‘Where’s Batam Island?’ I hear you cry. Well, despite being part of an Indonesian archipelago, it is only a 45 minute air-conditioned ferry ride away from Singapore. The island is duty-free and attracting increasing numbers of tourists. Whilst you might find better beaches on Bintan, if you are living in Singapore especially, it’s always good to get out there and try something new…
Who: Felinda, Vinny + toddler Aria (plus 5 other family members!)
Where: Montigo Nongsa Resort, Batam – Indonesia
When: Weekend trip, 2D1N (12-13 Jan 2013)
Via Agoda’s portal as the prices were slightly better as compared to the hotel’s own website
Getting to Batam
As we were departing from Singapore, we took a ferry to Nongsa in Batam. There are a few ferry terminals in Batam but the nearest to Montigo is Nongsa (7-10 mins drive away from the hotel).
Montigo also has their own ferry service departing from the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal – faster, exclusive and more convenient but the tickets were priced at SG98++. We paid SGD50 using the normal ferry services.
These were free but only from Nongsa Ferry Terminal
We fell in love with the villa at first sight. We booked 2 Seaview villas with our own little swimming pool, each with 2 bedrooms. 1 room with a King sized bed and the 2nd room with two single beds. It was a 3 storey villa and the top floor was a massive rooftop. We had a great view from the pool at our villa.
Both bedrooms are ensuite – the master came attached with a massive bathroom and natural skylight. There were DVD players and flat screen TVs in the living room and the Master Bedroom. There was a Wii in the lounge which we could borrow games for.
Each villa came with a kitchenette with utensils, cutlery and crockery all provided for – very handy if travelling with a young child. I made simple pasta dishes for Aria.
We went during the soft opening, so not a lot of facilities were ready. The spa was open though we didn’t visit it. 2 other pools were also open – near the spa and the Tadd’s restaurant.
There was only one restaurant opened at this point in time, called Tadd’s. Good food, enjoyed the meals we had there. The menu was both western and local cuisine.
We also ventured out to a seafood dinner one night. The hotel provided us with a 7 seater for about 4 hours for SGD45.
We didn’t check them out, we were at the villa pool and Tadd’s pool mostly.
For a great view, opt for a Sea View Villa. You won’t see much in a Hill View Villa unless you want to look at your neighbour’s swimming pool!
As the grounds are fairly big, you will need golf buggies to get around the resort. The waiting time depending on when you call the buggies can be quite long so try to call in advance if you are able to.
The staff were very friendly. The level of service from everyone we met in the resort was very warm, friendly and helpful. They have a nice concept there with each villa having their own pool – everything looks really good aesthetically at first glance.
Soft drinks and some snacks are free of charge and can be topped up whenever you want, and bottled water as well.
I don’t think the Resort is value for money. Everything looks very nice at first glance but on closer inspection, you could see that they didn’t do a good job of the finishings. The resort is very new, barely a year old but it was already showing signs of wear and tear. The TV console had a massive crack going across the length of it, some damp in the ceiling near the living room entrance and the TV in Master Bedroom was wonky even though it had a water level on the hinge which the TV was attached to.