A private island escape in Indonesia where eco means eco

Cempedak has an unimpeachable commitment to sustainability and is a paradise of space, light, privacy and silence

Indonesia’s Cempedak Private Island was designed to work in harmony with its surroundings
Indonesia’s Cempedak Private Island was designed to work in harmony with its surroundings

The pervasiveness of greenwashing in travel is what makes finding those who genuinely walk the sustainability talk – from hiring practices to sourcing materials – so gratifying. Andrew Dixon, who opened Nikoi Private Island in 2007 off the coast of Indonesia’s Bintan, near Singapore, is one. His second venture, Cempedak Private Island (cempedak.com; from $450), is just a few miles south, constructed and designed using bamboo sourced sustainably from Java and Sumatra. Cempedak, like Nikoi before it, is about luxury distilled to its elemental components: space, light, privacy, silence. But unlike Nikoi, the 20 two-storey villas – each with open-air living room and saltwater pool, rising from the jungle in broad, futuristic curves – are strictly grown‑ups only (I love kids, but this, frankly, made my year). Acclaimed Aussie chef Penny Williams consulted on the sophisticated dining fare: local produce, fresh fish and divine tropical fruits, served in the spectacular multilevel dining room. There’s something surreal about sipping a snake fruit-infused G&T in this breathtaking middle of a southeast Asian nowhere, and something instructive – and edifying – in Cempedak’s intelligent interpretation of indulgence.

Advertisement

See also

Advertisement
Loading