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“2nd Visit and even better than before” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Wakatobi Dive Resort

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Wakatobi Dive Resort
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4.5 of 5 Lodge   |   Wakatobi Resort, Pulau Onemobaa, Tomia - Wakatobi, Wakatobi Island S06 E124, Indonesia   |  
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London
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
88 helpful votes 88 helpful votes
“2nd Visit and even better than before”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2011

We decided to return after 5 years and were very concerned that maybe we had made the wrong choice. We definitely did not! My husband is a very keen diver and I a snorkeller and we were so well catered for. He was on a fixed dive boat and he and his buddy, a solo traveller, had their own dive guide. The resort was not full and it is usually 4x1. I had my own guide for snorkelling as the other snorkellers were happy to snorkel on their own. It made such a difference as I actually saw things which I would have missed on my own and they had their boards which they were able to write on when they spotted things. This was something new as before you just went on a dive boat and snorkelled by yourself.

The accommodation is lovely and very comfortable we even had an outside shower. I originally booked our old room but it was not available so we were moved to a better bungalow. The food is amazing and yes it is buffet style but everything comes in smallish containers and is topped up constantly with fresh. I normally hate buffets but this is something else. I probably have not eaten better anywhere else. The staff in the dining room are incredible and know all the names by the first morning and cannot do enough for you. My only complaint was that there were separate tables but when I mentioned this we got people together who wanted to join us and it was very good for the people that were travelling on their own. It was also fun to mix with other people and get chatting but if you wanted to sit on your own it was possible so best of both worlds.

Would I go back - definitely and I very rarely ever visit a resort more than once but this has everything for both of us so hopefully we will not leave it 5 years before we return again even though it is probably one of the most difficult places for us to get to.

Thank you all the staff at Wakatobi for making it such a great holiday and also to the other guests who we had such funny with especially on the pier at Happy Hour!

Room Tip: All the rooms are great just depends on how much you want to spend. Some of the garden bungalows do...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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217 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (80)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Southport, United Kingdom
1 review
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2011

After two years of deliberation and with our forthcoming “Big” Anniversary in mind, my wife and I chose to celebrate it at Wakatobi. I’m so pleased we did, as each single moment in this beautiful piece of paradise was rewarding and fulfilling. Everyone in the resort and also on the Pelagian Liverboard was most helpful, friendly, keen and knowledgeable. I cannot praise them highly enough, especially our guides Ben, Kaori, Erich, and Kaz, who couldn’t have done more to enhance the diving experiences in our little group. From contact with other staff, I believe we might say the same for all of them.
I only wish we had discovered the superb house reef on our first day because it has everything anybody would ever hope to see on a reef dive, amazingly accessible and only a few minutes from our door. It was a true revelation, as indeed was everything.
We congratulate you for what has been achieved there. It has worked on all levels and from every point of view, divers and non-divers of any age. I’m asked every year to vote in the ‘Diver Magazine’ Awards. Wakatobi gets our vote for Best Dive Resort (and Pelagian the best Liveaboard) in fact it has now spoiled future dive holiday prospects for us because the diving was extremely easy and worry free due entirely to the willingness and desire to ensure our fun and satisfaction. Our combined age is 140 plus, and thanks to them we won’t be hanging up our BCD’s yet. It was not our diving “Swansong” I once considered it could be.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mobile, Alabama
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2011

"I'm not sure if anything can be said that hasn't been said before,but after
7 days on the Pelagian(liveaboard) and then 10 days at the resort,Wakatobi
Resort and Liveaboard has my complete endorsement for being on
every divers "bucket list".They excel in every category!!

What makes Wakatobi different from most other dive resorts besides the
great diving,food,service,location,etc is their organization,attention to detail,commitment
to the community(they provide jobs,water,electricity,etc to the local
village),and always going beyond the call of duty.It is as if everyone working there
has an ownership interest because they all pitch in when they see something that
has or needs to be done.I credit management for setting the right environment as the
tone is set at the top!!

From the time you arrive in Bali to catch their private plane to when you return,everything
is taken care of in a very efficient, effective and friendly manner. I arrived in Bali 6 days before
my flight to the resort and figured I would be on my own since I was arriving so early.
However their local representatives met me at airport,moved me quickly thru customs
and immigration,made some other arrangements for me and I wasn't even in their VIP
program.

I have been on 15+ liveaboards and the Pelagian is in the top 2 when
it comes to diving,service,and food!! The staff does everything they can
to make your diving and onboard experience as comfortable,safe and enjoyable
as you could possibly want.In addition to everything we saw at the resort,we saw
more of the "big" stuff--sharks(white and black tips),eagle rays,devil rays,turtles,etc.

The Resort has the feel of a world class resort with it's
food,service,friendliness,organization,etc.It's as if you are part of the family.
Add the great diving and you have an unbelievable diving experience!!

As it relates to the diving,you can expect to see some of the larger stuff-turtles,sharks,rays,etc
occasionally,but the major things are the hard and soft coral,sea fans,sponges,nudibranches,
pygmy seahorses,frog fish,cuttle fish,squids,octopuses,eels,many different species of
shrimp,crabs,scorpion fish,anemone fish,pipe fish,etc and the beautiful and numerous
reef fish--shrimp gobies,dart fish,puffers,jaw fish,blennies,etc.

Another great experience is the night Fluo dive with the special light and mask filter
where you only observe those creatures with fluorescence--very educational!!

To sum it up,Wakatobi Resort and the Pelagian has just about everything that is
on a divers' bucketlist and should be on every divers' bucketlist--just an unbelievable experience!!"

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
teaneck
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2011

We spent 10 days at Wakatobi last month and were concerned that the divers would get all the attention and snorkelers would be an after thought. I spoke with a representaive of their's based in Canada and he asssured me that snorkelers would have guides in the same ratio as divers (4x1). Though I did not question him when I gave my 25% deposit I re-stated the 4X1 raio which they confirmed. It turned our that on most daily outings, we could go three times/day for an hour plus but we went only twice, we were in a ratio of 2x1. We were thrilled with that arrangement.
The coral appeared 90+% health with a wide variety of fish,coral and anemones. The variety I would rate as good to very good but not great at least in comparison to a trip we took on an expedition boat, fancy live aboard, we were on in March 2010 in the same region: Bunaken, Togean and Baggai Islands. Though they claimed to have the greatest bio-diversity right in their waters that may be true for divers but based upon our two visits to the region that did not hold true for snorkelers on our snorkel outings at Wakatobi. Do not get me wrong the snorkeling was very good but after traveling about 24 flight hours plus 5-6 hours of layovers from NYC and having been to the general area in 2010 we would rate the snorkeling a 7.5 where other spots we saw in the past I might rate as 8.5.If our cabin had not been so uncomfortably warm we would rate the resort an 8.5-8.7. Let me explain.
The accommodations were more than satisfactory but we got dsuck with a bungelow with a pesky air conditioner so that 6 of 10 night it was 83-84 based on our thermometer instead of the 74, which the resort said to expect with the A/C, we experienced on the days they were able to get it working properly. Though we voiced our complain to the front desk folks were trying to avoid making it known to the two senior managers running the resort. Therefore after an afternoon snorkel we often returned to an unpleasantly hot bungelow. On the last night of our stay the General Mgr. came over to our table in the dining room and offered us a bottle of wine because as he said he had just heard of our issues with the faulty A/C. We chose to turn down the offer to make the point that a $50 bottle of wine could not make amends for the A/C issues at an all inclusive charging us about $750/day/couple in that part of the world.
The food was very well prepared and varied with both Indonesian and Western cuisine. But all meals were served buffet style, which is not our preference, and most of the entrees were only luke warm where many would normally be served much warmer if they came directly from the kitchen as individual orders and taste better. This for us was only an issue at dinner. The attitude of the staff was excellent and by the second day many knew all 50 guests names which we find a nice touch.
Considering the resort is about 800 miles off Bali in the middle of know where the resort operated very well. I should mention that my wife and other guests seemed to enjoy the spa treatments and spa staff had been professional trained.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2011

Wakatobi is situated in Southeast Sulawesi and is a luxury diving resort like none I have ever experienced before. If you are looking for unparalled diving, fantastic service and a trip into some of the most remotely beautiful parts of the Pacific, look no further.

The dive instructors and the dive sites here have lived up to our expectations and surpassed them. The frank beauty of the corals and the multitude of sea-life in the waters around Wakatobi was just breathtaking.

I'm not sure if I'll ever get the opportunity to come back to this gorgeous little corner of the world, but I hope more divers will get the word out there that there is diving beyond your wildest dreams in a resort that is not only ecological friendly but also supportive of the local communities.

The breathtaking underwater life and the fantastic 5 star resort living take you to a level of relaxation like no other.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2011

We happened to find Wakatobi surfing the net in search of some extraordinary place to got for our next diving trip combined with our honeymoon: not an easy task to find a place that combines these at top level, but Wakatobi has it all!

As you arrive at Bali airport greeted by Wakatobi staff until you return you are super looked after by great staff! The journey is long, but even the said goes: "good things come to those who wait" and the journey to Waka is all worthy :-)

We stayed in a Villa (Villa 2 to be precise): no need to say anything: it was absolutely beautiful, clean and privacy perfect (which give s big "tick" for honeymooners!!) . My husband even organized a private dinner on our last night at Waka, which has been simply greatly organized by professional staff!

The food at Waka is another great experience and one of the most important points for very hungry divers ;-0!! The food varies every day, and although meals are served "buffet style" it is probably the most elegant buffet I have experienced in a diving and secluded resort so far. Italians like us know quite a lot about food and they are usually very strict on judgments, but let me tell you that every single dish at Waka is a must!!
F&B deserves a big 10+ for everyone working there ( btw: Budi was simply amazing!)

Now, the Diving (after all that is the reason why you come to Wkatobi): the corals are the best we've ever seen so far, simply untouched! Although there is not much pelagic, the underwater world is a new discover each dive: there are so many different and strange ones that every dive is a new surprise.
At wakatobi I had the best night dive so far: ss soon as we enetered the water and at just 2 m depth, we were welcomed by a curious lionfish that decided to follow us trhough the dive. The dive was breathtaking: everywhere you look there is something to see! we did not use the florescent light, but next time it needs to be tried out!!

Dive Masters: diving groups are up to 6 people max (ours never reached 6 people actually) and because each boat goes to different dive sites, you never get to meet other groups - how good this is for diving lovers! The dive masters are extremelly good and fun, our dive master, Marco was superb and his drawing skills simply amazing (ahahha, this is ironic, but his nickname has officially become the "diving Picasso :-)".

Overall: we very much appreciated the welcome cocktail organized by the management: this allowed everyone there to get to know each other and to interact with management itself: a great and rarely found touch towards the guests.

Everyone has been amazing, discreet and fun! We strongly recommend Wakatoby but bear in mind (and do not repeat our "mistake"): 5 days only at Wakatobi is not enough ;-)))

Room Tip: If you want privacy and decide to go for Villas,go for Villa 2!
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2011

My husband and I travel often, and have been diving all over the world. Generally I'm more of a "city girl" and he's the avid diver. Knowing Wakatobi is more of a dedicated dive resort, I let him talk me into going, and I am sure glad I did.
The flight was a long one, and, as promised, someone from Wakatobi met us on the "far side" of customs in Bali and escorted us through customs to our English speaking taxi driver, who gave us a local cell phone and local currency (we'd paid for the currency, or course) and took us to our hotel. Two days later, the same driver took us to the airport where we met more Wakatobi staff and waited in the lounge upstairs for the flight to the resort . A few hours later, we were there. I confess the little vehicles which drove us to the boat which ferried us to Wakatobi were a bit scary looking, but, everyone was super nice and a short while later, we stepped onto Wakatobi's dock and were escorted to our villa, which was, for sure, worth the upgrade price. We had the option of doing our first dive that day, and, after a quick checkout, we got to dive Wakatob's house reef, which was better than anything I'd ever seen before.
When we signed up for our trip, the dive guide to diver ratio was 1 to 6. No one told us, but now it appears to be one to 4, as no dive guide had more than 4 guests assigned. That made the diving almost private. The dives were all amazing and I missed almost none, which is very unusual for me. I even did the night dives (also very unusual) as I didnt want to miss anything.
The food was quite good, and the deserts were a bit too good.
We tried the fluo diving, which was scary at first, but quite interesting.
Internet was slow, but it worked.
The staff was quite nice, and if we wanted to carry anything ourselves, we had to practically fight them for it (we like the exercise).
We also very much enjoyed the company of many of the other travelers we met at Wakatobi, and hope to see some again.
The last day of our trip we got to see Pelagian, and were sorry we'd not booked a stay on her. She is a beautiful ship, but I'm not sure I'm that avid a diver.

Room Tip: Upgrade to a Wakatobi Villa if this is a romantic trip, otherwise the basic villas are fine.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Wakatobi Dive Resort

Address: Wakatobi Resort, Pulau Onemobaa, Tomia - Wakatobi, Wakatobi Island S06 E124, Indonesia
Phone Number:
Location: Indonesia > Sulawesi > Central Sulawesi > Wakatobi Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Wakatobi Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Wakatobi Dive Resort 4.5*
Number of rooms: 26
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Wakatobi is inspired by the realization that great people are prepared to travel far to experience the most beautiful reefs left on the planet. It goes further than any other dive resort to be deserving of the most precious time of the year of its guests. Wakatobi is about maximizing value not minimizing cost for its clientele. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Wakatobi Dive Hotel Sulawesi

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