Day in the Life: Co-founder, Nikoi & Cempedak Private Islands

Andrew Dixon takes us through his day of navigating between two barefoot luxury resorts and his Singapore base

Andrew Dixon
Andrew Dixon

We follow Nikoi & Cempedak Private Islands co-founder Andrew Dixon on a typical day.

6:00am: Early start to the day as I am catching the 8am ferry to Bintan, Indonesia. I grab a quick breakfast; a bowl of muesli, yoghurt and coconut water...And an espresso. Love a good coffee!

8:00am: Settled into my seat on the ferry to Bintan, Indonesia with my laptop. The ferry takes about an hour which I find is a great time to catch up with emails and plan out a few things I need to discuss with the teams on the island.

9:15am: A quick stop at our permaculture farm on Bintan to meet with Bebe our farm manager and see how things are progressing. We still have a lot of work to do to improve the quality of the soils but it is fantastic to see the progress. We are now self sufficient for chicken meat and eggs (all free range of course) and I always try to grab some eggs to take home with me, as nothing beats a free range egg.

10:20am: I hop on our private speedboat to Nikoi, where I will be welcomed “home” along with the other guests by our staff on the jetty. It is one of those simple things that makes my day. I head to Yogi’s Bar for an espresso and a quick catch up with the bar team. We have a state of the art espresso machine that uses no electricity and our bar team makes wonderfully rich coffee using sustainable coffee beans we source from Sumatra.

11:00am: Recharged, I head over to check on progress of the three new pool villas. It is great to see the progress Piers (our project manager) and his team have made since my last visit. It is always a logistics challenge getting supplies over to the island and the team does a fantastic job managing this.

12:30pm: I’m in for a treat today as they have one of my favourite dishes on the menu for lunch - Nasi Kuning, which is like a tasting plate of Indonesian dishes. Marjan (our GM) and Dika (our exec chef) both join me for lunch and it’s a great opportunity to get their thoughts and discuss new ideas. I am particularly proud of the food that the kitchen produces and it is exciting to hear of the new ideas that they have.

2:45pm: I catch the boat back to the mainland and then on to Cempedak. I take this opportunity to chat to staff or guests who are on the same boat.

3:10pm: I am again welcomed “home” by our Cempedak team on the jetty and after a quick chat, I head to the back of house to check in on our engineering team. We go through any issues or challenges that have cropped up. There are usually a couple of things to go through and I do find this interesting as we are always having to think out of the box.

5:15pm: I quickly check-in on emails in the comfort of my villa and address some urgent ones that have come through during the day. I grab a quick shower to freshen up after a long day before heading over to the Dodo Bar for sunset drinks. Some friends are staying on Cempedak so it’s the perfect opportunity to catch up!


7:30pm: I’m in for a treat! Dinner tonight is chargrilled chicken with a selection of freshly harvested veggies, all from our farm. Our pastry chef caught wind that I was coming and has made me my favourite dessert with an extra helping of our homemade coconut ice cream!

9:00pm: I head back to the bar for a night cap and maybe a game of liars dice with my friends that are staying with us. With a rum in hand, we have a couple of games.

10:45pm: Heading back to my villa for an early night as I will have to be up early again as I have a couple of meetings before I catch the boat back to Bintan and then I return home to Singapore.

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