Dates: 9th & 10th April 2013
Where: Mayang Sari Nirwana Gardens Bintan Resorts
Review: Rather lengthy but a near complete walkthrough of our stay.
A quick break was what we wanted, and that was exactly what we got.
A juggle between the short days of leave from work we got (only 3 days), ease of travel and not forgetting budget,
husband and I decided that Bintan Resorts would best fit our "get-away" criteria.
If you had been to Bintan Resorts before, you would/should know that their main currency used there is the SIngapore Dollar.
Yes, you can choose to pay in Indonesian Rupiah; But the cashiers will simply calculate the rates both ways and the price wouldn't be any cheaper.
That being said, budget IS definitely above average. However honestly, the ease and convenience of travel was the main reason why Bintan made the "cut".
Choosing between the cheaper alternatives in Peninsula Malaysia such as Perhentian Island, Tioman.. etc,
(Which would have required us to travel hours by bus from Singapore to the jetty on mainland Peninsula Malaysia, followed by a boat/ferry ride to the island),
the ONE hour ferry ride to Bintan was the OBVIOUS choice. We didn't have all the time to lose on the journey.
This was our second trip to Bintan Resorts after two years and having experienced the first with the in-laws, this was going to be a different and more relaxing moment for just the both of us.
The first trip we stayed at the Banyu Biru Villa in Nirwana Gardens, which we did not manage to write a review on that.
This time we decided to spend the night at the Mayang Sari Beach Resort, also situated within Nirwana Gardens.
Booked the room directly for a 2D1N Garden view chalet at SGD $187.55 net with breakfast for 2 & land transfer from the ferry terminal to the resort.
Purchased return ferry tickets from Bintan Resort Ferries for 2 at SGD $102.80 net including all taxes. Low peak promotion I guess.
And, booked for a 3 hour treatment at the Aroma Day Spa at SGD $128 net / per pax inclusive of land transfer and set lunch. Not too bad there…
We had pre-planned to begin our day at Bintan Resorts at the spa before checking in at Mayang Sari.
Heading there too early would mean that there would have been pretty much "nothing" to do before check-in.
Check in is at 1500hrs and so we arrived at Bintan at 1115hrs (Bintan time).
We had per-arranged for the spa to provide a pick up from the ferry terminal. After passing through immigration, we were greeted with a signboard with my name on it.
The spa was a mere 5 minutes drive away from the ferry terminal. OK I'm going to side track here for a bit to attempt to "elaborate" Bintan Resorts.
If you are new to Bintan Resorts, you will more than likely find the environment to be somewhat "unique".
The place is REALLY CLEAN, and the people/staff are all VERY friendly and approachable.
Personally, I think that the whole of Bintan Resorts is "managed" by one entity from all the resorts within, up to the Bandar Bentan Telani Ferry Terminal.
I mean, Bintan Island itself has a main town (Tanjung Pinang) which is located south, bustling with locals much like the island of Batam.
However, when we learn of Bintan Resorts, it is merely that little bit of Bintan that you will most likely experience throughout your stay there.
Notice how I repeat the word Resorts after Bintan…
See, they created (Bintan Resorts) to be a "land', with it's own little "town" with it's own "activities" (somewhat miniaturised I must add).
They secured the Lagoi town especially for tourism, with a private ferry terminal. The mini town has only a few shops, mostly selling the same items/brands;
(Look out for the many "POLO" boutiques and you'll know what I mean.)
I mean, it's somewhat practical to set up a little of everything within reach in a small nucleus. Much like being in a real life game of the Sims.
Lately they are seeking for investors to expand businesses in Bintan Resorts, so perhaps there will be more to be offered there in due time. *smiles*
That observation/note aside, I'm not here to speculate a conspiracy or anything but merely just to give you a better picture of Bintan Resorts.
Ok, back to the main review...
Aroma Day Spa:
The weather was lovely and we had arrived safely at the spa. We were greeted with a very warm welcome as if we were "VIP's" and they had prepared to expect our arrival.
Truly, coming from a typical average working class life, the utmost attention given really overwhelmed us. Made us feel super "important". Don't get that experience often in life. *chuckles*
The staff and service were commendable. Treatments were nice, I especially loved the papaya enzyme body scrub. And I also liked that the massage oil was warm.
A tiny disturbing factor was that while we were having our bath, the therapists were making the room up. Which I found that to be a little unprofessional.
But over all, everything went well.
Lunch was redeemed (Vouchers given as part of the spa treatment) at the Bumbu Cafe outside the spa before we started our treatments (Choice of before or after treatment).
Again, the service at the cafe was just as sincere and welcoming. After the spa session, a transport was provided to the Mayang Sari where we were to check in.
We were immediately greeted by Mayang Sari's front desk receptionist, who to our complete surprise,
seemed like he had been expecting our arrival to the resort. "Selamat Datang… Aini Tan?", were the exact words of welcome.
Following a fast and smooth check-in, we were ushered to out chalet doorstep "Butterfly 3".
Although, I only just recall that we did not receive the welcome drinks as stated in the fine print. It's alright.
The walk to the room took only 2 minutes or even less from the concierge.
We came in from the back alley to the Garden View Chalets' path, where several of the units were undergoing some restoration/maintenance with men at work at the start of the path.
A tad untidy to the overall outlook of the place which took some of it's quiet, peace and charm away; BUT the place has to be maintained and the men have gotta work.
The Garden View Chalets are situated right behind the Sea View Chalets (which nonetheless sport a spectacular view of the white sandy beach and is SGD $40 more).
It is still less than 5 minutes stroll to the beach; 1 minute if you were in hyped up mode like husband. - Shall cover the beach in a while.
The room was much larger than we had expected. A high ceiling with a ceiling fan and air condition.
An average size CRT TV. (old school but we weren't going to indulge in television on holiday so this didn't matter).
A king size bed with a decent mattress and a day bed lined with cushions sure set the mood to laze.
The sliding glass doors let ample light into the unit and the toilet/wardrobe was separated with a small doorway curtain.
Inside, we found the usual as any hotel would, the mini bar, a safe.. etc. There wasn't any toothpaste nor brush though.
The place was average and clean without a doubt, although some minor restoration would have to be made due to ageing.
Soon after settling in, we headed down to the beach.
The clear aqua blue waters under the evening lit sky was simply gorgeous. The beach was clean with really little debris in and out of the water.
I never knew that Bintan had such a nice beach! It was a low tide with low winds and the shallow water was simply too tempting to resist a dip in the sea!
The low peak period meant that there was little human traffic and that gave me and husband the impression/imagination that we were living the 'high life' soaking in our private beach!
With the sun soon setting, we decided to go for dinner at the nearby kelong (a Malay word to describe a form of offshore platform built predominantly with wood).
The Kelong Restaurant:
We wanted to grab the hourly internal bus service from Mayang Sari to the Kelong but it was fully seated upon its arrival.
The concierge was ever so pro active and almost immediately offered us and another couple a ride in the buggy to the Kelong.
Being a walking journey from Mayang Sari, it took us less than 5 minutes to reach.
The kelong was indeed situated to have a lovely view of the horizon. Thing was, we arrived there after sun down so it was practically dark out at sea.
Could have caught a perfect sunset while having dinner if we had gotten there at around 6pm Bintan time.
If you've had tasted seafood and KNOW seafood,
you will learn to agree that one can definitely get better seafood in comparison.
(Well this is my own honest opinion though. To each their own here..)
This was our second time to the Kelong and having tried quite a number of their dishes,
I would give my rating 6 out of 10 stars. You should try the lemon chicken… It is simply crispy and delightful!
Food was served promptly and the floor staff was attentive and pro-active.
Very good service provided, which most certainly came along with a service charge.
Price wise, pretty affordable somewhat like paying for seafood in Singapore. (Although it's the + + that makes it seem expensive at the end)
A stroll back to Butterfly 3 after a hearty dinner brought a close to day one at Bintan Resorts…
We woke up exceptionally early… 5am to be exact. No idea why there but after tossing around for a little bit, we decided to get up and get ready for breakfast. (We were the first ones at the restaurant!)
Hubby ALWAYS looks forward to these hotel buffet breakfasts! I guess it's the wide spread of all you can eat in the morning after dinner had just gone flushing down…
Took a short stroll to the SPICE restaurant beside the lobby and noticed that the wind had picked up during the night and the sea was rather rough with the tide brought in.
The restaurant had a clear view of the beach and having a scenic breakfast sure was an experience.
The food was "OK"… Not a wide variety to choose from and the taste was not something you would remember.
Filling nonetheless since it was a buffet. *grins*.
(5hrs to departure)
The rest of the day before check-out:
So after breakfast, we went back to our room and lazed, before heading out to the beach to admire the view once more before it was time's up.
The waves were too strong to swim so we just sat on the beach chairs and soaked up the sun. *still at awe with the unexpected beauty that we were blessed with before us.*
After which, we headed back to the room and packed.
Did a really smooth and quick checkout and grabbed a "taxi" which was to bring us to "Pasar Oleh Oleh" and then the ferry terminal for SGD $5 per head.
Pasar Oleh Oleh:
Situated in the vicinity of where we had our Spa treatment the day before.
A little space with a number of shops selling a small variety of stuff from food to handy craft souvenirs.
Basically, if you are in Bintan Resorts and wanted to do some shopping within,
Pasar Oleh Oleh will be where you will be recommended and brought to.
We took a quick stop over to grab some errands that some of our friends had requested.
Other than that, there was nothing that caught our interest having been there once before.
It was smooth all the way back to Singapore and that summed up the short short break that we had.
To cut it short, we couldn't have asked for more. A simple experience for a simple get away.
Don't expect much and Bintan can be a truly relaxing and enjoyable place to rest one's busy mind off work.
Value for money: 2 out of 5 stars
Convenience from Singapore: 4 out of 5 stars
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.