Batam resort draws Singapore buyers

By EdgeProp Team / EdgeProp | August 27, 2018 1:45 PM SGT
Montigo Resorts Nongsa sits on 12ha of undulating terrain (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/The Edge Singapore)
As CEO and executive director of property and hospitality group KOP Ltd, Leny Suparman has overseen the development of two luxury residential projects in Singa pore: the Ritz Carlton Residences and Reignwood Hamilton Scotts. “We felt that the next step was to go into hospitality,” she tells EdgeProp Singapore.
Suparman and executive chairman of KOP, Ong Chih Ching, eventually decided on Batam, a location often overlooked for an exclusive resort. They were drawn to the undulating terrain of a 12ha site, where villas could be built on the slopes.
Today, Montigo Resorts Nongsa boasts a selection of 146 one- to five- bedroom units for sale or short-term stay, each with a dipping pool and expansive view of the South China Sea. On a clear day, visitors will be able to see Marina Bay Sands on the horizon.
Given the demand for the resort’s smaller studio units from corporate customers and honeymooners, KOP decided to increase the number of these units. This month, the company launched 35 ready-built, one-bedroom villas for sale at prices starting from $388,000. Another estimated 30 units out of a total of 85 are slated for completion this year, with the remainder to be built in 2019. All units in the resort are sold on an 80-year lease.
Those who buy a villa unit at Montigo Resorts will be given 60 days’ complimentary stay at the property. Of the 60 days, they can stay at Montigo Resorts Seminyak, in Bali, for 15 days. The unit will be rented out to short-term tourists by the management for the unused days; in return, owners are guaranteed an 8% annual return for two years and a year’s waiver of management fees.
Changing interests
All units at Montigo Resorts Nongsa come with a dipping pool (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/The Edge Singapore)
Since the introduction of the latest property cooling measures in July, KOP has seen an increase in demand for its one-bedroom villas at Montigo Resorts Nongsa. Even though the resort property market is different from the residential market, Suparman believes that investors “might just divert their investment or interest to other options”. “Buying one property in Singapore [now] is equivalent to buying three or four overseas properties, so they might consider one in Batam.”
So far, 70% of the buyers at Montigo Resorts Nongsa are from Singapore, with the remainder comprising foreigners, some of whom reside in Singapore, says Loraine Lim, director of sales and marketing at KOP Properties. The Singaporean buyers include lawyers, doctors and pilots. Lim adds that some of the villa owners live in Sentosa Cove. They pilot their yachts and berth them at Nongsa Point Marina, from where it takes five minutes to get to Montigo Resorts Nongsa.
Lim notes that one of the resort’s recent buyers is a Singaporean couple who purchased a villa as a gift for their son, who is turning 21. She observes that there is a trend of purchasing resort properties as “push gifts” — large-item presents such as cars and houses often given by husbands to wives for giving birth to children — and has plans to market the resort this way.
As Montigo Resorts Nongsa is only a 30-minute ferry ride from Singapore, KOP is banking on attracting companies to hold their corporate retreats there. Singapore conglomerate Keppel Corp recently held its management retreat at the resort.
For tourists who are looking at short-term holidays, the one-bedroom villas at the resort cost about $350 a night, two-bedroom villas start from $400 a night, while the larger three- to five-room units are priced from $1,500 a night
Catering for three generations
The beach club bar overlooks the South China Sea (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/The Edge Singapore)
Montigo Resorts Nongsa has a range of facilities that cater to multi-generational families. “For large families, the members can’t be doing all the activities together, save during meal times,” says Ben Goi, managing director of Montigo Resorts Nongsa. “There must be facilities that cater for each generation,” he explains. The resort has a dedicated kid’s club where parents can leave their children under the care of staff for as long as needed.
The resort’s dedicated playzone is a two-level open structure made of bamboo. Upstairs, there are facilities for baking sessions, where kids are taught by hospitality staff to bake cookies. The first level is maze-like: There are several nooks, each housing bean bags and TVs. One wall is plastered with drawings of children who have visited the resort. “The crowd with kids is a lot more seasonal — we tend to see them during the school holidays,” Goi says.
While the children are having fun, adults can enjoy some pampering at the spa.
Goi has plans to make Montigo Resorts Nongsa a one-stop hub. He plans to open an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) track, catering for less than 10 riders who are keen on land sports. Besides this, he also wants to set up a rock-climbing wall that is 3½ storeys tall. He draws this idea from the air-conditioned rock-climbing facility at Kallang Wave Mall. That place attracts people from all age ranges, he says. Both facilities will be available at year-end.
Design inspiration
The luxury bathroom in one of the resort units. Some furniture in the larger three- to five- resort units are handpicked and air-flown from Europe by the resorts’ cofounders. (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/The Edge Singapore)
The villas at Montigo Resorts Nongsa have a minimalist design. Suparman was inspired by the architecture on Santorini Island in Greece. “I like the white and clean structure [of the houses there] and how they look against the backdrop of the blue ocean,” she says.
Both Suparman and Ong had a hand in furnishing the interior of some resort units. Some of the units boast furniture that they handpicked from Europe. “The common areas, however, are where we try to infuse some local flavour,” says Suparman. The spa has huts with traditional Javanese design and the materials are air-flown from Java.