The Villa Life
Recent upgrades and private dive services make a stay at Wakatobi’s villas better than ever
Cloistered at the far end of the beach, the Wakatobi Villas provide guests with an extra degree of privacy and spaciousness, along with magnificent waterfront views and additional personalized services. For Mike and Gina Leisten, a stay at Villa One proved to be the perfect setting for a very special occasion.
The perfect choice for a special occasion
“I am sitting on the porch of this exact Villa as I read this post! We fly back to Bali tomorrow, then onto home from there. Wakatobi has been the best vacation we have ever had.” Gina Leisten
This was the comment Gina Leisten was inspired to add to a facebook post as she sat enjoying the sunset on the last evening of her December 2013 vacation. The post she was reading was from Wakatobi dive resort, and it showed a view from the very same villa where she and Mike, her husband of 25 years, were staying.
The couple had come to Wakatobi in the company of friends to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. The group had first enjoyed a cruise on Pelagian dive yacht, followed by ten days at the resort. “We made an excellent choice of Wakatobi for this special occasion. We wanted our anniversary trip to be memorable and several members of our diving group had already chosen Wakatobi, so it was the perfect way to combine the anniversary celebration and a dive trip with good friends,” Gina said. “While this destination was a long way from home for us, it was worth it; we also upgraded to the master suite on the yacht and the largest villa with a swimming pool. Now I’m afraid we’re ruined for any other vacation, nowhere else will compare!”
Complementary upgrades included with a villa stay
“Having a private dive guide was a great advantage, in particular because we wanted to film certain tough to find critters. In addition, we truly had a lot of fun with our guide, Komang!” said Gina.
The waterfront views from rooms and porches are reason enough for many guests to opt for one of Wakatobi’s premium villas. But they have additional incentives to choose these spacious, secluded accommodations. Villa stays now include the complementary services of a Private Dive Experience Manager (PDEM). These skilled guides are the cornerstone of the resort’s private diving program, and their goal is to provide the ultimate in personalized resort dive experiences. Soon after checking into a villa, guests have a chance to get to know their dive experience manager.
Before diving or snorkeling begins, guests and PDEM get together, enjoy a cool drink and discuss everything – from personal comfort and experience levels to diving goals and any special itineraries or expectations the guest has. Based on this conversation, the manager will create a custom diving (or snorkeling) itinerary. photo by Didi Lotze
This is just the beginning, as the PDEM will be there on every dive to act as a private assistant and guide, help with equipment or cameras if need be, and provide an appropriate level of guidance for those who may need help with buoyancy control or underwater navigation. In addition, PDEMs serve as a dive buddy and spotter for more accomplished divers and photographers. The guides know every detail of the reef, and are experts at finding and pointing out the numerous small and rare creatures that make their home in Wakatobi’s waters.
This was an important feature for the Leistens and friends: “With our group of 15, we felt we had plenty of dive guides. Paula, Sonia, Dollar, Bowo, Jacob, Koman, Ismael, Misu, and Gregor were all wonderful. We had so much fun with all of them,” said Gina.
“Komang had a great eye for spotting pygmy seahorses and other tiny treasures on the reefs, and we felt we got the best experience because of this,” said Gina. “We even got photos of a pregnant male seahorse, and one shot has two seahorses. Mike got video of the pregnant seahorse moving from branch to branch, and it looks surreal!” photo by Richard Smith
Added space and amenities enhance the experience
“We hosted a party by the pool for the entire dive group of 15, plus all of our dive guides,” said Mike Leisten.
Other complementary upgrades provided with a Villa stay, which guests can opt for, include the opportunity to use a professional-level Cannon camera and Seacam housing system for two dives, or to experience a fluo dive or fluo snorkel. This unique form of night diving uses special underwater lights and mask filters to reveal the hidden fluorescent qualities of corals and fish life. To participate in the fluo program, guests must have appropriate night diving skills.
Complementary private guide service isn’t the only recent development with Wakatobi’s villas. Interiors have been updated with new décor that maintains an emphasis on the native woods and rock of the structures. In addition, the plunge pools located on the seaside decks of Villas One and Three have been enhanced and enlarged.
Because of the resort’s perch on a low rock ledge that lies just to the north of the beach, taking a dip is as easy as walking down a short set of private steps to immerse in the clear water. The villas large decks and porches are favorite places to enjoy morning coffee, or take in a magnificent sunset, while additional indoor and outdoor seating areas can turn villas into centers for social gatherings.
This is particularly true for Villa One, as Mike and Gina can attest. “We hosted a party at our villa by the pool,” Mike said. “We invited our entire dive group of 15, and all of our dive guides. We wanted to show our appreciation for all of their patience, and hard work. All of these dive guides had the perfect amount of professionalism, marine intelligence, fun spiritedness, and great customer service.”
The Leistens also appreciated the vistas and the spaciousness of their villa. “The view as you walk through the front gate is absolutely stunning, we admired it daily,” Gina said. “The deck offered both shade and sun, and the pool was a wonderful respite for relaxation after a dive.”
Learn more about a stay in a Wakatobi villa by contacting our office at firstname.lastname@example.org or completing a quick trip inquiry on wakatobi.com. A guest experience representative will be in touch with you to answer any questions and discuss your next dream dive vacation.
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