As you can see from the reviews here, one tends to either love the Sorobon or hate it. And apart from some relatively minor management issues, I think your experience of the Sorobon depends entirely on what your holiday focus and interests are.
First of all, the Sorobon has a fabulous location. All cottages have a view of the most beautiful turquoise tropical bay you are ever likely to see. The beach is lovely and sandy (something of a rarity on Bonaire), the water shallow (this is probably the only beach in Bonaire without a drop-off), and as the entire (huge) bay is barely waist deep, this is an ideal spot if you have children, especially small children, or if you are an avid windsurfer. There are two windsurfing places next door offering rentals and instruction. They have good shops attached and one has a nice little beach bar with good food and reasonable prices.
It is also an ideal location if you want to lie on a deck chair and work on your tan. The Sorobon is quite peaceful, and the grounds are nicely landscaped, filled with flowers, birds and butterflies. The tiny, amusing Bananaquits joined us daily for breakfast, and we put a little dish of juice out for them daily on our deck...makes for great photos.
We used their meal plan for breakfast and they put on a nice spread. We dined there a few evenings and the food was actually pretty good...**be aware that Bonaire is NOT a good destination for foodies**. Most meals are crashingly mediocre and you get tired not only of the boring food but the Michelin Star pricing. Eating out in Bonaire is expensive, and usually disappointing. So the Sorobon actually compares rather favourably with the local restaurants, and even has kid friendly, inexpensive items on the menu. The pumpkin soup was delicious!
There are two big drawbacks to the Sorobon. The first is the sand flies. We arrived during the "rainy" season and while waiting in the outdoor lobby to check in (our rooms were not quite ready), we were bitten alive. No one suggested we slather on mosquito spray, bottles of which should be on every table. Because a lot of the resort is built on decking over the sand, the sand underneath cannot be raked to break up the sandfly nests. So in spite of reasonably diligent raking of the beach and sandy paths, the place is a sandfly palace. And the bites are horribly itchy. Sandflies make mosquitoes look like...well, flyweights!
The second big drawback is the mosquitoes. A lot of the Sorobon's spaces are open air, and that includes the dining areas and the wifi access lounge area. And since there is a small but persistent risk of Dengue fever in Bonaire, it is very important to minimize your load of mosquito bites. So be sure to have the overhead fans on when you sit and eat or wifi, and don't forget your mosquito repellant. Again, the hotel should have spray bottles scattered about.
Smaller issues were: cottage layouts were cramped and inconvenient, my favourite features being the fact that the tiny fridge door opens into the bathroom door, so if you are using the fridge, you can't get in or out of the bath or bedroom. And BTW, do not come to the Sorobon thinking you are really getting a kitchen. The fridge is miniscule, the cooker is a hot plate, and the kitchen is NOT fully stocked. There is no way mom is going to have any fun preparing family meals in the Sorobon cottages. No way. Add to that no dishwashing liquid, no tea towels or dishcloths. Nope. None. And certainly no dishwasher. So buy a meal plan.
Note too that there are NO grocery stores nearby. If you want to cook for yourself, you need a vehicle to drive into town for groceries. Which you will have to do often as the fridge and cupboard space is teensy.
I too ran into maintenance and safety issues. Our screens were ripped, so we had to keep the doors closed to keep mosquitoes out. The air conditioner was powerful, but it is in the tiny bedroom and blows an icy wind straight onto the bed...no way to have it on and not lie in an arctic gale. That really bothered me...I had to hang a wind baffle. And because there is no A/C in the living area, which is where the only other bed is, our teen was too hot at night.
Hot water is plentiful by mid-day but there is none in the mornings. I take it the water heater is turned off last thing at night. So to wash morning dishes you have to boil your own water. Heavens to Betsey. Surely unlimited hot water is a base expectation at a luxury beach resort?
In spite of having three persons in the cottage and using the second bed, we only ever got two sets of towels. Go figga. The housekeeping crew was wonderful, but they missed the towel count every time.
On a more serious note, one night I was on the dock peering at the fish underneath. I stepped to the edge, and thanks to a completely loose board, was catapulted into the water. Happily, I missed the rocks, and was able to stay upright enough not to bang my head on the dock as I fell. But when I pointed out the nail-less board to management, they looked confused. Every day I checked and the board was just put back in place, never nailed down. What a hazard! Incredulous, I took the board out every night...it was always put back in the morning. But never secured. Someone is going to sue the pants off these guys one day.
Personally, I did not care for the Sorobon. I like to dive and explore, so we left the hotel daily in our rental truck to do just that. I love to snorkel, but found the long walk out to the interesting channel in the middle of the bay tiresome. I much preferred the condos and beaches in town, with full kitchens, more space, and reefs right off the rocky beaches.
My impression of the Sorobon is that it is run by kindly and well meaning persons who have no idea how to run a beach hotel, let alone a luxury beach hotel. It is a great place if you want a perfect beach, and have no ambitions beyond relaxing on a chaise with umbrella drinks. You can't beat it for that.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- On the quiet and tranquil Island of Bonaire, sits one of the most beautiful stretches of sand in the Caribbean. The resort has a private beach with shaded cabannas and lounge chairs. The shallow bay is protected by a coral reef and is ideal for swimmers, snorkelers and windsurfers. The 30 comfortable cottages offer splendid panoramic views of the bay's colorful wildlife both above and below the sea. A unique part of paradise where you find "privacy, luxury, nature, adventure, quality time with your family, romance, delicious food, fun, tranquility, piece, space, positive energy & wellness" Go to our website to download our most recent full color brochure ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotwire, Booking.com, Travelocity, Priceline, Cheap Tickets, TripOnline SA and HotelQuickly so you can book your Sorobon Beach & Wellness Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Sorobon Beach Hotel Kralendijk
- Sorobon Beach & Wellness Resort Bonaire/Kralendijk