excellent, relaxed and luxurious getaway, 40 mins from Singapore.
our stay at Montigo resorts was near perfect.
Montigo is a big resort, expanding, ambitious, in Nongsa area, facing Singapore, in the indonesian island of Batam. The location is excellent in terms of convenience : 40 mins ferry from Tanah Merah terminal (Singapore) and a quick (free) and comfy transfer offered by the resort from Nongsapura terminal to Montigo. The place is calm, relatively green, offering this strange feeling of being in nature, despite having the view of Singapore's skyscrapers at the horizon.
There is an artificial beach, under construction, but the sea is neither clean nor inviting. However, this is not a problem, since each villa at Montigo resorts comes with a little private pool, plus two big pools near the Tadd's restaurant and the bar, and another one at the spa.
Each villa has the same layout, which means that the price difference between them are rather a matter of being very close to the beach, or close to the beach, or having a little spa cabana (for the probably overrated spa villas). My advice : go for the hillside villas, usually the cheapest, not too close from the possible nuisances of tha bar, main pools and restaurants.
One thing that is necessary to be aware of : Montigo resorts caters mostly for Singaporeans who want a quick getaway. Which means that it is full, more expensive, probably crowded and quite possibly very noisy (think families, partying people, djs spinning at night, queues at the overbooked spa and restaurants, and so on) during the weekends, while the weekdays are totally different : quiet, cool and relaxing and, above all, much more affordable, thanks to the weekdays promotions.
For its architecture, design, ambitions and "spirit", Montigo resorts is apparently quite inspired by two very successful villas project in Indonesia : Alila Uluwatu (Bali) for its design and (vaguely) eco-friendly appearance [but the location is definitely not as grandiose as Uluwatu's cliffs, however Montigo's villas are three times bigger and three times cheaper than those of Alila Uluwatu], and Qunci villas (Lombok) for its new project of swimmingpool's dining in front of the beach with djs and chic food [but the sea and the beach at Nongsa cannot compete with Lombok, however Montigo's project is more open and less snubbish].
The villas are big, smartly and elegantly designed. They can easily accomodate for a family (two kids), 4 people or more and they are a huge and very pleasant palace for a couple.
At the first floor, there is a big living room with an all-equiped kitchen (meaning you can bring your food and cook there, but beware of the ants!), comfy sofas, opening to a terrace with a very pleasant private infinity pool and a fragrant cempaka tree.
At the second floor, the master bedroom is great, with a big kingsize bed, a comfy large couch and a beautiful view over the sea. Adjoining the master bedroom, there is a fantastic bathroom, with a cool well-designed shower with chic amenities, toilets, and a massive bathtube in stone, with very high ceiling and a light-well, allowing you to enjoy a bath while looking at the moon... Next to the master bedroom, there is also a comfy room with two twin beds and another nice bathroom.
The third floor is a very pleasant big rooftop terrace, where one can have dinner, barbeque, a good suntanning or enjoying the moonlight. This part is probably what makes Montigo villas go to the extramile. However, i guess it might be a bit annoying in terms of quiteness and privacy when the resort is full, people from the villas uphill being able to peep at what's going on downhill rooftops and pools. Noise may be also an issue in the case of a packed resort (in weekends and Singapore public holidays). We were lucky enough to be almost alone in the resort and to enjoy a quiet romantic full moon at the rooftop, which is unforgettable.
In terms of amenities, the villas are fully loaded : comfortable beds and luxury bathroom and bedlinen amenities, coffee machine and everything you need for cooking, ipod deck, wii console, soundsystem, lcd cable tvs in case you could feel the strange need to watch tv in such a place, bluray and dvd players, and so on. Strangely, though, some basics are lacking : no hairdryer, no razor in the bathroom.
I would recommend to have at least a massage at the spa. Service is exquisite and massages are great (the Indonesian massage is better than the Montigo special, though). The massage rooms are clean and relaxing, in huts facing the sea, with that strange feeling of getting relaxed and pampered by typical indonesian grace, while seeing Singapore's seafront at the horizon. The spa comes also with a pool and two (non-heated) jacuzzi.
Breakfasts are at Tadd's restaurant, the main restaurant, facing the sea. Food there is average and the place is a bit too noisy. Pantai, chinese seafood restaurant, is much more classy, with a lovely setting and a beautiful view, and the enjoyable cuisine of chef Stacey Teo. Tiigo, the club-bar, is still under construction. There could be other solutions for dining : cooking your own meal in the villas, or having private dining at the villas (same price than in the restaurants).
Now, what makes the Montigo resorts so pleasant is also the quality of service there. People at the reception were exquisitely polite, efficient, friendly, cool and understanding. Check-ins, check-outs are smooth. Restaurant staffs were attentive and polite, although not always very fluent in english. Buggies drivers, drivers, security staffs and cleaning staffs were friendly, polite and efficient. And, as i wrote before, the staff at the spa was amazingly polite and freindly. Once again, this was in a semi-empty resort, on weekday. I hope the service can be as friendly and efficient in the rush of weekends.
This is definitely a place i'll be eager to stay again and again.
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- Also Known As:
- Montigo Resorts Nongsa Batam