Banyan Tree Bintan in Indonesia has unveiled a Kelong Villa, built and named as a tribute to the traditional offshore stilted platforms used by local fishermen.
Open for stays from July 15, 2019, the floating villa is located about 250m from the Laguna Bintan integrated resort in the South China Sea. Guests begin their stay experience by boarding a pokchai (motorised wooden boat) at the beachfront and arriving at their new abode in under two minutes.
The stay will begin with the customary sounding of a terompet (local handmade horn) by the Banyan Host to signify the arrival of the guests as they disembark from the pokchai.
Therapists from the Banyan Tree Spa will serve traditional welcome offerings of kueh putu ayu (steamed rice flour cake filled with palm sugar) and a elixir of carrot, pineapple and ginger. A foot bath with traditional herbs and pandan juice follows, and after, guests are invited to shed their footwear in favour of traditional pandan sandals.
The rustic villa itself features local Indonesian timber and traditional furnishing, alongside luxurious digs such as a silk and buckwheat bedding for guests. The open-concept bathroom features a modern walk-in shower and double sinks.
The eco-friendly accommodation has no Wi-Fi, and guests can spend their time instead on boardgames and books, or choose more adventurous activities such as fishing or kayaking. Meanwhile, food can be ordered from an in-villa menu, hand-delivered through pokchai by a Banyan host.
Upon check out, guests will be given a farewell juice made of sweet papaya, baby spinach and honey, along with lapis Surabaya, a local snack. Guests can then round off the stay by participating in the local tradition of freeing a handmade banana leaf boat and scattering flower petals in the ocean.
In celebration of the launch, Banyan Tree Bintan also offers a package for two which includes breakfast, Indonesia afternoon tea, a Kelong dinner, foot bath, a 60-minute full body massage at either Kelong Villa or Hilltop Pavilions, as well as return land transfers between ferry terminal and resort.
Rates begin at S$840 (US$610) nett per night.