I enjoyed my trip overall because of several things:
1. Hospitality. The staff are sincere, patient and obliging. We loved them! They truly made our stay so much better.
2. The river spa. Awesome experience having your massage out in a mangrove setting. This is a must-try and the top highlight of the trip for me.
3. Privacy. This place is truly away from the hustle and bustle of the other parts of Bintan.
Being a city person through and through, I knew there were going to be some getting used to going for a rustic getaway. Heed everything on the website about electricity, lack of water heating, lack of aircons, and abundant insects. I knew what I was going for and since these were all stated or informed to me beforehand, I'm ok with it all.
However, I did not enjoy the outhouse toilet (Pondok plus at $50 per night). It smelt bad (think there was a dead lizard), and the water pressure left much to be desired. We brushed and washed our face with the showers as the tap water supply was a mere trickle. There was a cockroach in my room when we got there (understand it is part of nature but still creeped me out a bit). Went for a night fishing trip and got back at 11.30pm when electricity is off, so we had to bathe in semi-darkness with the solar-powered lamp provided. Quite unsettling cos the creepies were out in full force all around us in the outhouse toilet. The room was neat and relatively clean (aside from the visitors of nature), but the pillows smelt stale and dirty. The beach was very private but it wasn't exactly clean. Waters were inviting but the lack of deck chairs and not-so-pristine sand didn't motivate us.
Nevertheless, I will return to this place as the owner, Marc, is very friendly and constantly improving the facilities. I know it's hard trying to balance rustic and comfort while keeping the Eco-friendliness of the place. Hopefully, Marc and his wonderful team of staff have some ideas to resolve that.
This place serves its purpose of keeping your mind off the stresses of city life and the distractions of technology (no tv, no electricity in the day, no wifi until 6-11 in the evening). The Aroma River Spa is truly a delight and must-try. The hospitality of the staff is amazing, my boyfriend and I were very taken with those guys (Doan and Vitalis) and their service.
Mutiara Beach Guesthouse is truly a gem in the making and I believe with the improvements Marc is working on, it will be a much-desired getaway destination especially for city-stressed people who just want to unload and be closer to nature.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Traditional village style guest house located on 8 hectares of coconut plantation with private beach facing the South China Sea... Great home cooked food... Aroma River Spa treatments in a soothing natural mangrove environment... Rediscover the luxury of doing just nothing, with a relaxing simplicity... Choice of basic Pondok Standard pavilions or more private Pondok Plus pavilions for 2 guests, the new River House perfect for honeymooners and the Spa Villa suite for up to 4 guests... Now connected to the electricity grid... This is the real Bintan experience, off the beaten track! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Mutiara Beach Guesthouse Hotel Bintan
- Mutiara Beach Guesthouse Bintan Island, Riau Islands