The first trip I did when I arrived in Singapore was to Bintan, with a group of 8 friends.
As interns, we were all on a budget for our first weekend away. Thanks to word of mouth among friends, we’d heard that Bintan Laguna Restaurant and Resort was a good place to escape for a night, on the East coast of the island. Off we go !
The hotel is located on Trikora beach, on the right side of the island. On this side, do not except big resorts, but few chill hotels, such as Bintan Laguna. To reach the hotel from Singapore, you need to take a ferry. You can rather choose Bintan resort ferries or Sindo Ferry . No ferry can drop you on the East side, thus you will need to take a cab once arrived on the island. The drive is between 45min and 1hour. Do not forget to negotiate your fare ;-).
The hotel is built on pilotis, as traditional fishermen cabanas. It looks a bit rustic, because it is ! The path to the rooms is a pond of wooden planks, where few planks are missing along the way – Watch your step ! The hotel is also under construction of some extensions. While we were there, they were building rooms for a SPA. Except planks along the way. The main area of the hotel is at the lobby, which comprise the reception and the restaurant. Overall, all common parts of the hotels are open – no wall allowed ! As the hotel is build on the water, the beach is very close by, but not spectacular. No sunbed, no amenities whatsoever.
As the hotel was under construction when we were there, I am ensure of the number of rooms that you can get as of today. As per checking online, it looks like now they propose two types of rooms: Standard and Deluxe, even a room with a direct Seaview!
The room I got was a standard room (the only type they offered at the time), and well, it was pretty standard, perfect to just sleep. A double bed with a mosquitoes nest, a bathroom with toilet and shower (cold water only), and a sink (Better idea of the room in the video above). The room also had a fan, which wasn’t very necessary as it is quite windy in the middle of the water at night ;-). Be prepared – the isolation is almost inexistent, the room is just barely finished (no attention to details), and animals can be around (Welcome to Indonesia!). However, the view makes it all forgettable – just open your room door and look directly into the ocean!
I would definitely go for the Deluxe room if I would go back to the hotel, just to compare the new amenities, a bit more comfort never killed nobody.
Food and Drink
The hotel has its own restaurant, which is a good thing as it is a bit secluded. It offers seafood and Chinese inspired food, as well as basics Indonesian meals. Prices are a bit high for what you get, but you don’t really have a choice around. Breakfast is included in the price of the room, and is comprises of a tea or coffee, with fried rice. Beers are at a correct price, which is nice for enjoying the sunset!
Not so much to do at the hotel itself, except enjoying the view (which is already nice!). As stated, the beach isn’t the best, there is no pool and no amenities… So why not crashing the hotel next door ? Indeed, the Bintan SpaVilla Beach Resort let you stay for the day as long as you eat/drink over there ! This hotel is a short walk distance (around 10min I’d say), and offers a pool, a beach, a beach bar with music and fresh coconuts, a restaurant offering wider choice of food, and a SPA. The SPA is tested and approved, with package around $61 for 90-min massage. Just enjoy your afternoon there, and chill !
Good to know:
- Language: Indonesian, the staff speaks okeyish English – enough so that everyone understands each other
- Currency: Rupiah (get some cash at the ferry terminal or change money in Singapore before hand)
- Electricity: Same as Singapore
- Avoid renting scooters from the hotel itself – very bad condition & no helmet
- Date of the trip: June 2016
To have a better idea of what a weekend over there look like, check out the video :).