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TA’AKTANA, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Labuan Bajo Introduces Unforgettable Experiences

Standing out within Marriott International’s portfolio in Indonesia, TA’AKTANA is an opulent sanctuary that embodies the deep link between tribal heritage and contemporary luxury.

By Lifestyle Editor

Picture: Overwater Sea Villa - Bedroom at TA’AKTANA, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Labuan Bajo (courtesy of Marriott)


Nestled on the picturesque western coast of Flores, East Nusa Tenggara,  Indonesia, TA’AKTANA, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Labuan Bajo is scheduled to open at the end of May 2024. The resort seamlessly blends modern elegance with genuine local allure, offering guests an immersive encounter that mirrors the essence of the nearby scenery and is designed for comfort, with Suites, Overwater Sea Villas, Family Villas, and 3-bedroom Mansion boasting state-of-the-art facilities and ultra-luxury amenities.  

Standing out within Marriott International’s portfolio in Indonesia, TA’AKTANA is an opulent sanctuary that embodies the deep link between tribal heritage and contemporary luxury. It is the perfect base for travelers to explore the vibrant and culturally rich Labuan Bajo through immersive experiences that promise to captivate and rejuvenate while indulging in world-class dining, rejuvenating at the spa, and enjoying the uninterrupted views of the ocean from the resort’s exclusive vantage points. 

Labuan Bajo, spanning 13.79km², is home to the indigenous Manggarai people who have a rich history of cultural exchange and maritime traditions. As the capital of the West Manggarai Regency, one of the eight major administrative divisions of Flores, Labuan Bajo is renowned for its maritime charm and offers an array of unique experiences, including endemic Komodo Dragons, exotic islands, a rich cultural history, fresh seafood specialties, and one of the world’s few pink beaches. It also boasts the best sunset sports.  

Travelers can embark on their journey to Labuan Bajo from I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport, Bali, or Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Jakarta. Alternatively, travelers can opt for a scenic voyage aboard the Pelni KM Tilongkabila ship from Benoa port in Denpasar, Bali, to reach the port of Labuan Bajo. The journey to this idyllic destination promises to be as enchanting as the experience that awaits upon arrival. Here are the top things to do in one of Flores’ most visited towns.

Komodo National Park
Komodo National Park is accessible from Labuan Bajo port by boat, with a journey time of approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. It encompasses three larger islands: Komodo, Padar, and Rinca. These islands are home to the iconic Komodo dragons and are declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

The park is also renowned for its stunning landscapes, including the panoramic Padar Island with its unique shaped hills and the clear blue sea views from the top, making it an ideal spot for landscape photography. The best time to visit the island is in the morning and afternoon between April to June.


The Exotic Pink Beach of Komodo Island 

Near Komodo Island, just 8.8 km away, Pink Beach is reachable in 30 minutes from Loh Liang port by boat. This beach, listed as one of seven pink beaches globally, owes its unique hue to tiny red coral fragments mixed with white sands, creating a striking pink shoreline.  

Exploring the vibrant coral reefs and diverse marine life through snorkeling and diving is a must-do activity here. Enhance the experience by taking leisurely walks around the island or climbing to the top of Sabana Hill, a unique feature exclusive to Pink Beach. As the beach is uninhabited, access is limited to daytime hours, from morning until evening.

Reconnect with Nature

Labuan Bajo offers abundant options for reconnecting with nature, from discovering the hidden gems of caves to breathtaking views of its landscapes from hiking trails. One such gem is Batu Cermin Cave, located on a rock hill in West Manggarai, Flores, just a brief 15-minute drive to east of Labuan Bajo. Renowned for its geological composition, this cave boasts translucent calcite that creates a mirror effect when sunlight enters, casting shimmering reflections. Don’t forget to bring torches to further illuminate and enhance the atmosphere. The best time to visit is between 9 am to 10 am when the sunlight hits the cave’s opening. 

For water enthusiasts, a 45-minute drive from Labuan Bajo port leads to Manta Point, where snorkelers and divers can encounter majestic Manta Rays at depths of around 12 meters. The best time to see manta rays at Manta Point is during the dry season from May to October.

Exploring the Cultural Mosaic

Labuan Bajo is a haven of cultural richness, showcasing the vibrant tapestry of the Manggarai Tribe, its original inhabitants. Among its cherished treasures is the Caci Dance, a ritual deeply rooted in ancient Manggarai culture. This traditional whip fight, accompanied by rhythmic music and intricate footwork, symbolises harmony and reconciliation, reflecting the unity of the local community.

Indonesia boasts a rich tapestry of cultural traditions, including the intricate art of Kain Songke, a woven fabric originally crafted to fulfill the traditional needs of the Manggarai people. Traditionally, Kain Songke featured black hues, embodying grandeur, majesty, and spiritual submission, reflecting beliefs in the afterlife. Over time, Kain Songke has evolved, with new creative interpretations introducing variations in color and design.

Another notable precious gemstone originated from Labuan Bajo is Pearls, known for their exquisite quality. Processed into various jewelry pieces like necklaces, rings, and bracelets, these pearls are signature souvenirs available in souvenir shops and from local traders near the beach. The pearls are the perfect item that reflects the essence of Labuan Bajo to bring home after travelling.

Authentic Flavours

Embark on a journey through the authentic flavours and aromas of Labuan Bajo, with a vast selection of Flores Coffee which include Robusta, Arabica, Juria, Red Caturra, and Yellow Caturra. Each variant boasts unique taste as the result from two processing methods: machine processing or manual processing, with options for medium, medium-dark, and dark roast profiles.

To freshen up, take a sip of the signature Manggarai coffee, and enjoy the aromatic Arabica with sour and lemon notes, or Robusta which has a neutral flavour and a slight minty sensation. TA'AKTANA features an exclusive Coffee Roastery where guests can delve into the world of artisanal coffee. In the Roastery, skilled artisans roast every batch of coffee with meticulous care. Guests can observe the roasting process firsthand and learn about the various beans harvested from Flores. It's an opportunity for coffee enthusiasts to explore and enjoy the authentic flavours of Labuan Bajo. 

Labuan Bajo is also renowned for its alcoholic beverage Sopi, this traditional beverage from East Nusa Tenggara is a staple at traditional ceremonies and events such as graduations and weddings. Sopi is made from the juice of palm tree fruits, which is then distilled or cooked to extract the alcohol, resulting in a liquid that is white like milk with a distinctive aroma and a very sweet taste.
Another authentic Labuan Bajo’s flavour, Moke, a traditional drink from Flores, is processed by distilling the fruits and flowers of Palmyra trees and cooked using earthen pots, usually served at weddings.

Bask in the Sunrise and Sunset at the Best Spots
One of the tranquil islands in Komodo National Park is Kanawa Island located 45 minutes from Labuan Bajo with a boat trip. The island is surrounded by turquoise waters and a vibrant coral reef that supports a diverse marine life, from rich marine life, sea turtles, and reef sharks, to bird species including kingfishers, eagles, and hornbills.
This island has two main beaches, the southern beach, known as Sunrise Beach, is an excellent place to start your day with a refreshing swim or a snorkeling trip. The northern beach, Sunset Beach, offers a stunning sunset view, both beaches offer facilities from sun loungers, umbrellas, and beach bars. The best time to catch the sunrise is at 6 AM and enjoy the sunset between 5 PM and 6 PM.

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