Captain Don's Habitat
Travel Blogs from Bonaire
... of giant iguanas, and blue-tailed lizards, some goats and lots of cacti groves. The farm itself is an enclosure a little larger than the main floor of our house with varieties of butterflies, lots of flora, parrots, and a gigantic koi pond. Before being let in, the guide showed us 4 little terrariums with butterfly pests in them. The guide catches them in the enclosure before they can do much damage, puts them in the terrariums to show guests, and then takes ...
Today was Bonaire, a Dutch territory, 12 degrees above the equator. We could fly to Venezuala in 15 min. The port city is Kralendijk and looked very Dutch and European...very pretty. Dad and I got off the ship when we docked and walked across the street to a little market. Ran into some local artisans that had some really neat things, looked in some shops, and had lunch at the Boudoir Cafe...crab salad ...
Ten and a half hours of sleep is sure nice!
We started out our morning with plans to dive at a deep reef called Alice in Wonderland, but when we got there we found way too many cars for our liking (that's what we get for sleeping in, right?). We headed off to the next site down, Angel City. This is a double reef area, meaning that there is a shallower reef, then sand, then a deeper reef past it. The far side of the reef drops ...
How has this resort rated in the past?
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Historical Traveler Reviews Captain Don's Habitat Bonaire
Just returned from our third annual trip to Capt. Don's and can't wait to return next year. We stay in a two bedroom, two bath cottage with full kitchen. We've had the same housekeeper for three years, she loves her job and it shows. As Innkeepers, we are picky and our cottage was always shining with every need and request met. We have looked at most of the other "resort" accommodations offered and Capt. Don's meets our requirements. The restaurant, Rum Runners, is not our favorite and we usually only eat there once or twice during our two week stay, although our teenager loves the pizza. We do frequent the Deco Stop Bar nightly - excellent staff! We LOVE the Dive staff and have become friends with several special ones. Highly recommend Capt. Don's...be sure to look for the Aspen Diver's T-shirt hanging in the bar area....it's mine!
Can't wait to return
Having read some of the latest reviews on Tripadvisor we were a little worried about our second stay at Captain Don's, Bonaire. Unnecessary - it was fantastic. The dive staff are amazing and couldn't do enough - the restaurant staff are equally brilliant and the food was superb. The diving was awesome and that was just on the house reef - overall we had a great time and cannot wait to return. On the minus side the first time we stayed in a deluxe junior suite, this time in an oceanfront villa. the junior deluxe is definitely a better choice and the oceanfront rooms could do with refurbishment - but hey who spends 24 hours in the room!
I must have stayed at a different Captain Don's!
I'd booked a diving holiday at Captain Don's before I read some reviews and frankly, having read them, was quite worried about what I would find. Thankfully my experiance was of a first class operation, with smiling staff, great food and excellent service at Rumrunners. (Try and get Floris to make you a managers Bacardi mudslide during happy hour, wow!) Nothing was stolen, the Diving setup is fantastic and I simply love the concept of "Dive Freedom". I cant wait to get back but must sort out the ?400 excess baggage KLM charged to get off the Island first.
Capt. Dons was simply awesome. The diving was some of the best I have experienced in my 29 years of diving. I have been to this resort 14 times and remains the best on the island. I must admit, the front office staff needs a "wake up" call when it comes to customer service, but my interaction with them is minimal, so off we go.The dive staff and crew is exceptional and the unlimited diving is a great feature of the resort. I highly recommend this resort to anyone. No big frills, just awesome diving and great food,accomodations.The scenery around the pool is great,too!I have visited other resorts on the island, and you are not treated as well and the staff looks like a bunch of nuns looking for a days work. Capt Dons is the best.
Second Visit - Honeymoon
Having visited Habitat Bonaire and Habitat Curacao in 2001 (10 days in each over a three week period) we decided after much deliberation that we would spend our honeymoon at Captain Dons Habitat Bonaire, believe me it was a tough choice as both sites have theri merits.... the Pool at Habitat Curacao is unforgettable.
We had three weeks to spend diving and relaxing after a hectic 12 months of arranging a wedding whilst holding down a full time job.
On arrival at the hotel following a flight with KLM who presented us with a bottle of Champagne we were shown to our room where th hotel staff had decorated the room with petals and left us a Flower arrangement, fruit and another bottle of champagne. The rooms are not plush they are typical carribbean decor with tile floors and bright colours but the airconditioning worked and there was a TV for those long boring honeymoon nights!!! The Restaurant staff were all friendly and efficient, after three weeks (and it being our second visit) we were on first name terms with most of them
The diving was and is excellent it is what Habitat is all about... it truly is the home of diving freedom. The dive masters were all friendly and enjoyed a good laugh, and most of them were still the same people that had been there on our visit in 2001.
So if you enjoy diving and want to be able to dive as often as you like whenever you like with a functional hotel to boot I would recommend Habitat to anyone.
Great Diving, Poor Amenities
Stayed at Captain Don's Habitat for 8 days from Dec. 27, 2003 to Jan.
4, 2004. Would rather have been elsewhere on the island. The service in the restaurant was so slow that if you ordered lunch you might get it by dinner. The food was better at every other restaruant we went to on the island. In the bar you were better off getting drinks yourself from your room and the mosquitos would eat up your legs. The cottage was dingy and bug ridden. Ran out of hot water rapidly, the shower head would come off in your hand, the shower wouldn't drain. They show nice rooms in their brochure and on the web site, then you get there and it's not even close. I call this false advertising. Sharing one bathroom with four strangers is inexcusable. The diving and dive staff are great, my thanks to Wilco, Anya and Netto. Don't expect much, "the home of diving freedom" actually means "do it all yourself, we aren't going to help".
Captain Don's is all about diving.
Captain Don's Dive Resort has an excellent staff of well trained divers. They offer a great dive facility which caterers to divers rather than primadonna divers who like back rubs after each dive. The underwater photography ops are unbelievable. I have seen everything from Seahorses to a variety of frogfish, Batfish, huge tarpon, barracuda, Cuddlefish plus lots more. There were a large amount of century old shipwrecks to explore. There are top diving photographers that call Bonaire home, so that has got to say something. Bonaire is a very primitive island that offers great diving, great bonefishing as well as deep sea fishing, terrific Windsurfing on the north part of the island and Washington Park is full of wonderful photo ops. I have been diving at Captain Don's several times in the last 10 years and Captain Don's does a super job for true divers. Fancy Resort Primadonna divers that need luxury can stay at the Plaza; back rubs are extra.
An OK Time for a Huge Price
CPT Don's accomidations are OK. Some of the rooms were sparse. We had to change rooms twice to find one that was compfortable. We found the hotel staff to be indifferent to our needs and in some cases rude. We also felt uncomfortabel sub-bathing around some of the staff as they went out of their way to look at my wife as she laid out on out patio.
The breakfast buffet was OK but many time food was cold and the juice was hot. The bar was good but pricey. The reef in front of the resort was pretty browned out but overall the diving was excellant. The shore diving was easy in- easy-out. Showers were right at the water side as were the storage lockers. We have stayed at CPT Don's twice but have found that island has better and more comfortable accomidations.
Great Diving / Average Resort
Captain Dons offers great shore diving (you wont be disappointed). Diving staff was excellent especially Jonathon, Ursula, and Chris. However, the resort needs work. Our room was not in good condition; dirty, dingy, and needed maintenance. Rum Runners Restaurant was not consistent. Overall, we found that the staff and management of the resort (except the photo shop and dive staff) left a lot to be desired. We will probably stay at another resort, but have to admit that the diving will be hard to beat.
This is a nice but not fancy dive resort on an island where diving is the main (only?) real attraction. The staff is cordial, meals are good but not too exotic. The diving however is fantastic. The resort has a well equipted dive shop on premises and you can pick up tanks and dive whenever you desire, night or day. Dive safety is up to the diver and his/her buddy. Boat diving is available and the boats are well equipted and the staff are helpful and friendly. I highly recommend Capt. Don's for the serious diver. Keep an eye on your equiptment, my mask "disappeared" from the picnic table in front of my room while I was inside.