The good, the average, the bad. Honest feedback. Summary at the end.
- Dinners. High quality buffet food on both nights of our stay.
- Staff driven birthday party celebrations during meal times. A nice touch by the staff. A lot of rara if you're into that type of thing.
- Lunch. Some things were good, others were not good. There was no sign of seafood except for muscles yesterday which were very average.
- Staff attentiveness. Although some try to be nice, others just can't be bothered. A very inconsistent experience. There seemed to be a lot of attention paid to those with young children, so this probably explains why Club Med has received some good reviews.
- Sleepability was ok, however the curtains in the room are thin, so the sunlight will come into the room at 6am. Note earliest breakfast is 7am and gym is open but unattended.
*Poor* (I wish I didn't have so much to say)
- Timing for activities is too restrictive. Went to the beach and it was closed at 11am due to strong undercurrents. Went to archery at 11:45 and was told it was too late to join (but we later heard from others in the group prior that they had only just started 5 mins ago). So we went to reception to ask if we could use the bikes and ride around, to which the answer was you need to book it and riding will be at 5pm. Fed up, we decided to head to lunch. Only to be met with closed doors as we were 10 minutes early!
- Beach weather during monsoon season is terrible. Not the fault of Club Med, but for the price that they're charging its way disproportionate. No banana boat, no jetski, no kayak, no sailing, no swimming in the water, nothing!
- Breakfast - doesn't even meet standard quality. Yesterday the fruit salad with watermelon was spoilt. It was clear this was saved from the previous day's meal as you could tell it was off even by the smell. Passed this to the waitering staff who did not deny it and took it away. Egg omlettes were dry and crusty. Similarly the mac and cheese this morning. Terrible food to start the day.
- Beer. Although Club Med is free flow drinks, do not be fooled. We played drinking games last night and after 6 beers there was no sign of *any* drunkenness. Something is wrong with this beer! We haven't quite figured out what yet.
- Room standard. Old TV, very poor static reception. Drawers were all empty, no laundry bags, no slippers, no iron, no ironing board. NOTHING! Bathroom has mould. Since its my first stay at Club Med, I'm not sure whether this is 'standard' but its typical of a 2 star international hotel - not really what I was expecting from a brand name like Club Med.
- Infrastructure. Typical Indonesian quality - lovely when brand new, but no maintenance is done thereafter. Gym has 2 treadmills, but only 1 is working. 2 exercise bikes, but only 1 can be programmed while the other doesn't calculate correctly. The vertical bench press is also out of order. Walking around the Jati block, Level 3 there is a wooden door that has scrape marks which really makes it look unsightly. Overall, the place needs MAJOR renovation.
- Checkout woes. I was charged Singapore $12 for changing my ferry time. At time of checkout they requested payment and I gave them S$15 ($10 and $5 note). They said they did not have change. They then said they could give change but in Rupiah. Reluctantly I said ok. They then opened the money box and only found Singapore dollars, not enough Rupiah for change. They looked at me and told me they had no change. And we were stalemated where they refused to give me change in Singapore dollars and had no Rupiah either. I asked for their manager. Same girl came out 5 mins later and gave me the same response. I offered to give them and extra $1 coin so that it would me $16 and they could refund me $4 (2 x $2 notes). She again refused saying that they don't accept coins. I told them its not 5 cents or 10 cents coins. She still refused. No coins accepted since their money changer doesn't accept coins! So I asked if they could just accept my coin and exchange it with other guests who would also be checking out later in the day. Again she refused. 20 minutes passed and eventually she gave me "some" Rupiah. Although I was shortchanged I took it anyway just to close this case off. So Club Med, you still owe me...
Value for money. My company paid for this trip. But if it was my money I would have asked for a 75% refund. The estimated pricing for 2 adults + 2 children is about S$2000 for 2 nights. With so many activities restricted due to timing or cancelled due to weather there is really nothing to do. Food was not a highlight except for dinner. The bar beer without beer sideeffects (you can judge whether thats good or bad). Facilities in dire need of renovation. Beach activities offlimits due to weather at this time of season.
I'd not go back again. If you do decide to go though, just go in with lowered expectations. I was expecting more from a brand name, and so clearly I was disappointed.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Island of Bintan to the south of Singapore is full of history, marked by fallen empires. Its tranquil bays were long used by the Orang Laut pirates as a refuge. This is where Club Med Bintan Island, a haven of tranquility and refinement combining modernity with Asian tradition, now nestles. From the terrace of the Bar, feast your eyes on the mass of lapis-lazuli blue, mother of pearl and emerald, from the pool to the lush gardens. Nearby, Ria Bintan Golf Course is also a golfer's heaven. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Club Med Ria Bintan Hotel Bintan
- Club Med Bintan Island Riau Islands
- Bintan Club Med