We had the most awesome stay! We stayed for 10 days at the end of February, with my husband and our 11.5month baby. We only really had one day when it rained (it is monsoon season) yet we still got to swim and do activities every day we were there.
I admit I had many reservations from reading reviews on here about the cleanliness of the rooms, the food quality and bringing a baby, but we did not encounter any of those during our stay.
I have so much to say so I have broken it into sections as you should read this if you have read any of the terrible reviews. And this was all the kind of info I was hoping to find out before I went.
Firstly the customer service is incredible, everyone makes you feel so welcome, there is a huge welcome group when you arrive and also when you leave. There was not one staff member that did not greet us with a smile passing by, even if you only passed them 5 minutes ago. Anything we needed the request was fulfilled with a smile. Mike the resorts manager does a fantastic job and has an awesome team under his wing. He always made the time to stop and say hello and a chat to us and everyone he passed by. It was also nice to see he was a fellow Australian ;) Every time we passed reception we were greeted with hello's and waves to our baby (who was very popular amongst everyone in the village during our stay) majority of the staff who had met us and our baby remembered her name every time. There is always a huge welcome and goodbye at meal times. The two restaurant managers were amazing Widodo and the other (I cannot remember his name right now) were so welcoming. So were all of the wait staff. Our baby would sometimes get a bit restless during eating time, the staff always made her and us feel comfortable (and anyone else with babies and children) constantly picking up after her if she dropped a spoon, amusing her and making us feel comfortable. Again majority of the wait staff knew our babies name and would make sure they came to say hello during meal times. Our baby became very attached to Gisella and Irida. I wish I could remember everyones name but also Fernadis and Georgis were also so very good around our baby. Which leads me into Food.
Mike let us know if we needed any special puree's made for our baby to let him know, and during the first week of our stay our baby was being very fussy, and we did need some puree made. The ever so friendly Sous chef Rudy made our little one special purees to our request and had them waiting for us at meal time over a number of days, no fuss by him at all, even after we didn't need them anymore he would always offer to cook one up and to let him know if we needed anything, as well as the Executive Chef Simon who would also offer to cook up a meal for her, or chop food up for her - as though these men are not busy enough, they always had time to offer their skills and see how our baby was eating. The food was also very good. There is something for everyone, it is never boring and there is a huge variety with a different theme each night. The food conscious can dine from the meals put together that state their nutritional value. Those who have complained about no seafood, must have only been there for a day or so, and we dined on seafood plenty of times. I loved the sushi station, being able to get freshly made sushi was great! The package includes a full buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner and in between those times, the terrace restaurant is open for a late breakfast and then a snacking menu (which also includes main meals made to order) and various snack stations pop up around the village during the day, you will no go hungry. And if you need to eat in your room or on the beach etc (as we did one night as our baby went to bed early, you can choose your food from the buffet and the staff will pack it all up in containers for you). My only suggestion would be that if you do have a baby that is beyond puree but not completely all over family foods, maybe bring a few foods from home, as the baby corner only has Heinz baby puree jars (a few different varieties each day) and yoghurt. We were lucky we brought some kids weetbix with us to mix with some fruit puree and the fantastic assistance of Rudy so we could get some meat and veggies into her during that fussy period. I also brought my own bottle brush to clean bottles in my room and house keeping assisted me with dishwashing liquid. There is also a sterilizer in the main restaurant and in your room - along with a bottle warmer (if you request it).
We stayed in a superior sea view in block S which was perfect, it was not too far from the main block, pool , sport centre, most activities. We were on the second floor, and we just carried the baby and the stroller up and down the stairs when needed and used the lift around the main block. You can get rooms on ground floor, but if you want a sea view I don't think there are any. we tried to book a deluxe upon arrival but one wasn't available during our stay, but the superior was very spacious, more than enough room for our baby to walk and crawl around, and the corridor was long enough that we could put the baby cot down there when she slept, as us not to disturb her. The baby cot was standard as most resorts, a travel cot - luck of the draw I guess of size and quality. It suited us fine - was sturdy and clean and good size for her to play in when we both needed to be doing something, we brought our own fitted cot sheet and mattress protector any ways.
The room is basic, just standard tropical resort style (as you see in the pics), not luxurious, but clean, and really spacious with plenty of light and a balcony with table and chairs, bed is big, TV is small, but you don't spend much time in your room, and the usual bar fridge, kettle, safe, air con, ceiling fan. Bathroom is good size - separate toilet which was good. Yes sometimes you can slightly smell the sewerage through the drain - but you get that at many tropical island resorts no matter the star (we've had it at many 5 star + resorts) - room gets cleaned and made up everyday and we know that it also got mopped each time as a few times we had come back to the room while it was being done.
So great to have so many activities at your doorstep. I did the yoga class everyday in the morning (one day I did the pilates) yoga classes are in the spa area which was such a delight - its in an open room, with the ocean on one side and the jungle on the other, so nice whether its sunny or in rain. The classes are instructed by Eric (from Canada) or Steph (from Australia) both do a different class and I really enjoyed both. Any level can do the yoga or pilates class, Eric was very good, with correcting your poses and giving tips on how to do them correctly. They also do a zen yoga class outside by the beach in the early evening. My husband used the fitness centre each day to do weight training and cardio. This is where tennis, squash, basketball (and pilates, aerobics are too) and archery.
We did archery twice, I have forgotten the GO's name who runs it down there, he is balinese and is so thorough with instructions and very friendly and we were amazed at how many languages he could speak. He does his job very well!
I did the flying trapeze, these guys were awesome, make you feel at ease and safe. We first met J.P with Steph at dinner one night, and then Ashley and Tarik at lunch another time. The team that runs the circus school are brilliant , also including Mira, Luis and another Japanese GO who is a gymnast (again I'm sorry Ive forgotten names) but she also gave me great tips and made me feel confident to go twice. Big shout out to her, J.P and Ashley when I did mine. You must do it, Im afraid of heights and ended up going twice.
Everything you need is here, the pool is very large and divided into 2 via wet edge. We were there during the CNY crowd and after, and we never had to fight for a chair at the pool or beach. There are more shallow areas for the kids, we had our little one in the main pool with us and she loved it.
There are 3 bars around the village, we don't drink much so only had a few cocktails. The service is fantastic, but the cocktail menu could improve and maybe also the coffee making (but I think it is just done via machine). Sometimes in the afternoons, we would go to the panorama bar or the terrace restaurant for a coffee, or a drink.
There is a laundry, with washing machines and dryers and irons. It can get a bit pricey depending how long you need to use the machines, you need to purchase tokens from reception, and you can purchase detergent from the boutique.
I was happy to see that there were baby change rooms on each floor wherever there was a toilet, which was great!
There was no baby med, but we wouldn't have used it any ways. But we could see the other kids clubs going about in the village and all kids seemed very happy and always doing something and the GO's running them were always super friendly.
We also took our own stroller and didn't use the resorts it seemed as though many other families did the same. It was nice to stroll around the resort in the afternoons along the many paths when my baby had her afternoon nap.
Wi Fi is available in your rooms and throughout the resort which was fantastic.
I had read reviews upon arrival that the resort is run down. To me, it may need some repairs but nothing horrible or shabby. The resort is comfortable and clean, we have stayed at many 5 star resorts in south east asia and this resort suited us just fine and it is true to its 4 fork club med rating. The beach is gorgeous and it was never over crowded by guests and was so nice to a private beach to the village only.
Overall we love it here and it would suit a family perfectly! You have the choice to do everything available on offer or keep to yourselves and do nothing at all. It was also great to have anything already paid for and looked after, so all we had to worry about was whether we were going to swim in the pool or lay by the beach.Our next holiday will definitely be back to Club Med Bintan or another in a tropical location.
Hope this review helped :)
- 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
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- Also Known As:
- Club Med Ria Bintan Hotel Bintan
- Club Med Bintan Island Riau Islands
- Bintan Club Med