More about Nikoi Island
Perfect - relaxing, private, joyful place
Our weekend visit to Nikoi was the most outstanding holiday we're had in years. This place was beautiful, clean, relaxing, and had great, fresh food (We ate papayas that had grown on a tree near our villa!). The staff was very accomodating and helpful.
We loved our villa - they all face the sea and the sound of the sea at night is a lovely way to fall asleep. There were no bugs or animals in our villa - all very clean and nicely decorated. The decor is very natural and fits in well with the island.
I cannot say enough wonderful things about Nikoi - it's a special place and we're very grateful to have spent time there. I hope to go back soon! It is truly peaceful - only this small resort is on this island - no shops, other visitors, etc. Amazing! If you have ever dreamed of living on a private island...go to Nikoi, now!
I would say that anyone with severe problems walking/hip injuries might find the boat rides (both from Singapore to Bintan and then from bintan to Nikoi) difficult because getting on and off the boats in choppy water can be tricky. But this is just an aside, not a comment on Nikoi really.
The VIP treatment and visa processing at the ferry from Singapore was completely worth the extra money and Nikoi arranges the whole thing for you.
Very nice with a few problems
The first thing to mention is the VIP car/boat service was great. The only thing is that when coming back no one told us what to do. They just dropped us off at the ferry terminal. I went back to the VIP lounge and found out we could use it again. This was very nice as there are comfy chairs/sofa's and free drinks. Plus we didn't have to stand in line to get on the boat back to Singapore and we got to board first.
The water was rough on the way because we were going against the waves but better on the way back. This was for both the ferry and the boat from Bintan to Nikoi. Don't have a big breakfast before you leave. I was told it was because of the time of the season.
Nikoi island itself is very nice. There was a constant wind on our side of the island which meant we never once saw any mosquito's in our cabin the whole time. The only bites I got was when we went hiking in the interior part of the island and I forgot to put on repellent. There are hiking tracks throughout the island where you can see all sorts of fauna and creepy crawlers. We almost walked right into a HUGE spider's nest that was across the path. Saw it just in time. You can also walk completely around the island following the beach which turns into a lot of rocks and coral. The hotel provides free rubber shoes though to go walking around that were perfect and saved my life a few times probably since I thought I could get by on sandals alone!
The cabins are very clean and even included an iPod docking station to listen to music. (Though it will not charge your iPod) Free bottles of mineral water are included. We never ran out of hot water even though you are warned not to over use it because it's solar powered heat for each day. The bed is very comfortable.
The meals are fantastic and we were provided with plenty of food with each meal. Fresh juices came with breakfast. Only alcohol and soda are extra. I thought the cost of the meals for each person each day was a little high though. ($63 per person per day)
Everyone is very nice and accommodating. The young bartender (not Yogi) even made a neckless out of sea shells for my wife. He even opened up a coconut that we found on the ground that we brought over. (no charge)
They are building new cabins but we rarely heard any noise and none from our cabin. Interesting to note is that where these cabins were being built there was no wind and would be filled with bugs. Make sure where you are staying when they are done.
When we were walking the beach at night with the huge flashlight from the room, we came across the spot on the island where the wind stops and there were suddenly hundreds of bugs surrounding us, Needles to say we stepped back to the windy side.
Now the few problems:
As mentioned before, the cost of food for each day.
Even after indicating in e-mails to the resort about celebrating our 1st wedding anniversary, no mention was made and nothing was done when we arrived.. That fact was obviously not forwarded on.
It may seem like no big deal, but when you forget to bring a toothbrush, for $200 a night I expect one to be provided. They didn't even have any to sell.
There was also the previous mentioned drop-off at the ferry terminal.
Somehow the exchange rate came out 25.00 higher on my credit card than it should have been. (My card has no currency fee)
My BIGGEST pet peeve though? In the guide book in the room it mentions that tips are appreciated and are pooled together for the staff. Then why the heck did I pay a 10% service charge on EVERYTHING??!! Stuff like this REALLY bugs me.
They said it was because of the time of year, but the part were the swimming beach is, there is very little area in the water where there are not rocks and coral. (WOW was the water warm though) Not the resorts fault though. They said the beach becomes much larger with fewer rocks and coral in April because of the tide. It was dissaponting though that I could only walk out about 3 feet into the water from the beach.
All in all though a GREAT time and I would go back again, though not in January.
Finally we found an island which gives what was advertised in web pages. Nikoi is truely an paradise if you are seeking for quiet island where you can be by yourself without louds of tourist around you, but still you get all service you want.
We visited first one of the resorts on Bintan island which was ok, but after arriving to Nikoi we were hoping that we would have skipped Bintan and spent more time on Nikoi. Next time we know better and have longer stay on Nikoi.
I give my thanks to person who designed the cabins because they are really something special and they have all you need. After sleeping in Nikoi cabin, normal hotel rooms feel quite boaring.
Dining was arranged in very nice way. You just tell when you want to have your lunch and dinner and everything is ready when you arrive. They had one menu, but if you wanted to have something else, it was arranged. Food was excellent. I would have never believed that squid salad would be so good! They had also nice selection of Australian wines which was perfect for us since we love Australian wines.
We spend our days by walking around island. You can walk on white beaches, walk in forest and climb up to hill or you can walk on reef during low tide. You can see lots of interesting small animals, corals and shells on reef. And when we got tired of walking, we went to beach bar to enjoys class of fresh pineapple juice or cold beer. This is want we call a very relaxing holiday!
If you want to spend few days just to relax, Nikoi is perfect place to go and enjoy. For us it was really the 5 star place.
Perfect place for us
We just returned from a 4 night stay in Nikoi and can't recommend it enough. We were travelling with our 18 month old daughter and the staff couldn't have been more friendly and wonderful with her. It is the perfect place for people like us - we used to enjoy backpacking and staying in beach huts but that becomes more difficult when you have a family. It is a wonderful place where you still feeling like you are 'living on the beach' but with comforts of a great swimming pool, food and amazing staff. I don't want to rave about it too much as it would be nice to think it will still be the same in a few years time.
Finally a special place to escape from Singapore
My wife and I spent 2 nights on Nikoi and found it the most relaxing and charming place we have stayed at for years. The transfer from the Bintan Ferry was quite comfortable. The island is amazing we enjoyed the seclusion but with the amenities of home (wine, movies on a big screen). The service and facilities were first class, the food was delicious (no skimping here we had to ask for less for fear of getting fat!) the service was friendly but unobtusive (with only 12 villas you feel like an honoured guest). We loved our villa as it felt like a real island getaway (no TV = no distractions / No aircon = gentle breezes and the sound of the waves) The downstairs area in our villa was the perfect place to spend a lazy day reading a good book. There are great little touches all over the island that make Nikoi a unique experience. Trust me when I say "You won't want to leave!!!".
Nikoi certainly restored my faith in Bintan, the only place to retreat from Singapore without having to fly!!
We have just returned from a two week stay on Nikoi and couldnt have wished for a better holiday.
The island and bungalows are beautiful and were better than we expected. The staff were utterly wonderful, particularly Yogi and the triplets, and all the restaurant staff. In fact everyone we came across were ultra friendly but not in a trained horrible corporate way. I know they were worried about us potentially being bored for 2 weeks but it was so relaxing and with Yogi and others looking after our 21 month old daughter we couldn't have had a better time. We were so lazy that we didn't even walk around the island, although we did do some diving and took a couple of trips to other islands so we don't feel too bad about that.
Evenings were easily whiled away at the beach bar with Yogi and 'the triplets' drinking Ti-pans but, a word of warning, if you see an American lurking and he asks you to play Paso I suggest you politely decline. Trust me - he's a pro! (Sorry Peter!)
The food is fab and massages were brilliant. The fresh water pools made a lovely change from the sea and were great for teaching our daughter to swim in whilst drinking a pina colada or two. Not sure if that's very responsible though!
We tend to have a rule not to return to the same place twice but we will definitely be breaking the rule for a return to Nikoi (later this year probably - provided Yogi is still there).
If you need all mod cons like internet, cable/tv etc this may not be the place for you but if you are after a classic island paradise with everything you really need then you will love it. It was well worth flying from the UK for.
Paradise, made even more magical by the superb staff.
We spent 10 days on Nikoi in March, and cannot really add much to what others have said. For pure relaxation it cannot be beaten. The beach-houses are spacious and comfortable, the food fantastic and snorkelling off the beach is excellent on the coral reef.
But most of all, every single member of the staff go out of their way to make a holiday on Nikoi absolutely magical. Yogi, of course, but also the "3 Kings" behind the bars - triplets Baltazar, Gaspar and Melkior.
In the dining room, Yosep, Puji, Nawawi and the rest of the staff ensured that every meal was exactly as we wanted it.
The scenery and wildlife make the island a photographers paradise, and we were very fortunate to see a nest of turtles hatch.
Sincere thanks to Peter, Naz and all your staff. We hope to return in the not-too-distant future.
reminded me of lost paradise
Stayed only 2 days at nikoi but it was quite an unforgettable experience! The meals were excellent and the weather was beautiful. The staff was friendly and we felt like we had the island to ourselves. After living in the city for so long, I had forgotten how stars at night looked like. However, I had to get use to having no lock on the doors, no television or telephone and bathing with hot water by solar power. Overall, it was a wonderful retreat and as close to nature as you can get.
A truly amazing gem
Simply sensational on all counts, the staff were exceptional, friendly, attentive, the location was beautiful, remote, unspoilt. Everything is extremely simple but tastefully done, the transfers are wonderfully handled, the food is simple but amazing, and there is so much of it you will not go hungry. For what you get, it is a complete bargain to boot. I'm sure we'll go again and I know our friends will go now too after seeing the pictures and hearing the stories.
Idyllic. One word sums up Nikoi Island.
The best place we have been in our 4 years in Asia. Robinson Crusoe would be amazed by the wooden two storey houses with sea lapping gently at their feet, and by the communities of Clown fish living just yards offshore in an expansive coral reef. Food is great hospitality even better and the range of rums available extensive. For the chidren there is Yogi, barman and entertainer with two "pet" spiders and a line in bamboo paper pellet "pop guns" and palm leaf foghorns and so the adults can enjoy dinner, and a few cocktails in peace a nightly big screen film. Relaxation comes naturally.