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“Best dive vacation ever” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Harbour Village Beach Club

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Harbour Village Beach Club
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   Kaya Gobernador N Debrot 71, Kralendijk, Bonaire   |  
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Club Dive Package
Ranked #3 of 20 Hotels in Kralendijk
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Potomac, Maryland
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Best dive vacation ever”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2010

My wife and I spent a week at this small hotel which feels like a private beach club. Every minute of our stay was superb. The manager and staff were gracious, friendly and provided better personal service and attention than I have ever experienced at any other resort. The general manager is an active and pleasant presence in the daily operations- we saw Mr. Brauer at least twice during each day. We had a gorgeous beachfront suite which was quiet and luxurious. The twice daily towel service was a wonderful touch when your vacation involves a lot of water fun. The suite was separated from the beach by our patio which included a private hammock. The beach and grounds look exactly like the photos on the web site. The beach is sandy, uncrowded and shaded with palm trees. The landscaping of the resort makes you feel like you are in a priavte villa. The restaurants are well managed and the food is excellent. The staff in the restaurant was very attentive and enhanced the quality of our stay. We would recommend having a private dinner on the beach by torchlight which the staff is happy to arrange. The dive shop (Great Adventures Bonaire) was 10 seconds from our door and is run by a wonderful couple who again provided excellent personal attention to our needs. You can dive directly from the beach or from the Great Adventures dive boats.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 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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378 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (104)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
atlanta
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2010

I really love this place. It is just enough out of town to avoid all the cruise ship traffic. There are good restaurants within walking distance (argentina steak house, Pizza place, Paris Bistro) and the restaurant on site is excellent. This has to be the best vacation. We get up and stumble over to the restaurant for breakfast, then stumble over to the dock. Get our gear out of our locker and the boat pulls up for a dive. In the afternoon there is a spa with massages, and a work out room. We liked this place so much in 2008 that we made a return visit. We are already looking for dates to return in 2011. If you don't stay here you are missing out on a really exceptional spot in Bonaire.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with friends
    • 4 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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columbia sc
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2010

Although we love exploring every country we can, and usually try to find a gem we've never been to, we returned with friends to Harbour Village because our experience there in March 2007 had been so good. Since then Harbour Village has gone from almost perfect to 100% perfect. The answer to all requests is, "Of course." We give our highest accolades to Lourdes in reservations, to the office team, the dive team and all the accommodating restaurant and housekeepping staff.
Harbour Village attracts a low-key, interesting clientele who are friendly and relaxed, and enjoy scuba without being hard core drinking and diving fanatics. Every member of the scuba staff is fabulous...easy going but careful and skilled. It was like being looked after by old friends. They are eager to do whatever it takes to provide a good experience. We love the schedule of a one tank dive at 10, letting you have a leisurely morning, but they are totally amenable to those who want a 2 tank morning dive, and will have an early dive at 8.30 and move the 10 dive to 10.30. There is also a 2.00 dive, and fabulous diving in front of the hotel. There might be more to see in places like Cozumel, but to us, Bonaire and its 10 minute boat rides beats crowded Cozumel and its long rides to crowded sites. We also prefer quiet, relaxed Bonaire to Aruba and Grand Cayman. (Saint Lucia is pretty fabulous, but the ease of Harbour Village makes it win out, in our opinion.) The residents of Bonaire are extremely welcoming to visitors.
Harbour Village is so small that you can be at breakfast and see that its time to get to the dive shop, and have time to stop at your room on the way. The rooms are just steps away from the waves and the beach is immaculate. You can sleep with your windows open and hear the waves all night. The rooms are almost all suites, and very large ones, with kitchens of varying sizes. The wi-fi was convenient and played perfectly into my plans to not miss exercise while on vacation...I used youtube for short in-room workouts and then went to the gym for weights and the treadmill. One tip is that you need to go to the gym an hour early and turn on the air, because so few people use it that it is not worth the hotel's expense to leave it on. There is a lovely private pool at the gym and another in the middle of the resort. I would have been happy to have never left the property for the week.
The massages are wonderful, but fairly expensive. Otherwise we would have gone every day. Great restaurants are close by and if you stop at the office on your way out, charming Francisco will call ahead and have a table waiting for you. Bonaire is converting to $$, so there was no need to for us to change money, and dinner prices are quite reasonable. We had our lunches at the hotel or next door, at Buddy Dive. Everything about Bonaire is casual, except for the mosquitoes at dinner...they are serious, so take some Off for your ankles.
There is no excuse for having complaints about Harbour Village, because if you ask for something, it will be taken care of....a pitcher for lemonade, a sharp knife, more beach towels, any dive location, a birthday party, rides to and from the airport, late checkout if at all possible...They are serious about customer service and maintaining a loyal clientele. So unfortunately for our plans to explore, we now have one place we will have to return to every year.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NC
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2010

Great location with very clean rooms. The food was great. Facilities were very good. The dive shop was very helpful and patient for novice divers. Snorkeling and diving was very good and convenient. The only problem was with communication and this is not isolated to this resort. With so many languages spoken on the island, there can often be some misunderstanding. These people went out of their way to help. Supper on the beach was an evening to remember. The massages were wonderful. I would highly recommend this place and would go back tomorrow.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled on business
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2010

We enjoyed the beauty of the resort, combined with the ease of top quality service and lovely amenities. The warmth and hospitality of the staff exceeded our expectations. If you are longing for a lovely retreat with just the right mixture of privacy and socializing, this is the place for you. Even the few tropical rainfalls we encountered only served to enhance the experience of being in such an interesting place teaming with sea life, greenery, and diverse culture as evidenced by the excellent food and the fascinating language. This was one of the best vacations ever.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Andover, MA
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2010

Our wonderful dive travel advisor from Great Expeditions, Marjanna Helwig, (http://www.greatexpeditionstravel.com) set us up at the Harbour Village Beach Club for a dive trip with our friends and all of our kids (7, 9, and 10). We had planned on going in February but Delta Airlines, with their incredibly customer unfriendly methods, booted us off our flights leaving us scrambling to reschedule for April. Throughout our correspondence, Lourdes Abril, the Harbour Village contact, was extremely helpful in re-organizing all our accommodations. Even when there were miscommunications due to their kids club hours and costs for child care, Lourdes ended up coming through to compensate us, as an experienced customer service representative would. Even though we couldn’t make it there in February, she saw to it that the compensation held toward the April stay we had. It was her customer service attitude that led us to re-plan our Feb. trip to the Harbour Village for April rather than scraping Bonaire and finding an alternative travel location for Feb.
Upon our arrival in Bonaire in April we found Delta had lost our bags. Delta once again had bumped us off our April flights but this time the Rhode Island Delta agents at least attempted to get us there as opposed to the Boston Delta agents that just put us in the back of the line until all other carriers that could have taken us to Bonaire in Feb. were already booked. Once we landed in Bonaire in April, we had to trek back to the airport for 3 days. Delta isn’t available to answer calls to see if bags have arrived so we had to get to the airport each time a plane came in from Aruba to see if the bags were there yet. Delta reps are not there to log a missing bags report either. So you have to get back at a time they may be there to log one if you want to even think about them actually delivering the bags to your hotel.
All my camera gear, contacts and dive gear were in our bags. The dive center at the Harbour Village did a great job at setting us up though. They were amazing with getting me fitted with a prescription mask even though I didn’t have my prescription with me. I merely had to tell them I was blind and they fitted me with the right lens for each eye on the first try with their box full of lenses. Even once we finally got our bags (and my contacts) I continued using the mask. I’m afraid from there they had an “on again, off again” attitude far as customer service goes. Much of the time I felt I had to grovel to get waited on. Apparently they used to have 2 earlier morning dives so that you can get in 2 dives before lunch and then go off and see the sights. This made a lot of sense for the timing for child care as well. Somewhere along the line they changed to 10 and 2pm dives allegedly because there weren’t enough divers. The timing was not only an issue with us but with many more folks we spoke with that were returning customers. They were all bummed that they couldn't have their afternoons free. There were around 20 on a boat every day so they could no longer toe the same line about not having enough divers. I suspect it forced a "Captive audience" so folks would stay on the resort and spend rather than straying out, but I'm not sure.
Management was not flexible enough to change the timing back to what their repeat customers expected. If you signed up for a package here you were stuck with having to take only one dive in the morning and one in the afternoon.
Recommendation for people with kids: Try to get all the info on how the kids will be watched prior to getting down there. We made successive attempts at this and still didn’t get the “island timing” down. Childcare was a different cost depending on who did it and what day It was. Kids club is not open every day. None of this is documented on their website, leading one to believe the Kid’s club is available when ever you dive. The lady that ran the kid’s club while we were there was very knowledgeable about the flora, fauna, and underwater creatures. While the kids initially objected to be in a “learning program”, they actually really enjoyed the activities they were on and learned a lot more than they expected to about the island creatures. There was a nice pool there as well with shaded areas to play games in.
The morning breakfast at their restaurant was very good however the waiter had the same attitude the dive shop guy had. If you had early morning plans it was impossible to get anything quickly to go to eat. If you let them know you have an appointment outside of the resort (we had setup a Pen Pal program with a local school and needed to be at the classroom at an early hour) they would still serve others that may not have been there as early as we had. The night staff was much more friendly. The atmosphere at the restaurant (it was designed to look like a boat) on the beach was very relaxing. A great place for cocktails, breakfast, and lunch. The iguanas are very entertaining to watch during those hours while you eat as several lived underneath the “deck”. There were much more creative dining options on the island. Cactus Blue was our favorite and we went back twice during our week stay.
The diving itself was great. We saw our first seahorses underwater. Unfortunately I didn’t have my camera to capture it. We saw one on a later dive once we did get our bags back though so at least I have a few shots of seahorses. Lionfish seem to be infiltrating the area but they’ve got a great program for you to put a cork with a ribbon to attach to the location that you see them so that someone will come by and take them away (not sure where exactly…could be to a local pot).
The hotel itself was very nice. The rooms were luxurious and clean. The hotel beach was very nice. Everywhere we went people were envious that we mortals could go to the Harbor Village beach since it's the only one on the island that is so nice apparently. Don’t think about sneaking in to see it. You won’t be able to get past the gates into the resort.
Jibe City was fun the last day. It’s a great place to windsurf..pick your board, pick your sail, and take off!

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Oslo, Norway
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2010

My family and I stayed at Harbour Village for 12 days and loved it. It's by far the best hotel on the island and has a high level of service and very nice facilities (although not as luxerious or expensive as a Four Seasons resort, but Bonaire is a much more down to earth island and not a jetsetter's playground).

The dive center deserves special mentioning. Muriel, Mark and the other guys at Great Adventures Bonaire were fantastic and introduced the entire family to diving we'd always dreamt about. Our vacation would have been a lot less interesting and fun without them.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 4 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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Additional Information about Harbour Village Beach Club

Address: Kaya Gobernador N Debrot 71, Kralendijk, Bonaire
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Bonaire > Kralendijk
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service Spa Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Kralendijk
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Harbour Village Beach Club 4*
Number of rooms: 42
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Harbour Village Beach Club is located within an exclusive beachfront enclave on the unspoiled Caribbean island of Bonaire. Its well-appointed guest suites are nestled amid lush tropical gardens, just steps from its private, white-sand beach, and feature opulent decor and thoughtful details like secluded lanais and double hammocks. Amenities include a 5 Star PADI Instructor Development Center offering onsite scuba classes and certification and a picturesque, 64-slip marina. The resort is also home to the acclaimed La Balandra restaurant, designed after an antique Spanish ship, giving the feeling of sailing with its dining deck located on a jetty extending out to sea, as well as a full-service spa offering professional reflexology, aromatherapy, therapeutic and relaxing couples massage. Harbour Village Beach Club was named Bonaire's Leading Hotel for nine years and is Bonaire's only member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Harbour Village Beach Club Hotel Bonaire
Harbour Village Beach Resort
Harbour Village Beach Hotel
Harbour Village Beach Club Bonaire/Kralendijk

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