The Bonaire is a very good hotel - we visited with a 3 year old and a baby, staying in a 1 bedroom apartment through Thomsons.
The hotel is well maintained and very family orientated (with only a handful of guests without children). There is a large, main swimming pool with an entertainment stage and bar, along with a completely separate splash pool for young children with a pirate ship with water slides, several small water slides and a shaded area and shallow water throughout. There were lots of deckchairs available (although we did go outside peak season), although many were reserved with towels and no one in sight!
There is also an inside pool, small playground and a soft play room (which had seen better days). There was also a childrens creche / childcare which seemed well attended although we didn't use it. Thomsons also have swap boxes, ideal for borrowing inflatables for the pool etc.
The apartment was very modern and well furnished to a good standard with large wardrobes for storage. There was a double bedroom (two 3ft beds), modern bathroom with shower over the bath, hairdryer and body/hair wash.
The kitchenette area was small but well equiped, although there is no oven. There was 2 hob rings, microwave, full size fridge (with small freezer area at top), toaster, kettle and equipment you wouldn't expect (or need?) - hand blender, lemon squeezer, olive oil dispenser, coffee filter etc.
The lounge area had a table with 4 chairs and two sofa beds (one of which we moved into the bedroom for our 3 year old). Both rooms had black out curtains and the double glazed door to the patio also had a high safety chain (although unfortunately they didn't put one on the main door). There was also a large flat screen TV with all the main english channels.
The hotel is on the edge of the resort, meaning a pleasant location and I doubt any room has a 'bad view'. We were at the back of block 4, overlooking the tennis court with tree covered mountains in the distance - which was very quiet. If you want a balcony with more going on, ask for a pool view - but you will also get a lot of noise in the day and evening from the entertainment.
Food / catering
We went self catering for half the holiday - the kitchenette is fine for breakfast and lunch and if you use the table, you can also do simple evening meals. There is a Bip supermarket about 250 metres away - open 7 days a week with a fair range, along with nice cakes and fresh french baguettes and bread. Prices were fair as long as you buy the local spanish brands - you will pay a lot if you insist Kelloggs, PG Tips, but there is no need too. If you are going to try and do evening meals yourself for more than a few days, you will probably need to go to a bigger supermarket. There are several in Cala Millor (including Lidl and Mercadona), however most are at the far end and not practical to go to unless you have a hire car or get a taxi back.
However there is an Eroski up the side street directly as the main Cala Millor beach starts (near the tourist info booth) which had a very good range and was a bit cheaper than the Bip.
We then went half board for the remainder of the holiday and it appears cheaper to do this directly with the hotel on arrival, rather than in advance through Thomsons. It was 28 euros per adult (47 euros for all inclusive) a day with 75% off for 3-6 year olds and 50% off for 7-12 year olds. The restaurant staff were very friendly, especially with the children. There was a very good breakfast (all the normal options along with pancakes and loads of fresh fruit). Evening meals were also good quality and there was a fair range. They also made an effort for vegetarians (such as vegetable lasagne, vegetable tarts etc). There is also a low level buffet counter for children to use.
Entertainment / bar
Drinks are dearer in the hotel than out in the resort, but the same is true of any hotel - a pint was 3 euros, a (plastic) glass of Coke 1.85 euros.
The Thomson entertainment team definitely work hard and get top marks for effort (particularly with the childrens entertainment), although the quality of the entertainment isn't to as high a standard as you might get at the big UK chains like Haven, Butlins, Parkdean etc. There were also several day time activities, football, waterpolo, games etc around the pool if that is for you, but no pressure to join in (although you can't avoid the noise around the pool).
The hotel is a 5 minute walk from a very pleasant harbour with lots of restaurants and bars, together with boat trips along the coast. There is also a flat promenade, ideal for pushchairs, that goes all the way into Cala Millor (you could walk several miles on the flat if you wanted) with lots of shops and restuarants. The whole area is bustling in the evening with some very good street entertainment acts and a safe and pleasant atmosphere - virtually all families and older couples.
There is also a bus stop near the hotel that will take you into Cala Millor regularly throughout the day for 1.85 euros and a land train that does a 1 hour round trip into Cala Millor and Cala Pinos for 4.50 euros.
The downside of the hotel is that there is no beach nearby. There are some man made beaches in Cala Bona - about 15/20 minute walk to the best (but still small) one. If you want a good, large beach you need to go into Cala Millor which was a 30 minute walk with kids/pushchair - so not ideal if you want to go to the beach each day. Also the resort is on the east coast of Majorca meaning that you are looking at an 80/90 minute airport transfer.
There were a few niggles with the hotel - but all very minor, things like you need to pay a deposit for the TV remote control but they don't tell you that when you check in - so you get to your room and then have to walk back to reception before you can use the TV. Maid service is 5 days a week, but they don't tell you which days. We also emailed the hotel beforehand to say we didn't need a cot as we were bringing our own, but we were still given one. We then asked for it to be removed to give more space, but they never did.
However minor points aside, this is a very good hotel in a nice resort and I wouldn't hesitate to firmly recommend it to friends or family, and I am confident you will have a very good holiday there.
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- Also Known As:
- Protur Bonaire Aparthotel Hotel Cala Bona
- Protur Bonaire Aparthotel Cala Bona, Majorca