New Openings: Sheraton Belitung Resort, Sumatra

The eighth Sheraton-branded hotel in Indonesia has splashed down in an up-and-coming beach destination.

More than six times the size of Singapore, Belitung might be unfamiliar to most leisure travelers outside Indonesia. But the island off the eastern coast of Sumatra boasts idyllic coastal scenery, with turquoise waters and white-sand beaches framed by granite boulders not unlike those found in the Seychelles. The latest addition to the local hospitality scene gives regional vacationers another reason to plan a trip to Belitung once the Covid-19 pandemic subsides.

Billed as the first five-star property on the island, Sheraton Belitung Resort is located within a 200-hectare nature reserve that’s home to more than 1,000 species of flora and fauna, most notably the karamunting flower and the endangered Horsfield’s tarsier. It is also a 45-minute drive from H.A.S. Hanandjoeddin International Airport, which typically receives flights from Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur.

The beachfront resort’s 164 guest rooms and suites are done up in a contemporary style, and come equipped with 55-inch LCD televisions, deep soaking tubs in the bathrooms, plus motion sensors that allow guests to automatically activate and deactivate the air conditioning when they enter or leave the room. Eco-friendly design touches extend to the naturally ventilated lobby, which features a ceiling of locally sourced lenggadai wood and floor tiles made from Belitung granite.

Guests at Sheraton Belitung Resort have three drinking and dining outlets to choose from. All-day venue Island Restaurant offers both international fare and local specialties such as gangan—a fish soup typically prepared with Spanish mackerel, turmeric, chili, and galangal—as well as mie Belitung, a noodle soup featuring prawn, fried tofu, and potatoes in spiced prawn stock. Seafood Market Restaurant is just the place to enjoy fresh ocean bounty caught by local fishermen at dining tables made from driftwood, while Blue Lagoon lounge and bar serves locally inspired cocktails. Other on-site facilities include a 24-hour gym; Shine Spa, where treatments make use of ingredients grown on local plantations; a Kids’ Club; three meeting rooms and the Northern Light ballroom.

A short boat ride from the resort brings guests to a series of postcard-perfect offshore islets, including Lengkuas Island, a popular snorkeling spot with a whitewashed 129-year-old lighthouse. Don’t miss the panoramic views from the tower’s open-air gallery, perched almost 50 meters above the ground.

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