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Dive Review of Wakatobi Resort in

Wakatobi Resort, Nov, 2008,

by Jeanne Sleeper, CA, USA (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 9 reports with 6 Helpful votes). Report 4583.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling 3 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Wakatobi Resort is on a tiny remote island northeast of Bali. It is worth the airplane seat hours - just do it. I have never experienced such superior service from the moment of booking thru the final goodbye. You are met by Wakatobi staff at the Bali airport upon arrival to Indonesia and when you depart on their domestic charter from Bali to the resort. VIP treatment at every step. As you travel from the landing strip to the resort, the locals come outside waving, smiling and welcoming you to their island. You feel like an honored guest, not the intruding outsider experienced some other places.

The resort is constructed with a high level of workmanship, design and quality materials. Traditional Indonesian-style with thatched roofs so tightly contructed that the AC keeps bungalows cool. Some have wonderful outdoor showers off the bathroom, vessel sinks, front porch day bed lounges, teak chaise lounges and unbrellas and all within steps of the white sand beach. This resort operates its own power plant and reverse osmosis water system, so both are safe and reliable. The maintenance standards are better at this extremely remote property (fly in everything) than some places I've been with big box home improvement stores within driving distance.

Most every dive is a WOW... and others are merely GREAT. Walls, shallows loaded with small fish, visibility that takes your breath away, too many fish in the way of taking pictures sometimes, pinnacles - most sites within 15 minutes of the resort. Every inch is covered with vibrant life. The biodiversity is stunning. The tides are about 6 ft so the resort lays out a 10-day dive plan so every boat goes to 27-29 dive sites and everyone hits the spots at times of no-slack-minimal current. Your first reaction might be irritation that they are so set on where each boat goes and when. About day 2 you understand the genius of the schedule. The traditionally constructed, large wooden boats take 12 divers and 3 crew. Other destinations would have packed on double that many for the boat size. Wakatobi understands that people don't like to dive in herds, don't want it to take 30 minutes for a crowd to get in the water - remember the VIP service at the airport - it never stops. They understand YOU are on vacation and THEY are working. Forget gear carrying, gear set up, waiting for or wanting anything. They ask what you want to drink between dives and how you want it prepared and then bring it with a smile and grace everytime.

Many dives are drifts and the boat captains are attentive to your location and superb boat handlers. If you are a little further along in life, this is place you can dive with respectful assistance and not feel put down or second class. The boat crews and dive guides are patient with photographers. Alex and Ruth led our dives (5-6 divers to a guide) with humor, appropriate attentiveness, pointing out the wee critters and always with safety in mind. They are among the best allround dive guides I've ever had the pleasure of diving with. The dive staff of multilingual, water-people is a reflection of the resort's commitment to class, quality and service.

Balinese chefs run a first class dining room with all buffet meals, diverse ingredients and cuisines and all freshly made in their kitchen. Spice - no spice - familiar - exotic - vegetarian - meat ... there is something for everyone. First class operation by any standard.

I rarely write reviews. Seldom go back to the same place twice. For me Wakatobi is in a class by itself. I will go back. There is an unbridled joy that comes from experiencing pristine reefs, friendly, happy locals, professional dive staff, an extraordinarily designed and maintained resort, an attitude of long term sustainability in how the resort works with, respects and enhances the local community and the ocean.

Treat yourself to a gracious, relaxing 10 days in one of the most beautiful spots on earth. Sorting the 2,000 images you will bring home, now that is work - you won't be able to hit the delete button!

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving 40 years of diving worldwide
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 81-83°F / 27-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 100-150 Ft/ 30-46 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Every group dive was planned as multilevel and 70 minutes. House reef wall you set youor own profile. Solo diving allowed with required bail out bottle (they provide)after they see your skill level.
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 3 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments Nice camera room with AC, stand up height tables & power. Staff stands by as the boat loads to respectfully carry cameras to your boat. Incredible service by eager to please staff. You tell them how you want things done, once, and they do it that way the rest of the trip. Take plenty of extra batteries as none available on island.
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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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