Nikoi Island


Nikoi is a 37 acre private island resort just two and a half hours from Singapore but a world away; in one of Indonesia’s many nature-abundant enclaves of rainforest, tropical beaches and coral reefs. Catering to no more than 50 guests at any one time, guests get to experience the feeling of being on their own private island.


Conservation and consideration of environmental issues have been a priority in the formulation of the overall development strategy for Nikoi. Not only was Nikoi built and is operated using local materials, labour and services but the owners took one step further and taught many of their contractors and staff new trades and techniques. Uninhabited for 100 years before the building of the lodge, the creation of a protected marine area on the island since the lodge’s arrival has also resulted in endangered turtles visiting the surrounding coral reef.


The 15 villas were all constructed solely from sustainably sourced driftwood and alang alang roofing to blend into the surrounding environment. The design of the beach houses reflects both traditional Indonesian architecture and contemporary form. Each villa provides simple barefoot luxury in a sublime setting and the large vaulted roofs make air conditioning unnecessary.


Whether guests come to relax or be active, there’s a lot to do on this small remote island. Activities include sustainability tours, croquet, tennis, kayaking, kite surfing, trekking, rock climbing, sailing, Stand Up Paddle-boarding, surfing, windsurfing, snorkelling and diving.

The 4Cs

Nikoi Island joined The Long Run in 2015 and committed to a holistic balance of the 4Cs – Conservation, Community, Culture and Commerce – as a means to contribute meaningfully to the biodiversity and the people of their local region.



To protect the environment, Nikoi has been working with one of Singapore’s leading Naturalists to safeguard wildlife and biodiversity on the island and assist recovery of endangered turtle population. The island has successfully created a Marine Protection Area and has a full time Marine Conservation Officer on site. Driftwood from nearby islands and alang alang grass roofing were used as primary building materials. The villas have no air-conditioners and fans keep guests cool at night with low voltage LED or CFL lighting. Solar panels provide hot water and create an excess of energy for battery storage so that the generators can even be switched off 12 hours per day. Everything possible is recycled, reused or upcycled, such as the car tyre flip flops and rice bags souvenirs in the shop. 


The people of Bintan are very important to Nikoi. The Island Foundation is a registered charity that Nikoi established in 2009 to help support the local communities. Based on discussions with local community leaders, education was identified as the primary need and learning centres in five fishing villages along the east coast of Bintan were established. To provide the communities with alternative income sources The Island Foundation leads and supports a wide range of projects; from weaving baskets and bags from old newspapers to developing wooden spinning tops. To further support to communities, Nikoi is dedicated to employ locals in both unskilled and managerial positions, who receive continuous training to advance their careers.


Bintan and its surrounding islands are sparsely populated and therefore lacking in strong cultural identity. Regardless, Nikoi works with local communities and villagers to salvage what remains. The most interesting culture and in many ways the best preserved is the culture of the Orang Laut. The Orang Laut were the indigenous nomads that played a central role in Malay political history. Today they are a marginalised group with most moving to land so that their children can be educated. The Island Foundation is working with is the Orang Laut village in Berakit to protect their culture and their heritage. Traditionally the Orang Laut used kilns to make charcoal. With the help of The Island Foundation three historic kilns were preserved and turned into a museum to document their culture.


Nikoi believes in a strong commitment to the highest standards in sustainable management practices. By reinvesting Nikoi’s profits in The Island Foundation and the conservation of the island, Nikoi is able to not only ensure the long-term sustainability of its own operations but also that of its surrounding environment and nearby communities. The Island Foundation has established a retail brand (Kura Kura) to help sell arts and crafts as well as the first organised sports program on Bintan for children, the Foundation providing coaching staff, equipment on buy back scheme and ground maintenance.



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