Name: Pulau Pangkil
As the darker nights draw in and the festive season rolls in, my thoughts often turn with some longing to deserted paradise islands, to escaping the cold and feeling the sun on my face. Well dream no longer, at the exclusive island resort of Pulau Pangkil, this can be a reality as you and a group of your family or friends take over the entire tropical island.
The island is located off the South-Eastern corner of Bintan Island in Indonesia and takes around 3 hours to reach from Singapore. Take a ferry from Singapore to Bintan which takes around an hour, then you are met and escorted and there’s an hour and a half transfer by land, followed by a half-hour speedboat ride to the island.
Style & Character
The island itself is total paradise; white sandy beaches (yes, there are several), crystal-clear waters and a hauntingly-beautiful coastal forest. The facilities on the island are just perfect for wannabe-escape-artists like myself; on the one hand you feel almost like you’re shipwrecked on a deserted island, but on the other, you have all the luxuries and creature comforts on hand to make even the most discerning traveller feel right at home.
Service & Facilities
When you hire the island, everything is yours to make full use of; the fabulous bar (home of many parties!), the sound system, the pool, kayaks, snorkelling equipment, sailing dinghies and the speedboat. The pool has to be seen to be believed; it was hand-built over two years and can only be reached via a ‘Zen-like’ tunnel! It lies surrounded by natural boulders with a scattering of comfortable loungers as well as a dining area. The pool is a favourite spot for parties and for staying up all night to watch the sunset, there’s even an intercom here that connects to the kitchen so you can keep the drinks and supplies coming! When you’re not partying, you can swim in the freshwater pool, snorkel the reef or take a picnic to the neighbouring islands. To really make your stay, you also have a wonderful staff of more than twenty who are on hand from the second you are picked up to make your time on the island memorable. They consistently go above and beyond and are friendly, efficient but non-intrusive so you still very much feel like this is your island for the duration of your stay. The island is often used for celebrations or weddings and the staff can make special arrangements as required, just let them know what you need.
No boring old hotel rooms here! You stay in one of nine charming Driftwood Palaces that were constructed using logs salvaged from the sea and the surrounding islands. They are elevated and perfectly positioned to give you breath-taking views, to be right by those white sands and to allow total privacy. Inside it’s rustic luxury, your four-poster bed is exceedingly comfortable and your bathroom is right next to your palace. Several of the palaces can easily accommodate extra beds but island custom often means you simply sleep in a hammock in a spot that appeals. There’s even a Tree House if you’re feeling adventurous (and the views are definitely worth it) though it’s often claimed by older kids who want a little escape of their own! At a maximum, the island has accommodated 60 but generally, parties of 15 to 30 fit very nicely and mean that everyone can spread out comfortably. Where you sleep is entirely up to you and figuring out who goes where is definitely part of the fun!
Food & Drink
Food on the island is a total treat; three delicious meal a day and snacks are provided and you can choose where you wish to dine and when. The cuisine served is usually a mixture of Western and Indonesian-style dishes, they will happily adapt to your tastes and are very used to serving children. Candle-lit dinners around the pool are always popular and a beach bonfire makes the most romantic setting for after-dinner drinks.
Pulau Joyo Resort
If you’re in the mood for islands, it’s definitely worth checking out Pulau Pangkil’s sister resort too; Pulau Joyo is a private island beach resort located in Indonesia’s Riau Archipelago. This is a resort can be found on a Robinson Crusoe, castaway island, surrounded by white sand beaches and deep blue sea. It offers barefoot luxury in 4 huge palaces which are constructed completely from driftwood salvaged from the sea. These beautiful buildings capture the castaway feel to the island and take advantage of the island breezes. Joyo offers an ideal beach getaway with fabulous food on a romantic island and a lovely team on hand to spoil you rotten.
Disclosure: Most of our property, service & product reviews are sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced by any sponsor.