For a maximum bang for the buck weekend getaway from Singapore I’d recommend Tempat Senang. We visited in June on the 3 day/2 night spa package, staying in the Indonesian Room. As the owner – Jasmine – freely admits, there’s not much to do other than chill out by the pool, have spa treatments or maybe a round of golf at the golf course next door. Batam, on first impressions, is a fairly charmless place. However Tempat Senang is a unique property in a lovely setting landscaped with fishponds on all sides and complete with its own resident parrot.
I couldn’t disagree more with the previous reviewer about the cost. We didn’t hold back on food or drink and our bill came to $1000. See how far this gets you elsewhere - you will spend twice as much in a Bintan resort in the blink of an eyelid! True - in Bintan you are getting the beach, the big resort and all of that, so it’s your choice. The beer butt chicken was a bit of a novelty – tasty and at $40, a bargain and more than enough for two people. Service on the terrace can be a bit slow but it’s more unobtrusive than anything intentional. We found this was easily fixed by knocking on the kitchen door to ask for our gin and tonic!
I will admit that I’m not a big fan of ordering my breakfast a day ahead but the food at Tempat Senang is freshly prepared, hence why you need to pre-order. It’s not the sort of place where they have a breakfast buffet withering away on the side. I think this is actually an advantage as your food is fresh, but as always in this region, the Asian dishes are the pick of the bunch. Highly recommend the satay and the gado gado. American breakfast was a let-down – go for the nasi goring or mee goring instead.
The spa was great – superb value and very relaxing. As someone who normally emerges from a facial with a face like a well-used dartboard I can highly recommend the gentle facials here. I was a bit skeptical about the laser and vacuum parts of the treatment but believe me, your skin will look amazing afterwards! However for my pedicure, the selection of nail polish colours was very limited and it looked like the one I chose was past its best as the therapist had all sorts of trouble taming the gloopy stuff.
Our room was small but fine, with a nice outdoor shower. Some small points for improvement - I couldn’t find a hairdryer and there’s no mirror above the table – essential for doing hair and make-up! The coat hangers in the wardrobe were mostly gnarled up wiry things and the bath towels were a bit small and thin, not quite creating the overall luxury boutique feel. Just before we left we did get to have a sneaky peak in two other rooms which had more ‘wow factor’. I loved the Thai room, which is surrounded by fish ponds outside and has a huge marble bath and its own fish spa on the terrace. The Bali room also looked amazing. It also has a private outdoor terrace and a huge bathroom with a Jacuzzi.
The staff were very helpful throughout and will book the golf and organize a taxi if you want to go out to a local restaurant. Generally we felt we got quite a personalized service from the staff. Bottom line: Batam does not have the overall charm and visual appeal of Bintan, but Tempat Senang is excellent value and we’re already planning a return trip for golf and spa with our friends.