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“Good News, Bad News”
Review of Buddy Dive

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Buddy Dive
Ranked #6 of 22 Hotels in Kralendijk
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 3, 2014

Good News: Still the best value for your dive dollar. Dive facility are convenient and efficient. The house reef is of the best diving in Bonaire. Dive Staff is professional, knowledgable, helpful and accommodating. The Coral Reef Restoration Specialty Dives is a must take class. The Hotel Staff will make restaurant reservations and recommendations.
Bad News: The roads have the feel of a construction site. The rooms, although the views and balconies are beautiful, are in much need of maintenance. Our patio sliding glass door was broke and was barely baled to be opened on one side. The screens for the sliding glass were totally inoperable. The air conditioner in both bedroom and living room need replaced or at least cleaned. The we're blowing dust out. I got a bad case of sinusitis and sore throat from the bedroom AC blowing on me all night! Finally, although the house keep was sufficient (they wet mopped the floor everyday) the housekeeper left the door open the entire time she was cleaning leaving in Bonaire's famous voracious Mosquitos. My wife and I were both eaten alive. The pool had some "fungi looking" growth on the bottom and needs a very deep cleaning.
Bottom line, great diving, great service, rundown rooms and facilities in much need of some maintenance and upkeep. It's a real Bonairean Treasure in need of some TLC.

Stayed: January 2014
2  Thank EHK1948
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 17, 2014

Very nice place, very good structure if you want to dive - excellent cost benefit equation

Rooms are comfortable and large. The italian restaurant was very good. Rented trunks made easy to go dive in the off shore spots

But don't go if you are looking for a five star hotel experience

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank JorgeAZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 16, 2014

I read dozens of reviews here on TA before deciding on Buddy Dive Resort. My husband and I chose Buddy Dive/Bonaire because of a timeshare exchange (and that we'd been wanting to go to Bonaire for years, so this was our first trip there). We decided to rent an additional week, and chose Buddy Dive for the convenience of not having to move. In all the numerous emails I had with very responsive and customer-oriented Reservations many months before our trip, we were assured that we would be able to stay in the same unit for the 2 weeks. Based on TA reviews, I sent a list of criteria, and found that timeshare is only in part of the property - the part that was previously a different resort.

When we decided on their dive and drive package, I learned that a "free" breakfast was part of the package. I asked why a breakfast, when a full kitchen is part of the unit. They said they could do the package without the breakfast. So we did, as we did not want that. So for all the people who mention the free breakfast, it's not!! By my calculations, you're paying more than $15 per person per day for that breakfast.

They knew that we'd be coming in on the early flight from Houston, and said it "usually" works out that people are able to get into their units early. Well, ours was occupied until noon, so we were able to get in only a bit early. We did get our truck (as part of their package) and got groceries early.

We LOVED our unit. Talking to others on the dive boats, I believe that the 2 sides are really different. We were in unit 511, and had a marvelous ocean view. A/C in both the living room and BR made it very comfortable, even too cold at times. The bathroom was very European modern, with 2 large sinks and a large shower. The only negative for the Bath is that there is frosted glass on the window, no curtains, so the sun comes in during the late afternoon and makes it a bit toasty.

Being on the second floor, the high soaring vaulted ceiling made it appear even more spacious. The kitchen was complete enough, though one day Housekeeping took the cutting board we had brought, thinking that it was theirs. (not even close to what they provide, which is why we travel with our own.) Fortunately they had it and returned it.

For the most part, it was very peaceful. The unit was right next to the "fancy" restaurant, and even that was OK for noise -- except for the Saturday evening before Christmas. They had a private party there, and it was extremely loud. If I would have been at home, I would have called the police. The party fortunately stopped promptly at 11:30 p.m.

The worst thing about Buddy Dive's property is the gigantic potholes throughout. (You'd think they could fix them! We were assured that that was on their list.) The wind makes outdoors dusty also, when dust is picked up from the graveled roads onsite.

The best thing would be the resort's location and friendliness of staff. On Christmas Housekeeping brought gifts for us! -- Buddy Dive tree ornaments. (we managed to get them home safely.)

I wrote a review of the dive operation as an attraction review, so I won't even mention the diving, except that some TA reviewers said to take dive gear back to your unit, with concerns about security. We were there the week before Christmas and Christmas week, a very busy time. We left our gear in their storage room, and didn't have (nor even hear of) any problems. Our truck was quite nice; it operated well, was comfortable, looked good (minimal dings and rust), and the AC kept us cool.

We settled up our bill the day before we left. I would advise anyone to do this. We had only 2 charges for the 2 weeks, so it was easy to see that someone had charged food from the restaurant to our room, over 3 days, in the middle of our stay. I said we never went to the restaurant; they showed me the receipts. I said that's not our signature. I had to go discuss it with the restaurant (Pool Bar) manager. I got the charges taken off, but it bothered my husband and me that apparently their procedures are not foolproof for charging to rooms.

My husband really enjoyed Happy Hour at the Pool Bar (he thought $3.75 for a Heineken was not a bad price). Every Friday they have a party, with popcorn (oh boy!) and punch - rum or nonalcoholic, and live music. As a timeshare resort "party," it was OK, but as just a resort, it was nice.

I always travel with cords to tie back curtains, and this is a good thing at Buddy Dive. Otherwise, you're missing out on some of the view and light.

Room Tip: Units 511, 512, 714, and 715 probably have the best ocean view and are away from the busy Pool Bar/R...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank ForReality
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2014

Buddy Dive Resort is beautiful. The rooms are great. There is either a patio or balcony for enjoyment as well as airing out dive equipment. The dive center is right on the piers along with rinse tanks, outdoor shower, boat dive sign-ups, equipment dry rooms, tank room and Nitrox analyzer. Giant stride off one of the piers or use one of the ladders. We always buy groceries in town and prepare many of our own lunches and dinners, but there is a fun beach bar/pool and two restaurants on site with excellent food. The resort is located midway between the dive sites on the calmer, western side of the island.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jeanine K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2014

Buddy Dive Resort is the perfect set up for divers. Their house reef is located on one of the nicest reefs on the island. The dive shop, rental gear and storage room are just steps away from the water. Entries and exits are super easy with a sturdy set of stairs. For those new to diving or those needing a little extra attention, this is the perfect situation. They have several roomy dive boats for those wanting to do something other than shore dive. They provide rental trucks and have a drive thru tank station for grabbing tanks on the go. The island has the best shore diving in the world. The rooms are large, but plain. We were in a one-bedroom apartment. The bedroom was air conditioned, while the living/dining/kitchen area was comfortably cooled with a ceiling fan. There was a nice deck area off the back where we could sit outside and enjoy the views. A huge breakfast buffet was provided each morning with plenty of options, including an omelet station and waffles while you wait. The Pool Bar was open for lunch and dinner. Meals there were hit and miss. We found the lunches more consistent than the dinners. They also have a new, fancier restaurant that offers gourmet pizzas that are quite tasty. The best thing about Buddy's is that you can dive as much or as little as you want. The ocean is open 24/7 and tanks are always available!

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank eyedive90
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2014

For our first "dive vacation" could not have chosen a better place to stay than Buddy Dive. Everything a new diver needs is there for you. We were able to arrange to complete our Advanced Open Water course, excursions for night and boat dives, and all the convenience of drive through air tanks.

The breakfast buffet is a great way to start the day - Thanks to Magda the morning chef! There's a nightly happy hour and a decent bar/restaurant in addition to the "upscale" restaurant on the grounds.

The house reef is one of the better shore dives on Bonaire. Also great at night.

The room we stayed at was more than adequate. Nice kitchen, bedroom, bathroom. The grounds are well kept and secured.

I would stay here again.

Room Tip: John the camera guy is great. Use him.
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Kevin C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2013

A great spot to base your Bonaire dive experience. Staff are naturally friendly, no pompous attitudes, just down to the business of giving you the best opportunity to enjoy your diving. We did a drive and dive package and took advantage of the unlimited tanks for shore dives and threw in a few boat dives as the mood struck.We had a two bedroom apartment (couple and teenager) with nice relaxing lounge and patio and a kitchenette for those times when we didn't feel like eating out.The in house rental pickups are ideal and provide freedom instead of being stuck in one location. Buddy dive gets our vote each time.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Andy and Julia ... B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 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: $166 - $350 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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