Cempedak is a 17-hectare private island 9km off the east coast of Bintan, Indonesia. Located 91km from Singapore, the travel time from Tanah Merah ferry terminal is approximately two and a half hours.
Surrounded by unspoilt islands it is one of only a handful of private islands along this beautiful coast. Cempedak is ringed with white sandy beaches and studded with magnificent white granite boulders. Rising to a height of 40m, the island boasts a rain forest that provides sanctuary to a diverse population of local birds including hornbills, eagles and kingfishers. Other residents on the island include the critically endangered pangolin and a family of otters.
The architecture is dramatic and unique. Bamboo has been used throughout and in ways not seen before. Crescent-shaped curved roofs made from a local grass provide a natural symmetry to the environment and at the same time protection from the elements. With private plunge pools in each villa, huge decks, the guest accommodation is very private and very spacious. This is “simple barefoot luxury” in a sublime natural setting.
No children under the age of 16
The island has a strict policy of not allowing children under the age of 16 to visit. If you are travelling with children then you might be interested in visiting our sister property Nikoi Island.
Cempedak is owned by the same small group who created Nikoi Island. Nikoi opened in 2007 and quickly became a popular escape for those looking for an escape from the maddening crowd. The owners have all lived in Asia for most of their working lives and share a passion for the outdoors, nature, food and wine.
The inspiration to develop Nikoi and subsequently Cempedak came through disenchantment with the standard of holiday accommodation on offer within easy reach of Singapore. It was either flea-ridden shacks or opulently garish five-star hotels. Cultural sensitivity, vernacular design, good service and simple luxuries seemed unheard of.
The success of Nikoi led the owners to look for another island to develop. The lessons learnt from Nikoi and a passion for being sensitive to both the environment, the local culture and to engage the local community inspired them to use bamboo as the primary building material on Cempedak.
Best labelled as ‘Luxury Survivor’ or ‘Crusoe Luxe’ it is a concept that has not been seen in the region before. Coupled with the fact this has been done on a truly private island makes Cempedak truly unique.
From the outset the owners have been keen that Cempedak and sister property Nikoi Island should have a positive impact for all stakeholders. They have been keen to avoid being labelled an eco resort as this description has often been overused and, to some, has negative connotations in that guests are asked to either pay more or accept less. The goal has been to try and offer guests a unique experience which minimises any negative impact and has a long term positive impact in the local community.
This goal in itself is seen as a journey and one where the goal posts shift according to feedback from guests and staff. This approach might not always seen logical or the way other resorts might operate but even small decisions are given a lot of thought and as owner and operators these decisions are made with the guest in mind rather than the bottom line as a returning guest is our best advertisement. If you would like to more about our approach we recommend you read the “Our Commitment” and “The Island Foundation” sections on this website, or our detailed Responsible Tourism Policy document.