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“Nice but...” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Banyan Tree Bintan

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Banyan Tree Bintan
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Jalan Teluk Berembang Laguna Bintan, Riau Islands Province 29155 , Indonesia   |  
Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 30 Hotels in Bintan Island
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Singapore
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Nice but...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2009

First impression of the pool villa was 'wow'... i mean, how many hotels provide his-and-hers toiletries in colour-coded pouches, including wrap covers for the mineral water? Plus the villa came equipped with a pool, jacuzzi and outdoor bath / shower. Maybe my expectations were too high but after a while, the little imperfections set in. Overall, still a nice and relaxing stay, but for the prices being charged, I'd have expected a tad more.

Here's a sum-up of what worked for me and what did not.

BEDROOM
- The attention to details was well-appreciated, from the above-mentioned toiletries, to the aromatherapy + incense set, beach + bedroom slippers, and so on.
- Bed was really comfortable with good quality duvet + threads + pillows.
- What's puzzling is the positioning of the TV set, where viewing is partially obstructed by one pillar of the four-poster bed.
- Only one armchair is provided in the bedroom area. What if you just want to lounge in air-conditioned comfort with your partner?
- Wanted to try the outdoor bathtub but put off by the (organic) debris and grotty corners.

POOL + JACUZZI
- These look gorgeous, but jump in, and you see millions of particles and fibres in the pool water, and white flakes (styrofoam & paint?) in the jacuzzi water. Hotel tells us that the jacuzzi water is changed daily. Could it be an issue of inadequate cleaning, or perhaps the jacuzzi cover is disintegrating? Might want to do something about the pool filtration system too.

PANTRY + OPEN AIR AREA
- Pool villa is very spacious (~400 sq ft) compared to the standard villa (~70 sq ft); seating areas well-suited for groups.
- Well-stocked beverage corner with complimentary coffee powder, good selection of teas and mineral water.
- We had some wildlife visitors ranging from fruit bats (watch out for their droppings in the morning!) to gecko and squirrel (which has developed a taste for chilli and lime tortilla chips, it seems). Not an issue for us, but do store your snacks in the bedrooms if you don't wish to share.

SPA
- Just wonderful, enough said.

COMMON AREAS
- Lounged around the beach pool for a couple of hours and was happy with the service there - cold bottled water, sticks of fruit, insect repellant and cold towels. Nice shower too, set amongst the rocks.
- Do have your breakfast at the outdoor area of Treetops which is right by the sea.

FOOD
- As mentioned by several reviews, not quite up to scratch for a premium resort. Decent but not fantastic. Breakfast menu, in particular, needs to be improved. One of the food items - chicken pao - tasted bitter; this is not acceptable for a five-star resort. Saffron is hit-and-miss.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BTGroup, Area General Manager at Banyan Tree Bintan, responded to this review, December 18, 2009
Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to post a review on your experience at Banyan Tree Bintan. Your insightful comments are highly appreciated.

It was great to read how spacious you found the villas and that you enjoyed the toiletries and little quality touches that we provide. It was also pleasing to read that you have enjoyed many aspects of our services and facilities such as our Spa and our common areas. The natural terrain that surrounds our beautiful property is unique and is where the forest meets the ocean. We have gone to great lengths to keep the natural environment and habitat intact which provides a home for many animals and which is highly appreciated by the majority of our guests.

I have shared the points raised concerning the quality of food with the Food and Beverage team so that necessary action is taken place to ensure the resort’s normal high standards are maintained.

We thank you once again for your comments and for choosing Banyan Tree Bintan as your vacation get-away. We do hope that overall you had a relaxing enjoyable stay with us. We look forward to the opportunity of welcoming you back and being of service to you again.


Kind regards,

Andrew Langston
Area General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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877 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (113)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
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English first
singapore
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2009

We stayed at villa on the rock for 2 nites and that was so relaxing. The villa faces to the West, so we can see the beautiful sunset from our room everyday. Things on the sun deck including the jacuzzi, Inside the room, there was nothing to complain

Food tasted great in Banyan Tree but really over priced. Breakfast tasted very good too, though there’s not too much type of food to choose from. The beach area for Banyan Tree guests was small, but we could walk over to the Angsana’s where the sands were fine & white and less rough rocks in the water.

The buggy service was very efficient. I’ve tried the spa and yoga, both were very professional.

Anyway,i will recommend to all of you!!

  • Stayed March 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2009

We went to banyan tree for 3 days from Hong Kong. Despite the fact that we had to travel for 10 hours each way, spent one night in Singapore we absolutely loved this place. It was beyond our expectations in any possible aspect:

--staff - very friendly, helpful and quick
--food - delicious (Safron and the Cove - superb), tempura beef the best, luxury breakfast in our villa
--spa - unbelievable although pricey and need to book well in advance
--accommodation - well....we have been upgraded to the villa with the pool which was pretty awesome

We both spent fantastic weekend, very relaxing and worth every money!!! I think al bad reviews are really not fair as this place is unbelievable.

Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, Scotland
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2009

Recently stayed at this hotel and we had a great stay. Usually do not comment on hotel stays but I feel some of the reviews below are unfair on this property.

The staff were extremely friendly and all knew our names after a couple of days. Staff were dressed smartly in different traditional uniforms and although maybe lacking the experience of other 5 star hotel staff, they did go out of their way to help us.

We would recommend the yoga classes in private villas - incredible.

Would not recommend the hotel next door - Angsana. Has a nice pool but the food was pretty awful.

The insects did not really bother us. We did see a 6ft monitor lizard though which was pretty creepy.

The Cove restaurant seemed to have the best food for our tastes in the Banyan Tree. Although wines were an extortionate price (I suppose they did have to be shipped from Europe).

If you are looking for a relaxing quiet stay then this is the place but if you are looking for incredible luxury then you may look elsewhere.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
54 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2009

We stayed at this resort for 2 nights, paying US$650 per night for the privilege. We intended to have a very relaxing, pampering weekend away from Singapore and took the Catamaran in under one hour. No-one could accuse it of being inconvenient from Singapore, but it's geographical proximity and the views from our villa were all it had going for it.

*ANNOYANCES*

Firstly, let me deal with the pest issue. I had read that insect repellant was a necessity - this is an understatement. If you are at all insect-phobic like me, then this isn't the place for you. There were the following: Mosquitoes (possibly carrying Malaria or Dengue Fever), Sand Flies on the beaches, Beetles (?) in our pool, 3 or 4 different types of ants in our outside area, a miscellaneous insect crawling the walls in our living room, and what I think was a Preying Mantis in our bedroom. In addition there were harmless lizards on the outside walls picking off insects, bats, and one morning a green snake heading up into our raised eating area.

It would be an understatement to say that I found this stressful, and therefore affected my partner who could also not relax. In addition to this, there was constant building work on the roof of another villa, with contractor voices, hammering, drilling and electrical saw noise to soothe us while we swam or sunbathed. It's a shame that they don't maintain the general upkeep of the villas though, as our kitchen had a hole in the mosquito net, was crawling with ants, and many of the patio doors had gaps allowing insects into the bedroom, living room and dressing areas.

On Saturday night there was also a hardcore disco rave going on in one of the adjoining resorts. At 2am, as we could not sleep, I called reception to complain and they told me it was nothing to do with them and that it should finish around 4am!!! I asked them to call the resort to complain and the only way we could get to sleep was by using ear plugs. God help anyone who was trying to sleep actually IN that resort as their bed would have been bouncing!

Generally though, when it came to accommodation, I didn't think the decor to be dated as others have said, but appropriate for the setting. The facilities were enjoyable (Infinity pool, Jacuzzi) - if I could move it somewhere else....

*FOOD*

The food... ugh! Where do I begin. I don't know if this is a problem with Indonesia, or whether it was a problem with this particular resort, but the food (for the most part) was vile! Far from 5 star luxury.

The first night we dined at Saffron (Indonesian/Thai) and this was quite nice actually, though expensive. It was pretty-much meat in peanut sauce, and the staff were attentive. The next day we went to the included "American Breakfast" at Tree Tops... oh dear. What was American about it I do not know... but it was nothing like any breakfast I've had when I've visited the US - the closest was when I stayed at a 2 star resort in Turkey when I was younger.

It was a buffet breakfast, with cooked meats, a pancake/waffle station, 'champagne' cocktails, juices (no apple), and hot items (including asian selections, Chicken Sausages [think bland hot dogs], mashed potato on an undercooked potato slice). I then asked them to make me some scrambled eggs but they were bland and had a large piece of shell in them. When I complained the server looked like she could care less.

Continuing with breakfast, the following day we ordered in to our villa as there were more options (like bacon!) and paid the US$8 delivery charge. V-I-L-E. Starving after dinner the night before (see below) we ordered a large selection of things. The bacon was tasteless (like cardboard), the sausages were still chicken dogs, the eggs still bland and the pastries only attracted the attention of the tiny spider-mites that seemed to come with the delivery (table was wiped down before it was set up). Oh, and the hash-browns were raw and soaked in what tasted like very old grease!

Now, dinner on the second night we decided to try the beach BBQ at the sister resort hotel. They drove us over there, and we sat by the beach. The only positive thing I have to say about this was that there were no bugs!

The deal was you select what you want within a 2 hours sitting. I had a caesar salad (my partner had potato and leek soup), we both then had chicken breast with raw potato gratin (the guy working the counter hacked the [dry] chicken like he'd never handled a carving knife before. Training is clearly in order!!) followed by BBQ items from the grill: a small steak (100g?) which was 'ok', and then a lamb kebab which was pretty bad. Both in the same ketchup-based sauce. I tried dessert which was a warm chocolate cake. Just awful. I had one mouth-full and pushed it away. When we asked to pay so we could leave (just 50 minutes into our 2 hours) I was told I was "still eating". I simply said I'd had enough -- don't get me started on the Mexican Mariachi Band singing the Beatles, Elvis and "You are sooo byoooteefoool toooo-rrr meee!" at tables with couples - Cringe-worthy.

*SPA*

As part of the relaxation weekend we'd planned, we wanted to make use of the Spa. First thing was my partner wanted a hair cut. Insanely, though, their hairdresser doesn't work Saturdays. When we tried to make an appointment for Sunday we were told they were full. When we tried to book spa treatments, we were told they only had 1hr for 1 person on Saturday, and could only fit us in after 5pm on Sunday. We were checking out at 2pm... What a letdown. Hire more staff!

*STAFF*

I found them to be courteous and welcoming. There were a few awkward moments when people clearly expected a tip but there was a huge service charge added to the accommodation costs to cover this. Where the service fell down was on pro-activeness. The first night we had to ask for someone to come out as they had not set up the insect repellants (electric indoors and burning coils outdoors). Also the servers at the BBQ were more interested in having fun together and putting on their favourite songs than looking and acting professional.

*DISCOUNT*

I have a list of the things I was going to complain about but it is buried at the bottom of my case. I hope I've remembered everything. I seem very negative, but when you are paying this much for a supposed-five-star experience, everything that isn't done right is a real annoyance.

I had planned to write a letter to Banyan Tree complaining about everything (which I will probably still do) but decided to raise the problems at check out. All I got to was the noise from the rave and the construction noise and the manager discounted our room rate substantially. It was still the most expensive weekend away we have every had and one of the worst.

I wouldn't recommend this place and I won't be back to Indonesia or to any Banyan Tree (which might be unfair, but this experience has tarnished my view of the brand).

Banyan Tree in Bintan clearly need to up their game in terms of facilities and the quality of the food on offer. The guests might be a captive audience, but giving them such awful food simply means you don't get repeat business and you get very very bad word of mouth.

PS: I have marked "No" to Free High Speed Internet as the Internet was so bad it was impossible to get a Citrix connection to log into work, meaning that this in fact increased stress levels. I also marked "No" to Fitness Centre as there was a small offering or a few machines... they really need to invest in a proper gym!

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
BTGroup, Area General Manager at Banyan Tree Bintan, responded to this review, October 28, 2009
Dear valued guest,

Thank you for taking the time to post your review regarding your recent stay at Banyan Tree Bintan as this assists us in improving our service and facilities.

We apologize for the disappointments that you experienced during your stay at our property.

The resort is situated in an unique environment where the jungle meets the South China Sea. Great lengths were taken during the construction of the property so as to keep as much of the natural vegetation and wildlife as possible. However, we do also have a full pest control program in place but we try not to harm the original surroundings. We do enjoy many favorable comments to this effect but sadly this was not the case for your good selves and we apologize for any discomfort caused.

Our menus have been designed based on comments from past guests and we will certainly have the food and beverage management team review in detail the points you have raised. We have been fortunate to receive a lot of positive reviews on our cuisine; we are sorry you did not find our dining options and food to your liking.

We do hope that we will have the opportunity of welcoming you back to the resort so that we can make your stay nothing but a pleasurable experience.

Kind regards,

Andrew Langston
Area General Manager
Banyan Tree Bintan
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2009

The banyan tree hotel is perfect for couples. We found the spa to be a top spa with a fantastic range of treatments and very well trained therapists. The products smelled divine. It was a little expensive but we also got so much out of our treatments that the value for money was still high.

The food was a little disappointing as it was no as authentic as we had hoped. We wanted to try many more local dishes but everything seemed to be tasting the same. Still overall a fantastic holiday that we can recommend.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Melbourne, Australia
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2009

What an amazing trip, and what an amazing hotel!

From the moment they greet you at the Ferry Terminal to the moment they wave you bye on your departure I can not speak more highly of the staff at the Banyan Tree. They made my partner and I feel completely comfortable and that our every wish was possible.

There service is only second to the hotel itself which is a series of beautiful art stills in real life!!

Nothing more to be said, but a wonderful hotel and staff. You must also try one of the Dinner Experiences they are what the they claim them to be. Also the spa is heaven!!

If a dream is to have some fallings, it is an older resort as opposed to brand new and slightly expensive for the region. But is still well above the normal "5 star" standard and comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. There is no price on class and beauty!

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Banyan Tree Bintan

Address: Jalan Teluk Berembang Laguna Bintan, Riau Islands Province 29155 , Indonesia
Phone Number:
Location: Indonesia > Riau Islands Province > Riau Archipelago > Bintan Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 Luxury Hotel in Bintan Island
#4 Spa Hotel in Bintan Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Banyan Tree Bintan 5*
Number of rooms: 72
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Close to Singapore lies a sweep of brilliant Indonesian islands, the most spectacular of which are found in the Riau Archipelago. Bintan Island has long been one of the region's most popular destinations. Banyan Tree Bintan occupies 240 hectares on the sea front and is comprised of 72 villas modeled on traditional Balinese architecture, all beautifully located in virgin forest. The resort's Jacuzzi villas have jacuzzis built into their sun decks whilst the two-bedroom pool villas have their own plunge or swimming pools and are particularly suitable for families. Culinary variety is the name of the game with "Crossroads" offering Western cuisine in an air-conditioned or al fresco setting while the Saffron Restaurant serves Thai and South East Asian specialties. You can also dine in your own villa - simply order from the a la carte menu or make a selection from the BBQ dinners cooked in front of your eyes. The new food and beverage outlet, "The Cove," is modern and up-tempo; Mediterranean cuisine is prepared here to perfection. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Banyan Tree Bintan Hotel Bintan
Banyan Tree Hotel Bintan
Bintan Banyan Tree
Banyan Tree Bintan Bintan Island, Riau Islands

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