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“A little rundown, but great location”

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Sand Dollar Condominiums
Ranked #11 of 22 Hotels in Kralendijk
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 2, 2013

Our group of five stayed for a week in a three-bedroom, number F21. All the three-bedrooms are on the ground floor and have extensive outdoor living spaces. Ours had a big dining table, lounge chairs, a hammock, and plenty of hooks for drying gear. There was a washing machine, two safes, and a full kitchen in the unit, and each bedroom has its own bathroom. It's plenty spacious for a group or family. On the downside, it seems the property is getting rundown. I was there ten years ago and there seemed to be more things in need of repair this time. The only thing that caused us any concern though was the ineffectiveness of the screens and weather stripping. None of it was installed properly, so mosquitos and ants got in constantly.

Property management sends in a maid twice per week, but they don't do a great job and they don't re-stock anything, like toilet paper or dish soap. We had to go ask for these items. We wondered too how often they launder the sheets as we seemed to get more bug bites during the night than any other time.

These were all little, nit-picky complaints though. Location of these condos is excellent, right on Bari Reef, the best night dive on the island. And every condo is ocean-front. There's security onsite as well, and Dive Friends of Bonaire has a location on the property. The dive packages that come with a rental truck are a fantastic value, especially for groups of four or more.

There is also a restaurant and pool, but we never used it since their hours are ridiculously short - the pool closes at 6:00 pm and the restaurant isn't open during some obvious dining out times, like Saturday night.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Jdivemaster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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166 - 172 of 289 reviews

Reviewed May 29, 2013

We stayed at Sand Dollar Condominiums, Unit A2, for 2 weeks in May. This unit has 1 bedroom, a very large living, dining, and kitchen area, and a huge screened porch with a tremendous view of the sea and Klein Bonaire. This is the end unit, second floor, of the A block, 40 feet from the water and next to 2 dive shops and a little pier. Directly out front is a tiny sand beach and the marvelous Bari Reef. If you dive or snorkel, this location can't be beat. The sea here is always calm, and you can swim to amazing dive and snorkel sites.

The condo was roomy, the bed comfortable, and there were ceiling fans in the living room, bedroom, and porch. The kitchen was well stocked, and with the new supermarket on the island, you can easily cook your own meals. This is a great place, if you don't care about luxury, but just want a nice, comfortable place to stay and relax.

Now I'll mention the cons, although they wouldn't keep me from renting this place again. The kitchen needed a thorough cleaning. When we arrived, the coffee maker was full of used grounds, with hundreds of tiny ants. The cabinets had a sour, rotten smell when opened. I'm sure it must be hard keeping a rental condo in pristine shape in this climate, but I think the management could do a better job. When we arrived, the living room air-conditioner was turned off. We called and called and emailed the management, with no response for 3 days! It's bloody hot down there! Luckily we were able to contact the owner, who helped us get the issue resolved on the second day.

The dive shop next door runs it's compressor during the day, and you can hear this in the condo and on the porch. I'm sure you can hear it throughout the entire A block. Luckily, they stopped each night.

Finally, mosquitoes. They are tenacious in Bonaire, and we couldn't seem to keep them out of the apartment. We finally found the bathroom screen was loose at the bottom, letting the mosquitoes free access into the apartment! This definitely needs to be repaired.

Overall, this is a great place to stay. Right on the water, fantastic diving and snorkeling, great view. Roomy with lots of porch room to dry out gear, full kitchen, a little mall nearby with a tiny grocery, great ice cream, and breakfast/sandwich shop. What more could you want from a desert island!

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank SnorkelGirl2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 27, 2013

Since each of the units is individually owned, some are better than others. While there is a minimum standard, some units have been upgraded and are in better shape than others. If you rent, ask about the bathrooms -- some have old tubs that are hard for some of us oldsters to get into and out of. Others have nice newer showers. In addition some mattresses are better than others. I'm not sure how you find out about this prior to your visit thought. Finally, I would recommend asking for your dive package with Bonaire Dive & Adventure, not the other dive operation.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Nohti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 22, 2013

It is quiet, nonpretentious and the best dive site on Bonaire. Every condo has an ocean view. Very great place to stay. The staff are always accommodating and trying to help your stay in any way they can.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
2  Thank blitton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 22, 2013

Sand Dollar is a good place for those that want a quiet stay right on the water. The attached Eddys restaurant for breakfast was fun, with great owners and good food. The new manager at Sand Dollar is doing a good job of improving the facilities.

A few issues: the condos are all privately owned so you need to expect inconsistency. There is generally only air conditioning in the bedrooms throughout Bonaire (not just here). The housekeepers made the place look better but the floors and surfaces were never really cleaned well. The wifi was terrible in our room. Some of this is due to metal screens on some of the porches.

Sand Dollar is/has switching/switch dive services. This was necessary because of the attitude of the owner of the old vendor BDR. The new service gets great reviews. However, the BDR owns the dive dock and this means that you no longer have access to that dock. The shore entry currently at Sand Dollar is not so good.

It is still an acceptable place to say but think about what you need before making a choice.

Room Tip: Many divers that stay here have favorite rooms. Ask around.
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank scubagadget
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 22, 2013

We went with another couple for 7 days and did the unlimited shore diving package through Bonaire Dive & Adventure. While this is extremely laid back dive shop and training and we were ok with it. New divers might want more interaction. The dive shop basically asks for a 1 hr dive information work shop and then they show you where everything is and you are on your own!! Which we enjoyed very much and when we needed help they were available and very helpful.

The Sand Dollar itself was nice and the accomadations are nice. Keep in mind each unit is owned by someone else and accomadations vary. But our two units were great. Ours had AC which we used a few times during the week. The tradewinds helps a lot.. The only thing I would have liked to have had is ocean view dining. The restaurant here had closed down and we did have a breakfast voucher from the pool bar which is great and food was awesome. But the views were just of a pool and not the carribean! So this is my one fault and the restaurant is not still open according to friends that just came back.

But enjoy as this place is nice and a divers paradise!!

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Jmwilson86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 20, 2013

Our small group traveled to Bonaire last week for a diving vacation. For a couple of us, this was our 4th trip to the Sand Dollar; for others, it was the first. With the connection to Bonaire Dive and Adventures, and the spacious, well equipped condos, the vacation was perfectly simple, comfortable, and easy. The views from the condos are all ocean front--gorgeous Bonaire leeward side. Hard to beat 24-7 scuba access right outside your door. We were a bit unhappy to learn Eddys restaurant no longer served breakfast on the weekdays---but we found Between 2 Buns right next door, and it was fabulous for breakfast, lunch, or anytime. (And the ice cream shop next door was excellent as well.) The Sand Dollar seemed a bit less well maintained than our veterans remembered, but still no complaints. Maid service was only 2 days per week--but new towels could be obtained any day. Previous reviewers who complained about the outdoor maintenance work going on during the day had a point--it was noisy and messy--but we weren't staying inside the rooms during the daytime anyway, so it was not a problem for us. Beds not very comfortable; bathrooms had a bit more mildew than we expected, even in the tropics. Office staff were very helpful. Prices reasonable, with the dive to the reef package that included a truck.

Room Tip: Suggest condos in the F buildings
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank BamaDiver
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

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: $128 - $252 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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