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Reviewed August 2, 2008

We were sent here for a couple of nights because the resort we'd originally booked (Mayang Sari) couldn't take us for the whole of our stay on Bintan as they had a conference booked in. That was OK though, both resorts looked after us well and made the transfer seemless (although we did get charged $25 for it).

As I mention, we had previously been at Mayang Sari which we did prefer I have to say as it is much smaller than Bintan Lagoon (BL) and suits our tastes better, but it was good to try out a new place for a couple of nights and get a feel for a different resort.

The main attraction for us at BL was the two pools which were great for our kids, the second, Leisure Centre pool has two slides so they preferred that one.

The rooms in BL were fairly clean and tidy although they could have been cleaner to be honest (smelly fridge, grubby curtains etc), but they were well stocked with all that you might need and the beds and towels were clean, which was the main thing (I can live with a grubby curtain, but it is an expensive place to stay, so you do expect something of a slightly higher quality).

We were in two garden terrace rooms in the west wing. The last segment, next to ours, of the west wing was undergoing some refurbishment, so perhaps our rooms were next on the list, which could be why they hadn't bothered changing curtains etc.

The resort in general was well looked after with an army of staff (there are over 450 rooms). The place was busy without being too packed. Many go there for golf (there are two courses), so during the day, the pools were fairly quiet.

The beach is clean but the water is rough, so perhaps not suitable for small children. There were red flags up over much of the beach with a small swimming area marked out. Jet skis and other watersport activities are popular, so they don't encourage people to swim outside the marked area. We didn't spend much time on the beach here because of this and the fact that there wasn't much shade down there (just 10 or so permanent shelters which were usually taken very early in the day)

The hotel has quite a few shops ranging from tourist goods to posh clothes, a hairdressers and a snack/mini market. There are also quite a few restaurants, but beware, the prices aren't particularly cheap (S$9 for a beer!). You are kind of trapped at BL for the duration unless you pay for a cab or shuttle bus to go elsewhere, so it is worth preparing yourself for $24 pizzas and $22 burgers in advance (service charge and GST bump the prices up by 20%)

On the whole it was quite a good stay here, but the place was just too big, impersonal and expensive for us to like immensely. Two nights was fine, any longer and I think I would have felt a bit bored by it all (not to mention penniless!).

Stayed: August 2008
2  Thank BigSis2112
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2008

Bintan Lagoon resort is about 30 mins from the ferry terminal on the Island. you can buy a return ticket in Singapore but make sure you book the return trip a day in advance at the hotel business centre or you may not be going home when you want. Note that the Singapore end terminal is more than 1 hour from central station by public transport.

The resort location is superb but the activities are limited and everything (except its own nightclub "silk" shuts down about 9:30pm. Even the pools closes at 7pm which is very early. Also the staff have a habit of basically saying no to everything you would like to do - don't swim here, you can't do that etc etc and I found it very restrictive - almost a mothering/smothering feeling. Also you have to pay extra for a lot of the activities which was quite surprising and disappointing particularly for pretty basic stuff.

The beach is fantastic but you are limited to a small area to swim in and in probably the worst part of it. The pools are good if that is what you would like to do ie sleep and swim all day. There were no organised activities like other resorts. Actually the staff said not swim in the other areas because of stingrays and stone fish - but I am wondering what stops these creatures going to the spot where they allow you to swim as it was not netted and the prohibited areas were immediately next door.

Food prices were outrageously expensive with typical resort quality ie poor for the price. For example the buffet dinner is about $30 US per head and a meal in the beachside restaurant will set you back (for two) around $100+ US excluding drinks and you will still be hungry.The problem being the nearest local restaurant is probably 30 mins away with the nearest town (village) being nearly 50 mins away and the main town reputed to be nearly 90 mins away. So you are basically trapped to eat there. And there is only a ittle variety in the offerings- everyday the buffet breakfast and dinner were the same with very little change.

And the claimed twelve restaurants - I could only count 5 - the rest it was explained to me are cafes - eg poolside bars etc.

The basic rooms were spaciuos and comfortable but by no means anything above that of a 3 or 2 star hotel standard and the staff always forgot to top up amenities correctly. Mind you the staff are exceptionally attentive.

Overall it is nice and relaxing but it could get tedious and boring staying there for more than 4 days. The location is beautiful - that is undeniable.Would I go back there? I seriously doubt it - there must be many better places for the price.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Skeggles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2008

My wife and I traveled to Bintan from The United States for our honeymoon (3/15/08 - 3/28/08). In the interest of candor, I cannot speak to the price of the hotel rooms since we reserved ours through a timeshare organization. However, overall we were quite satisfied with our stay at Bintan Lagoon Resort.

Upon arrival from the ferry terminal we were greeted by traditional costumed dancers---quite a nice way to arrive! After check-in we went to our room which was quite pleasant and surprisingly clean given the reviews I had read here prior to our departure. After the first day we had a problem with the restroom facilities in our room. Once we notified the staff, we were immediately transferred to another room. The staff could not have been more helpful in this regard.

The only other problem we had with the hotel facilities was an incident with the elevator. We took the elevator from the lobby level to our room level. After the doors opened at the appropriate level, the elevator kept rising and we had too leap from the elevator to avoid serious injury. Again, the staff was quite responsive to our concerns. We reported the malfunction to the front desk and the elevator was closed for repairs immediately thereafter. My only complaint with respect to this incident is that I felt that the resort should have offered some sort of non-monetary compensation for the incident. However, we never asked so we really cannot complain.

My only significant complaint with the resort is the fact that they know that the isolated nature of the island and the distance between resorts makes you a captive audience and you are treated as such with respect to prices. The majority of the restaurants and bars at the resort of exceedingly over priced. My recommendations to protect yourself are these. For lunch, take the cheap shuttle to the manufactured shopping village of Passar Ole Ole. Once you get there, cross the street to the newer part of the development. There you will find a very good Indonesian restaurant where the food and drink is very affordable and quite good. There is also a cheap, clean, air conditioned and well appointed spa in this area (1 hour couples massage with special relaxation drink for approx $93 (US)). For dinner, try to make it to The Kalong at Angsana Spa and Resport. The seafood there is very good and the atmosphere cannot be beat. The food is also SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper than the comparable restaurants at BLR. (if you are going here, ask the front desk about a shuttle, they are available and much cheaper than a taxi, but they will not tell you about them without asking.) For drinks, I suggest stocking you mini refrigerator with beer or other liquor purchased at Passar Ole Ole or from a store in the capital city of Tanjung Pinang or anywhere outside of the resort area. You can befriend any cab driver and get them to take you to such a place.

Overall, I would recommend Bintan Lagoon Resort for those looking for a relaxing getaway. The resort is much more hectic on the weekends, but nearly desolate and very relaxing during the week. The golf courses, the beaches and the views of the South China Sea are all beautiful. If you choose to stay at BLR, take into account these tips and save yourself some money.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank eplantier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2008

After reading many negative comments about the resort, I originally planned to book Banyan Tree or Angsana instead. However my kids wanted to go to a resort with bigger swimming pool and more recreation facilities. So we finally decided to give Bintan Lagoon Resort a try. Since we had already lowered our expectation on the resort, it turned out to be better than what we expected.

Room reservation - I booked a sea-facing deluxe room through the hotel website. The cost is SGD190 (+10% service charge and +10% tax, i.e. SGD228) per night, including buffet breakfast for two adults. Even though we had two children with us (5yrs and 2 yrs old), they did not charge us any additional fee for breakfast. I had also made some queries and requests through emails. They provided speedy and helpful replies.

Arrival & Departure - Free shuttle bus service from/to the ferry terminal was provided. The check-in/out service was also efficient. It only took a few minutes to complete the process.

Hotel room - As mentioned in many other reviews, the renovation of the room was not luxury at all. Some furnitures were a bit old, and even with some damages. But overall speaking, the room condition was acceptable. On the other hand, the view of the room was great (see my photos). In addition, the room was big, and the bed and platform were very comfortable.

Room service - The service was not consistent. Some times, they responded to our requests very fast. But some other times, we needed to call them several times to request for some stuff (e.g. bath towels). Overall speaking, the staff were friendly and helpful.

Swimming pool - There were two swimming pools in the resort. The main pool was very big. It was clean, and there were not many people using the pool. The other swimming pool was also quite big, though smaller than the main pool. It had a slide. In addition, only a few people were swimming in the pool.

Beach - The beach was big, with fine sand and clear water. There were many sandflies on the beach. We used repellent with 7% deet, and we were not bite by any sandfly after playing for several hours on the beach in the morning (some reviews said sandflies are more active in the evening). Besides, though there was no fish near the beach, approx. 30-50m from the beach, around the area of rocks, there were many corals and fishes. I even saw a ray longer than 1m swam at the bottom of the sea. Snorkelling equipment could be rented from the water sport center at SGD8 for 2 hours.

Other recreation facilities - The resort had a kids club with playground, but there were very limited facilities available. We did not have time to visit the golf club. We also had not tried ATV, laser quest, massage and spa. Other than that, we did not found any recreation facilities that were very attractive.

Food - There were several restaurants in the resort. The food was fine. The cost for a buffet dinner was SGD35 (+10% service charge and 10% tax), and they did not charge our children. The price fo a pizza or pasta was approx. SGD20. It was not as expensive as I expected after reading the other negative reviews.

Although the quality of the hotel room was just average, the resort had wonderful beach, pool, and garden. Therefore, I give a rating of above average to BLR.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled with family
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2  Thank Kalman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 11, 2008

This is third stay at BLR, was my first time there on weekdays. My boyfriend and 1 stayed in the Floral Suite which is really spacious, with separate living room and bedroom plus large bathroom. The balcony faces the south china sea which was great! We bought a total of 4 lunch and 4 dinner buffet vouchers from our travel agent beforehand which sums up to about SGD$260. I trust the standard of the buffet at Kopi-O, which is why I do not mind paying for it even though some fussy eaters might say that the food served is not worth the price.

The first thing we did was to have lunch, followed by laser quest and then we headed down to the beach for afternoon’s snorkeling trip. I was quite surprised the staff at laser quest and sea sports club managed to recognize and addressed me by my name, especially when it was more than a month since my last visit and there were tonnes of people who visited BLR during the school holidays so I thought why would they remember me? It just gives you this really welcoming feeling, you will know what I mean if you always go back to your favourite Starbucks to have a cuppa. I appreciate the hospitality that I got from the staffs during my previous stays at BLR which is why I booked it again for the third time. Even the housekeepers are very accommodating, for example when our suite was not made up as we had put on the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign during the day, the housekeeper actually called us in the evening and asked if we would like to have our room cleaned up.

So far I haven’t been assigned to a room that is dirty (touch wood), grubby or anything like what others have described (well maybe if you don’t expect too much then you won’t be disappointed). It’s much more quiet during the week days and less crowded which makes transit time between ferry to resort time much shorter. Majority of the visitors were tourists from China and Korea. This time round I managed to try out the ATV vehicles, we rented a dune buggy for $75/hour. The guide brought us through the ATV tracks and we had a short break after riding for 30 mins at the other end of the island with breathtaking view of the sea. We lingered there for a while, searching for hermit crabs and taking pictures. The sand there was much more coarser compared to the Pasir Panjang beach at BLR. On the way back to BLR we spotted a few snakes on the trees. We got such a thrill out of the dune buggy that we went for a second round the next day. We also kayaked and rode on the jet ski.

The Terrace bar at the lobby level is a great place to chill out in the evening. We had cocktails and smoked shisha outdoors while lazing around on the sofas/beds. A pity the swim up bar by the pool closes early, otherwise it will be great to drink there and have a swim in the evenings. The swim up bar serves the best cocktails, one of which I’d recommend is the Bintan Dream (I tried the same cocktail from different bars in the whole resort and the bartender at the swim up bar concocts the best Bintan Dream!).

Overall, I enjoyed this trip much more than the previous ones and I will definitely choose BLR for my next visit to Bintan soon. Somehow the reviews that were made during the school holidays, (as I personally feel) did not do justice to this resort, so why not give it a try during the non-peak periods?

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank momopig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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