SingaporeMotherhood | Family Fun

February 2024

8 Island Resort Getaways near Singapore to Visit for the Ultimate Fun and Relaxing Family Holiday

It’s no secret that we Singaporeans love any excuse to get out of the city for a holiday. That’s why every year’s public holiday announcement is eagerly looked forward to: everyone wants to start planning their long weekend getaways! But with limited hours to savour these breaks, it is even more important to milk every moment/minute and stretch those holiday hours as much as possible. And this is especially so if you’re hoping to spend quality time with the kids, right?

So forget long-haul flights that take up precious holiday time. Book a jaunt to an island resort like one of these near us instead. With sun, sea, sand, and natural, rustic, simplicity, they’re the perfect destinations to get kids (and adults) off screens and into fresh air and sparkling seas for the ultimate family fun, relaxation, and enjoyment.


Batu Batu – Tengah Island

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Set in the protected Johor Marine Park, Batu Batu is a rustic eco-island resort retreat. Here, families can connect over nature in an unspoilt environment. Go on a family hike through the jungle, tour the turtle hatchery and adopt a turtle nest, and learn something new from the resort’s resident marine biologists’ nature talks. Kayak, paddleboard, and snorkel in the coral reef right off the shore. What’s more, children as young as eight can start their scuba journey with the Bubblemaker programme. Have older ones? You can get scuba-certified together at the dive centre.

Image: Batu Batu – Tengah Island Facebook

We also love how there’s a weekly beach clean-up where everyone can take part, and learn first-hand about the human impact on the ocean. After a day of adventure, return to your luxurious tropical hardwood villa for well-deserved rest and relaxation. If you are travelling with young ones, the Beach Villas and Two-bedroom Poolside Villas which are closest to the main facilities are optimal. Some also have a children’s annex with a bunk bed. Baby facilities include cots, baby baths, potties, and baby purees can be requested.

Get there: Take a ferry from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal in Singapore to Tanjung Pengelih/Desaru ferry terminals in Johor, then take a taxi to Mersing ( two hours). More information on ferry services can be found at Desaru Ferries ( From Mersing, take the Batu Batu boat to Pulau Tengah ( 20 minutes).

Bawah Reserve

Image: Bawah Reserve

Children are welcome, but they must be at least five years old to stay at this sustainable resort in Indonesia’s remote Anambas archipelago. Once they are old enough to do so though, this uber luxe private island guarantees an unforgettable experience that your young ones will want to return to over and over again. Add a bed for the little one in your private suite (USD450/600 per night depending on the child’s age), or stay in the two-bedroom Treehouse Lodge that’s perfect for families.

Jellyfish light decorations reflect the natural surroundings at this island resort
Image: Bawah Reserve

While your time away playing beach games, kayaking, stand up paddling in the calm lagoon waters, going on a castaway picnic, embarking on a treasure hunt, taking an architecture walk, jungle bathing… or simply lie back and do nothing (that’s a privilege!) as the Activities Team entertains your offspring (five to 12 years). Did we mention that the all-inclusive rates include meals, yoga, Pilates and meditation classes, as well as one spa treatment per night for adults? Sign me up!

Get here: A round-trip transport package from Singapore costs USD950 (around SGD1,276). This includes car service to Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, escort by ferry to Batam with expedited passport clearance, car service (20 minutes) to Hang Nadim International Airport in Batam, and the seaplane flight (80 minutes) to Bawah Reserve.

Harris Resort Barelang Batam

@singaporemotherhood Sun, sand, sea, and awesome family-friendly fun just 60 minutes from Singapore by ferry. Who's going? #IMATHARRIS #DiscoverASRIndonesia #sgtiktok #resort #holiday #family #travel #batam #indonesia #didyouknow ♬ Music In Your Heart (Instrumental) – BLVKSHP

With four swimming pools – including an infinity pool and a kids’ pool – as well as a large water playground, Harris is heaven for water babies. Add in its exclusive beachfront and you’ve got the perfect (and not too secluded) island resort for a fun and relaxing family getaway. Stroll the sprawling grounds, try archery, or go on an ATV ride. Weary from all the activity? The Dino Kids’ Club and its dedicated staff will keep little ones entertained while you get pampered at the spa.

Image: Harris Resort Barelang Batam

Accommodations are varied, with five room types available, and all gloriously spacious. Garden, Sea view, and pool access rooms sleep two adults and two children comfortably. Travelling with more? The Harris Suite and the double-storey Harris Villa can accommodate four adults and four children. The latter even has its own jacuzzi plunge pool on the upper level balcony! For a stay that’s easy for transfers, there’s Harris Resort Waterfront Batam, which is five minutes from Waterfront Ferry Terminal, and 15 minutes from Sekupang Ferry Terminal. Here you’ll find family rooms with bunk beds, as well as the largest swimming pool in town!

Get here: Take the ferry from Harbourfront Center Ferry Terminal to Batam Center International Ferry Terminal. From here, you can take the complimentary shuttle service to Barelang (30 minutes; book seats in advance).
Web: (Barelang) and (Waterfront)

Loola Eco Adventure Resort

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Ranked as one of the world’s top eco family resorts, Loola operates sustainably and commits to empowering its local community at the southeast coast of Bintan. The “adventure” in its name is apt: choose your accommodation style according to your comfort level, from rustic chalets that use sun-warmed water to luxury villas with eco cooling features. For the ultimate escapade, there’s even an option to camp on a deserted island or spend a couple of nights with the locals in their village. With activities galore, most of which are included in your stay package, no kid will say “I’m bored!” at Loola.

Image: Loola Eco Adventure Resort

Thrill seekers can kayak, rock climb, zip along a flying fox, clamber up coconut trees, test their mettle on a skywalk, jump onto a boom net from a moving boat, go on a hill trek, and more. For a fee, the staff can also arrange a firefly boat tour, mangrove tree planting, and even for the family to work with a local marine-bio professor on an ongoing scientific project.

Get here: Take a ferry from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal to Tanjung Pinang, Bintan (one hour, 10 minutes). The team will pick you up when you get there and escort you to the island resort.


Nikoi Private Island Resort

Indulge in the ultimate barefoot luxury at this island resort by staying in its new two-bedroom pool villa
Image: Nikoi Private Island

Only 18 villas dot this island resort just eight kilometres off the east coast of Bintan, with its new two-bedroom pool villas offering the best of barefoot luxury for families. These have a master bedroom upstairs, and a twin downstairs, both of which have ensuite bathrooms. With no televisions and telephones, it’s an ideal space for family bonding and relaxing. Explore the island on dedicated foot tracks, build sandcastles on pristine white sands, swing on Tarzan ropes, hide in tree houses, and clamber over boulders. Dive into the scenic reef, and try an array of water activities such as snorkelling, scuba diving, kayaking, and windsurfing. Of course, there’s always the option to take a dip in your own villa’s pool as well!

What's an island resort stay without toasting marshmallows over a fire?
Image: Nikoi Private Island

We’ve heard good things about the Kids Club and its enthusiastic facilitators who curate Robinson Crusoe-style entertainment for little ones (think island treasure hunts) at the Kids Club. Come sunset, gather round the bonfire, or watch a movie under the stars at the open-air cinema . If you’re bringing a baby, request for a cot with a mosquito net when you make your booking. The kitchen can sterilise bottles, and heat up milk or your infant food, and babysitting can be arranged with advance notice.

Get there: Take a ferry from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal to Bintan Resorts (1 hour), then transfer from Bintan Resorts to Nikoi Jetty (1 hour). Take a boat from the jetty to Nikoi Island (20 minutes).


Pulau Joyo Island Resort

Lodging is made from natural materials at this island resort
Image: Joyo Resort

Small but perfectly formed, Joyo is a private island in Indonesia’s Riau Archipelago. Enveloped in rustic luxury, you’ll sleep in ‘palaces’ constructed completely from driftwood salvaged from the sea, feast on Western and Indonesian-style dishes, and bond in paradisal surroundings. Children of all ages are welcome. Cots with mosquito nets are available upon request when booking, as are beds for older children. There are high chairs and child-sized life jackets as well.

Image: Joyo Resort

Chill out by the pool, snorkel off the reef, kayak, or see if you can spot some wildlife. As dusk falls, wind down before a stunning sunset, then feast on Western and Indonesian-style dishes before lying back to stargaze or watch a movie. Rates include complimentary transport from Tanjung Pinang Ferry Terminal to the resort, and children under three years of age stay free.

Get there: Take a ferry from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal to Tanjung Pinang Ferry Terminal in Bintan (about 1 hour 45 minutes). Here, resort staff will meet you, and bring you to the resort’s private jetty (about 50 minutes) for the 25-minute speedboat ride to Pulau Joyo.


Pulau Pangkil Private Island Resort

A beautiful, mystical island resort in the sea
Image: Pulau Pangkil website

Located off the southeastern corner of Bintan, Pulau Pangkil is a private island paradise that is home to nine Driftwood Palaces constructed using logs salvaged from the sea and the surrounding islands, as well as an abundant array of flora and fauna. Compactly sized, all paths from the south (where you arrive) lead to the pool area at the north. In fact, it’s possible to explore the island in an hour, or kayak around it in 30 minutes.

Image: Pulau Pangkil website

Children are welcome at this island resort, and babysitting can be requested, subject to availability. There are cots with mosquito nets, and you can sterilise bottles or prepare baby food in the kitchen. Apart from beach activities, families can try sailing, kayaking, snorkelling, and stand up paddling. Prefer to stay on land? Walk or jog on jungle tracks, play board games, or simply relax in a hammock all day! If you absolutely cannot live without the internet, you’ll be glad to know that there is free wireless internet connection island-wide, except for the pool area.

Get here: Take a ferry from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal to Bandar Bintan Telani in northern Bintan (about 1 hour 10 minutes). Transfer to the resort’s private jetty, Pama Jetty (about one and a half hours). From Pama, it’s a 15-30 minute ride to Pangkil.

Telunas Beach Resort

Beach fun is guaranteed when you stay at an island resort!
Image: Telunas Beach Resort Facebook

Inspired by the Malay homes near it, this entire resort is built over water. Families of four can sleep comfortably in the overwater rooms, which come with one double bed and one bunk bed. Slightly larger overwater bungalows have a nook with bunk beds, for added privacy. Some also come with balconies – perfect for sunset viewing. Planning an extended family getaway? The overwater bungalow with a loft sleeps 12! Little ones are not left out either; you can request for baby cots and extra mattresses.

Image: Telunas Resorts

Outside, there are activities galore to keep everyone occupied. Think a low ropes course and beach games, to hand fishing, kayaking, jetty jumping, pizza making by the beach, and even pottery and traditional Malay drumming. Buffet-style meals are served at regular times, with kids menu that includes familiar favourites such as chicken fried rice, spaghetti bolognese, and chicken fingers with french fries.

Get here: Take the ferry from Harbourfront Center Ferry Terminal to Sekupang Ferry Terminal (about one hour) in Batam. From Batam, take either a chartered boat or a local ferry to Telunas (one hour). Lunch is served upon arrival at Telunas.

Plan the Perfect Island Resort Getaway for the Family

Whether you’re looking for the ultimate in barefoot luxury, almost bare bones Survivor stay, or a Robinson Crusoe style getaway, you’ll find it at one of these island resorts. What’s more, since they are all close to home and take less than half a day to get to, children won’t be too tired out from travel to jump straight into activity when they arrive. Just remember to pack suncreen and insect repellent too!


Featured image: Telunas Beach Resort

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8 Island Resort Getaways near Singapore to Visit for the Ultimate Fun and Relaxing Family Holiday