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“Relaxing but make sure you budget for food and activities” 3 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
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Relaxing but make sure you budget for food and activities”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2012

My extended family stayed 2 nights over a weekend, taking 2 back-to-back villas. Overall, I would say we enjoyed the stay and below are my comments.

Villas - I've seen mixed reviews in this website and was prepared for the worst. Perhaps we managed to draw the long straw as our unit was not bad for a resort that's been around for a few years. There are signs of wear and tear and patched up repair work here and there but overall it was ok. Utensils are available and well maintained except I'm not sure why they want to provide toasters as I wouldn't want to use something that I cannot wash myself before using it. Also, will probably need some forensic tests, but there might be some blood stains on one of the blankets.

Food - Not cheap. Conservatively, you will probably need to budget around $15 per meal per person. Probably need to budget more if you intend to go for better stuff on the menu. You can also save by bringing your own food. But it will be a challenge carrying food from your home to Tanah Mareh, lug them up and down the ferry and transfer to the hotel by bus.

Staff - Friendly and helpful. Different from the lively bunch at Club Med, but good enough.

Activities - Have to pay for many of the sports activities and many are unavailable until 10am local time which is already 11am in Singapore.

Things to consider bringing - Torchlight (especially if there are small kids as some places can be quite dim. Even if they are not afraid of the dark, how often do they get to use a torchlight nowadays? Let them have some fun!), umbrella (for going between places as you can't possibly keep calling for the buggy everywhere you go), some bread or instant noodles for supper as room service is expensive. Another way to save money is to have a heavy breakfast and then save by having instant noodle or sandwiches for lunch in your villa.

Comparing with Club Med - I would say both has pros and cons. Club Med has it's free flowing drinks, very friendly staff and more activities are covered in the package, but I'm not sure if I'd want to pay so much upfront or to pay less and then decide what I want or don't want to do or eat and then pay accordingly.

Overall, Banyu Biru or Nirwana Resort is considered a good option for a short vacation from Singapore. But as a car owner, I personally prefer driving up to one of the resorts along the Malaysian coast.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NirwanaGardens, The Management at Nirwana Gardens - Banyu Biru Villas, responded to this review, November 27, 2012
Hi VerySingaporean,

Warm greetings from Nirwana Gardens! Thank you for the time you had spent to write us a feedback on your stay at Banyu Biru Villas. We were pleased to read that you and your family had enjoyed your vacation at Nirwana Gardens.

We have taken note on comments you had given, especially in regards to the housekeeping and F&B. We will convey these comments to the Departments and Department Heads accordingly to review and improve on, to ensure an enjoyable experience for our guests in future.

Most of our activities are only open from 10am onwards, giving our guests ample and luxury time to enjoy their daily buffet breakfast before starting the day. You could also consider buying the "All-in" Activities Pass at our Activities Desk in Nirwana Resort Hotel - it includes a list of activities for you to enjoy at a very special rate of only S$38++ :)

Indeed, our prices are all in SGD, as is the same for all the other Bintan resorts in the area. We would also like to share that due to limited suppliers in Bintan, and because some of our food supplies are also imported from overseas, this will impact the cost of our food. However we try our best to cater to all kinds of foodies through the variety of our F&B outlets. For a "cafeteria" style of dining, we also have our Makan Makan food court at the Nirwana Resort Centre, which provides different kinds of cuisines for Guests to choose from, according to their likes and taste.

It is also our service motto to "Serve with Extra (S)miles" and we were pleased to read that our staff were friendly and helpful during your stay :)

We understand the limitations of transport modes to Bintan, and although the most convenient route right now would be the 55-minute ferry ride from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal in Singapore to Bintan for our guests arriving from that direction, we are in anticipation of the Bintan Resorts Airport set to open in 2015. Perhaps in future, there might be suggested routes for car owners like yourself who would enjoy road trips instead!

Once again, we would like to thank you for the review, your comments will definitely help us in our efforts to serve our guests better. We surely hope to welcome you back to Nirwana Gardens soon!


Warm Regards,
Management Team
Nirwana Gardens
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49 reviews from our community

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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
    2.5 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
Singapore
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Lagoi hotels

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
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
16 helpful votes 16 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.
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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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 ( Wi-Fi ) 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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