Singapore is tiny and for me, regular escapes are essential. If you wanna get away without the stress of flying, there are some great options not far away. Here are 6 luxury resorts near Singapore that you don’t need to fly to.
If you don’t have the time or budget to stay in one of these resorts, there are ways to escape Singapore without even leaving the country! Read my post here. And if you are up for a short flight, maybe consider the Datai Langkawi.
1 – CEMPEDAK
Three hours from central Singapore (an hour on the Bintan ferry, 45 minute drive and then a 20 minute boat ride) is all it takes to get to a sustainably designed and built luxury private island where no kids are allowed. The villas (all with private pools), are ocean-facing and made almost entirely from bamboo. No TV, no AC, no fridge; just a simple (but beautiful) wooden structure, a bed (with a mozzy net) and the ocean. Prices start at $350USD a night plus another $85 USD per person per day for three (excellent Indonesian) meals. Oh – and if you’re lucky you’ll get to see the family of otters living on the island!
2 – NIKOI
From the same owners as Cempedak and with the same amount of travel time (the island is located about 25km north of it’s adults-only cousin), Nikoi is similarly eco-friendly, with villas designed using native materials and minimal electronics aside from lighting in the rooms (and an iPod dock). Nikoi is also great for families, with larger villas available and daytime activities for kids. You’ll have to shell out for meals ($85USD per adult or $40 for kids), but rooms start at $300 USD per night which isn’t bad for this level of luxury.
3 – THE SANCHAYA
Just a short drive from the Bintan ferry terminal (where the resort has its own private lounge) is arguably the islands most luxurious property, a beautiful colonial resort with a private beach (an excellent one by Bintan standards). The rooms and setting are stunning and there is no lack of luxury tech here (Bang & Olufsen TVs and hifis and WiFi that actually works), but it comes at a price; rates start at $400 USD a night and the food, spa and activities are definitely on the ludicrously expensive side of things.
4 – TELUNAS
Telunas Private Island is another “barefoot luxury” resort, this time accessible by ferry (50 minutes) to Batam and then a small boat to the island (90 minutes). This place takes “eco” one step further with not just a lack of electronic devices, but no WiFi too. The intention is for guests to fully disconnect (no 3G either btw), and there are kids and activities that, unlike some of the other islands noted here, are free. The rate is far more reasonable too, starting at $235 USD a night plus three meals a day ($65 USD/day for adults and $30/day for kids) but beware that this place gets booked up a long way in advance.
5 – BATU BATU
Batu Batu is a luxury resort on the island of Pulau Tengah, a three hour drive to Mersing (on the East Coast of Malaysia), and then a 20 minute speedboat. The resort doesn’t have the same barefoot luxury vibe as some of the others on this list (villas are full decked out with AC, TVs etc), but claims to be strong on the environment, with an established conservation group to help look after the local turtle population and a lot of care taken to minimise it’s environmental impact. You can even see turtles hatching and making their way to the ocean. More than any other in this list, Batu Batu’s beach and surrounding ocean is particularly stunning, with Johor Marine Park on the doorstep – perfect for snorkelling or diving.
6 – PULAU JOYO
Another island in the Riau chain, Pulau Joyo is a tiny private island 3 hours ish from Singapore (60 minute Bintan ferry, one hour drive, 30 minute speedboat) with just seven villas. The driftwood vibe is strong here, with super-rustic villas with no TV or AC and although the island is really tiny (20 minutes to walk around the whole thing), you can keep yourself entertained with watersports, badminton, volleyball and even billiards and darts. Rates start at a very reasonable $240 USD (which includes three meals a day), or if you’re feeling flush, you can book out the entire island, fit for you and 44 of your mates for a bargain $10k USD a night.
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