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Belmar Oceanfront Apartments
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Reviews (217)
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All reviewsdive staffbuddy divethree bedroomshore divingnight securitycovered balconydive shophotel dockcommon spaceassigned unitgrocery storefull kitchenindividual ownersair nitroxbedroom bath unitshuttle driverdouble reef
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Reviewed November 10, 2013

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.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Thomas W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 19, 2013

The great experience started when we arrived on the overnight United flight from Houston at 5:30 AM. We were met at the airport by a taxi driver with a key to a temporary unit at Belmar where we were taken to get a little more sleep. They even had a little food and drink in the fridge for us. We transferred to our normal unit at check-in time later in the day.

The unit itself was very nice and well equipped. We used the kitchen for breakfast and lunch most days as well as dinner once or twice. There is a very good grocery store a five minute ride away. Our unit did have air conditioning in both the bedroom and living area.

Dive shop on site. Tanks available adjacent to the front office (to load into your truck for shore diving excursions) or at the dock on the water (for diving the house reef). We did 3 boat dives from Belmar to sites off of Klein Island as well as numerous shore dives around the island. We also dove the Salt Pier with Chrissie from Belmar as our guide. It was great.

The entire staff at Belmar are completely accommodating. They made the entire trip one that we won't forget. We will be back as soon as we can.

Bonaire is about diving and it is fantastic. Just grab some tanks, throw them in your truck and head off to the shore dive site of your choice. Shore diving with just your buddy sounded a little intimidating before we got there, but once we tried it, it was a blast.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Colocav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 13, 2013

This place was damn near close to perfect.....in fact, i dont think that I can say anything negative about the place....

#1 The view is STUNNING !

We were there for a week for my girlfriend to become certified to dive. Our apartment was #17. It was like living at IKEA for a week. The room was in pristine condition. Only issue was that there is no A/c in the main living room area which at times was very warm but if you open up the slats on the front door and open the patio door , you will create a nice breeze that cools off the apartment nicely. The bedroom had a/c and was fine all week.

Check-in was a breeze.....our flight landed around 6pm where a guy was waiting for us to take us to Belmar. When there he tossed us the keys to our room and thats it...Our rental car was gassed up and ready to go as well.....they had paperwork for the car to fill out and some info about our diving in the room and thats it......easy as you can get.

It was so nice to have the diveshop onsite and a dock behind the building with scuba tanks ready for you to grab and jump into the turquiose blue water. Chrissy and the team that run the diveshop do a fantastic job and run a great operation. Irene the dive instructor for my girlfriend, does a very professional and educational job when teaching how to scuba dive. She dont mess around and takes her job very seriously. I would recommend her if your interested in diving.

The pictures on their website are exactly as they are there at Belmar. Trust me , they are not pictures that were Photoshopped at all......I was really surprised by that...but its true.

All in all.....you cant go wrong....and will have a fantastic time.

Cant beat Belmar.......There is no doubt we will be back..

Scott

Room Tip: If your there for diving, and dont want to haul all your gear up a flight of steps then the first floor rooms might be better for you, but we had no problem on the 2nd floor....its really not that bad. Get a Deluxe room.....well worth it
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank nightraven77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 29, 2013

My family and I (2 divers and 1 non-diver) had a wonderful time at Belmar Oceanfront Apartments, it was beyond my expectations, comfortable bedrooms with air-conditioning, great kitchen (the unit we've stayed had recently renovated the kitchen late 2012), it invites you to cook something nice and enjoy looking at the sea. The best place is obviously the balcony, the shortest way between comfort and nature, seat down and enjoyed the sunset many times.
Facilities available on site is a plus, free tanks and easy access to the sea through a pier makes your dives a lot easier, great dive site at your doorstep.The dive shop is also very nice, both hotel and dive shop staff are very helpful and makes you feel at home. Free wi-fi helps you to stay connected (not that you should miss your cyber life).

Room Tip: Any room will provide a ocean view
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank 00_Alex_Xavier_00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 28, 2013

We stayed a week in one of the three bedroom two bath penthouses(#21). There are two of these units. They are on the third floor, no elevator. The first flight of stairs is a circular stair case which was a bit tough to negotiate when carrying stuff or when it was wet. After a small landing the second flight of stairs goes straight up. The bedrooms can be closed off and air conditioned. None of the bathrooms are ensuite. The main living area is very large but not air conditioned. As it was September it was very hot in the apartment. It gets the full afternoon sun. There are adjustable awnings to give you some relief but there is no getting around it being hot. Because the kitchen and living room (all the living space) is open to the elements we also had an issue with bugs, occasional birds and a couple of bats.

The IKEA-ish kitchen doesn't have a lot of counter space. A large dining table would seat six. A separate sitting area has a love seat and two chairs.

The floor is very slick when wet.

Two of the bedrooms are to the rear of the unit and during the day if you open the doors and windows in them you could get some cross ventilation. A down side, the wind was so strong that doors in our unit (and others) are constantly slamming closed. There are wooden wedges provided as door stops but they were sometimes ineffective.

There is not much privacy between the two penthouses. The penthouses are "L" shaped. They can be combined to form one large six bedroom 4 bath unit that is "U" shaped. As such there is an ugly garage door type partition that can be rolled up to combine the units. As the penthouses are adjacent to each other and both open air you can hear everything going on next door. We had pleasant but boisterous neighbors...zero peace and quiet.

The whole complex is "U" shaped facing the water with the Oceanside pool in the center of the "U". As every unit has a patio or balconey and the pool is right below it was never quiet. People chatting at the pool, music blaring from various units. No way to shut out the noise. All you could do was hole up in your bedroom with the air on if you wanted any peace and quiet.

The dive operation is not exceptionally convenient. You have to analyze nitrox tanks at the back of the property and shlep them to the front/dock. The locker area is inadequate...to small, dark, and mosquito ridden. We usually only left weight belts there and schlepped gear up to the third floor...making a wet slick mess of our living area. It ended up being a lot of work just to dive the house reef.

Only three 2 tank boat dives offered a week. This was a disappointment and a reason not to stay here again.

The house reef out front is okay.

A very nice restaurant/bar across the street a couple hundred feet south(?) at the "Hotel Roomer". Had their Indian Roti one night. Chicken Sate another. Other options included Garlic shrimp and Creole fish. Menu limited but good. No dining facilities at the Belmar. Too hot to cook in our unit.

Won't stay here again because of the noise factor, heat, lack of privacy, poor dive locker arrangement and the fact only three boat dives offered a week. Not as relaxing, quiet and convenient a vacation as we might have liked.

Positives: Staff all pleasant. View from our unit was spectacular. Unfortunately negatives outweighed the positives.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank J&S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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