"Our time in Bonaire was one of the most satisfying and restful of our family dive adventures with Global Dive Expeditions.

The hotel accommodations were superb, and the restaurant was enlivened by a colony of tame iguanas.

The island tours of the salt mines, flamingo marshes, and highlands (fresh goat, anyone?) were a well-planned complement to the underwater experiences.

There is truly something for everyone in Bonaire."

— Richard and Anne Marie Harris, Founding Members since 2005.

Resorts/Yachts/Dive Ops

Our Favorite Bonaire Resort

Our Favorite Bonaire Dive Operator

Our Favorite Bonaire Resort – Harbour Village

Bonaire is a word synonymous with diving. It’s shallow reefs accessible both by boat and by shore make it one of the easiest places to dive in the world. If you are a new diver, it’s the perfect place to start and grow your experience and if you are an experienced divers there are layers upon layers of wonders that await. There are little known caves and challenging diving on the windward side of the island. There is technical diving training and new ecosystems below recreational dive limits that can open up new delights. Bonaire is never-ending in its offerings.

There are no liveaboard dive boats here and as long as you plan to dive just on Bonaire and Klein Bonaire, it’s certainly not necessary. You can rent a condo and a car and dive on your own, book yourself into a full service dive resort or options inbetween The choice is yours.

At the upscale end of diving on Bonaire, I have both Plaza Resort and Harbour Village. Let me tell you the story of Harbour Village. I booked my first group into Harbour Village in the late fall of 2000. We had a great trip and rebooked again for November 2001. Six weeks before our scheduled trip, the planes hit the towers in NYC and tourism as we knew it collapsed. Harbour Village took this opportunity to close its doors. However, unlike many businesses that used 9/11 as an excuse to file bankruptcy and run away with clients money, Harbour Village returned all of our deposits. I was impressed and knew that I would use them in the future.

Meanwhile, we took our business over to Plaza Resort and were very happy with their operation for a number of years. A couple of years ago, theft at the resort became rampant and it was rumored to be an inside job at the hotel. About the same time, the manager of the dive operation left and when he did, many of our favorite divemasters and captains departed for other resorts. This was a signal to us that it was time to look around again at Bonaire. Harbour Village had reopened its doors and in 2008 we returned for a very happy week at the resort with a large group of divers. The only thing that wasn’t up to snuff was a lack of enthusiasm in our divemasters. However, we have enough enthusiasm with our diving family to cover it!

From www.harbourvillage.com

On the island of Bonaire in the Caribbean, accommodations available from the Harbour Village Beach Club offer the best of what the island has to offer. Located on the beach, along the marina or the lush courtyards, these luxurious rooms and suites offer beautiful appointments and unique decor.

Each Bonaire Beach villa is just a few steps away from the private beach. The beachfront suites offer a wet bar with mini-fridge and microwave, while the Premier suites offer full kitchens. Both accommodations come with separate sitting areas, and double hammocks on private lanais or terraces.

With these privileges, anyone will surely enjoy their well-appointed Caribbean Beach Villa accommodations during their stay on Bonaire Island.

Overall Feel of Harbour Village

The feel of the resort is more European than Caribbean. It’s not a “thatched hut” style hotel but more modern with soft king beds, mini fridges and well appointed bathrooms. It sits on one of the few private beaches on the island and definitely one of the nicest. There are plenty of beach chairs and blue water to keep you happy and fun snorkeling and diving right off the beach. They even have their own ship wreck in less than 60’ of water. Jump off the boat pier with your tank and come up at the restaurant on the other side of the resort!

Resort Spec Highlights

  1. On site dive operation
  2. Full service spa
  3. Fully equipped fitness center
  4. Beach restaurant and steak house available
  5. White sand beach
  6. Four levels of accommodation plus beach villas

Beach

As mentioned Harbour Village has one of the nicest beaches on the island. It’s easy to spend the day in the beach chair under the sun here!

Snorkeling

Right off the beach there is great snorkeling though it is not particularly a beautiful reef. It is rubble just off the beach in which you will find some great fish life, octopus, frogfish and sea horses. Over in front of the restaurant you will find schools of fish along with yellowheaded jawfish in the sand. If you swim just across the channel of the harbour you will come to a dive site called Something Special where you will find a nice reef system to snorkel on.

Bars and Restaurants

Before 9/11 Harbour Village offered five different places to eat but I don’t think that was sustainable. Now they serve at La Balandra which is designed to look like an old ship out next to the beach. It’s a great spot for meals and also serves as the bar. There is also a steak house on the property and a small area for breakfast near the swimming pool.

Food is good though often with groups it is slow getting out of the kitchen. The hotel accommodates us with beach dinners as well and are very willing to set up special events.

Spa

The spa is located in the back of the resort on the second floor and has its own cascade pool to give a relaxing effect. They are a full treatment spa offering various packages. It’s not often I am able to fit in spa treatments into my busy diving day so while I can say my guests enjoy the spa, I can’t give a first hand account!

Accommodations

Guest Rooms

There are two levels of guest rooms at the resort, one with courtyard view and one with marina view. The rooms are generally the same, just the view is different. The rooms have a separate living area to the bedroom and plenty of space.

The rooms are very nice but you don’t get the feeling you are on the water in a tropical location. If you can, upgrade to the beachfront suites. There are two types of suites, one and two bedroom. They face the water and have very nice balconies or patios (on the ground floor) with hammocks.

The resort is small so none of the rooms will have you walking all over the place. If you are a late night party person you might prefer the rooms nearer the bar so the noise at the dive center doesn’t wake you in the morning and if you are a morning person you might prefer the rooms away from the bar area.

Overall

I do like the European style of the resort since really on Bonaire there are no true “caribbean style” accommodations. It is the most upscale hotel on the island, has a great beach and nice diving and snorkeling at the resort. It’s just a short drive or shuttle to the main part of town and not too far from Lovers Ice Cream Shop!!

Our Favorite Dive Operator in Bonaire -Harbour Village Dive Operation

Divemasters on Bonaire are somewhat insidious so there’s always a lot of swapping around. You’ll meet divemasters year after year at different resorts. During my last trip to Bonaire in 2008, the divemasters were definitely burned out but we made our own fun. I’m sure new blood has taken over.

Facility & Operation

The resort has a nice dive shop and they are completely sufficient to teach. There are lockers to keep your things and you just throw them on the boat at the end of the dock. They have large rinse tanks for gear after the dives as well.

They have a couple of dive boats which run well and fast and are easy to get on and off of. However, their larger boat has a capacity for too many divers (I think about 20) so we were happy that the resort wasn’t full of divers on our last trip. Normally we have a private boat but due to the numbers of divers we were happy to share with the few other divers there.

The diving on Bonaire is so easy that it would be pretty tough to screw up an operation here. All of the 86 dive sites have moorings so you just drive up, tie up, brief and go. It runs very smoothly.

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