A private island ecoresort in Indonesia’s Anambas archipelago—a tiny group of islands adrift between between Malaysia and Borneo—Bawah Reserve is the epitome of sustainable luxury. Set in a previously uninhabited marine conservation zone across six islands, three lagoons and 13 beaches, Bawah features 35 handmade villas surrounded by clear turquoise waters, blue lagoons and coral reefs. Guests can fill their days hiking the untouched forests, kayaking and paddleboarding in clear waters, practicing yoga and watching open-air cinema screenings under the stars.
WHY WE LOVE IT
We love that sustainability isn’t just a consideration at Bawah, but a core value upon which the entire experience is built. While the hotel is incredibly remote (half the appeal) guests don’t have to worry about running out of things to do. There are private beaches, crystal clear lagoons and dining options to fill your days. Rates are generously all-inclusive, including all meals, non-alcoholic beverages, one spa treatment per person / per day and daily laundry service.
An island paradise at risk of destruction from illegal dynamite fishing, Bawah’s owners have the intent to protect it and see it flourish—the six islands are now a designated marine conservation area, making it illegal to fish its waters. Bawah is the first island in Indonesia to be powered by a renewable microgrid and the resort was hand-built from sustainable bamboo and other recycled materials, such as driftwood and copper. Due to its remote location, Bawah has an independent ecosystem, with the mangroves playing a key role in stabilizing the islands and supporting biodiversity. All water is sourced on the island, recycled as drinking water and heated using solar energy. The hotel is part of the Bawah Anambas Foundation, created to channel funds back into the local community. Learn more about Bawah’s extensive sustainability efforts here.
Bawah Reserve is 160 nautical miles (300km) northeast of Singapore, cast adrift from the southern shore of the Malaysian peninsula and Borneo’s western coast. The hotel is 4.5 hour private flight—arranged by the property—from Batam, Indonesia (a short ferry ride from Singapore).