How to Select the Perfect Place to Stay on Bonaire!
You can talk to friends or the local dive shop. Maybe ask someone from the group you kiteboard or windsurf with. You can scour the internet and review sites or talk to a travel agent in your town. And at the end of the day, you’ll get as many different recommendations on what’s the best hotel or resort for a Bonaire vacation as there are opinions. Here are some guidelines you can use to help sort through the madness of choosing.
1. Define your Bonaire vacation and the people traveling
To locate your perfect Bonaire accommodations, the first question to ask is “Why am I going to Bonaire?”. That can be as simple as “to scuba dive as much and as cheaply as possible with my dive buddy” to a more involved goal of “have a romantic anniversary getaway to reconnect to my significant other while participating in our favorite sport and creating lasting memories together”. See what I mean?
The vacation purpose and who the travelers are and what they really want to get out of the vacation starts the elimination process. Family needs tend to fit better at accommodations featuring apartments with kitchens, as well as facilities to make it easy on the kids. Couples and groups of friends made up of hardcore sports enthusiasts may seek something else, particularly if there are people along on the trip just looking to relax.
Figure out the “wants” your travel party needs satisfying.
2. Find a location that fits your vacation plan
Even though Bonaire is only 112 square miles (and you can get wherever you need to go in minutes rather than hours), it makes sense to orient your search to support your main activity focus. No one comes to Bonaire to lie around and do nothing, right?
Proximity to dive operations, snorkel spots, town, windsurf or kiteboard beaches can eliminate wasted time and motion. Example – if you plan to get on a dive boat every morning, it makes sense to stay somewhere that you can just roll out of your room and get on a boat each day. Or if you are commuting to Lac Bay, the kite beach at Atlantis, or southern shore dive sites all week, do you really want to drive through town traffic twice a day?
Check out the locations of what you’ll be doing and where the accommodation is located.
3. Decide on a budget for your accommodations
For the most part, there are costs you can’t alter such as airfare, activities, rental cars, etc. But your accommodation costs are another story. You can spend anywhere from $75.00 to $750.00 per night. That’s a lot of room to save or splurge!
Once you understand what the marketplace is for flights and such, you can quickly change your overall vacation budget by scaling up or down on your hotel. It’s pretty easy to find pricing for accommodations online. So if cost is a primary driver, narrow down and find your comfort zone. Rating systems can help, because there is a correlation between cost and quality. A knowledgeable travel professional can help you find your sweet spot.
4. List the services and amenities you need
Want an oceanfront setting, restaurant, bar, dive operation, pool, beach, spa or fitness center? Some places have lots of onsite amenities and services — some accommodation options don’t have any. Bonaire has every type of lodging option from full service resorts to small apartment complexes and even self-serve economy rentals.
Ask yourself — do you plan to spend time cooking or going to restaurants for most meals? Will you be using the services of a dive shop often? Do you mind staying where there is no onsite management or front desk to assist with any possible issues or problems? You can make a list of amenities and services you ‘must have’ or would ‘like to have’ to help narrow down your search. The more stuff (amenities and services) at your fingertips, the less time and hassle you endure. And if your trip is only for a week, sometimes time is more precious than money. If you’re going for a three-week vacation, then the reverse may be true as well.
5. Room requirements
Bed, AC, bathroom – check. If it was only that simple. What about eating? Do you prefer a restaurant onsite to have some or most of your meals? If you’re a culinary chef -or simple cook- and need to reduce costs or have special diet restrictions, you’ll want to be sure you have a well- equipped kitchen. There are several well stocked grocery stores on the island as well as lots of great restaurants in town.
What about views from the room itself? Ask yourself if an ocean view balcony or patio is a priority (it costs more). If it is not comfortably sized and furnished, you probably won’t spend much time there. Ditto if you can simply walk outside to a fantastic beach or seaside lounge area. Be sure you know what bedding arrangement the accommodation has and what your travel party requires to sleep comfortably. Trying to cut corners on space and bedding needs can end up ruining a trip for someone. Remember – it’s a vacation!
With enough research, evaluation and some good advice, you’ll be able to find a place that fits your vacation needs. And you’ll come a lot closer to finding the perfect spot that actually meets your expectations and enhances your Bonaire experience.
Top Bonaire Accommodation Options
Here’s a quick view of some of Bonaire’s best accommodation options gleaned from years of experience booking vacations to the island and customer feedback.
Popular Oceanfront Dive Resorts – Buddy Dive Resort, Captain Don’s Habitat, Sand Dollar & Den Laman Condominiums, Divi Flamingo Beach Hotel, Plaza Beach Resort Bonaire, Delfins Beach Resort
Intimate Upscale Apartments – Den Laman Condominiums, Belmar Oceanfront Apartments, Bellafonte Luxury Hotel, Bamboo Bonaire
Convenient for Windsurfing and Kiteboarding – Belmar Oceanfront Apartments, Bellafonte Luxury Hotel, Delfins Beach Resort, Grand Windsock Bonaire
Affordable Value – Sand Dollar Condominiums, Bonaire Oceanfront Apartments, Den Laman Condominiums
Luxury & Romance – Harbour Village Beach Resort, Bellafonte Luxury Hotel, Delfins Beach Resort, Bamboo Bonaire, Belmar Oceanfront Apartments
Looking for advice?
If you would like to speak to someone that is on island throughout the year, is familiar with the accommodation options and hears feedback from other guests regularly, then give us a call (817-416-2580 / USA: 800-748-8733). We are happy to schedule a free consultation to discuss your needs and options.