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Bawah Jetty

Paradise found in Anambas Archipelago

To escape, to truly get away, is an elusive pleasure. But that’s exactly what you’ll do at Bawah, a new resort in Indonesia’s Anambas archipelago, about 270 kilometres northeast of Singapore.

Bawah Island

To escape, to truly get away, is an elusive pleasure. But that’s exactly what you’ll do at Bawah, a new resort in Indonesia’s Anambas archipelago, about 270 kilometres northeast of Singapore. Accessible only by boat or seaplane, and the first property of any note in this underdeveloped region, Bawah, a handful of pristine, hilly, forested isles that feel almost prehistoric, gives guests the sense of being blissfully marooned at the end of the earth.

TreeTop Restaurant Interior

Bawah, which means below in Bahasa Indonesian, took five years to construct, everything built by hand without the use of any heavy machinery, a conscious choice by its Singapore-based owners to ensure minimal disruption to the natural environment. The resort inhabits one of five islands, the others unoccupied or home to the private villas of the owners.

A long, forked jetty greets visitors and leads them to terra firma. Three domes in front of the jetty replicate the shape of the island. Under the domes, you’ll encounter the Grouper Bar, identified by the giant grouper sculpture made from driftwood; Treetops restaurant, with giant orb wicker lampshades trailing strands of mother- of-pearl discs (the effect makes them look like mammoth jellyfish); and the Jules Verne Bar, where a vast octopus made of wire mesh continues the marine theme.

Apart from the Boat House Bar, where seats are attached to ropes like playful swings, dining takes places here, with fine meals displaying local influences in dishes like tempeh with aubergine, avocado, tomatoes and edible flowers, or New Zealand lamb with kang kong and coconut curry sauce.

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