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“The Secret Island” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Pulau Joyo

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Pulau Joyo
Certificate of Excellence
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“The Secret Island”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 28, 2012

I feel a bit jealous sharing this experience, as if this charming, tiny island could stay our secret. Tired from the big, crowded hotels one can find around Asia, we were looking for some private place to spend a long weekend with our children. Lucky we were to be the only guests and it was amazing.
First, it is exclusive to occupy such a small place, surrounded by the the sea only. One can circle the island in twenty minutes, including the time for gathering seashells and enjoying the views. The staff were there whenever we needed them and discreet enough to leave us with the feeling that we were all alone on the island.
Design-wise, every corner of Joyo is joy. The open, wooden villas look like grown form the palm trees. The luxury is in aesthetics, high ceilings, wooden bathrooms, wind-blown white bed curtains, air and greenery.
Food is excellent - Asian fusion, I would say. We were entertained finding our table laid at a different place around the island every time. The pool and the common area are also very nice - something like your open-air living room with pool, full bar and occasional snacks.
The place is perfect to go with your 10-15 best friends and book it all. Also good for couples and families.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank galyapro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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79 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    72
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    1
    1
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Singapore, Singapore
2 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 26, 2012

I had an extremely enjoyable experience at pulau joyo. The staff were more than helpful and the food cooked every day was delicious and hearty. The beds were clean and I especially enjoyed the hammocks placed outside our rooms. There was a communal area where everybody could gather in the day time and it sort of felt like a pool party everyday. For a weekend of relaxation it was the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank marytay92
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, null, Singapore
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 21, 2012

this is a fantastic island, when i first time arrive in this island all the staff are very friendly to wellcome us. i like very much the design of this island because all the things are make from wood i feel very comfort and nature. i can relax in the beach drink some coffee and enjoy authentic indonesia snack and all food are very delicious. we all will never forget this fantastic travel.

Thanks all friendly staff in pulau suka

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank robinwee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 21, 2012

Do not know there is a place that rustic and extraordinary in Bintan until i see it myself... Went with a group of friends celebrating 2 of our friends birthday and we were hard to leave... What can i say? Always want to visit again maybe with my family hopefully not too far away..

Room Tip: I like their Java houses
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Hardy N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 15, 2011

Been there as we wanted to have a pampered weekend, and Nikoi island was fully booked as usual.
After 3 and a half hours journey, including 2 hours in the hotel shuttle with no drink, we reached a very small private island (when low tides, you can make the tour of the island in less than 15min). The car driver was smiling, saying they were in soft opening since years, changed name already twice and have almost no clients (later, I understood why).
We arrived around 3pm, and they served us plain pasta and roasted chicken on an Ikea tray and paper napkins. "Tea time" was Chips in their packaging and diner was quite basic also, with fried frozen shrimps, plain rice and processed cake to end this quick diner.
Breakfast was again very basic, with the "help yourself" service, or what they call the ghost service.; I was not able to find the "champagne breakfast" they are mentioning in their brochure!, neither any kind of "prepared by your own chef" food. You will have the school indonesian canteen food, served as it is, with processed cake and potato chips!
Even if they are about 8 people for the staff, they prefer to sit chatting in your bungalow when it's raining, but don't expect any service at the pool or at the beach; after asking few times, you can just have some old beach towels.
Staff is nice, but definitely not professional.
When we complained, the hotel manager explained they were trying to improve but had no money from the owner to do so. He was really sorry and well aware of the situation.
So paying around US$1,000 for 2 adults per night (not including kids US$120/kid) for this, I prefer to go to Aman resorts and have real service.

On top of that, beach was not clean, there was glass bottles, plastics, old boxes..,on the beach and we had tar on our feet after being in the sea! (after all, we realized they are located very near industrial area)
Don't waste your money, unless you want to pay for the owner's vacation's home he cannot afford. The "clients" making good reviews are actually the guests, friends of the owner.
This is a B&B family style, definitely not a high-end hotel, despite what their brochure is trying to advertise.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
12 Thank CasaSari
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PangkilJoyo, Guest Relations Manager at Pulau Joyo, responded to this review, November 24, 2011
I found this review very suspicious because :
- Car ride is only 1h15mins NOT 2hrs.
- Car is hired by the guests and paid by the guests.
- We have changed our name once since soft opening. It was original island name then we changed it to more nice Indonesian name.
- We do have guests coming every month although it is not busy yet as we are still new.
- Tea time was banana cake and spring roll NOT chips as she said.
- We didnt give any brochure yet and we didnt mention champagne breakfast in our web either.
- Our hotel manager surely didnt talk with her anything about owner and internal management.
- Our towels are all new just start using them for few months, what OLD TOWEL did she mention.
- We clean our beach and island every early morning and before dusk. It was bottles flowing in by current. This was correct but i dont think she can comment in such rude behaviour.
- We are 20mins away from nearest island by speedboat with 3 yamaha 200hp engines. We are miles away. I dont see she said we are near to industrial site.
- AGAIN we didnt have any brochure yet. Our marketing method is by website, media, and newspaper and guests from our other island which is 10 years already.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 31, 2011

Though it take about 3 hrs to get there from Singapore (1 hr ferry ride + 1.5 hr by car across bintan island followed by 0.5 hr speed boat ride), the journey was worth it!

You will reach a small semi-private island with secluded entrance that leads to 6 individual huts that are raised on stilts. Each hut is approximately the size a small apartment and all of them has a seaview. Each hut has 2 double beds and is filled with rustic decorations. 2 out of the 6 huts are larger and can accomodate 4 more couches which double up as single beds. There is no air-conditioners simply because the moment you open the windows, the sea breeze gushes into the room. The hotel manager says if you are lucky, you can even see dolphins swimming at a distance.

The maximum number of people allowed to stay on the island at any point of time is 35. Hence, you can relax and enjoy the peace and tranquility the surrounding brings as you chill out at the swimming pool.

Food served was okay, with most of the dishes prepared to suit the customers' palate with a local touch.

Kayaks, snorkeling equipment are available free of charge and you can do these activities any time you want.

Service was great! The staff will always greet with a smile!

Overall, great getaway for families and groups of friends!

Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank Sashimi_86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 7, 2011

Sleeping in a 100-year old teak bungalow that opens up to your very own private beach with the wind billowing through the hut every minute of the day makes for a dream vacation. Having dinner under the stars, or a great bottle of wine under the billowing trees makes you want to spend the rest of your days there. With great food, great unobtrusive service, you get to plan your day doing whatever you want - swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, hiking - or whatever you don't want! A wonderful experience for the whole family. PS: Do get all your family and friends together and spend a wonderful 3-day event in this private getaway island. The best vacation in years!

Room Tip: I loved my 100-year old family hut!!!
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ian D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PangkilJoyo, Manager at Pulau Joyo, responded to this review, November 9, 2011
Thanks Ian for your review. We are looking forward to welcome you again to our island in next occasion. All the best.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pulau Joyo

Property: Pulau Joyo
Address: Jalan Sungei enam laut No.08, Riau Islands Province 29122, Indonesia
Location: Indonesia > Riau Islands Province > Riau Archipelago > Bintan Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 22 Specialty Lodging in Bintan Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Pulau Joyo is your classic Robinson Crusoe island, surrounded by white sand beaches and clear blue sea. Within easy reach of Singapore, it is equipped with every luxury, and superb food and wine. Our experienced team of hosts to make your stay absolutely unforgettable... Pulau Joyo is the ultimate in barefoot sophistication! This island treasure, located in Indonesia’s Riau Archipelago, is blessed with pristine white sandy beaches and turquoise waters. Easily accessible from Singapore and Bintan, Joyo offers an ideal beach getaway with comprehensive spa facilities, fabulous food and much more — all of which complement the island’s romantic location. We are famous for our sunsets and serenity. Joyo Island is also a convenient starting point for an expedition to Indonesia’s untouched beaches and reefs on our 140-foot charter yacht, the Hang Tuah... ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Pulau Joyo Bintan Island, Riau Islands

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