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Ever loved a holiday destination so much you dreamed of buying it? For Singapore-based entrepreneur Tim Hartnoll, this dream became a reality, when he turned a holiday discovery into an eco-conscious, lo-fi luxe resort with an unrivaled dedication to marine conservation.

Enveloped by lush tropical greenery and preternaturally azure waters, Bawah Reserve, natively known as Pulau Bawah, rests 300km northeast of Singapore in Indonesia’s isolated Anambas Archipelago. Made up of six islands, three turquoise lagoons and 13 pristine sandy beaches, this reserve is the definition of sustainable opulence… a tropical oasis retreat, irresistibly luring eco-conscious travelers from around the globe; those seeking unwavering adventure and pure escapism alike.

Bawah-Area-Shotimage: Alex Piotrowski

Having opened in 2017, this idyllic sanctuary hosts 35 tented safari-style suites with beachfront villas, garden huts and overwater bungalows dotted along the islands southern shoreline. The iconic long fish-tail jetty welcomes guests upon seaplane arrival, leading to a walk through the reserve via meandering pathways surrounded by lush native landscape. It truly feels like you’ve just stepped into a vision of your idyllic island escape, or for some, the picturesque Microsoft Windows screen saver that we all wished our weekly TattsLotto ticket would transport us to.

With architecture that aims to respect and harmonise with the environment and the chorus of cicadas echoing through the raw forest above, you can expect to feel unreservedly secluded here. The buildings are made from locally sourced natural materials such as bamboo, driftwood and recycled teak, with recycled copper accents throughout the bathrooms offering the same lo-fi luxury feel you would expect from the mystic Maldives.

Bawah-Water-Villasimage: @rajbelandres @ninjarod

If lo-fi luxe is what you are looking for, going barefoot is encouraged as is walking around in swimsuits and sarongs – perhaps necessitated in any case by the 15kg luggage limit per guest. Or perhaps the relaxed approach subconsciously encourages you to get back to basics and focus on what’s really important here: complete escapism and enjoying abundant refreshing cocktails overlooking the azure waters with sand between your toes.

Whilst the island is a haven for those discerning eco-travellers looking to unplug from their hyper-connected lives, it also serves as a sanctuary for the eternally passionate and inquisitive adventurer. Available to guests is a plethora of land and water-based activities including hiking through rainforests; swimming at secluded beaches; windsurfing; kayaking; or paddle boarding between the five islands.
If spas are more your thing, the resort also offers inclusive treatments from Bawah’s holistic wellness centre Aura Spa – think yoga and Pilates, meditation, facials and world-class massages.

Jetty-from-above-Bawahimage: Alex Piotrowski

With its raw nature surrounds maximising a sense of reverence and respect for the local environment, Bawah Reserve’s sustainable practices ensure maximum comfort and wellbeing for guests and team members, whilst honouring their responsibility to our planet with conservation and preservation at the core of all the resorts design, construction and operation. With a true vision to protect and enhance the environmental value of the islands and its reserve, their minimal impact approach ensures land is cleared only when necessary for resort infrastructure and operations. Permaculture gardens are plentiful to grow the food on offer and harvesting and recycling their own water proves their unrivaled dedication to marine and environmental conservation and sustainability.

This paradise retreat transcends a traditional holiday experience, where barefoot luxury meets environmental conservation. A must-add to your next holiday bucket list.

Bawah-Beach-Villaimage: Jacob and HayleyBawah-Bathroomimage: Nomadic PeopleATTACHMENT DETAILSimage: Nomadic People

Getting There
It takes hours and multiple modes of transportation to reach this remote private island resort, but Bawah is a refuge that’s truly worth the effort.
Access to Bawah is via Singapore; you will need to stay overnight there for an early morning pick-up. This is followed by a ferry ride to Batam, where you cross into Indonesia, followed by a seaplane transfer to the magical island. Don’t be deterred by what seems like a long journey. The friendly Bawah staff accompany you the entire way.

The Package
Bawah is an all-inclusive resort and prices are indicative of this in their rates. This includes everything from daily spa treatments, wellness classes and activities to all you can eat breakfast lunch and dinner. Just be mindful that alcohol isn’t included, and the cocktails are sure to go down a treat.

Pricing
Beach suites start from $US1,980 per room twin share with return transfers from Singapore at $US700.

Bawah-Water-Villaimage: Alex Piotrowski
Coco-Beach-Bawahimage: Alex Piotrowski

Bawah-Food

The Hit List

Aura Spa

Aura Spa is set in natural, lush surroundings and is the perfect environment for total rejuvenation of the mind, body and spirit. Our pick: Bawah’s signature massage.

Snorkel

Take the plunge and discover the secrets of Bawah’s colourful reefs, getting up close and personal with some of the most amazing marine life you’ve ever seen.

Castaway Picnic

Hop on a boat and get whisked away to one of Bawah’s private beaches. Arrive at a private picnic set up and indulge in serenity for a couple of hours until you request pickup.

bawahreserve.com

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author

Brooke Meredith

Brooke Meredith, is the passionate founder and Editor-In-Chief of A Conscious Collection Magazine. A glowing representation of wellness, and an advocate for healthy living. Brooke’s passion for health and wellbeing began following the discovery of her own intolerances and health ailments. Her house soon became a hub for recreating healthy versions of her favourite recipes, and soon her home was filled with an abundance of nourishing, nutritious whole foods. A certified Health Coach, Brooke’s passion lies with helping others become the best version of themselves and created A Conscious Collection to nurture, empower and inspire. As an Australian model, Brooke lives and breathes wellness, understanding the direct correlation between looking and feeling your best, which comes with a life in balance. When you can pry her away from working on all things ACC, you’ll find her fleeting around the globe on wellness escapes, enjoying three hour brunch dates with girlfriends and diving mouth first in to her famous healthified chocolate brownies.