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“Tired-Looking But Great Snorkeling”

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Plaza Resort Bonaire
Ranked #8 of 22 Hotels in Kralendijk
Reviewed 22 December 2011

After trying a few other locations, we were delighted to finally check out the beach here. Because the beach is public, it is available to everyone even if you are not staying here. As we walked through the property, it looked similar to resorts where we have stayed in Mexico but in need of renovation. The waters, however, are teeming with a hugh variety of fish and sea creatures such as moray eels, octopus, and lobster. When you first enter the water you will be amazed at the variety you will see right off the bat. Take your time swimming from there to the yellow and blue Plaza Resort sign and you will be rewarded. This was by far the best snorkeling we experienced here, even at Klein Bonaire.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
7  Thank JemezPatti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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445 - 449 of 1,015 reviews

Reviewed 17 December 2011

I have stayed here many times, the last time three years ago, and had a great experience. So I didn't look elsewhere when booking again. Wow was I wrong!

The room was available when we arrived at 6am, which was nice. We had booked a two bedroom condo. The kitchen was not clean - there was still grease from the people who stayed there last. The AC didn't work. There are very few outlets. You had to unplug lights to charge your phone or camera.

The room had very slippery floors and the maid seldom left a bath mat. Many days we almost fell getting out of the high tub onto the slippy floor. The maid service was random. Sometime we got all new towels, sometimes she would take our towels and leave one or two new ones. Also there were no towels in the kitchen, no matches in the kitchen to light the stove.

Having the car rental at the hotel and not the airport was nice, but the parking lot was full of unrented cars and there were few spots for guests to park. The rental companies should make use of the back lot behind the tennis courts and leave spaces for guests

The dive shop was only so so. We didn't do any boat diving, only shore diving. Nitrox tanks were at a premium. For days they were not filled. We were given an excuse about the compressor but as soon as the manager came back from his days off, amazingly they became easy to get. I assume when he is away people are just lazy. The staff was also not friendly. You would ring the bell and someone would come but not quickly or look excited to help you. Also when we turned in our locker keys they were not friendly at all. They didn't say Good-Bye or come back soon.

We only ate at the hotel one day and it was pricy and not good.

We won't be back.

Room Tip: Stay somewhere else!
  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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6  Thank Divergirl0922
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 November 2011

Location is perfect and the appearance of the hotel must have been great just after it had opened its doors, but lack of maintenance, bad cleaning and poor service give this place a Ghost Town atmosphere.

  • Stayed: October 2011
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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2  Thank Wes26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 October 2011

The Plaza has some good points:
- fantastic buffet breakfast, complete with visiting little birds
- one of the only sandy beaches on the entire island
- nice Junior Suite rooms
- GREAT dive boat
- very pleasant staff

The Plaza has some crap points:
- constant nagging letters about leaving a/c on when we are not in the room. OK, it's 85 degrees and 130% humidity at 7 AM. Are we not paying for that "aaah" moment when we finally get some relief???
- $500 overcharge on room that took almost an entire month to credit
- whole facility has seen better days
- every drain clogged up (sinks and shower)
- door made horrible scraping noise against the floor - it was too long

BONAIRE IN GENERAL: this is NOT the Carribean of your sandy beach and hammock dreams. It's a coral reef volcanic remnant with nary a sandy beach to walk on. If you don't dive or snorkel don't bother.
Best moments as non-diver were: snorkeling from dive boat at Plaza, and horseback riding into Lac Bay. The Riding Academy Club owner Marion is a total sweetheart and the horses are the best! http://www.infobonaire.com/ridingacademy/

Room Tip: Junior suites are fine. Some rooms are renovated, some not. Don't hesitate to request a change.
  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
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2  Thank cootmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 October 2011

Following is my trip report for our recent dive trip to Plaza Resort Bonaire from October 1-8, 2011. For those of you that want to get right to the bottom line. Yes, we would return to Plaza Resort Bonaire without any hesitation. We were on the all-inclusive plan which I highly recommend and had a good time and found the resort met our expectations. Toucan Divers is a good dive operation and we would use them again.


Upon arrival at Flamingo International Airport, we went through Customs, gathered our bags and were promptly greeted by a shuttle driver from Plaza Resort Bonaire. We were immediately taken to the resort which is a 5 minute ride from the airport. The check-in process was efficient even though there was a lot of information about the all-inclusive package and the resort provided by the front desk staff. Fortunately, at 6:30 a.m. there was a room available for us. Note that if you take the red eye flight from Houston you should just go straight to bed and forget about the "mandatory" diving orientation. They will do that most any time you want and there is no urgency to dive on the first day anyway. We slept an hour and then rushed to the dive shop for orientation and an afternoon dive. By night fall we were zombies due to lack of sleep.


The resort is in average condition. I would guesstimate that they would need around 20 full time maintenance people just to maintain status quo at this huge resort. I only saw about 3 or 4. We found flower beds with weeds in them, loose or broken walkway tiles, lights out and areas that could use some general TLC, but overall it was very acceptable. There appeared to be some ongoing room renovations, but they kept it hidden from the guests.

The only areas at this entire resort that are air conditioned are the rooms, the rental car office and the dive shop. Otherwise, everything is an outdoor venue. However, with the steady ocean breeze we found the dining to be quite comfortable and relatively insect free. Just be prepared to dress comfortable and tolerate a little heat. The giant lobby is completely open air, but it is so far removed from the main resort that we only went there once or twice in a week.

The pool is large and is a nice area to relax . . . except when the local youth are dominating the place. I guess you can’t blame a resort for trying to help out the locals, but count on anywhere from 5 to 15 local kids to be running around the pool on weekends and a few other times. There is an odd sort of spa or sitting area in the center of the pool. I would not go near there because the kids hung out there and the water was very suspicious looking, if you know what I mean.

The beach is adequate for a dive resort and the Coconut Crash Bar is located right on the beach. Entry into the water is somewhat rocky so take water shoes for sure. The beach is more suited for snorkeling and diving than walking in the sand. The only time we found the beach chairs to be full was on cruise ship day. Plaza Resort has some sort of mutual agreement ($$) to allow cruise passengers to use the facilities. That was really a very minor inconvenience.

Someone asked me to compare this resort to Hotel Cozumel. I would say that this resort is about twice as large, has much better food, a better beach layout, but the pool is not as good. I would definitely rank Plaza Resort Bonaire a step above Hotel Cozumel.


We were in a ground floor Premium Grand Suite with a lagoon view (or more precisely a marina view) in the 3000 building. The room had been upgraded and was very nice. As far as room selection, most of the lagoon or marina view rooms (2000 or 3000 buildings) are pretty equal and have similar views. However, the ocean view rooms from 3001 to 3006 are obstructed by the Coconut Crash Bar and chairs and umbrellas. Try to get an ocean view room above 3006 for the best view. Basically, all pool view rooms have a poor view no matter what. The landscaping is large and blocks view of the pool from the ground floor rooms and you cannot see the ocean. Just an FYI, the 2000 building (Lagoon or Pool View) is closest to the dive shop and parking lot.

You could tell that a lot of money was spent renovating the Grand Suite rooms. The furniture was just as the internet photos show and the bathroom had a huge tub and glass enclosed rainfall shower. The shower had a bit of a design flaw that allows water to splash out on the floor in the bathroom. Just keep one of their huge hand towels down there to absorb the water and don’t fret about it. Note that wash clothes are not provided. We bought two cheap wash clothes before leaving and just left them in the room. This is some sort of European thing I was told.

There is a separate toilet room with a toilet and hand wash sink. This would allow for privacy for those traveling with someone other than a spouse or immediate family. Note to Plaza Resort, there are no towel racks in the newly renovated guest room toilet room or bath room. This appears to be an oversight considering how much time and money must have been spent on these rooms.

Our room had a nice view of a working marina and I like boats so it suited me just fine. Others may want to upgrade to an ocean view. There was a large patio with two chairs and a table. However, we really didn’t use the patio much since we were on the go all week diving, eating and drinking. We found those activities to be quite fulfilling with the all-inclusive package.

The beds were large and comfortable. The mattresses could have been softer, but I had no trouble sleeping after a hard day of diving, eating and drinking. Do you see the pattern here? The lighting in the room is pretty dim. Over the beds is nice lighting, but near the dressing area you could barely see to open the safe. There are standard American electrical outlets throughout the renovated rooms. I am not sure if it was 50 or 60 Hz power, but most modern electronics can use either.

The room had a very good digital safe and it did have a hair dryer which pleased the wife. The rooms are very large and the air conditioner worked very well in our room. One day I woke up with condensate dripping from the A/C unit, but that was my own fault for setting it to 16 degrees Celsius. My wife had to explain to me that it should be set around 22 degrees for normal room temperature.

Note to Plaza Resort, please add dive gear drying racks on the patio or balcony. There is no place at all to hang up wet suits and swim suits. This is further aggravated by the fact that the dive shop has very limited drying areas. For a dive resort there should be more accommodation for drying dive gear. Even some wooden slats mounted from wall to wall on the patio would be perfect.


The all-inclusive package at Plaza Resort allows guests to eat at either the Banana Tree Restaurant or the Coconut Crash Bar. Basically, you can order sandwiches and pizza at the Coconut Crash Bar for lunch. You will want to eat breakfast and dinner at the Banana Tree. The Banana Tree is a very nice outdoor venue with some very good dishes on the menu for dinner. We had steak, pasta, salads, seafood and it was all very good. Breakfast is buffet style and they have all the usual suspects including omelets and fried eggs. Service at the Banana Tree was pretty slow.

All-inclusive guests can also eat dinner at the Tipsy Seagull and receive a $36 credit per person off the price of dinner. We ate there on lobster night and had lobster/steak/fish, a couple of drinks and dessert and it cost us about $25 for two people. This is a good deal for those who want an upscale dining experience while seated directly on the water. The view is great from the Tipsy Seagull.

This is my main objection to the Plaza Resort All-Inclusive Plan. PLEASE JUST QUIT IT WITH THE FOOD AND DRINK TICKETS!!!! Every single time you get a drink or food you have to sign a ticket. We all know the reason for the tickets is to guilt the guests into adding a tip for each and every drink. This actually became very old after signing about 50 tickets in one week. Every single time you have to show your wrist band and a paper voucher for each person. Come on, a paper voucher at a dive resort!! I got so tired of worrying where the darn voucher was and trying to keep it dry all week. This also slows down getting a drink at the bar and makes you wait 5 to 15 minutes after eating so that you can sign a darn ticket. Plaza Resort should just add a mandatory tip to all-inclusive packages and be done with it.


Diving at Plaza Resort is with Toucan Divers. They operate a very nice dive shop with an amazing amount of rental gear and quanity of air and nitrox tanks. They kept more than an adequate supply of charged tanks on hand all week. They are very informal about the tanks and you can just walk up and grab one without any papers to sign or tank police watching you. Nitrox is free and they kept a good supply of nitrox available all week.

Many people chose to shore dive but we wanted to experience Bonaire boat diving since this was our first trip. They have two Island Hopper boats and a 42' Newton Dive Special. We were kind of shifted from boat to boat during the week but we were a small group of individual divers so that can be expected I guess.

The resort is very large. There is no way to avoid a lot of walking. The dive shop and parking lot are on the very outer edge of the resort. You must be very organized to enjoy this resort. You have to create a plan of action to avoid too many trips. You will want to pack your scuba gear and carry it with you to breakfast. The dive shop has lockers, but they clearly are not big enough for two divers and they only have enough lockers for sharing. We basically left our fins and regulators/computers in the lockers, hung up our BCD’s on drying racks and carried everything else to our room each day. The dive shop hanging area is very inadequate and will only accommodate about 10 divers’ gear and/or wet suits. If I had to suggest two things to Toucan Divers it would be to enlarge the equipment drying area and locker area.

This situation is further complicated by the fact that they have the big dive boat located on the other side of the marina because it will not fit under the bridge to get to the dive shop. If you are assigned to that boat you will need to walk to the dive shop to load your gear on a truck and then walk about 500 yards to get to the dive boat. We got switched from the dive shop boats to the marina boat and back to the dive shop boats all in one week.

The dive shop is well managed and the dive masters are experienced, knowledgeable and friendly. Once on a dive boat life is good. We thoroughly enjoyed the diving experience and the dive masters were very much interested in making sure that we had a good time. I was surprised that the dive shop hours were 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The dive boats leave at 8:30 a.m. so you have little time to solve any equipment issues or test nitrox tanks before the boats leave.


We found the diving at Bonaire to be excellent. Since this was our first trip we were very pleased that we were able to dive the south sites, north sites and Klein Bonaire. We did one night shore dive to the Salt Pier (Shhhh! don't tell anyone!!) and it was really great. We believe this was a legal dive, but nobody could confirm this for us so we just did it. If you find out they are allowing this dive it is well worth it. We also dove the Hilma Hooker, but I was not overly excited. I'm not much of a wreck diver unless it is really an unusual ship wreck.

Viz was excellent all week at about 80 to 100'. The northern dive sites had better viz for this week. Klein Bonaire had much better viz on the north side than the south side for some reason. Water temp according to my computer was 82 degrees and it was very comfortable diving.

One thing about our dive masters on the boats was that they let us dive our computer profiles and were willing to let us extend to the max. Our average dive time was probably 65 minutes and we did one dive to 75 minutes. Everyone on our boat was an experienced diver and air comsumption was never an issue. That makes for some really nice long underwater excursions.

We have always been told that Bonaire is one of the top diving destinations in the world. We found that it is about equal to Cozumel and Little Cayman in enjoyment. Every dive destination has it's own personality and Bonaire seems to have amazing versatility of dive sites and a huge population of smaller fish. Other areas have more larger sealife such as grouper, eels, sharks and turtles, but Bonoaire makes up for it with quanity.

If you haven't been to Bonaire and are thinking about it. Go!!


Plaza Resort Bonaire is a nice resort that just needs a little tweaking. The location is great and the new rooms are very nice. I could suggest a few things to them about each aspect of their operation to improve the overall guest experience. As I said at the beginning of this trip report, I would return to Plaza Resort with no hesitation based on the price of the current all-inclusive package. I also recommend Toucan Divers as a very good and professional dive operator.

Room Tip: Try to get an ocean view Premium Grand Suite that is 3007 or higher. Rooms 3001 through 3006 are ob...
  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
14  Thank South4Scuba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Plaza Resort Bonaire

Address: J.A. Abraham Blvd 80, Kralendijk, Bonaire
Region: Caribbean > Bonaire > Kralendijk
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Kralendijk
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Kralendijk
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Kralendijk
Price Range: €208 - €314 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Plaza Resort Bonaire 3.5*
Number of rooms: 126
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Enjoyment without limits, an all-inclusive vacation at Plaza Beach Resort Bonaire. This resort offers 126 spacious air conditioned oversized Suites, both Junior Suites and Grand Suites located either next to the Caribbean Sea or next to the marina laguna. Everything is included: from a delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet in our restaurant with sea view to water sport activities, a diving school and a cozy beach bar. With the best beach on Bonaire and a beautiful swimming pool, there is nothing that will stop you from having a vacation to always remember. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Plaza Resort Bonaire Hotel Kralendijk
Plaza Hotel Bonaire
Plaza Hotel Kralendijk
Plaza Resort Bonaire Kralendijk

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