Thinking of a short getaway where you can relax and feast your eyes on nature and appreciate everything around you? Head over to Bintan, a 1.5 hour trip from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal to Tanjung Pinang.
My friends and I were deciding on a short getaway to get our minds off work. We wanted to head to Tioman but the six hours journey put us off. We wanted somewhere that we will be able to relax overlooking the sea. Thankfully, we saw a deal to Bintan. At just $134 including sea port tax, the deal provided us with two way tickets, 2D1N stay at Bintan SpaVilla Beach Resort, tour city + lunch, massage, driver to hotel and jetty and breakfast. It was a good deal for us since it is just for a night.
We left Singapore at 8.20 am and reached at close to 10 am. Upon arriving, we were greeted with a friendly staff who were there to bring us for the local tour. We were then brought to a nearby shopping district. As Indonesia is an hour behind us, it was only 9am and most of the shops were not opened. Shopping was not in our itinerary hence, we were not expecting much. Then, we were brought to Ramayana, a departmental store. You can find cheap jeans, outerwear, basics and everything else there.
Before lunch, we visited the temple as it was part of the package. If you are not planning to step into the temple, you can enjoy the surrounding and take some pictures. Just look at the area. Land is vast in Indonesia hence, it is no wonder that this temple is being accompanied with lush greenery.
Lunch was just 10 minutes away. We were served the famous Ayam Penyet. If you have not eaten Ayam Penyet in Indonesia, do not be surprised by the size of the chicken. Look at your fist and that is how small your chicken is. When you are in Indonesia, do not forget to drink Teh Sosro or even their hot tea. I just love the fragrant smell of their tea.
Finally, we were brought to Bintan SpaVilla Beach Resort which is an hour away. The resort seems quiet and it is a nice place to just relax and do some activities such as swimming, beach sports such as volleyball and soccer and water activities. If you are into sea activities, the resort do has snorkeling, low tide eco wildlife, diving, rafting, mangrove tours, stand up paddle, windsurfing and kitesurfing.
Our Deluxe room is spacious and it was clean. We even had a balcony where you can just sit and enjoy the sea breeze and look out for the sunrise and sunset. If you would like to be surrounded by the sea or greenery, you can opt for Royal Ocean Suite or Garden Deluxe. Couples can opt for the Jacuzzi Ocean suite where you can enjoy your Jacuzzi at your balcony with the sea as your view. Families can opt for the Family Deluxe which comes with a king-sized bed and two single beds.
Since we only had two days there, we did not waste time and planned an island trip to the White Sands Island. We literally had the island to ourselves. There, you could do snorkelling, swim and for us, we did a lot of picture taking. The water is so clear and the scenery is just magical. If you are hungry after all the activities, you could eat some finger food there. For us, we drank coconut!
We then headed back to wash up and had dinner at our hotel. We had seafood for dinner. All the seafood are caught off the shores of Bintan Island, while Crabs, Crayfish, and Groupers, are kept int the resort’s live seafood tanks. We opted for set B where we ordered Chilli Crab, Cereal Prawn, Crayfish, Butter Squid, Selar Fish and Chicken Wings. Since we ordered Set B, they charged us RP 420, 000 ($38) per pax. Personally, I was not a fan of their cooking. The Chili Crab tasted weird and the cereal prawn had too much butter.
I had difficulties sleeping at night because the electricity will get cut off at times and I could feel someone opening our door. It feels that way since the door was a bit ajar and I could hear everything outside. On their welcome note, it was clear that they informed that electricity will get cut off at times but reassured guests that the resort has a backup generator available and it will take a few minutes for it to be restored.
Credits: Bintan Spa Villa
The next day it was time to bid goodbye. Before heading back, we did our massage which was part of the package. The message room is facing the sea hence we could see the sea while massaging. I did not really enjoy the massage as most of the times they were pressing against my body. I just could not enjoy it.
Overall, I kind of enjoyed my trip to Bintan because I got to island hop. If we had more time, we could have booked to watch the sunrise or sunrise. To me, if you are looking for a short getaway you could visit Bintan and maybe opt for a different resort as there is another resort nearby. However, I am not really sure if the other resort has their electricity cut off at times. But if given a chance to stay at the resort again, I do not mind giving a chance provided I did not get the same room and hopefully, the electricity did not get cut off when I am watching the television.
I know it is only January but hey, you could squeeze a short getaway during the weekends to refresh yourself or plan for next month, during the Chinese New Year holidays.