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“A definite return-Buddy Dive” 4 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 #8 of 20 Hotels in Kralendijk
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Texas
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“A definite return-Buddy Dive”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2007

My husband, I and another couple just spent a week at Buddy Dive Resort. We all dove and since this was our 2nd trip to Bonaire we already were aware of accomodations (last time we spent at Captain Don's). Our biggest "challenge" was with the arrival--we had a red eye flight that arrived at 05:00; upon arrival to the resort at 06:30, no staff were present at the reception area until 07:00. We did not get into our room until noon (others from our flight were still waiting for rooms at 7 PM).

We had a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom unit with kitchen, and a large balcony overlooking the shore. The kitchen was fine. The balcony had lots of room for all equipment and great seating area.

As previously mentioned by another reviewer--rooms were tiled and cleaned very well daily. My husband and I really enjoyed our bed--at some resorts (out of the US) the beds are too soft/lumpy. Towels were so so..A/C was cool some times and not as much other times..but not a big deal.

The breakfast buffet was ok.. (eggs, although bacon was limited w/lots of grease!, fruit, freshly baked bread, cold-cuts, cheese etc.) We would agree that some of the Dutch staff were formal at times, then friendly at other times. The local staff is more customer friendly. We found this to be the case at the Pool Bar area.

Boat Dive ops: There was a large dive group present during the time we were there and they apparently took at least 1 of the boats--leaving only 1 for the other guests. We took advantage of only 1 of our 6 boat dives--we had wanted to visit Klein Bonaire - remember to ask in advance if the boats are going there..although you may be told as we were that decision of where to dive is only made when on board!! We had signed up for a dive on a Tuesay morning (10:30) and by 11, when the boat had still not returned, we cancelled and were a bit peeved as we felt this was a waste of a shore diving opp. We were told that on Tuesdays--Hilma Hooker diving all times and at times the boats are delayed (by no more than 30 minutes) due to the Hooker popularity. We ended up diving at the Hilma Hooker and found it deserted at 11:30..great dive!

On the boat the staff does NOT help with the gear. Klein Bonaire was a 15 min to the site. We were not offered any refreshments although we saw them being loaded. We also wondered why only 1 tank boat dives and not 2?

For shore dives, Buddy has a "drive through" tank station where you can pick up full tanks, and drop off empty ones if you shore dive. At times we were assisted by the staff but usually, we handled our own tanks.

We had visited both resturants last year and found this time , the food at Lions Den was not as tasty as last year. We bought some food at the near by (downtown) supermarket and loaded up on sandwich fixins' to last us between dives and ate in town most of the evenings..Papaya Moon was a great place (see review)..lots of the other places had great fresh fish and local flavor.

We would definitely return to Buddy Dive as we are avid divers. Oh, by the way, make plans to visit the Park up North--we had 2 graet shore dives there w/out many other divers around!

  • Liked — location and cleanilness
  • Disliked — some staff attitudes
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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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)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Hackettstown, New Jersey
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
51 hotel reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2007

Just spent a week at Buddy Dive Resort. Only divers go to Bonaire, and divers are tough on the rooms, with wet heavy gear etc. so don't expect luxury accommodations.

We had a 2 story, 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom unit with kitchen, and 3 balconies. The kitchen was fine. The balconies were big enough for chairs, tables and a lot of dive gear.

Rooms were tiled and cleaned daily. Beds were OK. Daily towels were of medium quality. Pool towels were big and fluffy and available at the front desk. A/C was excellent in all rooms (they are in degrees Celsius, so remember that 20 deg C is 68 F).

We had several dinners at the pool bar which was just fine. The daily breakfast was plentiful and of good quality with eggs, fruit, freshly baked bread, cold-cuts, cheese etc. Some of the Dutch staff hadd that strange European combination of being formal at times, then snooty at other times. The local staff is more customer friendly.

The dive operation is not the most customer friendly I have ever seen. The sign-up for the boats is a chalk-board and we were several times unable to get on a boat because they only ran one boat and it was full. We at one point had 8 divers wanting to get on a boat, but no boat available, because as the manager said "We don't have staff because it very busy and it's Saturday". When asked about us not being able to do all our pre-paid dives, she shrugged her shoulders and left , obviously unconcerned.

On the boat the dive masters were good, they gave good briefings and would point out particulars on each site. The staff on the boat does NOT help with the gear. At the most, they hand the photographers their camera. All trips are about 15 min to the dive sites. Boats carry water and they offered us water melon on all trips.

For shore dives, Buddy has a "drive through" tank station where you can pick up full tanks, and drop off empty ones if you shore dive. Since we did shore dives, this was a great system.

I highly recommend a careful review of the bill before you leave. The billing system seems to be error-prone, as in a group of 8 divers, only a single person had a correct bill, everybody else had extra charges that were eventually taken off.

  • Liked — The diving
  • Stayed June 2007
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, MD
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2007

Located just north of the town, Buddy's Dive Resort specializes in scuba diving and snorkeling. They fit right in on Bonaire, basically a desert island that has probably the best scuba diving sites in the Caribbean. They cater to divers, with a fully equipped dive shop, at least three boats for trips to Klein Bonaire (the little island about 15 minutes by boat across the channel), Nitrox (32%) and a huge gear rental shop.

Dive packages include a Toyota pickup truck so you can dump your air tanks in the back and drive around the island to one of scores of shore diving sites. Because the reef is so close (30 - 50 feet from the shore in most places), divers can literally jump off Buddy's dock or walk in from the shore, and be on the reef in a minute. Reef depth starts at about 25 feet, and goes down to a little over 100 feet.

Buddy's has both hotel and apartment accomodations. We stayed in a one bedroom apartment. It was clean and well maintained, but the floor tiles are very slippery when wet. We just kept our dive booties on until we'd unpacked from the day's diving, hung up our bcs and wet suits, etc. Housekeeping happened daily, and she even washed our dishes unasked.

We were in Room 601, ground floor, in the farthest building from the Dive Shop. But Buddy's is small enough that it only took us 3 - 4 minutes to walk to the shop. We also asked for and got a ground floor room so that we could enter from the back and not have to schlepp our gear up stairs to an upper floor. (Remember that in European countries, the 1st floor is 10 feet off the ground. The Ground Floor is at the ground level.)

The food at Buddy's varied from good to wonderful. Their breakfasts are huge, and we guarantee any appetite will be satisfied. Lunch is available, and dinners can be eaten at the Lion's Den (right on top of the Dive Shop!) or at their "Pool Bar and Restaurant." The Pool Bar has specials several nights, and we enjoyed the all-you-can-eat barbecue evening. Prices are reasonable (in the $20 -$25 per person range). There are also lots of restaurants in town, a 5 -10 minutre ride in your truck!

Buddy's dive services are superb. Caring, conscientious dive shop folks, great divemasters and an excellent Dive Shop Asst. Manager in Sandra Blonk. She adds class to the operations.

Dive boats leave at 8:30, 10:30 and 2:15 for Klein Bonaire, and just after pulling out, the boat captain asks where we want to dive. After a short discussion, we went to where the majority wanted to go. The dive captain's suggestions were always good--we saw eels, octopi, tarpon, sea turtles, and a zillion fish. The reef is totally protected as a Marine Park--not only no fishing, or touching the reef, but no gloves allowed. Keeps hands off!

Water in April was 79 degrees, and we were happy wearing only a shorty wet suit. By summer, the temp is about 82 - 84 and you may not need a wet suit.

Bonaire has limited "night life"; as scuba divers, we dived at least 2 dives a day, and easily crashed about 9 or 10 pm! So we didn't sample whatever Bonaire has to offer.

But for divers, there's nothing better. Warm water, very, very calm surface conditions, and no water currents underwater of any note. What a great spot to dive, and we will be back.

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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:
#4 Romantic Hotel in Kralendijk
#5 Top resorts 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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