The island of Bonaire has one of the highest rates of repeat visitors in the Caribbean. Sand Dollar Condominiums wants to ensure even the most seasoned traveler will have something different to discover on their next visit to the island.
Something Old: Ostracods, or seed shrimp, have been around for about 485 years, which is about as old as it gets. Yet most night divers are not even aware that they’ve been diving in their company! Bonaire is home to a special species of Ostracods, the “blue tears” or “blue sand” Ostracods, who generate blue light as part of their monthly mating display. Bonaire has some of the best dive sites in the world for observing this phenomenon. Every month, a few days after the full moon, the ocean lights up in a brilliant bioluminescent display that can only be compared to a beautiful starry night. Add in the weightlessness of diving through the water and it is as if you are floating through space itself. Sand Dollar and dive operations partner Dive Friends Bonaire, offer a special monthly guided dive, done using mainly the light of the moon to ensure that you see the Ostracods at their best. Contact them for details, since timing the dive correctly after the full moon and choosing the right dive site are important to guarantee the best experience.
Something New: Sand Dollar, being the first condo complex built on Bonaire can’t lay claim to being new. But if you haven’t visited it in a while, you’ll be happy to hear that all of the condos have newly renovated bathrooms, and air-conditioning throughout (no longer an add-on for living area A/C). Most of the units have had, or are in the process of having the kitchens remodeled as well. Built in the 1980’s to attract divers to Bonaire, the developers were able to grab up what remains the single largest track of prime beachfront real estate on the island. There isn’t a bad view to be had from any of the units’ private patios or balconies. There is good and there is better. All ensconced within a property that offers plenty of amenities, a great deal of privacy, and happily, no pomp.
Something Borrowed: How about metal scraps from junk piles that get turned into sea-inspired life-size sculptures? That is exactly what Sand Dollar’s General Manager Debby Rauwers had in mind more than two years ago, when she and a team of dedicated supports formed the Bunita Boneiru Foundation. Bunita Boneiru’s goal was to beautify the round-about adjacent to Sand Dollar, Den Laman and the Trans World Radio Studio while at the same time collecting the material to be used by conducting an island-wide cleanup of discarded metal. Key to the entire project was the vision and talent of artist/sculptor Mark J. Ansier, who turned the trash into treasure in the form of sculptures of a coral garden, turtles, stingrays, tropical fish and a diver, that was a personal memorial to the artist’s son and dive buddy Matt, who he tragically lost in 2007.
The remarkable sculptures are now complete; however, the fundraising efforts continue as the Foundation looks to beautify the landscaping to showcase the artwork. To find out how you can contribute and become a permanent part of the history of the project, visit www.bonairesculpture.com
Something Blue: Anyone who has visited Bonaire can appreciate being surrounded by blue. But this year, Sand Dollar, as a member of the Bonaire Hotel and Tourism Association (BONHATA), joined other members of the private and public sector in the development of a multifaceted program that will officially establish Bonaire as the first Blue Destination. Since first announced in early 2018, the island has begun to hold meetings, events and conferences for locals and visitors alike, informing them of efforts needed to become a Blue Destination and providing education on the sustainable use of ocean resources. If you want to be part of the action, stay at Sand Dollar the week of October 10 where you’ll be just in time for the culmination of the program, when the island will declare itself the world’s first-ever Blue Destination. (follow #BonaireBlueDestination) For added incentive, Sand Dollar offers guests one free night for every six nights paid, every week between now and December 21, 2018.
Make this the season you rediscover the island and the resort you thought you knew so well! Find your own version of something old, something new, something borrowed, and #WhatIsBlueToYou!