I just came back from Bintan over the weekend with my friends. Like what some friends told me, Bintan is expensive and boring. I went through this forum and pick up some tips and advice.
I booked our accomodation at Bintan Lodge
Bintan Lodge is located in town and within walking distance to Pasar Oleh2 and the market. The 4 of us were happy as the accomodation is spacious and we feel at home. I would say decent accomodation and good enough for us to chill.
To move around we book a car with a driver which cost us $100 a day. We went to the beach for water sports, went to the go-kart, had durians along the way and went to the kelong at Tg Uban for dinner. We really had a good time. With the driver around we could go any where and felt very safe. This was what we had in mind when we planned our trip. We do not want to be stuck in the resorts where it can be pretty boring after a while.
We also pampered ourselves at the Aura Spa.
The service was excellent and charges very reasonable. Not wonder all their 4 outlets are well patronised - 2 at pasar oleh2 and 2 more at the new rows of shop houses behind the market. I would say it is the largest spa chain in Bintan. We spent 5 hours in the spa pampering ourselves from head to toe. Really value for money . They provide pick and send services if you spend more than $50 at the spa.
The next day the driver drove us to Tg Pinang wich is 1 hour drive away. This is totally a different atmosphere compared to the Bintan resorts - very chaotic .
My friends and I trully enjoyed ourselves. Apart from the spa and personal shopping, each of us spent less thab $130 on ferry tickets, accomodation and transport for a 1 night stay in Bintan.
So Bintan is not expensive if you know where to stay and what to do.
We have agreed to make Bintan our monthly getaway from Singapore.