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“In a word - it was "OK"” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Nirwana Gardens - Banyu Biru Villas

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Nirwana Gardens - Banyu Biru Villas
4.0 of 5 Villa   |   Jalan Panglima Pantar | Bintan Resorts, Bintan Island, Lagoi, Riau Islands Province 29155, Indonesia   |  
Hotel amenities
Singapore
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“In a word - it was "OK"”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2012

As an expat living in Singapore who has visited Bintan about 10 times, I have to say that I found the Banyu Biru Villas at Nirwana Gardens "OK". There were pluses and minuses.

On the plus side:

1) I took a lot of my own food and was able to save quite a lot of money not dining in the restaurants every day. The villa has a kitchen, microwave, rice cooker and water boiler (bring your own t bags though!)
2) The food and beverage was OK, quite good in some areas. The breakfast buffet (included) was quite good and ticked all the boxes. The hotel has to spread itself a bit thin to cater for western, Chinese, Korean and Japanese guests on it's menu. We did try some of the Western food, which usually falls short if you are mainly catering to Asian guests e.g. Pizza (which was just smothered in cheese) and so stuck to the Asian food, which was very good. Great Satay!
3) Whilst the Nirwana pool was always full and had no sunbed space, we are the Banyu Villas had the whole pool to ourselves all day, everyday. We saw 2 other people all holiday.
4) The service at the hotel is good and the staff all speak good English and are friendly. We had a few issues including needing extra amenities, lost an item, late check out and all our queries were dealt with very quickly, professionally and positively. Good service!

On the downside:

1) The villa we stayed in was, well shoddy! It was very clean, but very basic and run down. During our time there were about 5 others villas in occupancy of about 30+ villas. Some of them are renovated very nicely (we peeked). You'd think that if they are not being used, you would put your guests in the nice villas to entice them back and tell their friends eh? Apparently not! Our villa was short on towels, toilet paper, toiletries, the bed lined was distgusting. We had to ask for our bedlinen to be changed as my child had an accident one night. I removed the sheets and was ASTONISHED to see an awful multi-stained mattress with no cover (in a kids room!) and pillows that had numerous orange stains on them. It was terrible. Also stained cushions on the sofa, 3 frying pans but no pan (although brought one very quickly when asked), no drainer or tea towel. The worst though was the bathroom, or should I say lack of bathroom. I was looking forward to having a nice relaxing bath in my "villa". I was quite astonished to see that, not only was there no bath, but there was no shower either. A shower in the corner of a bathroom with a shower curtain pulled around it, is not a proper bathroom. That is, probably the worst bathroom I have ever seen in Asia. Also, a vanity mirror over the toilet! No shelves to put things on. My toiletries were laid on the floor in the shower and were on the bathroom floor as I had nowhere to put them.

2) The pool at the Villas only opens at 10am on a weekday? So we have paid for a villa and the pool doesn't open till 10am? Firstly let me tell you that Bintan is a 50 minute ferry from Singapore and usually a short stay for most people. It is one hour behind. That means we get up really early as our time clock is still on Singapore time. Also it means that Bintan is blazing hot at 0800 and the sun starts to go down at 1630-1700. At 0700 the breakfast buffet is packed, people are round the pool by 0800. So why O why is the pool open at 1000? We did, after all, pay for our villa, so the pool should be open at 0800. We did however, just go to the pool, ignore the red chains and signs saying it was closed and turn the slide water on ourselves! Which brings me to my next point about the pool:

3) This is the only hotel in the world I have ever stayed in where they make you sign a huge form saying that is you do not bring your towels back the same day by 17.30pm, they will charge you 25 Singapore dollars each towel. Firstly, the towels are not worth 25 Sing each, they are cheap and nasty and secondly I find the fact that the management think I am going to steal their towels quite insulting. Perhaps if the management gave the guests at the villas more than 1 towel between 2 guests, then they may not walk off with them.

A bit of a scathing review above, however we did have a good time and I think the staff at the hotel are very good. Staying in any hotel in Bintan is not cheap and I do think that the hotel is short changing it's guests a bit. Would I stay there again - probably not!

Room Tip: If you book a villa, INSIST on a renovated one. Take a lot of your own food.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Jakarta, Indonesia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2012

My family and I decided to stay at Banyu Biru Villas @ Nirwana Gardens Resort on Bintan Island as it was somewhere new to go and a great change to Bali.... Due to work commitments, I opted for the Idul Fitri Indonesian (Muslim) holiday - probably the busiest time of the year. Initial impressions were good; wide open lobby, traditional Indonesian welcome parade.... Check-in was at 3pm (despite being told it would be 2pm) and everything went well. The villa we stayed in was a real surprise. It was even better than my apartment in North Jakarta!! All the usual trimmings as you would expect with a S$600 (all prices are in Singapore dollars) a night villa but it was lacking the toiletries one expects even from a 3* hotel. The only downside was the occasionally slack service from a couple of restaurants and the quality of food from the on-site Thai restaurant (the desserts lacked any sort of authenticity or taste). The beaches and general serenity were a huge plus point!

Overall, very good!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2012

The Banyu Biru Villas look nice but unfortunately only from the outside. Once you step inside, you realize how run down are the villas! My last visit was 10 years ago and it looks like nothing has been done to maintain the villas: the villas are really run down. They should be entirely repainted, the bathrooms have added visible pipes, the new aircon units have been quickly added with the previous holes still visibles. The hard wood floor must have been nice when it was installed but it is now in a completely unacceptable condition. Not to mention the furniture which is simply horrible. The mattresses are simply awful and the decoration is that of a motel on a US highway. For those expecting the quality and taste found in hotels in Bali, be prepared to be seriously disappointed.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Lagoi hotels

Singapore, Singapore
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2012

Our villa's just 3 mins from the beach, with a porch facing the sea. Spacious and simple. There are 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, a kitchen, a dining area and a living room. Generally clean and acceptable.

There's a buggy service that comes to us whenever we call (even though the person may have some difficulty understanding English).
The shuttle bus can scoot us to the Kelong restaurant and other parts of Nirwana resort from the main lobby, but watch out cuz it does not allow standing passengers.
The only complaint is that the bus that connects the ferry terminal to Nirwana resort had been quite a wait and my luggage was missing in action for quite some time because goods and human were on separate vehicles.

Bad things aside, the beach was simply amazing.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2012

We were allowed early check-in at 12.30pm after arriving from our ferry. Staff around the resort grounds are friendly and responsive when we chat with them, less so when we needed them to send things to our villa.

We had 4 adults but only 2 towels provided when we entered our villa. No bath mats or dish racks were provided too. The phone in the living hall was faulty - this is the very 1st time i encounter this on holiday! Took us quite a while to finally get through to them to change the phone. Extra towels took 2 hrs and at least 3 calls to arrive. Buggy service to bring us to the resort lobby or resort centre was also slow. Walking would take about 15 mins if you didn't mind the scorching sun.

The villa was also old and could do with some refurbishment. The bedrooms were all situated upstairs and this could be a problem for elderly who have to climb the winding stairs many times a day.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2012 via mobile

The villa was TERRIBLY run down. Air con in all 3 rooms were leaking when we arrived. The leak was so bad that the water soaked through the daybed that was under the aircon and dripped onto the wooden floorboard. A large area of the floor was damp and sticky as a result.

The rooms had a musty smell from all the dampness and were definately not conducive for staying. When we requested for a change in villa, the staff turned us down immediately and said they were fully booked, despite us seeing alot of EMPTY  villas throughout the time we were there.

The TV remote in the master room was missing and when we requested for a new remote the staff said it had been missing for 3 months and they won't be able to replace it within the 3 days we were there, which makes us wonder Why they didn't replace it during the 3 months in the first place.

It rained on the 2nd day and the roof  LEAKED! The master room bed frame was broken, room safe was spoilt and room door to the 2nd bedroom jammed and had to call the staff to get a locksmith.

Bintan have such nice sandy beaches but it's a pity the resort by Costa sands is so terribly maintained.

  • Stayed April 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Singapore
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2012

There are plenty of better places to stay in Bintan than this hotel. Problems we encountered:
Leaking toilet in Ensuite meant that room was unusable for most of our stay.
Run down villa, very tired no where near the quality you'd expect for the price.
Every single sun bed by the villa pool was broken.
They charge extra for everything, even a game of table tennis on a rackety old table was $5.
Towels are treated like gold, every one is numbered and you have to bring the same number back or get charged $25 per towel. The towel would cost about $2 max.
Towels are collected earlier than the pool closes! if you don't hand it back- $25 per towel.
Over charged on checkout for room service I didn't have. When I proved it wasn't mine still no apology given.
When I wrote a letter of complaint post trip, they didn't even acknowledge it.

Do yourself a big favour and stay somewhere else.

Room Tip: Choose a room in a different hotel!
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Nirwana Gardens - Banyu Biru Villas

Address: Jalan Panglima Pantar | Bintan Resorts, Bintan Island, Lagoi, Riau Islands Province 29155, Indonesia
Location: Indonesia > Riau Islands Province > Riau Archipelago > Bintan Island > Lagoi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 6 Specialty lodging in Lagoi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Nirwana Gardens - Banyu Biru Villas 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tropical Family VillasFor family get togethers or group gatherings, the Banyu Biru Villa is the ideal home away from home. Self-contained and fully furnished, this villa offers the comfort of a holiday home set against a tropical resort backdrop. Indulge yourself!For a different style of resort living, Banyu Biru offers 36 lovely self-contained villas suitable for families and groups. There are three attractive designs ranging from two-bedroom to three-bedroom villas, all fully furnished and equipped with kitchen facilities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Nirwana Gardens - Banyu Biru Villas Hotel Lagoi
Nirwana Gardens - Banyu Biru Villas Bintan Island/Lagoi

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