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Mutiara Beach Guesthouse
Ranked #1 of 17 Bintan Island B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 22, 2008

Six weeks after the birth of our daughter we decided that it was time to take a break from the city-state of Singapore. The Indonesian island of Bintan is only an hour away by ferry. It is usually known for its fenced-off northern part with a large number of generic resort hotels.

On a recent bicycle tour (http://www.tropicalmusings.com/?p=808) I had discovered the eastern coast called Trikora, which consists of a chain of beautiful beaches with very little to no development. So, we decided to give Mutiara Beach Gueshouse a try and were not dissappointed.

The three simple but tastefully decorated cabins (called Pondoks) are set in a spectacular coconut plantation - walking through the rows of coconut trees to the private beach (about 100m) is an experience of its own. The beach is a beautiful stretch of fine-grained white sand.

The only fly in the ointment (besides the sand-flies - which, with an appropriate amount of "Off" can be kept in check) is the fact that the road runs not too far behind the cabins. It is very narrow and there is hardly any traffic on it but of course you can hear motor-bikes (the ubiquitous mode of transport in this part of the world) passing by every few minutes (hardly any at night). It is no big deal and helps to remind you that there are other people around trying to make a living, but I know of people who get very disappointed if they hear anything else but the sound of waves (for those, there is a floating room called a Kelong which can be rented and which immerses one completely in the sounds of the sea)

Electricity is provided by a generator between 6pm and 10pm and in the Pondoks is only used to power a small light-bulb (better to stick to the provided candles - it is more romantic). The shared bathroom/toilet is kept very clean and contains a shower fed by a water-tank on the roof. Just be aware of mosquitos eating you while you are in there. Most of the time I would just jump into the sea anyways.

Food is simple but very tasty, drinks are kept cool in an ice-box and everybody just ticks off what was consumed on a sheet of paper.

What is quite astonishing is the professional and friendly treatment you receive from the staff. This being such a simple and affordable place I wouldn't have expected too much but was very surprised (we talked to the Swiss owner who dropped by on our last day and he told us that the person in charge had experience working in a hotel)

Then there is the adjacent "Aroma River Spa" where you get a truly 5-star treatment (of course, no fancy machines and gadgets, but truly professional massages and other treatments like body scrubs). So in a sense the entire thing is an unusual combination of rustic accommodation, unspoilt nature and luxury pampering. My wife and I are in our late thirties, have traveled extensively and starting from humble backpacker beginnings have moved upmarket into boutique style hotels in the last two decades - I have to admit, we thoroughly enjoyed this odd combination.

For those who feel that they have to do something there is the possibility to rent kayaks or motor-bikes which can be used to make excursions to other nearby beaches or villages.

This is definitely not a place for somebody who is expecting a resort-style experience but if you come with the right mindset (having prior camping experience definitely helps) you will be amply rewarded with a rustic unspoilt experience in an incredibly beautiful setting.
I have attached a few fotos (there are some more at http://www.tropicalmusings.com/?p=999)

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled with family
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Thank holadri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 26, 2008

I needed a place to go to so I could heal and rejuvenate. Doctor's orders. So I took 2 weeks off and the instant I arrived at Mutiara I knew I was in the right place. The atmosphere of the place is unaffected by modernity - it's very much a step back into what Pulau Babi Besar and Tioman were like in the 70's. But for the main house which contain 3 small rooms with double bunks and a dining area, there are 3 standalone 'pondoks' (wooden chalets that sleep two) set amidst acres and acres of coconut trees and the sky. About 50m from the pondok is the beach - vast expanses of white sand and crystal clear water. What is special about this spot is you can swim at low tide too. At most of the beaches in Bintan, the sea empties out at low tide to reveal just sand and bare coral.

Mutiara provides what I need and no more - my notion of paradise. Simple, no frills and no fuss. Clean water to bath with. Clean toilets. 4 hours of electricity to charge the mobile phone and camera. And, in the end, yes, it was a blessing not to have the internet. I left my life in Singapore behind and was left with nothing to distract me from the beauty of this land, the sound of the wind and waves, the song of the crickets and birds.

The staff were there when I needed them - for tea, a spare pair of slippers, extra candles - whatever. I felt safe and cared for. Yet, apart from when I wanted them, they were invisible. How special!

Mutiara is isolated. There is a kelong restaurant a few km up the road but not much else. If you want a place with no distractions from your self (or your other half), this is paradise. If you want long quiet walks along expansive white beaches with stunning skylines, there aren't many places like this in Asia.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention. Just 50m away is a top-notch spa with excellent massage therapists. Yes, this is paradise!

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled solo
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1  Thank Mingus88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 14, 2008

Mutiara Beach Guesthouse

date: 3 may 2008

reviewer: a Singapore weekender

Good news for those people (like me) who miss the simple local life style of accommodation that could be experienced on Asian beaches before the apparition of generic resorts in the 1990s.

I discovered recently Mutiara Beach Guesthouse on Trikora Beach, east coast of Bintan and was delighted to find a place where one could still sleep under thatched roof, eat real local food, and don't even have the temptation of checking one's email.

The guest house is located at the heart of a beautiful (real!) coconut plantation by the sea side and comprises of 3 bungalows that can host up to 4 people each and 3 smaller rooms with double decker beds in the main house. The veranda of the main house also serves as lounge and dining room.

With 2 shared bathroom and electricity from 6 to 10pm only, the facilities might seem rather basic to some. But the beauty of Mutiara Beach Guesthouse definitely lies elsewhere: the pristine environment, the authenticity of the local village around it, the beautiful deserted bay that opens onto the South China Sea and the crystal clear water, even at low tide.

Mutiara Beach Guesthouse however does make a remarkable concession to modern standard of comfort with the Aroma River Spa.The little pavilions are built in the midst of a mangrove, right on top of a river that runs through the 8 hectares of the property. There, one receives a service that easily compare, if not outdo, the service given in the fancy resorts of the north coast, albeit for a fraction of the price.

The only drawback I can think of would be the nasty little sand flies, unfortunately common to many beaches in this part of the world. But good repellent and cream can easily take care of that.

In short, the perfect environment for a real break away from modern and hurried urban life. With a good book and a few good friends, the ideal destination to get back to basics and rediscover the joys of kampong life.

2  Thank SingaporePrata
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 14, 2008

I usually go to Mutiara beach for a deep breath of easy-going life, surrounded by sun, sand and coconut trees. The beach down there is beautiful but you must be aware of the sand-flies : some precautions such as "Off", the anti-mosquitoes screen are useful. Mutiara beach guest-house is a place made for people who enjoy nature and basic way of life. The staff is friendly and helpful and makes you feel at home. The bungalows are comfortable , on the indonesian way-of-life standards. It's fun getting a shower, pouring water from a bucket. Besides the guest-house is a wonderful spa, on the river, with efficient team and really cheap prices. I enjoyed the evenings on the kelong as well as the barbecues on the beach or the strolls to the fishermen village near-by. Marc, the owner of the place has full of stories to share with you and can arrange for a nice fishing trip. A very good spot for snorkling too. Well, I just think I fell in love with the spot!

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled solo
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1  Thank Lingwu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 21, 2017
Google Translation

  • Stayed: September 2017, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Thomas L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 20, 2017
Google Translation

Stayed: May 2017
Thank Julia K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 15, 2017
Google Translation

Room Tip: Bungalow côté plage
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  • Stayed: May 2017, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Marine C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mutiara Beach Guesthouse

Address: Jl. Trikora Km.55 | Telok Dalam, Bintan Regency, Riau Islands Province 29155, Indonesia
Location: Indonesia > Riau Islands Province > Riau Archipelago > Bintan Regency > Bintan Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 17 B&Bs / Inns in Bintan Island
Price Range: $37 - $65 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Mutiara Beach Guesthouse 3*
Number of rooms: 12
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

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