We chose the Weekday Special for a 3d2n trip and I guess it's a right choice as there aren't many people around. We heard on weekends, the resort is really overcrowded. Similar to what reviewers here have mentioned, the villa is not well-maintained, but I guess the overall service makes up for this imperfection.
The complimentary transport arrived punctually and within 5 minutes, we reached the resort. We were offered nice welcome drinks. We were told that our room was not ready, so we went to Pantai restaurant, which is just below the lobby, to wait as the wind from the rain was very cold, so we didn't want to wait at the lobby. We were offered water by the restaurant, a nice gesture I must say. Within 10 minutes, we were told that our room was ready.
We were given room 50, a Hillside Villa. As many have said, the Villa is really huge and I personally like the white theme. But because it's white, stains are very visible and I think it's not because housekeeping wasn't done properly, but rather it's very difficult to remove the stains as they have become permanent (although of course the resort can spend money to do some refurbishments). The sofa and daybeds were not very clean. Even the booklet on the resort info was dirty. We figured that while the management should improve on its housekeeping and maintenance, we feel the problem lies with the customer base of the resort - guests who travel in large groups, usually with friends. While we were there, we noticed quite a number of guests (mostly Singaporeans) who travel in large groups. So it seems like this resort has been treated as a high-class chalet. While researching on this resort in some travellers' blogs, I have come across pictures which show them manhandling the furniture (e.g. putting chairs inside the pool). I feel sorry for the resort to have such inconsiderate guests. We love the master bedroom and chose to watch tv here instead of the living room because we find the TV too far away from the sofa. Perhaps, the management should consider shifting the sofa nearer to the TV. This will create more space for the kitchen too. We love the bathroom and how it has natural lighting. The bathtub is huge enough to allow 2 people to lie down comfortably. Hot water is readily available, so this is a plus when filling up the bathtub. As mentioned by some reviewers, the bathroom has a strange step which makes it easy for one to fall, so perhaps this should be looked into. There is a weighing machine, but not sure why washing detergent, scissors are not provided, considering that the villa has a kitchenette and the resort should expect people to make use of the kitchen, so basic kitchen equipment should be provided. We request for washing detergent and it was quickly provided. We also asked for the equipment to open our canned food. However, they do not have it but offer to help us open it at the kitchen.
Our first breakfast was a buffet one. Food was average, although Mee Goreng is nice. Our second breakfast was ala carte and I was disappointed. I have been to resorts whereby during low season, ala carte breakfast was served instead of buffet breakfast, probably due to lesser guests and hence to avoid wastage. I'm totally fine with this, in fact, I'm against food wastage. However, we were only allowed to select a small selection of food and I'm only allowed to choose one set. So if I chose the American Breakfast set, I'm not allowed to choose the Continental Breakfast set unless I offer to pay extra. The waitress said I can choose other food choices, but must not exceed 161,000 rupiah in total as that's the price of breakfast per guest. I chose the Soto Ayam set which comes with Mee Soto (which was average in quality and in a small bowl) and a toast with scrambled egg on it, some fruits, juice and coffee. If ala carte breakfast is offered, I'll expect to have a regular-sized bowl of Mee Soto and not a small pathetic bowl. The toast is not bad. My experience in other resorts which provides ala carte breakfast was so much better with greater variety and you can choose whatever you want and totally free. Because of that, it allows me to have a variety of breakfast choices (i.e. Asian or western food) instead of being limited to either one. An ala carte breakfast should make up for the lack of ability to provide a buffet one for whatever reasons, and not an opportunity to rip the guests off (in other words, my breakfast for day 1 and day 2, by right, shouldn't differ much because I'm paying the same rate for both). We only had one dinner at Pantai restaurant and one lunch at Tadd's. We find the food at Pantai quite good, although not excellent. It was a free dinner anyway with our $50 dining credit. Lunch at Tadd's was quite good.
The best part of the resort. Spa was really excellent. We were served cold welcome drink when we entered. We opted for a 90-minute Montigo massage and it was really good. My therapist is very skilled and I'm grateful to her for the comfortable massage. Everybody in the spa is very courteous. After our treatment, we were brought to a quiet room for cookies and hot tea. The only flaw with the spa is I couldn't fall asleep and I think it's because the pillow isn't very comfortable. Variety of spa choices is limited and if expanded, it's really worth going. Prices are a little steep, if not for the one-off 50% discount given for massages. The spa manager was nice enough to offer 50% discount for massages if we make another booking. We didn't do so immediately as we want to spend our last day playing by the pool in the morning.
Time for a review?
Overall, we do enjoy our stay there as unlike some guests' experience, buggy service was mostly quite punctual. The security guard even took the initiative to ask if we needed buggy service. Most service staff are also courteous and warm. We enjoyed the pool very much, although it's a little too shallow for swimming, so I chose to do aqua-robics instead. Although the size of the pool is small, it's quite acceptable for simple and relaxing swims. We like that the villa is very spacious and it feels like your own home. What I feel require a major review is the kind of guests which the resort want to attract. It seems like the resort tends to attract large groups and I have a feeling it's not what the resort wants, given the sheer number of complaints about the resort charging for extra persons. In my opinion, this happens when each of your villa accommodates 8, so it is natural for people to want to bring in more people. When a villa has too many people, maintenance becomes a headache. So Montigo should think about what they want their resort to be. Perhaps some villas should be converted to 1 bedroom and therefore priced lower and some villas remain as 2-bedroom and priced higher. Reference from other resorts with villa concept to see how they do it successfully.
I will definitely come back again due to its close proximity to Singapore, lovely sea view (manage to see sunset for the very first time in my life!), refreshing pool, thumbs-up spa, and very reasonable price.
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- Also Known As:
- Montigo Resorts Nongsa Batam