Happy New Year 2012 from Batu Batu!

Hope you had a good festive period, an enjoyable break and WILL have a FAB 2012.

Our first trip to Pulau Tengah is scheduled for Wednesday – exciting times as the heat is turned-up and the clock ticks as targetted opening flies towards us. I will update after the weekend with some pics and stories.

I just wanted to quickly post tonight as we have now unveiled Ökologie @ Batu Batu – a.k.a. the old BRISC. Take a look at our FB page:


Besides being a traditional dive and activity centre, Ökologie holds Batu Batu’s hand in order to help us leave a lighter footprint on the island and its surroundings. Here’s an extract from our FB info. page:

“We provide a platform for the study and understanding of our natural, social and cultural environments. We create conservation initiatives that are based on field observations, consultations with local people and knowledge of those that live and work in the area. Our ultimate goal is to find a “Responsible” model for Tourism that is sensitive to the local environment, create opportunities to enrich the people and the environment we operate in and respects the values and cultures of the land.”

Besides the official birth of Ökologie @ BB – the first member of staff @ BB – Evert – our Belgian head chef has just started with us. Also John (scuba) and Lali (permaculture) have joined the Ökologie team. All very exciting and we have high hopes for the project. Hopefully we can realise the dream and see everything in motion in 3-4 months time. Some seriously hard work is warranted in the meantime!

Oh – and our new website, logo and general marketing material is being lovingly designed and crafted by Dom. Watch this space. – And have a good week.


Loving the R.R. House (Brazil)

In researching and writing the architects brief for the long beach structures today (beach bar & BRISC), I came across this very cool seaside summer house near Sao Paulo, Brazil. Designed by Andrade Morettin Arquitetos, it’s basically a very beautiful giant mosquito net house which allows cross ventilation but stops the insects from getting in. It also glows at night. I like the idea of having BRISC look something like this amongst the casuarina trees behind our long beach…

From a mossy tree trunk to a designer bar… almost!

I thought I’d show you some pictures of a tree that we found on the ground on some of our land near Kota Tinggi (mainland Malaysia). A great big cengal (pronounced “chengal” apparently an African Mahogany of sorts) tree trunk covered in moss which we think was felled back in the 1970s (apparently back then the price of cengal was so low – when land was cleared, the trunks were just left on the ground to rot – which incidentally it did not).

You might be wondering how this fits in with the development of a boutique island resort… Well – our plan is to turn the mossy trunk into several lovely designer pieces (bar counter, table top) – just like these:

So far the tree trunk slices look like this:

So we have a long way to go… But we’ll be back over the next few weeks to get the pieces trimmed, de-barked, cleaned-up and on their road to some (hopefully) great pieces for the hotel. We went to look at them with a local carpenter last week who is confident that he can effect the transformation. I’ll post some pics along the way. Fingers-crossed…