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.
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.
What to Expect:
45 nautical miles north of Jakarta, among the Thousand Islands in the deep-blue Java Sea, 2.5 acre Pulau Macan is a dreamy island oasis with an incredible coral seascape, which guests can enjoy up close from the expansive wooden deck at the clubhouse. Inside, look for a pool table, comfy sofas, and “appropriately light literature.” Accommodations consist of three rustic but comfortable bungalows (two rooms have air-conditioning), and the restaurant features local ingredients—like kemangi, a lemon-flavored Indonesian basil-many of which are organically grown on the island. Sample the herb in karedok, a house specialty also made with Chinese long beans, cabbage, cucumbers, eggplant, and a spicy-sweet peanut sauce.
What to Do:
Rent a rowboat, flat-bottomed canoe, or rubber dinghy, and paddle 150 yards to a deserted island covered in palm trees. There, string up a hammock (the resort has them on hand), snorkel, or comb the white powdery beach for sand dollars.
Tiger Island’s fast boat makes the trip from the marina in Ancol, North Jakarta, in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you could take a ferry from Marina Ancol in North Jakarta to Putri or Sepa (a 2-hour trip), and ask resort staff to meet you with their boat.
Price: Doubles from $141 for first night, from $85 for each additional night; rates include meals and use of equipment.