Den Laman Condominiums – Our Review
Tucked quietly away just off the Hato roundabout, at the start of “hotel row,” is one of our favorite boutique destinations on Bonaire. With an enviable location overlooking Bari Reef and Klein Bonaire and a front row seat for dramatic island sunsets, Den Laman Condominiums is a favorite among discerning Bonaire visitors. Loyal repeat guests book here early — and for very good reason.
Each of Den Laman’s sixteen contemporary studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments offer upscale living with fully equipped kitchens and spacious balconies perfect for soaking up the island’s ambiance. Their oceanfront units have some of the most enviable views you’ll find on Bonaire. There’s an onsite dive shop, one of the best house reefs on the island, a waterfront restaurant just downstairs from your room, and great amenities all within walking distance.
Den Laman Accommodations
Let’s start with what makes staying at Den Laman so special. The overall experience here is that of a small and intimate boutique hideaway. It starts with the tasteful and stylish decor of these roomy condos. Breezy and large outdoor living areas are well furnished (they practically beg you to soak up the views, cocktail in hand). Well-appointed kitchens put every necessity at a cooks fingertips (including ovens with cooktops, toasters, fridge with ice maker, microwaves and dishwashers). Indoor and outdoor dining tables and comfortable seating make staying here enjoyable, These are indeed condominiums that a guest can get very used to spending time in.
Diving at Den Laman
When you’re heading to Bonaire, it is often to explore the island’s famed underwater world. Staying at Den Laman offers the best of Bonaire diving just a few feet from your condo, whether you’re a diver, snorkeler or both. The onsite dive operation, Dive Friends Bonaire, and easy access to shore or boat diving make for a carefree dive vacation.
Dive Friends offers the convenience of tanks 24/7 for shore diving anywhere on the island (be sure to take advantage of tank exchange at any of their other six locations). Their recently renovated pier complete with rinse tanks and showers (reserved exclusively for guests of Den Laman and Sand Dollar Resort next door) make shore diving and boat trips as easy as waking up and strolling from your front door to the dock.
Dive Friends also offers two-tank morning boat dives each day from this location, with one-tank afternoon boat dives available (with a minimum of 4 divers). You can rent any needed gear from their onsite shop, store and dry your gear in their ventilated and secure gear storage area (by the dive shop), and use the complimentary pull carts to get your gear to the dock or your truck. A second set of rinse tanks near the tank pick-up area makes it even easier for you to rinse your stuff after a full day of shore diving around the island.
But what really makes staying at Den Laman extra special for divers is the amazing house reef. Den Laman is lucky to be situated overlooking Bari Reef, considered one of the most prolific stretches of coral reef for marine life diversity in the Caribbean. It is, hands down, one of Bonaire’s best shore dives. For snorkelers, finning around and under the pier, along the reef, or just down the beach at the “Aquarium” is not to be missed, with plenty of ocean critters to see in the super calm shallows, all right in front of the resort.
When we aren’t under water, we happily spend time lounging on Den Laman’s small sand beach or chilling on the pier. The combo of swaying palms, comfy lounge chairs, and the gentle lapping of waves — along with an ice cold beverage from Breeze ‘n Bites waterfront restaurant, just a few steps away — is the perfect way to while away a lazy Caribbean afternoon.
Just want to walk downstairs for a great meal? Den Laman is the home of Breeze ‘n Bites waterfront bar and restaurant. Located on the ground floor with indoor as well as oceanfront dining, Chef Dick, the owner, serves up delicious fare daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. (Side note: prior to Den Laman Condominiums, this location was originally the site of the Den Laman Restaurant decades ago, where a young Chef Dick learned and perfected his craft). The food here is terrific — our favorite is probably the Friday night Fish & Steak special served on the deck overlooking the pier and Klein Bonaire. It comes with a complimentary bottle of wine and spectacular sunsets — the perfect evening complemented with great food!
Eddie’s Restaurant, just behind Sand Dollar Resort next door, also offers a great alternative for evening dining. Be sure to check out their live music nights, when you can enjoy their Caribbean cuisine while jamming out with TAFKAH, one of Bonaire’s resident musicians.
When you stay at Den Laman, you put yourself in the middle of it all without sacrificing the privacy and quiet you crave when on vacation. Within walking distance you’ll find a well-stocked drugstore, a market featuring many popular American and European brands and exceptional assortment of spirits, liquors, beers, and wine, an ice cream shop, dive retail shop, hairdresser, two spas, full-service gym, fun bars and more.
The shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions of downtown Kralendijk are also a relaxing seafront stroll away (or a short drive by car, if you prefer to expend less energy). You’re a short drive from the island’s best central and northern dive sites. At Den Laman you truly are in the center of it all.
Why We Love This Resort
There’s so much to love about Den Laman, it’s hard to narrow things down. But the location, quality of accommodations, private beach and pier along with fantastic diving and snorkeling is tops in our book. Small is good … and Den Laman Condominiums offers an intimate vacation style with big resort amenities, all in a perfectly small package.