Would stay here again in a heartbeat. The house was amazing and the location was very quiet but very close to things to do and see.
We just came back from our 3rd yearly visit to Bonitas Bayside. We have stayed in the Saphire our first year and then in the Black Pearl for the last 2 years and we are planning our 4th trip back for next year in the spring.
Caye Caulker is an absolute paradise and Bonitas Bayside is one of if not THE top place to stay while on the island. You are shielded from the constant trade winds, you are tucked away from front streets busy tourist district and parties and it is an absolute sanctuary. Both cabanas and the house itself need absolutely nothing other than you. If you enjoy cooking the black pearl has absolutely everything you need to make everything from baking fresh bread to a margarita blender and everything you can think of in between.
Once you decide to leave your sanctuary you are no more than a 2 min bike ride from "downtown" and some of the world's best foods. Many expats have come to this island on vacation and have never left and therefore you get gourmet flavors and dishes from around the world in small scale restaurants. You will not have a bad meal!
Caye caulker is like no other island in the world and staying there at Bonitas Bayside is like no other vacation you have been on.
First off, the villa looks wonderful in the promotional pictures, but they don't do the property justice. It's even more beautiful than it appears. From the Manatee shaped pool that is wonderfully maintained to the excellently appointed rooms and kitchen, we were blown away by the "bang for the buck".
Imagine this spicy aroma that you can't quite nail down... I think it's from the native hardwood floors and hand carved art and tables. The property is cozy, but not small at all. Each room has an en-suite bathroom, and the showers are huge! Everything you might need in the kitchen is there, including a well stocked spice cupboard.
From the moment you pull up and see the lofty deck, the palm trees shading the grounds and the sparkling pool, you know that you've landed in paradise.
We traveled in a party of 10, so the Black Pearl slept 6, and the two bungalows (Bonita Sapphire and Bonita Hibiscus) each slept 2 so this property worked wonderfully for us.
Bonita's villa is on the quiet side of the island, but everything is pretty darn close. Our Taxi man, Max, was more than great. He was only part taxi man, part guide and Sherpa, and another half sea food adviser. He always had a great spot for us to go and the food was always excellent. Just do yourself the favor and take his advice. Whether it's where to find the freshest local catch, or which snorkel guide to take, Max will know.
Heydi, the manager, was most helpful and very responsive to all my email and phone calls. Can't say enough of how awesome she is. I'd go to any villa that she was managing.
One tip to the traveler headed for Caye Caulker: Take some strong insect repellent and hydrocortozone. Just at dusk, the biting gnats would come out. Be prepared, but don't let a little thing like that dissuade you. The sunsets, cool evening breezes and friendly and welcoming residents are so worth the effort.
My husband and I stayed in the fully stocked one bedroom Sapphire and our friends stayed next door in the other cabana. This place had everything you would need to live there! All of the dishes and towels and a very comfy bed. The shower is warm with great pressure. The AC worked so well we had to turn it down multiple times. The kitchen was so well stocked I could make breakfast muffins in the oven or cook up a nice dinner to enjoy on the spacious porch! The Wifi worked so well I took my work laptop and worked in the hammock without interruption or slow signal at all. The sapphire was so secluded and private so we could enjoy our quiet time or hang out with friends nearby. The pool was always clean and welcoming and a great place to take your coffee in the morning to chat with your friends or a cold beverage in the afternoon to cool off after exploring the island. Being on the backside of the island had advantages we had not thought of like birds playing in the mangroves and we did not have any insect problems like we had first feared. Not a single bite! Wish I could say that here in Houston :) We loved our stay in the little Sapphire and will definitely be back again. If you are lucky enough to stay when the owners Al and JoAnn are in residence like we were they can tell you all the best spots on the island to go and helped us arrange a great day on the water with Carlos Tours and told us about great hand made real Italian food at Pasta Per Casa. We were fortunate to find this wonderful place. Hope you will get there and enjoy it as much as we did!
|How easy was it to book the property?||How helpful were the directions to the property?|
|How easy was key pickup/access to the property?||Overall condition of the property|
|Bedding & mattresses||Kitchen & utensils|
|Bathroom cleanliness||Other facilities & amenities|
|Friends getaway||Older travelers|
|Families with young children||Large groups|