Wakatobi Dive Resort: A place on every scuba diver’s “wish list”
DiverWire.com contributing writers Stuart and Susanne Cummings have found a place that virtually any scuba diver would dream about visiting. Here’s their report PLUS some incredible high-definition video to introduce you to the resort.
If you’re one of those highly organized or fantasy-driven people who has a wish list of all the places you want to dive at some point in your life, a trip to Wakatobi Dive Resort in Indonesia should be on it.
What began years ago as a modest outpost situated on a spectacular reef system, has, through consistent intelligent and thoughtful design, transformed itself into an upscale luxury resort with every imaginable amenity and personal service…situated on a spectacular reef system.
The journey to Bali may be a long haul but it is well worth it. Wakatobi is another world. The Indonesia influence is very much evident in the architecture, staff, service and some of the cuisine, but nothing has been overlooked in the way of western-style creature comforts. The Resort is designed for convenience and ease. It is intimate and yet private, offering a casual ambiance and yet meticulous in its operation and attention to detail and service. With private bungalows and lanais furnished with hammocks and lounge chaises, a spa, boutique, beach and jetty bars and even room service, everything at the resort conspires to make even the most energetic personality take it down a few thousand notches and relax.
If the most popular activity at Wakatobi is diving, the second most popular sport seems to be eating and Wakatobi’s chefs are up to the challenge. Bathed by warm ocean breezes wafting through a beautiful open-air restaurant, guests will find a varied, delicious and generous culinary offering at every meal. All of the food is freshly prepared at the Resort. If you don’t see what you want, just ask. The chef make every effort to accommodate. In fact, that seems to be the general philosophy of the Resort staff who go the extra mile to make every guest feel welcome and pampered.
That’s only half of the equation. The second half is a spectacular reef system which, due to its location in the epicenter of biodiversity and pristine condition, is really responsible for putting Wakatobi on the map.
You don’t have to go very far to sample some of the most mind-boggling, eye-popping, breathtaking reef on the planet. About 80 yards from the Resort’s beach is “House Reef”, a lush drop-off that begins in a few feet of water and sometimes brushes the surface at low tide. The array of hard and soft corals and marine life will exceed expectations and nothing can compete with it for convenience. You can swim or hitch a ride to the wall and, when you’re ready to call it a dive, just hail a taxi boat.
The “House Reef” is just a tasty sampling of what’s to come. Among 42 other dive sites accessible by boat, sites like Blade, Pastel, Roma, The Zoo, Cornucopia and Conchita offer breathtaking underwater seascapes defined by ridges, pinnacles, seamounts and walls. They are thickly shrouded in hard and soft corals and they are a macro nirvana.
The Resort’s fleet of stable, roomy dive boats which has exclusive rights to this priceless underwater real estate, makes each trip easy sailing, and an experienced and attentive dive crew actually does anticipate your every need.
Back on the reef, bring a checklist of your “most wanted” marine creatures. The divemasters do their very best to make sure you find them all, and a few more — lionfish, sea snakes, batfish, frogfish, clownfish, blue spotted stingrays, crocodile fish, ghost pipefish, turtles, leaf fish, pygmy seahorses, mandarin fish and, possibly, even the elusive blue-ringed octopus.
Pure, exquisite sensory overload. Dive after dive. The tranquil, unhurried, pampered style of the Resort offers a welcome respite in contrast. No matter where you are, you’re never far from a place to put your feet up, sip a cool drink, soak up some sun or contemplate a sky filled with a billion stars.
Watermark Productions recently spent a month at Wakatobi to shoot a high definition video of the Resort and its surrounding marine environment. Click on these links to see more of what awaits you at Wakatobi above and below water.