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Rustic luxury with your feet in the sand
White sandy beaches, magnificent coral reefs, massive granite cliffs and tropical rainforest – the private Nikoi Island is an eco-friendly, heavenly resort for families and couples. This small private island located only 85km from Singapore on the east coast of Bintan offers a nature-loving lifestyle combined with simplistic luxury, for nature lovers and adventurers. Originally Nikoi was supposed to be a family holiday destination, but it is also ideal for couples. If you are looking for even more peace and quiet, the nearby sister island Cempedak Island would be a perfect choice perfect, as it only allows adults.
After we had arrived with the ferry from Singapore at Bintan, we relaxed in the lounge, while the employees took care of our luggage. Then we traveled across the island by car, and from the base station, by boat to Nikoi Island.
“We didn’t want to offer guests what they have come to expect from luxury resorts.” – Andrew Dixon, one of the co-owners of Nikoi Island
Nikoi is a private island that belongs to a small group of friends, who have lived in Asia for most of their working lives, and they all share a passion for nature, excellent food and wine. They could not find authentic, yet not too opulent holiday accommodation on Bintan, so they created what they were looking for themselves. In 2007, Nikoi Private Island opened its doors. It has such a great reputation that it is usually booked six months in advance.
Marjan, the charismatic general manager, has been there from the start.
The open, one- to three-story beach houses gracefully blend into the rainforest thanks to their indigenous design, using only local materials, which is evident in the impressive pieces of driftwood and ‘alang alang’ roofs.
The beach houses are only a few steps away from the ocean and offer magnificent sea views.
Due to the short distance to the ocean and the unique design of the vaulted roof, no air conditioning is necessary, because the roof acts like a chimney stack; drawing up the hot air and keeping the houses cool – voila, natural air conditioning!
The vast, stunning beach has a spectacular reef directly on the coast practically – only a few meters from the beach. Unfortunately, the water was a bit murky when we were there. But from what I could see, it must be spectacular when the water is crystal clear.
The impressive pool, built directly into the granite rock, is located on the northeast of the island. It offers refreshment on hot days and an unobstructed view over the South China Sea.
The excellent spa offers terrific treatments and is located close to the pool, in three safari tents.
The spa uses natural ingredients such as virgin coconut oil in the massages (also for children), facials, scrubs, manicures, and pedicures.
JAVANESE MASSAGE – Renewed Vitality
Adapted from ancient Balinese massage techniques with strong pressure focusing on the back, shoulders and head for deep muscle relief.
There is even a “Massage on the Run” option for those who do not have so much time. The treatment lasts only 30 minutes, but the therapists make every second count!
BACK RELIEVER – Iron Out Tense Muscles
Iron out any tension in the back, neck, shoulders, with this medium to strong massage.
There are two restaurants: one for families and one for couples or families with older children.
Atthe open restaurant, you can fully enjoy the natural surroundings. It serves the best, locally sourced products and delicious seafood in the fresh ocean breeze.
They offer fixed daily menus to help reduce food wastage and its environmental impact. Nikoi and Cempedak have a farm on Bintan. It supplies the two islands with eggs from 700 free-range chickens, chilies, Asian vegetables, Thai basil, salad and fruit. They have also added a flock of ducks and quails.
Anyone who would like to can opt to dine on the beach or order a picnic hamper which you can take to one of the smaller deserted islands close-by or a secluded spot of your choice on Nikoi.
In a beautiful, romantic ambiance, you can then enjoy freshly grilled seafood. What a treat!
With its delicious cocktails, view of the ocean, and your feet in the sand, the cozy bar is a perfect oasis for relaxation.
As one of the owners is a wine and spirit connoisseur, the bar offers one of the largest selections of rum in Asia and a large variety of cocktails with fresh fruit.
Nikoi is perfect for various water sports, such as sailing, fishing, diving, windsurfing, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding. It is only suitable for advanced divers. The best time for diving is between March and November.
Tip: If you do not only want to go snorkeling, there are many other ways you can explore the island. It offers countless hiking trails for bikers, rock climbers and hikers.
With the founding of The Island Foundation (TIF), Nikoi and Cempedak, support the local people on Bintan and the neighboring islands. They help the local population, by empowering them, to improve their lives through an educational program run in the coastal communities of the Riau Archipelago.
Many of the employees have been working at the resort from the start, and they do so passionately. To them, service means exceeding guests’ expectations by always doing more than is necessary.
Nikoi Island is perfect for everyone that likes authentic, simplistic luxury holidays close to nature. The open-air design of the beach houses, restaurants and the rustic bar combined with the use of natural materials, creates a unique and relaxing atmosphere in the middle of nature. The beach and the reef off the coast are terrific. In our opinion, the island with its beautiful natural surroundings and the friendly staff has an extraordinary charm!
Rooms: 20 spectacular open bamboo villas
Duration: 12 hours and 15 minutes from Germany to Singapore
Transfer: 85km from Singapore, about a 60-minute drive to the ferry. The Bintan Ferry service departs five times daily from Singapore to Bintan. Then it is a 60-minute drive across the island to the base of Cempedak and Nikoi Island, and finally, a 20-minute speed boat ride to Nikoi Island.
Visa: On arrival, valid for 30 days, free of charge.
Vaccinations: None required.
Air Temperature: 23-31 degrees Celsius
Water Temperature: 28 – 30 degrees Celsius
Time difference: GMT +6 hours
Best travel time: All year-round. Close to the equator, it is tropically warm throughout the year, with no distinct rain season, but daily rain showers are typical. The best time for water sports enthusiasts is from March to December.
Price: from 326 EUR per night, full-board 115 USD per adult and 55 USD per child and per night (a minimum stay of at least two nights applies)
Activities: rock climbing, swimming, snorkeling, diving, water sports
Special features: No TV, no air conditioning, beautiful natural surroundings, extraordinarily kind and passionate employees.
Perfect for: families, couples, nature lovers, romantics, and adventurers
The Long Run – Creating a sustainable future
2017 – Tripadvisor Travellers Choice Award
2016 – HICAP – Sustainability Communities Award
2016 – Tripadvisor Travellers Choice Award
2015 – Green Hotelier – Winner Asia Pacific
2015 – Wild Asia – Finalist
2015 – Sustainable Business Award – Indonesia
2015 – Tripadvisor Travellers Choice Award
2014 – National Geographic – World Legacy Awards – Finalist
2014 – Condé Nast – Gold Standard Award
2013 – Condé Nast – World’s Best Private Island Resorts
2013 – Travel + Leisure – Global Vision Award (Sustainability)
2013 – i-Escape – Best for Kids
2013 – Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence Award
2012 – Wild Asia Awards – Finalist
2012 – Treehugger – Best Resort Award
2012 – Tripadvisor Travellers Choice Award
2011 – Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence Award
2009 – Wild Asia Awards – Finalist
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Please Note: Nikoi Island sponsored our stay. Thank you so much! Nevertheless, the opinions expressed in this article are 100% our own!