Judd Burstein, P.C.
1790 Broadway, New York, New York 10019
(212) 974-2400 www.burlaw.com
I have been fortunate to have traveled my entire life for pleasure and business-six continents and at
least 50 countries. I routinely travel in what can only be described as extreme first class in every way.
Nonetheless, it was not until I arrived at Wakatobi that I experienced the perfect vacation.
Make no mistake, this is not a place to visit if you are not a diver, as there is little else to do.
But if you are a diver, my experiences all over the world - including the Great Barrier Reef, Papua
New Guinea, Tahiti, Grand Cayman, Turks & Caicos, etc. -- make me knowledgeable enough to tell you that
Wakatobi has a professional and well-run a dive operation that is the equal of anywhere else.
And the diving itself? The diversity of marine life and the unspoiled reefs makes each of the day's
three dives a new adventure. It is not a place to come if all you are interested in is seeing big sharks,
etc. But if you want to experience a unique underwater world in which there are no other divers around and
guides who somehow manage to find you the tiniest seahorses, as well as all sorts of other almost impossible
to notice fish, this is the place.
But the diving is just a part of what makes Wakatobi so special: Are the rooms the most luxurious you
will ever encounter? No, but they are very nice and comfortable. Is the food 3 star Michelin quality?
No, but it is local, authentic, fresh, plentiful and delicious. Is the service formally perfect as in
five star hotels and resorts? No, but I have never encountered a staff that was so personally concerned
about each guest, as an individual, having the best possible vacation. Within two days, every
staff member - from the boat deck hands, to the maids, to every waiter, to the kitchen staff - knew my
name and greeted me. I felt as though I was being cared for by a family. One example: I mentioned
casually over dinner that there was a particular Indonesian rice dish I loved. The next day there was a
special dish of it prepared for me alone in addition to the lunch buffet.
And that, in the end, is what is so remarkable about Wakatobi. By the end of my 11 day trip, all of
us - the staff and the guests - had somehow joined together as a cohesive group. I can promise you
that I am the last person you would ever expect to want that experience. My family jokes that I am
one of the most anti-social people one could ever meet. My plan was just to dive and read on the solo
trip I take every two years. But I ended it up loving the interaction. I find myself leaving Wakatobi
after the longest vacation stay at one place I have ever had in my life - 11 nights because there was
no other choice due to their charter flight schedule. I had even thought in advance about
chartering my own plane because I thought 11 days was too long. I was wrong. While completely
recharged and excited to return to the real world, I am also so sorry to be leaving and wishing that
I could spend just a few more days here. In the end, isn't that the best compliment you can give
about a vacation?