A Night Off The Boat

We love our life on board Sava, but a 46 foot sailboat is not the most comfortable home. So for my birthday we checked in to a night of luxury! After a year of only sleeping on board, we spent a night off the boat in a boutique hotel in Bonaire. It was even better than we hoped it would be.

Bamboo Bali Bonaire

Brian’s birthday dinner at Chef’s Bonaire turned into a present for both of us when the owner gifted us a free night at the attached hotel. Bamboo Bali is one of the top rated places to stay on the island, for regular people, not just to grubby cruisers like us.

The resort is located north of Kralendijk, within walking distance of several restaurants, beach clubs, and a supermarket. Our accommodation had a front patio, bedroom, bathroom and kitchens and private outside spaces with seating and an outdoor shower.

All guests at Bamboo Bali have access to a pool, hot tub, free wifi, and a gas grill with outdoor dining. In our one night stay, we used all of these amenities! We don’t get a night off the boat often, so we took advantage. It was wonderful.

Pool at Bamboo Bali resort
The pool at Bamboo Bali
Our patio at Bamboo Bali
We had dinner on our outdoor patio at Bamboo Bali

What we miss living on board

While we don’t plan to move ashore anytime soon, we do miss certain conveniences living on Sava. We have gotten used to living without these luxuries, and mostly enjoy living on board.

But still, we miss air conditioning, especially in the heat of Bonaire summer, when it’s 30C with little wind. The air conditioning at Bamboo Bali made for a great night’s sleep. We even slept under the covers!

Sava’s watermaker works, so we shower everyday, but we still conserve. On our night off the boat, we had our choice of indoor and outdoor showers, both with amazing water pressure and a rain shower head. It felt decadent to leave the water running for a shower that lasted more than 5 minutes and I loved every minute of it!

Outdoor shower a night off the boat
I loved the outdoor shower!

Free wifi was a nice perk, as sometimes our phone plan doesn’t keep up with the demands of multiple devices. We didn’t spend a lot of time on electronics, aside from taking photos of our gorgeous surroundings.

Keeping busy on a night off the boat

Once we got to the hotel, we didn’t want to leave. We can go out to dinner anytime, so we decided to stay and bask in our surroundings. After a dip in the pool, we made a quick trip to the local supermarket to provision, and used the kitchen and outdoor grill to make a delicious dinner. Our cottage was bigger and much more comfortable than our boat, so why leave?

outdoor dining at Bamboo Bali Resort
We made dinner on the grill at Bamboo Bali

if we stayed longer…

For those of you interested in this resort, this is not a paid endorsement. I just really liked our one night stay! If we had stayed longer, we could have done even more. Since we are in Bonaire, the hotel keeps filled dive tanks and a gear room with space to wash and store it outside of the living spaces. It’s a good idea which may be common at resorts in Bonaire, but wouldn’t know since I am always on the boat. They also arrange other activities for guests but we had one night and can do those anytime. We have already been in Bonaire for two months and it may be many more.

final thoughts on sleeping off the boat

If not for COVID, we probably would have spent a night off the boat sooner. In fact, we discussed booking a night in one of Antigua’s lovely resorts but missed our chance before everything closed. This was worth the wait and made both our birthdays special.

We don’t leave the boat for long because of Domino. One day is fine, but any longer and she’d need company. We left her enough food and water, and she was fine, if a little extra cuddly when we returned. Our first night sleeping back on the boat was hot, but I don’t think one night of air conditioning ruined us.

What could you live without and what would be impossible for you to give up? Could you live on a boat without Air conditioning for a year? Let me know in the comments.

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Author: Mel

Living aboard a sailboat, blogging about the places we visit and the adventures we have. Love hiking, cycling, scuba, animals and adventure.

23 thoughts on “A Night Off The Boat”

  1. Your ‘night off the boat’ sounds lovely! I’m fascinated with your life ON the boat! I can’t imagine not having air conditioning or consistently good internet, but as I write that I realize how spoiled I sound!

  2. I worked for a marina and met many people who lived and travelled the world on their boat. Whilst it was their lifetysle, they always enjoyed a stay on solid ground ha! I can imagine they relate to a lot of points you’ve brought up here. Sounds like an enjoyable stay and a very tranquil spot!

    1. Wow, firstly just the idea of living off the boat is so fascinating, and I love how you build the tempo in this post, reader is always left guessing about your whereabouts. Love the vibe about this place, Bamboo Bali Bonaire, it looks so earthy and the Buddhist elements present a very calming vibe. I like the grill area and outdoor shower must have been a different experience. I sure can live without the AC on a boat, but am still not sure how well will I wade past the sea waters for that long… Sounds like an exciting prospect though! ????

  3. I had never heard of Bonaire, so I’m glad I read your blog. This place looks amazing and I bet it was nice to be off the boat for a bit ???? I’m saving this for the future.

  4. Wow it must be very nice to have air con again – I definitely couldn’t live without it. I love that you treated yourself to some time on land. Have you read “Green Ghost – Blue Ocean”? It’s a really great book about a couple circumnavigating the globe on a sailboat. She similarly enjoys her respite on land with some AC!

  5. I absolutely love that you live on a boat. What a dream! I can imagine how nice it must be to take a night off though and indulge in a gorgeous place like Bamboo Bali. I like the whole indoor outdoor vibe, especially the outdoor bathroom. Definitely a resort we would love to stay at!

  6. Bamboo Bali legit looks like such a cool and cozy place to stay. My partner and I are always looking for cool spots to stay at too! I loved reading this log cause it definitely gives me some ideas ☺️

  7. Happy belated birthday to Brian. Wow, living on a sailboat would be an experience but definitely one where you’d want to spread out and have room every now and then and stay in a hotel. Sounds like a fantastic escape and can totally understand why you didn’t want to leave, especially the outdoor shower and air conditioning!

  8. I had to look up Bonaire and now I know exactly where it is. Seriously though I like the idea of being on a boat and getting from one exotic marina to another. On the other side I don’t think I would survive being without AC or having a proper shower. I was really happy to read you got access to both on your birthday !

  9. OMG, so you have lived on a boat for a year? That’s really adventurous, I would like to read more about your experiences. At any rate, receiving a free night at Bamboo Bali was a nice birthday gift which I’m sure you appreciated a lot, after sleeping on a boat for so long. It’s wonderful that you could cook your own meal on the hotel premises. I’m sure it was way more romantic than going to a restaurant.

    1. Anda, you are so right. It was a perfect night. Keep reading the blog. It’s all about life on the boat, fun, frustrating and everything in between!

  10. A boat sounds like a fun trip, but I’m glad that you got to escape for a night of luxury. The room is so beautiful! It’s good to focus on your wellbeing and have a bit of space to move around. What a fab place to stay!!

  11. I dream about living on a boat. Especially if we were sailing around Bonaire! But would definitely want a pampering night off once in awhile. I understand the treat of wanting to stay in hot running water forever. I would have to restrain myself from not just catching up on the wifi. I am sure there were positives and some negatives about being on a boat during the pandemic. Good that you got a nice break.

  12. What a great birthday treat! Living on a boat must be a fantastic experience, but I can imagine that once in a while you feel the need for space and certain conveniences. Bamboo Bali looks beautiful and the outdoor shower sounds amazing! By the way, I think one thing I couldn’t live without is definitely internet connection ????

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