— Tell us a bit about your dive resort. How would you describe Misool Eco Resort in a nutshell?
Our resort island is leased from the local community, along with 1220 sq km of surrounding reefs. This No-Take Zone, which is nearly twice the size of Singapore, is patrolled by our Rangers. All our dive sites are inside this area, which means the reefs are just astounding... gorgeous corals, massive sea fans, patrolling reef sharks, pygmy seahorses, schooling tuna, giant manta rays, walking sharks...”
— Misool Eco Resort Water Cottage
— When did you open the resort and what was your inspiration?
We opened in 2008 on the site of a former shark-finning camp. Our respect for the natural surroundings and our commitment to the local community defined the way we built the resort. We didn’t buy any lumber and instead set up our own sawmill. When we opened, we had milled over 600m3 of reclaimed tropical hardwood. We used local labour as much as possible, and created apprenticeship programs to train our staff. We are so proud that many of our waiters, dive guides, and housekeepers started with us years ago as unskilled labourers. We’ve grown together.”
— Misool Eco Resort North Lagoon
— Misool Eco Resort is all about environmental and social responsibility. How would you describe your philosophy?
We must find sustainable solutions which decouple local economies from extractive practices which target diminishing resources. When it’s done consciously and intelligently, tourism can be that mechanism. Responsible tourism can empower local communities to reclaim stewardship over their ancestral lands and safeguard them from overfishing, mining, logging, etc.”
— Please tell us about the different cottages and facilities you have at the dive resort.
Our Dive Centre is fitted with a massive camera and equipment area, adjoining a comfortable lounge. The restaurant is tucked under the palm trees on the lagoon’s beach, offering a tasty combination of Asian and Western fare.
We have four dedicated dive boats at Misool Eco Resort as well as a snorkelling boat and kayaks.”
— Diving from your Water Cottage
— What does a typical day look like at Misool?
If all this sounds like too much activity for you, I can personally recommend spending an afternoon lounging in one of the hammocks built into the Water Cottage verandas. There’s no better vantage point from which to watch the water colour change from incandescent turquoise to shimmering deep blue as the light changes. And then of course there is the spa...”
— Lounge Area
— To you personally, what is so special about this holiday resort?
— Manta cleaning station