Wakatobi: Nothing Else Comes Close

Published May 25, 2013 in Accommodations, Amenities, RESORT

Remote, unspoiled, luxurious, intimate, eco-friendly, unique, these are just some of the words guests used to describe Wakatobi Dive Resort. Far from crowds and cities, yet surprisingly civilized, Wakatobi combines five-star amenities with a pristine natural environment; a pairing that has secured its reputation as one of the best resorts in the world.

Resort view-rev_KS-08-06-12_shawn levin

Over the years, Wakatobi has evolved from a simple, remote diving outpost into a world-class property that offers the highest levels of comfort and service, set against a stunning natural backdrop that encompasses one of the finest and most diverse underwater ecosystems on the planet.

Wakatobi operates on the principles of ultimate service, ecological stewardship and community citizenship. Guests are enveloped in five-star service in a physical setting that enhances rather than overshadows the property’s unique natural beauty. Operating according to the highest principles of sustainable eco-tourism, the resort employs a business model that returns substantial tangible benefit to the local communities and people.

Year after year Wakatobi Resort earns the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence.

Wakatobi is located in southeastern Sulawesi, on the edge of Indonesia’s Banda Sea. The resort occupies a point of land on the western shore of tiny Tolandono island, which is part of the Tukang Besi archipelago. The word Wakatobi is actually a compilation of the first two letters in the names of the group’s four major islands: WAngi Wangi, KAledupa, TOmia and BInongko.

The gateway to Wakatobi is Bali, which lies some 1,000 kilometers to the west. Unlike many destinations in this region, which may require multiple flights and ferry boats to reach, Wakatobi is not difficult to reach as it is served by direct two and half hour charter flights from Bali to the resort’s private airstrip on the adjacent island of Tomea. From the airstrip, it is a short boat ride to the resort.

The resort’s remote location was chosen by Wakatobi founder Lorenz Maeder not only for its unspoiled natural beauty and white sand beach, but mainly for the surrounding underwater environment, which is centered in the region hosting the greatest marine biodiversity of any coral reef ecosystem in the world.

The resort’s oceanfront venue provides dramatic waterfront and sunset views, coupled with immediate access to the finest and best-protected coral reefs in Indonesia. The near shore shallows and reef slopes, which begin literally at the resort’s front door, are considered among the world’s best shore dives. The surrounding waters are protected both as part of a national park and a private marine reserve that was created by Wakatobi’s founders, and is supported by revenue generated from resort activity.

Wakatobi Resort’s guest accommodations include four oceanfront Villas (two with two full bedrooms), fifteen Ocean Bungalows and eight Palm Bungalows that follow the region’s classic style of hard wood construction combined with contemporary architecture using sandstone. No matter which you choose, you are treated to a relaxing setting with the rich earthy overtones of the outdoors while at the same time offering all the modern amenities of a luxury hotel suite.

 Villas are the resort’s premier accommodations occupying the northern end of the island and perched on a small bluff adjacent to the beach. Villas offer even more living space in one- or two-bedroom floor plans with enlarged porches and decks, and elevated westward views of the ocean from all rooms. Two villas also provide private plunge pools overlooking the water.

For ultimate comfort and relaxation Villas are decorated and finished in plush wood, glass and sandstone elements to create a sense of openness and understated elegance.

For beach lovers Wakatobi’s Ocean Bungalows, our most popular choice (and why there are 14), provide a similar elegant style in a cozier floor plan with stronger emphasis on hardwood decor. Another added treat available with ocean bungalows is the large Asian-style outdoor showers, as well as balconies, lounge chairs and hammocks for reading and relaxing beachfront. Due to their location and orientation facing the beach, Ocean Bungalows provide the most magnificent views while capitalizing on sea breezes.

All bungalows are of equal size, although many of our repeat guests develop a preference for those not on the ocean. Palm bungalows have a charm of their own, tucked into the island’s luxuriant foliage. With an interior that emphasizes a tropical paradise, they offer large balconies and shaded yards with hammocks set between the trees. As with all of our guest accommodations palm bungalows include cable internet access.

Food and Dining
Fine dining and remote locations don’t always go together, but Wakatobi provides a spectacular and delicious exception to this rule. The direct charter flights that speed guests to Wakatobi also provide the resort kitchens with a steady supply of the freshest foods and produce from Bali and around the world.

The resort restaurant’s prime beachside location creates a premier dining experience in a relaxed yet elegant setting, with a menu that includes a broad range of international dishes along with an intriguing sampling of Indonesian cuisines.

Each meal delivers culinary variety to tempt the pallet, while also providing a range of familiar comfort foods, soup, fresh fruits and specialty dishes. Our highly trained Balinese chefs draw on experience gained at premier restaurants and resorts to create a savory, healthful and varied menu. Local fruits and sustainably caught pelagic seafood is also utilized when appropriate, including such delicacies as day-fresh tuna sashimi and Indonesian-style barbecue fish.

Wakatobi’s chefs are happy to accommodate special dietary requests, which can be easily arranged with the resort’s administrative staff in Bali prior to arrival.

One of our specialties is arranging private tete-a-tete dinner in an even more romantic setting on the beach. Our restaurant staff will serve your meal and drinks, which can include libations, fine wines, cappuccino and aperitifs. This is a particularly nice option for honeymoon couples and those celebrating special occasions such as anniversaries.

Guests who wish to sleep in or relax on their balcony can enjoy an a-la-carte breakfast delivered to their bungalow or villa.

After a day of diving one of the favorite gathering spots is the Jetty Bar where guests can enjoy refreshments including mixed drinks and premium wines and beers against a one-of-a-kind setting. Suspended directly over the edge of our dramatic house reef facing west, sunsets on the pier are especially memorable, and not to be missed.

Wakatobi’s Spa is a tranquil oasis of relaxation and rejuvenation. Our trained therapists are versed in both Balinese massage and Continental techniques, and can provide a full range of relaxation, rejuvenation and enhancement programs. A combination of deep tissue stimulation, acupressure, long-stroke stretching and kneading techniques are incorporated in Balinese therapies to enhance relaxation, dispel tension and stimulate circulation. The spa creates its own collection of proprietary oils, with virgin coconut and coconut oil bases, enhanced with several essentials from ginger, rosemary and lavender to jasmine, sandalwood and ylang-ylang. We also offer a host of other treatments such as facials, aromatherapy, full-body exfoliations and scrubs, and more.

Kid’s Club and Childcare
We consider Wakatobi to be a family friendly resort. Though dive holidays can be tricky with non-diving children, kids of any age will be cared for and entertained here at Wakatobi so you can fully enjoy the vacation of a lifetime. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t be a big kid and treat yourself to a cooking class held by our Chefs to hone your own culinary skills.

Contact the concierge to find out more about Wakatobi’ Kid’s Club, childcare programs, cooking classes and other non-diving activities.

The center of Wakatobi’s social activity is the Longhouse. In addition to housing the resort’s dive center, camera room and technical / rebreather diving work area, there is a lounge, guest library, media room and imaging center, gift shop and coffee bar. The Longhouse is a complimentary WiFi hotspot and a PC terminal is available in the media library for internet access.

Contact our concierge at“ bali@wakatobi.com for more information or to learn about classes held at the longhouse.

The Main Attraction
Diving and Snorkeling is our main attraction. With a reputation as one of the world’s premier diving destinations, Wakatobi Dive Resort is renowned for pristine reefs, abundant, diverse marine life and benign environmental conditions.

Wakatobi operates a fleet of locally-crafted 24m/70-foot long boats that can accommodate up to 14 divers, but usually carry a maximum of 10 to 12. Sheltering roofs and spacious benches provide ample room for gearing up and relaxing between dives. Onboard amenities include large camera platforms, rinse tanks, a toilet, fresh water shower, fresh towels and emergency oxygen. Smaller, open tenders provide reef taxi service to points along Wakatobi’s three-mile house reef.

Resort facilities are state-of-the-art, ensuring that divers are provided with ample supplies of pure breathing gases, reliable transportation to sites, and exemplary assistance and support during each dive.

This unmatched combination of natural resources, favorable conditions and professional infrastructure make Wakatobi a destination that is as well suited for new and casual divers as it is for veteran enthusiasts in search of the ultimate underwater experience.

Our professional, highly-trained staff provides individual attention and support to match each diver’s personal needs. Novice or more casual divers are provided with assistance and guidance, while more experienced divers are afforded appropriate levels of diving freedom. Guests can choose to take advantage of services such as gear assistance and in-water guidance, or to establish a more independent itinerary based on their diving or snorkeling objectives through our Private Dive Guide program.

Animals considered rare elsewhere are found here on a regular basis, and a number of previously unknown species have been discovered at Wakatobi. Macro enthusiasts could spend an entire dive in one small section of our house reef, observing ghost pipefish to passing schools of bumphead parrotfish, hawksbill and green turtles to rare treasures like this Blue-ringed octopus.

Our dive guides are keen “critter spotters” who can direct diver’s attention to the hidden treasures of the reef, or to seek out a specific species on a photographer’s wish list.”

Wakatobi’s extensive collection of dive sites set the stage for some of the best marine life encounters imaginable. The region is home to the greatest marine biodiversity of any coral reef ecosystem in the world, including more than 450 species of coral, 3000 varieties of fish, and an even greater number of invertebrates. Active protection measures preserve the health of Wakatobi’s surrounding reefs and ensure that some of the worlds best dive sites are available for current and future generations to enjoy.

For more detailed information visit www.wakatobi.com, or contact us directly at office@wakatobi.com.