You don’t need to leave Malaysia to experience a world class island getaway
Everyone dreams on going to the Maldives, Bora-Bora, Bali, or Mexico for their beautiful beach getaways. But did you know that people from around the world come all the way to Malaysia for world class islands and resorts? More specifically Batu-Batu, an Eco Island Resort located right here off the coast of Johor on Pulau Tengah, Mersing a 15-minute boat ride from the mainland.
Batu-Batu is a private island resort that thrives between lush greenery and rocky outcrops. The rocky outcrop is the reason for the name Batu-Batu; meaning rocks or stones. The resort boasts a number of secluded white sandy beaches accompanied by clear blue water, perfect for snorkelling or diving. The resort itself was built by a local carpentry team to emulate the style of a traditional “Kampung”, made to blend into the environment. It has 22 chalets with a variety of beautiful views with some of them overlooking the sea where you can view the sunrise and ocean breeze. Batu-Batu is friendly for families of all ages as they have a variety of activities for people of all ages. Those include Diving, Snorkelling, Paddle Boarding, Kayaking, Hiking, Star Gazing and beach activities.
During a snorkelling session you might be lucky to see all kinds of sea creatures, some of the ones you might discover are rainbow fishes, clown fishes or stingrays. You might be lucky enough to even see reef sharks. If you still need something more for kids to do, the island comes with a playroom fitted with DVDs, books and some toys. The restaurant also screens shows at night for the kids to enjoy watching.
Speaking of the restaurant, it’s consulted by Audra Morrice, a culinary consultant who is also a judge on MasterChef Asia. The meals are a major highlight at Batu-Batu with a daily changing menu board where you can choose from a selection of starters, mains, and desserts. They feature high quality ingredients made for both Malaysian and Western palates. The restaurant is a spacious pavilion with 270-degree view of the sea. Their desserts are excellent with a lot of home-made breads, mousses and ice-creams and sorbets. My personal favourites are the Teh-Tarik ice cream and Dragon Fruit Sorbet!
On some nights, if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to see the Milky Way at night where you can just lay on the jetty and look up. Perfect for a romantic date if you’ve brought your significant other to the island!
Speaking of activities, Batu-Batu being an Eco friendly resort focuses a lot on conservation through their partnership with Tengah Island Conservation (TIC). Their efforts have gotten them a number of awards over the years, most recently the silver award in “Best at Wildlife & Nature Conservation” category for Malaysian island resort and its home-grown biodiversity management initiatives. TIC employs four full-time conservation scientists to help with the research, rehabilitation and regeneration of the environment around Pulau Tengah. To date, TIC has released over 17,500 critically endangered sea turtle hatchlings, patrols the 21,000 acres daily to prevent poaching, removed over 18 tonnes of marine debris as well as mapping and surveying over 1,000,000 m2 of coral reef.
Room rates start at about RM1000 per room per night. Meals, drinks and boat transfers are on a separate charge. You can get in touch with them at their official website www.batubatu.com.my or one of the many online booking websites available.