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Reviewed August 30, 2009

I was there for 5 days with my mother, husband and 3 children (5, 6 and 12). The ferry from Singapore was fast, hassle-free and comfortable. The coach trip to Club Med took about 15 mins. It is situated next to Ria Bintan Golf Club - one of the finest in Asia.
Upon arrival the team welcomed us with smiles and ice tea and we were taken to our rooms (ground floor G block). We had 3 rooms 2 of which were connecting. They were clean, nicely decorated and very comfortable. I love the large shower.
I've been to Club Med a few times and I love it for the Mini Club (for the children), the all-inclusive formula and the easy access to both land and water sports. But each time I promised myself never to return - because it usually is very noisy and you often feel over-solicited. Bintan is relatively calm and peaceful, the pools are next to the sea, the beach has soft white sand and is private. They have a few restaurants, a bar where you can access free cocktails (sometimes weak and never consistent) and other drinks is never far away. The GOs were friendly (I especially liked Ines) and always available, but they didn't impose or insist that you sing and dance or do anything if you didn't feel like it. I was glad that they didn't have music booming all day long in this Club Med.
However, most of the clients were from Korea, China, Hong Kong, Japan and other parts of Asia, with a few Europeans etc sprinkled in. The nightly entertainment was therefore usually visual and I miss the entertainment that more Francophone Club Meds provided (I can speak a few Asian languages but I am also fluent in French). Karaoke contained mainly Korean and English songs with a few Japanese and Mandarin numbers. Would have loved French and Cantonese numbers too.
The Mini-Club was kind and efficient - but their show wasn't as interesting or elaborate as the one in Club Med Nabeul, for example, and I suspect that the language and duration-of-stay factor could be the reason(s). My kids complained that they were bored after about 2 days. Though Club Med is great when you have a teenager, we only saw him in the morning and at night - he was away doing many things in the day.
The spa is lovely - they have their therapists from Bali and those girls were excellent. Don't pre-book your sessions on the website though - prices and promotions were better on the spot. Same for the golf.
Speaking of which we must thank Sayang and his colleague at golf for their kindness and patience with my family, I have improved my swing with their observations and tips and my husband was really happy to have played at Ria Bintan thanks to them. The left-handed golf sets sucked though and prices were really steep for Indonesia - but Ria Bintan is worth the visit otherwise.
I was also very happy to have Rocky for Archery and look forward to improving my aim. And I wish I could try my hand at the other activities like yoga, snorkelling, flying trapeze etc but there never seemed to be enough time to do everything. Access to the tennis, badminton and squash courts is round-the-clock by the way. Just sign in and grab the rackets and balls.
The food was quite good with an interesting variety (especially if you are Asian) in the main restaurant and the quality was a little better than the other Club Meds I've been to. The dining halls look less like canteens and I like the restaurant facing the sea - though you'll need to book for dinner before 8am on the day itself if you wish to have a table that evening. Still, one tends to eat and drink too much at Club Med.
All in all it was a good trip and it has restored my faith in Club Meds. If we could have more programmes in French, the stay would have been even better. It was an expensive trip though and I wonder if the Banyan Tree and other resorts nearby would prove to be a more interesting alternative if you're looking for a quieter holiday (e.g. my mother just ate and slept and didn't do anything).

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with family
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2  Thank Petales88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 6, 2009

Just returned from a 3 nights stay at our first Club Med holidays in Bintan. Intially it was only my wife and I, but we decided to bring our kid over after discovering on the first day that there were so many fun-filled activities especially for the little ones.

The level of personalised services and warmth of the GOs, from the moment we arrived until our departure, filled our best memories of the place.

Meals were also a highlight of the place, but be sure to eat all you need for there is no room service if you get hungry in the middle of the night.

The only blemish to an otherwise perfect holiday was the level of cleaniness (especially of pest controls of ants, flies, and mosquitoes in the room and outdoor restaurant) and the unforgivingly hard twin bed.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank instantclick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 4, 2009

Just returned from a week and had a great time. The resort has a fabulous location next to the beach and the restaurants serve up a constant supply of good buffet style food. The all inclusive package makes for a very relaxing time. The gound floor room was tired but everything worked.

The kids club was a bit repetitive for my 10 year old daughter so she joined the other activites during the day - kids trapeze, pool games, dance class - and really enjoyed herself. The evening entertainment was fun and the Gaia show is first class. The G.O.s were friendly and welcoming and always seemed happy to make the extra effort. The circus team were terrific - flying the trapeze was a memorable highlight for us.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with family
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Thank N1999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 31, 2009

We had a fantastic 5 days at Club Med and wish we could stay a little longer. It is certainly a place for family with children. So little time and so much to do. Food are served from 7.00am to 8.00pm, free flow of drinks and coffee around the clock, great activities for young and old, great staff and great GOs, always smiling and helpful, great entertainment, great kids club and overall a great place to be.

Roomwise, we were allocated a room quite far away from where the actions are but we didn't mind the walk along the greens and you get to see monitor lizards,monkeys and squirrels greetings you along the way. But if you are travelling with young children, it wouldn't be a nice walk though. The rooms are not very well lit and are pretty basic but very spacious.

Kids club are fantastic but their activities are pretty much the same on a daily basis. My kids spent only 2 days with them as they found it a bit boring. The highlight of my stay was able to do Yoga overlooking the beach - it's so relaxing and calm.

Overall, clubmed is a great concept. This resort has 4 levels and can be confusing. It took me a while to figure out where all the activities are. We certainly look forward to our visit to the next Club Med.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with family
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Thank Bibsterina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2009

Being Club Med first timers we did not know what to expect, we have travelled extensively but always done our own thing so this was a new experience for us. A family with two girls 10 & 11 for 8 nights. We spent 3 days in Singapore before catching the ferry, the trip was OK and we were greeted at Club Med by the GO's waving etc. This was a nice introduction. We were then shown to our rooms, we had booked connecting superior seaview rooms based on the photos and description on the Club Med website, how wrong and misleading was that! The rooms we were allocated ( J block 2321 /2322) were to say the least budget class rooms and certainly not what was expected of a Club Med the location of the rooms was that far away you felt like you were not even in the resort. The showers were mouldy, there were huge gaps in the balcony doors which allowed mosquites to enter and could easliy be opened from outside by simply slipping a knife up the latch, no bedside lamps, very dark I could go on but you get the general idea.

When we approached reception to state our disugust and that these were not the rooms we booked we were told that they were and the website must have been wrong. To cut a long story short we were offered two new rooms Deluxe connecting seaview, we accepted these and it was like being in a completely different resort, There was no comparision these rooms were of a much higher standard and what was expected.

The drawback - we had to pay an extra $1200 to have these rooms. This is something that really annoyed me since this is what we expected in the firts place, we paid the extra as there was no way we could have stayed in the other rooms.

Honestly I do not think that the Village Chief has ever seen these rooms I am sure they are not up to Club Med Standards.

After this initial hiccup the rest of the time was great, our girls had a fantastic time, met some new friends and enjoyed the freedom that the security of the resort offered. A suggetsion would be that they have a Kids club for ages 9-12 as the mini club was too young and the junior club ( which they joined) was for 11-17 years and to have 11 year olds mixing with 15 year olds is not a good idea.

I wouldn't recommend getting the photos though we made the mistake of ordering 20 plus a disk and it cost nearly $200! take your own shots.

The staff were very helpful and friendly,lots of activities the food was good, it improved the last few days, possibly due to the new village chiefs input and the free flowing alcohol was great. All in all we had a great time and will certainly do Club Med again.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with family
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Thank ShazzaPerth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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