We have now stayed at Belmar three times, obviously returning because everything was great. The Office staff, many of whom are also Dive staff - and who all dive - are very courteous, and quite knowledgeable about the island, the dive sites, diving, and how to run an operation like Belmar really, really well. The "house reef" by itself is a good dive - check the photo of three fishy dive friends photographed at the Belmar reef - but naturally on Bonaire the attraction is Shore Diving. Staff advice about where (and when, just as important!) is great. We have arrived very early morning on a red-eye flight, early evening and late night (delayed flight) and are always met by a cheerful shuttle driver in a mini-van setup to move the right balance of human and dive gear cargo; the same service returns you to the airport and both arrival and return are included in your rental. There has always been some food and drink in the refrigerator waiting for us. Keys are all provided correctly; there is no confusion. A typical-for-Bonaire "crew-cab" short-bed pick-up truck is provided to hold all your dive gear; it's good for two dives each for 4 people or one dive each for 4-people and includes a 4-tank rack in the truck bed.
Bedrooms are air-conditioned so one can sleep well in the heat, (and open up the Dive Camera housing in a lower humidity environment), but the remainder of the apartment is essentially open to the large balcony, really a room unto itself; you can close sliding doors between the balcony and the large, long combination kitchen, dining area living room, but aside from an excessive desire for privacy, why would one? The tropics, the sea air, the breeze all waft in and envelope you. Incidentally, there usually IS a breeze here.
Kitchen appliances are all high end, many of them European; the Kitchens themselves have all top-flight cabinetwork and counters. Both Apartment and Balcony furniture is durable and comfortable and in excellent condition. Bathrooms are usually very modern and also feature European fixtures and trim. Power outlet availability is usually both 120 VAC (North American) and 220/240 VAC (European), although the numbers of each type of these outlets will vary somewhat from apartment to apartment. If there is anything missing from the kitchen, (like one glass too few), the staff can take care of that during normal business hours within a few minutes.
There is a Dive Tank lock-up area which is kept well-stocked throughout the day with 80 and 60 cubic foot Air and Nitrox tanks; extra tanks are available for night dives. There are good wash-down facilities for equipment and showers for divers, as well as a lockable storage room for hanging and drying your equipment. The Belmar "office" is a combination office, dive classroom and dive shop which perhaps sounds a bit chaotic but works very well indeed. The facility includes a nicely-kept, heated pool, ample deck area with chaise lounge, a combination dive and dive boat dock, a separate shaded dock also with chaise; both docks also have stairs down into the sea. The facility has night security on patrol.
This is the place to go if you want excellent facilities, staff, diving and prefer to cook and eat on your own schedule, (instead of like that at an all-inclusive resort). In short, are we returning again? Most definitely "Yes!" Our only problem is fitting in a return time between work and downhill skiing, but at the time I wrote this review, we had already booked our return for two weeks at the end of ski season.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A small and intimate resort with a colorful garden and of course, spectacular ocean views wrapped around terraces and balconiesTake leave of your everyday stress and step into an exclusive resort that refreshes your body and soul!Now we have made it even easier, try our Drive, Dive and Stay packages and Surf Away Packages. Or any one of our three diving packages - unlimited shore diving, 1-tank boat dives, or 2-tank boat dives. Not to worry we have non-diver rates as well.Belmar Oceanfront Apartments Bonaire offering first class accommodations to scuba divers, sun-seekers, snorkelers, birdwatchers, nature lovers, and especially the "get away from it all" vacationer. Enjoy shore diving from our resort anytime of day. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Belmar Oceanfront Apartments Hotel Bonaire
- Belmar Oceanfront Apartments Bonaire/Kralendijk