The name Batam refers to both an island and a municipality, the largest city in the Riau Islands, a province of Indonesia. You might not think you know where this is but if you have travelled to Singapore you would perhaps have already seen it: Batam is found across the Strait of Singapore. It is the closest part of Indonesia to that city, and at its nearest it’s only 5.8 km away. Batam Center Ferry Terminal has the most frequent ferry connections to and from Singapore just half an hour or so away, and that’s where most tourists come from.
Montigo Resorts Nongsa makes the perfect getaway after the shops, restaurants, and city vibe of Singapore. This stunning resort is ideal as part of a 2-venue holiday. Discerning adults will love shopping, museums, and entertainment in Singapore. Equally, they will appreciate the sophistication and quiet of Montigo Resorts Nongsa; the kids will be thrilled by swimming pools and the kids’ club with its host of activities here. All the family will enjoy the resort’s restaurants which will appeal to every taste.
This is a property which thinks it’s a village. The 88 seafront villas provide everything that you expect for the perfect vacation stay. The villas are spacious, light, airy and well-appointed – a home from home if one’s home happens to be superbly luxurious.
There are light and airy living rooms, private patios for romantic alfresco dining, secluded infinity plunge pools for, well, plunging. There are cooking facilities which you are unlikely to need apart from preparing a cup of coffee. Upstairs there are sumptuous bedrooms and modern and well-appointed bathrooms, and everywhere there is a lot of space. Each villa and residence offers an uninterrupted view of the sea. A fleet of golf buggies will take you to the farthest reaches of the resort; but really everything is quite compact and the grounds are well-tended. So close to Singapore but a tranquil world away.
Mr Ali Bin Harun is the Executive Chef for the Montigo Resorts. His expert inspiration makes their restaurants destinations in their own right. He presents both tradition and inspiration in a well-balanced extravaganza. TADD’S is the perfect spot for a delicious interlude at any time of day. Food is outstanding here. The culinary adventure starts with breakfast: I am a great breakfast grazer and I managed to have several (calling it research) before I rolled away from the table. As I mentioned, most of the guests hail from Singapore so there were plenty of Malay, Chinese and Indian-inspired dishes along with European pastries and fresh fruit.
Serving local, Asian and Western comfort cuisine in an informal semi al-fresco poolside setting, the all-day dining café offers traditional favourites, including the Gado Gado Salad, the Montigo Club Sandwich, and Nasi Goreng. Try nasi lemak daun pisang – chicken rendang, boiled egg, coconut rice wrapped in banana leaf, anchovies with sambal, and peanuts – and other local specialities.
TIIGO Beach Club is the night haunt and general chilling area of the resort. It is the first and only venue on Batam that sells custom mixes of fruit-flavoured tobacco for shisha, which has become popular in so many celebrated bars and cafés around the globe. Montigo is staying on-trend.
Next to the main reception, one finds the polished and intimate kelong-style restaurant. Kelong is a Malay word meaning ‘remote fishing outpost’ but this restaurant is more romantic than the word might suggest. Pantai, meaning ‘beach’, is the fine-dining venue for this resort. Don’t miss the iconic Chilli Crab and the White Fungus in Sweet Syrup.
Things to do inside the resort:
• The younger members of the group will be thrilled by the activities at OLO Kids’ Club. They will leave each day covered in paint, already missing their new friends, telling tales of pool fun and counting the moments till tomorrow when they can do it all again!
• The Montigo Spa’s Sumatran huts have great charm. They rest next to their own stretch of beach. There is also a steam bath and plunge pools, and a relaxing library and reading area. There are plenty of treatments including massage – the Central Javanese Lulur is a traditional massage that combines acupressure, reflexology and aromatherapy along with a Javanese scrub using fresh ingredients such as turmeric, candlenut, jasmine and yogurt.
• For those who want to maintain their temple-like bodies there are gym houses with some of the latest exercise machines, suitable for equipment-lovers and novices alike. There are certified instructors for yoga for those who are looking for more gentle exertion.
Things to do outside the resort:
• Take a romantic ride around Nongsa’s Heritage Village in Montigo’s vintage Volkswagen for a unique experience which will appeal to any car lover.
• Kampong bike tour with a Montigo guide. You can cycle from the resort to nearby Pantai Village to explore a traditional Indonesian ‘kampong’.
• Water sports might be your vacation passion so enjoy some wake boarding, water skiing, jet skiing, knee boarding, kayaking, snorkelling or banana boat rides.
• Golfers are not forgotten – enjoy a round or two at one of the local 18-hole golf courses.
• Cruise through the mangroves with a guide who points out wildlife.
Montigo in Batam Indonesia makes an ideal break from hectic Singapore. Come here and unwind and be pampered by attentive staff, enjoy the best of foods and go home refreshed … and start planning your next Montigo vacation.
Learn more about Montigo in Batam Indonesia here
If you fly from Heathrow Airport then head for T2B close to gate B36, for Singapore Airlines’ SilverKris Lounge for business and first-class passengers. This offers more than 200 comfy seats for small groups, business trippers and lone travellers. First Class customers are offered meals from both a self-service buffet area and an à la carte menu which changes throughout the day.
Learn more about Singapore Airlines here
Travel review by Chrissie Walker © 2018