Barefoot luxury at Bonaire’s most exclusive resort
While researching places to stay in Bonaire–known for its undeveloped, unspoiled, laid-back vibes–I was pleasantly surprised to find a luxury property that had its own white sand beach, spa and on-site dive shop. Located on a four-acre peninsula along the west coast of Bonaire, Harbour Village has been rated the island’s Leading Hotel multiple times and is also a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World.
Upon arrival, I felt a sense of ease walking amongst tropical vegetation and being greeted by the friendliest staff. My first stop after dropping my bags off in my suite was signing up with their on-site dive shop, Great Adventures Bonaire, a PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Center. Their last boat dive had already gone out, so instead I explored their House Reef and 60-foot Danish shipwreck, only 50 yards from the shore. Accessible directly from the hotel’s private beach, Great Adventures took care of everything. They even have a concierge service that prepares all your equipment so all you need to do is show up ready to explore.
During that same dive, a huge school of horse-eye jacks gave me the nicest welcome as seen above. Like synchronized swimmers doing a thoughtfully orchestrated dance, all I could do was stop and stare as the light reflected off their fins, creating sparkles throughout the water.100% of the waters surrounding Bonaire are protected National Parks so it’s easy to spot an array of sea life along the entire coastline. With over 340 species of reef fish and countless other marine life, it was common to see parrotfish, angelfish, trunkfish, snapper, eel and anemone on almost every dive.
Additionally, the Harbour Village Reef Foundation is a non–profit organization that preserves the island’s reefs through projects and partnerships. They have a nursery in front of the resort for Elkhorn and Staghorn corals and a reef camera that enables students to learn about marine biology without having to be in the field.
After a day of diving, it was nice to relax at the pool, get a massage at the spa or lounge in one of the many hammocks along the beach. I loved curling up with a good book, having the sound of the waves slowly lulling me to sleep. There were always plenty of beach chairs, clean towels, hammocks and palm trees to go around. Even better, their seaside restaurant and bar, La Balandra, made the best piña coladas!
I caught this local fisherman delivering fresh barracudas to the restaurant one morning. Even though he didn’t speak English and I didn’t speak Papiamento, I could tell he was really proud of his catch that day. We managed to chat a bit and he told me his biggest barracuda weighed 9kg! Possibly my favorite part of staying at Harbour Village was starting each day on my balcony enjoying a slow breakfast overlooking the boats and yachts in the harbor. With average temperatures around 82°F / 28°C year round, even with a slight breeze, it was always comfortable being outside.
How lovely are these newly designed suites that include a kitchen, living room, bedroom, spacious bathtub and balcony? Besides being really chic, they’re the perfect size for a week-long stay in paradise.
With 40 rooms and suites to choose from, the mix of marina / beachfront and one to two bedroom suites include an option for everyone!
Kaya Gobernador N. Debrot No. 71
Kralendijk, Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean
Thanks to Harbour Village for such a memorable stay. All opinions and photos are my own.