Where is Bawah Reserve located?
Enveloped by lush tropical greenery and coral rich azure waters, Bawah Reserve lies 300 kilometres northeast of Singapore in Indonesia’s remote Anambas Archipelago. Singapore is the most convenient gateway for this region. The journey to Bawah Reserve from Singapore involves a 30-minute ferry to Batam – the customs and immigration point for Indonesia, followed by an 80-minute seaplane ride.
A private seaplane transfer can also be arranged for those wanting complete exclusivity and greater flexibility, as the regular transfers are operated on a fixed schedule. The total travel time from Singapore is approximately 4.5 hours including the change in Batam.
What sort of accommodation is available at Bawah Reserve?
The resort features 36 thatched villas and safari-style tents that are hand-built using recycled teak, bamboo, and driftwood. Connected by sandy paths and ironwood walkways, the bungalows and suites are scattered amidst lush foliage, on the beach and on stilts overwater with direct access to crystalline waters teeming with colourful fish.
Simple yet stylish, each of the rooms features a high-pitched ceiling and an open-plan layout that allows plenty of natural light and breeze. Canopied four-poster beds feature luxury cotton linens, while open-air bathrooms have rain showers and deep copper tubs. In-room WI-FI is available across the resort. You won’t find any television in your suite, but if you ever feel like watching a movie, the resort organises a fun outdoor cinema evening twice a week screening some of the most popular classics.
- Set slightly back from the beach, these suites are surrounded by lush foliage.
- Housed in an air-conditioned luxury safari-style tent, Garden Suites are 70 square metres in size and feature a private covered veranda, bedroom with king or twin canopied beds, en-suite bathroom, and an outdoor tropical shower.
The Jungle Lodge:
- An ideal option for families, the Jungle Lodge offers greater seclusion and privacy compared to other suites with excellent views.
- This treetop lodge offers plenty of space with two en-suite bedrooms, a large open plan living and dining area and a full-length front-facing outdoor balcony.
- The beach is just a short walk away, down 50 hand-cut stone steps.
- There are panoramic floor to ceiling windows that allow a complete immersion in surrounding nature and the lodge is also connected to the Tree Tops Restaurant via a private pathway.
- Both the bedrooms are air-conditioned and feature a king or twin canopied beds. En-suite bathrooms feature a rain shower and copper hand basin.
- Set along the island’s white-sandy shoreline, these air-conditioned luxury safari-style beachfront suites are 70 square metres in size and feature a private covered veranda leading onto a small private beach area, a spacious bedroom with a canopied king bed, en-suite bathroom, and an outdoor tropical shower.
Two-bedroom Infinity Pool Villa:
- Comprising of two separate beach suites connected by a covered living and dining pavilion and a private infinity edge pool overlooking the lagoon, these villas are ideal for two couples travelling together.
- They offer direct access to the lagoon.
Two-bedroom Pool Villa:
- These beachfront villas feature two en-suite rooms housed in a spacious villa with a separate living and dining pavilion and a private plunge pool. The lounge and dining areas offer panoramic views of the ocean and are ideal for enjoying sunset and sunrise views or for having relaxed meals with family and friends.
- A definite showstopper, these bungalows offer ultimate privacy, space and stunning views of the lagoon and outer islands, making them an ideal option for a romantic getaway or dream honeymoon.
- Spread across 105 square metres, six of the bungalows are located on the sunrise side and five are on the sunset side.
- Adorned with aqua-hued seascapes and jungle murals, these private sanctuaries feature a private veranda and an open-air sundeck that leads straight into the tropical lagoon below.
What activities are available at Bawah Reserve?
From soothing yoga on the pristine beach to a thrilling afternoon at sea atop a stand-up paddleboard, Bawah Reserve offers a wide range of activities to suit every style and taste, whether you are looking for a peaceful sojourn or a bit of fun and adventure with family and friends. Snorkelling and diving explorations are star attractions owing to the region’s spellbinding marine biodiversity.
- An ideal destination for scuba diving and snorkelling, Bawah Reserve is surrounded by about 12 dive sites off the coast that are just a short boat ride away from the retreat. All of them feature a gentle sandy slope going down to about 7 metres before a further 25-30 metre depth, offering an incredible quality of diving during the day or at night. Whether you are a novice or a seasoned diver, the resort’s Dive Centre is managed by PADI certified professionals who specialise in a wide range of diving experiences and marine conservation. Snorkelling is equally thrilling and offers you a chance to swim amidst Puffer Fish, Triggerfish, Giant Clams, Nudibranch and many more.
- Other aquatic adventures on offer are stand-up paddle boarding, catamaran sailing, kayaking, private boat excursions with castaway picnics as well as trips focusing on marine conservation.
- On land, you can indulge in forest hiking, permaculture tour, visits to nearby islands to learn more about the reserve’s community welfare projects, and fun games including lawn tennis, croquet and beach football and volleyball. It’s a perfect sun, sea, and sand experience!
- For fitness and wellbeing, there is an excellent spa offering a wide range of treatments and experiences including Pilates, Yoga, and a unique Spa Explorer safari.
- The retreat has two fine restaurants and two bars specialising in regional as well as international cuisines. There are amazing culinary experiences on offer including hands-on cooking classes, whisky and chocolate pairing, cocktail-making, Jamu-making as well as private dining under the stars.
Does Bawah Reserve cater for families with young children?
Families with children over 5 years of age are welcome at Bawah Reserve. All suites can fit an extra single bed, though booking two suites or a two-bedroom villa is recommended for families as the suites are really designed for two. Ideally, Bawah Reserve is suitable for families with older kids (teenagers and above) who would appreciate a little independence and are able to enjoy having a deserted island and natural playground at their disposal.
When is the best time to visit Bawah Reserve?
Being so close to the equator, this region enjoys warm and humid weather all year round. The best time to visit is between March and October when the rainfall is minimal. The monsoon season usually runs between the months of November and February. Average daytime temperatures remain in the high 20 degrees Celsius.
How does Bawah Reserve protect and nurture the local environment?
Right from inception, Bawah Reserve has primarily been an eco-conservation project, so sustainability has been one of the core elements in the way the resort is designed, constructed, and operated. Home to rare and endangered species of flora and fauna both above and under water, the guests at Bawah Reserve are offered a unique opportunity to learn about the environmental and social challenges faced by this remote region and the important role of conscious and regenerative tourism in tackling these issues and establishing long-term sustainability.
The resort was created with minimal disruption to the local terrain and environment. All the structures are hand-built using bamboo and other locally sourced natural building materials such as stone, recycled copper, and driftwood.
The resort is powered by solar energy and innovative systems are used to ensure there is minimal wastage of water, food, and other materials. Rainwater is harvested for use within the property and drinking water is generated through a desalination plant that uses the latest reverse osmosis, microfiltration and nanofiltration technologies to remove salt and other impurities from seawater. All wastewater is collected and treated using aerobic and non-aerobic filtration systems including UV, biological pond, and reed bed system.
Another important area of conservation is focused on the Green Sea and Hawksbill turtles, as the islands are home to important nesting beaches for these highly endangered species. Various initiatives have been undertaken by the resort to better protect the eggs and improve the rate of successful hatching on its beaches.