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“Nice hotel but the food could be better”

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Plaza Resort Bonaire
Ranked #7 of 21 Hotels in Kralendijk
Quito-Ecuador
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Nice hotel but the food could be better”
Reviewed September 23, 2012

We (wife and 12 years son) went to Bonaire for 2 weeks (July 1 to 14 -2012) and stayed at the Plaza Resort. The rooms are ok, the service is great, but the food could be better; the breakfast buffet was the same everyday and the choices were poor.
The shore diving is great from the hotel beach and you take the boats at the hotel dock.

Putting aside the food issue I highly recommend this hotel.

regards
Roberto

Room Tip: Stay away from the rooms located closer to the boat docks at the back of the hotel, the mosquitoes w...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank robertobowhunter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
plazaresortbonaire1, Manager at Plaza Resort Bonaire, responded to this review, October 8, 2012
Thank you for your comments. We are glad to know that you had a nice stay at Plaza Resort Bonaire. I will take note about the issues that you mentioned in your report in order to improve our day to day services. We hope to welcome you again soon.
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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed September 15, 2012

my wife and i just returned from a week at the plaza (9-1-12 through 9-8-12). we really had a great time. the room was very nice (ocean front deluxe) and the food and service were excellent. we had a bit of an issue with the A/C, but they sent a maintenance person right over and they got it going. the food at the Tipsy Seagull was first rate, and the buffet at the banana tree was great too. my wife taught the bartender how to make a cosmo, so she was set for the week. the only bad thing there are the mosquitos, and you can't hold the plaza responsible for those...just take plenty of OFF...and they even have that at the restaurants and bar if you forget! the diving was really fantastic. very easy and the reefs are beautiful. we saw eels,turtles, tarpon and manata rays right at the 18 palms dive which is the home reef for the plaza. we made 11 boat dives with Peter and Herman on the Golden Eye. they took good care of us and made sure to point out some frog fish and sea horses. all in all a great week and we would definately go back.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Randy T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
plazaresortbonaire1, Manager at Plaza Resort Bonaire, responded to this review, October 8, 2012
Thank you for your review. We are happy to know that you have had such a fantastic time during your vacation here with us. We are grateful for your comments about our facilities,restaurants,room and staff as we work continuously to make our guests vacation memorable.

Thank you for having stayed with us and we look forward to your visit in the near future.
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albany OR
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed September 9, 2012

My daughter Lesley and I have traveled all over the world, but we had never been to the Caribbean so we gave the Plaza Resort Bonaire and snorkeling a try. I'm glad I didn't read the reviews before we booked or I might have had second thoughts, but we had a wonderful time and we did not experience any of the "challenges" noted by other reviewers. In fact, we plan on going again next year with additional people and again doing the "everything included" (resort, food, drinks, car, etc.) package.

Our room was nice and big. The views, the balcony with private table, the AC, the cleanliness, were all great. The beds were comfortable. And best of all THE BATHTUB WAS FULL SIZED! Nothing irks me more than a postage size bathtub. The bathroom was spacious and lovely (marble countertops, double sink, toilet in a separate room, glass block shower, etc.). OK, the place isn't new and it's not on the same level as the Las Vegas Bellagio, but neither are the prices. And we came for the Caribbean experience not to sit in the hotel room!!!

We never used the pool as we did all of our swimming in the ocean, and we never went into the casino room, but people seemed to enjoy them. There were plenty of cabanas and lounge chairs on the beach. The outdoor restaurant was very good (best breakfast croissants ever and they were WARM!) and handy. I can't understand people complaining about it - one evening we had the buffet which included salad fixings (including toasted pine nuts, how often do you see that?), potatoes, rice, three kinds of shish kebabs (shrimp, chicken, and beef). and 5 star quality key lime pie. Another night they BBQ'd prime rib. And, hey, if the buffet theme wasn't to your liking you could order off a menu. The wait staff were very helpful and kept us in drinks. We had no complaints with the food whatsoever. Once we went to the resort's upscale restaurant, the Tipsy Seagull, and the food was incredible (try the cheese desert plate and the carpaccio) and believe it or not they took something like $40 bucks per person off the bill because we didn't eat at the free buffet. Wow.

We were thrilled to find that we could snorkel just off the resort's white coral beach - and less than 25 feet out we saw moray eels, cuttle fish, tarapin, parrot fish, an octopus, and a sea turtle. Because the snorkeling was so good so close to the building we even went out night snorkeling with flashlights without fear of getting lost.

I suppose people could complain that the walkways were dirty - but for crying out loud, there were hundreds of big iguanas and geckos and other lizards everywhere leaving poo presents all over the tile. The staff were constantly cleaning up after them - I'm certainly not going to fault the staff for not keeping up with the iguanas who probably outnumbered them 100 to one!

The bar on the beach was awesome. Very nice bartenders who knew their business and kept our glasses full of well-mixed drinks. Given that the drinks were included in the package deal I was surprised at how focused the staff were on keeping our glasses full and our evenings late.

Bottom line: we had a wonderful time and we are going back.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank lynn t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
plazaresortbonaire1, Manager at Plaza Resort Bonaire, responded to this review, September 14, 2012
Dear Lynn T,

Thank you for taking the time out to leave your review and thank you for your positive comments. It was a great pleasure having you at the Plaza Resort Bonaire and we look forward to welcome you again.

Kind regards,
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Level Contributor
21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed September 5, 2012 via mobile

Better. It is a state that shouts; do something or it will break down.

Rooms are spatious and clean.
Beds are hard and bad. Weird pkaces for electricity and the toiletdoor is very euhm weird...

It is all very 70's and 80's of the past century. Out dated and their beach is full of rocks and only three or four shadow places

  • Stayed September 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ikmarc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
42 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed September 4, 2012

We just returned from Bonaire and a week’s stay at the Plaza Resort. We were very happy with the accommodations and are already making plans to return. We took advantage of the diving package which included 11 boat dives, unlimited shore diving, and all-inclusive dining and drinks. The ads say that the all-inclusive drinks are limited to their specific brands but we found the beers and wine that were included were just fine, and a pretty good variety. Additionally, all the Nitrox air you can breathe is in also included.

With all the above said, we found similar deals at the other resorts; with the exception of the all-inclusive food. I was a little concerned what type of food they might be offering. My wife and I eat healthy – low carb, high protein, and smaller portions. I am happy to report the lunch and dinner food selection exceeded expectations and more than met our needs.

One night there was a beach BBQ. The food was excellent and the atmosphere even better. Another night was steak night with a choice of tenderloin (fillet mignon), rib eye, or sirloin, again excellent. Another night was Fajita night where you selected your protein (meat) fish, shrimp, beef, or chicken and then your veggies. They prepared it right in front of you, like a Mongolian BBQ restaurant.

The diving off the shore of the hotel was good. You have two entrance points, one close to the pool and another farther south, off the Tipsy Seagull restaurant. Both sections had lots of sea life and were different in its own way. There are better reefs to see on the island; however, we dove from the hotel’s location 4 different times and saw different life and views each time. We went different directions, shallow, deep. Our best dive off the hotel’s property was from the Tipsy Seagull entry point heading south.

We did our boat dives with Jackson and Eddy who were great. They were talkative and shared info on the different sites we visited. They always asked where we wanted to go, and weighed in with suggestions based on what we wanted to see.

The Plaza has a nice size beach and from what we heard, one of the few that have beach space.

DO NOT forget to bring mosquito / insect spray. Not only that, ensure you get one with a high percentage of DEET. The one we brought was 40% DEET. The hotel has spray in the restaurants and front desk but I think the mosquitos are not turned away by the mere 5% DEET contained in the hotel’s insect spray.

We took advantage of the hotel’s “Go Green” program on 4 days. Basically you waive your maid service for the day and they give you a card worth $5 off food or drink. While we had the all-inclusive, the Tipsy Seagull has a slightly higher end menu and all-inclusive guests are credited $36 dollars each for their dinner. We ate lobster on two nights so we were able to use these $5 coupons there towards the difference in the total bill and our $36 dollar credit. Using that program was not a stretch for us as they provided us plenty of clean towels that got us through 2 days. You have a free towel exchange at the front desk which gives you two more towels and the dive shop also gives you towels. It was pretty easy to go green and earn $5 back.

Please keep in mind; I rated this place as very good for a few reasons. The main reason is the accommodations exceeded our expectations. In reading some of the other reviews and being somewhat a travel snob, we like nice clean rooms. While not at all the Ritz, for a dive hotel and for what we were looking to do, this was perfect.

Now the service, while we received anything we needed, the hotel staff is not outwardly trying to wow you with service. They are friendly, efficient, and respectful but don’t expect them to call you by name and go that extra mile for you.

Again, we would absolutely return to this hotel! Hope your experiences mirror ours – Happy Diving!!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Tony A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
plazaresortbonaire1, Manager at Plaza Resort Bonaire, responded to this review, September 14, 2012
Dear Tony A,

We are very pleased to read that you enjoyed your stay here with us and that the Plaza Resort Bonaire exceeded your expectations.

Thank you for visiting us and we look forward to your visit in the near future.

Kind Regards,
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San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed September 2, 2012

My husband and I were at the Plaza Resort, Bonaire, Aug 25-Sept 1, 2012. We did the 6D package that includes 11 one-tank boat dives (really it's 5 two-tank boat dives at 8:30am each day and one one-tank boat dive at 2pm in the afternoon). The package also includes transfers from and to the airport, hotel room, all meals and drinks, and a truck from AB Car rentals.

Note, the car rental shop is NOT on the property, it's about a mile up the road. There is a "hot line" phone in the lobby you can use to contact the car rental place. They will send a driver out to pick you up for free. AB Car rental also gives you a ride back to the hotel after you drop the truck off at the end of your trip (again, for free).

The dive shop has all the nitrox tanks you want, and they keep them filled for you. If you mark your air / nitrox tanks at the dive shop they will deliver them to one of the two shore diving locations you note on the tank. One shore dive entrance is by the Tipsy Seagull restaurant, the other is off the beach at the back of the hotel. We saw manta & eagle rays, barraccuda, squid and octopus on these shore dives. You can rent a locker and keep your gear at the dive shop after your dives, or you can carry your gear to your room and hang it up to dry. We dove with Jackson and Eddy was our boat captain. They are very professional, freindly and helpful. They asked everyone on the boat where they wanted to dive each morning and we ended up going where the majority wanted to dive. Really we had a great bunch of divers on our boat that had been to Bonaire many times and let us pick the spots since they had all seen it before (we got lucky).

The rooms are really big and there is plenty of space to lay your gear out to dry. The bathroom in our room looked as if it had been recently remodeled and it was very clean. Plenty of hot water (nice after diving). The only downside is the hotel doesn't have any clothes lines or hooks to hang up gear (so bring your own clothes line!). This would be an improvement for the hotel, but it wasn't a problem for us. We were on the first floor so we used the metal balcony frames above us to hang our gear with the clothes hangars in the closet. There is a safe and a small refrigerator in each room. The rooms have the energy saving room key slots. When you are in your room you put your key in the slot and the power / air turns on. When you leave your room you have to take your room key with you, so the power is off and the air turns off. The climate is tropical and humid, so if you are gone from your room for a while, don't be surprised if it's muggy and damp when you get back. Again, this was not a problem for my husband and me.

The food was great overall. The breakfast was toast, pancakes, and rolls, cereals, coffee, fresh fruit, scrambled eggs and baccon. The lunch is either buffet or you can order off the menu. The dinners were always tasty. The Banana Tree had a steak night, a fajita night, and a stir fry night. I don't know what else they served since we ate at the Tipsy Seagull two nights and also did the BBQ night on the beach. There seemed to be plenty of food and selections. The service was sometimes great, and sometimes slow, but you are on vacation so it's not a big deal.

We did not see any other hotels with beaches, so the Plaza Resort may be the only hotel in Bonaire with a nice beach. This is a good "down time" spot, so keep that under consideration when you book a hotel.

If you are diving, bring enzyme cleaner for your scuba gear, rash guards and bathing suits. I don't know why, but it gets REALLY stinky. We talked to everyone else on the boat and they said the same thing. The dive shop sells packets of "sink the stink" if you forget your enzyme cleaner.

There are mosquitos! We brought Deep Wood Off which kept them away. I forgot to spray myself the morning we left, it was early morning and I was eaten alive waiting for the airport shuttle. They have bug spray at the front desk and the restaurants but it has a very tiny amount of DEET in it and was not very good at keeping the mosquitos away, so bring your own.

I would absolutely go back to this hotel. I thought it was a great value for the money, and we had fantastic diving experiences. We have not stayed at the other resorts in Bonaire so we can't offer a comparison, but we would go back to the Plaza. Where ever you go, happy diving!

Room Tip: Make sure your room is on the first floor if you're diving. You don't want to lug all your...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank SCUBAgirl55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
plazaresortbonaire1, Manager at Plaza Resort Bonaire, responded to this review, September 14, 2012
Dear SCUBAgirl55,

Thank you for taking your time to write a review. We are happy to know that you have had a fantastic time here with us. We are grateful for your good comments about our facilities, rooms, restaurant and diving as we work continuously to make our guests vacation memorable.

Thank you for having stayed with us and we hope to welcome you again in the near future.

Kind regards,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed August 23, 2012

We (my fiancé and I) went to Bonaire the week of Aug 11. We went with the DiveTech group from Houston. Originally when we booked this trip, I read trip advisor and went expecting a really really horrible experience. I was assured by the DiveTech owner that it would be fine and the scuba diving would make up for it. When we arrived we were pleasantly surprised. I liked another post that broke up the main sections so I did that as well. Hope my review helps you make your decision. We will be back to this hotel again. They seem to be improving their system so hopefully next time we go it will be even better.

Food:
They recently set up an all-inclusive in the resort and it exceeded expectations. They have a full breakfast buffet with American type food (scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, omelet station etc), Dutch type continental food, yogurt, cereal, and an assortment of juices. For lunch they have a “diver lunch” which is food that is buffet style BUT you can also order off a set menu. Their burgers, tosti’s (pretty much a ham and cheese Panini), and pizzas were really good. For dinner they have a buffet option, you can order pizza, or you can go to the Tipsy Seagull restaurant with a 36$ credit per person per night. The Tipsy Seagull restaurant was definitely over priced but with the credit you can eat a main menu item and still get a free dinner. Their lobster night is the slowest service because they are so busy. They insist that you have a reservation even if the restaurant is completely empty when you show up. The activities on the resort we didn’t participate in because we were shore diving :-). We did catch the end of their BBQ on the beach night after getting back from a night dive and the food was really good. It seemed to be catered in from a restaurant on the island but I’m not entirely sure. Also part of the all inclusive is the drink refrigerator at the dive shop. It was nice to be able to grab some bottled water and Gatorade on our way out to a shore dive.

Room:
The room was LARGE. They give you the option to upgrade to an updated room for extra money when you check in. Personally I am too cheap for that because the base room was more than acceptable. We did see one of the upgraded rooms because one of the people from our group decided to upgrade and it was definitely nicer decoration wise. The bathroom was larger too. When we got into our rooms, one of the only negatives of the week is that the soap from the previous guests was still in the soap holder in the shower (kinda gross). They give you the “environmentally friendly” option to not have your room cleaned and if you decide to not have it cleaned one day they give you a $5 coupon per day. We did this 3 days and used the coupons the last night at the Tipsy seagull so we could order more than just the main meal and still not have to pay out of pocket. The room cleaning was acceptable. They wet mop it everyday, make up the beds, and replace the towels. One thing that I did read on a previous post was to take your own washcloth or loofa because they in fact do not provide them.

Dive Shop:
The package that we bought had 10 boat dives included. We had Jackson as our divemaster the whole week. We also had Ger and Erica. The diving here is sooooo great. We always got to choose what sites we wanted to go to and they would show us the hard to find seahorses, rockfish, and frogfishes. The site choosing may have been because our DiveTech dive group had our own personal boat so I’m not 100% sure how they do this for the other boats. Erica and Jackson were great. Like I said at the beginning, Jackson was with us the whole week. He even took us down to the salt pier on a shore dive on his own time one day after work. He is great at finding the little things that normal divers would most likely miss. They provide lockers during the week (you have to give a $10 deposit but you get it back when you return the key). Some of the other reviews prepared me to deal with our own equipment and tanks. This is true. In the morning you analyze your own tanks and put them and your gear on the boat yourself. At the end of the dive they usually will remove the tanks from the boats themselves. There was always plenty of NITROX available and we never had an issue getting a tank even on the afternoon shore dives. If you are not NITROX certified it is a MUST before going to Bonaire. We did 4 dives a day sometimes with no DECO issues and not feeling pass-out tired at the end of the day. Everyone in our dive group was NITROX certified and had dive computers too. If you are in the Houston area and need to get certified or equipment, I would recommend DiveTech (http://www.divetechhouston.com/) plus they plan great dive trips too.

Beaches:
The beaches on Bonaire are very rocky. They have plenty of beach lounge chairs by the pool and hotel beach. There was a nicer sand type beach on the other side of the island where they wind surf. You can get there with your rental car if you decide to get the all inclusive package. We didn’t have much time to spend on the beach because we were diving so much.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank RebeDives
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
plazaresortbonaire1, Manager at Plaza Resort Bonaire, responded to this review, August 29, 2012
Dear RebeDives,

Thank you for taking your time to share your review. Your positive comments are greatly appreciated. We would like to host you again in the future.

Kind regards,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Plaza Resort Bonaire

Property: Plaza Resort Bonaire
Address: J.A. Abraham Blvd 80, Kralendijk, Bonaire
Location: Caribbean > Bonaire > Kralendijk
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Kralendijk
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Kralendijk
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Kralendijk
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Plaza Resort Bonaire 3.5*
Number of rooms: 126
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Enjoyment without limits, an all-inclusive vacation at Plaza Beach Resort Bonaire. This resort offers 126 spacious air conditioned oversized Suites, both Junior Suites and Grand Suites located either next to the Caribbean Sea or next to the marina laguna. Everything is included: from a delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet in our restaurant with sea view to water sport activities, a diving school and a cozy beach bar. With the best beach on Bonaire and a beautiful swimming pool, there is nothing that will stop you from having a vacation to always remember. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Plaza Resort Bonaire Hotel Kralendijk
Plaza Hotel Bonaire
Plaza Hotel Kralendijk
Plaza Resort Bonaire Kralendijk

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