lifestyle /travel Bawah Reserve Indonesia, the true meaning of sustainable luxury Bawah Reserve resides in a sheltered tranquil seclusion in Indonesia’s remote Anambas Archipelago surrounded by lush tropical greenery and azure blue ocean.
by Royist Lifestyle

Surrounded by clear turquoise waters, blue lagoons and coral reefs, this pristine and previously uninhabited marine conservation area caters to outdoor adventurers with an appetite for indulgence as well as paradise seekers looking for relaxation. Bawah offers the true meaning of sustainable luxury. Access to the resort is provided with a private seaplane which will take you from Batam International Airport, for a 80-minute journey, landing on Bawah Reserve’s spectacular lagoon in front of your suite.

Bawah Reserve is a unique resort, where sustainability has been placed first and foremost in the resort’s design, construction, and operation. Its vision is to protect and enhance the environmental value of the islands and surrounding marine environment, empowering and enabling the development of local communities on neighbouring islands. Bawah’s location is remote – there are no other islands closer than around 30 nautical miles.

This means that Bawah has an independent ecosystem, with the mangroves playing a key role in stabilising the islands and supporting biodiversity. The creation of the resort enables guests to experience the beauty of the natural environment, whilst also being given the opportunity to learn about the environmental and social challenges that are present.

Bawah Reserve Indonesia, the true meaning of sustainable luxury
Bawah Reserve Indonesia, the true meaning of sustainable luxury
Bawah Reserve Indonesia, the true meaning of sustainable luxury
Courtesy of Bawah Reserve

Bawah offers 35 luxury suites boasting the ultimate private island experience with unparalleled exclusivity and privacy. Lining the south-facing coast of the reserve, the chic bamboo tented beach and deluxe suites are steps from the pristine sandy beach. Nestled behind the beach suites the garden suites offer the perfect jungle luxe. Guests can also upgrade their view to an Overwater Bungalow, set above the turquoise-blue lagoon; well appointed for a spectacular panorama of the archipelago. Every detail in Bawah’s suites – from the 300 thread count bed linen on the classic canopy beds to the copper bathtubs are designed to make you feel at home, whilst worlds away.

Exclusively accessed by ironwood walkways, the 11 Overwater Bungalows (105 sqm) are blessed with splendid vistas over the lagoon and outer islands, with six suites catching the sunrise in the east, and five perfect for a sunset in the west. Sliding doors open into an air-conditioned interior adorned with aqua-hued seascapes and jungle murals. Steps lead from a private verandah and open-air sundeck straight into the tropical waters below. Perfect for enjoying your very own spectacular sunset with a cocktail from your own bar or a personalised gourmet dining experience.

The design of Bawah was based on a ‘minimal impact’ approach – only clearing what was needed along the shore of the main island, undertaking works without machinery and using bamboo and other locally sourced natural building materials such as stone that was quarried on the island for making into stairs, paths and foundations. All mirrors, sinks and bathtubs were made on the island using copper recycled from elsewhere in Indonesia. The iconic jetty was constructed over the coral reef that divides the two lagoons. To achieve this without damaging the coral, a team of specialist divers were employed to guide construction. The jetty is not precisely symmetrical, to avoid damaging areas of coral. Moorings were put in place in the lagoon to enable boat users to anchor without damaging the reef.

Bawah Reserve Indonesia, the true meaning of sustainable luxury
Bawah Reserve Indonesia, the true meaning of sustainable luxury
Courtesy of Bawah Reserve

Water is a highly precious resource in Bawah’s island ecosystem. Rainwater is collected from the roofs of staff accommodation blocks and other back of house buildings and carefully stored for later use. Drinking water is also created using a desalination plant. This plant removes salt and other impurities from seawater and works using reverse osmosis, microfiltration and nanofiltration. All wastewater is collected and pumped to a series of treatment areas: aerobic, non-aerobic, filtration system including UV, biological pond, and reed bed system. All solid waste generated on the island is sorted and sent for recycling where possible.

The natural forest on the island is rich in biodiversity and contains many species of trees that are considered to be of high conservation value. There is an ongoing reforestation project to irrigate and grow a new forest in areas where the canopy has become depleted. The mangroves are also extremely important in sustaining marine life (acting as a nursery to protect juvenile fish), and supporting the growth of other types of vegetation.

The islands provide important nesting beaches for sea turtles such as the Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas), and Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricate), which are vulnerable to predation by both humans and lizards. Recent work overseen by Bawah’s marine biologists includes relocating turtle eggs to nests in locations where they can be better protected, significantly improving the rate of successful hatching. Last but not least, a range of Bawah branded, locally made ‘reef-friendly’ sun screen and other products are available for guests to purchase on the resort.

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