The Travel Guide to Macan Island Resort

By Ritueli Daeli - February 06, 2019

ORIENTATION

Macan Island Resort is one of the tiny isles composing Indonesia’s Thousand Islands (Pulau Seribu), immediately north of Jakarta. It is the only resort that attempts to use total eco-friendly methods in its operations. Especially popular with non-Indonesian tourists, Macan Island Resort manages two neighboring islands: the larger Macan Island occupied by the resort, and the much smaller nearby (a 100-meter swim from Macan Island) Macan Gundul Island where tourists can relax on a white-sandy beach accompanied only by the sound of waves and wind through the palms.

WHEN TO GO

My two-day visit to this exotic island was during the Indonesian holiday of Chinese New Year during the first week of February 2019.  The resort was full, but not crowded. If you want to feel like you have the island to yourself, reserve on weekdays;  during the low season, you might be the only guest. 

HOW TO GET THERE

Overnight guests and day-trippers to Macan Island Resort are required to be at Marina Pier 16 in Ancol-Jakarta at 7:30 a.m. for the boat leaves promptly at 8 a.m. The roundtrip fare of the speedboat is included in the package offered by the resort.
The resort doesn’t have its own boat so guests ride the public speedboat that makes stops at a few islands before arriving at Macan Island, its northernmost destination. The fast ride across the Java Sea from Ancol to Macan Island takes approximately two hours, depending on the weather. A robust wind and unfriendly waves sometimes increase the travel time.

WHAT TO DO

The resort offers outdoor activities that you don’t want to miss: a guest-favorite is kayaking, as the sturdy canoes allow them to paddle around the island or even visit the resort’s other island, Macan Gundul (see: Orientation). The warm, crystal-clear water is shallow, permitting both adults and children with safe places to swim and see coral.
Indeed, most guests come to the resort to snorkel in the waters around the island. For those snorklers who demand a wider variety of sea life, the resort offers two daily boat trips (9:00 and 15:00) to coral reefs in the open sea.  Diving is also an option, with a boat, instructor, and other diving services always available. 
For the guest who prefers drier activities, tennis table and badminton guarantee ways to exercise muscles. When the sun goes down, the billiard table located in the resort’s main hall is a lively place where guests can be found competing both before and after dinner.

ROOMS

Available lodging at the beginning of February 2019 includes 11 cabins that can accommodate a maximum of 40 guests. Of these, five cabins are located in the gardens, and six huts on the edge of the sea. Each hut is unique, bigger ones designed for families with ensuite bathrooms, and smaller ones designed for 2 people with a separate, shared bathroom. For those who love sunset sea views, I highly recommend the hut called Drift Wood 2. 
The management of Pulau Macan tries to provide essentially for its guests. It’s efforts to be eco-friendly means that it is not a five-star resort, but it manages to provide a high degree of comfort: no TV, but pleasant music played in the common areas; no AC, but effective fans in every room. The “walls” of the huts are actually cloth and bamboo that can be rolled up to enjoy the dawn, sunset, and the sea breeze, or rolled down as protection from the occasional tropical rain storm. I was lucky to experience a late-night storm that flashed and crashed around my hut while I stayed warm and dry in my bed. The sound of the rain on the sea just outside the hut was a great way to fall asleep. 
For romantics, watching the golden sky as dusk changes to dark will provide both memories and excellent photos. The stairs off the wooden deck that are part of each seaside hut allows guests to descend into the sea a private dip at any time of the day or night. 
Macan Pulau’s eco-friendly policy also extends to backpackers. The resort has designated areas around the island for overnight backpackers or day-trippers to pitch their tents. Camping would be the most economical way to visit Macan Pulau. 

FOOD

All guest packages include a full island breakfast, lunch, afternoon coffee and snacks, and dinner. The menu of each meal changes daily, and all dishes are carefully prepared in the resort’s kitchens to please the palates of both Indonesians and foreigners. Alcohol, soft drinks, and snacks are available from the bar at additional expense.

PRICES

The prices of the resort packages vary according to the season, day of the week, and type of accommodation. Reservations made for weekends and public holidays will cost more than those made for weekdays. Example: the total of my two-night visit cost 3,600,000 rupiahs, which included return transport by speedboat, all meals, the hut by the sea, and all sports equipment. 

THINGS TO NOTICE

As Pulau Macan is an eco-friendly resort, guests are not allowed to bring any food or drinks with plastic packaging. Also, guests are charged a bottle-corkage fee of 150,000 IDR for liquor and 100,000 IDR for wine.
    
You won’t be happy until you try the Pulau Macan experience yourself… ~ Ritueli Daeli










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4 comments

  1. Sebenarnya aku penasaran..pengen tau isi ceritanya apa.. Aku buru2 buka link nya.. Ehh pas buka, ternyata artinya tidak kumengerti semua. 😢
    Sedih aku tuu

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ahhhhh maaf ya Diana. Bukannya bisa bahasa Inggris?
      Semangat 💪💪 tidak terlambat untuk belajar!

      Delete
  2. Dótalós dóbogôs dóalitós, pengen tau isi ceritanya mas....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha 🤣 sorry ya mas bro. Nanti saya tulis BAHASA Indonesia deh hehe💪

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