Sunseekers heading to Lazarus Island can soon enjoy new facilities like a convenience store, a sea sports centre and nine glamping units that aim to preserve its rustic charm while offering more options to visitors.

Fans of water sports can choose from a raft of non-motorised water activities on offer at the Lazarus Sea Sports Centre from next week, including stand-up paddling, kayaking and floating yoga boards. The centre will be run by water sports operator Camelot.

The Sentosa Development Corp (SDC), in a statement on Thursday, said the facilities are part of efforts to promote rustic adventures on the Southern Islands but with a “light touch”.

Earlier this year in April, a bicycle rental kiosk and five short-term accommodation units called the Tiny Escape opened on Lazarus, which is linked to the islands of Seringat, St John’s and Kias.

The islands are about 5km south of mainland Singapore and can be reached by ferry in less than 30 minutes.

Water sports activities will be centred around a single launching zone for watercraft, said the statement. The aim is to ensure that the seabed around the island does not bear the brunt of leisure activities, it added. With the opening of the convenience store Sol by Bespoke Dining Club, visitors to the island will no more need to lug around with them bottles of water and bags of food. The store stocks groceries like ready-to-grill food items and microwaveable ready-to-eat meals, among other things.

Lazarus Island in Singapore

Earlier in April 2023, five short-term accommodation units called the Tiny Escape opened on Lazarus Island. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

Mr Samuel Quan, 31, founder of Bespoke Dining Club, said: “I’ve always wanted to do something on this island, and try to bridge the gap between gourmet food and island dining.”

Mr Quan, who previously worked on private yachts, jets, and Michelin-starred restaurants, added that Sol will offer premium options like wagyu beef and Hokkaido pork, instead of the usual chicken and beef satay sticks.

It will also sell locally sourced produce like seafood from offshore fisheries, and herbs and vegetables from hydroponic and vertical farms in Singapore. Getting supplies from local farms not only reduces the carbon footprint but also supports these businesses, he said.

Nine glamping tents – called Sukha by Into The Woods – will offer unobstructed sea views. Located close to the island’s lagoon, it is slated to open in December.

Into The Woods co-founder Ray Lee said the tents will be permanent structures, “essentially an air-conditioned hotel room, without an en suite bathroom, right by the beach”.

Mr Lee and his wife Sam Wong, both 34, wanted to bring a slice of glamping – or glamorous camping – to Singapore after experiencing it in Australia.

Guests can expect welcome kits that will include a natural watercolour painting set, a pencil and recycled paper that they can use to draw and take a break from the fast pace of life in Singapore.

Mr Lee said: “The idea is that guests can sit in the comfort of the patio and experience their first brush with camping life… We’re very big on people learning to lead a bit more of a conscious life.”

Nine glamping tents in Singapore

Nine glamping tents – called Sukha by Into The Woods – will offer unobstructed sea views. They are slated to open in December. PHOTO: INTO THE WOODS

To offer visitors tips on being sustainable travellers, an e-guide called Discover The Southern Islands was launched on Thursday, and it will offer advice on things like what to do when encountering wildlife and how to manage waste.

SDC chief executive Thien Kwee Eng said: “Travellers today are increasingly conscious of their impact on the environment. We are proud to partner like-minded businesses that place importance not just on profitability but also in championing sustainable tourism.”

Speaking at the launch of the new facilities, Minister of State for Trade and Industry Alvin Tan said the new initiatives will “engender a sense of preservation and conservation, even as demand for eco-tourism starts to rise”.

He said: “We also want to be a ‘green destination’ for locals and well as people who are visiting and make Lazarus Island something that is palatable for the eco-tourist.”

Article first appeared on The Straits Times.

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