Sleeping and Dining on Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean II

Coral Paradise Resort

The Coral Paradise Resort is a gem for scuba fans. The 8 room boutique hotel is run by uber-friendly Caroline and Vincent, a French Canadian couple that ensures that every detail it attended to. For scuba divers and snorkelers they have a well-equipped rinsing station and storage area that is tailor made for drying gear – personal ventilated storage closets with hangers for wet suits and BCDs, hooks for fins, a shelf for masks and weights and posts for booties. Tanks are delivered to the storage area daily.

What makes this place special is the attention that Caroline and Vincent give their guests, from friendly conversation to diving advice they are always eager to help their guests in any way they can. Any difficulties are handled efficiently and immediately.

The small compound, a short walk to the sea and the entrance to the Cliff dive site, has a pleasant pool area and barbeque for grilling.

The moderately spacious rooms have two queen sized beds and a small table and chairs plus a good sized kitchenette and medium sized bathroom. Kitchenettes are well equipped for preparing meals if you choose to eat in. There is also a spacious private patio with lounge chairs and a dining area overlooking the pool.

The quality is good for the price point but this is not a luxury establishment; it’s a thoughtful upper mid-range option. Sheets and towels are just OK and the bed is comfortable but not ultra-comfy. There is, however, a great attention to what guests might need on their Bonaire vacation such as providing a local cell phone and charger rather than an in room phone and plenty of in room outlets and USB ports.

The diving package with AB Dive, which includes a pickup and unlimited air tanks, is a great convenience. The truck is waiting for you at Coral Paradise the day that you arrive. Tanks are delivered and picked up directly at Coral Paradise, just tell them how many you want per day. Transportation to and from the airport is also provided by AB Car Rental. One negative was having to wait for other guests who were getting their second Covid test before the van could leave the airport. This was a minor inconvenience that should be resolved as vaccinated passengers no longer need a second Covid test.


Over all we found the Bonaire restaurants to have high quality, well prepared food and friendly service. Many places were busy so I would recommend reservations.

Ingridiënts Restaurant

Located in the Buddy Dive Resort, Ingridiënts Restaurant’s  casual yet elegant setting on an open air covered terrace has views overlooking the sea. Tables are generously spaced, though some of the two tops are on the small side.

The menu is mostly classic fish preparations, pasta and even a broad selection of pizza. We started with the fried sardines and the smoked marlin. The fried sardines, although not served fresh hot, were crispy with a side of aioli. The smoked marlin was garnished with capers, tomatoes, herbs and dollops of squid ink with garlic. While I loved the flavors of the garnishes it overwhelmed the smokiness of the fish and the fish was somewhat watery indicating that it may have been frozen.

For mains we had the dorade (sea bream) for two baked in salt. Actually it’s baked in a whipped egg white and salt mixture and  is then filleted and boned for you table side. The fish came out beautifully cooked, moist and flavorful, and was placed on a bed of perfectly dressed aglio e olio spaghetti. A simple but excellent dish.

For dessert we tried the sgroppino with vodka; limoncello, lemon sorbet, mint and topped with prosecco. A delicious and refreshing after dinner drink on a warm evening.

Service was friendly and a bit on the slow side when the restaurant filled. If you want a table with front row sea views you need to reserve them ahead of time. With a reservation we were the second diners in the restaurant and got a second row table.


Mezze has a pleasant outdoor terrace on a quiet street just across from the waterfront. The dining experience begins with a flatbread brushed with an herbed olive oil served with a Persian chicken dip made with shredded chicken, mayo, pickles and dill.

The menu offers a selection of Middle Eastern/Mediterranean fare include lamb, which I oh so wanted to try. It looked wonderful, but for personal reason I could not indulge this evening. Thankfully their catch of the day, snapper, was beautifully prepared in a lemon butter sauce. Don’s Moroccan chicken in a strange barbeque-meets-the-Med sauce was well cooked and moist for breast meat. Both dishes were served with an ample helping of assorted roasted vegies – carrots, beets, squash, asparagus, and potatoes along with a dollop of mashed potatoes. Don’s came with Israeli couscous. I ordered the basmati rice. For starters we ordered the stuffed grape leave and hummus, both nicely done and the hummus rich and smoky.

Service is friendly and efficient and the restaurant was quite full by 8p.m.

 At Sea

The food at At Sea is something to experience, one of the finer dining experiences on Bonaire. The menu has a number of tasting menu options or you can do a selection of á la carte small plates. We chose the latter and selected 7 dishes to share – lion fish ceviche, oysters, and bouillabaisse to start followed by pigeon, goat stew, pasta vongole (clams), and snapper papiotte. Everything was well done and artistically presented.

Our favorite dishes of the evening were the lion fish ceviche served over couscous with baby corn, pickled white reddish and harissa; the oysters, super fresh served with a shallot vinaigrette; the pigeon, beautifully livery served with asparagus and kohlrabi, celeriac and pecan. The most surprising dish of the evening was the goat stew served like a large Chinese pork steamed bun, but with goat instead of pork.

Located downtown across from the ocean front, At Sea has a lovely outdoor patio. Unfortunately it is also across from a working dock and can be quite noisy when then are unloading materials. On the particular evening of our visit there were numerous dump trucks driving right by the restaurant hauling sand and gravel from a docked ship. If you come later in the evening it is quieter.

Service is friendly and efficient. The restaurant was about ¾ full on a Tuesday evening.


Capriccio occupies a modern space, all in white with a front patio across from the sea. No buildings block the view. They have a classic Italian menu. We started with the beef carpaccio classically prepared with parmesan, arugula and incredibly tender beef.

For mains we both ordered a catch of the day, one Mahi-Mahi and the other tuna. For the tuna we were asked how we wanted it cooked, we like it rare. Both dishes were generous portions of beautifully prepared fish, the tuna nice and rare the Mahi-Mahi just cooked and moist. They each came with a Mediterranean plate of vegies including – haricots verts and spinach with sides of ratatouille and roasted potatoes. One of the best meals of the trip.

The dining room inside and out was busy on a Friday night. Reservations are needed. Service was a bit slow to start but otherwise friendly and efficient.

For links to all the posts in this series see the Diving page.

July 10-17, 2021