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Bawah Island announces key hires

Aligned with Bawah’s mission of providing a luxurious, authentic travel experience in a sustainable and community-enriching manner, the team will ensure that Bawah delivers its naturally lux approach through their shared talent of more than 40 years in the industry.

SINGAPORE – Primed to be the ultimate island hideaway in Southeast Asia, Bawah Island, the epitome of natural luxury, has announced key appointments to oversee its operations ahead of its launch on 31 July.
Just three hours from Singapore, in the heart of the Anambas, Bawah Island is accessible via a short ferry ride from Batam followed by a 75-minute private seaplane. Previously uninhabited, Bawah is an official marine conservation area, where ‘nature provides its true luxury’ across 5 pristine islands, 3 crystal clear lagoons and 13 beaches.
General Manager Tom Blachere; Food & Beverage Consultant Marcin Grell; Executive Chef Bernardi Omar; Permaculture Expert Jonathan Semo; and Wellness Manager Adeline Blachere will be establishing the island retreat as a benchmark in environmentally-sustainable tourism with their holistic and personalised approach to service.
We are excited to unveil Bawah Island and to provide a luxurious, authentic travel experience for all our guests. Bawah has many unique activities to enjoy, from snorkeling in pristine waters to hiking in the primary forest, but for those who want to slow down their time – a beach-fronted infinity pool and holistic spa awaits”, said Tom Blachere, General Manager, Bawah Island. “Guests will be able to choose from our 35 eco-designed villas enveloped in lush scenery, allowing them to experience the magic that is Bawah.
Aligned with Bawah’s mission of providing a luxurious, authentic travel experience in a sustainable and community-enriching manner, the team will ensure that Bawah delivers its naturally lux approach through their shared talent of more than 40 years in the industry. Collectively they will ensure that guests at Bawah enjoy nature above, below and around them and leave with a renewed sense of purpose.
Thomas Blachere, Executive General Manager
Thomas is responsible for the overall setup, opening and operations of the 35-villa island’s facilities. Hailing from France, his journey, leading up to the position which spans more than two decades, has been quite an illustrious one. From managing a scuba diving centre in French Polynesia, to setting up a scuba diving cruise company in the Maldives and working his way around the world, Thomas has set up and managed top resorts and hotels including Hard Rock Hotel Penang and Casa Del Mar Langkawi, establishing himself as a true-notch hotelier in a class of his own.  
Omar Bernardi, Executive Chef
Formerly Chef de Cuisine of Dolce Vita at Mandarin Oriental, Omar is a passionate and highly experienced culinary maestro from Italy with over 20 years of experience across various Michelin-starred restaurants around the globe. Recognised for his dedication to create innovative gastronomical fare, Omar will helm the culinary team at Bawah, working closely with Marcin and Jonathan to conceptualise and create bespoke Asian fusion menus that use fresh produce locally grown on, and around, the island.
Jonathan Semo, Permaculture Expert
A passionate advocate of food sovereignty, Jonathan is the resident permaculture expert on Bawah Island. Combining traditional and modern permaculture techniques, Jonathan uses his agricultural expertise to integrate sustainability into the development of productive ecosystems and edible gardens on Bawah, so guests can enjoy locally harvested food and unique ingredients that are only found only on the islands of Bawah. Jonathan has spent the last 16 years working in Asia, including Amazon in Peru, remote islands in Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea to develop gardens for schools, foundations and private communities. Looking at the ecosystem in a holistic way, Jonathan works with nature using a no-dig system and aims to bring in 100 different varieties of vegetables and fruits for Bawah Island to be ultimately self-sufficient in a year.  
Marcin Grell, Food & Beverage Consultant
Marcin is an ambassador for the exceptional service and flavours at Bawah Island. Working closely with Executive Chef Omar in a creative role, Marcin is responsible for the conceptualisation of courses and menus for Treetop Restaurant, as well as being at the helm of all three bars on the Island – from designing of cocktail menus to bartenders training. Enthusiastic and passionate about the food and beverage industry, Marcin, who hails from Poland, is a highly-experienced mixologist with over 20 years of experience at restaurants and bars globally, including Nobu in London and OKKU in Dubai. He will also work with Bawah’s permaculture expert Jonathan to utilise and incorporate the diverse ingredients growing on Bawah Island into the F&B menus. This includes the herbal ingredients that will be concocted for healthy cocktails and detox drinks for the spa.
Adeline Blachere, Wellness Manager
A dynamic and bubbly individual, Adeline will lead the wellness and spa team at Bawah to create and provide personalised bespoke spa and wellness programmes so guests leave feeling revitalised and with a renewed sense of purpose. Born and raised in France, Adeline left home at 20 to work abroad in hospitality, having spent 10 years in the hotel management industry in Maldives, Reunion Island, Langkawi, Penang and Singapore, before discovering her love for yoga and Pilates. A certified Hatha and pre-natal yoga and Pilates instructor, Adeline has also embraced exploring the use of energy to heal. Trained in Reiki, she is now integrating it in her daily life as well as to help people around her, aimed with a goal to help others reach a well-balanced way of life.
Photo caption: Bawah Island, Executive Chef, Omar Bernardi

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