Imagine a place where: the sand is white and soft the food is fresh and fantastic the staff are efficient, helpful and happy the massages overlooking the sea are excellent and good value for money the gentle sea breeze blowing through the house helps yougo to sleep the owners and management are committed to minimum impact on the environment...
About 50 miles from Singapore, yet a world away, Nikoi — encircled by palm trees and soft white sand — is the kind of tropical fantasy that burned-out managers keep a photograph of for their screen savers. The only signs of human habitation on the island’s less than 40 acres are some bohemian-chic beach villas with alang-alang grass roofs, a seamless pool set among granite boulders, a beach bar and two open-air dining rooms with sand floors.
Less remote than Nikoi, the nearby island of Bintan is considered a weekend destination by many Singaporeans, a place to hole up in an expensive luxury resort like the Banyan Tree. But the island actually has an intriguing history of sultans, pirates and colonial trade.
What started as a private island has turned into an in-the-know mini-resort, and just like when you visit friends, you’re not here for the gym or the waterpark. You’re here for the beach and island, but the resort does have an excellent restaurant, three bars and two swimming pools for those who don’t fancy dipping their toes in the sea. Babysitting is on offer, too, and at the main house, there’s TV if you really need to get your fix of nightly news.
During the day the boat house offers the usual variety of water sports like fishing, diving, kayaking, windsurfing, paddleboarding and snorkelling and around the island you’ll find rock climbing and abundant hiking trails. Kids will enjoy movie nights and treasure hunts while adults can savour empty beaches, tennis courts and a pool set on the island’s captivating, rocky northern coast.
Dining is a local culinary treat combining organic and locally-sourced fresh ingredients on a blackboard menu that changes daily with what’s in season. Two dining rooms keep couples and families separate though guests may opt to dine in their beach houses or under a palm tree at their whims. Four bars round out the island’s offerings and Nikoi’s no rules mentality means that the bars close when the last guest goes to bed.
Several bars, with a sociable scene
Watersports – sailing, kayaking, snorkelling, diving, etc, - plus island treks, mountain biking and beach volleyball
Kids aged five and up are well looked after, with babysitting services, treasure hunts, movie nights, a kids pool and specially prepared meals Pool and sundecks on the north side of the island surrounded by spectacular giant granite boulders
Two-thirds of the island is undeveloped with the exception of nature trails Tennis courts