Bonaire: Living the Life

Where you stay when you travel can sometimes make or break your trip. Many people think in situations like this that a simple hotel room would be their cheapest option. I don’t think that’s true. Most decent hotels are at least $100 a night, some maybe as little as $80. Some over $200 if you're getting fancy. You may get a hotel pool with a view but it’s not private and your room is just that: one room. In this case (when traveling to Bonaire) if all of you are scuba divers and plan to spend very little time at your residence, then maybe just a simple room is fine. But my bet is you will come back tired after your dives and will want a place to stay in luxury. AirBnbs often consist of a whole house or condo with everything you could need! The four of us found an AirBnb called Apartment Breezy that suited all our needs for just $75 a night! It included a pool, a patio right on a canal, two bedrooms, two baths, and a full kitchen. Apartment Breezy is owned by Island Time Rentals but was also listed on AirBnb. A few doors down was a wonderful dive shop, which we rented tanks from the whole week.

After a few days we moved to another home owned by Island Time Rentals. It was one of their brand new villas (never stayed in before)! It costs $195/night in the off-season and $215/night in the busy season (15 Dec-14 April).

YBT | Bonaire Airbnb

Although this might be a bit more than $75 a night, these matching villas, Villa Leo & Villa Gemini, are huge and stunning! Each villa has 4 bedrooms with a queen bed, each with their own bathroom! That means you can easily sleep 8 people! The place has a rooftop pool with a view of the aqua blue ocean. It has scuba dunk tanks outside. Upstairs there is a full kitchen and living room with a flat screen and on the roof there is a sitting area perfect for stargazing with a 360 view. The villa is in what I gather to be the nicest gated community on the island! It was truly beautiful! So if you want to go on a trip to Bonaire with your friends, this would be the place to go. If you just split the cost four ways, it is $49/night.

I don’t scuba dive, so for me a nice place to stay is important. I spent so much time at our villa that it felt like home for a week and that’s why I’m so excited about it! Having the pool with that view, the upstairs open to the tropical breeze, and my air-conditioned clean bedroom and bath was perfect. Oh and I can’t forget to mention how close we were to the ocean! The neighborhood has a private gate to the road that follows the coastline. From there, it is a five-minute walk to Oilslick Dive Site and a 20-minute walk to 1000 Steps Dive Site. Both places we walked to from our villa. The sunset walk was lovely exercise. Island Time Rentals has a partnership with Avis so we were able to save about $200 on our rental car than we could anywhere else. That's a big deal!

Matt and I made a quick drone video of the surrounding area!

***I want to point out that Matt and I were not paid to talk up these villas or Island Time Rentals. We just had a great experience with the company and were able to make them a walkthrough video for the brand new villas. The place feels like home and I’m already ready to go back!

Overall it felt surreal like were living as kings and queens on our island in the Caribbean – the villa and view were just that nice. What’s awesome is that it is so affordable! If you are looking to keep your stay around $75/night, there are plenty of places to check out on AirBnb as well.

- Kaleigh


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