Personal Touches

Published June 9, 2022 in RESORT

Discovering the human touch at Wakatobi Resort

We always enjoy hearing from guests who experienced a particularly memorable stay with us. These comments and compliments often touch on the quality of the diving, the beauty of the surroundings and the resort’s amenities. But even more common—and rewarding to us—are the accolades given to our staff. As guests have told us over and over again, it is the people who make Wakatobi Resort unique. “Our stay at Wakatobi was memorable in so many ways,” says guest Shannon Weatherall, “but what impressed us most was the personal touches we received throughout each day.”


Each member of our team makes a point to get to know our guests, and anticipate their needs on a level not possible at larger resorts. Photo by Didi Lotze

Welcome to the family

Indonesian culture has a long tradition of welcoming guests as if they were family. “From the moment you are greeted at the airport to the boat ride to the resort, the staff welcomes you with such warmth,” says Susan Cover. “I have never been treated so well in my life.” With a guest-to-staff ratio of less than one-to-one, Wakatobi’s hospitality team is able to get to know each guest, and anticipate their needs on a level not possible at larger resorts. “We were two girlfriends traveling together and we immediately felt welcomed, and never unsafe or worried,” says Maryna Van Jaarsfield. “The staff at Wakatobi know you by name and are truly invested in making your stay as comfortable as possible.”

…the staff welcomes you with such warmth. I have never been treated so well in my life.

“They will accommodate any request,” says Dr. Jim Benjamin, “ although you hardly need to make any since they have thought of essentially everything.” Though this is often the case, there are times when the staff is called on to go the extra mile. When one guest could not remember the name of the village where she found an essential oil, which she fell in love with and wished she had purchased, our team tracked down the source and had it delivered to Bali in time for her to take home to the US. Over the years, the Bali-based concierge team team has expedited everything from forgotten medications to hard-to-find camera parts to shipping carvings overseas. “We even found a Balinese police officer who was willing to trade police tags with a guest who collects them from all over the world,” says concierge Stijn.

A spa visit is a great way to relax and unwind, and can easily be enjoyed in the privacy of your Bungalow or Villa. Photo by Marco Fierli

Spa treatments are often enjoyed in the privacy of your Bungalow or Villa. Photo by Marco Fierli

Just for you

Beyond the welcoming hospitality extended to all who come to Wakatobi Resort, there are a number of ways that guests can enjoy the even more personalized attention. A spa visit is always a great way to relax and unwind, but these services can also be enjoyed in the privacy of your Bungalow or Villa deck or even on a quiet section of the beach. Simply specify when and where and the table will be set and awaiting your arrival, it’s done. Sessions might include traditional Balinese massage techniques, soothing and purifying facials, nail care or other specialty spa treatments—all administered against a backdrop of lapping waves and the rustle of trade winds in the palm trees. This pleasure certainly wasn’t lost on Elmer and Sandra Doty. On their third visit to the resort, they booked a two-bedroom waterfront Villa and enjoyed massages every other night during their stay.


Our staff will provide your therapy on the beach, or any quiet location of your choosing. Photo by Wakatobi Resort

In addition to personal pampering, guests are provided with unique opportunities to delve into the region’s cultural heritage and natural surroundings in the company of those who know it best. Personal guides are available to lead walks along the Onemobaa Nature Trail, which take you into a world of greenery. Guides who have spent their lives on these islands not only know the name of every bird and plant you come across, but also the role it may play in local folklore, cuisine or medicine. Walks might take you to an area where monitor lizards roam, or to the local Bajo Village of Lamanggau, where you are swarmed by children with infectious grins, then invited to share a cup of tea with a family who may likely be related to your guide. Equally entertaining and informative are the cooking classes staged at the resort, which provide a hands-on opportunity to learn the intricacies of favorite recipes such as Sambal Oelek.


Many guests choose to marry or renew their vows at Wakatobi Resort, and our staff is there to bring it all together. Photo by Wakatobi Resort

Even more personal are the events our staff creates for special occasions. Over the years, we’ve organized engagement parties, weddings, anniversaries, family reunions and more. Recently, Gina and Mike Leisten chose Wakatobi to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary, and they invited family and friends to join them. They began by booking the master suite on our luxury dive yacht Pelagian, and then returned to stay in one of Wakatobi’s premium waterfront villas, where the resort staff provided a range of special attentions such as private dinners and group celebrations on the terrace. “It was the perfect way to combine our anniversary celebration and a first-class dive trip with special friends,” Gina says.


Our staff can arrange a variety of events from group dinners to cocktail parties and small gatherings for friends and family. Photo by Wakatobi Resort

"The food is better than any 5-star restaurant we have been to," say guests Lance and Patchara Carlson

“The food is better than any 5-star restaurant we have been to,” say guests Lance and Patchara Carlson

Savory services

Meal times are always special occasions at Wakatobi Resort, as we pride ourselves on not just feeding our guests, but indulging their senses in a range of culinary delights beyond what is expected. “The food was superb. I believe the chef could open a restaurant in any major city and do quite well,” says Susan Cooper-Smith. “The restaurant staff is outstanding. They learned our preferences, so after asking for something once, we never had to ask again,” she says.