Beachfront and garden villas with a bamboo exoskeleton have canvas roofs, recycled teak floors, and roller shutter–style walls that can turn the room into an open-air space at the touch of a button.
Remoteness is an increasingly elusive state these days, but it’s one that you’ll experience at Bawah, a cluster of hilly islands with three lagoons, 13 beaches, and just 35 rooms. Located to the northeast of Singapore in Indonesia’s Anambas Islands, the resort somehow feels like it has been dropped at the ends of the earth—partly because getting here entails ferries, flights, shuttles, and boat transfers (a seaplane from Batam will start services in November, shortening the trip). But Bawah’s take on eco-conscious luxury is well worth the schlep. Beachfront and garden villas with a bamboo exoskeleton have canvas roofs, recycled teak floors, and roller shutter–style walls that can turn the room into an open-air space at the touch of a button. Overwater villas boast large decks and steps leading straight into clear turquoise seas. Beyond the rooms, marine-themed art pieces grace two bars, and Treetops restaurant dishes up fine fusion cuisine by an Italian chef formerly at Singapore’s Mandarin Oriental. Outdoors enthusiasts have plenty to keep them occupied, from a roster of water sports to stargazing sessions and jungle hikes. Even more memorable is the staff. Unfailingly warm, good-humored, and without any sense of hierarchy, they’re collectively known as the Bawah Family. The name makes sense: You’ll miss them when you leave.
No telephone; Bawah, Anambas Archipelago; all-inclusive from $1,960
This article originally appeared in the October/November 2017 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“The Luxe List 2017: Bawah, Anambas Archipelago”).