure. Driving the island is beautiful and lots of places to pull off and take some breath-taking pictures. Definitely look at the shore entries before attempting them, as some are rather rocky and hard to get in and out of when your fully geared up. The rough surf can be a bear.
Friday’s Rum Punch Party is a lot of fun. The drinks are definitely NOT watered down!!! (Like most other places I’ve been). After that, they have a BBQ (now a pig roast). It was wonderful. I always enjoy the Animal Shelter lady who gives her own time to be there and sell her items for the Shelter.
The restaurant staff is very nice and friendly. I had something different to eat every day, and it was all delicious.
The resort itself has definitely had some facelift work. It’s had some fresh paint and looks good. The gardens are very well-manicured EVERY MORNING. It’s so pleasant just walking the grounds to and from diving.

The staff make everything very easy for you, from airport transfers (they were waiting for us at 7:30pm), and a taxi TO the airport, all taxes, and when you arrive at the resort, they drive you straight to your room, so you don’t have to take the time to check in. You can do it in the morning.

In my opinion, Buddy Dive is as good as it gets…bar none!

I’m already looking forward to start planning my next trip to BUDDY DIVE!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Boston, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
293 reviews 293 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 95 cities Reviews in 95 cities
101 helpful votes 101 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2012 via mobile

We got a single room apartment overlooking the ocean. A great way to wake up ;-). if you lime to shore dive, and thats probably why you are here, this is a great place to stay. They have everything you need including a 'house reef' where there is a lot of things to see. Just watch out for the prices on the bar drinks... before you order them! Some mixed drinks are just a little overpriced.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charleston, WV
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2012

This was my fifth visit to Buddy Dive and the first time I stayed in one of the renovated units. I stayed in a two bedroom unit, 514. The kitchen has been updated and is very nice for a dive resort. Both bathrooms have been renovated with double sinks and new mirrors. The mirrors have side lights on both sides but both bathroom mirrors did not light on both sides. Whenever someone took a shower in the other bathroom in the unit from the one I used, you could hear water in my shower drain and there was a terrible smell of sewer. No one else in my group of 19 had this problem in their units, so stay away from 514.
Our flight from Charlotte, NC was delayed by 12 hours, so we arrived later than scheduled. I had reserved a first floor room because my husband has knee problems. My room had been given away to people that had checked in earlier because “They had health Issues.” I was offered another room in the resort away from my group on the first floor. We declined.
The housekeeping did a great job cleaning the room, but leaves the doors open while cleaning and I was eaten alive at night by mosquitoes.
I really do like Buddy Dive. The diving is amazing and I will stay there again. I believe they have a few issues they need to work out. I understand the person that has handled our reservations in the past is no longer there. PS: If someone reserves a first floor room 10 months before their visit, don’t give it to someone that arrives earlier in the day!!!!

Room Tip: Do not book room 514! If you have special request in location of the room, get it in writing and cal...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Buddy Dive

Address: Kaya Gob. N. Debrot 85, Kralendijk, Bonaire
Location: Caribbean > Bonaire > Kralendijk
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Kralendijk
#4 Romantic Hotel in Kralendijk
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Buddy Dive 3*
Number of rooms: 77
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Experience Bonaire and Buddy Dive Resort. An unhurried, unspoiled natural paradise offering spectacular sunsets, gentle breezes and crystal clear, turquoise waters. Buddy's is a resort where you can DIVE DIVE DIVE, take part in a multitude of activities or just sit back, relax and enjoy the atmosphere. At Buddy Dive, we're known for our casual atmosphere, personable staff, spacious accommodations and a dive operation that has something for every diver: comfortable boats, complete rental and retail center, exceptional staff, and a unique "Drive Thru" with a two-lane air/nitrox fill station. No matter which apartment you are staying in, you're never further than a giant stride away from our popular and lively house reef which is perfect for diving and snorkeling, day and night. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Buddy Dive Kralendijk
Buddy Dive Hotel Kralendijk
Buddy Dive Bonaire/Kralendijk

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