I booked a 2D1N stay at Harris over the past weekend (15 – 16 May 2010) for friends and family. There were 6 of us and we had 2 triple sharing rooms. We took the 9.20am (sg time) Batam Fast ferry from Singapore and reached our destination at around 10.00am (indo time). There were many guests arriving who were staying at Harris. There was a separate counter for Harris guests at the customs, but I don’t see how that made the queue faster. In fact, I think we had to wait longer. :P Anyway, we had to wait for a little while to get on the bus from the jetty to the hotel as the first few buses were full. It was OK though because the resort is less than 5 minutes away from the jetty by bus.
When we got there, there were a lot of guests waiting to check in. We thought we had to wait very long. But one of the staff members, Ramli, told us that we can go and have a sit at the lounge next to the reception and that he will help us with the check-in procedures. So we were ushered to the air-conditioned lounge area. Having read the reviews on tripadvisor, we requested specifically for the newly renovated rooms. We also requested for the rooms to be adjoining if possibly. Ramli told us that new rooms should be fine, but adjoining rooms might be difficult as they are limited. He then came back to us quite promptly and we received our keycards to the new trendy wing rooms (2201 & 2207). He also helped us with the procedures for booking our ferry home on Sunday afternoon (4.30pm). He gave us our coupons for free bowling, 3 hour spa and free welcome pizzas. We all felt that Ramli’s service was very good. Cheers to Ramli! :) T
We soon found our room after a little confusion with the bellhop. He got confused and brought us to room 201 and 207 at the old wing instead. But that’s ok, spirits were high and it wasn’t that huge a resort to walk and soon we found our rooms. The rooms were clean and roomy. The sofa bench next to the TV was converted into the 3rd bed.
There was only a standing shower with no bathtub, no worries though. It had a rain shower head which was cool. But, the shower head was leaky and part of the spray went onto the wall instead of our heads. Haha. There’s a good hair dryer (1200w) too. No toothbrush or toothpaste so bring your own. They only provide 1 bath towel for each person and 1 hand towel for the whole room. There’s a mini fridge and coffee & tea making facilities. But the fridge is empty. Lol. My advice is to buy some bottled water, sodas and snacks from Singapore because prices are expensive at the hotel. Somehow we forgot about that. :p
The safe was kind of problematic in room 2201. Anyway, I was stupid enough to close the safe without resetting the passcode. :P so I called housekeeping and the guy came with a whole bunch of keys to reset it for me. He told me to try my code first before he left. It worked and he left. However, after that, I put my stuff into the safe and tried to open the safe again. It didn’t work and the safe started beeping non-stop. So I called housekeeping again and the guy came back. He said the battery of the safe is low and he has to change the battery. He said he would be back in 10 minutes …. We waited for almost 20mins, he never came back. So we decided not to waste anymore time waiting and kept our stuff in the safe of our other room (2207) and went to swim.
The resort’s pools are nice and big. However, some tiles on the wall of the pools (in the centre, near bridge) have cracked and fallen out revealing the concrete underneath. It was unsightly and I definitely would not feel safe if I have children in the pool playing near that area. The wooden floor boards also felt like they were gonna fall off and splinter. If you’re not careful when getting out of the water and hit your knee against the floor boards, I think you can jolly well get splinters in your skin. Definitely not safe.
Although, some good things around the pools are that the chairs are really comfortable. The ones with shelters look really nice, but it felt really hot and stuff if we sat inside. The mock-rattan ones are nice and comfy. One can fall asleep just lying and relaxing on the chairs. We could also order our free pizzas and have them brought to the pool. The sodas were expensive at $4.50 sgd each. The pizzas are ok. Not very big though, but enjoyable because we were all hungry.
After swimming and relaxing at the pool, we proceeded for our free bowling game at the bowling alley. One game cost $2.50 and you have to rent the bowling shoes at $1 per pair. However, do remember to bring along a pair of socks. Otherwise, you can purchase socks at $2 per pair, which looks old and yellowish. So bring your own socks! We had a lot of fun bowling and paid for 1 more game after the free game.
After bowling, we went to H spa for our 3 hours spa treatment. It was supposed to be 1 hour scrub, 1.5 massage and 30 mins bath soak. After arriving and being brought to our respective rooms and changing, I think it was already 15 minutes gone. Spa for me was not so enjoyable. I was pretty psyched before the trip because I was really looking forward to the spa treatment. Perhaps my expectations were too high having been to some really nice spas around Asia. I would say H Spa tries hard but the facilities are simply not up to the standard. I had my 1 hour scrub in a double room with my friend, but we were transferred to single massage huts after the scrub. The scrub room was a bare room with a changing space with curtains and 2 beds. The lights were not dimmed during the treatment and the music only came on possibly 5 minutes into the scrub treatment, so there was absolutely no ambience. The masseuse also did not start together and end together (which was usually the case if you are in a double spa room with a partner).
After the scrub, we were transferred to 2 single huts in the open area. I was told to shower first before the massage. The masseuse couldn’t speak much English so I had no idea what she was saying. My friend in the other hut just next to mine told me that her masseuse said that she’d be back in 15 mins. It took them longer than that to come back, possibly 25 minutes. Finally, after waiting for so long, she finally came back with the treatment items I guess. The massage started and kept getting interrupted. The masseuse kept going to the bath tub to fill the tub with water. She did this like every 5-10 minutes. Massage my legs …. Go sort out the tub. Massage my back … go sort out the tub. Her massage skills were OK, but the massage session kept getting interrupted. Then, one of her colleagues (a guy) came with a bucket of hot water, which she poured into the tub. Mind you, it was a pretty open tent with privacy provided only with bamboo blinds and translucent curtains. I was almost naked on the massage bed and a dude came with the hot water. Where’s the privacy?! It was unacceptable for me.
Anyway, finally, the massage was over. It was only about an hour, not 1.5 hour. I was told to go soak in the tub for 30 mins. When I got into the tub, it was 6.40pm. The water was COLD. The fan was on and I was freezing. I had to tell the masseuse to turn the fan off. I didn’t soak more than 10 mins in there. Then I showered again. There was hardly any water coming through the shower head. And it was cold water. So I just wiped myself dry and dressed myself. And at 7pm, the masseuse came back. I was not ready yet and she waited a while and called me again. She said something to me and gestured that time was up. I was getting annoyed but didn’t say much. My friend who was in the next tent at me, was already out and waiting for me at reception. We agreed that the masseuses could massage well, but we just kept getting interrupted and the facilities at H Spa was in fact quite horrid. The other 4 members of our group finished their treatment later than us, as per the allocated time. They said their treatment was alright. Perhaps it was because they were in double rooms/tents throughout the whole treatment so your partner could look out for you if you’re being short changed. In single rooms, nobody besides me and the masseuse knew what happened, so they could skive. Anyway, they had 1 same complaint though, no hot water shower facilities. We were showering in cold water after massage. I wondered if we were going to get joint pains from that. :\ So, H Spa definitely gets thumbs down from me.
After the spa, we were famished and decided to eat at the resort instead of going out for seafood. We had the BBQ buffet at $35 sgd per person. It was not very good mainly because there were not a lot of choices. If you have a buffet at $35 in Singapore, it’s a pretty decent buffet already. There were only beef, chicken and lamb for BBQ. I’m surprised they do not have even have satay, which is supposed to be a popular Indonesian delicacy. They had the peanut sauce somewhere for rojak instead, but no satay. So sad. They also do not have a large variety of food items in the buffet. There was a band singing though which was nice I guess. They were interactive and got guests to participate in dancing and singing with them. It’s not worth the money going for the BBQ buffet though. We found another place you can eat at the next day though. I’ll elaborate later on.
After our buffet dinner, we went on for karaoke. The karaoke bar was managed by the Korean restaurant Arirang. It was only $5 per head and hour. There are a lot of Korean songs. Quite a big selection of Chinese & Taiwanese songs too. English songs not so much and some Indonesian songs as well. We had a large private room to ourselves and were given 2 mics for the rooms. There were also some tambourines in the cabinets. We had a lot of fun singing. We stretched our hour to the max and the staff was obliging and I bet he was glad that we finally left. Haha. It was a lot of fun! Although I wouldn’t recommend singing on a full stomach. :D
We went back to our rooms, had a shower and a good night sleep. There’s a good selection of TV channels. You can get Singapore channels and international channels. The next day, we had our breakfast at the café. They don’t even have Nasi Lemak! I’ve been to a few places in Indonesia and they always have nasi lemak at the breakfast buffet. I thought that would be a very basic Indonesian dish! Tourists like me would appreciate local food! There was also not a lot of variety. The egg station’s queue was super long. Had to wait about 10 minutes for an omelette & scrambled eggs. Breakfast was disappointing. :(
We proceeded for some water sports after breakfast at the Monkey Beach Hut. We took a package for parasailing+jetskii+banana boat ride for S$50 each because we had more than 5 persons. It was a good deal and we had a lot of fun! We also realised that you can have your meals at the Monkey Beach Hut. They have stuff like burgers, sandwiches and local delicacies like stir fried veges, seafood and rice. And it was a lot cheaper eating at the hotel! I wished we had found out about this place the day before so we didn’t have to eat at the hotel’s BBQ buffet. We ordered our lunch and went back to shower and check out from the resort, put our luggage at the concierge and went back to Monkey Beach Hut for our lunch. After lunch, we went for another game of bowling before finally taking the bus to the jetty for our ferry back to Singapore at 4.30pm.
It was a very fun trip having great company and lots of things to do. We didn’t even leave the resort and had our time fully utilized! Not leaving the resort is alright if you’re just saying overnight and has limited time. There are a lot of things you can do at the resort. If you are staying 2 nights, you can take a taxi ride or take the bus shuttle provided by the hotel to Nagoya town for some shopping. I don’t know what stuff people buy usually from Batam, but I always buy their Polo shirts. It’s not Ralph Lauren of course. It’s just Polo, Indonesian Polo. :P Quality is pretty good. All in all, Harris definitely has areas they need to improve on, but I feel that this resort has potential and the owners and management should really look into how the facilities and services can be improved. The staff members are all very friendly and energetic. The activities which guests can do at the resort are a good variety!
- Also Known As:
- Harris Resort Batam Waterfront Hotel
- Harris Resort Batam Waterfront Hotel Batam
- Batam Harris Hotel
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A friendly resort facing the strait of Singapore and the sea view with spacious accommodation and giant free form swimming pool. Strategic destination and a perfect vacation spot for couples, families or business purposes. With 308 rooms and suites including 20 cabanas, this hotel has the largest number of room provided in Funky and Trendy Wing.Harris Funky will cater the needs of your most discerning family member while easily keeping the whole group occupied and satisfied. Harris Trendy has the newest and trendiest all inclusive concepts, reserved exclusively for couples and singles over 18 years old of age. Asia’s one of its kind, an all inclusive concept welcomes couples and singles to experience carefree days and endless irresistible nights in Batam. The over 18, adults-only atmosphere allows event the most conventional of guest to throw caution-to-the-wind and experience life like never before. Located just 40 minutes away from Harbourfront Center Singapore, Harris Resort Batam try to persuade its guests to linger with a plethora of water sports & indoor entertainment in the form of a ten-lane bowling alley, Squash & billiards, Go kart, Flying Fox or sea sport activities. Soothe the muscles with one of our treatments at the spa, foot reflexology facilities or head to the giant free-form pool. The H-Spa an oasis of calm and serenity with breathtaking sea views and sunset in the afternoon, provide Harris Fans with a haven to luxuriate and pamper themselves with a selection of Body and Facial treatments masterfully executed by highly trained therapists. Five outlets to ease hunger pains are available by providing Indonesian, Asian and Western cuisines. ... more less
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