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Reviews (2,482)
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Reviewed 27 July 2009

This is our fifth time to the Bonaire although we haven't been for 3 years. We really didn't know what to expect this time. In all honesty the rooms were nice and the air conditioning was great however the kitchen area especially the fridge is now getting past its best and needs upgrading.

The bar was a little expensive and it was cheaper to buy drinks at the local Spar shop for during the day.

Many reviews moan about Cala Bona being quite small however to me that is what makes it so special and a great place to visit. It is really a nice walk in the evening and if you prefer a bigger and busier resort simply walk into Cala Millor.

It was not the hotel that was the wow factor it was the entertainment staff. Cheeky Charley, Looney Laura and Jazzy John were brilliant, out of this world.

I cannot fault anything they did and a special mention has to go to cheeky charlie who obviously was not doing this just as a means to an end she was obviously loving every minute of it!! This girl should be on television, be under no illusion that if I don't see her on some main stream programme in the next few years then I'm throwing my TV out of the window.

On top of that we met and had a few drinks with her boyfriend Darryl who was also a star and really great with all the kids on the resort! (made the mistake of trying to keep up with him one night on the drinks, big mistake!!).

Thomson have nearly got the reps 100% right however they had made one big mistake. Raving Rachel who was covering for Looney Laura on our first week is very similar to Cheeky Charley she lights up the stage and has a natural ability to get the crowd going. What an absolute star! So what's the mistake? She is actually in the teenager's Grid club, What a big and absolutely huge mistake by Thomson. The management team at Thomson seriously need to change this as soon as possible!!

I will be writing to the UK Tui chairman on this very subject if she is not put on the main entertainment team. If she has not been moved and your going on holiday soon then complain when you get there!


Overall if you like quiet pool holidays then this is not for you however if you want loads of fun and games for all ages with a decent hotel then this is the place for you.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled with family
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Thank battlescar1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 July 2009

We just returned from out second stay at the Bonaire and we had a brilliant time again! Cheeky Charlie, Jazzy John, Raving Rach and the football coaches Kicking Chris & MC Ian to name but a few, were all excellent at their job and tried their hardest to make everyone have a fun time.
The prices in the pool snack bar and the bar had not gone up one cent from last year and were really reasonable. We paid for 7 nights evening meals when we arrived and it was actually 60 euros cheaper than last year!! (maybe the people who found it expensive are forgetting it's the poor exchange rate that cost them more)
All of the staff remembered us from last year which is pretty impressive considering the amount of people they must see every year.
We ate out at Smithys which was just ok, L'Olivia Tapas bar which was the nicest food ever and was our favourite place and also a new restaraunt Sa Marina which had only been open a month and was VERY good. Panetostos pizzas were delicious.
Our only whinge about this holiday was that we paid for a themed room this year and asked to be on a low floor but when we arrived we were on the 3rd floor and they said they could not move us. Our air conditiong was hardly worth bothering with so we got hardly any sleep as i t was too hot. This issue was never resolved although we did complain more than once.
The rooms are very tired and are in need of a re furb but you cannot knock the cleanliness at all.
With regard to the sunbed issue, we found it more extreme in June last year however if you were late going to the pool you stood no chance of getting a bed round the pool edge but what was the most annoying thing was people who reserved the beds and did not use them until late afternoon!! (I wondered if people reserved them in more than one spot so the could follow the sun???)
Therer really is something for everyone here and although Cala Bona is very small it is lovely and with so much going on in the hotel we hardly found time to go out anyway.
I would recommend this hotel to anyone who likes to have a fun family holiday along with all the club dances cheesey things that go with it. We did here people moaning about the music around the pool through the day and the entertainment on the night but we wondered why people like this didn't go to a quiet Villa somewhere where you wouldn't expevt to be doing 'Chocolatey' at 11.00pm.
Thank you once again Bonaire for a fantastic holiday and we WILL return in the near future! xx

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled with family
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Thank coweyclan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 July 2009

Stopped for a week in March 09, the staff were the friendliest we have ever met during all our holidays. Apartment clean and tidy hotel ffo was great, beer/coffee etc not expensive, lovely pool and surroundings, approx 500m from sea front with only a 5/10min walk to harbour and a lovely long promenade walk all the way through to cala millor etc.
Disabled friendly, and the hotel kindly hired for our arrival a whelchair we requested by email. English TV channels bbc/itv etc.
Look forward to returning in the future

mike+helen

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank mike_helen_uk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 July 2009

I'll try not to repeat what others have said about this hotel. The rooms are fine though not overly generous for space - pretty standard for this sort of holiday. There were English channels on the TV and aircon in every room. The staff were excellent and the pool was very good. The food is also very good although it could be further improved. The other guests are all British and the practice of reserving sunbeds spoils things a lot. If you go to the pool at 9 or 10 you'll get a bed if you look around but don't expect a parasol ever. The reps tell people not to reserve them but do nothing to enforce it. I would also have liked the hotel more if it had had more public spaces indoors. A large attractive indoor bar remains closed all summer and it gets a bit wearing being outside all day, especially when it's hot. The hotel claims to be kid oriented but the lack of shade outside is very disappointing. I'm trying not to be negative about what is a good, clean and friendly hotel but it was one of the most expensive holidays I have ever gone on and I didn't see any touches of luxury around the place to justify the price - it was little different from, say, Club Marthas or Alcudia Pins which were both cheaper.

The real drawback in my opinion is Cala Bona itself. Be very clear that Cala Bona is a very small resort. While it has a couple of small beaches they are not pleasant and have a lot of sharp grass or stones which make them virtually unusable. You have to go to Cala Millor or Sa Coma on the bus to get a pleasant sandy beach. Also the resort has comparatively few restaurants and bars. There are some nice ones (all very expensive)but it got a bit repetitive going down to the small port every day. There is a general lack of culture in Cala Bona - don't expect even one church or museum or any buildings more than 20 years old. You will also be very remote from almost all the main attractions of Majorca. Palma was an almost 2 hour bus ordeal away and all the water parks and shows are near Palma or Alcudia making them an unrealistic target if you have small, tired, children with you. The consequence of all this is that you remain a prisoner of the hotel complex which, though pleasant enough, is VERY expensive for drinks and snacks (e.g. £3 for an ice lolly). I felt this holiday effectively isolated me from all the things Majorca has to offer and more than one other couple we met with young children were bored and frustrated by the location. I can see why Thomson want you to book this hotel - you will be forced to rely on their services for an enjoyable holiday.

Take my advice and go to Palma Nova or somewhere nearer the West/South West of the island.
.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled with family
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2  Thank ThePhilosopherKing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 July 2009

Check-in was relatively smooth although we did arrive early (10am) and had to wait for an hour before our room was ready. There is an indoor softplay area, 2 outdoor play areas with climbing frames, slides, wendy house and also a separate sandpit. Our apartment's balcony overlooked the pool. We had a special themed room which came with a DVD machine. This was ironically a cheaper option.
The kitchenette has a 2 ring electric hob, a microwave and a small fridge-freezer. It was fairly well-equiped and we were able to cook lots of simple meals. The TV had a good choice of channels including CBeebies and BBC. In addition, we could borrow DVDs from the Thomson reps at the desk.
The weather in Majorca had started to cool down in October and it could get quite cold in the outdoor pool. (Lots of sunbeds available.)It also rained on quite a few occassions while we there. Fortunately, the indoor pool and jacuzzi were open and it was nice and warm there. Going at this time of the year meant that we were able to get a good price for the hotel. Cala Bona is a nice place with a lovely marina. At this time of the year, it is quiet and peaceful. We walked to the much more commercial and busier Cala Millor one day and were really glad we had chosen Cala Bona. The Thomson's Kids Club were still going and we went there a few times. The kids reps were very good and patient.
There were lots of very young children there while we were there. This was great for us because we did not feel self-conscious when ours was noisy. Lots of people were in the same boat. I am not sure why couples without children would want to go there though as it is definitely geared towards families and not the place for a quiet, peaceful or romantic holiday.
We also had dinner in the hotel restaurant twice. They pin the menu up on the reception board daily and you can have a look at the options before committing yourself. I would say the food was very good and we were very satisfied.
The lunch at the bar was also very satisfactory and the portion was very large.
We managed to get a great last minute deal and for the money we paid, I don't think we could have a better holiday elsewhere in the resort.

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled with family
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1  Thank honestandtruthful
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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