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“Very good place to stay”

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Sand Dollar Condominiums
Ranked #9 of 21 Hotels in Kralendijk
Certificate of Excellence
altoona, pa
Level Contributor
45 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Very good place to stay”
Reviewed March 4, 2013

Our party had rented a three bedroom and a one bedroom unit last week. This is a very good location about two miles north of downtown; near enough to town but far enough to be quiet. All units are designed to be oceanfront and about 50 steps from the ocean. Most of the units are individually owned and can be rented directly from the owner or through Sand Dollar. That being said there are variations as to the condition and finish of each unit. We found that the units are not five star, but I would rate them ranging from 3 and half to four star. We were a mixture of divers and snorkellers and the location is great for both with the reef right out on front.
Just to compare, I looked up other places to the north and in town that I has considered staying at and came to the conclusion that the Sand Dollar was the best. I could go on but suffice it to say that if we come back to Bonaire we definitely would stay at the Sand Dollar again.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank lref1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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272 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (84)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Allentown, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
85 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed February 16, 2013

We rented a studio privately and not through the Sand Dollar (A-4) and couldn't have been happier with our stay. The condo itself was cleaned and very well maintained. The property itself was also nicely maintained and the front office staff was very nice and accommodating. The Dive Friends location was very convenient as it was easy to retrieve tanks to head out diving for the day. Great snorkeling right in front of Sand Dollar with several easy access points to the reef. Sand Dollar is close to town and no restaurant or dive site ever felt too far.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank TravelJ14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
18 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed December 6, 2012

A small group of us spent 2 weeks in Bonaire in October and November 2012 and had a great time. Other than one person who went out on some boat dives, the rest of only did shore diving and used Bonaire Dive & Adventure (http://bonairediveandadventure.com/ ) which is located adjacent to Sand Dollar.

We stayed in a Sand Dollar (www.sanddollarbonaire.com) condo. The Sand Dollar condos are all individually owned; however, they can be rented through the U.S. travel company. From personal experience we have learned that some owners have done a better job than others of keeping their units up to date. Be sure to ask for a unit with a walk-in shower (we did not like units that have tubs). You can also request a condo that has a screened-in porch.

We chose Sand Dollar, having stayed there many times before, because we like their spaciously sized accommodations, the great views and breezes, and the easy access to both the dive shop and their pier for shore diving. All the condos have fully equipped kitchens with large refrigerators, microwaves, toasters, blenders, and plenty of kitchen dishes and utensils. This is important for us, since we ate our breakfasts and lunches in and most of our group are good cooks. Maid service is twice a week, but you can get clean towels any time by asking for them in the office. Also, each bedroom has its own a/c unit and many have an additional unit in the living room, but there is an additional charge if you want to use the living room a/c in the two-bedroom units. Electricity and water are very expensive on Bonaire and being a good steward of these resources is important and not hard to do. It is amazing to us that so many tourists come to a fragile environment like Bonaire and don't adjust their habits, but for us, part of the charm of being in Bonaire is being conscious of how we affect our environment and doing something about it.

We found the office staff very accommodating. Each day when we wanted to make dinner reservations, we would stop in and they would take care of calling if we asked. And when we needed a repair done, the staff responded promptly.

One reason we stay at Sand Dollar is the ease in diving from there. We like Bonaire Dive & Adventure, since it is located a short walk from the condos. Another nice feature is that the BDA’s pier does not have steps, which makes getting into the water relatively easy. The diving was lovely as usual. We mainly went out ourselves and often right off the pier on Bari reef, which is known for its fish diversity. There were many fish and other sealife. Bonaire has been addressing the lionfish invasion aggressively and the close-in reefs were almost lionfish-free this trip. Bonaire is known for its sealife diversity but not usually for large critters; however, the tarpons who followed us when we dove were plenty big as was the single barracuda. We saw octopus on several dives and even a solitary squid. We had wonderful underwater adventures in Bonaire.

Room Tip: Ask for a unit with a walk-in shower.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank aircarl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canton, Michigan
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed December 6, 2012

This has been our 2nd trip to Bonaire & the Sand Dollar. This time, we booked directly with a condo unit owner. We were not disappointed with the 1- bedroom unit A-15.

Bedroom: Spaceous; great mattress; enough closet space & hangers. A/C unit worked like a charm for us at night.

Bathroom: Loved the glass walled shower in the bathroom and the dark blue tile design. Good water pressure with both hot & cold water.

Living Room: Nicely laid out with a couch, 2 chairs and a good flat screen TV (not that we were watching much)

Kitchen: More than sufficient for us. Had all the appliances we needed - fridge w/ freezer. Freezer had ice cube trays and cold packs we used with our cooler. Coffee maker, dish washer & most importantly a blender.

Porch: Enjoyed the screened-in porch & spent most mornings with our dive friends drinking coffee and telling stories on the porch. Had hooks so we could hang up our wet suits, etc.

Location: The first floor location of this condo is a must for divers dragging around wet suits, regs, towels, etc. A-15 is in the first building & close to the new Dive Friends Bonaire shop. We had no noise issues at all.

On-site breakfast restaurant: We did not eat at Eddy's (we bought BF items in one of the super markets), but heard nothing but good reviews of the fresh selection available every morning.

Sand Dollar staff: Friendly and courteous. Condo was cleaned with towel service twice/week (Monday/Thursday). Getting fresh towels couple times per week & not daily is not problem for us...it's not like we use a new towel every day at home.

On-site dive shop: We can not rave enough about the recently added on-site dive shop - Dive Friends Bonaire. We dove with 'the other dive operator' before. The customer service is night & day. Dive Friends Bonaire is the way to go. Competitive pricing, friendly service, always helpful and informative.

They have rinse tanks & lockers for your gear (they provide the lock). Hours are typically 8:30am-4:30pm. Arrangements can be made to store tanks by the lockers for a night or early morning dive.

Also, Dive Friends Bonaire has 5 locations on the island, so you can exchange tanks pretty much anywhere along the dive sites (i.e. if you're diving in the South by the Salt Pier, you don't have to drive all the way back to Sand Dollar to get another tank...there is another location just South of the airport).

The ice cream shop around the corner has superb ice cream. Our late morning 'adult breakfast' consisted of coconut ice cream, sometimes mango. A definite stop if you stay at Sand Dollar.

In a nutshell, loved the condo, loved the dive shop and will book A-15 again on our next Bonaire trip.

Ayo & Danki!

Room Tip: 1st floor great for divers with gear!
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Christine-TeamASP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roanoke, Virginia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed November 22, 2012

The Sand Dollar was pretty much as advertised. It's a fairly typical Caribbean timeshare/condo development that rents/trades time when the owners aren't using their units. We looked at several different units while we were there, most were pretty much the same level of quality. Some were in need of new doors [all the doors are louvered and the older ones didn't close well so air-conditioning escaped and bugs came in], some didn't have screened porches. For the second and third floor rooms, probably less of an issue, but all of the first floor porches really need to be screened in, only about 2/3rds are.

Some things didn’t work [like the TV in our bedroom] and unless it’s critical to the usability of the unit, it doesn’t appear they make repairs during your stay the way a hotel/resort would. The other TV in our unit worked, so this wasn’t an issue for us. The door to the screened porch was broken to the point where the only way to open it was to give it a kick at the bottom when you wanted out – again, minor flaws are very typical of owner rented units throughout the Caribbean, not something unique to this facility.

The front desk staff was very helpful when we needed anything, others commented that they had bad experiences with the desk staff – this wasn’t the case with us. We stayed in our room on one of the cleaning days and the cleaning staff was very pleasant and thorough – again others commented that they had issues with house cleaning, we didn’t have any issues during our stay.

The kitchen was well stocked with dishes and utensils; we cooked all our breakfasts and a handful of other meals. None of the pots/pans/utensils were state of the art, but they were serviceable. Our stay was during the “rainy season” so we did see a few more critters in the kitchen than we’d have liked to. We bought some insect spray at the local market and a few shots under the sink on the first day eliminated most of the ants we were seeing. I expect during the dryer months it would be less of a problem. Also be aware that during the rainy months an insect repellent is NOT optional, on our first night on the island, my wife counted up over 40 bites from no-see-ums and mosquitoes. A little insect repellent each day took that number down to a few each day afterwards.

Look hard at the local menus before you go out for lunch/dinner, we only found a few places that we enjoyed. All had great venues, but the food was often not to our liking. For lunch there is a little strip mall directly in front of the property with good sandwiches and there is a restaurant on property [Eddy’s] that had a good lunch and dinner each day [located beside the pool]. I understand that Eddy’s hours seem to fluxuate, this week they were open all week for all three meals. We did try out several other restaurants around town during our stay, easiest way seemed to do a bar crawl in the afternoon, checking out dinner menus along the way. After a couple days of this, we really only found a couple places that we liked [Karels, Eddy’s, Rum Runner, Wanttaburger and Buddy’s Dive Pool Bar]. Our taste is definitely not “international” so I’m sure others would have a completely different opinion, for us it was tough to find food that didn’t have “that little extra thing” that made it taste/look/sound just awful – a few that fell into this category were [City Café, Bistro de Paris, Spice Beach Club]. The absolute worst meal we had while on the island was at Spice, I’m not sure what was in their hamburger, but it wasn’t any four-legged animal I recognized.

The part everyone probably wants to really hear about is the diving. I really don’t know what they could do better in this regard. The briefing was great [Shaun was our briefer and he was very good], he gave us ideas about how to handle our week and how/where to go, logistics, safety etc. They have a locked gear room with a code for everyone to use for 24hr access. Tanks were setup the same way, they were kept up on shore for anyone diving away from the property and kept on the dock for anyone diving on the house reef – again both had a code for guests to use for 24hr access. The dock facility was great, steps for in and out, showers, separate rinse tanks [4 of them] for gear and cameras. We kept our gear on our porch since we were in the A unit, it really was about the same walk to the room as it was to the 24hr gear locker so we opted to hang it on the porch. It appears each porch is setup with plenty of pegs on the walls just for gear. They have two dive shops on property, we dove with Bonaire Dive and Adventure wich is adjacent to the property, the onsite property doesn't seem to really be up and in full swing yet. The two LDS are physically back to back on the property line, you'd have to check with Dive Friends to see what their agreement is for use of the BDA dock facilities - there seems to be some friction in this reguard.

All in all – we feel we got a good value for our money. This property is a SCUBA lovers paradise, the amenities are really tailored for divers, if you're mixing up your holiday with a lot of different activities, this might not be the place for you.

Room Tip: 1- Ask for a room with a screened porch 2- Make sure all the rooms in your unit are airconditioned...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PA-VTFan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Maria, California
Level Contributor
55 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed October 22, 2012

Sand Dollar Bonaire:

PROS: Was very happy to have a screened patio on our condo. Happy with the location of the property,


CONS:
1. This was my third stay at the Sand Dollar Bonaire. I found it to me is disrepair and very uncaring staff. I was told the units were air conditioned but they failed to tell me if I wanted $10.00 a day extra to use it!! Bang a extra $140.00 charge right off the bat.
I was told there is internet, but upon my arrival there was none. The office staff told me it has been down since the large storm many months ago, and I would have to do with!! I run a business in the states and need to have the net to keep on top of my business. I would have never booked at Sand Dollar if I knew there was not internet. (no sorry sir I will try to help sir) I ended up across the way from Sand Dollar at on of the stores that had the internet. But of course that meant walking there every time I need to use it.
The new Manager of Sand Dollar found out how pissed off I was and came to talk too. After telling him I had wireless internet to my room why can I not have access to it. It made it happen for me. He was the only bright point of Staff I encounter at Sand Dollar. He truly cared and took care of the problem. Thank Charles Vos, You the only one doing a good job.
House clearing staff did the bear minimum to keep the room up with towels or cleaning on the,
“Every third day “ But press me to leave a tips for better service!!! No they didn’t come right out and say it but I was implied every time They saw me.
They were painting the building I was staying in witch give the phrase “Island Time” a whole new meaning! The generator house is in disrepair with it’s door louvers falling off and many other repairs need around the ground. Maintenance seam to be as corrupted as the house cleaning staff.
I come to find out that Charles Vos’s hand are tied due to the fact no one can get fired from there job here and that the staff is doing every thing in there power to make sure Charles Vos fails as manager at Sand Dollar! (NO Charles Vos did not say this to me. I was told this from the shop keepers out in front of Sand Dollar.
I was told that local calls were free at the office but when I went there to make a call they tried to shake me down for $2.00s a min. per call.

The owner at Sand Dollar better find a way to keep the new manager and replace the staff.
Back stabbing and corruption seem to be running ramped at you property!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Aqualung A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CatDiveProvo, Marketing at Sand Dollar Condominiums, responded to this review, November 5, 2012
Thank you for taking the time for writing your review.

The issues that you have mentioned all have my priority to repair and without going into detail I can assure you that each and every experience that you have described will be handled.
At this moment I can only thank you for your detailed review which has at least given me the tools to accurately work on the problems.

I am truly sorry for the behavior of some of my staff and I will be contacting you personally to speak of this in more detail.

With kind regards,

Charles Vos
General Manager

Sand Dollar Condominiums
P.O.Box 262 , Bonaire
Dutch Caribbean
Tel: 599-717-8738
Fax: 599-717-8760
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indianapolis, Indiana
Level Contributor
83 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed October 20, 2012

This condominum is right next to an excellent dive shop. The unit was clean and the daily maid visits a delight! Screened porches on some units and well worth it for sitting outside in "buggy" season. Shore diving was fabulous as was the boat dives we took.

Room Tip: If you dive, then Unit A and B are the ones closest to the docks and dive shop. Closer to carry the...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Scubaqueen01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sand Dollar Condominiums

Property: Sand Dollar Condominiums
Address: Kaya Gobernador N. Debrot 79, Kralendijk, Bonaire
Location: Caribbean > Bonaire > Kralendijk
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Kralendijk
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Kralendijk
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Sand Dollar Condominiums 2.5*
Number of rooms: 65
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sand Dollar Condominiums, member of the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame, offers guests everything they need to enjoy the best of Bonaire’s scuba diving with their “Ride to the Reef” packages including condo, diving and rental truck for island exploring. All Sand Dollar units have individual modems offering free high speed Wi-Fi, air-conditioned bedrooms, full kitchens, dining and living areas, and roomy porches or balconies overlooking the Caribbean Sea. The complex includes a pool, Eddy’s bar and restaurant, several seaside lounging areas, seaside grill areas, two tennis courts, deli and ice cream parlor. Several good restaurants and a full service gym are located within easy walking distance. Sand Dollar’s on-property dive partner Dive Friends Bonaire operates a dive center adjacent to the Sand Dollar Reception Office with a drive up tank station, rinse tanks, rental gear, private gear storage lockers that can be accessed 24/7. Tanks and benches for gearing up for shore diving Sand Dollar house reef Bari Reef are located seaside just steps away from a sandy beach entry. REEF organization rates Bari Reef the #1 site in the Caribbean/Atlantic for species richness, with a recorded 403 species to date. Tanks can be access from this are 24/7, enabling diving on the house reef dawn, day, dusk and night. In addition to having Dive Friends on-property facilities at their disposal, Sand Dollar guests have the added benefit of being able to swap out tanks for shore diving at any of the Dive Friends facilities at Dive Inn, Yellow Submarine, Port Bonaire and Hamlet Oasis. Dive boats depart from Dive Friends Yellow Submarine, a 3 minute drive in your rental vehicle, at 9:00 AM for morning 2-tank dives. You’ll be back in time for lunch to then take advantage of unlimited tanks for shore diving the rest of the day. Whatever your preference – studio or three bedroom, shore diving or boat diving, they have the condominium option and dive package perfectly suited for you and your fellow travelers. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sand Dollar Condominium Hotel Kralendijk
Sand Dollar Condominium Kralendijk
Sand Dollar Condominiums Bonaire/Kralendijk

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