Sitting an unassuming 300 kilometres northeast of Singapore amidst a clutch of six white-sand islands and three jewelled lagoons, Bawah Reserve boasts 13 pristine beaches in addition to its holistic and pioneering approach to sustainability.

WRD Resort Marketing Manager Nina Coulson said visitors to Bawah Reserve have been infatuated with its unique landscape the since the resort opened its doors last year. “Located in a remote pocket of Indonesia’s Anambas Archipelago, Bawah Reserve has already been coined the ‘mini Maldives’ because of its unbelievably blue water and white sand,” she said. “What’s special about Bawah though, is that until a few years ago, the region was completely uninhabited,” she said. “When the opportunity came up to develop Bawah into a resort, the owner wanted to preserve the environment and keep it exactly as it was the first time he saw it, so he implemented a strictly sustainable operational plan, protecting the land, sea and surrounding communities.”

Bawah Reserve – and its forest-canopied islands, three sheltered lagoons and 13 beaches – is a designated marine conservation zone, placing visitors at the epicentre of marine diversity that is sadly inaccessible in many other places in the world. Celebrated, much lauded and already much awarded, Bawah is a back-to-nature haven where guests can stay for two weeks and visit a different beach every day. “Australians are notorious for being beach snobs and for travelling internationally for unique beach experiences, despite having access to thousands and thousands of kilometres of coastline on their own doorstep, so this destination is definitely one to add to the bucket list for Aussie travellers,” Nina said. “Bawah offers the same relaxed, high-end vibe that people love about places like the Maldives and the Seychelles but the joy here is that you don’t have to share the beaches with crowds. It’s secluded, serene barefoot luxury at its finest.”

Bawah is home to 35 villas (overwater bungalows, beachfront villas and garden suites) made by hand from natural materials such as bamboo, driftwood and recycled teak, with beautiful recycled finishes like copper sinks and showers in the bathrooms. Beach activities include water sports such as snorkelling, paddle boarding, kayaking and sailing, as well as private picnics on the beach.

Readers also enjoyed this story about the Great Barrier Reef and Lizard Island.