This article contains affiliate links. This article was first published in October 2015 and has been updated several times, last one in March 2018.
Singaporeans and expats love a good weekend getaway to one of the great islands near Singapore. We all look for opportunities to escape. Despite being an island and indeed having a long coast line, Singapore is not a beach destination per se so when we want to go on a beach vacation we look for the beach resorts in the nearby islands of Malaysia or Indonesia.
Lucky us, you can get to a lot of islands near Singapore by ferry so you don’t even need to go to the airport for that quick getaway to a beach resort to soak in the warm weather in a place that feels hours away from the urban maze.
Let’s look at the closest Malaysian and Indonesian islands to Singapore.
- Islands near Singapore
- Best beach resorts in Batam
- Best island resort off Batam – Telunas Resort
- Best beach resorts in Bintan island
- 1. Aarya Villa – Best romantic getaway near Singapore for privacy
- 2. Banyan Tree Bintan – Best luxury resort in Bintan for overwater views
- 3. Angsana Bintan for active family fun
- 4. The Sanchaya – For a refined luxury Resort on Bintan
- 4. The Residence Bintan by Cenizaro – For a sophisticated stay on Bintan
- Best beach resorts off Bintan island
Islands near Singapore
The closest islands to Singapore are the Southern islands. These islands are still part of Singapore territory so there is no passport control, you just jump on the ferry and get there within 20min. There are some basic accommodation options on those islands but there is not that much to do so they tend to be day trips rather than weekend getaways from Singapore.
After the Southern Islands, the closest group of islands to Singapore are in Batam. The nearest point in Batam is Nongsapura, a mere 30min ferry ride away.
After Batam, Bintan is the next short getaway from Singapore and can be reached by a 90min ferry ride. The area around Bintan Lagoon and Lagoi has been slated as tourism development project and there are many resorts to choose from and new ones opening every year.
There are also a few smaller private islands near Singapore which can be reached from both Bintan or Batam and where there are resorts like Cempedak, Nikoi or Pulau Joyo. These tend to be much smaller and reached via small boat rides from piers on Batam or Bintan.
If you have already been to Bintan and Batam many times, Malaysia has a few island options near Singapore which are typically reached from Mersing pier, about an hour drive away from the border with Singapore. All these Malaysian islands tend to welcome visitors from Singapore more than from Kuala Lumpur due to their location and the fact that the nearest airport is still Changi and the drive from KL is quite long.
This article is a list of the best beach and island resorts in Bintan and Batam for a weekend getaway or a short trip near Singapore. They can all be reached by ferry except for one, which requires you to fly on a private sea plane (!!) so you don’t need to book flights ahead of time or waste your time at airports.
Best beach resorts in Batam
1. Montigo Bay – Best resort in Batam for multi-generational family vacations
Montigo resort is a large beach resort in Batam with a dual shared ownership option and a resort. The rooms are some of the most spacious you will find in Batam or Bintan and the best value for money resort near Singapore.
The resort is large and right on the beach spread along several paths on the mountain side with accommodation ranging from one bedroom Premier Villas to two-bedroom Hilltop, Hillside, Sea Front and Spa Villas, Premier three- and four-bedroom villas and the huge Premier five-bedroom villa. Each villa has its own pool and kitchenette and you can book an in-villa BBQ every night but Saturdays.
There is a well-equipped gym, two pools (one adults only), two restaurants and a pool bar with a real tiki feel with cabanas and sea view. The common areas of the resort are spacious and white-washed giving it a real sense of vacation. Check out the bamboo tunnel leading to the hilltop villas.
The spa opened in 2017 and it is located on the beach and housed on several Javanese huts. It holds a real appeal and is a good reason for a couple’s getaway, even if you don’t have kids, as the hotel’s facilities are all separate so you can still have a lovely romantic getaway near Singapore and not feel like you are in a family resort.
Why is Montigo Resort the best family resort in Batam?
Having stayed at all the resorts mentioned in this list, Montigo Resort is the one with the most facilities to cater to children and it is also a great choice when you want to have a multi-generational holiday with all ages from babies to grandparents. Here’s why.
The villas are large and can provide space to parents used to small spaces in Singapore. The Tilo kid’s club is a great way to keep children happy and comes with a playground and play room with lots of games and even an X-Box and Play Station. Mentors are in hand to make sure the parents have a holiday too. For older children there are many water sports and activities (wake boarding, jet skiing, kayaking, snorkeling), paintball, golf and karaoke.
Want more child-friendly facilities? Montigo Resorts has a separate pool for children where you will be sure not to bother couples seeking relaxation and peace and the small kitchenette is helpful to prepare babies’ food.
As the villas come in all sizes and can accommodate up to 10 adults, they are well-suited for any family size where grandparents can stay close to their grandchildren and everyone can have a vacation tailored to their interests, from golf to pool to activities to the spa.
Montigo Resort is also a great place for a corporate retreat, especially since their mid-week rates are very affordable. There are meeting rooms ready to be booked and plenty of team building activities in the resort. I stayed at Montigo Resort as part of a company offsite and we went fishing, something easy and which anyone can do.
2. Turi Beach Resort
If what you are truly after is a beach resort near Singapore in Batam, Turi Beach is your best bet as it has the nicest beach of all the Batam resorts and the clearest waters, especially given you are just 11km from Singapore. Do not expect a wide beach though, the sand gets regularly taken away by the current but there is still a good stretch of it and the waters tend to be very clean. If you wanted an island near Singapore with a great beach resort at very affordable prices, this is probably the closest and most convenient option.
There are 140 rooms at Turi Beach divided into two wings, one more Balinese inspired and modern and the other more traditional Indonesian with more teak wood.
There are three restaurants serving Indonesian local food, Japanese teppanyaki and all-day dining options as well as four bars including one with a jetty extending into the sea.
If you are not so keen on the beach, there are two pools, one with an overflowing infinity edge and the other one with a freeform shape and a swim up bar. The green grass surrounding both makes for a great place to relax and sunbathe.
Turi Beach may not be the flashiest most amazing resort and their website could do with a complete rehaul too, but for value for money, it is hard to beat. Rates here start at $150 per night for a weekend stay and go much lower for mid-week getaways.
3. Tempat Senang
Tempat Senang is undoubtedly the best spa resort on Batam. It was opened almost a decade ago by an American lady who moved to the island and built a Balinese inspired resort with themed rooms representing the great cultures.
Each of the rooms at Tempat Senang is unique. You can stay in an Indonesian Joglo or an Abu Dhabi Harem. There is a tree house with a tree growing through the room. The focus here is the spa which is usually booked with the room rate in chunks of half or full days. You can then pick from the vast array of one hour treatment options available in the menu from facials to pedicures and everything in between. The treatments are often enjoyed in the open to the sound of the flowing fountain and the therapists are wonderful. There are two small swimming pools in the resort, one in the sun and one in the shade.
There is not much to do nearby unless you take a car and go on a tour or like to play golf as there is a course right in front so you will most likely eat in, enjoy the local Indonesian meals the team prepares, and simply relax. This is a getaway best enjoyed with your significant other of a group of friends.
Internet is spotty so bring a book and good conversation. If you wanted a digital detox, this is your best bet.
I stayed at Tempat Senang with two girlfriends on a spa weekend getaway and it was a great way to spend time together, talk, eat and come back full relaxed after two half days at the spa. See the review here.
Best island resort off Batam – Telunas Resort
Telunas has seen a massive revival in the last few years. From a traditional overwater bungalow resort catering to school trips and educational adventures to luxury overwater villa resort, Telunas Beach has definitively upped their ante.
The resort is made of two parts, Telunas Private Island and Telunas Beach Resort. While the original part is the beach resort, the new overwater villas are on the Private island. Both resorts are on different islands facing each other so guests don’t mingle. The private island is on its own small island of the same same whereas the beach resort is on Pulau Sugi, an island off the south west coast of Batam.
Which one of the right for you? The beach resort looks like the traditional overwater fishing villages that you can find across Indonesia and Thailand. It is made of recycled wood and it is simpler in design and luxury level. It is also a more affordable option, especially for groups and families. There are the same activities as in the private island but there is no pool and no spa.
Telunas Private Island is one of the few private islands near Singapore you can book entirely or on a room basis. The rooms are two storey with the living room on the ground floor and the bedroom upstairs. Children’s rooms are in the attic. The villas are all over water and come with balconies and direct water access. The main area features a restaurant and a pool and there is a separate overwater spa. Although rooms do have children bedrooms, the private island is targeted at couples.
Once on Telunas you can enjoy the many water sports or even go on nature trails in the thick jungles of Pulau Sugi. As opposed to other islands near Singapore mentioned in this list, Telunas is surrounded by mangroves and pure nature so you don’t have to limit yourself to the water worlds.
Telunas operates like all the the other private islands near Singapore and charges full board at around SGD90 per person per day and the same amount for transportation from Sekupang ferry terminal. Bookings need to be for a minimum of two nights. A weekend stay for two adds up to SGD1,400 for the two nights which is quite a hefty price.
Best beach resorts in Bintan island
1. Aarya Villa – Best romantic getaway near Singapore for privacy
Aarya Villa is a boutique group of villas with all the services of a hotel and the romance of your own private space. Enjoy breakfast with views over your peaceful slice of beach haven in on of the most romantic resorts for couple near Singapore. Scoot around the property on your own buggy and feel as if you are on your own private island getaway in one of the most largest yet cosiest properties in Bintan.
Most villas measure over 300 sqm and come with fabulous sea views for that perfect short romanic getaway. Look out for dolphins from the main infinity pool as you sip on a cocktail. This is one of Bintan’s best kept secret resort.
2. Banyan Tree Bintan – Best luxury resort in Bintan for overwater views
Banyan Tree is one of the top resorts on Bintan and a place which I love. Their overwater pool villas right by the water’s edge are a treat and one of the few options on Bintan to be spoiled rotten as a couple. Their beach dinner setup for couples is exquisitely decadent and the entire resort is the most romantic getaway near Singapore and it is sure to make you fall in love again.
Every villa at the Banyan Tree Bintan has its own pool and the villas are spread out in a large property so you are unlikely to see many other guests except for maybe at the restaurant or at the pool if you decide to be social.
To truly be pampered, make sure to book a treatment at the well-known spa, one of Banyan Tree’s best strengths. Set aside on top of the hill with the best views over the sea and the golf course nearby, the spa is a fabulous addition to the resort.
If you want to be active, there are lots of activities on the beach or in the many activity provides companies nearby. The good thing about Banyan Tree Bintan location is that while being secluded, it is also right on the edge of Bintan’s largest beach so you are only a stone throw’s away from anything that you may want to do on Bintan, from quad bikes on the beach to light aircraft tours. You can also use the facilities at the sister property Angsana which is adjacent.
As romantic weekend getaways from Singapore goes, Banyan Tree Bintan is up there with the best options.
3. Angsana Bintan for active family fun
Sister Property to Banyan Tree, Angsana’s easy family vacations are also available in Bintan. The resort is geared towards families rather than couples so it is the perfect family resort near Singapore. It is also right on Bintan’s largest beach and has a large pool, so the choices for splashing off after a hot day are numerous.
As the Angsana is sister properties with Banyan Tree, you can also dine at their restaurants although you cannot use their facilities. Banyan Tree guests can peruse all of Angsana’s facilities.
The resort is catered well for families including a host of free and paid for options and excursions and a long stretch of beach right in front. Because of its size, it is also a good option for mid-week corporate retreats as the resort can accommodate larger groups.
This is probably the easiest *real* beach getaway in Bintan. I say this because here you can truly enjoy the beach life. A lot of the other resorts on this list are on the beach and have sea views but not a lot of them have a real stretch of white sand beach where you can sunbathe under the sun, sand between your feet. Angsana Resort BintanIt is as chilled a resort it can get with all the amenities and service level of an internationally acclaimed brand.
4. The Sanchaya – For a refined luxury Resort on Bintan
Opulent luxury rather than barefoot escape, The Sanchaya is sublime sophistication, an exquisite getaway you didn’t know existed and the high end weekend getaway from Singapore you always wanted.
Step into the colonial estate of this near perfect TripAdvisor rating and prepare to be treated like royalty. Regal service does not come cheap and the hotel knows how to set itself far away from the rest but for the best romantic luxury getaway in Batam, The Sanchaya promises to blow you and your budget away.
Forbes says that “There’s a particularly lucky spot upon The Sanchaya’s private beachfront reminiscent of the powder white sands at The Maldives, popular for wedding proposals” and this is why The Sanchaya remains one of the least known resorts on Bintan. It is secluded, despite being right in the middle of it all, and it is unknown, for it is not for everyone but only for the most discerning. Is it Bintan’s best kept secret?
Inside, find 29 rooms in a beachfront estate designed with strong colonial looks of black and white. You are forgiven for forgetting you are just on Bintan for you could be in glamorous South Beach of even in Copacabana. Best of all, you will be at hotel in less than an hour from departing from the ferry terminal.
4. The Residence Bintan by Cenizaro – For a sophisticated stay on Bintan
The latest luxury hotel to open on Bintan is The Residence Bintan by luxury hotel brand Cenizaro. The resort is on the beach, with pool beach and garden villas coming with privacy and style. As a newly opened resort, it has brought a much needed breath of fresh air and sophistication to a destination that can sometimes feel a bit dated.
The Residence Bintan offers a variety of dining options from in-villa dining to beach BBQ, Indonesian flavours, fine dining and a beach pool-side bar with great views and drinks.
The Residence offers a kids club, several water activities and a full fledged spa to pamper you away. As it is separate from the rest of the resorts on Bintan, you have a feeling of seclusion and the infinity pool over the beach takes you very far away.
Pick from an array of villas from the flagship Estate Villa that leads onto the beach and has a sunk pool to the garden villas that are tucked into the jungle.
Rates start at SGD280 per night for a sophisticated mid-week getaway in Bintan.
Continue reading about the best beach resorts off Bintan Island below…
Best beach resorts off Bintan island
1. Nikoi – Best island resort in Bintan for couples with kids
Nikoi is a barefoot luxury beach resort near Singapore powered by the sea breeze and made up of open plan duplex sea-facing villas on their own private island. Forget phones, air conditioning, engine noise and crowds, Nikoi is designed for those looking for a Robinson Crusoe experience in chic surroundings for the whole family.
The resort is located on its own private island, an island that can only be reached from the island of Bintan which is in turn only reachable by ferry from the island of Singapore. It does sound like a lot of island hopping to get there but it is in fact quite easy and organised directly by the resort after booking. Expect the journey door to door from Singapore Tanah Merah to Nikoi to take a bit less than 3h.
Nikoi was one of the pioneer island resorts in Bintan. As such it has evolved and grown up since opening to become the choice for families looking for a convenient beach resort near Singapore. As families took over the property, it became less appealing to couples looking for a romantic getaway near Singapore so the owners opened a sister property called Cempedak which only caters to couples.
Nikoi has a set menu for lunch and dinner with a couple of options and if you don’t like what’s on offer for the day they can adapt the recipe to your needs. There is nowhere else to eat so the SGD90 per person for breakfast, lunch and dinner is to be added on top of the room rate. Nikoi’s menus also cater to children as that is their specialty.
On the island there is a small stretch of beach, a pool and a tennis court. All sorts of water activities can be arranged as that is their forte. The island is pretty small so you will probably not what to spend a very long time there unless you are looking to fully unwind. The concept is being one with nature and back to basics. Expect bamboo structures and sand between your toes.
Rooms at Nikoi start at SGD$450 per night and you need to add the mandatory SGD90 per person per day for full board and SGD90 for transportation. Read my review of Nikoi here.
2. Pulau Joyo – For the best Robinson Crusoe experience near Singapore
Pulau Joyo is the sister property of Pulau Pangkil and it was built both as a private island that you can book as a whole or as a villa you can book individually. For an island so close to Singapore, Pulau Joyo is remarkably remote and hard to reach. It is a ferry, car and boat ride away from the hassle of the city and it has one of the nicest beaches near Singapore, especially on its sandbank at high tide when the waters are just pristine.
Pulau Joyo operates on the same an all inclusive format as Nikoi, Cempedak or Pangkil, so you will be provided delicious Indonesian fare at every meal. Food is served either by the pool under the shade of frangipani trees, or in the bale/hut that is by the pool in case it rains or you just want to be under cover. All the food is prepared in-house by the local team and usually features authentic Indonesian dishes. International options are also available.
The beach at Pulau Joyo is delightful but so is the pool at the center of the island. Spend the evenings relaxing on one of the comfy sofas by the lounge area or in your villa. Pulau Joyo is quite similar to Nikoi but less well known and much smaller. As such, it can easily be rented out a a whole for a group of friends of maximum 25 people.
I visited Pulau Joyo for a small wedding gathering by a friend of mine and we were a total of 25 guests spread over the several villas. Each of the villas in Pulau Joyo is different and, although designed for a couple, they also have several day beds which can be converted into proper beds for families or groups of friends looking to share. This means you can have a real tropical island getaway near Singapore for a very affordable rate.
While in Joyo, you can enjoy the water sports and activities or simply sunbathe. The resort has an honesty bar so you can mix your own drinks but you can also bring your own at no extra charge. As you are very far from civilisation, Pulau Joyo has some of the clearest nights you will find near Singapore so it is a great spot for star gazing.
You can book a Beach & Java Palaces at US$295 per adult per night, the Driftwood Palace at US$235 per adult per night, or the entire island for up to 12 adults at US$3,380 per night. There is a mandatory SGD90 per person per day for full board.
3. Bawah Reserve – The most luxurious resort near Singapore
Bawah Island is the closest island to Singapore that is truly worthy of honeymoon dreams. You no longer need to fly to the Maldives or the remote parts of Indonesia to access a world of barefoot luxury. Bawah Reserve opened in 2017 with just 35 villas, 11 of which are over water and the rest on the beach. As opposed to the Maldives, Bawah reserve is not just an island but six, spread over a small area and surrounding three lagoons with the most beautiful clear waters.
The island can be reached on an amphibious land and sea plan which lands on the water at the end of the pier on Bawah after an 80min flight from Batam airport and it promises to be the newest most luxurious resort near Singapore and possibly in Asia (will it dethrone Nihi Sumba – The Best Hotel in the World?).
Bawah has a lot to offer from diving and snorkelling to hiking the trails of the main island, kayaking to natural mangroves, exploring all the islands in the group by boat, taking a cooking lesson to learn to make the incredibly delicious and creative dishes th Indonesian-Honduran chef prepares or simply relaxing on your private overwater villa. I spent 4 days and could have easily spent a week without getting bored.
There are two restaurants and three bars on Bawah Reserve and perhaps the best resort cuisine I have ever enjoyed. I did not see a menu until the last lunch as the chef came at every meal to talk about what we felt like and prepared something unique to our exact taste. Every single dish was exceptional and exclusively prepared to us. Ardian managed to blend Indonesian flavours with an international touch making them lighter and less greasy and bringing in techniques from Latin America, Europe and other parts of Asia like Japan.
There is also a water sports center to organise anything you have in mind, and a spa ready to offer meditation, yoga or any treatment.
See my full review here.
Room rate packages start from USD$1750 for the Garden Suite and are all inclusive, that is, you will not pay for anything else on top other than the alcoholic drinks. All excursions and unlimited spa treatments are part of the package price. Although I thought the price was high a priori, at the end of the trip I felt it was well deserved given the remote and exclusive location, the beauty of the place and the fabulous food and service. See more on their website.
4. Cempedak Island – Adults-only luxury pool villas off Bintan
Sister property to Nikoi, Cempedak Isand is the adults-version only of the same owner. While Nikoi is beautiful, its main drawback to me was its appeal to families and its very kids-friendly approach which meant that, given the small size of the islands, it was not suitable for couples looking for romance. There were no romantic dinner options, no cozy areas to unwind and no peace by the pool
This has changed with Cempedak, a private island resort off Bintan that provides eco-friendly and sustainable pool villas with sea views.
Some of the same philosophy elements from Nikoi are also followed followed here and the resort also operates without air conditioning and on a mandatory full board basis but, as kids are not allowed, it all has a much more grown-up air.
There is a main pool area with sea views and each villa has its own private plunge pool. The beach is not very wide and it can be practically wiped out at high tide so you are less likely to put your towel down or use the sun beds on the sand but that never bothered me too much.
Food is refined though portions can be small, yet they will bring you more if you are still hungry. The menu is shared at every meal for the next so you can talk to the staff if you do not like what’s on.
I found the resort to be beautiful but lacking in a few details like the bamboo villas being eaten by the termites or the lack of AC requiring you to keep the terrace doors open and being woken up at 3am when the fishermen start their boat engines.
Check out my video below or see my full review here.
Room rate packages start from USD$550 for a mid-week trip for their beach pool villas. There is a mandatory full board charge of SGD90 per person per day. See more on their website.
Here is a table with all the luxury hotels in Bintan and Batam and beyond, with prices for 2.
|Hotel||Review||Location||Time from Singapore||Luxury level||Room price/night*||Photos and availability|
|Tempat Senang||Here||Batam||45 min||***1/2||S$400||Booking.com | HotelsCombined | Agoda | TripAdvisor|
|Turi Beach||Batam||45 min||***1/2||S$110||Booking.com | HotelsCombined | Agoda | TripAdvisor|
|Montigo Bay||Batam||45 min||***1/2||S$220||Booking.com | HotelsCombined | Agoda | TripAdvisor|
|The Sanchaya||Batam||45 min||*****||S$860||Booking.com | HotelsCombined | Agoda | TripAdvisor|
|Telunas||Batam||1 hour||*****||S$300 - Private island|
S$70 - Resort
|Villa Aarya||Bintan||45 min||****||S$485||HotelsCombined|
|Pulau Joyo||Bintan||2,5 hour||****||S$390||Website|
|Banyan Tree||Here||Bintan||1 hour||*****||S$350||Booking.com | HotelsCombined |
Agoda | TripAdvisor
|Angsana||Bintan||1 hour||****||S$150||Booking.com | HotelsCombined | Agoda | TripAdvisor|
|The Residence Bintan||Bintan||2 hours||*****||S$280||Booking.com | Agoda | TripAdvisor|
Although it’s not a ferry ride away, you can get a feel of the best hotel in the world by checking out this video. Don’t forget to click the button to see my in-depth and unbiased review of Nihi Sumba!