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“We don't dive...but we loved it!”
Review of Buddy Dive

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Buddy Dive
Ranked #5 of 21 Hotels in Kralendijk
Certificate of Excellence
Galena, Ohio
Level Contributor
51 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“We don't dive...but we loved it!”
Reviewed November 1, 2011

We were orginally booked in at a very pricey hotel down the beach from Buddy Dive. Our friends discovered Buddy Dive 6 Days 6 Ways package. We switched our reservation and we are SO happy that we did. The 6 Days 6 Ways package gave us a vehicle and an excursion every day. We went cave exploring with a fantastic guide, kayaked the mangroves, took a speed boat out to Klein Bonaire for the day (just our group), biked, hiked! It was one of the best vacations our group has been on for years. There were 7 of us. 3 couples and 1 single. It was easy to meet others and dive you wanted to (our single did) and the staff is so accomodating. The breakfast is great. Just don't sleep past it. They are very firm on when it shuts down. Dinner options were more plain but the food choices in town are limitless!
The best part about not being a diver and staying there is that you have the resort all to yourself during the day while the divers are out. Also, the swim up bar is divine! We ran up quite a bar bill because the drink of the day was always delicious. I think I gained 5 pounds just on those evil concoctions! The air is only in the bedroom and it is a little loud and the bath is REALLY tiny but we were not in out room much. We also stayed in the newly renovated rooms.
We now are getting certified to dive and Buddy's is going to be one of our very first stops! The island of Bonaire is really a treasure and we would recommend that you visit.

Room Tip: Ask for a renovated room.
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  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank Heidi V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (199)
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English first
Upper Saddle River, New Jersey
Level Contributor
89 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed October 31, 2011

Staff is very nice, helpful, knowledgeable and accommodating. Restaurant on campus is good for breakfast or lunch, but I can't say regarding dinner. We dined every night in the vast variety of great restaurants on the island. Dive package with 4-passenger pickup truck was unique as you could just take off with tanks at anytime of day and dive anywhere on the island right off the beach! While the rooms are Spartan, they had everything essential and are comfortable, clean and neat. They offered an optional "black light night dive" which is the only thing I was unhappy with at Buddy Dive. After the first 5 minutes you've pretty much seen all there to see (which wasn't much) and then I was floundering (no pun) around blind (they zip tie a very dark filter to your mask which you can't remove underwater) for 45 minutes wishing to get out of the water. Everyone in my party was blown away with Bonaire and will DEFINITELY return to Buddy Dive.

Room Tip: They are doing renovations on some of the rooms. You should ask for a renovated room, and away from...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank KenBostonUSR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
61 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed October 25, 2011

This was my first trip to Bonaire and Buddy Dive and had an excellent time. The four person condo I stayed at was recently renovated and was very nice, including a full kitchen. Housekeeping kept the place up every day and was trustworthy.

The dive operation was excellent, with staff always available and the pre and post diving needs laid out well along Buddy's Reef. Unlike other Caribbean islands, Bonaire is mainly shore diving, but the 6 boat dives made in the week were fantastic. The divemasters were very knowledgeable and open to suggestions, allowed for long dives, and made sure everyone was respective to each other and the delicate environment. Buddy's drive-thru is a great feature, though it would be nice to have it available at night for later dives.

My one complaint with Buddy would be the restaurant. The first night it took about 1.5 hours to get our food, with no real answer on what happened, other than the waitress put us on the wrong part of some list. This same waitress came to our table once and then never showed up again. The food was decent but not spectacular.

I would highly recommend Buddy Dive for serious divers.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Daniel L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed October 20, 2011

I & my husband just came back from one week of diving in Bonaire. We did not stay in the resort though. I apologize for not being able to rate the accomodation but I would like to tell my experience with their diving operation.I chose them cause I was convinced that a bigger operation would be better but it proved so wrong. What attracted me was the "drive-thru" facility which was very convenient indeed. You pick up the tanks and in 5 minutes you are in the road for your next dive. But not so fun when you are all geared up and after several minutes of fighting waves and rocks to get to your dive site buoy, you find out your tank is busted ! Not less depressing if you are on the one-way road to the 1000 Steps dive site and have to drive 40 minutes back to get another tank..( cause you are allowed only 4 at the time and if you planned 2 dives each in that area, half day is over ! ). Answer given by them : tanks are checked but still you cannot know when will happen..I forgot to teach them how we did to find out one of the 3 busted tanks we came up with. ..We dropped some water at the neck of the tank, lots of bubbling so, not so good !Living & learning..I would find another excuse...Staff in the drive thru was very nice & kind though as it was the person in charge of the equipment care who nicely fixed something in our regulator. Boat dive is other thing. I always read about diving sites and we always have some preferences over others. After several boat dives, I finally got one of my requests. Their system for choosing dive sites is poor. It's a last-minute voting process. Much easier would be if we write requests in their schedule board..We all know is not always possible to go to some place due to currents, other people been there already etc..but it does make us feel good if they at least care about "trying" to make us happy equally. The divemaster told me that l should charter a private boat. I would certainly do if that was a big deal for me ( I was having a converstation, for him was like an attack maybe ? ) but for sure not with his diving operation. Boats were definitely nice but, that was my first experience in a so-called " cattle boat".It was kind of overwhelming to have to "bump" into other 16 divers underwater following ONE divemaster after doing all the shore diving with only your buddy and have all the ocean for yourself......Next time, I think a smaller operation will do better and offer a most personalized service. But, after all, this business is probably very handy for people staying in the resort. So, judge by yourselves..

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank HappyDiver78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Johns, Michigan
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 17, 2011

An amazing week of diving!!! First time at Buddy Dive Resort. The crew at the resort were friendly and courteous, great cleaning service every day and helpful in the dive shop and tank drive through. It was great to just drive in, pick up new tanks, and be on our way. My husband would have liked to start before 8 am for the first dive and forgot the first day to get our tanks before five the previous day, but other than that, it was a great experience. The diving on Bonaire is second to none!!! My husband is a newly certified diver and what a great way to gain experience:) A couple people in our dive group were sick part of the trip, couldn't rule out food poisoning. Personally, we didn't have any issues with this. Went outside the resort for dinner a few nights, and cooked in our rooms a couple others. The little deli just before the round-about on the way into town has GREAT sandwiches!! Prices for food were a little pricey, and not what I'd expected, but still good. Fishing is prohibited due to the park classification, so seafood in shipped in...how funny! The Friday Craft Fair at the pier in town was disappointing...flyer said, food, crafts and music! The only food was the local restaurants, music (your own) and only 5 craft booths open. Yawn! The diving, however, was FANTASTIC! If you're there for the diving...you won't be disappointed:) Can't wait to go back!!!

Room Tip: air conditioning was not so good...but then again...didn't spend much time in our room. shared...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank vonderl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Charles, Illinois
Level Contributor
102 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed October 15, 2011

Very nice place to stay. The rooms are not so new but kept very clean, beds comfortable and quiet. Diving is set up perfectly with rental trucks, drive up to get air, and the reef at Buddy dive is very nice. Breakfast very nice. Restaurant at Buddy dive ok for lunch and dinner but service was a bit spotty. Overall a great stay and we will go again.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank TravelerSteve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed October 12, 2011

We just spent another week at Buddy Dive Resort in Bonaire and had a wonderful time. This was our 11th trip to Buddy Dive. We had stayed at another resort the first time we went to Bonaire but nothing can compare to Buddy Dive. The resort is doing major renovations to the rooms. The existing rooms are being completely redone from walls, floors, windows, kitchens, bathrooms, etc. They will be very upscale and modern. The weather was perfect with temps in the 90's and water temps ranging from 82 - 87. The water was very calm making for easy shore entries.

The whole staff at Buddy Dive is fantastic. The front desk girls are friendly and helpful. The room keeping staff do a wonderful job everyday cleaning up the room and sprucing things up. The dive staff is out of this world. They are so helpful, informative and knowledgeable. We saw two fish we had never seen before and they took the time to get out books to identify what we had seen.

We're looking forward to returning within the year.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank scubasue7448
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Buddy Dive

Property: Buddy Dive
Address: Kaya Gob. N. Debrot 85, Kralendijk, Bonaire
Location: Caribbean > Bonaire > Kralendijk
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Kralendijk
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Kralendijk
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Buddy Dive 3.5*
Number of rooms: 77
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Experience Bonaire and Buddy Dive Resort. An unhurried, unspoiled natural paradise offering spectacular sunsets, gentle breezes and crystal clear, turquoise waters. Buddy's is a resort where you can DIVE DIVE DIVE, take part in a multitude of activities or just sit back, relax and enjoy the atmosphere. At Buddy Dive, we're known for our casual atmosphere, personable staff, spacious accommodations and a dive operation that has something for every diver: comfortable boats, complete rental and retail center, exceptional staff, and a unique "Drive Thru" with a two-lane air/nitrox fill station. No matter which apartment you are staying in, you're never further than a giant stride away from our popular and lively house reef which is perfect for diving and snorkeling, day and night. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Buddy Dive Kralendijk
Buddy Dive Hotel Kralendijk
Buddy Dive Bonaire/Kralendijk

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