I chose to stay 3 days 2 night at Aston Hotel in May 2013 as I read the positive reviews written here.
The hotel shuttle picked my husband and I up from the ferry terminal and it was about a 30 minutes car ride from the ferry terminal to the hotel. There is also a free shuttle service back to the ferry terminal and we took that when we left.
I chose to book directly at the hotel website instead of with agoda as one of the perks for booking directly was a complementary upgrade (if available). However, I was disappointed when I was told by the front desk that there will not be any complementary upgrade and I would have to pay extra if I wanted an upgrade.
However, the front desk manager soon came along and when I told him that it was my husband's birthday, he very kindly arrangement for an upgrade for us and got our rooms ready by 1pm (usually it is by 2pm) and even arranged for a slide of cake to be delivered to our room. It was really nice of him to make the arrangements for us.
The room was neat and tidy and it was very comfortable. We had a good night rest and the swimming pool was decent as well. We had a massage at the spa as well and it was good. The price was also cheaper than what you will find in Singapore.
We had the breakfast and it was decent with a good variety of food like cooked food, pastry, yougurt, cornflakes, fruits and an eggs station. We wanted to try their BBQ buffet on saturday night but was told that there would be no BBQ by the poolside as the weather did not look good and we were disappointed. However, the staff came us a recommendation for a seafood dinner and that was good.
However, there are a few areas that are not so good.
Firstly, the hotel is far away from the main city area and you need to take a transport out each time. It cost rp75,000 for the hotel to arrange a one way transport for you and rp 150,000 for two ways. And it is always almost a 30 minutes ride to places with food or shopping. There is nothing much right outside the hotel, just a few small eateries and mini-mart. The resort that is further down, Comfort Hotel seems better in terms of location as it is right opposite some sort of a market and there are much more eating places and shops at that stretch.
Secondly, there is also the issue of the electricity tripping in the night. On our first night, the electricity started tripping at around 2am and it tripped a total of 4 times in the night. All the lights and air-conditioning went off but it restarted within a few seconds. When we spoke to the front desk manager, he told that that it is due to the electrical cables laid to transport electricity to the areas around the hotel.
Lastly, even though the rooms were clean and comfortable. The sound-proofing of the room was not done so well. My room was on the ground floor and the lobby was on the floor above mine and I could hear it quite clearly when people are running around in the lobby through my ceiling. Also, in the middle of the night, we suddenly heard some loud noise that sounds like someone playing a trumpet and when we went to check the noise out, it was the staff cleaning and vacuuming the lobby area with a huge cleaner. We were not able to sleep with the noise and the staff kindly stopped the cleaning.
All in all, it was a comfortable and relaxing trip. This hotel can be considered if you are not that interested in going around Tanjung Pinang for sightseeing and shopping. Compared to the smaller and more dingy hotels around town, Aston would be a better choice as you do not mind the travelling back and forth.
And alternative way to travel would be to take those white vans that are waiting along the roadside. You can flag one down as well and just tell them where you want to go. It cost much cheaper than the hotel shuttle and it might take you longer to get to where you want to go as the van picks up other passengers along the way and the hotel shuttle being a proper car, might be safer too.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A modern and stylish 4 star Business and Conference hotel committed to the highest International standards and a wide range of service and facilities to suit the need of frequent Business Travelers and Conference Organizer ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Aston Tanjung Pinang Hotel And Conference Center Bintan Island, Indonesia