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“everything wonderful... but...” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of WildQuest

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WildQuest
Certificate of Excellence
Charleston, West Virginia
Level Contributor
65 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“everything wonderful... but...”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 April 2012

this trip is one of the best things I've ever done, and I will be joining my sister in June 2012 to do it again.
One word of caution though... the fee that you see for the week's retreat is soon inflated by international tranaction fees ($115 in our case) as they have an overseas bank account. Add to that the travel insurance that you have to take out ($135), the cost of the flight from Ft Lauderdale to Bimini ($590), the departure tax ($50) and the cost of two nights out.
By the time you have rented your snorkelling equipment and paid taxis and gratuities, oh yes, and paid airline tickets to Ft Lauderdale, it becomes a WHOPPING $5 000 (2 guests) for 5 days...
ps. not to mention Scopolamine patches to prevent seasickness...lol

Room Tip: Views are great on the sound
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled solo
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
10 Thank HeloiseRxph
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WildQuestBimini, General Manager at WildQuest, responded to this review, 2 May 2012
Beloved,
Thanks for for comments and we are very happy you are coming back to see us again in June with your sister!
Regarding the international transaction fees - our company is based in the UK. These fees depend on YOUR bank - this is why we recommend you connect with your bank first to check if they do charge these international transaction fees. If they do then maybe we can look at a different card or a different way of paying to avoid these fees - wire transfer, a written cheque for example to keep the costs down. We hope now that the world is shrinking, that banks will desist in charging these fees in the near future!
All other costs are clearly stated on our website.
We try to keep our prices as low as possible so that as many people as possible can come and have this transformational experience. Our Retreat costs have not risen for more than seven years.
See you soon for some more fun!!!
With love, Amlas.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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243 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (71)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Encinitas, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 March 2012

This trip was frought with adventure and discovery. We enjoyed sailing the open sea daily
looking for the wild dolphins! That experience alone is worth the time and energy to enjoy
the privilege of interacting with these mysterious magnificent creatures!
Staying at Wildquest was an extradinary experience and a departure from the ordinarhy. Each and every staff member is part of the ship's crew, and are also the most amazing creative chefs. All meals are lovingly prepared with quality, freshness, taste and healthiness by their preparers.
All of the employees share a professional demeanor while clearly enjoying their teamates and guests as well as being a part of Wildquest. Having traveled extensively, I have rarely experienced such caring service with a special awareness on behalf of all of the crew. Some of the crew are body workers and all seem to exude a caring mindfulness of love and healing.

Room Tip: Bicycles and kyaks are free for the guests to use. Yoga practice was provided during our stay. One...
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  • Stayed May 2011, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank DianeCary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Clinton, Connecticut
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 November 2011

My first adventure to WildQuest was a dream come true. Since I was a young child, I have always wanted to swim with dolphins, (thank you Dad for sharing your beautiful stories with me).
I am very lucky to have found WildQuest and the beautiful atmosphere that Amlas, Atmos and their wonderful crew share with their new "Pod" members.
The food is amazing, very healthly and fresh, and Tara prepares some amazing dinners.
The rooms are very clean, simple and comfortable. But you probably won't be spending much time in them.
With an opportunity to join in the daily yoga, meditation and breathing groups offered, this was the best vacation I had ever taken.
The highlight of each day is the opportunity to swim with the Spotted or Bottlenose dolphins in the beautiful waters of Bimini. Truly a safe, wonderful and magical experience!
The greatest gift of this adventure is the bonds and connections that are made with your new Pod members.
Life is short and if this has been your dream then WildQuest is the place to go.
Thank you to everyone at WildQuest for helping me cross this off of my bucket list. I will see you again in 2012 for my 3rd visit.

  • Stayed June 2011
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank NJWalsh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 November 2011

My experience of the Wildquest retreat was a smooth, uplifting as well as deeply relaxing week of spirituality, laughter, ease, comfort and the beauty of kinship with strangers. All my needs were met with grace. The thing that stands out the most for me was the energy of the staff and how they create a space of community that feels so personal and heart-warming from the very beginning of the retreat until the end. They are so competent with a clear focus and intent and also very flexible and warm and fuzzy! I had a beautiful week of sun, soft wind and new friends, dolphins and outstanding food.
It is an oasis with very special people running it and making it flow with grace; I am grateful and uplifted by my memories there.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Amanda K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 October 2011

I am forever biminized again. This was my third journey back to the island. As soon I got on the island I felt tears of joy filling my eyes and gratefullness filling my heart. Finally I was back at Wildquest! And the journey began beautifully unfolding from that moment on.

Wildquest has become a place for me to connect spiritually and heal. The entire team at Wildquest have cared for me in ways noone else in my life have. From the moment you wake up until the moment you fall asleep each one of the team members surrounds you with love, peace and joy.

I am not a strong swimmer, though during this trip I was able to snorkel and venture out further on my own to swim in the group. I felt very safe in the water, as a Wildquest team member was always there to swim beside me or help me to get back to the boat.

I spent indescribable hours with dolphins on this journey. I traveled to Bimini alone and left with a sister who spent the week laughing with me. I had not laughed so hard in 11 years, when a trauma came into my path. My soul feels recharged and full of joy.

Thank you Wildquest, especially my Amlas for this neverending gift of peace. I will be back again!

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Gillian T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Naples, Florida
Level Contributor
56 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 October 2011

I have dreamed of going back to the underwater sand banks north of Bimini since an encounter with a pod of spotted dolphins in the summer of 1984.

I was part of a treasure diving expedition searching for the fabled El Dorado, the Spanish galleon San Anton del Brazil that went down in 1551 with over 50 gold Incan artifacts that would be priceless today. One afternoon, the cook and I went for a recreational dive in about forty feet of water with typical Bahamian 200 foot crystal clear visibility. We swam up to the ship's anchor, and stopped to stand on the sand bottom to adjust our gear.

Just then, a pod of about a dozen dolphins slowly passed by from right to left, about fifteen feet and 45 degrees above us. I remember noticing the curious freckling of white and grey on the two alpha males that lead the gliding procession, followed by several smaller adults, some grey, some similarly mottled, along with a couple of juveniles and one baby towards the rear. We watched them drift by and slowly disappear in the blue distance, and turned to one another giving excited thumbs up for how amazingly cool it was to see them.

As we turned back to continue our dive, we saw two shadowy shapes emerging from the blue at our eye level. The two alpha males slowly drifted right towards us, and I remember thinking apprehensively, "There belong here, we don't." We froze.

They drifted closer and closer, right at us, their side fins almost touching, stopping still about ten feet away. Then, in a most amazing ritual, they slowly rotated in perfect unison, until their noses were straight up and their tales were straight down, with their white bellies towards us, side fins still nearly touching. They slowly reversed, rotating until their noses were pointing straight down and their tails straight up. They gently floated down towards the sandy bottom, tails up, noses down, until lightly touching the sand. Finally, they slowly rotated back to parallel, pointing straight at us, and, turning, with three powerful thrust of their tails, flew off into the blue in the direction of the others.

To me, this was clearly a ritualized show of some kind of dolphin diplomacy, as if to say "Greetings, landlings." This was my only dolphin encounter of the whole summer, but it changed my understanding of these magnificent fellow earthlings forever.

I tell this story because this clan of spotted dolphin, which some estimates put at about 150, is now recognized, thanks in large measure to the observations of the Wildquest crew, as a sub-species that is most interactive with humans in the whole world. And, as far as anyone knows, this behavior is seen only here near Bimini. The bottlenose cousins that also inhabit this area exhibit some cursory interest in interacting with human snorkelers, but it is the spotted dolphins that circle time and again in playful dances just inches away that make this trip an unforgettable thrill of a lifetime.

While these unique dolphin encounters should be on everyone's bucket list, Wildquest offers much more. Amlas and Atmos, the owners, have created a retreat center that fills mornings with yoga, breath work, meditation, massage, and energy work, punctuated with healthy, delicious meals with vegetarian options. The staff is kind and conscious in the highest and best way, and even the most novice and timid swimmers are given the support and guidance necessary to advance in skill and comfort with the ocean. Best of all, the twenty guests interact through a variety of exercises to become a human pod, mirroring the lessons learned swimming with the dolphins, and, by the time the week is over, many new friends are inevitably added to email lists and Facebook.

While on some weeks the dolphins show up nearly every day, our week was fraught with concern as each day passed with meager sightings and no interactions. Would we be one of the very rare weeks where the spotted dolphins are always somewhere else? In spite of the convivial camaraderie of fellow WildQuesters, the daily six hour cruises, as comfortable as they could be on the wide, comfortable catamaran, can be disappointing when the dolphin are elusive.

Finally, on the fourth day, we had some exciting cruising with some bottlenose that swam along with the boat, occasionally darting to and fro to a chorus of onboard ooohs and aaahs. Right towards the end of the day, we finally found a pod of spotteds, and followed them for quite a while, but the two baby dolphins seemed to be of greater importance to the pod than slowing down to interact with us, so we reluctantly turned back to port.

On the fifth and final day, we all were bracing ourselves for the disappointment of not swimming with the spotted dolphins on this trip, and Amlas offered yet another lecture on optimal dolphin protocol.

“I believe they can sense in ways that we cannot, and can feel our energy. If we are highly excited, I have seen them ride that energy away from the group,” she said. “If we are contained, peaceful, and simply being in the moment, they will mirror that energy, slow down, and come closer.”

I think we all felt the shift on the boat, and soon after, we came across a small pod of a couple of spotted dolphins. Following them along as they occasionally darted and jumped across the bow, they led us to two more, then several more, until we were now seeing the spotteds on all sides. We simply cruised along with them, observing with delight each pass, each jump, each tail flap, until they slowed down and started milling around.

“Get ready to slip in,” shouted Amlas, and after a flurry of grabbing fins and snorkels, we began an hour-long adventure that none of us will ever forget. Time and time again the dolphins passed through us, sometimes so close we would instinctively pull away to get some distance. When the dolphin pod appeared to move away, the crew dropped long tow lines with a dozen handles that we grabbed two on one. The boat pulled us gently back to the pod, and as we continued in slowly moving lines, the dolphins swam along, sometimes just inches away, circling and returning, seeming to enjoy observing us as much as we were thrilled to see them. I think we all felt a connection with these magnificent animals that convinced us all that humans and dolphins are really one great pod.

I would have to recommend that a WildQuest week should be at or very near the top of everyone’s bucket list.

Room Tip: The rooms right on the bay cost a little more, but are well worth it for the view and breezes.
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BillVanArsdale
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Yonkers, New York, United States
Level Contributor
30 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 October 2011

It is hard to express what my week at Wildquest means for me and did for me. After a few hours I was already relaxing..by the second day I was smiling and by the third I could not stop laughing. I felt bubbled up with joy and re-connected to my true vital self. The love, support and accceptance of the staff as well as the other retreat participants touched me and actually brought tears to my eyes. I shed layers of walls I had built as protection as they were no longer needed. I felt loved and was loving towards myself. The food was the most healthy and best food Ive ever eaten for day after day. Im home two weeks and I have continued to eat healthy and drink tons of water instead of the 8 cups of coffee I had been drinking prior to my trip. Ive given up starbucks in favpr of saving for my return trip 340 days from now that Ive already booked. My family and my collegues can feel a transformation that occured in me. Ive been loved by Dolphins, made whole, recieved their messages and remained open to recieve more. My body felt light and tingled as I absorbed dolphin energy. I became a stonger and more secure swimmer. I learned to snorkle. I swam with 1, 2, 10, 30, 40 dolphins for an hour or more. I was pulled on a line behind the boat through pods of their spotted pink bellies and looked into their eyes. I watched the sun rise and set. I fell asleep to lapping of the waves against the boat 15 feet from my door. I sung. I danced and I loved. Wildquest: Amlas, Atmo, Tara, Vijan, Sukama, Nippun, Terry and Jwala I feel blessed to have connected with you and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me my life back. Love and Peace- Susanna

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Susanna F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about WildQuest

Property: WildQuest
Address: Porgy Bay, Bimini
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Bahamas > Out Islands > Bimini
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Speciality Lodging in Bimini
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
WildQuest has been respectfully connecting with dolphins in the wild since 1995. We offer week-long retreats to swim with wild dolphins in The Bahamas. The WildQuest Retreat Center is situated in a friendly little fishing village, with a bayside terrace and a mooring for our catamaran DolphinQuest. Rooms are on the water and accommodations are light, airy and spacious with private bath and A/C. Food is fresh, healthy and organic where possible, including vegetarian, chicken or fish dishes. Our excellent chef caters to most dietary needs including vegan and gluten free. Each day on our week long retreats, we are scheduled to go out on our 41-foot catamaran DolphinQuest for some snorkeling at coral reefs, visiting the famous Atlantis Stone Road and of course meeting up with playful dolphins. Snorkeling and free diving lessons are included and all levels of aquatic skills are welcome. WildQuest provides a supportive and safe environment, both on the boat and on land for the optimum Human-Dolphin Connection. Other activities on offer are the daily yoga and meditation classes. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
WildQuest Bimini, Bahamas

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