Just about 2 weeks back, I was in Batam with my family. We stayed at Gideon Hotel then, it was pretty decent. This time round, I wanted to try another hotel and after reading those good reviews about Centro, I decided to give it a try & I am not too sure if I made a good choice.. I am writing this while putting up at Centro.
To avoid the crazy traffic from Singapore HarbourFront ferry terminal, we decided to go via Tanah Merah to Nongsa Point (Batam) instead of the traditional Batam Centre Ferry Terminal/ Sekupang. So right after booking from AsiaRoom.com, I wrote to the hotel asking for transfer from Nongsa to hotel, and as expected they didn't turn-up at Nongsa Point (after 2 reminder emails). When I was at Nongsa, I called them to ask about transfer, it took them more than 15mins to revert back to me (while I was stranded at the ferry terminal). So, we took a taxi from the ferry terminal to the hotel ourselves (cost around S$15 which was pretty decent, travel duration around 25mins).
Check-in was fine, staff was polite & friendly & slightly apologetic. Got a free upgrade from studio (standard) to studio (executive) - the staff claimed that the (standard) was fully booked. No complain since we got a free upgrade for 4 nights.
However, upon entering our room, the air is stale and weird. It was very hot and warm. The electric cooker area was oily and not properly cleanse. I could see oil stains and splatter on the kitchen top & side wall. The upper cabinet still contain eggs, cooking oil and 1/2 packet of rice from the guests before us. The water boiler had water in it. The duvet has some blue stains at the bottom. The bathroom was hot and stuffy like the room - we basically had to ventilate the room but blasting the AC and opening the window. It wasn't at all pleasant. Worst of all, we woke up on the 2nd with a FREAKING COCKROACH on the wall & I am terrified of roaches! It was a COMPLETE NIGHTMARE waking up to that! So tell me about cleanliness.
I read from other travelers' that the pool is quite some distance away, so I was prepared not to wear my bathrobe down. Then, we came to realize that the pool, gym & massage spa, is actually separately managed - it is not part of the hotel. They accept membership from locals and residences from around the compound. The hotel setup is not exclusive - it seems like some sort of mixed-development project on a common ground (hotel, residential, commercial + gym & pool).
So, you leave the hotel, cut through 2 blocks of shophouse, cross the road and then you will reach the pool/ gym/ spa (also known as the clubhouse). We are talking about a 5mins walk and it is not the kinda walk that is within the hotel compound.
Worst of it all NO BIKINI for ladies & NO (triangle) TRUNKS for guys allowed into the pool. You have to properly covered as in full piece swimwear (sea-shirt/ wetsuit style for ladies) and trunks wise, it has to be "squarish" looking or board-shorts i think would be fine too! Just bring conservative swim-wear. This is yet another BAD EXPERIENCE because Batam is a beach area and Bikinis are common in places like Turi Beach, Harris, Montigo but not here in Centro. Obviously, we cant use the pool since we didnt pack for such a occassion.
For families with KIDS, my advice is to STAY OUT of the children pool - why? Because the structure used to build the water slides and stuff are made of METAL & it is RUSTY!!! How unhygienic & unsafe, what is some kids are hurt it could lead to some serious complication!
So after reading all these negatives and you still think that it is okay, I shall share some positives with you.
Daily 1 for 1 meal regardless of soup or mains which is quite a good deal. The food is not fantastic, but it is decent. The service staff are really friendly and service-oriented.
Weekend free shuttle service to Kepri Mall & Nagoya Hill. However the Nagoya shuttle service is only limited to 2 slots while Kepri has like 4-5 slots. This service is only valid for weekend.
Room is spacious but lack sitting space, we only had 1 chair! We had to call the housekeeping 3 times to get a 2nd chair because there were 2 of us. So its just 1 king bed + 1 chair. If you love to cook for holiday, then yes, fantastic! They provide pots, pans, plates, utensil etc. But no detergent & sponge non kitchen-towels - maybe that explains the mess. Oh, i forgot to mention that we requested the housekeeping to clean up the cooker area since it was greasy. We came back to a 1/2 clean-job and we gave up. We just keep out of that area & hope that there are NO MORE ROACHES!
For S$57/night, I am not sure.. Gideon cost about S$60/night for delux, much newer and much closer to amenities like hawker centre & shopping mall which is more interesting than Kepri in my humble opinion. I don't think this is a bad hotel, but I wasnt expecting this for sure. Cant decide to recommend or not, will leave it for your own assessment based on the points listed above.
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