Even the previously ‘off the beaten track’ destinations like Borneo have become well-paved tourism paths and that’s why we’ve been busying away, searching this jungle/beach island utopia for somewhere special, somewhere different, and to keep our sense of adventure tingling, somewhere unknown.
The Bunga Raya Island Resort is just that. An exotic jewel set on a coral reef island, off the coast of Borneo, this island hideaway will take you away from the crowds and instead sandwich you between crescent sugary sand beaches and dense, wild jungle.
The most important thing about Bunga Raya Island Resort’s location is that it’s secluded, private and utterly tranquil. Set a few kilometers off Borneo’s north eastern coast, the resort nestles in a curved bay backing onto an expanse of jungle coated hills. Grab yourself a guide and wonder through the jungle, hoping for a prized sighting of an Orang-utan in the wild and helping your eyes to the dazzling array of butterflies. Or turn the other way out of your cabin to the beach, where you can dive, kayak, snorkel and swim in the sparkling waters. Tickle the adrenalin junkie in you by jet skiing across the shimmering sea, or take in the eyefuls of marine life, snorkelling and diving amongst the colorful coral and tropical fish.
The large, secluded villas with either jungle or ocean views, offer sensual jungle island living offset with all the modern touches, but most importantly, the seclusion and privacy that has become hard to find in the tourist traps on the mainland. The villas range from a spacious 70m sq. to a whopping 229m sq. (think jungle cabin meets royal palace) all affording jaw-dropping views from their private balconies and the Beachfront villas all sport sumptuous plunge pools all urging you to take the plunge from the moment you arrive. Each private villa has been hand-crafted by local tradesman in the traditional Borneo style, eschewing bricks and mortar for the age-old methods of rough-hewn timber. This is the place to rediscover that Borneo charm of old with the feeling that you’re a million miles from anywhere.
Not that you need much help to unwind here, but the hilltop spa provides exotic treatments, blending traditional Asian and Western treatments to pamper your body into a state of zenful delight. Seek out further hedonistic pleasures at the resort’s restaurants: Pantai Grill and Koi serve up a mixture of traditional Asian delicacies alongside Western classics, as well as enough locally-caught seafood to make sure your taste buds are well looked after. Complement your meal with a selection from the resort’s enormous Wine Cave, where there’s the perfect wine to partner every meal.
Why we love it
What’s not to love about a secluded paradise set between unchartered jungle and perfect beaches? What makes this place so special though, is not just the luxury villas, utopian setting and top-class cuisine (though that would usually be enough for even Black Tomato’s refined tastes) it is the sense of unrivalled secluded tranquillity that cannot be restrained here. At Bunga Raya Island Resort you are somewhere truly special, nowhere.