Montigo Resorts, Nongsa: A Magical Haven of Food and Fun in Batam

In my previous post, I’ve shared a general overview of the beautiful Montigo Resorts and the two-bedroom villa that we stayed. If you’ve missed it, you can read it HERE. Today, I’ll share more about the food and activities in this resort.  😀

Dining Establishments

There are 5 dining options in the resort, each serving different cuisines to cater to a variety of taste. This is Tadd’s Restaurant – an all-day dining restaurant offering ala-carte local, Asian and Western delights for a casual lunch, relaxing dinner, as well as a quick snack while the kids play at the neighbouring Tilo Kids Club.

Tadd's Restaurant
Tadd’s Restaurant

The buffet breakfast (included in the room rate) is served at Tadd’s Restaurant too. Personally, I love the relaxed semi al-fresco poolside setting in this restaurant. Every morning, I looked forward to the buffet breakfast with a variety of live cooking stations such as eggs, nasi kuning, chicken soup, prata and fried noodles. Don’t miss the fresh bakery as well as Nongsa noodles! The breakfast certainly gave me a reason to smile and started my day with many happy thoughts.

As a mom, I was also delighted to see a kids’ food corner. The section is built lower than elsewhere in the restaurant so that young children can reach the food items easily. That way, parents can enjoy their breakfast and eat in peace too.  😆

Montigo Ayam Panggang Berempah
Montigo Ayam Panggang Berempah | IDR 145,000++ (approx. S$17 after taxes)

One of my favourite dishes is Ayam Panggang Berempah (Spicy Grilled Chicken). It comes with an oven-roasted spring chicken that is SO flavourful, sautéed long beans, steamed jasmine rice, prawn crackers and spicy sambal. If you’re here, I highly recommend that you give this a try. Personally, I find that the food here is reasonably-priced too.

Oxtail Soup
Oxtail Soup | clear beef oxtail soup, carrot, tomato, lime, emping, spring onion, celery, steamed jasmine rice
Seafood Chips
Seafood and Chips | herb breaded red snapper, squid and prawns, french fries, spicy aioli sauce
Traditional Gado-Gado
Traditional Gado-Gado Salad – my favourite appetizer!

Sand & Sandals Desaru Resort and Spa: Family-Friendly Resort in Desaru

Sand & Sandals Desaru Resort and Spa is a contemporary casual and relaxing resort located in the heart of Desaru, Johor. It provides an ultimate gateway for romantic couple retreat, an excellent location for family reunion, dream beach wedding, blissful honeymoon, as well as a family-friendly vacation.

Formerly known as Pulai Desaru Beach Resort & Spa, Sand & Sandals Desaru Resort and Spa has been rebranded, revamped and opened in Mar 2017. This resort is very popular among the locals because it’s set on Desaru Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, overseeing the panoramic views of the South China Sea.

Sand & Sandals Desaru Resort and Spa

Truth be told, I’ve been wanting to visit Desaru for a long time. My first trip to Desaru was 20 years ago when I was studying in UTM, Johor. It was such a memorable trip to me. So, when I stumbled upon the resort brochure in a travel agency recently, I told V that we must make a trip there soon. And after a few website clicks, we’ve landed in this beautiful resort. Yay me!  😎

Getting to Sand & Sandals Desaru Resort and Spa

There are several ways to get to Desaru:

  1. Driving – It’s about 1.5hr drive from Singapore via Senai-Desaru Expressway
  2. Private Taxi
  3. Bus
  4. Ferry – It’s just 30mins from Changi Ferry Terminal to Tanjung Belungkor Ferry Terminal. From there, you can arrange for a transfer to Sand & Sandals Desaru Resort (~20 mins).
Limbongan Maju Ferry to Desaru
Limbongan Maju Ferry to Desaru

Personally, I find that the easiest way is to travel by ferry – which we did! The journey is just half an hour. We took the 9:30am ferry from Changi Ferry Terminal (not Changi Point Ferry Terminal, they are different places!). The ferry operator is Limbongan Maju Shd. Bhd.

It’s a small ferry with a capacity of about 60 people. Frankly, I’ve always been sea sick on smaller boats, but this ferry is quite stable despite its small size. And thankfully, I had NO seasickness at all!

Nirwana Gardens Bintan: Review & Recommendations

Nirwana Gardens Bintan is an integrated beach resort spanning over 330 hectares that offers five accommodation options ranging from family-friendly to the romantic and exclusive. Just an hour ferry ride away from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, it’s the perfect relaxing haven from bustling Singapore.

Nirwana Gardens offers numerous facilities and services which could keep their guests entertained for days. It also has its own private beach where guests could use for various activities.

Now, let me give you a glimpse of what you can expect at this family-friendly yet fun-filled resort in Bintan Island.

Getting to Nirwana Gardens Bintan

We took the ferry at Bintan Resort Ferries at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal. The journey to Bintan Ferry Terminal took just an hour. The ferry is very comfortable and clean with a deli offering snacks and beverages.

We took the 11:10am ferry and arrived at Bintan at 11:10am (Indonesia time is one hour behind Singapore). For details on ferry schedule and ticket fares, you can visit BRF website.

Travelling to Nirwana Gardens is totally fuss-free. Just check-in at Bintan Resort Ferries counter at least an hour before departure. Upon arrival at Bintan Ferry Terminal and after immigration and customs, take the complimentary shuttle bus to Nirwana Gardens. We arrived at the resort in just 10 mins.

Upon arrival, we were greeted by helpful staffs to assist in our check-in and luggage, together with local cultural dance performance and light refreshments to welcome our arrival.


There are five types of accommodations at Nirwana Gardens. The most popular one is the Nirwana Resort Hotel – where we stayed. There are 245 refurbished rooms that come with view of the landscaped gardens, South China Sea or swimming pool.

Nirwana GardensEntrance to Nirwana Resort Hotel
Deluxe RoomNirwana Room in Nirwana Resort Hotel

We stayed in a Nirwana Room that is equipped with TV with multiple cable channels, mini-bar, private shower with bathtub, basic toiletries, personal safe, hairdryer, and complimentary WiFi. The room is clean, spacious and comfortable. We also had an extra bed for Edison.

Nirwana Resort Hotel is perfect for families as it has literally everything you need for a fuss-free family holiday! Its family-friendly environment is a sure win for parents and children.

Nirwana Gardens 2The three-storey Nirwana Resort Hotel

Other accommodations at Nirwana Gardens include the rustic Mayang Sari Beach Resort, the village-style Nirwana Beach Club (with cabana rooms), Banyu Biru Villa for families and gatherings, as well as the exclusive Indra Maya Pool Villa.

The key advantage of this resort is the various accommodation options to suit travellers’ needs and budget.

Ultimate Bintan Getaway to Bintan Lagoon Resort (Part 2)

Air Rifle in Bintan Lagoon Resort


What we like best about Bintan Lagoon Resort is their wide range of activities – especially those that are not easily available at other resorts such as quad biking (ATV). Some complimentary activities that are included in our package include archery (20 arrows), driving range (20 balls), access to two swimming pools and those at the Leisure Center.

We were given 10% discount for other leisure activities such as bike rental, batik painting, water ball, kids fishing, etc. For more info on the activities price list, please click here.

Air Rifle at BLR

Driving range in BLR


Three activities that Edison loved most is golf, archery and air rifle. It’s been more than a year since our last visit to a driving range, but I’m glad he could pick up his swing relatively fast. After the complimentary balls, we topped up another 100 balls for IDR 100.000 (just SG$10).

BLR Mini Golf

Edison also tried the mini golf – a miniature golf course with 5 holes, which is very fun for kids for just IDR 98.000/hr (SG$10). These 3 activities are located within the same area, so we planned our time accordingly to do them all together. There are instructors at each station, so you don’t need to worry if you’re new to the game.

The air rifle is fun, fun, FUN! Edison loves gun a lot, and he has more than 10 toy guns in all sizes. So, you can imagine his excitement when he gets to try a real gun. 20 bullets are charged at only IDR 120.000 (SG$12) – I’d highly recommend this!

Ultimate Bintan Getaway to Bintan Lagoon Resort (Part 1)

I’m a huge fan of weekend short trips close to home to recharge myself. That being said, I always feel that Bintan is one of the best places to go – beautiful sandy beaches, mangrove tour, golf courses, lush greenery, delightful local food and kids-friendly activities. Best of all, it’s just an hour away by ferry! So, right after the school holiday started, we visited Bintan Lagoon Resort. Even though it was just a short 3D2N trip, it was fun and activity-packed! Edison had so much fun, and he couldn’t stop talking about the trip even when we get home.

Now, let’s catch a glimpse of Bintan Lagoon Resort, a kids-friendly yet fun-filled resort in Bintan Island.


Getting to Bintan Lagoon Resort

Just 75 minutes of ferry ride from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, we arrived directly at Bintan Lagoon Resort. What amazes me is that the resort has their own private jetty and immigration terminal. This means – we don’t need to get through the hassles at Bintan’s main ferry terminal and long immigration queues. Awesome, isn’t it? Ten bonus points, please!

The ferry service is operated by Mozaic Ferry Lines, a direct ferry service from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal to Bintan Lagoon Resort Ferry Terminal. Once we cleared the immigration, we took a shuttle bus to the resort – just a short distance away.

Mozaic Ferry Lines: Schedule & Pricing

SIN – BIN: 9:00am, 4:10pm
BIN – SIN: 1:00pm, 5:10pm (all days except Friday)
BIN – SIN: 11:45am, 5:10pm (Friday)
Return Trip (SIN – BIN – SIN): Adult SGD60, Child SGD50

We took the 9am ferry and arrived at Bintan Lagoon Resort at 9.30am (Indonesia time is one hour behind Singapore). Thankfully, our room was ready. So, we did a quick check-in, dropped off our luggage and started exploring the resort.


Bintan Lagoon Deluxe Sea Facing Room

Bintan Lagoon Resort has a wide range of accommodation, from deluxe rooms to suites and villas to suit couples, families and even groups. We stayed in a Deluxe Sea Facing Room.

This resort is over 20 years old, but their guestrooms were refurbished few years ago. So, I wasn’t expecting the room to look brand new, but it was certainly newer than I’ve expected.

The Deluxe Room is spacious and comfortable, tastefully designed in warm colours and sleek wood finishes. There’s a balcony that overlooks the swimming pool and sea. There’s a king-sized bed and raised cushion platform. Extra bed for kids can be set-up on this platform.

Kids Bed Bintan Lagoon ResortExtra bed for Edison

Edison was thrilled to see the marble bathroom with bathtub. Five bonus points from Edison! The bathroom is equipped with hair dryer and basic toiletries like toothbrush, toothpaste, earbuds, shampoo, soap, conditioner, bath gel, facial cottons and comb.

BLR Deluxe Room Bathroom

View from our room

View from our room 2View from our room