A visit to a pristine tropical island is certainly one of life’s more memorable experiences. At Wakatobi Dive Resort, some guests make their vacation all the more special by planning their stay in conjunction with one of life’s more significant milestones – such as a birthday, a honeymoon or a wedding anniversary. The intimate nature of the resort and the high level of personal service they pride themselves in, as well as their amazing capacity for personalisation, make Wakatobi an ideal place to turn those special occasions into unforgettable memories. Read on for a glimpse at how they’ve made their guests’ big days a ball of a time…
Elizabeth Hill and Matt Westphal came to Wakatobi with a group of friends, and a secret. They’d recently decided to wed, but kept their intentions private. Prior to arrival, they worked with the resort staff to create a truly special day. It began with a sunrise ceremony at waters edge, and a private breakfast served on their seaside Villa deck. While the group was out on morning snorkeling and dives, invitations were placed in rooms, announcing the marriage and inviting everyone to a sunset reception at the Jetty Bar. “Everyone was surprised, and there were a few tears of happiness,” Elizabeth says. “Everything went just as we had hoped.” The day continued with a private catered lunch, a post-dive visit to the spa, and a romantic five-course dinner served beachside.
A visit to Wakatobi had long been on Jim and Judy Bishop’s wish list, but circumstances forced them to cancel their original plans. “On our anniversary, I folded a confirmed Wakatobi reservation into a greeting card, booked for a date exactly one year later,” Jim says. That gave my wife a whole year to look forward to the trip.”
The anticipation was justified, Jim recalls. ‘What makes the service at Wakatobi so exceptional is all the little things the staff does. Each day we found unique pieces of palm frond artwork arranged in our room. One particular highlight was coming back from a dive and finding “Happy Anniversary” written at the foot of our bed. It made our day.”
Many of the same qualities that draw couples to Wakatobi for special occasions also please families looking to create poignant holiday memories. The resort’s spacious bungalows and villas allow parents and children to stay together, and in addition to diving and snorkeling, there are a whole range of activities families can share. And for those times when adults wish to enjoy some grownup time, there are attentive nannies and engaging programs for the older children.
The Sanford family chose Wakatobi for a recent Christmas vacation for these reasons and more. Parents Cathy and Lindsay traveled to the resort with their 13-year-old son Connor and 16-year-old daughter Lindsay, and were able to enjoy Wakatobi together. “Our preference is to stay in resorts that are small, comfortable, have a unique character, and that somehow incorporate local resources and give back to the community,” says Cathy. “We chose Wakatobi because it embodies all these qualities.”
These are just a sampling of the special moments the Wakatobi staff has helped to create. When it comes time to make your own special memories, they’re ready to assist. It could be something as simple as arranging a private snorkeling tour of the House Reef, or as ambitious as chartering the entire dive yacht Pelagian for a custom itinerary with family and friends. Whatever your wish, they’re there to make it a reality (and a wonderful memory)! For more information, check out their website and Facebook page.
Like this? Read more at our travel section.