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“The Good & the Bad”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Buddy Dive

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Buddy Dive
Ranked #5 of 21 Hotels in Kralendijk
Certificate of Excellence
Cedar Park, Texas
Level Contributor
45 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“The Good & the Bad”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 9, 2008

Good: the dive shop, the diving, the divemasters
Bad: the check in procedure, restaurant service, smelly bathrooms

We stayed with a group of 17 divers.
Arriving on the red-eye from Houston is a bad idea. Tired travelers checking in at 6am with no rooms available and no place to securely store luggage. Our group hung out in the heat and mosquitos for hours because no one was willing to trust that our luggage would magically remain safe sitting out in the open near the check in desk. Eventually we were able to get our rooms and settle in. One of our group had a really bad smell in their bathroom that never went away. The staff did not seem to know what to do about it.
Finally we got our check out dive done and the fun began!
The house reef is excellent and we all enjoyed several dives inlcuding at night, took classes, etc right there. We had our own boat and those dives were great as well. The divemasters were experienced, and watchful without being overly annoying, they almost always pointed great finds throughout the dives (numerous seahorses, drumfish, frogfish, etc.). Some of our group added in a few more dives by signing up on the board and on a couple of occasions we used the drive & dive option. I was not a fan of shore diving - Hilma Hooker and Carpata were extremely rough entries and a few of us ended up battered and bruised. The reefs are in excellent health with tons of small life. We did not see large marine life with the exception of some tarpon on the night dives.
The on site restaurants were expensive and had the worst service! We would wait forever to get food and then the orders would be wrong. The food was not that great and it was overpriced. We experienced excellent service at an excellent value at Pasa Bon Pizza and Bistro Paris close to town.

I would return to Bonaire for the diving but might try out some of the other resorts...

  • Liked — The Dive Operation
  • Disliked — The check in procedure.
  • Stayed April 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank C-monkey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (196)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Hot Springs, Arkansas
Level Contributor
239 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 399 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 6, 2008

After reading the negative reviews, I was a bit nervous that our favorite dive resort had gone downhill since our last stay in 2006, but we were very pleased with our recent stay. Unit #108 is the best 2 bedroom, 3 bath apartment--close to the dive pier, Bella Vista restaurant, and drive thru fill station, with the best 2nd and 3rd floor balconies and the newly renovated bathrooms on the 3rd floor. I can understand how some people might complain that the outside stairs weren't swept, the sand wasn't raked every day, and the fish pond wasn't pristine like at some 5 star resorts, but we found Buddy Dive to be the perfect dive resort for us, and we will definitely stay there the next time we go back to Bonaire. We love the breakfast buffet, the organized schedule of boat dives, the drive and dive package with the convenient rental truck, the drive thru fill station, convenient rinse tanks, the well stocked dive shop, the helpful and knowledgable dive staff, the Sunday night Creature Features slide show, the Friday night Managers Rum Punch party and BBQ, having the Pool Bar, Lions Den and Rum Runners restaurants, Lovers Ice Cream and the Chat N Browse Internet Cafe within walking distance, and having great reefs within swimming distance.

  • Liked — Dive and Drive package
  • Disliked — Unswept outside stairwells
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank TexasMomTW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 1, 2008

I traveled alone, and I am so glad I went to Buddy Dive for my first trip to Bonaire. The location was great - pickup service at the airport was fast and efficient (as was drop off at the end of the trip), my truck rental was great, and the dive operation was unbelievably good. The dive masters were super knowledgable, and the boats were clean and freshly painted. My room was a huge studio, right by the pool, and it was spotlessly clean every day and smelled terrific. The floor is tile, which can sometimes be slippery, but it is completely understandable in a place where 99% of the time you're coming in the door wet, with dripping gear, or with sandy flipflops. (It's nothing different from where I've been to dive resorts in the Keys too.) The bed was very comfy, and the AC worked so well that sometimes I had to turn it off! My bathroom had a broken shower door handle (who cares?!) but was also very spacious. Two people could share that room as roommates without feeling cramped at all. The staff was so nice, which is amazing considering how busy they are. I had a terrific trip and I plan on returning to Bonaire and Buddy Dive in the future.

  • Liked — Great camera rental from John and Susie at the Digital Photo Center on site.
  • Disliked — Internet at the hotel desk was down, but I went to Chat and Browse instead.
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank Teri00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kansas City
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 28, 2008

I was skeptical with some of the reviews posted here but I noticed that a lot of seasoned divers kept returning to Buddy Dive so I decided to go with BD. It was a perfect choice for us! My husband and I are pretty seasoned divers and have gone many places in the Caribbean. You really cannot get so uptight over a little mold in the bathroom or the fact there are no outlets in the bathroom. This is not the states and the standards are not as high as ours. I found Buddy Dive to be an excellent place to stay compared to where we have been before.

The resort completely caters to the diver for an awesome experience. The drive-through air tank station was so convenient and made the shore diving extremely easy. They included a car in the dive package which was very reasonable and was nice to have. Get the breakfast option in your package. Their breakfast was very good and plenty of food to get you started for a dive day. Most of the time my husband and I didn't even eat lunch because we were full from our omletes.

Our room was very clean and overlooked the ocean and the pool and was very convenient to the dive shop (room 714). We had a one bedroom with a full kitchen and airconditioning was in both the bedroom and the main room. There were no bedbugs whatsoever! Once in awhile you might find a mosquito but we brought bug spray so there was no problem at all with insects as long as you spray yourself before you go out at night.

I read a few complaints about the service on here but I thought the service was excellent except for the main bar. Everyone in the dive shop and the dive store and photoshop were very helpful and extremely nice. The service at the main bar was slow and they weren't overly anxious to come over to you and ask for your drink order. Sometimes I got the feeling that their English was not that great and they avoided getting into any long conversations. Anyway, we are on island time! One time our lunch was taking too long and we had to leave to catch our boat without eating. They completely apologized and seemed very sincere about it. They have a Happy Hour every day from 5:30 to 6:30 and all drinks are half price. They had a free rum punch party on Friday night with live music that was totally fun!!

I thought maybe the slow service was a Dutch tradition but actually the service in town was excellent. We didn't eat out much because the food at Buddy's was very good, however we did go to the City Cafe which we thought was wonderful food and great service.

If you love seafood dishes and want to try something different there is a Peruvian restaraunt downtown that was incredible! I have never tasted calamari so fresh! It is called Plazita Limena. Get the Ceviche as an appetizer. You won't regret it!

Overall, I loved Bonaire and Buddy Dive. Bonaire was much cheaper than Grand Cayman or even Turks. Their currency is fixed at 1.77 dollar to 1.0 (gilder?) Given the current dollar situation, this is a total bargain! The food is excellent on the island which is hard to find sometimes in the caribbean, and especially Mexico.

If you are looking for nightlife we found a bar on Friday night that was sooo much fun. It is called Little Havana and is downtown. It is a cigar bar but around 10pm it turns into a total dance place with a live DJ. It was a blast!! The Dutch were very friendly to us and it always amazes me how much people from other countries know about the states.

In summary, if you need a covenience store with cheap merchandise and a spa you will probably never use then Buddy Dive is not for you. If you are here to dive and want a great experience with a lot of convenience for your diving, good restaraunts and a clean resort then I would recommend this place to you.

  • Liked — convenient diving experience
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank seacreature68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peoria, Illinois
Level Contributor
26 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 18, 2008

Just returned from Buddy Dive resort in beautiful Bonaire. We had what we considered to be the best room in the entire resort. Beautiful ocean views, french doors, excellent service and of course the diving was fantastic!

The entire staff at Buddy Dive did all they could to make this trip truly enjoyable. From scheduling open water dive certification, to providing a clean and fantastic room we had what was truly the best vacation.

Food - We ate mostly in town for our dinners. We didn't have one bad meal! Great fish recipes and unbelievable ice cream!

Things to remember when traveling to Bonaire - mosquito repellent and netting!

  • Liked — Great Room
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank Pamela G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 5, 2008

Hello dear travellers, if you are thinking in going to Bonaire PLEASE DO NOT stay at Buddy Dive Resort. The hotel rooms are infestated with BED BUGS. Please do check your bed before sleeping in any of the rooms there or you will end up like me in a battle with these horrible creatures during your stay and also having a risk of bringgin them home and have to pay a fortune to get a professional finding them in your house.

Visit link bellow for more info:-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bedbug

  • Disliked — BED BUGS
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank MissLondonbr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 8, 2008

We spent 9 days on the lovely island of Curacao in this wonderful resort. We had a great honeymoon - all the ingredients were here, fabulous food and drink, very friendly staff, great views, clean and spacious rooms. This hotel and resort is completely guest orientated and made us feel very special. It has a small and intimate feel and the tropical gardens surrounding it add greatly to the experience. It is right beside the seaquarium and we enjoyed going there several times (you get free entrance anytime when you are a guest at Lions Dive) and enjoyed the dolphins and also an afternoon scuba diving (no experience necessary). As for activities, I would recommend Erics ATV's which is right outside the hotel entrance and is a great way to see the hidden side of the island, Peter Tours was a lovely experience and a lot of fun too and the various activities that are available on Mamba beach on different nights are great (just a short walk up the beach from the hotel). We enjoyed a great meal right on the beach with live music at Hooks Hut - you will need reservations and it's 20$ in a cab to get there. Reception will book any cabs, restaurants or activities you wish to do and will also make good recommendations. A free shuttle bus runs twice a day to Willemstaad and I would recommend Scampies for lunch or dinner, it's right on the water and the food is very good and reasonably prices. The Governors restaurant was also a gorgeous place for an evening meal and is right downtown on the water in Willemstaad (though I would suggest getting a table in the courtyard as the balcony is very windy (as is the whole island all the time). Another hidden gem, if you don't wish to go too far is Villa Elizabeth which is a short walk from the hotel, almost facing Breezes resort and here you will find exquisite fine French dining in a beautiful courtyard where the food is sublime and very reasonable for a special night out.
Tuesdays at Nemo's is a very romantic night too, they have a pianist and the menu and service are second to none. Breakfast is expensive to eat at the hotel every day as you may not always want a huge buffet breatfast, there is a place facing the resort (Alturo's I think?) and you can get smaller things (bagel and coffee for instance is only 3 or 4$). All in all, Curacao is a marvellous place to visit, the people are friendly and courteous, the food is top quality everywhere you go and there is plenty to see and do. Having travelled all over the island though, I would definitely not stay anywhere else other then the Lions Dive, I think it is the nicest place we saw. It is perfect for both families and couples alike and we would love to come back someday.

  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Mags_Louis
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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