When I mentioned to my friends in Singapore that I was going to Batam, Indonesia I was met with scowls, wrinkled noses, and the proverbial, “Why!?” However, when I explained that I would be staying at a 5 star resort in Nongsa, most of them said, “Where?”
Nongsa Batam, Indonesia is a short 35-minute, $10.00 ferry ride from Singapore and a part of Batam, Indonesia that I think is extremely underrated. I chose to visit because I’d been working with some people who insisted that I try one of the resorts in the area. I’m always up for an adventure so I booked my stay, packed my travel/blogger bags, and headed for the ferry terminal ready to escape and relax at Montigo Resorts Nongsa.
The commuter ferry was a bit packed so I sat in an outside seat. The sun was shining, the ocean calm, and the company friendly; I settled down for the short trip. Before I knew it we were bumping into the dock and people where scrambling to get off. Taking my time (I hate getting stuck in crowds and can never understand what the hurry is to cram out the door at the same time) I meandered off the ferry and into the terminal.
Quickly scanning the hand held signs of names, I found my smiling driver and we headed for the private car waiting for me.
I was told that the ride was a very short one and almost as soon as I buckled my seat belt we pulled up to reception and half a dozen grinning people, a welcome drink, and a gong announcing my arrival. Short ride was an understatement.
The check-in process was smooth and the staff extremely polite. I was given a general overview of the resort and then swiftly driven by buggy to my ocean front villa.
Immediately upon walking in I was very impressed. The villa was massive and came complete with a kitchen (not that I had any intention of cooking my own food, but it was nice to have it just in case).
The rooftop sitting area is perfect for a suite BBQ and with the panoramic views of the South China Sea, it makes for a great family celebration. I found it a nice place to catch up on some reading and enjoy the ocean breezes.
The private plunge pool was one of my favorite features. It was great for cooling off and I spent each day lounging by it, working on my tan, and even getting some work in. The views from the verandah were beautiful and, as the day was clear, I could see the famous skyline of Singapore.
In the evenings the master suite was a refuge all on its own. I’m a troubled sleeper, and as much as I travel I find it hard sometimes to get a restful night. But the soft linens of the king sized bed in my villa were to die for and I looked forward to sinking into them and very much enjoyed the peaceful sleep I had every night.
The in-suite bathroom with its rain shower head and massive tub offered an additional escape, since the resort provides complimentary soaps and bath salts, there’s no excuse not to take a soak.
Part of a fantastic holiday is the food and I was never disappointed. In the mornings the extensive breakfast buffet at Tadd’s was impressive. It offered a wide variety of local and Western dishes. I ended up stuffing myself silly and never needed to eat lunch.
Dinner was a gastronomic adventure. On my first night I enjoyed amazing Chinese cuisine at Pantai. They present wonderful Asian dishes freshly prepared to order. Definitely try the Deep Fried Crispy Cuttlefish it was exquisite!
I love to indulge myself with in-room dining so of course I ordered a lion’s share during my visit. Not every resort can do room service right, but Montigo Resorts has it down pat. I enjoyed a delicious local meal poolside and was rewarded with an breathtaking sunset. Left me wondering if the staff had anything to do with that as well!
As Tadd’s in an all day dining option, I headed there to experience a dinner meal. They serve both local and international dishes making it hard to try just one. The chef was exceptional and I had to tell him how impressed I was with his skills. The food a visitor has while on vacation can make or break the experience and Executive Chef Tonny Lawrence helped make my visit an exceptional one.
The resort also has a pretty exciting beach club. Tiigo is a perfect place to unwind and enjoy cocktails, music, and bar bites. The loungers and cabanas are comfortable and the pool tables make it a great place to meet new friends.
Montigo Resorts is set up to offer couples, families, and solo travelers alike with a plethora of activities for any taste. It has an elaborate children’s center and provides onsite childcare to parents who want some downtime. They also have a fantastic vintage car that they give guests tours in. (To see more photos from my stay click here)
I’d been aching to spoil myself with a spa service so I jumped on a buggy and headed to the resort’s onsite facility. Montigo Spa has an extensive menu and expert masseurs, in individual bamboo spa villas, perform each treatment. I spent a beautiful hour at the hands of not one but two massage experts receiving a signature treatment called Dua-puluh Jari, translated to 20-finger massage. It was one of the most relaxing, rejuvenating experiences of my life! The unique encounter is something I’d recommend to anyone.
Montigo Spa offers an amazing Day Spa Package that includes one 90-minute and one 60-minute spa service, return ferry tickets, lunch, use of the spa pool and Jacuzzi, and pickup/drop off service. At the time of my visit it was $250.00 SG.
All too soon it was time for me to head back to the craziness that is my life. Why is it that the time waiting for a trip to begin seems to take forever but once you’re at your destination time flies by in warp speed? Anyway, I gathered my thing and reluctantly said goodbye to Montigo Resorts Nongsa and her wonderful staff.
For me the basis of a good travel experience is the service you receive from it’s employees. I can immediately get a sense of how well a hotel or resort is run by the interactions you have with each employee, not just the people working the reception desk. The team members at Montigo Resorts are courteous, eager to please, and exceptionally accommodating. Small gestures like turn down treats delivered to your room each night, complimentary buggy service, and free DVD rentals is what makes all the difference.
I would highly recommend a visit to the resort, I know I’ll return soon. It’s a perfect vacation for family getaways, girl’s escapes, golf trips, and romantic retreats. With its close proximity to Singapore, running away from the city is easy and affordable.
To contact the resort for more information or to book a stay:
Jl. Hang Lekir Nongsa
Telephone: +62 778 776 8888