Happy days Holidays! Motherkao loves... The Kao Kids

Ten things we loved about our recent vacay

June 24, 2014

I can’t believe I savoured a piece of heaven last week and I’m still feeling a little dreamy about that wonderful place we had our short getaway. You would think that you’d only find such tranquillity and untouched beauty in Bintan, Bali, Boracay or the Maldives (and those by the way, are in my bucket list). But no.

We were in Batam.

Say what?

And although the run down Batam Ferry Terminal, the army of mozzies and the putrid stench of diesel and cigarette smoke lingering in the cabin were the less than perfect things that threatened to mar the perfection for just a wee bit, one only needs to endure it for half an hour (ok, maybe 45 minutes plus the waiting and all) before one arrives to witness this:

View from our villa

Everybody say,” Omm…”

This is Montigo Resorts at Nongsapura. It’s a 30-minute ferry ride from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal followed by a 5-minute drive to the resort. I’m a sun, sea and sky person, so to be taken away from the madness that goes on in our home to be right here made me a very happy person.

Here’s a list of ten things that made me really happy being there:

1. A&W at Nagoya Hill

We gain an hour being at Batam, so when we arrived at 12.45pm, it was only 11.45am Batam time. Since check-in was at 3pm, we paid about SGD40 for a 45-minute taxi ride to Nagoya Hill.

To do what is the most important thing to do when in Batam.

Eat here:


But is it me or does the food not taste as wow as when I was a kid? The root beer float tasted kinda funny.

Still, it was nice being there, and I was happy to introduce what our childhood was like to the kids. Well, at least for me, this fast food restaurant was memorable because I got to eat curly fries and have a root beer float as a treat if I did well in my exams.

2. Spa, spa, and more spa

At Montigo, I was pleasantly surprised and extremely touched that I had my spa booked in advance. My husband gave me orders to disappear into the spa and emerge a happy person.

I obeyed.

I went for a Javanese Lulur Spa Experience, which involved some deep tissue kneading and a scrub, had a pedicure and a traditional facial the day after.

It was all very rustic, calming and soothing – being there, walking on bamboo and listening to gamelan playing from the speakers with the sound of waves not too far away. I also repaid a few hours of sleep debt.


Four words about the pedicure though: Cannot expect too much. It was basic and the Spa Ritual polish they used were inferior compared to the OPI I am used to. And it was a good thing I didn’t go there with gelish nails. They wouldn’t be able to soak it off at all.

3. Private infinity pool

Oh need I say more? We went into the pool in the villa whenever we wanted to, however we wanted to. We soaked, we splashed, we swam.

Infinity pool

I jumped. And played a fool.

Jumping Mama

Jumping Mama again

Jumping Mama again and again

And made the kids laughed.

Their father? He dunked them all with clothes on in the still of the night.

In the pool with Dada

And then there was laughter everywhere.

4. Showering under the clouds

I’ve never done this. Have you? Sit in a shower and look heavenwards towards God. Most amazing experience ever.

View from the tub

Most humongous tub I have seen ever.

Bath room and bath tub

5. In-villa private BBQ

We had a chef come in the second evening and fill the whole villa with smells of barbequed seafood and meat. It was another first for the family, sitting by the poolside, enjoying food grilled and served to us on the spot. We ate and ate till we were bursting in the seams, and then we ate some more.

Something's smoking

In villa dining


What a life!

6. Cooking while watching the kids swim


There’s a kitchenette in every villa, and some really basic utensils for cooking over an induction cooker, so we thought we’d do some cooking. There’s only a medium-sized frying pan and a small pot (and they were all badly scratched and no longer Teflon coated) but we managed to make aglio olio, french toast, creamy pasta and wok-fried instant noodles which meant we settled four meals in the villa. We brought a pair of kitchen scissors (should have also brought a paring knife), canned tuna, 3 packets of pasta and our own salt and pepper. While at Nagoya, we grocery shopped for garlic, tomatoes, onions, fresh milk, cheese, ham, bread, Indomie and eggs. There’s only a bar fridge in the villa, so do plan purchases wisely. I thought there would be a freezer and ended up throwing away a box of mini Cornettos I bought for the kids.

It was all very satisfying to be making simple meals and looking out at the pool and the sun, sky and sea those days I was there.

7. Free wifi

I guess if you’re not living under a rock, free wifi is going to make you happy. All our thumbs got quite busy and it was satisfying to be able to stream videos (we watched Running Man on the first night, heh), check FB and post pictures on Instagram.

8. Beautiful sunsets

I shared in an earlier post that witnessing the sun setting and disappearing into the horizon was one of the most magnificent moments I could share with my kids. And you know what I got them all to do? We closed our eyes and pretended to paint the sunset, “ate” cotton candy clouds and imagined the clouds to be what we thought they could be.

Sunset 5

How many moments like these would I be sharing with the kids in my lifetime?

9. Sky terrace

The third floor of the villa leads to a sky terrace that has plenty of space to run and look out into the hues of blue that’s before our eyes. Here, we take deep breaths and say a million wows, just like being on top of the world.

Sky terrace

10. Happy kids, happy husband, happy helper, happy me

Needless to say, we’ve all had a great time (even the helper had fun) and this goes down in our memory bank as a beautiful vacation that we’ll remember for a long time.

P/S: This is not a sponsored post nor a review of Montigo Resorts. This is me reminiscing the vacation, feeling grateful for everything and sharing with all those who’s been asking us to tell them more about that wonderful place.

PP/S: For more pictures of sunsets captured by the husband, see them all in my first post here.

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