An inside look at an affordable, fun and forward thinking eco resort on the southeast coast of Bintan.
Built in 2000 by a teacher couple, Dr Marc van Loo and Isabelle Lacoste – the “Loo” and “La” in the name refer to them – LooLa Adventure Resort was an early favourite as a holiday destination for families and for school trips. More recently, it’s becoming a CSR (corporate social responsibility) destination of choice for companies who care about the planet’s future.
Running on green (solar) energy and expecting to harvest all its water from rain in 2019, LooLa has won a slew of eco-related awards. These include “World #1 Responsible Tourism Operator” in 2015. The eco resort’s aim is to show that sustainability is not only important, but also exciting and engaging.
“Our staff come from the local area, and they run all the resort activities to give guests an authentic experience. For example, families can make their trip carbon-neutral by engaging in a fun ‘spooky tree’ mangrove tree planting activity at night; or, they can discover just how good plant-based food can be by cooking it for themselves.”
Safe Water Gardens
Another option to give your holiday special meaning at LooLa is to spend half a day at a local village, helping to give a family access to lifelong safe sanitation.
Every day, almost 400 kids in Indonesia die on account of insufficient sanitation at home; the one-year-old daughter of the resort cook was sadly one of them. Using this tragic event as a catalyst for change, the LooLa team put together an international coalition of top universities, companies and passionate individuals to further develop a UNICEF sanitation solution.
The result is the Safe Water Garden (SWG), a wastewater management and recycling system that helps to nourish gardens while greatly improving health and living conditions. “Through the pioneering and ongoing efforts of LooLa’s clients, we’re now on our way towards 100 million SWGs by 2023,” says Marc. “It’s a testament to the change people can bring if they work together!”
Aside from these eco activities, there’s plenty more to keep families happily busy for days on end. Childcare is free of charge, so kids alone (or parents and kids together!) can enjoy everything on offer. For starters, there’s wall climbing, bungy jumping and sky-walking. Or the kids might prefer riding a flying fox into the pool, or tackle an obstacle course and Ninja wipe-out circuit. They can also kayak, sail, fish, hunt for crabs, build a raft, walk on the sea-flats, trek the hills and make pizza. And there are sports such as archery, futsal, basketball, volleyball and ping pong.
- LooLa has two luxury four-room eco villas. There are six “classic LooLa” chalets (five of them located over the sea), plus dormitory space for groups.
- Prices cover accommodation, all food, water and tea, and all on-site activities.
- To get to LooLa, take a ferry from Singapore’s Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal (TMFT) to Tanjung Pinang, Bintan. The resort team will pick you up on arrival. Email LooLa for an easy-to-use ferry booking form.
For more information and bookings on the eco resort, visit loola.net.
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This article first appeared in the September 2019 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase a copy or subscribe so you never miss an issue!