Daily Archives: July 9, 2010

Eco Rustic | Pulau Macan (Tiger Island) Eco Resort, Thousand Islands, Jakarta Bay, Indonesia

By Dian Hasan | July 9, 2010

As the global economy forges ahead, it gives birth not only to an army of new consumers with buying power, but also to mega cities as a consequence. Urbanization comes as a package with economic development, and is both a bane and blessing to any city managing all its resources. But enough of that for now.

Let’s just focus on the needs of urban-dwellers, who live out their busy lives in chaotic cities, all yearning for one thing – mostly during weekends: AN ESCAPE!

Jakarta is no exception. Beaming with a new-found self confidence with an economy that has sailed through the recent global downturn, cosmopolitan professionals abound with a zest to escape the bustling city in search of respite and solitude.

Pulau Macan (Tiger Island) Eco Resort is the right antidote! The brainchild of Jakarta-born Dutch-American, Roderick des Tombe, or Drigo, as he likes to be called, drummed up an environmentally-sustainable resort that he hopes will become a model of future resort developments in Indonesia.

Drigo (Roderick des Tombe), founder and eco-ambassador of Pulau Macan

With the island’s solar power, organic garden, rain catchment and back-to-nature housing arrangements, Drigo has been running Pulau Macan since 2006 and is fast getting noticed by Jakartans who are looking for unique leisre alternatives not too far from the city. Drigo’s statement encapsulates the idea perfectly: “Part of our aim is to show people you don’t need big cement walls, you don’t need flatscreen TVs, you don’t need air conditioning.”

So whether it’s back-to-nature tent accommodation of “glamping” (glamorous camping”), Robinson Crusoe-style rustic huts fashioned from sustainable materials found in the area, or the more permanent brick bungalow, there’s a suitable choice for everyone. Continue reading

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Green & Chic | Tivoli Ecoresort, Praia do Forte, Bahia, Brazil

By Dian Hasan | July 9, 2010

Sheltered in an immense natural reserve, surrounded by 12 kms of beach and a lush coconut grove, an hour away from Salvador, the Tivoli Ecoresort Praia do Forte is a holiday destination that champions the well-being of the guests and respect for the harmony of nature.

The development plan of the former Praia do Forte estate allowed the creation of this resort where one can enjoy this paradise in direct contact with nature, yet the preservation of the environment and the culture of the local community are guaranteed.

In this idyllic setting replete with coconut trees and beaches every detail has been conceived to offer a fulfilling stay and attentive service. The spaces are comfortable with an elegant rustic charm and during the day one may simply relax in the sun or enjoy the numerous leisure activities available.

The nautical centre, the eight swimming pools, the tennis courts, the restaurants offering international and local Bahia cuisine, as well as the Thalasso SPA should be highlighted. At the SPA, a sanctuary to health and beauty, different treatments that work harmony of the body and mind are offered.

As an alternative for a day out, and quite close to the resort, one can explore the ecological reserves and lagoons, discover the beaches where the sea turtles come to lay their eggs or seek out the whale or sea coral observation sites. At the end of the day, admire the sunset from the balcony of your room within this marvelous tropical frame.

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Green & Chic | The Kenoa Exclusive Beach Resort & Spa, Barra de São Miguel, Alagoas, Brazil

By Dian Hasan | July 8, 2010

Spread across the golden sand beach and turquoise-blue ocean of the Barra de São Miguel, barely 30 kilometres from Maceió, is a gem of a small beach hotel in the tropical beauty the Brazilian Northeast, The Kenoa Exclusive Beach Resort & Spa.

The construction of this resort was well planned and took into consideration the ecological concern of preserving native vegetation. The various spaces, inspired by the primitive forms and natural essences, absorb the surrounding landscape, offering plenty of style and refined details. Everything was designed to satisfy the desires of privacy, tranquility, luxury and comfort.

The harmonious interconnection with nature is also present in the suites and villas that offer magnificent panoramic views, some with an interior garden and private heated swimming pool, with an infinite border that extends towards the sea and horizon.

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Green & Chic | The Hardy Residence, Bali, Indonesia

By Dian Hasan | July 8, 2010

What do you do after you’ve built a jewelry empire from scratch on the idyllic tropical isle of Bali? That is probably the question that John Hardy has pondered many times over in the past few decades he’s been living in Bali. A life’s journey that saw him build himself into a brand name synonymous with exquisite silver jewelry pieces inspired by daily life of culturally-rich Bali. Celebrating the craftsmanship if the Balinese people for whom exploring their artistic gift was as second-nature as their creations of ornate daily offerings to their Gods.

Over the years, John Hardy’s pieces have adorned real royalty and Hollywood royalty alike. And upscale consumerist palaces like Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale’s and Nieman Marcus have been his loyal customers.

John Hardy sold his jewelry business a few years ago, and has since focused most of his attention on education and the environment, a merging of two ideas that have resulted in the creation of the “out-of-this-world” Green School, Bali’s international school that is way ahead of its time, where man, nature and education become an inseparable bond! (check out my blog post about the Green School).

To take a peek into his extraordinary life, the stunning place he and his wife, Cynthia, calls home is an excellent start. A 110-foot-long traditional house, that overlooks Ayung River valley in Bali.

The upper house stands on stilts 59 feet high.

The main house was finished in 1997, and for their the Hardys who love to entertain, they’ve had to expand their kitchen. Continue reading

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Green & Chic | The Universe House, Roca Blanca, Mexico

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Architectural photographer Iwan Baan recently shot the Universe House, designed by Mexican artist Gabriel Orozco and built by architect Tatiana Bilbao in Roca Blanca, Mexico.

universe houseuniverse houseuniverse house Continue reading

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Green & Chic | Fateh Garh Palace, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India

By Dian Hasan | July 8, 2010


In India, the trend of converting their amazing collection of historical royal palaces into luxury hotels continues apace, especially now that India is forging ahead with as an economic juggernaut, next to China.

Without much promotion, India has always been embedded in the minds of many, replete with its fascinating dichotomy of love and hate, the existence of extremes side-by-side, whether its extreme poverty, gaudiness, or natural beauty. India has it all.

The former Maharaja Palaces are now changing clothes as luxury hotels, but with a “green heart”. An eco-consciousness is carefully considered in its re-development.

The newest palace hotel in Udaipur, Rajasthan, Fateh Garh Palace,  is based on the ancient Indian wisdom to deliver a unique cultural and spiritual experience. Derived from the Urdu word Delivered from Urdu word for victory “Fateh“, and Sanskrit word for fortress “Garh“, Fateh Garh is a resplendent abode indeed, victorious in its fusion of the past, heritage architecture, and today’s eco-concept in modern hospitality.

The historic monument, moved stone by stone on a wooded hill not far from its place of origin, was transformed into a majestic hotel of 51 rooms as the 51 principles of ancient Indian wisdom, themselves drawn from elements of nature (fire, water, earth, wind and space). It is therefore not surprising that 50% of energy requirements of the hotel are provided by solar panels and wind turbines. Appointed themselves as the principle according to Vaastu (which is to take maximum advantage of wind and sun), the rooms offer a unique brightness. Spacious and sophisticated, totally indigenous, they offer superb views on the surrounding hills.

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Green & Chic | Hotel de Larache, Atacama Desert, Chile

By Dian Hasan | July 8, 2010


The Cordillera of the Andes, Easter Island and its mysterious statues, the Vina del Mar, the Chile French Riviera, so many reasons that make Chile a fascinating land. A country where the feeling of freedom is everywhere, through landscapes that vary from one extreme to another depending on the region. In the Atacama Desert on the border of Bolivia and Peru, is a hotel where luxury is synonymous with nature and local customs. Hotel de Larache, 50 rooms and suites, is located in one of the most surprising places on earth.


Nestled in the heart of an oasis of 17 hectares in northern Chile, the Hotel de Larache is a continuity of the architecture of nature. Open to the outside, we feel the omnipresent force of nature: the furniture is in raw wood, tree trunks serve as beams and colors of fabrics echo the plants and land.

As a counterpoint to the rusticity, the hotel offers all the comforts of luxury hotels in major cities: room service, bar, library, baby-sitters, no less than four pools and an art gallery. The tours organized by the hotel are also part of the assets of the hotel to discover on horseback the Atacama Desert, its archaeological discoveries, its fauna and flora.

This is a definite luxe in the rough. Continue reading

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Green & Chic | Pangkor Laut Resort, Pangkor Laut Island, Malaysia

By Dian Hasan | July 8, 2010


Outside Malaysia’s capital of Kuala Lumpur with her impressive modern skyline, after a 3-hour drive and boat-ride, a very different skyline awaits your discovery. That of swaying palm trees on a private island where the only soundtrack you’ll hear is nature itself.

Welcome to the private paradise of Pangkor Laut Resort, a charming little island with a gem of a resort set in an overgrown jungle facing emerald waters in the Straits of Malacca.


The villas of Pangkor Laut Resort are scattered throughout the gardens, beach or hillside, or stand on long wooden stilts over the sea. Spacious, they accept an Asian traditional design and use the local materials such as teak and bamboo. The floors and wood blinds with thin perforated blades add a colonial touch in whole. Simplicity and tranquility, the atmosphere of Pangkor Laut Resort is relaxing. A long rectangular pool offers a magnificent view over the sea. Many restaurants in various ambiance offer an Asian cuisine, punctuated with western tastes.

The serenity of Pangkor Laut Resort is accentuated by the Spa Village, a space dedicated to wellness and spa, embellished with fountains and ponds filled with lotus flowers. The care, massage and programs of fitness use the techniques and philosophies inspired by Ayurveda and Chinese, Thai and Malay medicine. Whirlpool, steam room and herb garden. Continue reading

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