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Add in a relaxing and casually elegant atmosphere, five-star personal service and fine dining, and it’s easy to see why Wakatobi Resort tops the list for many travellers in the know.

Wakatobi is one of the world’s premier snorkelling and diving destinations. It is an iconic property set on a small island in the pristine waters of central Indonesia’s Banda Sea.

This region lies in the heart of the world’s most biodiverse marine ecosystem, home to more than 700 species of coral and thousands of species of marine life.

Though the setting is remote, Wakatobi is quite easy to reach. When arriving at Bali’s international airport, guests are greeted by a Wakatobi representative who assists with entry, baggage, transfers and layovers.

On the morning of travel to the resort, guests relax in an airport restaurant and enjoy a complimentary breakfast before boarding a direct private guest flight to the resort’s own airstrip.

On arrival at Wakatobi, guests are greeted by name and provided with warm, attentive service throughout their stay.

Wakatobi is known for providing a five-star guest experience and a ratio of five staff members for each guest ensures that the highest level of individual attention is provided.

Resort accommodations include bungalows set in a palm grove facing a white-sand beach and oceanfront villas with sunset views of the reef.

Buildings are hand-crafted in regional Indonesian style from sustainable local materials and carefully sited to ensure both privacy and views. Though traditional in appearance, these spacious accommodations offer a full range of modern comforts, including air conditioning, private verandas and details such as Asian-style outdoor showers.

Many guests consider dining to be a highlight of their Wakatobi holiday.

At the resort’s beachside restaurant, a talented culinary team prepares an ever-changing menu of both international and regional flavours, blending locally sourced ingredients with delicacies from around the world.

Chefs and serving staff learn each guest’s personal preferences and are more than happy to fulfill special requests or dietary needs.

Wakatobi supports one of the world’s largest privately funded marine preserves. The resort is also committed to a variety of programs that provide proactive environmental protection and social benefits to the local community.

Known as the Wakatobi Collaborative Reef Conservation Program, this landmark initiative protects 20km of some of the finest reefs in the world, while also channelling a portion of guest revenue to fishermen and residents of 17 area villages in exchange for honouring no-fishing zones within the marine preserve.

These benefits extend beyond direct monetary rewards to include infrastructure programs to supply selectivity and clean water to the local community, educational materials for schools and more.

The Wakatobi preserve takes in more than 40 dive and snorkelling sites that have enjoyed proactive protection for more than 25 years and remain in pristine condition.

The centrepiece of the preserve is the House Reef, which lies just offshore of the resort’s beach. This site has been awarded the title of ‘World’s Best Shore Dive’ by several international diving publications.

While divers typically focus on the outer slopes and walls of the House Reef, snorkellers can also explore the expanses of grass beds and patch reefs, closer to shore, where they can glide over shallow formations without the encumbrances of tank and gear.

New and casual snorkellers can elicit the help of a dedicated guide and are also under the watchful eye of shore-based observation. A fleet of small ‘taxi boats’ is also available to reach more distant parts of the House Reef for an easy snorkel along the wall back to the resort jetty.

Wakatobi operates a fleet of custom-built, 20-metre snorkelling and dive excursion boats designed for comfort, stability and spaciousness.

Boats provide full-length roofs for sun protection, generous bench seating with ample personal space, deck-level bathrooms and showers and mid-boat water entry points.

Divers and snorkellers can also opt for private boat charters for the ultimate scheduling flexibility. At most of the 40-plus sites visited by the resort’s boats reefs rise to within metres of the surface.

This creates opportunities for long multilevel profiles that often exceed 70 minutes, while the upper portions of these reefs are ideal for snorkellers.

Wakatobi’s dive guides are also accomplished underwater naturalists who are adept at finding and pointing out the many rare and intriguing forms of marine life found within the resort’s private reserve.

Private guides are available and the resort’s dive center offers a full range of instructional programs for all ages.

Wakatobi is considered to be quite family-friendly, with snorkelling opportunities for younger children, easy introductions to dive for those aged eight and up, and chances for families to enjoy the reefs together.

In addition to diving and snorkelling, resort guests can enjoy water sports, spa time and a range of land activities and cultural experiences.

The resort staff can arrange bespoke experiences and programs for guests celebrating special events such as a honeymoon, anniversary, birthday, or family reunion.

A Wakatobi stay can be further enhanced by adding a cruise aboard the resort’s dive yacht, Pelagian. This 36-metre luxury vessel carries a maximum of 10 guests on one-week explorations of the Wakatobi Archipelago and the acclimated macro life sites of Buton Island.

Both ashore and afloat, a Wakatobi holiday provides an unrivalled combination of service, comfort and pristine diving and snorkelling encounters.

This consistent excellence has earned Wakatobi the well-deserved title of “An Experience Like No Other”.

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