Remote Yet Not Removed

Published February 25, 2016 in RESORT, Resort Reports

At Wakatobi you are away from it all, but never out of touch

In an age where we all seem permanently tethered to our mobile devices, turning off and tuning out can be a real treat. This is certainly the case at Wakatobi. Whether you are submerged on a coral wall, walking a deserted beach or enjoying a sunset libation at the Jetty Bar, the concerns of the outside world seem far away. This splendid ability to selectively disconnect is made all the better by the knowledge that though remote, Wakatobi maintains solid contact to the outside world. Should the need arise, guests can easily reconnect to take care of business or resolve unexpected events without major interruptions to their vacation plans.

Our guests can rest easy, knowing that one way or another, the outside world is just a call, text or email away. Photo by Didi Lotze

Our guests can rest easy, knowing that one way or another, the outside world is just a call, text or email away. Photo by Didi Lotze

Lines of communication

You might not guess it when walking a deserted stretch of Wakatobi’s beach, but the resort is actually linked to the global communications grid through a number of different technologies. The Internet and email have reached our remote seaside palm grove, both in the form of a satellite link and a terrestrial connection, which provides a backup should weather interfere with the satellite. In recent years, the islands of the Wakatobi group have also seen the arrival of cellular service, and it is now possible to send and receive SMS texts and make voice calls to anywhere in the world. In the unlikely event that the cellular network is down, texts and calls can also be made through our on-site satellite phone system. Finally, there is the additional tried-and-true option of long-range radio transmissions, which was the region’s original line of communication to the world in the days when this truly was a remote destination that required two days of travel from Bali. The bottom line is that, one way or another, the outside world is just a call, text or email away.

 The administrative team in Bali takes the lead on everything from last-minute itinerary changes to emergency response efforts and filling special requests. Photo by Wakatobi Dive Resort

The administrative team in Bali takes the lead on everything from last-minute itinerary changes to emergency response efforts and filling special requests. Photo by Wakatobi Dive Resort

The Bali backup

The best communications technology in the world isn’t effective if no one is listening, and able to respond. To provide prompt attention to all manner of guest needs and unforeseen contingencies, the resort remains in constant contact with our central office in Bali. There, our director of operations, Crispin Jones, along with concierge Stijn Loones and team, take the lead on coordinating everything from last-minute itinerary changes to emergency response efforts and the fulfillment of special requests.

 In some cases, requests may be as simple as providing specialty items such as almond milk or scent-free laundry soap. Other times, the Bali team’s fast reactions are called on to provide prescription refills or replacements of important medications.

When a guest needed a hard-to-find replacement part for an underwater camera system, Stijn was able to locate the appropriate spare, have it expressed shipped to Bali, and sent to the resort aboard the next flight.“I discovered two items that I needed and didn’t bring,” says guest Andy Bernat. “One was a set of tiny magnets for my camera strobe, and were important to me for achieving my image goals. Stijn tracked them down in Singapore, had them overnighted, and put everything on the next flight to the resort. There’s nothing like Wakatobi service!” In some cases, requests may be as simple as providing specialty items such as almond milk or scent-free laundry soap. Other times, the Bali team’s fast reactions are called on to provide prescription refills or replacements of important medications.

Our own mile-long paved airstrip is large enough to accommodate a wide range of twin engine aircraft. This ensures we can expedite prompt and safe evacuation should an emergency arise. Photo by Wakatobi Dive Resort

Our own mile-long paved airstrip is large enough to accommodate a wide range of twin engine aircraft. This ensures we can expedite prompt and safe evacuation should an emergency arise. Photo by Wakatobi Dive Resort

In addition to our flights twice weekly, we also have a supply boat that helps us keep us well provisioned. Photo by Wakatobi Dive Resort

In addition to our flights twice weekly, we also have a supply boat that helps keep us well provisioned. Photo by Wakatobi Dive Resort

Anticipating the unexpected

Wakatobi has well-established protocols that have resulted in an exemplary record of safe diving throughout our twenty years of service. We have procedures in place to passively and unobtrusively reinforce the safety and well-being of our guests, and every effort is made to ensure guest comfort and satisfaction at all times. But accidents will happen, and it is the response to those situations that sets Wakatobi apart from many other remote destinations. We have invested millions of dollars into building and maintaining an infrastructure that provides our clientele with both necessities and luxuries. Sixteen years ago, we built our own mile-long paved airstrip to dramatically reduce travel time to and from our resort. This dedicated airstrip, coupled with our intimate knowledge of options available for medevac charter, provides us with an unrivaled opportunity to assist in arranging a prompt and appropriate medical evacuation for guests requiring emergency treatment.

We maintain a full stock of medical gear and medication, and there is a clinic on the neighboring island sufficiently equipped for general treatments.

In cases of genuine medical emergency, we have always succeeded in bringing the guest out to medical treatment in a timely manner. Fortunately, these true emergency evacuations are rare occurrences, and more often, we are called upon to arrange evacuations for reasons more closely aligned with comfort or convenience. In the majority of cases, the Wakatobi staff is able to provide on-site solutions to the more routine bumps and scratches that occur. We maintain a full stock of medical gear and medication, and there is a clinic on the neighboring island sufficiently equipped for general treatments. We encourage all guests to check with your medical insurer before the trip to verify that you are covered while traveling abroad. It is also important to consider purchasing supplemental dive insurance offered by firms such as Divers Alert Network (DAN), PADI, and Dive Assure, which may also include travel, gear and accident coverage all in one comprehensive policy. With these safeguards in place, you will be able to relax and enjoy your time at Wakatobi, knowing that no matter how remote the setting, the world is just a call away.

It’s time to get away from it all and visit our corner of the world. Here your cares and concerns are replaced by the all barefoot luxuries you’ve been dreaming about. Contact our office at office@wakatobi.com or complete a quick trip inquiry at wakatobi.com. A guest experience representative will be in touch with you to answer any questions and provide information about your next dream dive vacation.

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