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“Luxurious back to basics...” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Nikoi Island

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Nikoi Island
Private Island, Riau Islands Province, Indonesia   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 26 hotels in Bintan Island
Singapore, Singapore
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Luxurious back to basics...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2013

The owners of the island have created a perfect environment with every luxury you could need or want but expressed in a back to basics setting.
The villas are an exquisite experience, blending in seemlessly with their environment and providing a perfect mix of practical luxury and nature. There is no getting away from the more natural inhabitants of the island, but the staff do everything they can to minimise the small annoyances that are inherent with the closeness of nature.
The food is exceptional and plentiful, but prices are akin with what you would expect in Singapore so its not cheap, although the wine list was not extortionate.
The swimming pool is picture perfect, as is the white sandy beaches all around the island and with free access to all sports equipment its very pleasant taking a kayak etc around the island (in less than 30 mins)
They say on their website that all you need to bring is a sarong, sun hat, sun lotion and a good book and they are soooo right! It is a paradise that should be enjoyed with a glass of wine in one hand, a good book in the other, the beautiful sound of the ocean as the only soundtrack and the sun beaming down!
Enjoy!!!!!
PS the travel arrangements are also run with superb organisation. From arriving in Bintan it is a breeze to get to the Island, and the drive across Bintan is a nice added bonus.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
relaxedby, Owner at Nikoi Island, responded to this review, May 21, 2013
Thanks for your very kind review. Great to read that you enjoyed the concept and the food. Please bear in mind that the daily board rate of S$90++ does include most of the activities on the island so when you take this into account we do believe that the board charge does represent good value particularly given we are operating on an island. We do make a effort to provide interesting wines and reasonable pricing despite the taxes and customs imposts so it is greatly appreciated that you have acknowledged this. It is also nice to read that the transfers were seamless and that you enjoyed the drive across Bintan - I have to say I always find it fascinating given how close it is to Singapore. We look forward to hopefully welcoming you back some day. Thanks again for taking the time to post your review.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (68)
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English first
Singapore, Singapore
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

We arrived at Nikoi for a 3 night stay from Bintan Island. The transfer process is excellent with a door-to-door service within a few hours. Nikoi island is absolutely stunning! The rooms are basic, but nicely done up. Access to the beach is directly from the unit and sea-views galore! All water sports are included. Kids club service is also offered. The beach is pristine and water quality excellent. All the staff are friendly and very willing to help. All meals are included and would say is average, considering that Nikoi is a dessert island, with all fresh produce, shipped in from the mainland. All in all, one of the best and most memorable holidays ever and the kids loved it. Although the offering is pricey, its worth it! Highly recommended, but remember to book well in advance!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
relaxedby, Owner at Nikoi Island, responded to this review, May 9, 2013
Thanks very much for taking the time to write your kind review. Great to read that you highly recommend Nikoi. We are always working on trying to improve the food and note your comments on this and hopefully if you return you will notice an improvement. Thanks very much.
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Sanur, Indonesia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

There is a reason that I have not written a review earlier about my fantastic stay in Nikoi - words cannot do it justice and the superlatives I know are inadequate to describe it. The experience was incredible from the moment the boat approached, revealing this postcard perfect island with pure white sand beaches with the texture of talcum powder. From the moment our feet sunk into the soft sand of Nikoi, all the stresses and strains of everyday life vanished. We watched no TV, turned off our phones and laptops and floated through 5 days of total relaxation.The staff were amazing - friendly, kind, efficient and helpful - but there was not the pressure of "over-service" that you get in so many top hotels. We were left alone, but as soon as you wanted something, there seemed to be someone there. The Kid's club was amazing and our eight-year-old had the time of his life, not missing TV for a second and never bored. I cannot recommend the "Nikoi Treatment" enough. It isn't just a resort, or just beautiful villas on an island, it is a complete experience. My only advice would be; check in your phones, ipads, laptops, stress and attitude at the door. You won't be needing them here.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
relaxedby, Owner at Nikoi Island, responded to this review, May 9, 2013
Thank you very much for your very kind review. Great to read that you switched off all of your electronics - that is exactly the way to enjoy the place. We look forward to hopefully welcoming you back some day. Thanks again for taking the time to write such a lovely review.
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Singapore, Singapore
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2013

We just spent five amazing days on Nikoi island, together with our two girls (4 & 6 years old).
We were a party of 6 adults and 6 kids and rented the 3 BR villa (number 6).
Everything is exceptional and special.
Very different to anything we have ever encountered and visited in Asia. Living in this part of the world we are all used to the luxury hotels offere here, not mentioning the properties one can rent.
Never thought to find a place like Nikoi only 3 hours away from Singapore.
It was a perfect stay, amazing location, flawless weather, beautiful & very clean beach houses, crystal clear water and white sandy beaches, friendly service, wonderful food and incredibly quiet although the hotel was at full capacity!

If there is one thing I could suggest, then it would be to offer less fried food for the children. Considering that this is a eco friendly hotel, offering the most amazing fresh fruits, juices, vegetables and fishes for adults, not to mention all the Indonesian delicacies, it would be lovely to see a bit more "healthy stuff" on the menu for the little ones. But then again, we asked them to prepare other things for the kids like pastas and freshly steamed fish & vegetables and there was not problem at all.

A big Thank you also to Mr. Yogi, who has indeed the character and charm of Yogi bear and the knowledge to handle and deal with children like The Super Nanny. Our girls don't stop talking about him, treasure his wood carven toys and hope to go back to see him again.

Now the only thing is...when can we go back there?
Looking at the booking system, we might have to wait at least 6 months.

Thank you for an amazing holiday!

Room Tip: Villa number 6 for a large group - sleeps up to 12 people, maybe more if you add extra beds. Very ve...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
relaxedby, Owner at Nikoi Island, responded to this review, May 9, 2013
Thank you for your very kind review. We are thrilled to read how much you enjoyed your stay and our staff jubilant about the kind things you had to say about them. We look forward to hopefully welcoming you back some day. I will indeed pass on your comments about the kids food to the kitchen. Thanks again for taking the time to write a review.
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Singapore
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2013

Nikoi Island is a very special place. It's clearly the realisation of a great deal of hard work and visionary design. The staff are wonderful and they go to great lengths to personalise your stay and make it extra special. The food is tasty and well prepared and the location is exquisite. As with any eco project, you are asked to accept a few compromises and this includes a lack of privacy (and in our case, sleep!). I want to state upfront that any disappointment reflected in this review was due to my lack of homework and not a reflection on Nikoi's service. Take the matter of tranquility for example. The island epitomises the romantic notion of a tranquil escape for the weary executive but much of this experience depends on who occupies the cabins either side of you and the ratio of adults to children on the island.

There were a large number of children on the island when we arrived and there really was no way to find a peaceful place to sit comfortably (especially by the pool, beach or bars). The cabins are beautifully designed but their open-air structure means that it's not just the sea breeze that blows through your room at 2am. Above the soothing sounds of the waves gently lapping on the beach, you hear every word of your neighbors arguments and every scream of their 18-month old baby. The staff do their best to keep couples and families at a companionable distance but this wasn't possible during our stay (as they apologetically explained) due to the large number of families in residence. At meal times, we were told that separate dining areas are usually reserved for guests without children, but sadly this wasn't possible when we arrived. To their credit, the staff did offer to serve our dinner in our cabin but we declined this option due to the large number of mosquitoes after a heavy rainstorm. The other deal breaker for us was the noise of the local fishing boats starting their boat engines between 3.30 and 4am. I realise the owners have very little influence over this but it really had a major impact on sleep quality!

The cabins themselves are stunningly designed but very basically equipped. We really didn't miss the aircon or TV and we can live without a bathrobe, hair dryer and mini-bar. But it would have been nice to have a face cloth or hand towel and I wish I'd brought some basic amenities like hand soap, tissues, cotton buds and body lotion. Perhaps this is all part of the eco compromise. I guess it's easy to bring your own.

We would also respectfully suggest providing a few clothes pegs to keep the mosquito net closed. The nets over the bed aren't quite big enough and the gusts from the fan create frustrating openings for pesky mosquitoes and other flying bugs to sneak in and feast on unsuspecting flesh!

The one 'unnecessary' luxury in the cabins is the iPod docking station and speakers. In our case, this meant we were obliged to listen to our neighbour's choice of music (namely children's songs on repeat at 6am) due to the lack of walls and windows. We joked that the whole place felt (and sounded) like a glamorous campsite. This was exacerbated by the fixed menus and inflexible dining times. We certainly didn't go hungry but when we tried to ask for orange juice for breakfast we were politely told that "it's only water melon juice on Mondays"! The whole communal dining experience wasn't quite what we expected but it looked like the families with children were having an awesome time! The desserts were particularly delicious.

Despite these grumbles, we were sincerely impressed with the integrity and passion of the whole team at Nikoi and the house reef made for some wonderful snorkeling. It is a rare treat to visit a luxury resort (sorry, 'eco lodge') that is entirely staffed by a local team. It proves that with visionary management and a great team spirit, you can achieve five star service and save the planet. Perhaps we'll come back some day when a good night's sleep is lower down our priority list!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
relaxedby, Owner at Nikoi Island, responded to this review, April 24, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to review Nikoi. It is great to read your appreciation of the efforts we have made to make Nikoi a responsible and sustainable operation in terms of our impact on the environment and in terms of the support we provide to the local community by providing employment and buying local goods and services.

I am sorry to hear that you had noisy neighbours during your stay. We do remind guests of this in our room literature and it is disappointing when fellow guests are not so appreciative but then it is not always to quell a 18 month old. In designing the island we grouped the houses so that couples and families are apart but this is not always possible. Thanks for the feedback it is much appreciated and I do hope that one day you might return. We do recommend that if avoiding children is important then that guests should come mid week when there are less children on the island particularly if there are no Singapore school holidays.

Thanks again.
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Singapore, Singapore
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2013

We spent three days on Nikoi Island in March. Everything, absolutely everything about Nikoi is perfect! From start to finish, everything amazed! Perfect location, flawless weather, sandy beach, crystal clear water, beautiful airy beach houses, excellent and plentiful food!, friendly and gracious staff, plenty of peace and quiet, just right! We can't wait to be there again in June!

Peter and Adrienne

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
relaxedby, Owner at Nikoi Island, responded to this review, April 23, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write your very kind review. Great to hear you enjoyed your stay so much. We look forward to welcoming you back in June. Thanks again.
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Singapore, Singapore
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2013

The staff at Nikoi are so attentive and welcoming. You have very special people welcoming your guests that take a genuine interest and make conversation fun. Special thanks to the very intelligent and fun Salena and #7 on BLD running a tight ship at the dining room. Go team!

Room Tip: Check the tides before you book. You want the high tide to be during the day for swimming. High ti...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
relaxedby, Owner at Nikoi Island, responded to this review, April 14, 2013
Thanks for your very kind review and your particularly kind comments about our staff. Sorry about the noise from the fishing boats. It is unusual that they would run their engines at night so not sure why this was the case. We do ask them to be quiet but there is not a lot we can do. They will occasionally start their engines early in the morning to go off to the fishing grounds but this usually doesn't last long. Great to hear you enjoyed your stay and thanks again for your review.
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Additional Information about Nikoi Island

Also Known As:
Nikoi Island Hotel
Nikoi Island Bintan
Nikoi Island Hotel Bintan
Nikoi Island Bintan Island, Riau Islands
Address: Private Island, Riau Islands Province, Indonesia
Phone Number:
Location: Indonesia > Riau Islands Province > Riau Archipelago > Bintan Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Bintan Island
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Bintan Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nikoi Island is a 15 hectare private island just 85kms from Singapore and has long been regarded as one of the most stunning islands on this unspoiled coast. Ringed with white sandy beaches and coral reefs of spectacular color and diversity, Nikoi is for those seeking a true private island experience and the comfort of a destination dedicated to responsible tourism practices. ... more   less 
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