We’re nearly there…
The work on Oasis continues at a great pace, and with our July opening rapidly approaching, we are delighted with the way Bunaken Oasis is coming together.
The cottages are nearly all constructed, with bathrooms, A/C and water heaters currently being installed. As we promised, each villa has a sea view and, thanks to the elevation of Bunaken, the views are spectacular.
The pool is almost finished, with the waterfall and some stonework on the sun terraces being the main areas still to complete.
The restaurant is virtually ready, with only some final decoration outstanding.
The kitchen is to be installed later this month. We are very pleased to be working with Kasirano, a well-regarded Balinese manufacturer and installer of specialised commercial kitchens.
Our main infrastructure elements - the generators, water-makers, black water treatment plant and compressors - are all either on-site awaiting commissioning, or in transit; they should all be in place and working by the first week of June.
The jetty is over 50% complete. It dog-legs through the mangroves to the edge of the lagoon, ensuring that no coral is touched in its construction.
The dive centre, long house and office block will be the last areas to be completed and they are all scheduled for final fit in the early part of June.
Bilbo is our first wooden dive boat to be launched; the second, Raffles, is due in the water in the next couple of weeks, and another two will follow.
All our wooden boats are being built by craftsmen in Bunaken village, and we were privileged to be present for Bilbo’s launch.
Despite being traditionally-styled, Bilbo offers very modern facilities: fresh-water shower, toilet with hand basin, camera rinse tank, marine radio, GPS, solar panels for lighting - and twin 100hp four-stroke engines which can power Bilbo along at over 30 knots.
We were so impressed with diving from Bilbo that we have decided to change our fleet configuration, from 2 catamarans and 2 wooden boats, to 1 catamaran and 4 wooden boats. We also believe that our guests will enjoy a better diving experience with smaller groups on more boats.
Kiki, our catamaran, will still be used for general diving, but will also be ideal for larger groups, such as photography groups, and will provide exceptionally comfortable day trips to other dive areas such as Bangka and Gangga.
The gardening team are now extremely busy, and hundreds of plants and trees are arriving on site nearly every day.
North Sulawesi is the original home of bougainvillea, and we are embracing the range of colours that are available from the mainland.
Where possible, we have used mature plants and trees within our garden design, and have tried to use plants that are native to the region.
Lighting can create a beautiful atmosphere when correctly implemented: we are delighted to be working with Piment Rouge as our lighting specialists.
Following a detailed site survey, Piment Rouge have designed a lighting schematic to accentuate the finer elements of our resort.
They are also fabricating all of the customised lighting fixtures used throughout Oasis.
The response to our adverts for staff for Bunaken Oasis was exceptional, with many hundreds of applicants from the island, as well as from the mainland and beyond.
Our policy is, wherever possible, to employ staff from the local villages of Bunaken, and we were extremely impressed with the calibre of the candidates who submitted their CVs.
Understanding that not all staff will be local to Bunaken, we have constructed a staff village for accommodation for non-islanders, and to provide catering facilities for all employees during their working hours with us.
Having conducted over 300 interviews, our staff structure is complete and consists of approximately 70 team members, with the majority coming from Bunaken. Although our staff village can house up to 30 people, it will actually only have about 20 residents.
Some key individuals in the team include@
Faisal Lubis - Customer Services Manager.
Faisal has extensive experience in CSM within international hotels and specialist dive resorts, and will be working closely with Harley Baldwin, our GM.
Roby Suharta - Food and Beverage Manager.
Roby is coming to us after almost 20 years in the Four Seasons Group, where his vast experience includes opening new island resorts in Indonesia and further afield.
Chef Hillman - Executive Chef.
Chef Hillman also brings international experience to the team. He is looking forward to serving innovative fusion cuisine in our panoramic restaurant and showcasing some of the best ingredients our region has to offer.
Arjun Langitan - Dive Centre Manager.
Arjun is well-known in the area, not just as an instructor and dive director on many liveaboards, but also as the head of the NGO Bunakencare. Oasis will naturally support Bunakencare, and we look forward to working together to protect and nurture our precious reef.