Bawah ReserveAnambas, Riau Islands / Indonesia
Covered in dramatic tropical jungle and surrounded by pure azure-blue waters, the secluded Bawah island is the first in Indonesia to be powered by a renewable microgrid. As part of the Bawah Anambas Foundation, this breathtaking resort has been designed to not only exist in harmony with its heavenly island surroundings, but actually enhance them: from its impressive commitment to water conservation to its strict wildlife protection policies.
What to love
- The resort’s holistic design was crafted using sustainable bamboo and recycled materials.
- Only 70 guests are permitted into the resort at any one time, guaranteeing a peaceful, private-island atmosphere throughout your stay.
- The resort’s signature Tree Tops restaurant gives a unique dining experience, providing a five-course dinner of locally-inspired specialties while high above the rainforest floor.
- For adventurous types, Bawah Reserve is surrounded by a number of pristine dive sites, where snorkeling is offered for all levels of experience.
- A range of luxurious Indonesian spa experiences, pilates sessions and oils massages are available at the The Aura Spa & Well.
What to know
- An exemplary water conservation policy means all water is sourced from the island and recycled as drinking water, and water is heated using solar energy.
- The hotel is part of the Bawah Anambas Foundation, which works to help fund and support local communities.
- The Two bedroom pool villas and the Jungle Lodge are most suitable for bigger groups and families.
- All accommodation comes with air-conditioning, in-room Wi-Fi, a minibar and pantry, an in-room safe and free laundry service.
Located 160 nautical miles away from Singapore, the remote Amambas Archipelago is made up of six stunning islands, three aquamarine lagoons and 13 white sandy beaches. It is also one of Indonesia’s first marine conservation areas, meaning that fishing in its water is prohibited, allowing the rare and endangered wildlife that calls its enchanting coral reefs home the chance to thrive.
Appreciating what a unique ecological utopia this area is, the Bawah Reserve is passionate about its preservation. The resort was designed using sustainable sources of bamboo and recycled woods; stone for staircases was quarried from the island; sinks and bathtubs in its beautiful rooms were made from Indonesian recycled copper. Specialist divers were even employed to ensure constructing the spectacular jetty that overlooks the reef caused no disruption. Meanwhile, a dedicated eco-friendly water programme ensures all water is sourced from the island and heated using solar energy, while all waste is recycled or composted.
As such, it’s a resort that puts its surroundings first, and guests will be able to experience the true feeling of life on an island unspoiled. Spend your morning learning to snorkel with a resort guide at one of the area’s renowned diving sites (home to neon clown fish and the more illusive pufferfish and giant clams) before sitting down to tapas at The Boat House beach restaurant. Or maybe you’d prefer relaxing with a book on your room’s private veranda, overlooked by the island’s lush tropical flora, until its time for a sundown massage session at the resort’s Aura Spa and Wellbeing centre.
The resort is set-up with accommodation options to fit around your group size, from the more personal overwater bungalows to the larger Two bedroom pool villas and Jungle Lodge, some offering unimaginable views of the aquamarine lagoon and outer islands, and others eye-pleasing seascapes and jungle vistas. And things are just as impressive come mealtime: the Tree Tops restaurant gives a slice of decadence to breakfast, lunch and dinner, while also providing Indonesian cookery lessons, and the offer of preparing a private dining experience to be devoured in your own accommodation.
When to travel
At just two degrees north of the Equator, Bawah has a hot tropical climate, with average daily temperatures ranging from 26°C to 29°C, and two distinct seasons: the dry southwest monsoon from June to October and the wet northeast monsoon from November to March. Days are generally sunny, and when it rains the showers are sudden and heavy but short-lived with plenty of blue skies in between.
Located 160 nautical miles (300km) northeast of Singapore in Indonesia’s remote Anambas Archipelago. Accessing Bawah usually involves departing from Singapore and a ferry to Batam for a seaplane journey out to resort.
Children with a minumum the age of 5 are welcome. Bawah Reserve is a paradise waiting to be explored and your children will simply love the setting. On or below the water, there is plenty to do - Snorkelling, diving (for older children), kayaking, sailing, paddle boarding and boat trips. Whilst on land, there is good hiking, cookery classes, bat cave explorations, star gazing, tennis, croquet and cinema evenings on the beach.
Guests can also learn about organic farming practiced at the Bawah Reserve as well as the great work done by the Bawah Anambas Foundation to improve the ecosystems in the area and beyond.
We recommend the Two bedroom Pool Villas which, as the name suggests, have a private pool or the Jungle Lodge which also has 2 bedrooms for families travelling together.
Note that there is no malaria on Bawah Reserve.