Bring the Kids

Published July 23, 2015 in Family Focus, RESORT

At Wakatobi, you don’t have to choose between great diving and family time

Children are one of life’s greatest joys. But they do add complications. After the little ones arrive, travel becomes a bit more challenging–especially if the trip involves airline transfers and remote destinations. Parents who dive have additional considerations when planning a vacation, as they must blend satisfying bottom time with amenities and services appropriate for the youngsters. Families who come to Wakatobi face no such dilemmas. The resort is justifiably known as a world-class diving and snorkeling destination, but as many parents have discovered, it’s also a great place to bring the kids.

Wakatobi's Kids Club and nanny services provide ample activities and care for young and older children. And when mom and dad aren't diving or snorkeling, there's plenty of relaxing land, boat and in-water options for spending quality family time together. Photo by Didi Lotze

Wakatobi’s Kids Club and nanny services provide ample activities and care for young and older children. And when mom and dad aren’t diving, snorkeling, or relaxing, there’s plenty of options for spending quality family time together. Photo by Didi Lotze

Easy travel, no worries

Elisabeth Loison-Fichant and Pierre Fichant can attest to Wakatobi’s child-friendly nature. Both are avid divers, and parents. Based on the recommendation of friends, they booked an 11-day stay at the resort in 2011, and brought their young daughter along. Following the birth of their second girl, they planned a return to Wakatobi, and arrived in August of 2014 with both eight-year old Mathilde and her baby sister Sixtine, who was just shy of her second birthday. “The positive impressions begin in Bali,” Elisabeth says. “Wakatobi’s concierge was there to help with the details of immigration, luggage and transfers.” This assistance makes for a much smoother trip when traveling with children, she says, as did the relatively short charter flight to the resort, and the attentiveness of the staff throughout their stay.

“In addition to awe-inspiring reefs and scenery, a highlight of Wakatobi is the dive guides; they are both very friendly and professional,” Elisabeth says. “During both stays, we had the chance to dive with Shoko. She was just amazing at helping us find tiny creatures hidden on the reef walls. The other guides were also very good. They were talkative and helpful even if you were not part of their group, and their ability to explain the dive sites and animal life was impressive,” says Elisabeth.

“We were able to enjoy our dives with absolutely no apprehension of leaving Sixtine with Wakatobi’s nannies,” Elizabeth says. “They always made sure she was protected from the sun while outside, and lavished her with caring attention.” Sixtine’s second birthday fell during the family’s stay, and the resort staff made it a memorable occasion. “They baked a special cake, sang songs and staged a special dance performance for her. It was simply incredible.”

Elisabeth and Mathilde outside the dive center getting ready to hop on a Wakatobi boat for Mathilde's first boat dive.  Photo by Pierre Fichant

Elisabeth and Mathilde outside the dive center getting ready to hop on Wakatobi V for Mathilde’s first boat dive. Photo by Pierre Fichant

The Fichants feel the diving infrastructure at Wakatobi is very accommodating for youngsters and were excited to see their daughter, Mathilde, scuba diving for the first time at Wakatobi. Photo by Rich Carey

The Fichants feel the diving infrastructure at Wakatobi is very accommodating for youngsters and were excited to see their daughter, Mathilde, scuba diving for the first time at Wakatobi. Photo by Rich Carey

A daughter’s first dives

The resort’s Kids Club provides a stimulating range of activities for older children, but Elisabeth and Pierre also wanted to include their older daughter in the diving adventures. “Mathilde was ecstatic for the chance to use scuba,” Elisabeth says. “We’d been looking forward to the moment she would try, but did not want to put any pressure on her. She seemed ready, so we asked Shoko to instruct her. We left them together so that Mathilde could concentrate on the briefing and the test of inhaling and exhaling though the regulator. Then, for the first dive, they went from the beach to the edge of the House Reef. Pierre and I were snorkeling a bit behind them, and it was a moment we will never forget.”

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