Bawah Reserve

Jennifer Young • Photography by Benoit Ricard • September 27, 2018

Owner and architecture firm: Matt Chapman, Singapore, and, Shanghai

The details: At Indonesia’s Bawah Reserve, the first and only to-date resort on the remote Anambas Archipelago with 13 beaches, “we want every guest to feel like an explorer stepping foot on the island for the first time,” says Singapore-based owner and entrepreneur Matt Chapman.

Enveloped by tropical vegetation and turquoise waters, founding partner and director Sim Boon Yang approached the design through a holistic, sustainable lens with “everything done by hand,” he says. (The resort uses solar water heating, a water desalination process, and reverse osmosis, as well a permaculture garden that supplies 60 percent of the resort’s produce.) An earthy color palette in the 11 overwater bungalows and 24 beach and garden suites complements ecofriendly materials, such as bamboo harvested from Java and driftwood. Lychee wood counters, freestanding copper bathtubs and sinks, and rattan accents add to the exotic interiors, where splashes of green and blue highlight “the relationship between the property and the land in a way that draws upon whimsical interpretations of the sea,” explains Boon.

The reserve offers four F&B haunts, including Treetops, the Grouper, Jules Verne Bar, and the beachside Boat House, all located in dramatic bamboo-clad pavilions, taking cues from “the shape and silhouette of the islands themselves,” says Chapman. In Treetops, jellyfish-inspired lamps “that flow in the wind and change color” are statement pieces and also guest favorites. Adds Chapman: the goal is to “inspire our guests to explore everything our unspoiled and remote islands have to offer.”

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