Perhaps the most unexpected surprise of Palau Lagoon is the existence of the world class hotel that sits in the middle of this primitive tropical paradise. Palau is a piece of tropical paradise that has somehow remained relatively untrampled by commercial development. Selected as one of the Seven Underwater Wonders of the World, this string bean-shaped lagoon is 93 miles long and 18 miles wide. Inside the lagoon is a generous sprinkling of 328 small islands, often described as the Venice of the Pacific. While the rock islands are stunningly beautiful, much of Palau's beauty lies under the surface. Just beyond the barrier reef that encircles this lagoon are some of the finest drop-offs in the world. Beginning at depths of 2 to 20 feet, these walls plunge vertically 1,000 feet or more. They are covered with huge branching seafans and soft corals of every color of the rainbow. The concentration of fish life is enormous and divers frequently encounter schools of barracuda, dozens of sharks, 500 pound tuna and graceful manta rays. Palau is every diver's dream come true. Perhaps the most unexpected surprise of Palau Lagoon is the existence of the world class hotel that sits in the middle of this primitive tropical paradise. The Palau Pacific Resort is unquestionably the most beautiful low profile beach hotel in Micronesia. Its architecture and layout blend in perfectly with the surrounding 64 acres of lush vegetation and the interior is a stylish blend of handsome hardwoods, expensive tile floors and Palauan artistry. THE RESORTThe Palau Pacific Resort (affectionately known as the PPR) is within convenient proximity to Koror - the capital and major business district of Palau. Yet the setting for this hotel is very private and somewhat secluded. The hotel is on a neighboring island, linked to Koror by a bridge. It takes ten minutes to drive from the hotel to downtown Koror. The hotel is close to the water's edge, complete with beach and dive boat pier. The PPR is part of Pan Pacific Hotels - a chain of elegant resorts and hotels in such exotic locations as Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vanuatu. Based on an elevated standard of design & service, this chain is reputed to be some of the finest resorts in this part of the world. The PPR has a total of 160 rooms in a variety of different sizes, locations and layouts:Luxury Oceanfront SuitesLuxury Oceanfront Junior SuitesDeluxe Oceanfront RoomsDeluxe Garden View Rooms All rooms are air-conditioned and contain a private bath and shower. There is also a mini-bar and in-house music. The rooms are wired for 110 volt/60 cycle AC current, which is great for traveling American divers. All guestrooms have a private veranda and many have a stunning view of the very tropical Palau Lagoon. The PPR has two major dining rooms plus a beach bar that serves snacks and drinks. The Coconut Terrace is a large outdoor restaurant overlooking the swimming pool and beach. It offers a spectacular view while you enjoy your meals. The cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner is international. In addition there are theme nights - steak night, tropical night, seafood festival night and Mongolian barbecue night. The Meduu Ribtal is an air-conditioned dining room open for dinner only. It serves mainly seafood specialties, including fresh fish, shrimp and crab. The Coco Loco Beach Bar is a small but popular beach bar close to the swimming pool, pool patio and the beach. This facility serves drinks, including many tropical specials. The Palau Pacific Resort sits on 64 acres of lush tropical land, complete with a 500 foot long private sand beach. The hotel has a large freshwater swimming pool directly in front of the lobby and restaurant and less than 20 feet from the beach. The pool is surrounded by a stone patio and a row of chaise lounges, chairs and tables - all shaded by umbrellas. Other hotel facilities include two professional tennis courts and a resident pro who conducts lessons. There is also a nature trail for hiking and a variety of watersports equipment, including sailboards, sailboats and more. Just off the lobby of the hotel is a small walkway leading to several shops. The most popular is the international duty free shop, which sells Palauan handicrafts, storyboard carvings, candy, books, ice cream, maps and postcards. ACTIVITIES AND SERVICESThe PPR is regarded as an open hotel, which means that guests can go diving with the dive operator of their choice. The resort has one of the largest, longest boat piers where dive boats from various companies pick up hotel guests. On just about any morning, you are likely to see boats from Fish 'N Fins, Neco Marine, Sam's Tours or a half-dozen other dive operators at the PPR pier. To make life even more convenient, the PPR has it own in-house dive center, located right at the foot of the pier. ''Splash'' is a full-service PADI 5-Star dive center, complete with with a large retail store, training facilities, gear washroom and gear storage for PPR guests. The dive center operates a large jet-drive custom dive boat also called ''Splash.'' Palau Lagoon offers an impressive selection of diving experiences that are unmatched anywhere else in the world. The most popular activity is wall diving along the outside edge of the lagoon, where divers visit such legendary sites as Ngemelis Drop-off, Blue Corner, Blue Holes, Siaes Tunnel and Short Drop-off. There is also good diving and snorkeling inside the lagoon at such locations as Soft Coral Arch and Wonder Channel. The latest rage is shipwreck exploration, as an estimated 50 World War II Japanese ships and planes are believed to have sunk in the lagoon. The most popular wrecks for diving are Sata Maru, Iro Maru, Chuyo Maru and the Helmet Wreck. Yet the most distinctive aspect of Palau is its marine lakes - small, land-locked seawater larkes in the middle of numerous rock islands. The most famous is Jellyfish Lake, which contains thousands of non-stinging jellyfish. Another unique adventure is diving Chandelier Caves - a series of five caves linked by tunnels, which lie under one of the rock islands. These caves can be entered from the lagoon at a depth of 60 feet and the ceilings of some chambers are covered with crystal-like stalactites. In addition to its diving, Palau offers a wide range of daytime activities. There are sightseeing tours to traditional Palauan men's houses, villages and woodcarving craftsmen. One of the most popular daytime activities is a lagoon cruise among the 250 magnificent rock islands. High speed boats zoom among these floating gardens on glassy calm water. Still another unique daytime activity is an aerial tour of the lagoon in a small aircraft. Flying at an altitude of 500 feet, you have an opportunity to enjoy a spectacular panoramic view of Palau's rock islands, marine lakes and coral barrier reef. HOW TO GET THEREPalau is located in the southwestern corner of Micronesia, about 400 mile from the equator. It is just about as far as you can get from the U.S. and still be within the boundaries of Micronesia. It is 722 miles southeast of Guam. The flight from Guam to Palau takes two and a half hours by jet. Despite its seemingly remote location, getting to Palau is amazingly simple. Conttinental Airlines and sister company Continental Micronesia can wisk you from the U.S. mainland without the need of a layover. You fly to Honolulu from either Los Angeles or San Francisco, make a brief and then fly non-stop to Guam. There, you change aircraft and fly direct tp Palau. It's modern jet service all the way. For more information about the Palau Pacific Resort, click on the home page below.