After months of hectic wedding planning, it is easy to see why the serenity and simplicity of an island beach honeymoon is alluring to newlyweds.
The exclusiveness alone makes a peaceful paradise for relaxation and indulgence. Accompanying honeymooning guests are calm sea waters, light ocean breeze and soft sandy beaches.
It’s reminiscent of a paradise on earth, and surprisingly, the Maldives is not the only place to find these gems.
Voted one of the 10 most stunning beaches in South East Asia by The Asia Collective, Nikoi Island is home to a 15-hectare eco-friendly resort, situated just 50 miles from Singapore, in Bintan, Indonesia.
Best of all, it is easily accessible from Singapore via a short 2.5-hour ferry ride.
Here are 10 reasons to honeymoon at Nikoi Island.
1. You get to experience the Maldives for a fraction of the price
The Maldives, home to some of the most amazing beach vacations in the world is one of the top desired destinations for honeymoons.
It’s unsurprising the Maldives has garnered much attention for its unbelievable beaches, private islands and gorgeous resorts.
But considering that it is 3,370km away (from Singapore), getting there takes a chunk of time out of one’s vacation.
The journey to Malé alone is a 4-hour plane ride, not including the 2 hours prior to check-in. On top of that, depending on which resort island you pick, one might have to factor in additional travel time by ferry, speedboat or seaplane if required.
If you seek a private island resort with unrivalled exclusiveness for your honeymoon but do not have or want to spend the time to go the distance, Nikoi Island is perfect for you.
This private resort island also emulates a similar ambience to Maldives – the white sand beaches, clear blue waters, beautiful corals and even a wide variety of water sports!
Prices start at $500+ per night.
2. You can step into a tranquil and exclusive destination
Upon stepping foot on Nikoi Island, you’d be enthralled by how pristine the island is.
It even, at times, feels as though you’ve rented the entire island to yourself with but few guests roaming such an expansive space.
Ringed with white soft sand and crystal waters, the island emanates a peaceful laid-back disposition ideal for the perfect break from city buzz.
Meanwhile, the mini rainforest tucked at the back of the island teems with birds.
In fact, the island’s shell-strewn beaches, pristine reefs and virgin rainforest are what won over its expat owners.
On top of its beach houses, the island also boasts a restaurant, bar, several pools, and a host of friendly staff.
Nikoi Island only accepts bookings through their website.
3. You’ll be one with barefoot luxury
There’s a way about Nikoi Island that leaves its visitors feeling refreshed and rejuvenated even after just a short weekend.
It might just be the rare exclusivity, but I believe its untouched natural beauty is to be credited for this.
All round the island – even in outdoor dining halls – floors are either natural sand wood.
4. Its spacious beach houses can accommodate up to six people
Nikoi Island houses 15 expansive beach houses, big enough to accommodate two to six people!
Each villa is meticulously handcrafted from driftwood with alang alang (cogon grass) roofs.
Its open concept maximises water views as well as the pleasant cool of the sea breeze.
While it might feel revealing, privacy is assured as all of the beach houses generously spaced out over an impressive 5 hectares.
Because the resort upholds a commitment to being eco-friendly, do not expect the usual air-conditioning to fill your room up with cold air. Instead, expect to be at one with nature’s wind. Do not worry, there are handmade electric fans that you can use!
The dreamy netting bordering the bed frame is bound to enhance any romantic honeymoon experience while maintaining breeziness, too.
5. Top-notch meals prepared by all-rounded chefs, using locally sourced and fresh products
Food is arguably the most important component of any good vacation. It makes or breaks a day.
At Nikoi Island, menus change by the day, making it a doubly exciting experience. Though not fine-dining, the resort never fails to serve tasty, simple fare in generous portions.
More importantly, their restaurant prides itself on using fresh, seasonal and local ingredients.
In support of local communities, their kitchen staff purchases the majority of their supplies from local markets and small-time traders.
This also ensures that they obtain the freshest ingredients known to have been organically farmed.
Some dishes diners can look forward to include duck curry, Indonesian spring rolls, chocolate-banana tarts, and king prawn capellini.
Meals are often served at the communal sand-floored restaurant in the beachfront clubhouse. But if you fancy more privacy, you may opt to have your meal in your villa, or take it up a notch with a picnic on the beach or even on a neighbouring desert island!
Complete any hearty meal with a signature cocktail at the bar; Yogicolada is a creamy and fruity concoction made from fresh coconut cream that’s a must-try if you’re craving something refreshing.
6. Attentive service staff that will attend to your every need
Though Nikoi Island strives to keeps things simple and close to nature, there is one thing that they do not fail to do without – attentive and meticulous service staff.
From arranging boat transfers to understanding the diners’ food preferences and catering to visitors’ daily activities, Nikoi Island’s service team is impeccably attentive and always leaves its visitors worry-free.
Apart from serving guests, the island’s staff nurture the island and its natural inhabitants. Various projects they carry out include the Turtle Research & Conservation as well as Marine Life Care.
7. Unwind with relaxing beachfront massages
When it comes to feeling pampered, there’s nothing else that comes close to a good spa and massage.
At Nikoi Island, visitors can indulge in beachfront massages in their private sala, where the soundtrack is au naturel.
Guests will be able to hear the sounds of the waves as they swoosh against the shore, while relaxing over a traditional Balinese massage.
The spa also provides other services like facials, body scrubs, manicures and pedicures.
8. Infinite ocean views to admire
At Nikoi Island, glistening sea views follow you wherever you go.
Be it on the balcony of the beach house or right from the bedroom quarters, glorious water views from all angles are a guarantee.
Couples who enjoy the spellbinding backdrop of the endless ocean will definitely be stolen by the ambience of the island.
9. Exciting water sports and activities to occupy your day
If staring into the mesmerising sea is not enough to satisfy your inner adventurer, there are plenty of chances to get out there and have fun in it.
On Nikoi Island, food is not the only order of the day. Get active with swimming, sailing, island hopping, windsurfing, diving, kayaking, fishing – you name it, you can do it.
Other activities like beach volleyball, rock climbing, trekking and boules are available, too.
Keen bird lovers can even inquire on where the best bird-watching spots on the island are – look out for the white-bellied eagle, bright yellow golden orioles and stork billed kingfishers!
That aside, there are two swimming pools on the island for guests to idle in. The pool bar and loungers overlooking the ocean are ideal spots for sundowners.
10. Romantic nature walks and cosy bonfires to end the day
The perfect honeymoon itinerary at Nikoi Island looks something like this: kickstart the morning with a romantic walk around the island; in the late afternoon, head out to the beach to comb the sand for seashells and watch the sunset; end the night with a cuddle around the bonfire under a blanket of stars.
Staying at a secluded and private resort island typically involves a gruelling flight and cumbersome transfers.
But the ease of taking a ferry and being chauffeured to Nikoi Island is a huge hassle-saver.
Best of all, visitors will be able to enjoy an island filled with nature and authenticity.
Getting to Nikoi Island
The Tanah Merah ferry terminal is 10 minutes from Changi International Airport or 30 minutes from the city centre by car.
Take a 1.5-hour plane ride from Jakarta to Bintan, followed by a 30-minute car ride to Kawal and another 30-minute boat trip to Nikoi Island.
Villa prices start at SGD330 (non-inclusive of meals and activities).
Nikoi Island trades in SGD.
For more information, visit www.nikoi.com.
This article was first published on The Wedding Vow Singapore.