A secluded Malaysian island will soon become a haven of relaxation.
Adrift in the waters of the South China Sea, 10 kilometres off the west coast of the Malaysian Borneo region of Sabah, is a 607-hectare paradise named Pulau Tiga. Dubbed Survivor Island because the first season of the American reality show was filmed here, this sun-drenched isle is fringed with white beaches and surrounded by a 15,000-hectare marine reserve. As of this year, it will also be the home of Borneo Eagle Resort, a secluded luxury escape of 13 villas, each with oceanfront views.
The island escape is the creation of the Tan family, who are also behind two other exquisite Sabah properties: Bungaraya Island Resort and Gayana Marine Resort. Borneo is known as a biodiversity hotspot and the family’s philosophy is about preserving its remarkable natural beauty while also showcasing it. Borneo Eagle is a similarly luxe tribute to this ethos.
Inside the villas, the décor is lavish yet refined, with amenities such as rain showers and plunge pools. Outside, the unspoilt island’s dense rainforest is home to macaque and proboscis monkeys and myriad birdlife such as hornbills and white-bellied sea eagles. Offshore, the crystal waters and coral-filled reefs teem with tropical fish, sea turtles, urchins, lobsters, stingrays and more – ideal for snorkelling and scuba diving.
Inland, the volcanic mud pools are a highlight – and it’s this mineral-rich mud, known for its healing properties, that will form the basis of Borneo Eagle’s wellness and spa offering. Expect revitalising body wraps and scrubs, as well as traditional spa treatments such as deep-tissue, Thai and Swedish massages. All of these services will be conducted in private spa treatment rooms. Combine this level of care with fresh, seasonal cuisine made with produce from the Tan family’s sustainable farms on the mainland and you have a relaxing and rejuvenating retreat that’s a world away from the chaos of everyday life.