A Secret Caribbean Oasis in Bonaire

Every time you come back you feel better.

Maybe you just spent a morning snorkeling the 1000 Steps or a day windsurfing at Lac Bay.

But the moment you enter the access code and walk through the door to Bamboo Bonaire, you feel something.

It’s not easy for a small hotel to cultivate that.

It’s a boutique hotel that’s been around for just over a decade, tucked away in plain sight just off the west coast road, a short walk from Captain Don’s and Buddy Dive.

But you would never know. Because it feels like its own dimension.

There are just 13 stylish rooms here, most cottage-style, some with their own private patios with magnesium plunge pools or Jacuzzis.

And they are all wonderfully, deliciously, indulgently calm. And that’s the biggest story here: the almost impossibly vast sense of tranquility.

With Bonaire’s high walls, breeze and sky, it almost feels like you’re somewhere in the American desert, surrounded by cacti somewhere in New Mexico or Arizona. (It’s Bonaire, of course, so you have cacti on the other side of the wall.)

It’s a pleasant, ethereal feeling that you’re in a unique place in space and time – and that’s precisely what Bamboo is trying to achieve.

It’s an oasis and a sanctuary, whether you’re a honeymoon couple or a week-long aquatic adventure (Bamboo even has its own partnership with VIP Diving, which means you get unlimited tanks 24 hours a day and 7 days a week on property – just pack your bags and head to your favorite dive site in the Bonaire Marine Park).

A treatment room.

There are the little touches — my name was painted on a wooden sign above the door lintel, or the fact that each room has a kitchen or kitchenette and an outdoor shower.

And then there are the bigger touches: a beautiful common area that feels like your own private spa, with a pool and lounge-style loungers and hot tub; a superb boutique spa and, thankfully, one of the best restaurants in the Caribbean, CHEFS Bonaire.

The central hot tub.

It’s not easy to categorize it — it’s a boutique hotel, but it has all the amenities of a much larger resort; it’s certainly a feel-good hotel, but it easily transcends that category. It’s not a dive hotel, but you get all the same needs with a lot more luxury.

And then there’s that wonderful soundtrack again: quivering palm fronds, desert breezes and wooden chimes.

It’s not like other hotels in Bonaire, and it’s not really like anywhere else in the Caribbean.

This is the kind of place you will come back to.

To learn more, visit Bamboo Bonaire.

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