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Dive Review of WAKATOBI DIVE RESORT in
Indonesia/SULAWESI

WAKATOBI DIVE RESORT, Jul, 2003,

by JAY & KAREN REINER, NY, USA . Report 744.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving ST.VINCENT, FIJI, MEXICO, BELIZE, GRENADA, GUANAJA, BEQUIA, BONAIRE, GRAND CAYMAN, JAMAICA
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas choppy
Water Temp 78 to 80 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 40 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 75 minutes on boat dives (so air hogs didn't have long waits on the boat). Shore dives unrestricted.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 3 stars Food 1 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Wakatobi is reputed to have some of the best diving on the planet, with the house reef being the premier site at the resort. For us, it was the best diving we've ever done. We have absolutely no complaints about the dive operation in general. The house reef has incredible things to see, all the way from 90 feet down, all the way up to the surface. For our last dive there, we didn't even go below 20 feet! During a two week stay, I did 40 dives, and my wife did 20. If you want to do a night dive on the house reef, just ask around and chances are you'll have a buddy for the dive. Our only recommendation would be that the dive staff be stricter for those who have no regard for the reefs when it comes to taking photographs. We saw a couple of people stepping all over the corals so they could get that "perfect shot". We felt that these people should have had their butts hauled right out of the water, and kept out of the water for a day, so they could have some time to reflect on the damage they did.

We were not 100% satisfied with the accomodations. There is no air conditioning in the room (just a ceiling fan), and the temperature in the room got up to 85 degrees F (and this was in the winter!). The only source of air circulation was a ceiling fan, and it was installed in a spot where it wasn't even over the bed, so we were very hot the first couple of nights. After that, we had them move the bed so it was under the fan, which was better, but still not very cool. The lighting in the room is with compact fluorescent bulbs, which made for very glary light with a lot of dead, dark spots in the room. It made reading at night very straining on the eyes. The shower is in the same room as the toilet (with no curtain or divider), so if you needed to use the toilet or the sink after showering, it was like having to walk through the bathtub to get there (not very pleasant).

We were extremely disappointed with the food, and rate that the lowest of any aspect of the resort. The website purports to have a European chef, and excellent cuisine, blah blah blah. We don't know where this European chef was (maybe he quit), but the found was very plain, and there was way too much repetition of food at every meal. If it wasn't for the fact that you need food to live, we would've starved to avoid eating the same things over and over. This is something that they really have to seriously address. Being avid coffee drinkers, we also had a bone to pick about the coffee. Considering that areas in Indonesia are known world wide for their coffee (Sumatra, Sulawesi), we were shocked that the coffee available in the morning was instant! If you wanted anything fresh, you had to special order an espresso or a cappucino, and there was an extra charge for that! We asked Lorenz, the manager, why there was no fresh brewed coffee in the mornings, and his reply was that there's a choice of five coffees, so what's the problem? Yeah, there are five, but three are instant, and the other two cost more. We think he missed the point on that one.

Overall, our stay at Wakatobi was pleasant, and we would go back there. But before we do, we have other places to explore (some of which are in Indonesia), and we would hope that by the time we return, they'll have some of these issues resolved, and that the reef will still be in good shape (considering the abuse it gets).
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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