Getaways with a objective: 7 resorts in Asia-Pacific the place marine conservation meets luxurious


On the occasion of World Oceans Day, take a look at seven marine-minded stays that not only embark on their own sustainability practices, but also offer guests a chance to get involved. Whether you’re a diver keen to protect the world’s coral reefs or a geek who wants a peek into how tech is harnessed to clean up the world’s coastlines, there is an option for every curious traveller. 

Become a coral crusader 

Bawah Reserve, Anambas archipelago, Indonesia

Keen to learn more about coral but don’t know your calices from your columellas? Consider visiting the private island paradise of Bawah Reserve in the Anambas, one of Indonesia’s northernmost border archipelagos. This luxurious resort has partnered with the Anambas Foundation – which aims to improve the overall local ecosystem – to provide opportunities for its guests to get involved with programmes such as coral restoration and survey. Guests undertake a masterclass in assessing coral health before a hands-on session in conducting their very own survey on a nearby reef section.

How to get there: Take the 50-minute ferry journey from Singapore to the island of Batam, before hopping on a seaplane to the Bawah Reserve 

Photo: Bawah Reserve

Intercontinental Manza Beach Resort, Okinawa, Japan

Surrounded by clear warm waters, the islands of Okinawa house Japan’s underrated coral reefs. Enter Intercontinental Manza Beach Resort, a beachfront retreat which has embarked on a comprehensive coral conservation plan to protect these fragile reefs since 2005. Aside from transplanting coral fragments, the resort also offers guests the chance to plant coral seedlings and participate in coral aquaculture farm tours. And the efforts are paying off – 300 of the world’s 800 coral species now thrive here. 

How to get there: Singapore Airlines connects you to Okinawa via codeshare, with a transit in Haneda or Osaka. You can also fly to Fukuoka and continue your journey via ferry.

Photo: Intercontinental Manza Beach Resort

The Racha, Phuket, Thailand

Not only is The Racha just minutes away from some of the island’s best dive sites, this five-star resort has been joining forces with nonprofit organisation the Reef Ball Foundation to submerge 250 pH-neutral concrete Reef Balls since 2004. These coral colonies have since become vital habitats for Juvenile Clownfish and other marine critters, which guests can visit on their underwater excursions. Keep an eye out for rare glassy tiger butterflies too – the resort’s swathes of Rak Talay trees were planted because of their popularity with these rare winged beauties.

How to get there: Fly on Singapore Airlines to Phuket and continue your journey to the resort via a 35-minute speedboat ride

Turn trash into treasure

Fairmont Maldives – Sirru Fen Fushi, Maldives

One of the country’s largest resort lagoons, there are plenty of reasons to stay at the Fairmont Maldives. Eco-minded travellers can add the resort’s Sustainability Lab to the list – lay your hands on specialty machines which transform waste plastic into pellets that can be used to make everything from jewellery to furniture. While there, don’t forget to check out the beautiful Coralarium, the world’s first and only coral regeneration project in the form of an underwater art installation, which guests can visit on a guided snorkelling excursion. 

How to get there: Fly on Singapore Airlines to Male and continue your journey to the resort via a 30-minute seaplane ride

Giving waste plastics a second life. Photo: Fairmont Maldives

Clean up a coastline 

Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia

Scooping discarded soft drink cans off a beach is one thing, but scientists are increasingly placing a growing emphasis on the collection of data relating to waste collection. At Queensland’s Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, their collaboration with not-for-profit organisation Tangaroa Blue Foundation doesn’t just provide guests with the chance to remove litter from nearby beaches. Guests who join the resort’s regular beach clean-ups – led by the foundation’s experts – will also help to input information relating to the debris they collect into the Australia Marine Debris Initiative database, thereby being a part of long term efforts to create change on a larger scale.   

How to get there: Fly on Singapore Airlines to Cairns and take a one-hour drive to Port Douglas

Photo: Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, Port Douglas

Take flight for cleaner seas

The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands, the Maldives 

This Maldivian resort has a number of conservation projects which guests can get involved with, but our favourite is the drone project. Led by British scientist Melissa Schiele, this programme utilises drones to collect data relating to marine plastic aggregation, or how marine trash such as ghost nets and discarded polystyrene are carried by currents. Guests can join researchers on drone-flying excursions and test their drone-flying skills on the resort’s simulators.

How to get there: Fly on Singapore Airlines to Male and continue your journey to the resort via a 50-minute speedboat ride

Photo: The Ritz Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands

Embrace turtle power 

The Fortress Resort and Spa, Galle, Sri Lanka

The old fort town of Galle is known for its colonial heritage and windswept beaches, but few might know that this idyllic resort also houses a haven for nesting sea turtles in its purpose-built hatchery. Guests are invited to help release the turtles and learn more about the species during masterclasses with the property’s turtle ranger. While there, be sure to check out the sprawling organic garden – the vegetables and herbs grown here aren’t just used in the restaurants, but in the spa’s Ayurvedic treatments, too.

How to get there: Fly on Singapore Airlines to Colombo and take a two-hour drive to Galle

Photo: The Fortress Galle

To learn more about Singapore Airlines flights to the abovementioned destinations, visit the official website.


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