SINGAPORE: Visitors to Lazarus Island will soon be able enjoy a variety of non-motorised water sports and indulge in meat and cheese platters from a “premium” convenience store.
A site with nine glamping units will also be launched, adding to the short-stay options on the island. Currently, five eco-friendly “tiny houses” are already available for those looking for a staycation out of mainland Singapore and to reconnect with nature.
The new offerings, announced by Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) on Thursday (Oct 5), are the latest steps to transform Lazarus Island, alongside the other connected islands of Seringat, St John’s and Kias, into a “light touch” destination over the next three years.
This means visitors will be able to experience the island’s rustic charm, while minimising their impact on the environment, said Minister of State for Trade and Industry Alvin Tan earlier this year.
Various nature groups, such as Friends of Marine Park (FMP), were consulted during the planning of the new offerings to ensure that best practices are adopted to protect the island’s natural environment.
A “Discover the Southern Islands” guide has also been collaboratively developed, providing guidelines for visitors to enjoy their time at the islands responsibly.
Other special measures to protect the environment include the use of smaller boards, covering up the propellers of its unmanned rescue device if used, and the marking of a single designated zone for the launching of all watercraft.
The decision for the specific zone was made after speaking with marine biologists to minimise the impact of human activity on the area’s sea bed, Ms Tan told CNA while on a tour ahead of the official announcement.
Maps with markings to indicate areas with coral reefs and seagrass, as well as other information on how to responsibly interact with wildlife and the environment will be shared with participants during safety briefings.
Moving forward, Camelot plans to arrange other activities, such as conservation-related workshops and beach clean-ups.
Ms Tan said one reason the company has set up shop on the island is to share the beauty of Eagle’s Bay with more people.
“I like to think of this place as a get-together point where people who love nature and love watersports can come,” she added.The Lazarus Sea Sports Centre will officially open on Friday.
A “HYBRID” CONVENIENCE STORE
The island will soon see its first convenience store by the end of this month, but it will be more than just that, said its operator Bespoke Dining Club (BDC).
“It’s a hybrid of a day-to-day convenience store and a food truck,” said BDC’s chef-owner Samuel Quan.
Currently, rows of biscuits, chips, drinks, as well as health and beauty essentials, have already been put up. Microwaveable ready-to-eat meals, ready-to-grill food items and barbecue pits that utilise eco-friendly materials will also be available.
The finishing touches are being added to a “food booth” section. When ready, premium offerings such as cheese, meat and oyster platters will be served. Also on the menu are fresh locally-sourced produce like barramundi from a nearby hatchery and Singapore-farmed mussels.
“I think the fun and enjoyable part is being able to offer island goers a much (more) premium experience on the island, such as things they wouldn’t expect in terms of food,” said Mr Quan.
In line with the eco-friendly theme, the storefront is repurposed from shipping containers.
Customers who require bags for their purchases will be offered a sustainable option made with cassava starch. These plastic alternatives are biodegradable and can even be broken down in seawater into food for fish, Mr Quan said.
The convenience store officially opens in end-October and operating hours are 10am to 6pm on Fridays to Sundays.
LOW-CARBON “TINY HOUSES”
Since its official launch in May, there has been huge demand for the five “tiny houses” operated by home-grown firm Big Tiny.
More than 1,000 people have spent the night in these cabins, located a stone’s throw from the jetty, which offer a relaxing view of the seafront. The site is “almost fully booked” until next February, said Big Tiny’s co-founder Jeff Yeo.
While these standalone units – each between 150 and 170 sq ft in size – look tiny from the outside, they are well-stocked with the amenities of a regular hotel room.
They are air-conditioned and come with a queen-sized bed, a kitchenette and a bathroom equipped with a hot-water shower. The bigger units have an additional sofa bed for two more people. Wi-Fi is also available in each room.