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Tropical Paradise – Mermaid Beach Resort

Written by Tasmiah Chowdhury

Around 16km south coast of Cox’s Bazar, set in 12 acres of pristine tranquility and luxury, the Mermaid Beach resort is designed in a way that uses the best of inhabitant character and detailing and stays true to the destination through the use of local materials of timber, bamboo and stone in traditional architectural forms and harmonious proportions while incorporating contemporary design principles.

The master plan of the resort comprises different types of villas that are crafted to embrace the tropical expanse and that pay homage to traditional culture and history. Stretch out amongst the lush gardens and the latte-sandy beachfront, the villas are designed to tread lightly and with minimal impact featuring dozens of swimming and plunge pools, dining area and cafes, and numerous amusement spots.

The simple dwellings are pitched roof and tidily thatched which is a common characteristic throughout the region that helps to sustain its native tradition.

The roofs are constructed using local construction techniques where the long straw thatch material is drawn into bundles and laid onto the roof in horizontal layers where these are fixed to structural roof timbers. The thatch provides excellent insulation helping to naturally regulate the internal climate, and gives a shaggy appearance due to the layers not clad into position, resulting in distinctive rustic aesthetic.

The resort is built and collaborated with local artisans where they wanted to combine the characters of local vernacular living with modern yet low-energy building concept. The dwellings are built with the highest respect for the natural environment which is achieved through careful placement of structures, thoughtful shaping of the built forms, and appropriate material choices.

The main structure of the villas is created using a bamboo framework and walls made from compressed earth blocks. The rooms are constructed with indigenous materials which open to private terraces and generous decks. Exterior features creative murals of native plants and animals decorated in cane and tropical hues. For interiors, natural materials like teak, palm and jute fabric are paired with concrete tiles to create a modern tropical touch.

With the stunning 180-degree panoramic ocean views and year-round sunset, the resort includes individual villas, large family villas, and as well beach bungalows and luxurious pool suites. The family beach villas are set further back in the west coast that includes rooms that have wide-angle views of the bay, sumptuous beds, and rainfall showers.

The pool suites have a more traditional swimming pool in the garden, tucked away at the rear. This place is relaxed and perfect for people looking for a more intimate experience. Interiors are haute-boho, with indoor-outdoor sitting rooms and airy living spaces with dazzling white walls and muslin-canopied beds, accented with lots of reclaimed wood, antiques, and vintage finds including brightly painted tribal statuettes.

The dwelling layouts blend indoor and outdoor spaces by continuing the relaxation area, with luxuriously oversized cushion-filled day beds, out onto private terraces that bring guests closer to the majestic ocean view.

Furthermore, a landmark to the resort is the panoramic restaurant set at the center of the tropical retreat which is panelled with chunky lengths of rough timber. Diners can simply indulge at this signature multi-cuisine restaurant that boasts one of the resort’s most spectacular views.

Catered across the sandy site are a variety of lounging areas with long, communal tables, and other areas with colourful pillows and low tables decorated with ceramic planters and pots, hand-woven baskets and exotic flowers.

Locally made hammocks slung between palms and wooden cabanas on the sand provide ample opportunities to lie and relax. Adrenalin junkies may enjoy hiking, water rafting, and treks through waterfalls, surfing and skiing. For those vacationers looking for slower speeds, can relax with a cocktail under a canopy of palm trees at the beach bar or can lounge around the romantic bistro – lit by lanterns, candles, the stars and the moon.

The tropical retreat is designed to give visitors an intimate experience of bliss, celebrating the flora, fauna and culture of the area with minimal intrusion on the landscape. Local influences form an integral part of the project, from vernacular tradition and materials to community involvement. The Mermaid Beach resort is an ultimate resort destination designed to help urbanities escape to a place of natural beauty and quietude.

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