Knowing that I would most likely be spending my birthday alone this year, my good friend, G, suggested a getaway trip to Batam just before my birthday. G had come across a steal on deal.com.sg at only $55 a night at KTM Resort. We decided that a 3D2N trip should be sufficient for a getaway. During booking, we were told that we will get an additional night free with the purchase of 2 nights. That's nice, I mean, who minds an additional night of free stay, right? So 4D3N it was to be.
Ardiansyah, the Assistant Room Division Manager, upgraded us to a Deluxe Cottage when he knew that this was going to be a little birthday celebration. He also arranged for an additional bed placed in our cottage free of charge when they could not accommodate our request for twin beds instead of a double. On top of this, he got us special rates for full body massages at Spa Villa which is run by an external party.
The day finally arrived and after clearing immigration at Sekupang, we saw the driver for the shuttle to KTM holding a sign with "KTM" clearly printed on it. We waited a little while before being ushered up on the air-conditioned mini bus. On the bus, we were annoyed at having to wait for another 10 to 15 minutes because this rowdy bunch of young men had neglected to complete their immigration paperwork. This is, of course, no fault of KTM but I was really annoyed by their attitude.
Thankfully, it was barely a 10-minute drive to KTM and I made it a point to be the first few passengers to alight from the bus. I just couldn't take the risk of having that group mess up their paperwork and delaying our check in if they were ahead of us in the queue. Check-in was a breeze for us and the front office staff were very polite. There was no deviation from the prior arrangements made and we were promptly given our access key. As our cottage is located quite a distance away, one of the shuttle bus drivers collected our luggage and sent us to the doorstep.
The room looked really small at first glance but that's probably because we have an extra bed in there. Truth is, we did not need a big room and this is just great and cosy. The air-conditioning took quite a while to cool down the room due to the extremely hot weather outside so we made it a point never to turn it off for the duration of our stay. As we have been assigned a corner unit, we have a nice little patio with a coffee table and two chairs outside. Perfect for a book and coffee! I brought along a electric traveler's stove and we cooked instant noodles in it for lunch. As I was feeling under the weather, I took a nap while G went out to the patio with a cup of coffee and a book (Kindle). Later in the afternoon, G and I walked to the restaurant where we had another meal and spent some time reading. The restaurant extends over a pier which provided the occasional sea wind and the sound of waves. The items on their menu were considered affordable. After that, we walked along the waterfront until we came to the row of Cabanas which made up Spa Villa. We were scheduled for massage at 9pm Batam Time so we returned to our cottage to shower and read our books before the session.
At 8:30pm, we made our way down to Spa Villa only to find the place in darkness. It was a Friday night and the resort is on low occupancy since most Singaporeans will only arrive on the following day. The office of Spa Villa was locked so we knocked at their staff room. After much gesturing and explaining in simple English, we found that the staff have not been informed of our reservation. All of the staff were already in their PJs getting ready to call it a day so we did not have the heart to pursue further. The staff were also very apologetic that we have come all the way only to have to leave disappointed. Since massage is off, we went to the restaurant to have our dinner and enjoy some cold Bintang beer. We chatted, listened to music and read our books before calling it a day. I took the double bed while G took the additional bed that was placed in the room. In return, I gave G the duvet and an extra pillow. Little did we know that we would be kept awake by mosquitoes for most of the night. At 2am, after being stung for the nth time, I decided that enough is enough. I got up, called the reception and told them of the problem. Within 10 minutes, a staff arrived in a motorbike and handed me a can of Lavender-scented insecticide. I took it gratefully and sprayed generously under the beds, tables, mini fridge and every nook and cranny of the room. It's no surprise that G and I didn't sleep well having to endure mosquitoes and for me, the bonus of a blocked nose.
Breakfast starts at 6:30am and ends at 9:30am. With a rather narrow timing like this, we had to get up rather early every morning to avoid missing breakfast. Breakfast for those few days were fried noodles/beehoon/rice, cornflakes, koko krunch, bread and some local kuehs.
We met up with Ardiansyah to find out about the confusion at Spa Villa the night before. We came to the conclusion that the Spa Villa management might not have informed the staff of our booking. Ardiansyah helped make ad-hoc arrangements for a massage session at 10am so that we have ample time to shower and catch the shuttle out to Nagoya at 1pm. The massage ended at 11am and because I felt sweaty and greasy after the massage, I took a shower while G continued reading until the shuttle arrived to fetch us to Nagoya.
At Nagoya, we had lunch and went shopping at the Hypermart. One of the most important things on our shopping list was the mosquito coils (incense). We got the "jumbo" version which lasts 10 hours. For safety, we also bought a special container to house the smouldering coil. One thing I like about Indonesia is the fact that certain medication can be bought off the shelf in the hypermart without prescription.
We returned to our room to find that a young couple in their early twenties, who were part of a bigger group, checked into the room directly beside ours. They created a din as they excitedly checked out each others' rooms while I tried to take a nap after popping some antihistamines. In the evening, we cooked instant kuay teow using the stove before we headed to Spa Villa for our hot stone back massage. When we returned, our neighbour and their friends were setting off fireworks. Amused, we brought out our bottle of red wine to the patio to watch them have fun. Due to the bad sleep the previous night coupled with the wine and relaxing massages, we called it a day. The sleep was better but we were kept awake by the constant sound of chatter and television from our neighbour. At 3:30am, I got frustrated and knocked sharply on the wall 3 times. This gave us a few minutes of silence as they switched off the television shortly after and the sounds I heard after that should be left to your imagination. Gosh.
Our third day was designated to be a whole day of book reading. After breakfast, we had another round of massage before heading back to our room. For lunch, we were so lazy that we ordered room service. We watched a movie on my iPad and then resumed our book reading.
One thing unique about KTM is that they have the tallest statue of Guanyin right in the resort. This has become a tourist attraction and you will see tour buses unloading tourists in the morning. According to Ardiansyah, this statue was originally near the shorelines but was moved due to complaints from startled seamen especially during foggy nights. We made it a point to stop by the statue every night on our way back to our room to offer some prayers.
On our forth and last day, we went for our last massage. I had an ocean view package which consists of foot bath, Jacuzzi bath and full body massage. G opted for the rejuvenating package which came with a body scrub. The packages lasts about 2 hours! It was already 12pm by the time we were back in our room. We showered and ordered room service again and decided to have our meal at the patio. We had assurance that we can check out as late as we want since they are usually on extremely low occupancy on Mondays. However, I totally forgot that our access card, like those of most hotels, was programmed to be inactive after check-out time. It was just past 1pm as I walked out of the room to join G for lunch and we found ourselves locked out. Walking to the front office was out of the question as we were barefooted and the road was scorching hot. While I was trying to call to the reception via my mobile phone, I spotted a shuttle bus passing by and waved at the driver. The driver, Lico, was very kind and asked us to wait while he drove back to the front office with our access card for re-validation. We had our lunch and Lico came back with our card fixed. We requested for him to pick us up at 3pm so that we can leave for the ferry terminal before 3:30pm for our 4:30pm ferry. Lico was very puncture and we were very pleased with his good service attitude. After checking out, Lico sent us to the ferry terminal.
We have read horror stories about KTM Resort on TripAdvisor and felt that for the price we pay, we ought to lower our expectations. The staff were all friendly and will greet or at least nod at us politely with a smile whenever we walked past them. From our room and from the restaurant, we could get M1 and StarHub mobile coverage although the signal was quite weak. I was able to take a call, send some text messages and log on to 2.5G/3G for data at times. There is Wi-Fi coverage in some areas of the resort which is good (and bad at times since we were supposed to be here to "disconnect" from our hectic life in Singapore). Frankly speaking, I would prefer my stay at Harris but KTM Resort wasn't that bad - at least not as bad as described by some reviewers.
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- Also Known As:
- Pt. Ktm Resort - Batam Hotel Batam