We stayed here for a night over the weekend just for a short getaway from Singapore. It is our second trip here, the first one being way back in 2007. Over the last few years, I believe nothing has changed at all! You can see it as a good thing (well-maintained) or a bad thing (no improvements).
First off, I can safely say that 90% of the visitors here come from Singapore. Not everyone is Singaporean but at least, their last port was Singapore. So, everything here is catered in Singapore dollars.
For the hotel, don't try to be a smarty pants (like me) and change Singapore dollars to Indonesian rupiah (the rupiah has dropped a lot recently) thinking you can take advantage of it. The hotel has already catered this and if you decide to pay in rupiah, they will give you a very unfavourable rate. For example, I changed SGD 1 for Rp 8900 in Singapore. However, if I wanted to pay in Rp, they were going to charge SGD 1 for Rp 9250. Moral of the story, bring a lot of Singapore dollars if you wish to pay your stuff in cash, like, activities, hotel rooms and meals.
Service was as good as always. The staff at the ferry terminal collected our suitcase and brought it to the resort for us. Although we booked a deluxe room, we were upgraded to a suite. Sweet! One thing to note is that some parts of the hotel is undergoing renovations. The rooms next to us were being renovated but we weren't disturbed because it was just basically painting.
Room was comfortable. A little bit jaded (hence the renovations) but nothing to complain about. WiFi is weak in the rooms but OK at the lobby area. Breakfast is okay. The half-boiled eggs looked like un-boiled eggs, that's the only thing to nitpick on.
There is transport service to the nearby Pasar Oleh-Oleh for SGD 5 (yes, SGD again) per person which you can use for the whole day. Some things to eat, massage places, souvenir stores and Polo shops (of course) are available there. Once again, they all take SGD.
For comparison, we took a package of 1 hour Indonesian massage + Seafood BBQ package for SGD 54 per person from the hotel. Compared to the spa at Pasar Oleh-Oleh, I think it is reasonable because the spa charges SGD 33 for the similar 1 hour Indonesian massage. And, the Cafe Helo-Helo (imaginative, I know) isn't exactly that flash. We had something to eat there in the afternoon because we were starving. A pretty sad-looking tilapia fish was SGD 20. SO, if you take SGD 33 + SGD 20 that's about the same as the package offered by the hotel. And the dinner in the package was really good. You have a nice BBQ done by the staff, facing the sea and the sunset. We were the only ones that night and to have the beach to ourselves, the price was well worth it.
Activities that are available here are of course golf, the swimming pool, archery, BB gun shooting, trampoline. Everything is chargeable except for the swimming pool.
One other tip for travelers is with regards to the ferry. The Bintan Resorts Ferry website is VERY un-user friendly. A return ticket SIN - Bintan - SIN costs SGD 68.40. However, you MAY click the wrong button and choose the Published rate of SGD 45 (one way) x 2 = SGD 90. And you have no idea that you are over-paying until you are in Bintan and find out that everyone else paid SGD 68.40. If you do find yourself doing this, go to the counter at the ferry terminal over at the Singapore side to arrange for the difference to be credited into your credit card.
All in all, hotel is okay. We paid a cheaper rate by using the Tripadvisor promotion and got a suite. Can't complain can I? Next trip, though, we may try another resort within the area for the sake of variety.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nirwana Resort Hotel has 245 guestrooms including 31 suites, all with sweeping sea, pool or garden views. Full modern amenities and facilities are available to guests, and our ensemble of restaurants and bars will satisfy the most discerning taste buds. With a full and comprehensive range of activities lined up for guests, diverse interests and pursuits are matched with top quality facilities and services. *Nirwana Resort Hotel guests have access to all facilities and restaurants within Nirwana Gardens ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Nirwana Gardens - Nirwana Hotel Lagoi
- Nirwana Hotel Lagoi
- Nirwana Gardens - Nirwana Resort Hotel Bintan Island/Lagoi