Plantaran, Flores, Indonesia
Bringing barefoot boutique to Flores, this intimate resort is a short speedboat ride away from Labuan Bajo in its own private bay Waecicu Beach. Hidden away from the main tourist areas and immersed in nature, traditional antique wooden houses lay scattered along the shoreline and their beautiful wooden traditional wooden sailing phinisis lie in the bay. This old world Indonesian craftsmanship set in one of the worlds most stunning island destinations has created a romantically discreet sustainable hideaway.
The gorgeous villas are set in gardens looking over the Flores Sea and backed by rolling lush hills. The name Flores means ‘flowers’ in Portuguese, named for the natural beauty of the flora and fauna of the island. The two bedroom Limasan Villa Suites of Plataran blends in perfectly with the environment and is perfect for families or friends. All the villas are handcrafted and decorated to reflect the rich heritage and culture of Indonesia. They are tastefully decorated with a rustic and understated luxury complimenting the magnificent natural setting. The use of wood and traditional textiles is also mirrored in the traditional sailing boats of the resort, that you can watch drifting in and out of the bay and also take a voyage on to visit the prehistoric Komodo Dragons in the National Park.
Facing the natural bay this is the perfect place to appreciate this more remote area of Indonesia, with its perfect seascape and verdant rolling hills it is the epitome of laidback luxury. It is also a haven for lovers of flora and fauna. This area is one of the most species rich both above and below the surface of the sea. Scuba diving is an absolute must in these species rich seas. Indonesia is part of the mighty Coral Triangle, the most biodiverse marine environment on earth. Expect to see coral gardens teeming with tropical fish and a myriad of magical creatures like turtles, mantas and even migrating mammals, such as Whale Shark. The PADI centre is also in partnership with Project Aware that brings awareness about conservation issues to all scuba divers.
Exploring this intriguing island is also a must. The Kelimutu in the centre of the island and is famous for its three different coloured lakes. This is an absolute must for nature and adventure enthusiasts. It is a mountainous area in the middle of Flores where you can make the ascent up Mount Kelimutu to be astounded by the glorious sight of the extraordinary three coloured lakes in the volcanic craters. Lake Tiwi Apa Butu (Lake of the Elders) is a striking turquoise; to the east are two small lakes separated by a crater wall called Tiwu Ko'o Fai Nuwa Muri (Lake of Young Men and Maidens) and Tiwu Ata Polo (Enchanted Lake). These are usually varying hues of emerald to moss green and sometimes a deep red in colour. The shades vary due to the volcanic gases mixing with minerals in the rock creating this remarkably beautiful phenomenon.
The National Park that surrounds these mountains is also a must visit with its marvelous flora and fauna. There are seventy nine tree species, some of them giant, such as the Giant Mahang or Macaranga gigantean. It is also a wonderful for bird watching and spotting species such as wild boar. Spread over four and a half hectares this is a wonderful place to venture into nature on the island. After a long day hiking, return to the oasis of the Plataran Komodo Resort and refresh with a cocktail and dinner at their beachfront Xanadu restaurant. Fresh seafood is the basis for a wide array of Indonesian dishes with a modern twist designed to delight any palate.
After exploring this wonderful island and relaxing in the idyllic resort then set sail on a voyage on one their incredible handcrafted wooden phinisi schooners. There are four flying under the Plataran flag that will take you on a journey of discovery to hidden coves, underwater worlds and the land of dragons in Komodo National Park. Sailing over these seas is a sustainable and sumptuous way to slowly travel in style. The stylish Felicia is a wonderful option to explore the area with her beautiful billowing sails ready for ethical exploration. Snorkeling and diving equipment are onboard all the vessels meaning that anytime you feel like dipping into the majestic myriad of marine life in this area it is literally just down below.
Being within the Coral Triangle, this part of Indonesia is the most species rich underwater area in the world. Prepare yourself for flowering flamboyant coral gardens, tropical rainbow fish swirling around you and turtles and other larger inhabitants gliding by. This is the most incredible way to experience the islands of Indonesia. Inside the boat the cabins have a feel of days gone by with the carefully crafted wood and tastefully traditional interiors. Comfort and calm are combined to provide a totally exclusive and relaxing experience whilst floating freely though the Flores Sea. Wonderful freshly caught fish are artfully combined at mealtimes around the main table on the eclectic upper deck to be savoured whilst sharing stories of the day’s escapades.
A visit to Komodo National Park to see the mythical Komodo Dragons is a must. This is the largest species of lizard in the world and can grow to over 3 meters long, which is an astounding, if not a little scary sight. This often led to them being killed for food or just because of their fearsome reputation for sometimes attacking humans, especially during nesting season. This has led to them being listed as endangered by the IUCN and protected by Indonesia law who founded the park to ensure the future of these wonderful creatures.
The Plataran Komodo Resort is the ideal private hideaway to explore and experience the marvels of Flores and it’s surrounding islands. Hidden in a private bay luxuriating by the ocean in a handcrafted villa or taking to the ocean on a traditional wooden boat is a utopian way to retreat from the thronging tourist areas and truly get into the natural heart of Indonesia.
For more information www.plataran.com
Photos Courtesy of Plataran Komodo
Words by Electra Gillies