WE LOVED IT HERE!
We read the reviews on trip advisor before we went and weren't expecting much. We were quite worried as we read that there was no electric sockets, not hot water and no flushing toilets. The photos looked good though so we stuck with our decision, and thank god we did.
It isn't anything super luxurious, and perhaps the smaller chalets didn't have as good facilities (we stayed in the floating bamboo house), but we enjoyed our stay. The accommodation was nothing special. We had an en-suite bathroom although the door was more a flimsy bit of folding plastic. It had a shower, toilet and sink. The toilet flushed (much to our delight!) but the shower was cold - not to bad after a warm day but we still didn't spend long under it. The bed is kind of cute - it is made out of bamboo and sheets were clean. The room had an amazing view of the sea, and a balcony with a phenomenal view of the sea, sunsets and sunrises. I was awake at 5am every day to catch a glimpse. They provide mosquito coils and a towel (from Gucci no less!). It was fairly insect free (Saw one lizard on the bathroom wall) but as it is open vents in the roof, there is little they can do to stop this, and it really didn't bother us. There were 2 lights (slightly dim) but functioned fine and UK style electricity sockets. Surprisingly they also had a TV and DVD player in the room. The rooms were very large and you were provided with a key to the front door which locked securely. There was a fan which did a decent job of keeping the temperature down.
The breakfast wasn't massive but it was included and filled a hole nicely. We found the bar amazing - cheap and lots of choice. They did delicious orange juice. They also did light food, which was again cheap and nice. The staff were lovely and very helpful. They spoke perfect English and always had a smile on their face. They helped us plan what we wanted to do each day, and booked everything for us. They also flagged down the buses for us and directed the driver to where we wanted to get off.
The hostel is a bargain. It is nice, clean and quiet. It is also a sister resort with two local hotels. One has a fantastic beach/sea and we enjoyed going there to read our book, eat food and have some drinks. It was modern and clean. They took us there via bus at set times. The other was larger, and had all the water sports, snorkelling, etc. It had a spa where we had a king and queen spa treatment (was sooooo nice!!!!) and 2 lovely restaurants. One is set out in to the sea on a jetty and has a phenomenal view of the sun setting over the mountains and sea. The portions are very large though so don't be afraid to go for a small. It is large and clean. You don't have much choice about eating at the 3 locations as these are the only restaurants in the area (apart from some small local cafe's that we didn't dare try). The gift shops were over priced but I brought a lovely shell necklace from the gift shop at the hostel.
The hostel beach isn't anything spectacular, but as the sister resorts are so close, it doesn't matter. They ride you up to the larger hotel whenever you ask on a small moped/side cart and drop you off wherever you want. You can hire a car for them to go on day trips.
The hostel is set about an hour away from the ferry terminal. We had a transfer bus pick us up which was on time and greeted us as soon as we were off the ferry. We organised this through the hostel. The only problem with being so far out is that there isn't much to do in the area. This is great if you want a quiet, relaxing break away from busy life but not so good if you want to do some sight seeing. It is possible to do it from the hostel, but you have to hire a car with the driver who will take you wherever, but it takes about 1 and a half hours to get anywhere interesting, and the same time to get back again (not including time looking around). We didn't mind this so much, but if you were there with a group of friends you would probably get bored (unless you had a good book to read).
It lives up to the name 'Nostalgia'. The area was quite poor, but not un-safe and we felt very grateful for our lives in Singapore when we got back to the modern hustle and bustle. Everyone was very friendly across Bintan, and always had a smile on their face.
It is so serene and peaceful. It was so relaxing and a great way to switch off for a few days. We sat on the balcony reading and watching the sunset/rises without seeing anyone about. No hostel computer - we really didn't mind but some may.
WE LOVED IT!!!
- Also Known As:
- Nostalgia Yasin Bungalow Hotel Bintan
- Nostalgia Yasin Bungalow Bintan Island, Riau Islands