I stayed with the Plaza with a large group of approximately 90 divers for an event called the Scubaboard Invasion during June/July 2013 for two weeks. The 1st week there was 90 of us and the 2nd week the rest of the group left and only 5 of us from the original group remained. The number of staff working at the resort remained the same for both weeks, that should really say it all right there as there was really only enough staff to keep things going on an average basis during the 2nd week. The 1st week, there clearly was not enough people to provide the level of service that was expected.
My main complaint is that our group (who you would think the Resort would be grateful for over $85,000 in business in just one week), was treated second rate. It seemed that the theme for staff was that "we used to have that, but not anymore... or not for you" whenever we asked for something. You want a large glass for your soda? We are out. You want a bottled water. We only have tap. You want a chocolate souffle, we are out of the butter to make that now. You want the apple pie instead? Sorry, it is to hot to bring out. What??? It's too hot?? Apple pie is meant to be hot... don't get that one? I didn't either.
All that being said, our room was decent - it was one of the older ones, the fan was missing from the ceiling and the bathroom fan was non-existant but it was incredibly huge. The AC worked perfectly (wasn't even overly loud) and the beds were comfortable (on the firm side by I like that). No clothesline or hooks outside but we were on the 2nd floor so we hung our gear over the patio rail to dry and it always was by morning. There was a large table in the room which leant plenty of room for both mine and my partner's camera gear which does take up a lot of room. The patio was also quite large, more than enough room to spread out everything to dry. A plus - there was no towel counting going on - you could grab a towel off the cart, take it in the truck shore diving with you or to the pool. There were towels at the bar (near the pool) and towels on the dive boat. Thank heavens it wasn't like Mexico in regard to signing out a towel and treating it like gold.
As for the diving - you write your name and location on the nitrox tanks and they are delivered to the pool or a 2nd dock (which I didn't dive off of as it was roped off). There are also air tanks available at the pool if you don't feel like signing out the nitrox. No carts for your gear unfortunately and the resort is quite large. I recommend asking for a room near the dive shop (which is also near the parking lot if you're taking a truck out shore diving) however the boat, shore diving, and truck parking were all a very long walk, so there was no central spot for everything and no way to avoid hauling around your gear regardless. Speaking of hauling around your gear, you sign out weights at the start of the week and you have to carry them around the entire time you are there - for both shore and boat diving. How fun is that? The boats should have weight on them so the customers don't have to haul their own along with their gear everywhere. I am on vacation and hauling my gear everything, including weights, was NOT my idea of fun. Also, just for the ladies, there is NO bathroom on the boat FYI. The diving itself and our two guides were AMAZING - Pieter and Jackson - definitely you'd do well with either. All sites were lovely, Karpata, Nearest Point, and Something Special (the latter two being on Klein Bonaire) were my favourites. We were left to dive our computers and never had a dive under an hour, I appreciated that. Also, the shore diving at the resort itself was fantastic. 18 Palms Reef at Plaza is spectacular - both during the day and at night. It is an easy entry and once you've explored once or twice, it's easy to know your way around but you always see something different.
The food is easy with an all inclusive. Buffet, or you could order off a pretty good menu. However, you practically had to set yourself on fire to get a server's attention. I resorted to picking up menus myself off their waiter station and going to the bar to get a drink. Ordering from the menu tended to take at least half an hour. We got into the habit of ordering our entrees with drinks right away and our deserts when the entrees were delivered. This helped with the waiting, A BIT. The croissants on the breakfast buffet are very good, about all I ate for breakfast and do try and order the chocolate souffle from the dinner menu, you'll thank me for that tip. :)
- 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