15 friends, 4 days, 1 private island.
I have literally just been to paradise and back.
2 hours from Singapore is an island called Pulau Pangkil (which means small island) in Indonesia. A ferry, coach and quick speedboat is all it takes to transport you to nirvana!
As the speedboat approaches the island you can’t help but let out a bit of a squeal…I hope noone noticed, nobody said anything anyway, but this was ours for 4 whole days! We literally hired the island!
On arrival we were greeted with cocktails and introduced to our rooms. 3 of us shared ‘The Big House’ which reminded me of the Swiss Family Robinson movie! I was waiting for ostriches and zebras to come speeding out! Disappointed much. The rooms however are clean and simple, literally like a massive tree house, with everything you need…including wifi!
I reckon I counted about 15 friendly, smiley staff on the island yet you wouldn’t know they are there! It’s like they are invisible and when you need something they just appear! Nothing is any trouble and they run the place like clockwork. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served at various spots on the island, from the main house, to the pool, out on the grass and for our final evening we dined on the beach with fireworks and a bonfire. I get super emosh about fireworks, I don’t know why but I become overwhelmed! We finished the evening with karaoke (we brought the machine with us)…X Factor watch out I think there is a new rendition of Barbie Girl coming your way!
The island oozes tranquility. You are literally forced to relax which is something I struggle to do. I think over those 4 days I was almost horizontal I was that chilled out. Their main instruction should be prepare to go and totally unwind. For me, I think that because the entire island was occupied by only us, made it feel more comfortable. I knew that no matter where I went, someone would be there chilling and doing their own thing, it felt serene.
Well, until the evening. What to do? Our sundown events consisted of board games (with penalty shots, don’t ask!), card games, karaoke and dancing! Considering most of us are in the Global Corporate Step Challenge, we were stepping and dancing on the spot to achieve the daily target!
The island offers many activities: fishing, snorkeling, sailing, paddle boarding, volleyball, table tennis and pool. I have probably missed something but needless to say they have everything covered! They even have a disco ball to create a dance floor in the sand! It was amazeballs!
They also have an honesty bar. We took our own alcohol so they cleared the bar, laid our tipples out and kept 2 ice boxes fully stocked with beer and soft drinks for us to help ourselves (the bill for this is settled at the end).
The food was awesome! Breakfast included cereal, bread (a toaster), various jams and spreads, an egg menu, sausages, bacon, fresh juices and of course a tea and coffee stand. Lunch and dinner consisted of various fresh fish (red snapper is officially now my fave!), various meats, tofu, salad, vegetables, rice and noodles – all cooked to perfection and they even provide gluten free options! Afternoon tea is also served which is an added bonus!
The weather was perfect, there was only 1 day where it rained (it did rain in the evening but who cares at night?! It was a perfect opportunity to open up the blinds in the tree house, let the breeze in and look out to sea). The day was spent lazing around reading, enjoying massages (be prepared for a strong but invigorating rub down!) and then our own movie theatre was installed! Giant bean bags in the sand with a rum & coke, watching Ted 2, it just doesn’t get better than that!
I am a beach girl. Any excuse to lie on a beach, feel the sand in between my toes and hear soft waves crashing against the shore…ah man I wish I was still there. I love sitting in the sea and looking out at the vast ocean, somehow whenever I do this I think that anything is possible?! I feel there are endless possibilities in life and have this zingy feeling! It’s the exact same feeling I have when I am in New York City, bizarre. I spent pretty much most of my time on the beach, it was peaceful, breezy, untroubled and gentle. I slept and slept and slept. When I woke up I was tired!
If you are looking for a nap in a hammock, going barefoot in the sand and enjoying a vivid blue sky with cotton candy clouds, this is the place to visit. For me, I was encouraged to appreciate how simplistic life can be. I mean, when was the last time you played board games, read a book in a bean bag or danced in the sand?
The 4 day break was absolute heaven. I hadn’t had a proper vacation in 8 months and there is a lot happening in my life so this really was rewarding downtime. Thank you to all the staff on the island and all 14 friends for being fabulous company and for a superb long weekend.
I am now back in sunny Singapore and still on cloud nine.