A tropical getaway just two-and-a-half hours from Singapore, Cempedak Private Island in Indonesia is an adults-only haven of relaxation ideal for a weekend getaway. Since its opening in March 2017, it’s launched a couple more villas and its spa late last year, continuing on in its quest to offer guests a luxurious yet environmentally-friendly and socially-conscious experience.
With more villas open for booking, the bamboo resort’s two-story accommodation spaces offer either close beach access or sea views, with organic cotton sheets sprawled out on king-sized begs, lounge and deck areas, and private pools.
Even though you won’t find any TVs, phones, or computers in the rooms — you’re on an island retreat, after all — you’ll still have access to wi-fi and phone reception, unless you choose to do a complete digital detox.
At the newly-opened Rock Spa, which sits on top of granite boulders in a mangrove bay, double treatment rooms overlooking the ocean are available for pairs to relax in tandem. The usual body massages, facials, and full-body scrubs feature here — with signatures like The Ocean Breeze, a lomi lomi-style massage that claims to help with insomnia, jet lag, and hypertension — with products by Bali’s Sensatia Botanicals, a natural beauty brand that uses locally sourced and organic ingredients.
Speaking of local, the dining scene at Cempedak changes in line with the seasonality of ingredients, as most of the restaurant’s supply comes from local markets in Bintan and small traders. Simple and fresh, the menu ranges from Indonesian dishes to barbecued seafood, with highlights such as ayam bakar, grilled king prawns, and pan-fried fish.
Pair your meal with a glass of wine from the organic and biodynamic selection while you take in the waterfront views from your private pod.
Alternatively, have your after-dinner drinks at the Dodo Bar, which houses an extensive collection of aged Caribbean rums alongside a range of spirits from island across the globe. Also Earth-conscious, the bar avoids single-use plastic bottles here, making its own syrups, soda water, and coconut milk for its cocktails.
Popular concoctions include the Limelight, with Paper Lantern gin, lime juice, pineapple cordial, and Thai basil, as well as the Yogi Colada, a rendition of the Pina Colada with Santa Teresa Linaje rum, Venezuelan rum, orange liquor, fresh pineapple, and house-made coconut milk.
While sharing the island with its native flora and fauna, you can set off on nature adventures such as scuba diving, kayaking, snorkeling, sailing, kite surfing, and island hopping, or explore your surroundings and perhaps spot rare species like pangolins, silver leaf monkeys, sea otters, or hornbills around the area.
Getting there is a two-and-a-half hour journey from Singapore’s Tanah Merah ferry terminal to Cempedak, including a ferry from Singapore to Bintan, a taxi across Bintan to the jetty, and a ride from the jetty to Cempedak.