Date: 05 Apr 2012 - 09 Apr 2012 (4 Nights)
Stayed: 18th Floor, Deluxe Room (Facing Singapore)
The BCC Hotel and Residence was about 10 mins away if you were to take a taxi from the Harbour Bay Ferry Terminal. Do not take private cars. Go for the official taxis with signs. The fare was IDR$50,000 or about USD$5.45. In fact, everywhere you go, IDR$50,000 was the starting rate. You can agree or bargain with the driver before getting into the taxi. They don't go by the meter, not that I saw any in the taxi.
The hotel stuck out like a sore thumb among it's surroundings. Impossible to miss. It was really new and clean, and check-in was done without hassle. Counter staff were friendly, helpful and could speak English fairly well. The room key was a card which you need to scan to open the door. The same card is also needed to get to your level once you are in the lift. I tried pressing other levels in vain. Pretty neat security I would say.
The room was super huge compared to my hotel in Tokyo! (see my review on the Shinjuku Washington Hotel). I could easily fit a family of 6 with all that space. Huge flatscreen television, comfortable bed, cupboard, safe, fully stocked minibar etc. Best of all, there was free wifi in the room although it may get slow in the night when everyone is back in the rooms. The pillows were a little too soft but they can't please every different head so I didn't complain. The toilet was pretty big as well but no bathtub for this room, not that it mattered. The toilet also had those cool Japanese 'butt washing' function so go crazy trying them. The only gripe I had with the room was that every night, there would some strange smell in the toilet. It's like they were clearing the sewage pipes or something. Better close your toilet doors to prevent the smell from spilling out into the main room. Other than that, everything was fine. House keeping was ok and helpful with our needs. They may forget a thing or two so just ask if you need anything.
The hotel was just beside the Batam City Square (BCS) Mall. There, you can get groceries, food, do your shopping and even catch a movie (US$2.40) there. There's also a outdoor 'A2 Food Court' behind the hotel where you can have a beer, feast on seafood and satay while watching movies or live soccer screenings. It gets pretty packed after 8 p.m so go around 7+. Sheltered seats are limited so if it rains, good luck.
I've got nothing much more to add about the hotel except that breakfast was included everyday and there's a swimming pool, sauna, massage centre and gym. You should really use the hotel as a base camp while exploring the surrounding areas in the day and try the local cuisine. Taxis can get you anywhere. Who says there's nothing to do in Batam? My friends thought I was mad but I spent 5 days and it was still not enough. Have fun!
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