Banyan Tree has made waves across the world with its eco-friendly, beautiful resorts in exotic destinations such as Seychelles, Hyderabad and Tamouda Bay.
With the exception of the Banyan Tree Spa at Marina Bay Sands, the group has no hotels in Singapore, its home base — until now, that is.
First announced in 2017, the luxury hotel chain’s first resort in Singapore is slated to open in 2023 in Mandai Park. The property will be operated by Banyan Tree and owned by Mandai Park Holdings (MPH). Overlooking Upper Seletar Reservoir, it will sit on 4.6ha on the north-east end of the Mandai precinct, where back-of-house facilities for existing wildlife parks will be cleared.
The opening of the Banyan Tree Resort will be part of Mandai Park Holdings’ plans to turn Mandai into an eco-tourism hub by 2023. This includes the relocation of the Jurong Bird Park and a new Rainforest Park that will sit adjacent to the existing Singapore Zoo, River Safari and Night Safari.
Once opened, the resort will provide both Singaporeans and tourists with a unique immersive staycation in the midst of wildlife. The resort will feature 338 rooms over 4.6 hectares at the eastern end of the Mandai Precinct. This comprises of hotel rooms, elevated cabins and 24 tree houses shaped like seed-pods nestled amongst trees surrounding the resort. Local firm WOW Architects have been appointed to design the resort.
In line with the Banyan Tree’s sustainable ethos, the firm aims to make it the first Super Low Energy (SLE) resort in Singapore by incorporating measures such as the use of natural ventilation and solar panels. Additionally, as many native animals are nocturnal, an acoustic consultant has been hired to ensure that sound from within the resort does not spill out, according to WOW Architects managing director Wong Chiu Man.
To minimise human disturbances to the surrounding wildlife, the resort will be surrounded by a 2m barrier. Additionally, low-level lighting will be used on paths to guide guests and discourage them from wandering into the rainforest. An eco-bridge will also be built for animals to provide connectivity between the north and south sides of the nature reserve.
Once completed, the resort will offer unprecedented access to nature. Guests at the resort will get to enjoy curated programmes such as nature walks, conservation talks and behind the scenes tours. A unique experience would be working with keepers at night to prepare “food puzzles” in the elephant enclosure and returning in the morning to watch it feed.
(All images: Mandai Park Holdings)