This Indonesian Island Resort Should Be On Your Eco Bucket List

Think your household is eco-friendly? What about your building? Your city? We’re betting that it doesn’t quite measure up to Cempedak, a private island resort in Indonesia’s Riau archipelago that is made almost entirely from bamboo. 

From the fans to the toilet paper, almost everything on the island is made from Java and Sumatran bamboo. Otherwise, the island resort was built using local, natural materials – even the furniture was built on-site using driftwood, construction scraps and recycled timber.

cempedak from above
Cempedak from above (Source: Cempedak)

The resort features spacious two-story seafront villas with their own plunge pools, a bamboo spa set on boulders in a mangrove bay, and a grass tennis court for barefoot games of boules or croquet. Sweet lemongrass has been planted as a natural insect repellent, and pathways are lit by low-voltage LED lighting. Solar power accounts for more than half the electricity when fully occupied. The food served showcases organic, local produce from a local farm and permaculture farm on nearby Bintan. 

cempedak resort
Source: Cempedak

Cempedak started in 2017 as the passion project of former Australian banker, Andrew Dixon, who bought the island with three of his friends. In upgrading the resort, they focused on cultural sensitivity, eco-friendly design, privacy and simple luxury. They wanted to show that responsible tourism can be profitable and beneficial to the environment, without compromising on guest comfort. 

grass tennis court at cempedak
The grass tennis court. Source: Cempedak

In recent months, Cempedak collaborated with Seven Clean Seas, which paid their furloughed staff additional income to carry out beach clean-ups. So far, Dixon says that over 60 tons of plastic has been collected. 

Guests can get to Cempedak via Singapore, with a 2.5 hour journey that includes a private speed boat which runs on biodiesel 30 (containing 30% palm-oil based fuel). 

Long-term plans for the zero-waste island include reducing carbon emissions to zero, expanding no-fishing zones and establishing a hatchery programme for turtle eggs collected from neighbouring islands. 

For a chance to see baby turtles nesting under the boathouse, a silver leaf monkey swinging through the trees or even an endangered pangolin, add this gorgeous resort to your bucket list and plan your dream stay at Cempedak’s website. 

See also: Six Sense Ibiza: Sustainable Luxury on the Island