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The Wakatobi Dive Resort is something of an enigma, straddling the divide between luxury dive resort and boutique hotel. The atmosphere is incredibly relaxed, the local staff ever helpful, and given where you are it is an amazing achievement, the more so as it puts so much back into the local community. Without the hotel’s existence, it is frighteningly credible that the reefs would by now have been dynamited to extinction.
The principal buildings and nearly all of the rooms of the Wakatobi Dive Resort are perched right on the perfect white-sand beach. The original longhouse, formerly the entire resort, anchors the resort and now only houses the small spa, boutique and dive centre.
You can choose to stay at the resort in one of the well-appointed bungalows either in the lovely gardens or on the beach or if you are looking for something really special you could go for one of the pool villas for the utmost in luxury. Whatever you go for you will not want for comfort.
A short stroll from anywhere is the soaring dining pavilion fronting directly onto the beach. Given how remote you are the food is excellent. Breakfast can be served in your room, but all other meals are served in the restaurant.
Diving here couldn't be easier: just check the board as you leave the dining room to find out when and where the briefing is and manage the three minute stroll to the dive centre - your gear will have beaten you to the boat. You get three dives per day and unlimited shore diving in the package and you will likely dive as much as you physically can as the diving is superb.
Life at Wakatobi has a community feel to it and you can eat in the main restaurant each night, swapping stories about the day's diving, after a cold drink at the Jetty Bar. Wakatobi operates a full board plan only so all your meals and lots of activities, including the diving, are included in the price of the trip.
All in all, this is one of our absolute favourites and should be near the top of any diver's bucket list.
Why we love it
The Wakatobi Dive Resort offers a perfect combination of boutique resort and dive resort with an amazing standard of luxury considering how remote the location.