After months of hectic wedding planning, it is easy to see why the serenity and simplicity of an island beach honeymoon is alluring to many newlyweds. Lately, we have been fantasizing about private resort islands, where the entire island is dedicated to one resort. The exclusiveness alone make a peaceful paradise for relaxation and indulgence. Accompanying you on your honeymoon is calm sea waters, light ocean breeze and soft sandy beaches. That sounds like ‘paradise on earth’, and you will be thrilled to know that Maldives is not the only place to find these gems!
In this issue, we bring you to explore Nikoi Island, voted as one of the “10 Most Stunning Beaches in South East Asia” by The Asia Collective. It is a private island in Indonesia that is home to a 15-hectare eco-friendly resort, situated just 50 miles away from Singapore. It is so private, that only 50 guests are allowed on it at any time! It is easily accessible by ferry and is approximately 2.5 hours away. We started packing instantly. Read on to discover 10 reasons to have an exclusive honeymoon at Nikoi Island.
10 Reasons to have your Exclusive Honeymoon at Nikoi Island
1. You get to experience Maldives for a fraction of the price
Maldives, home to some of the most amazing beach vacations in the world is one of the top desired destinations for honeymoons. We ourselves are huge lovers of Maldives, and its unbelievable beaches, private islands and gorgeous resorts. But considering that it is 2,094 miles away (from Singapore), getting there takes a chunk of time out of your vacation. The journey to Malé alone (capital of Maldives), is a 4 hour 30 minutes plane ride, not including the 2 hours prior to check in. Also, depending on which resort island you pick, there is additional travel time by ferry, speedboat or seaplane required.
If you seek a private island resort with unrivalled exclusiveness for your honeymoon but do not have or want to spend the time to go the distance, Nikoi Island is perfect for you. This private resort island gave similar feels to Maldives – the white sand beaches, clear blue waters, beautiful corals and even a wide variety of water sports! Yet this private island is only 50 miles from Singapore! You can step foot on the island in just a 2.5-hour ferry ride! Check-in will take you no longer than 1-hour prior to the ferry departure time, though buffer time is always preferred. And best of all, a vacation on Nikoi Island cost you just a fraction of the price.
2. Step into a tranquil and exclusive destination
Upon stepping foot on Nikoi Island, we were enthralled by how pristine the island was. The island had a peaceful laid-back vibe and was ringed white soft sand, blue waters and a peaceful atmosphere. The island is also blessed with a rainforest teeming with birds. Since only 50 people are allowed on the island at any time, we found ourselves entering a secluded island of peace and serenity, completely isolated from the city buzz. With so much space dedicated to few guests, you may even feel as though you rented the entire island for your honeymoon!
To share some background of how this island was founded, back in 2001, six ex-pats working in Singapore, after hearing word that an island off Bintan Island in the South China Sea was for sale, set off to explore it. Upon discovering Nikoi Island, they fell in love with its shell-strewn beaches, pristine reefs and virgin rainforest. It does not get more Robinson Crusoe than that!
They bought the island, intending to keep it for private retreats. It was in 2007 when they decided to share its beauty with tourists. On top of its beach houses, they added a restaurant, a bar, a pool and friendly staff. Since then, their rooms are usually fully booked 6 months in advance, with a 90% occupancy rate, even through the week!
p.s Nikoi Island only accepts bookings directly through their website.
3. Be one with nature with ‘Barefoot Luxury’
There is something special about Nikoi Island. We were on the island for just a short weekend, but it left us feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. We believe it is because the owners make it of utmost importance to preserve the natural beauty of the island, wanting its pristine beauty to be as untouched as possible.
Nikoi Island’s motto is ‘simple barefoot luxury‘. Everywhere around Nikoi Island is sand or wood flooring – even in the outdoor dining rooms. When in the resort, leave your slippers in the room and walk around the island like it is your home. Feel the powdery sand with your toes as your eyes capture beautiful sunset views and marvel at stunning white granite boulders along the beach.
“Beautiful sand beneath my feet. The blue Indian ocean everywhere. It feels like I am giving my soul and spirit a break, or a cleansing.” – Michael Huvane Review
4. Stay in spacious beach houses that can accommodate 2-6 people
Nikoi Island houses spacious 15 beach houses, big enough to accommodate 2 to 6 people! Their beach houses are handcrafted from driftwood with vernacular ‘alang alang’ grass roofs. The villa is built with an open concept, to maximize water views and catch the cooling sea breeze.
Privacy is guaranteed with all of the beach houses generously spaced out over 5 hectares. The remaining 10 hectares of the island is home to a tropical rainforest and is now preserved as a sanctuary. We stayed in a 2-storey beach house that was just metres away from the beach, and we woke up to glorious sea views every morning. I particularly enjoyed chilling out in the open-air lounge area where we could easily request for a drink!
The resort upholds a commitment to being eco-friendly. Do not expect the usual air-conditioning to fill your room up with cold air, but instead expect to be at one with nature’s breeze. (Do not worry, there are handmade electric fans that you can use!) The dreamy netting sure enhanced our romantic honeymoon experience.
4. Take delight in delicious food prepared by all-rounded chefs, using locally sourced and fresh products
When it comes to a great vacation, good food is an important component. At Nikoi Island, what awaits you is authentic local dishes that focus on using fresh, seasonal and local ingredients. In support of local communities, Nikoi Island buys almost 100% of supplies from local markets and small time traders. This also ensures that they obtain the freshest ingredients known to have been organically farmed.
Menus change on a day to day basis, making it almost impossible for us to not return here. Though not fine-dining, the resort served up tasty simple fare in generous portions. We loved their duck curry, Indonesian spring rolls and chocolate banana tart. You can choose to have your meal at the communal sand-floored restaurant at the beachfront clubhouse. If you are looking for more privacy, opt to have your meal in your villa, or take it up a notch with a picnic on the beach or even on a neighbouring desert island!
Complete your hearty meal with a must-order cocktail at the bar. We recommend for you to try Yogicolada, a creamy and fruity concoction made from fresh coconut cream which gave us a nice kick!
5. Be attended to with meticulous service
Though Nikoi Island strives to keeps things simple and close to nature, there is one thing that they do not fail to do without – attentive and meticulous service staff. From arranging your boat transfer to understanding your food preferences and catering for your daily activities, the service at Nikoi Island was impeccable and left me with smiles every day. From the very moment you step foot on this island, the friendly staff strive to make you feel right at home (which we very much did!).
The staff at Nikoi Island are very passionate and loyal to Nikoi Island, and take great pride in their work. Apart from taking care of their guests, they too take care of the island and its inhabitants. They carry out various projects like Marine Life and Turtle Research & Conservation.
7. Unwind with relaxing beachfront massages
When it comes to feeling pampered, nothing else comes close to a good spa and massage. At Nikoi Island, you can indulge in beachfront massages in your private sala, where your soundtrack is au-naturale. Hear the sounds of the waves as they swoosh against the shore, and relax over a traditional Balinese massage. The spa also provides other services like facials, body scrubs, manicures and pedicures.
8. Admire vast ocean views, wherever you are
At Nikoi Island, glistening sea views follow you everywhere you go. Whether you are on the balcony of your beach house or your bedroom, enjoy glorious water views from all angles. For couples like us who enjoy the spellbinding backdrop of the endless ocean, the ambience of Nikoi Island will most definitely capture your heart.
9. Occupy yourself with exciting water sports and activities
If staring at the mesmerising sea view is not enough for you, there are plenty of chances to get out there and have fun in it. On Nikoi Island, food is not the only order of the day. Get active with swimming, sailing, island hopping, windsurfing, diving, kayaking, fishing – you name it, you can do it. Other activities like beach volleyball, rock climbing, trekking and boules are available.
Keen bird lovers can inquire on where the best bird-watching spots on the island are – watch out for the white bellied eagle, bright yellow golden orioles and stork billed kingfishers! Otherwise, idle in the 2 swimming pools on the island. The pool bar and loungers overlooking the ocean are ideal spots for sundowners.
10. Take a romantic nature walk, comb the beach for seashells, and end the day with a cuddle around the bonfire
The perfect honeymoon itinerary at Nikoi Island looks something like this – Kickstart the morning with a romantic walk around the island. In the late afternoon, head out to the beach to pick seashells and watch the sunset. End the night with a cuddle around the bonfire under a blanket of stars.
Usually staying at a secluded and private resort island involves a gruelling flight and transfers. For Nikoi Island, the ease of taking a ferry and being chauffeured to our resort was a huge bonus. The best part of all was being able to enjoy an island in a natural, authentic and completely different way. I look forward to the day we return to this charming island!
This post was brought to you by Nikoi Island.
Majority of the images used in this article are credited to the property. Featured image and selected photos to Chloe Ting, as mentioned above. All opinions remain writer’s own. For more information, kindly refer to our copyright & disclosure policy.