Since our previous private island exploration, we have pretty much fallen in love with the concept of having an entire island all to yourself (and few guests), Robinson Crusoe style. A guest-only resort ensures peace, quiet and exclusivity, allowing for you to experience a true island escape. The archipelago of Indonesia is full of tropical paradises waiting for our discovery. In this issue, we seek out Pulau Joyo – a gem in The Riau Islands of Indonesia that aims to spoil guests with its barefoot luxury, pristine beaches and delicious dining. The beauty of all is, it is only 2.5 hours away from busy Singapore.
Blessed with white sandy beaches and turquoise waters, this island treasure offers couples an ideal wedding and honeymoon destination accompanied by comfortable beachside accommodation, fabulous food and fun things to do. Famous for their sunsets and serenity, Pulau Joyo presents an idyllic spot for your relaxation needs. Read more to discover what’s in store for you.
Explore Pulau Joyo, the Robinson Crusoe island for your wedding & honeymoon
1. Rent the entire island for your romantic beachside wedding
Couples who are seeking a beachside wedding will be thrilled to know that Pulau Joyo offers whole island rental for such special occasions. Not only are you able to romantically exchange your vows by the white beach and blue ocean, you do not have to worry about being disturbed by others on the very same island. Feel exclusive and special with the whole island at your disposal. A whole island rental starts from S$4,600 and can accommodate up to 45 people in the beach palaces and the 2 balé houses for larger parties. Check out rates and details here.
After exchanging your vows, you can choose to host your reception by the beach. Alternatively, there are several areas within the resort, both outdoor and sheltered that you can choose to have it. You can even request for fireworks for your celebration, and packages start at an affordable rate of S$150. What you thought was only for the rich and famous, is now made available to you as well!
2. Relax in spacious beach palaces
The private island of Pulau Joyo is home to 4 Beach Palaces, 2 Java Palaces and 1 Driftwood Palace.
Each of the beach palaces is constructed lovingly from driftwood salvaged from the sea. That being said, each beach palace is sturdy and instantly transports you into a space of serenity, peace, and tranquillity. Beautifully furnished, we felt close to nature at all times during our stay, thanks to the wood beams and parquet flooring. The beach palace enjoyed an open-floor layout that catches the island breeze and allowed us to peer out into the nice scenery of lush greenery, beach, and ocean at any time of the day. How refreshing! During our stay, we indulged in spacious living quarters and a sea-view terrace that came complete with sun-loungers and sofas, perfect for afternoon leisure. Take a live tour of the beach palace below.
The Java Palaces – Java Rembang and Java Juwana, are traditional Java joglos which have been dismantled and re-assembled on the island. Furnished with a Javanese style, they come with an ensuite bathroom and shower and open straight onto your private beach. Lastly, the Driftwood Palace is styled to be a more affordable option for cozy, rustic vacations. It features one King sized bed and a Balinese day-bed, and a private detached bathroom.
For extra guests or help, you can accommodate them at the 2 small balé houses by the 25-metre pool, granting easy access to a dip anytime during the day.
3. Eat, sleep, repeat
Despite there being tons of things to do on the island, my top favourite has to be just chilling out, tucking into delicious meals, and slumber in the beach palace. In short, eat, sleep, repeat.
Included in your stay is 3 meals a day, and we were pleased to see generous portions with a variety of side dishes to choose from. Best of all, you can choose to dine at whatever time and place please you. The kitchen normally serves up Western and Indonesian delights, which include freshly grilled or barbecue seafood and scrumptious meat curries. Side dishes such as garden salads and the island’s favourite, grilled aubergine is great to keep a balanced diet. We loved it when satay sticks and tofu kebabs hit the menu. Desserts are also aplenty and feature almond cake, mango sticky rice, homemade cakes and refreshing fresh fruit.
In between your meals, you can also opt for a relaxing massage to unwind on their newly built massage hut by the sea or right in your very own villa.
After a great meal, take a romantic walk down by the beach before returning to your ‘palace’ for a restful slumber and be accompanied by soothing sounds of the waves lightly crashing into the sandy shore.
Do note that the island does not have a shop on the island, but you are welcome to bring your own little extras!
4. Indulge in private moments for unforgettable memories
At Pulau Joyo, the resort staff endeavours to make your wedding and honeymoon an unforgettable memory. Mark the special occasion with a private dinner at the beach under the starry night sky.
After dinner, enjoy cuddling at the bonfire, and roast marshmallows (bring your own) till late into the night. Be accompanied by stars that light up the night sky. Soak in the tranquillity and enjoy each others’ company.
5. Get active
Though you are secluded away in a serene part of the world, there are many activities to keep you occupied on Pulau Joyo itself. Water activities such as kayaking and snorkelling are our favourites. Enjoy free usage of snorkelling gear for you to explore the untouched reefs. There is a mandated ‘no fish zone’ 400 metres from the reef drop off, which ensures that the marine life around the island is well preserved.
The best spot to explore the underwater marine life is at the Eastern tip of the island. For beautiful corals, head to the South. Many other activities such as table tennis, billiards, beach volleyball, fishing, board games await you on this island. For couples in search of that ideal beach wedding or honeymoon, Pulau Joyo, famous for its sunsets and serenity, is the place to be.
How to get there:
Private islands usually are not easy to get to, but that’s part of the thrill factor of visiting a remote beach paradise. Take a 1-hour ferry ride from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal in Singapore to the port of Bintan Resorts locally named Bandar Bintan Telani (BBT). Here, Pulau Joyo representatives will escort you to a vehicle for a 1-hour 20-minute drive across Bintan Island to their private jetty. Board a small speedboat on the eastern coast for a 20-minute ride to Pulau Joyo. Click here for more details.
Pulau Joyo, Riau Islands, Indonesia
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