Amidst the global pandemic, hope remains resilient as Banyan Tree Group prepares to open the doors of Buahan, a Banyan Tree Escape, in late 2021. Occupying a secluded enclave in Bali’s majestic highlands, the resort will immerse guests in central Bali’s local heritage and culture through its “no walls, no doors” concept, an invitation into a different way of being.
The Advent of Change
As sustainability is a core of Banyan Tree Group’s existence, it goes without question that Buahan, a Banyan Tree Escape, has benefited from the Group’s trove of knowledge in its pursuit of sustainable practices. From the project’s onset, the new generation of traveller’s need for experiential and sustainable travel has been the resort’s focus in its approach to sustainability.
Whilst striving to steward its available resources to promote local business and benefit the surrounding environment, Buahan, a Banyan Tree Escape’s efforts can be summed into three focused areas: construction, sourcing, and community integration.
Building for a New Tomorrow
Before the project’s construction began, a key factor was making sure that Buahan would reflect the local culture and heritage of Buahan Village and its surrounding areas using materials and methods that would have the most negligible impact and preserve the environment. This premise was achieved through how the villas were individually placed on the enclave, having a small footprint, and ensuring that construction was completed without vastly altering nature.
The entire resort was constructed from recycled Ulin wood, aka ironwood, from the Kalimantan region previously used on boat piers and fishing boat decks. Ulin wood required no preventative chemical treatment measures as it is a hardwood, making it an ideal sustainable natural material. Further ratifying the resort’s sustainable practices, fast-growing bamboo was also used as a complementary construction material, further reducing the impact on the environment.
Both endeavours for material sourcing and procurement went above and beyond to support local businesses in Bali. Additionally, as all resort features were lightly built onto the land throughout the construction phase, no large machinery was used, meaning the land never had to be cleared, emphasising the importance of maintaining the environment by the Buahan Team.
From the Outside In
As ever, Buahan, a Banyan Tree Escape’s team, have made sure to keep an eye on the global drive for sustainability and strives to keep in stride with recommendations from external partners. The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) has set out four pillars for the hospitality industry to guide sustainable travel worldwide. These four pillars of local heritage, local culture, environmental protection and social responsibility have played a part in how the resort positions itself. Through its brand pillars of being connected to nature, providing a discovery experience, and being embedded in the community, Buahan, a Banyan Tree Escape, has implemented the GSTC’s pillars through its brand identity.
The resort promotes environmental protection through its “no walls, no doors” concept by ensuring its guests feel deeply connected to and interact with nature. Guests are also invited to a discovery experience like no other. They learn about local culture and heritage through the resort’s happenings, events, celebrations, and curated discovery experiences, geared through a DIY, guided learning approach. Guests can also appreciate and learn how to be socially responsible as they explore central Bali through the resort’s operation and interact with the local community as part of Buahan, a Banyan Tree Escape’s experiential perspective.
The resort’s efforts are also enacted through multiple local partnerships. One partnership involved working with Gede Kresna, a recognised sustainable local architect who focuses on Balinese design and environmentally friendly architecture, who ran a four-month study on the sociological, architectural, and cultural impact the resort would have within a 1-hour radius of the site, whose results ultimately influence the resort’s personality. Another partnership included Agency X, a local consultant group that houses Locavore, Nusantara, and The Night Rooster Cocktail Bar. As part of Buahan, a Banyan Tree Escape’s drive to develop a locally inspired zero-waste farm to table menu, the concept was designed around the premise of utilising all raw materials from ingredients while preparing delectable dishes and minimising waste.
In what has become the new normal, the focus on providing a safe, healthy and sustainable environment at all times has taken on a critical meaning, especially in the travel industry. As such, a product like Buahan, a Banyan Tree Escape’s launch, has evolved, pivoting around these critical aspects. As the resort offers 16 private pool villas, each villa has become a sanctuary within a sanctuary, spread out across the vast enclave that makes up the site.
Adorned with the signature “no walls, no doors” concept, the villas, massaged onto the enclave teeming with nature, offer a uniquely private and secluded experience and are a perfect getaway within themselves without ever having to venture beyond the front door.
With so few rooms, the small footprint of the resort allows guests to lower their carbon footprint through the use of recycled materials, alternate forms of energy, and overall lower power usage as guests enjoy natures symphony.
Beyond the Wire – Puspa Anggareni (Executive Assistant Manager)
“Drawing on its deep roots, Buahan, a Banyan Tree Escape, has embarked on a road to a better future. Critical to this is the commitment we have to continue implementing all our sustainable practices and discovering more along the way. To make a difference for the environment, the surrounding community, and the guests who will visit us, we cannot afford to only talk about what needs to be done, but we have to lead by example, our “different way of being” beaming with the hopes and dreams of a better tomorrow.”