Step aside, Maldives. Travelers from all over the world have now shifted their focus to Indonesia, exploring its hidden gems and captivating resorts. Here are our top picks.
Amanwana, Moyo Island
Set in the picturesque island of Moyo, the Amanwana offers a wide variety of unimaginable experiences that it’s safe to say that its one of the most fascinating resorts in the world. Surrounded by a marine reserve, the majestic Flores Sea and verdant jungles, Amanwana offers guests their own concept of “luxury camping” in the form of its Jungle Tent and Ocean Tent suites. With the former, guests are surrounded by a tropical rainforest, where they’ll be greeted with chirping birds in the morning and the occasional sighting of a deer or a monkey. The latter will offer the calming sound of crashing waves, lulling guests to sleep.
The resort also offers voyages on their extraordinary phinisi cruisers during certain times of the year. Choose between its two boats to embark on a seven-day journey through the pristine waters of the surrounding sea and see Indonesia’s islands like no one else.
Misool Eco Resort, Raja Ampat
The remote islands of Raja Ampat (“Four Kings”) in Western Papua has become the top destination for travellers from all over the world. The difficulty it requires to reach the islands has somehow added to its charm, making its untouched turquoise beauty even more magical.
Nestled in one of its uninhabited islands is Misool Resort, where guests can stay in its beachfront and lagoon villas located in different parts of the islands. A realm of understated elegance and privacy is built into each of the villas, with hospitable staff attending to guests’ needs at any time of the day. Raja Ampat is known for its coral reefs, which is why the resort provides the best instructors and private boats for those who would like to dive, snorkel, or just simply take a dip in the crystal blue waters. A variety of other activities are also in store such as a local tour of the village, guided hiking trips, bird watching cruises during sunset, and traditional Indonesian cooking classes. Whether you’re spending a week or two at Misool, you’ll leave feeling rejuvenated.
It’s easy to see why founders Christopher Burch and James McBride fell in love with Sumba.
Located three hundred kilometers from Bali in the Lesser Sundra Islands, its cerulean waters are a surfers’ dream. Captivated by the island’s beauty, the two acquired Nihiwatu, which consists of 28 pool villas, a treetop spa, a private equestrian center, and a chocolate factory. With its array of holistic activities, rustic ambience, and genuine hospitality, Nihiwatu gives guests experiences worth remembering.
Seraya Hotel & Resort, Labuan Bajo
Possibly one of the most serene and remote resorts in the world, the Seraya Hotel & Resorts located off the coast of Labuan Bajo, Flores, is captivating, to say the least. Upon arrival at the resort after a 35-minute boat ride, guests will be greeted by none other than the resort’s Greek owner.
Here, individual villas line the coast, with the restaurant and pool perched in the middle. The resort itself is quite small but its ambience of peace and tranquility more than makes up for it. Each villa has a direct view of the ocean, and walking everywhere barefoot on the warm sand is almost mandatory. If you feel like snorkeling, you can simply walk out unto the jetty, and jump into the clear waters to find the astounding and colorful marine life below.
Often overshadowed by Bunaken and the Gili Islands as Indonesia’s premier “diving destination,” Sulawesi has risen from the ashes with Wakatobi Eco Dive Resort. Located in the southeastern region of the province, the resort offers guests unforgettable diving expeditions. For those looking beyond the waters, the resort offers local tours of the villages, yoga classes, and the Onemobaa hiking trail where you’ll see rare birds and a pristine view of the island.
Perhaps one of the resort’s finest qualities is its extremely understated extravagance. Guests can experience the five-star treatment by booking a private chartered flight from Bali. The team of chefs at Wakatobi has impressed and surprised many, with its impeccable ingredients and skillful presentation. A delicious meal is the perfect ending to a beautiful day in paradise.