CEMPEDAK, Indonesia, opening March 2017 | From the makers of Nikoi — a luxury nature-loving resort in the Riau Archipelago, a mere three hours by boat and car from Singapore — Cempedak opens next month, on a neighbouring island. The adult-only island in the South China Sea hosts up to 40 in secluded villas with their own ‘beach’ gardens and plunge pools.
Drawing on the same ethos as Nikoi, Cempedak, just south of Singapore, is more intimate and this luxe eco-retreat goes even further when it comes to insisting guests switch off and reconnect with nature. Named after a fruit tree, Cempedak is a pioneer in its radical use of sustainable materials — all buildings are constructed from bamboo and alang alang grass, resulting in a raw-yet-refined design. Lead architect Miles Humphreys has worked in partnership with bamboo specialists, architects Chiko Wirahadi and Ketut Indra Saptura, to create modern and magnificent interiors, with soaring ceilings and curious textures. Recycled teak, lava stone and petrified wood were all brought to the island from local and sustainable sources.
Interiors have been tailor-made for Cempedak by local artisans using organic or recycled materials, led by designer Janet McGlennon. Locally sourced fish, fruit and vegetables will be central components of the cuisine from chef Dika and his local team in their open-plan kitchen, which will serve layered restaurant decks that drop down to the ocean. The island's naturalist will ensure the survival of the island's family of Oriental small-clawed otters and help guests spot silvered leaf monkeys, nicobar pigeons and green sea turtles. When environmentalism is this entertaining and the look and feel as well as the ethos enhance your holiday, you know you're onto a winner.