by: Patrick E
The Seaside Apartments are located about one kilometer (less than a mile) from downtown Kralendijk with fine restaurants and shopping. As the name suggests, this apartment building is located on Playa Lechi, a coral rubble beach with little sand. Our apartment, on the third floor, offers a spectacular view of the small undeveloped island of Klein (little) Bonaire. Between the two islands is a calm channel that is good for snorkeling and sail boats. (As I wrote this review, I watched a pod of dolphins pass between here and Klein.) The lower apartments have views of the small pool, deck and gardens. They all have delightful ocean breezes. The apartments are individually owned and appear to be rented primarily by Europeans (especially Dutch) vacationing on Bonaire. There are one and two bedroom units with some slight variance in furnishings and décor. Overall, I would characterize them as modern European design with cool marble floors. Our one bedroom apartment has three sliding glass doors that run the full width of the apartment. These doors open onto a large patio which is perfect for breakfast and watching the sun set. The great room is simply furnished with a dining table, two chairs, a couch, TV (about 60 channels – be sure to watch the Bonaire Channel on 5) and a book stand well stocked with Dutch literature. The air conditioning works just fine. The kitchen area is very well appointed with a granite countertop, stainless steel sink and a large side-by-side refrigerator/freezer. There is a stove top with four electric burners, a microwave, toaster, blender and coffee maker. The apartment has a dishwasher and an abundance of dishes, pots & pans and cooking utensils. We have seen a few tiny ants, so keep it clean. The bedroom (also with AC) is located in the rear of the apartment. It faces the busy boulevard so mornings can start early with vehicular traffic. The new king size bed is quite comfortable. There is a closet with shelves and plenty of hangers. The walk in shower is quite large and there is ample hot water. Although the complex does not have a washer & dryer, there is a rack on the patio to dry clothes on. We have had cleaning and linen service three times each week. Next door is an excellent dive shop, Dive Friends Yellow Submarine, with easy access to their house reef, tanks and well led boat trips. As guest of the Seaside Apartments, we purchased our dive package with Dive Friends and they allowed us to store our gear in their secured locker. Every other Wednesday nights, Yellow Submarine host an informative presentation by STCB, Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire. This quiet apartment complex is well suited for the independent traveler. Do not expect a breakfast buffet or swapping fish stories over a beer at the ocean bar at sunset. For that, there are other excellent accommodations on the island. Rent a car and plan to stay a month or two, if you can! If you’ve read this far, you know the following issue is not a deal breaker … but I want to mention that parallel parking skills are useful. For some odd reason, the parking spots you drive into have been blocked off with security bars and were unused for over a month. So everyone just parallel parks in front of the blocked off spaces.