One of the nicest perks of living in Singapore is the ability to travel to other countries in the region. As Changi Airport is within reach for all residents, it is easy to catch a flight to one of the fine exotic islands that Asia is famous for. However, if you are looking for an island getaway you don’t always need to travel far. In fact, several fine eco-resort are located at one of the many Indonesian islands near Singapore. Here are five excellent resorts in different price categories.
Loola Adventure Resort, Bintan Island
Loola Adventure Resort is a frequently rewarded eco-resort at Bintan Island, developed from Singapore nationals. Loola’s philosophy is to construct an eco-driven business that is sustainable, meaning that all kind of stakeholders are aligned. Therefore Loola works closely together with the local communities to create economic benefit, improve working conditions and to preserve natural and cultural heritage.
The resort is designed for children and therefore perfect for a family weekend. Many activities are being offered including kayaking, rafting, coconut tree climbing and a zip line that makes you fly directly into the swimming pool. You can choose to stay in either a classic sea chalet or in the luxury eco villas. As the eco villages require a minimum of 7 people, you can easily visit Loola with a group of friends and family.
Prices start at SDG 220 for 2 persons per 2 nights, including all food, water and tea. To get to Loola Adventure Resort, take the ferry from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal in Singapore to Bintan Resort ferries. From there, you can take a cab to Loola or arrange a pick-up in advance when making the booking.
Mutiara Beach Resort, Bintan Island
At the upper east coast of Bintan Island, you will find Mutiara Beach Resort: an eco-friendly and off the beaten track resort at a pristine beach. The resort is mainly managed by the local community, that take care of the hotel, restaurant and spa. Mutiara is perfect for Singaporeans and expats who are looking for a basic stay in the middle of nature to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy some relaxed days at the beach. Besides, you can also opt for some other (more active) leisure activities like hiking, biking and stand up paddling. Find out more about Mutiara Beach Resort in my extensive blog and see more pictures of this tranquil getaway.
Prices start at IDR 650 000/SDG 66.50 per night, excluding food and drinks. To get to Mutiara Beach Resort, take the ferry from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal in Singapore to Bintan Resort ferries. From there, you can take a cab to Mutiara or arrange a pick-up in advance when making the booking.
Telunas Resorts, Riau Islands
Telunas Resorts consists of a beach resort at Pulau Sugi and a private island resort on a small island right in front of the Beach Resort. The Telunas Beach Resort is located in a private cove, from where you can enjoy a pristine jungle, private white-sandy beaches, mangroves and the azure sea. You can opt for a private room chalet built on stilts over blue-green water or a deluxe family room.
While the beach resort is the more affordable option, the Telunas Private Island Resort is considered to be a bit more exclusive. 15 sea villa’s offer spectacular views of the sea, the white beaches and the island of Sugi. The resort promises to spoil its guests with exclusive services like a message at the veranda. Regardless the resort you choose, ultimate relaxation and comfort seems to be a guarantee at Telunas!
- Transport: Take the ferry from the HarbourFront Ferry Terminal to Sekupang Ferry Terminal at Batam. The resort will pick you up at Sekupang if arranged in advance.
- Prices at Telunas Beach Resort start at IDR 750,000/SDG 77 per night, excluding IDR 500,000/SDG 51 for all-day dining per person and 750,000/SDG 77 for a round-trip domestic transfer from Sekupang Ferry Terminal.
- Prices at Telunas Private Island start at IDR 2,100,000/SDG 215 per night, excluding IDR 750,000/SDG 77 for all-day dining per person and 750,000/SDG 77 for a round-trip domestic transfer from Sekupang Ferry Terminal.
Nikoi Island, private island resort
Near to the east coast of Bintan, you will find a unique destination that is called Nikoi; a beautiful island with white sandy beaches, colourful coral reefs and a rainforest with colossal trees. The owners share a passion for outdoor and nature, a fact that is shown off through the extended sustainability efforts that make Nikoi the high class eco-resort that it is. A full-time sustainability manager is employed to implement and maintain the strict policies in waste, energy and water management.
While the resort is generously spaced out over 5 hectare site on the western side of the island to ensure privacy for the guests, the remaining 10 hectares is primary rainforest that is preserved as a sanctuary and therefore houses a wide range of native animals, birds and plant species. The resort includes 15 luxury beach houses, two pools, a spa and two restaurants. The menu changes daily, as the emphasis is on the seasonal availability of ingredients from local markets. Many activities are available to guests including sailing, snorkeling, diving, windsurfing, tennis and island hopping. Nikoi is a popular destination for many Singapore residents, so make sure to book (far) in advance.
Prices start at SDG 780 for 2 persons per 2 nights, excluding SDG 110 for all-day dining per person. To get to Nikoi Island Resort, take the ferry from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal in Singapore to Bintan Resort ferries. From there, you can take a cab to the Nikoi jetty, which will take you 1 hour.
Cempedak, private island resort
A decade after the opening of Nikoi Island, the owners opened a new private island resort in March this year near the lower east coast of Bintan. Cempedak Island is a 17 hectare private island retreat with a virgin rainforest that is home to hornbills, eagles and pangolins, while the sea has regular visitors like bottle-nose dolphins and turtles.
20 private villas are at the island in spacious setup, offering you ultimate privacy. And for some of us it might come as a welcome bonus that no children under the age of 16 are allowed at Cempedak. Just like its older brother, Cempedak is eco-consciously build from scratch, making use of natural materials like bamboo and roofs made from local grass. Food supplies are being purchased in the local markets and extended efforts are being made to meet their high sustainability standards. A bucket-list worthy island resort for nature lovers who are looking for eco-conscious luxury!
Prices start at SDG 900 for 2 persons per 2 nights, excluding SDG 95 for all-day dining per person. To get to Cempedak Private Island Resort, take the ferry from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal in Singapore to Bintan Resort ferries. From there, you can take a cab to the Cempedak jetty, which will take you 1 hour.