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“Spectacular setting, mediocre service, dated hotel.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Club Med Bintan Island

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Club Med Bintan Island
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Jl Site A11 | Lagoi, Bintan Utara, Riau Islands Province 12920, Indonesia   |  
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Ranked #3 of 30 Hotels in Bintan Island
Durban, South Africa
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Spectacular setting, mediocre service, dated hotel.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2013

It is a pity that the quality of the resort and the service, particularly of the local staff, does not mirror the beautiful setting of the hotel. Having previously stayed at a Club Med Le Cannonier we were incredibly disappointed with the level of service from the local staff at Bintan. Ordering an (alcoholic) drink at dinner became an ordeal and something which should have been offered upon seating at the table. The continuously disappearing teaspoons, which either were never set at the table initially, became a treasure hunt at EVERY meal time and eventually a source of continuous entertainment while on the hunt for one. Coffee machines were generally broken at least 2 out of every 3 days. Restaurant staff should also be advised that sauces are to be placed after serving the dish (and not before) as this creates a queuing problem. There is no ambiance in the Waterfall restaurant with the main area echoing like a large dining hall (no background music) - choose to sit in the room to the left as you enter the main door. Kids food repeats every day with limited choices. Seating areas around the resort are generally uncomfortable and not a place to linger or socialise and are also limited. Rooms are dated and beds and pillows are incredibly uncomfortable. We stayed in a deluxe room so I felt these facilities should have been better. A guest in a club room remarked that his sheets had holes in them! Rooms were very clean, however the restaurant floor was not. The beach and pool facilities are excellent although more umbrellas are needed at the bottom pool. Nightly entertainment was excellent and daily entertainment seemed lively although somewhat repetitive. My kids felt the same with the kids club programme - 3 tie dies in 1 week. Archery every day etc. Overall a quiet resort. A 4 day stay would probably be long enough but I think I would choose a different Club Med, particularly one with more attention to detail!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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1,529 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
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (292)
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  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
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English first
Melbourne, Australia
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2013

Cannot say enough about this amazing resort. Beautiful pools, serene beach, activities galore, great food and staff who are above and beyond expectations.
The kids club is so well run. Our kids were extremely happy. The staff are professional, cheerful and dedicated.
Infact all of the staff from waiting staff to reception are fantastic.
This place is a real credit to mei the manager.
We will definitely be back next year.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2013

Just returned from a visit to this beautiful resort! It was amazing! This is the perfect holiday spot for South Africans - such a pity that most don't even know where this island is! Just a short ferry trip from Singapore and you are in paradise! A very special thanks to the South African GO's that made our stay so special - Sally D, Shirley, Rob & Bjorn - you guys rock! Also we have to mention Laura - you're enthusiasm for South Africa is amazing and your energy never ending! This resort has scored full points in every aspect! The warm sea water with no waves was amazing (we shared it with the fish swimming all around us at the rock pools!), The food was good, the rooms were fine (you only ever sleep there!), the entertainment great - what more can you ask for? Oh yes - a perfect beach! Will definitely be back!!!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2013

My experience at Club Med Bintan was amazing and i met some awesome people there. The resort was breathtaking and my family thoroughly enjoyed the trip. The beach was great and the activities the GO's would put up were fun and enjoyable. I want to thank Jay for being awesome at the bar, Nancy for being an awesome teen's club manager, Min for being awesone at mini club. Cathy and Rosie for being excellent at reception, Jayrate for being so kind at archery and great at it too and the rest of the GO's.

Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
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Singapore River, Singapore
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2013

The current Club Med incarnation is "Family-oriented". At Bintan, as has been mentioned in other TripAdvisor posts, the property is very rundown, with many of the concrete pathways crumbling and much of the facility needing repair. In fact of the 2 pool tables in the resort, 1 was "out of order", the other had an incomplete set of balls and no functioning cues. Of the other activities provided, most take limited number with less than 10% of the guests able to take advantage and require you to line up an hour or so before the activity.

I have been going to Club Med for 20+ years, including having my honeymoon in Club Med Tahiti, in the 1990s. My father, in his 70s, has been going to Club Med since the 1970s. My brother and his wife have been to Club Med once before. Our most recent trip to Club Med Bintan will certainly be the last.

To be fair, the overall staff (GOs in Club Med speak) were excellent, keeping the family entertained, fed and creating an all round good experience. They should be applauded. The senior management, well that's another story.

The raison d'être for our trip was to have "Christmas in July" where the whole family could relax without having to spend any more money due to the "all inclusive" package offered by Club Med. The total cost for the full family was in excess of $25,000 just for the Club Med portion of the holiday.

We were a group of 11 people from 3 generations of the family, ages 10 through 73. 7 came from Australia for 14 days and booked through Club Med in Australia, the 4 of us (2 adults and 13 and 11 year old girls) coming from Singapore for 5 nights had booked through Club Med in Singapore. Through Singapore, we availed ourselves of a NATAS promotion offering approx 40% discount from $300 per person per night, for 5 nights, which was paid in full in March. For a 4* hotel (they aren't really 4*), this is quite expensive, but when one considers the "all-in" nature, it doesn't seem quite as bad. Having spent the previous week in Bali, $300 was enough for 3 of us (1 adult and 2 girls), "a la carte" for a day, including 4* or 5* accommodation, quality meals and activities, including white water rafting, jet skiing and other offerings not provided by Club Med Bintan. Now I am not complaining about the $730 per day price for a family of 4, as it was all presented upfront and agreed upon prior to going to Club Med Bintan, where we have been a number of times before, but it is certainly not a "value holiday".

Where our holiday went pear-shaped was on the last day. My children, having enjoyed 5 days with their cousins and after noticing a display on a rotating LCD screen offering "Extend your stay with us with 20% discount", I thought to take another day, and receive a 20% discount (to fill an otherwise unused room) would be a great incentive to extend. We were due to leave the resort on Monday afternoon, at 4:15pm. On Sunday afternoon, I enquired about extending and was told it would cost $1,650 for 3 (my wife having already returned to Singapore due to work commitments). This was shocking when it was 126% higher than we'd paid as opposed to "a 20% discount". Which ever way you spin it, that price FOR ONE NIGHT FOR 1 ADULT AND 2 CHILDREN is ridiculous. Comparatively, $682 would get a Seaview Pool Villa at Banyan Tree, a true 5*, with breakfast, but no other meals or activities. Unfortunately, my family group was not staying anywhere else. Later in the evening I approached the Assistant General Manager (the GM was off on Sunday night), explained my problem and he then had the manager of reservations, Hafiz, speak with me who said "don't worry, stay in your room and we'll work it out tomorrow when Singapore is open". Excellent work, so I thought, suggesting that "It'll be worked out" when they have verified with Singapore, the price that I was paying. So I told my children, we'd be staying the next day and they we're thrilled as they could relax and not worry about "good byes" just yet. The next day (our original departure day), I went to the front desk at 10:30am, which is 11:30am in Singapore, figuring that the matter would have been sorted by then. The reception assured me that the room was blocked for us, but they were still awaiting details of the cost. So off I went to enjoy my extra day of holiday.

At 2:00pm, I returned to my room to do a little work. There was no message under the door or any other advice suggesting I needed to contact the reception or reservations. At 3:30pm, 45 minutes before our original, but now postponed, departure time, I received a call to say that my charge would be $1320, after the 20% discount. I was now caught between, being held to ransom and paying the $1320, for 3 people, or racing around to find my children, pack and be at the bus for 4:15pm or pay a penalty charge. Thanks for blackmailing me Club Med. Great way to finish off my family's holiday with a lasting memory.

As I am not one to be blackmailed, I raced to find my children and my wider family to let them know we had to go. My children did not get to say their farewells and even missed saying good bye to their grandfather as he didn't get there in time. As we left, my 13 year old daughter said, "The way they've done this has ruined my whole holiday", which was like a knife in my chest. I could have paid the ransom and kept them happy. Many might say I should have, but 80% higher after being offered a 20% discount was nothing more than deceptive marketing and a shakedown. Had they informed me the evening before, I would have accepted it. But no, they left me 45 minutes to discuss/negotiate with them, then pack and be ready for the bus. The GM, Mei, was back on deck as we left and didn't say a word to us, despite my objections to the reservation staff that I had conversed with and despite the fact that my children were in tears.

So rather than fill the rooms, when they had a large family group, they stuck to their guns, which they are entitled to, and created negative goodwill by the way they handled their customers' situation. And as a family group, we've spent hundreds of thousands of dollars with Club Med. Doesn't sound like smart business to me.

We will be having more of this type of holiday, as a wider family group with potentially more people, but Club Med won't be on any list, short or otherwise.

My advice to all, unless you are a "novice" traveller and Club Med generally makes everything "easy", there's better value for your money elsewhere…much, much better. And perhaps less extortion.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
18 reviews 18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2013 via mobile

This was our first visit to Club Med and we would definitely go back. As the bus drives down the driveway and many of the staff are in the lobby waving to greet you , you start to wonder what this place is all about. From the moment you step off the bus the staff (mostly called GO's) will go out of their way to try and make your stay at club med the best it can be. As an all inclusive concept you wonder how good the food is going to be and whether or not you will actually like it. Club med certainly surpassed any thoughts or expectations that I had about the food. There was so much food and nearly anything you could think of was available. There was Chinese. Korean, Japanese, Indian, pizza, hot chips, salad, fish, meat, vege's and the list goes on (and on!). Plus, it all tasted very nice. Way too hard to just have 1 course, unfortunate for the waist line!! Great for fussy kids and our baby too as they had a fridge with food just for him. There was activities running pretty much all the time which you could join in if you wanted, or just lounge by the beautiful beach or pool and relax (this could involve sipping cocktails- also included!) our kids had the choice of attending the various kids/mini/petit/teen's clubs for their respective age groups with timetables of activities lined up from about 830am till 830pm, keeping them busy. They also had an evening show they participated in which they found amazing. Besides the kids show one night, every other night they had a professional show put on by the staff that work there. Our family found this great as with young children we would not go out of an evening but when it is at the hotel it was great to stay up and see. Some of the staff are very talented especially the circus team who do various acrobats.
The location of this Club med is very good. There is the beautiful white sandy beach and the lovely blue warm water. But most important for us was it did not take that long to get too. It was only a 45 min ferry ride from Singapore then a 10 min bus ride to the village itself, which is set in well maintained gardens. The rooms are, as some people have mentioned, probably the only thing that might let this place down slightly. They do need to be re done or given a thorough clean. However, given there is so much to do outside the room there is no need to be spending much time there anyway!!

Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2013 via mobile

Just retuned from 9 days at club med bintan with my family and friends. We all had a fabulous time away and are all so sad to have left. All the G.Os put a huge amount of effort into making sure we were always having a great time and there was something to do. The Aussie G.Os especially Davo, Lindsay, Josh and Rob we're all great at checking on us and making sure we were enjoying our stay! And Dave's enthusiasm around the pool for crazy signs and pool games was infectious! We also spent a lot of time with the circus team. Tarik, Ashley, Chelsea, Danny and Said made our afternoons at trapeze so much fun! Overall there was a great atmosphere around the village and I can't wait to go back again soon! Thanks for a fabulous trip Club Med Bintan!

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Club Med Bintan Island

Address: Jl Site A11 | Lagoi, Bintan Utara, Riau Islands Province 12920, Indonesia
Location: Indonesia > Riau Islands Province > Riau Archipelago > Bintan Island
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Bintan Island
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Bintan Island
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Bintan Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Club Med Bintan Island 4*
Number of rooms: 311
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

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