First Guests Back At Wakatobi

Published May 24, 2022 in NEWS, RESORT, Uncategorized

Wakatobi is on track for full reopening on 3 June, but we couldn’t wait that long to see some of our favorite guests. In mid April, we invited several long-time members of the Wakatobi family to join us for a soft reopening. Among the first to jump at the chance for an early return were Wayne and Pam Osborn, avid divers and photographers from Australia who have now visited Wakatobi a total of 10 times.

Guests enjoy happy moments at the resort. "...a delight to see life coming back to normal," says Pam.

Joyful moments at the resort. “It was a delight to see life coming back to normal.”

“It was great to be back,” Pam says. “I think it took all of a half-second to say yes. Everything has gone smoothly – from the concierge service at Denpasar to the flights ongoing into Tomia, we were very well looked after. Ariana and staff have been cooking up a storm in the restaurant with so many tasty meals, beautifully presented, and we have enjoyed that classic Wakatobi attentive and friendly service. We expected there may be shortages, but we have not noticed any and have had quite a varied menu,” she says.

“It was a delight to see so many old friends still working with Wakatobi, and to see life coming back to normal.” ~ Pam Osborn

Wayne reports that the reefs are in “fine fettle” as cameras work overtime. “We’ve been repeatedly diving our favorites — Zoo, Dunia Baru, Roma, Teluk Maya, and the many walls,” he says.

The Osborns were happy to rediscover beautiful Flasher wrasses on their dives. Photo by Wayne Osborn

The Osborns found stunning Flasher wrasses on some of their favorite sites. Photo by Wayne Osborn

“We were delighted to rediscover flasher wrasse at Dunia Baru and Teluk Maya, and Roma and the Zoo have their classic and busy schools of fish. I have done 36 dives so far and Pam has been re-exploring her favorite locations on the House Reef, and freediving on a whitecap shrimp goby at The Zoo.”

Also among the first to return for the resort’s soft opening were Robert Kreuzer and Jacqueline Jakob, who arrived with “modest expectations” and are planning to stay for a full five weeks. “Our expectations were not only met, but exceeded by far,” says Jacqueline. “We were overwhelmed by the friendliness and service. Everyone seems so happy to be back and serving the guests. It doesn’t feel like a soft opening at all.”

Wakatobi restaurant at dinnertime. Photo by Didi Lotze

The Wakatobi restaurant at dinnertime. Photo by Didi Lotze

“Ibram, Wakatobi’s restaurant manager, and We, a former Pelegian steward, are taking great care and enthusiasm to train the new staff who are gaining more and more confidence every single day,” says Jacqueline. “We all are having a lot of fun together. And not to forget the food is really delicious, and the service is amazing.”

“The reefs are still in pristine condition,” Robert reports, “and there is an abundance of fish and coral life. We found three species of pygmy seahorses just in the first few days – the Denise, the Bargibanti, and also the Pontohi.”

Robert says finding this rare Pygmy sea dragon is the highlight of his underwater photography. Photo by Robert Kreuzer

Finding this rare Rumengani, or Pygmy sea dragon is “a highlight of my underwater photography,” says Robert. Photo by Robert Kreuzer

“And our dive guide Muji found something unexpected – a Rumengani, also called Lembeh Pygmy Sea Dragon. For both Muji and me, it was a first, and a highlight of my underwater photography. Muji is an expert at finding even the smallest creatures and knows their habitats well. And he seems to have a photographic memory of the dive sites!”

Hosting our early-arriving guests proved to be a great experience for the Wakatobi staff as well. Team members who had been away for some time have returned in the past few weeks, and long-time members of our local staff who spent the last two years maintaining and sprucing up the property are now once again focused on providing the perfect guest experience.

“Wakatobi’s plan to be better and brighter on reopening has been very smart.”  ~Pam Osborn

When a full complement of guests begins arrival in June, they will find that Wakatobi is not only “as good as ever,” it is even better. As Pam puts it “Wakatobi’s plan to be better and brighter on reopening has been very smart.”

Our reservation team is busier than ever. So please, reach out to us soon to schedule your preferred dates. We can still find space now!

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