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Blog 7/2/2020

In Conversation: Raymond Saja, General Manager of Bawah Reserve, Indonesia

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    Adventure

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    Beach

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  • Romance and Honeymoons

    Romance and Honeymoons

Our Product Director, Sam Mullen speaks with Raymond Saja, General Manager of Bawah Reserve, Indonesia. Bawah represents the ultimate in island isolation resting in the azure blue ocean 300km northeast of Singapore in Indonesia's remote Anambas Archipelago. These 6 islands, 3 turquoise lagoons and 13 pristine beaches are high on our wish list.


What do you think luxury travel looks like right now?

I believe travellers will become much more discerning in the properties in which they choose to holiday. Properties such as Bawah, which can offer a contact-less holiday in a remote paradise are poised to prosper. The bigger concern is the means of transportation; therefore, I believe private jets and charter flights will become increasingly popular.

Are you making any specific preparations ahead of your guest’s stay?

We plan to gain a greater understanding of our inbound guests’ intentions and whether they wish to mingle with other guests, or have a private and secluded stay. We suspect there will be even more emphasis on digital detox at the resort to “escape” the outside world.

I’ve learned just how quickly things can change, and the importance to try to remain a step ahead of the unknown. It has been a good lesson to value all relationships; colleagues, friends, staff and most importantly of course, family.

Raymond Saja




What factors do you think will influence traveller's choices?

Travellers will want to see firsthand that all protective measures have been considered, and their safety and comfort has been considered along their journey to, at, and from their destination. A more remote location where guests can have a true luxury escape and not worry about physical distancing will also be important. I believe guests will want to know their wellbeing is being cared for; healthy nutritious food, a clean, safe environment, activities that allow them to get out in nature and where their stay is effortless and they are taken care of.

"A more remote location where guests can have a true luxury escape and not worry about physical distancing will also be important. I believe guests will want to know their wellbeing is being cared for; healthy nutritious food, a clean, safe environment, activities that allow them to get out in nature and where their stay is effortless and they are taken care of"

Raymond Saja

Tell us about how you are currently working with your immediate environment?

We work closely with the Bawah Anambas Foundation (BAF) towards a common goal to have the Anambas Islands fully sustainable and plastic free within the next two years. Projects such as extensive coral propagation, protection of green and hawksbill turtle nests and trial and error of plant and tree seedlings for increased forest conservation are ongoing. We also support the local communities through several main initiatives. We work closely with various islands: one supplies us with our fresh seafood, fished in a sustainable manner. Another which we’ve worked closely with has now set up organic farms which many of the neighbouring islands benefit from, as well as another with an upcycling facility, which again benefits Bawah Reserve and the other islands. This is in addition to the Digital English Club which teaches English to the communities as well as our team on island.


What have you learnt about yourself during the pandemic?

I’ve learned just how quickly things can change, and the importance to try to remain a step ahead of the unknown. This has been unprecedented, as I have been in the business long enough to have worked through many crisis situations, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, recessions, coups and riots, and more. All of them combined, have not had the devastating affect which this pandemic has had. Be with your family, maintain balance, and we will get through this period together. It has been a good lesson to value all relationships; colleagues, friends, staff and most importantly of course, family.

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