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“Buddy Dive, More than a yellow building on Bonaire”
Review of Buddy Dive

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Buddy Dive
Ranked #5 of 21 Hotels in Kralendijk
Certificate of Excellence
Madison, Wisconsin
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Buddy Dive, More than a yellow building on Bonaire”
Reviewed March 17, 2014

Just Right!

Checked in on Friday night, breezed to our room, everything was smooth. We saw long lines on Saturday evening which confirms a previous post, our experience was 5 stars. Needed a pan late one evening they found two, dropped them off and called to confirmed we received it. There was more to it than this but the vibe was good.
Kitchen was good/adequate, if you're looking for Viking Stoves & Sub Zero appliances ummmm, this isn't that place but we cooked fresh fish two nights and we were able to pull it off.
Dive Staff-5 Stars. They understand the importance of your safety and maintaining the reef and staying off the reef. The attentiveness to you as a diver (after the video,) is fantastic from the checkout Dive to Marten and his man cave, to everyone around. They also let you understand that although this is a life threatening situation if you make a mistake, they also point out this is supposed to be FUN.
For a reasonable amount of money, this was a great place to be. We've learned to travel on the off times & dates which leads to less stress. What you take in is what you get out of your trips. So, if you're reading this correctly, there's one in every crowd. Is it a Relais & Chateaux, no, it's a nice place to dive, meet people, enjoy the underwater experience with a great reef. Happy Hour is rather important to the resort so the only thing not on "island time," is the HH between 5:00 PM-6:00 PM. You can talk with the dive guides ask questions, YES buy them a drink the little things count to these fine folks. The food was good, moderate in price, the Friday night Barbecue is fun & good, do it even if you're a veggie, my wife who is found plenty to eat. If you want good food, check out my food reviews from this trip.

Room Tip: We stayed in the 300 building which turned out convenient for getting to the front of the resort. Ro...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jimmienay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (200)
Date | Rating
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English first
Wake Forest, North Carolina
Level 5 Contributor
89 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2014

Rooms were great, front desk staff very helpful. Trucks are in bad shape and need to be replaced, one fell apart on me after a few days but was easily replaced, with another POS rust bucket. The restaurant for dinner Ingridients, is a bad choice, for a dedicated dive resort, IMHO, and we wouldn't go back there. The BBQ at the Friday nite rum punch party wasn't very good either. There are plenty of other good and great restaurants a short drive away so the mediocre food wouldn't keep us away. The dive op is well run, shore diving good, tanks easy to get and load up. Plenty of options for diving offered so regardless of your skill, experience, or preference you can get a lot of diving in. Shore, boat, house reef, up north, east side and night dives all right there plus a good photo shop. Dive shop staff are excellent

Room Tip: Stay on the old Lions Dive side, it's quiet, close to the dive shop and a nice pool.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Michael S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
travelgirl3644
Level 6 Contributor
115 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed March 12, 2014 via mobile

First the good...
The dock and ladders were nice and well kept.
The free nitrox was good. We enjoyed buddy's reef for diving.
The rooms were spacious. We had a 2 bedroom with an ocean view.

The NOT good....
Checking in was an extremely slow process. And, there was not enough Help behind the desk.
When we got to our room, the sheets and comforter were heavily stained. I immediately called for housekeeping to come and change the bed. They did not want to do it before we went to bed. Upon demanding, they came and flipped the same sheets over. The towels is the bathroom were also stained. We had several nasty stained towels throughout the week. There were also no wash cloths. I missed not having one.

The beach towels were thin, worn and smelled of must. I considered bringing my own and then opted to use the hotels. That was a mistake.

The truck was nice that it was available but in rough condition.
The food was average at the pool bar.

The dive shop was fine. Although, the only wetsuits they rent are shorties. I did end up buying a full 3m because mid week I was so cold I would have been finished diving. The dive masters were worthless. They pointed nothing out on the boat dives. Explained nothing of what could be expected to see at the sights...a response of no guarantee.

I will return to Bonaire for the diving but I will not be returning here.

Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank travelgirl3644
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arnaudville, Louisiana
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed March 12, 2014

Food in restaurants are a little on expensive side. Food quality adequate but nothing to write home about. We only ate in pool restaurant once (chicken ok) and at Ingredients Restaurant once (food better prepared). Some friends complained wait staff was slow. Of course, we are on "Island Time". We went to Vander Tweel Grocery (nice, large, clean) and got food for our own preparation. Nice Stovetop but No oven. However, the chef was wonderful and baked a recipe dish for me that I had made. Staff go out of their way to be helpful and are smiling and friendly.
Diving is some of the best in the world and so easy to dive off the pier at the resort. So easy it is hard to go to the effort of driving to other island dive sites. I will say it is WORTH THE EFFORT to drive to other sites though. Resort Boat dive staff very friendly and knowledgable about the area and marine life. Make every effort to locate special things guests want to see...seahorses, turtles, etc.

Hope to go back in the next couple of yrs.

Room Tip: Ask for garden, ocean or poolside locations/views.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank divegranny1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed February 27, 2014

We were there for a week as part of a Dive Store trip in February and I don't quite know how to rate Buddy's. First, the good - The Dive Operation. The dive shop is run very well. Helpful and friendly staff. Love the drive through air/nitrox facility to pick up your tanks.
The average - The restaurant food. The food was average or even below average it never got better than that.
The not so good - The service at the hotel was a bit slow and could have been much better and the restaurant staff especially at lunch were incredibly slow to acknowledge us and take orders. It got a bit better after we talked to the manager. Evening waiters were better but service was inconsistent. The bad thing was that the experience off putting enough that our group will probably be looking at staying elsewhere the next time we come to Bonaire. In this age of competition for the tourist dollar you need to look at all aspects of your operation to stay competitive. Come on Buddy's, I challenge you to up your game because I want to go back there.

Room Tip: All rooms have a good view of the water.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Brian S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
40 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2014

The Buddy Dive Resort is a good place for scuba divers to stay. This place truly caters to the divers. The grounds are clean and the beach restaurant has a nice menu that should satisfy everyone.
Keep in mind that there is NO beach. The property is on the water but sits on a 15 foot cliff above it. There are stairs down to the dive shop and boat docks. While there are stairs from the docks into the water, they aren't really setup for swimmers or snorkelers. As for snorkeling, there are generally barren sand flats from the cliff out to the wall edge in waters from 6 to 30 feet deep.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank World_Journal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hochwald
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 22, 2014

I stayed in Buddy Dive Resort with my wife in January/February 2014. We had a great time in this Diver's Hotel and felt always welcome. Okay, if one does not dive, then it is probably not the right Destination, but then you would Need to go to another Island. We were absolute beginners in diving and did the OWD course here. So we did not rent a car and explored the other obviously nice places but also the Buddy house reef is a great experience and made it very enjoyable for us. Absolutely recommendable.

Room Tip: we had room 704 which was a nice and large appartment with a newly renovated bath room. What might b...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank aishteru
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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