Wakatobi Villa One at sunset feature_photo Didi Lotze

The Villa Life

Published March 25, 2015 in Accommodations, Amenities, RESORT

New additions 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.

Villa One two bedroom with pool 625x310_photo Didi Lotze

Villa one has two private bedrooms with full shower rooms, large deck areas, a courtyard, and a plunge pool – with stunning ocean views and an excellent vantage point for enjoying Wakatobi’s brilliant sunsets. Photo by Didi Lotze

Villas at high tide 625x310_Didi Lotze

Wakatobi’s Villas are nestled at the north end of the resort. Guests enjoy privacy, exquisite views, step down to the beach or at high tide right to Wakatobi’s clear, warm waters. Photo by Didi Lotze

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.”  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 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.

“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.” Mike Leistein

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 one of the villas with a swimming pool. Now I’m afraid we’re ruined for any other vacation, nowhere else will compare!”

Pelagian dive yacht cruises by the villas on the way out to Buton Island. Photo by Wakatobi Dive Resort

Pelagian dive yacht passes the villas on a cruise out to Binongko, Kaledupa, Wangi Wangi and Buton islands for diving on the region’s outer reefs and muck sites. Photo by Wakatobi Dive Resort

Many guests op to enjoy a meal on the deck at the villa. Photo by Didi Lotze

The villa’s extended decks with lounges over the water are favorite spots for enjoying morning coffee or evening libations. Many guests op to have breakfast or other meals served on the deck. Photo by Didi Lotze

Complementary upgrades included with a villa stay

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 also include the complementary services of a Private Dive / Snorkel 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 private snorkel/dive experience manager. “Having a private dive guide was a great advantage, in particular because we wanted to film certain tough to find critters. We also truly had a lot of fun with Komang!” said Gina.

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 Mike.

Before diving or snorkeling begins, guests and private guide get together, enjoy a cool drink and discuss everything - from personal comfort and experience levels to snorkeling or diving goals and any special itineraries or expectations the guest has. Based on this conversation, the manager will create a custom itinerary. Photo by Didi Lotze

Before diving or snorkeling begins, guests and private guide get together, enjoy a cool drink and discuss everything – from personal comfort and experience levels to snorkeling or diving goals and any special itineraries or expectations the guest has. Based on this conversation, the manager will create a custom itinerary. Photo by Didi Lotze

Private guides are experts at locating the multitude of rare and tiny creatures on Wakatobi's reefs. Photo by Walt Stearns

PDEMs are experts at finding and pointing out the multitude of rare and tiny creatures on Wakatobi’s reefs. Photo by Walt Stearns

“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 looked surreal!”  Photo by Richard Smith

Some of the rarest finds include Wakatobi’s “darlings,” pygmy seahorses. With the help of their guide the Leisten’s found a pregnant male and were able to obtain video of it. Photo by Richard Smith

“As far as having a private guide, Komang had a great eye for spotting pygmies and other 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 pygmy seahorse, and one of our pictures has two seahorses. Mike got video of the pregnant male moving from branch to branch, and it looks surreal. We will never, ever, forget this experience.”

Added space and amenities enhance the experience

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 enjoy a complimentary 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 added value for guests in the villas. Interiors have been updated with 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 two have been enhanced and enlarged.

“We hosted a party by the pool for our entire dive group of 15, plus all of the dive guides,” said Mike.

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,”  he said. The large deck and pool at Villa One provides ample space for socializing.  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 and the deck offered both shade and sun. Of course the pool was a wonderful respite for relaxation after diving and snorkeling,” said Gina.

The Leistens and friends enjoyed many a sunset while relaxing in the pool at Villa One. Photo by Gina Leisten

Isn’t it time to treat yourself to a villa stay at Wakatobi?  Contact us at office@wakatobi.com or complete a quick trip inquiry on wakatobi.com.  A guest experience representative will be in touch with you to answer any questions about  your next dream vacation.

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