I recently backpacked for a month through Indonesia, a solo American woman aged 30. Just to give you an idea of my mindset when I decided to go to Walea..... I had stayed in a range of accommodation from $10/night hut on the beach to 5 star resorts during a 3 week period on Bali/Lombok. I wanted to whisk myself away far off the beaten path to a very exotic destination where I could plant myself for a week and relax. I am PADI openwater certified but had not dived in 7 years. I thought it would be a good option for me to hang out on the beach during the day and do a bit of diving if the urge struck me. In reality the resort underwhelmed me in some aspects and surpassed my expectations in others. The pluses: it was really clean; the rooms were a very nice standard and kept cool all day long due to the architecture of the buildings; there was NOT ONE bug in my room or bathroom during the entire stay including mosquitos (they spray twice a week to keep mozzies at bay).. this was a major plus!; the spa is really nice and the masseuse was pretty good; the owner of the hotel, Simona, is wonderful, cool, friendly and speaks English; the guests were down to earth; The food was OUT OF THIS WORLD. Simona's family has a restaurant on Sardinia...enough said. They even have an Illy espresso machine. The food (dinners, that is) was the highlight by far of my experience. The dive masters Marco and Sissi are very professional. Marco in particular was confidence- inspiring for me as a beginner diver and led me to the full 18m on a number of dives with ease. The dive equipment/ operation is VERY professional and focused on safety. The negatives: you are on the equator so (clearly) it gets hot during the day. This is not a problem if you want to hang out on the boat diving. But if you are primarily after sun-lounging and beach-bronzing like I was you can only stay in the sun for an hour or 2 max each day without getting sun stroke (which i almost did). So, this place is not for non-divers and I have to agree with previous comments that I would not advise snorkelers to stay here either.There is pretty much nothing to do outside of diving and spa. I mostly slept and ate! They have a "sunset bar" but there isn't a bartender there or music to create a fun atmosphere. The sea... is a pretty color, very good visibility on all my dives, and the reef is very nice... but I have seen a much more spectacular array of marine life in various other places I have dived (Brazil, Australia, Thailand). I was expecting more "big" fish...more interesting animals....because of the unspoilt location. I concede I dove no deeper than18m but I only saw some tiny baby sharks and a barracuda during my 5 days. Lots of schools of beautiful multicoloured fish but overall not a very exciting experience in the water. Having said all that, the pro-divers in our group seemed to be excited by the micro life. The guests- exclusively Italian. I really enjoyed this because I speak Italian and quickly blended into the funny crew. But I think non-Italian speakers might have a difficult time... be prepared to hang out by yourselves if you don't speak. And think twice if you are a solo traveller! You will probably get bored very quickly. Dinner is served so late that I decided a few times to go to bed instead of waiting up. .. you have about 3 hours of downtime before dinner during which there is nothing to do and this needs to be remedied in my opinion. The location is FARRRRRRRRRR away from anywhere. As I said, this was originally my motive for choosing Walea. But having now been there and back I would say it is not worth the journey. Especially on the way back.... my sequence of 5 flights to get home was completely thrown off course by engine failure in the plane that was due to pick us up, massive delays and finally a political riot targeting our terminal in Luwuk airport. Any semblance of relaxation gleaned at Walea was wiped out by the panic on the day and ensuing 3 days of patchwork re-scheduled travel. really nightmarish traveling and I am not a stranger to adventure travel. All in all..... if you are Italian, a pro diver, looking for your next exotic dive destination with a group of your Italian friends and you are comfortable with "adventure" travel, then Walea may be a good choice for you. Otherwise, you way want to seriously consider your other options.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- In the heart of Sulawesi, Walea Dive Resort is the only Marine Park/Protected Area in Indonesia that offers more than 200 Km2 of untouched sea for maximum 35 visitors per day.Living your holiday into the nature with all the comforts: Diving, snorkeling, gourmet, wellness and relax. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Walea Dive Resort Luwuk, Indonesia - Sulawesi