Earlier this year we had family visiting and we wanted to break the trip up with a mini break. When you live in Singapore you’re really spoilt for choice with short breaks, especially the ones just a short ferry hop away. But after fishing around for offers we decided upon Montigo Resorts, Nongsa in Batam.
Now we strategically choose to arrive early, to maximise time out of Singapore. The Concierge will kindly hold all your baggage for you in a locked room, so you can sit by the pool with a cocktail or take a lazy lunch (official check-in time is 3pm).
It’s a bit confusing on the website but all the villas apart from the Garden Villas come with a plunge pool, a master bedroom and a twin room. They’re also equipped with a kitchenette, but no fridge, so you take your chances there. One of my favourite features was the roof top patio, but being holiday lazy, I wished they’d have set it out with all the cushions and chairs ready for you, then we may have used it more.
As the resort is on a hillside, they conveniently have a team of buggies working around the clock to ferry you around the resort, we waited no more than 15mins.
Food, well it’s easy for me as Indonesian is one of my favourite types of food, and you can eat really well at Montigo Resorts at lunch time; choosing the main restaurant or the bar. With not too many people in the restaurant either. But breakfast and dinner seem to be a different kettle of fish.
I have no idea where all the people came from, as during the day there was hardly anyone at the pools or around the resort, but they all certainly came to be fed. The food was reasonable at the buffet and catered to most needs, but the service to get drinks was disappointingly slow. It was lacking some ambiance too.
Tip: It’s worth pointing out that on any night (apart from Saturdays) you can get an in-villa BBQ service.
The pool and beaches; there are two resort pools, one of which is adult only and has an adjoining bar, but both over look the sea and are plenty big enough and well maintained. There is also a beach hut with a friendly attendant where you can pick up your pool towels. Over by the spa area there are a few loungers on the beach, but when we were there the water didn’t look so inviting, but it’s nice enough for a stroll and a bit of beach combing with the kids.
Spa, now this is the real reason to come to this resort, this is one of the best spa’s I’ve ever visited. From the bamboo flooring to the caring professional well trained staff, the sea views and more. Every inch of this spa was amazing. I can recommend the mother and daughter facials which are done in a family room. Meaning I could relax and keep an eye on my little lady. They really treated her like royalty, it’s such a treat.
Tip: Book ahead for your spa treatments to make sure you get what you’re after.
Kids Club – the kids hut reminds me of Robinson Crusoe type of hut. Set over two levels and it’s a dry area (so no bathers or wet kids). There are the cutest reading nooks, chill out areas and a ball pit to let off steam. Out front is a splash zone to cool off too.
Lastly I wanted to mention bugs, as we encountered some really big bugs during our stay. So make sure you plug in the bug repellent in your rooms at night, unfortunately there aren’t any mosquito nets over the beds but do take your bug spray too!
Tip: The plugs are type G plug points, 3-point pin plug.
The best route is the ferry ride from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal (Singapore) to Nongsapura Ferry Terminal (Nongsa) a leisurely 30 to 40 minutes journey time. The hotel offers complimentary pick up and drop off from this terminal. Now you may want to pray that it’s not raining or that they got a new bus, we got a bit wet on the return leg due to a leaking ceiling but it’s only a five minute journey so we enjoyed it as part of the adventure. You can find the ferry schedule here.
Tip: The porters will bring your bags up from the ferry, so be prepared for the small charge.
All in all it was nice to get away from Singapore for the night, the food was tasty, the pools and spa were great. Service and finishing touches in the villas could’ve been improved somewhat, especially for the price we paid. Or maybe they already have. As for things to do on Batam, there are a few golf courses near by and a mall 45mins drive away, but we weren’t there long enough to investigate further.