Photo Courtesy of Harbour Village ClubReady to experience some of the finest diving excursions in the world? Pack your goggles because we’re headed to the Harbour Village Beach Club for a world-class underwater adventure. Nestled amid lush gardens on the island of Bonaire, the exclusive Harbour Village Beach Club not only offers luxury Caribbean accommodations, but a marina for private docking and a gated residential community for those who wish to own a piece of paradise.
Bonaire Island, possibly the Caribbean’s best kept secret, boasts an impressive display of tropical marine life and has been named "Top Dive Destination" nine years in a row by Scuba Diving Magazine. If that's not enough, in 2008, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported that Bonaire had the "most pristine" coral reef and the most species of fish in the Caribbean. Its underwater treasures include 86 wonderfully preserved dive sites, kept unspoiled by strictly enforced environmental protection laws. With an average water temperature of 80 degrees, your aqua experiences will be pleasant year-round.
Harbour Village Beach Club is a member of the Luxury Hotels of the World, as well as a premier dive and beach destination, resting on four acres within a private peninsula. Surrounded by a white sand beach and a first-class marina, this exclusive residential resort offers guests temporary membership and vacation stays in its Dutch Caribbean style guestrooms and suites. According to Frommer’s, it is “easily Bonaire’s most luxurious resort, catering to an ultra-upscale clientele.”
Pamper yourself with top-notch hotel services that are offered in an intimate resort setting. After a day in the surf, kick your feet up on the Sealy Plush Posturepedic® mattress and watch your favorite show on your LCD TV. Suites are furnished in Colonial Plantation style with hammocks and wet bars. Beachfront Premier Suites have ocean views with spacious closets, large glass-enclosed showers, separate soaking tubs, iPod docking stations, and fully equipped kitchens with top-of-the-line appliances. Private residences are also available for weekly rental.
The full-service marina has 60 slips for yachts spanning up to 150 feet and one for 240-foot megayachts. Overlooking the marina is a Members Lounge with a library and pool table. And if watching those schools of fish jet around is making you hungry, Chef Johnny Statie oversees the menu at the restaurant, La Balandra, which has open-air seating on the water. Concierge can even arrange a romantic candlelit dinner for two on the beach; and if that goes well, they do weddings too.
Hone your land or water coordination at the state-of-the-art gym, tennis courts, or kayak facility. For the ultimate relaxation, pick a service from the spa’s full menu, with massages and facials that use Pevonia Botanical products to make you feel refreshed. Spa Cascade is a private pool located at the spa for use before and after treatments. Another pool, Kasa Coral, is by the beach, complete with hammocks and lounge chairs.
In addition to its high-end hotel amenities, the Club provides outstanding dive resources. Within walking distance from your room is the first-class, five-star PADI Dive Center, Great Adventures Bonaire. Located on the beach with its own gazebo and pier, you can fulfill all your rental needs here with the help of a multilingual staff. Its daily underwater excursions offer the chance to see the island’s 300 species of tropical fish and 120 types of coral. The closest dive site, a 60-foot Danish shipwreck, is only 50 yards from the shore. Accessible by beach, it is great for the beginning diver or snorkeler.
The resort offers a variety of activities for the novice to the seasoned diver. The beginner can learn intro level skills with the daylong course Discover Scuba Diving, including instruction and a shallow skill session followed by a shore dive, which can be counted towards certification if you choose to advance.
The more advanced diver might be intrigued by the many instructive and professional courses, certifications and packages, especially the club’s Fluorescence Night Diving class. Guests are equipped with a blue light which produces bio-luminescence, lighting up certain marine life in a stunning show of colors. You can also take that photography class you've been dreaming about...underwater of course.
Harbour Village can even accommodate your little guppies. With plenty of activities for youth (as well as babysitting services), the small ones will be growing fins in no time. The resort offers dry play time (scavenger and art classes) in addition to water instruction. In a safe environment, children (5+) can learn to snorkel, or they can begin to earn their diving certification (10+).
Accommodations range from $385 for a guestroom to $865 for a suite in winter; and for those of you who never want to leave, Harbour Village offers residential villas. Vacation Packages are available for certified and non-certified divers alike and include a seven-night stay, breakfast, airport stay, and use of all facilities.