Private island, charter seaplane, eco-luxe surrounds, and plenty of Instagram opps. And we only had to go on a two-hour journey to get to this pristine private resort island, located off Batam. But a vacay at Bawah Reserve is nothing like what Singaporeans know of Batam holidays. This eight-month-old private island checks all the right boxes on a bucket list worthy of royalty (or celebrities). You’re in your own world, sorta — after all, only a maximum of 70 guests can stay on Bawah, which makes you kinda feel like you’re part of an exclusive club. You may even find yourself hobnobbing on a sunset cruise with a World Cup player from Switzerland and his girlfriend (true story).
It’s the sort of getaway where money is the last thing on your mind...
…Once you’ve paid for the holiday upfront, that is. Bawah Reserve is an all-inclusive private island resort where everything — transportation, all meals (except alcohol), all activities (except for diving), a fully-stocked mini bar, and unlimited spa treatments — is included in the package price. Room rates start at US$1,780 (S$2,428) for two people per night. It costs a pretty penny, but hey, it includes the ticket for the seaplane flight (an adventure in itself, but we’ll get to that shortly), which in the Maldives can cost up to US$500 per pax.
The pampering starts even before you get here. In fact, you’re treated like royalty the moment you leave home.
Every booking comes with a chauffeur service that picks you up from your doorstep to Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal (and on the return trip too). At the terminal, a perky Bawah rep hands us our ferry tickets, and accompanies us on the 30-min ride to Batam Centre. We get off the boat and instead of joining the line with the hoi polloi, we’re whisked off to the VIP immigration clearance where everything’s settled quicker than you can say, “The queue is damn long!” It’s a 15-min car ride to Batam’s Hang Nadim Airport, though it feels shorter because we’re inundating our guide with questions about the next leg of our journey, and possibly the most exciting yet — our 80-min flight on a charter seaplane.