XpBonaire IslandLIfe Feature Story
You can find the Italian restaurant, La Terrazza, in the heart of downtown Kralendijk in the same building as the Hotel Islander.
Owner Gabriele Tixi, better known as Gaby, was born in Italy and became a resident of Bonaire in 2011. Gaby, who studied accounting, left Italy to travel the world when he was only 18 years old.
Even though Gaby loves numbers, he never worked a day as an accountant, instead choosing to work in the hospitality industry. While working on cruise ships from England, the USA and Spain, he came to Bonaire and immediately felt a connection with the Island and thought he could live here. In 2006, he and his partner bought a house on Bonaire, stopped travelling around the globe and settled down on the island in 2011.
He and a group of investors set up Spice Beach Club In 2011. He was one of the active working partners, but sold his shares 1 year later to work in real estate, consulting with the tourist board and setting up Elements, the jewelry shops he and his former wife owned on Bonaire, St. Martin and the Dominican Republic.
When the opportunity arose to open a restaurant, Gaby didn’t hesitate and opened La Terrazza in September, 2017. La Terrazza is a restaurant serving Italian based cuisine with an international twist. As with all Italian cooking, the food follows the Italian tradition of simple, fresh ingredients focused on quality. Gaby developed the concept using his own personal preferences: serving and preparing fresh products, taking dietary requirements into consideration and surprising guests with small plates paired with a well fitted wine. The guests can continue their dining experience with as many courses and flavors as they wish, enjoying an exciting food and wine journey.
Several times a year La Terrazza offers a wine tasting. Here you can try different wines served with delicious, small food plates. Check out Facebook for updates on the next wine tasting which will be coming up soon.
Just a few month after he opened his restaurant, Gaby learned about the opportunity to have a hotel right at the same location as his restaurant and in December, 2017, he took on this second challenge. Hotel Islander is uniquely situated just a few steps away from the oceanfront boulevard downtown, right in the middle of restaurants, shops and bars. The small boutique hotel has 11 rooms, all different, some overlooking the Caribbean Sea and others the main shopping street, Kaya Grandi.
A year ago the Hotel Manager, Angele, started working at Hotel Islander. Angele came to the island 4 years ago. She had been a nurse which fits her caring personality perfectly. When she decided to leave the European Netherlands to travel and see different countries and their cultures, friends of hers were living on Curacao and Bonaire. She choose to come to Bonaire and worked at Wanapa, a Bonairean style country house.
She loved hospitality work and realized that there was more under the beautiful, blue sky that she could learn and do. Angele had planned just how long she would stay on Bonaire, and when she met her boyfriend, Oneal, towards the end of her stay, she decided to follow through with her plans and left for South America. But it was clear that she wanted to give the relationship a chance and she returned to Bonaire. After a short break to get her things in order in the Netherlands, she came to Bonaire to stay.
At first Angele worked as a nanny and in the hospitality sector. When the opportunity arose to apply for the Manager position at Hotel Islander, Angele applied. Eager to learn more and broaden her knowledge and experience, she was happy to dive into a new challenge. At the small boutique hotel, the guests are treated like family and given plenty of personal attention. Angele is the perfect host and gives her all to her guests with her bright smile and sweet personality. Her goal is to make her guests feel comfortable and well taken care of during their visit to Bonaire.
Angele is happy with her work and with the opportunity to learn more about the hospitality, marketing and service sectors. The small team at Hotel Islander and the restaurant, La Terrazza, know how important it is to help each other out and be strong together. It is the reason why once a quarter they plan activities together as a team. It is a bonding experience that makes their work together so special. Angele appreciates the trust that Gaby has in her and the freedom she has to do her work in the best way possible.
La Terrazza and Hotel islander are now one of the official training companies, giving local and European Dutch students a chance at an internship with them. Angele is studying to become one of the trainers at the Hotel. She is excited about the development and believes that it is a great opportunity for a student to come to a small business and learn every aspect of the business in order to make the right career choice.
La Terrazza is now open for lunch Monday thru Friday for only $10,- you can enjoy a freshly prepared tasty lunch.
A 3 course special menu includes an appetizer, pasta, main course or dessert for only $29.50
The fine dining small surprise courses served with a wine pairing will still be the most exciting dining experience you can choose.
For a special occasion La Terrazza offers frequently a wine Tasting of course paired with small food courses.