I had a chance to visit Bintan Resort on December 2010 for free. Yes, FREE! I joined my bf's company trip for 3 days 2 nights. Bintan Resort is placed in north of Bintan Island, Indonesia. Eventhough I live in Indonesia, I went there through Singapore. Why? because flight fare from Surabaya to Singapore is cheaper than Surabaya to Bintan. Ironic isn't it? I went to Singapore the day before we went to Bintan. There were about 30 persons who joined the trip. We departed from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, Singapore. It was 1 hour trip by a fast ferry. Due to the monsoon season, the wave was quite big and I had seasick. The ferry itself was quite big. Inside the ferry there was a delly that sell snacks and drinks.
|Inside the ferry|
We arrived at Bandar Bentan Telani Ferry Terminal at noon. A van, that has been booked before, picked us up to go to Bintan Lagoon Resort, the resort where we stayed during our trip. We rent 5 villas, 2 villas have swimming pool, BBQ pit and direct access to beach, while the others have no swimming pool nor BBQ pit but still quite close to the beach. I stayed at Buganvil Villa. It's a 2 stories villa with 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1 dining room, 1 kitchen, 1 living room. All rooms have air conditioner, both bathroom have hot water facility, TV cable at the living room. Every villa came with a buggy. It was my first time driving a buggy and I found it so much fun!
|Bintan Lagoon Resort lobby|
|Resort swimming pool|
|Inside the villa|
The resort was quite packed with tourists eventhough it wasn't a holiday season yet. Most of the tourists, like 99%, were people from Singapore. What made me quite shock as an Indonesian, all prices in Bintan Resort were in Singapore Dollar (SGD). Foods, drinks, souvenirs were all in SGD and they were so expensive! More expensive than Bali. I bought a Magnum Classic ice cream near resort swimming pool and it was cost me SGD 6. I was like, "WHAAAAATTTT???!!!!" It was even more expensive than Singapore price. SGD 6 equals to 42.000 Rupiahs. Magnum Classic in Surabaya costs 10.000 Rupiahs, so it was 4 times higher than regular price! *dies*
The beach was very beautiful. White sand, clear blue water, clean beach, what do you expect more? First day we came, it was cloudy but the next 2 days sky was clean so we can enjoy the beach even more. Leisure center also available inside the resort. We can enjoy billiard, table tennis, dart, karaoke, spa and massage. Swimming pool and bike rental were also available in leisure center. A night club was also available nearby hotel lobby. We took a look at that place at around 11 pm and it was empty. So we decided to skip the night club and end up at lobby's cafe order strawberry-mint shisha. It was my first time try a shisha and I hate it! It was only slight strawberry-mint I tasted, the most of it was only smoke. That would be the last time for me.
|Leisure center swimming pool|
The resort itself provide buffet dinner in lobby, but there were some other restaurants available. We tried the western and japanese restaurant. The western restaurant was located by the beach, while japanese one was located in the lobby nearby swimming pool. The japanese restaurant food was okay, just like average japanese food I ever had elsewhere. In western restaurant I ordered Angus Beef Rib Eye Steak with Blue Cheese Mashed Potato and it was AWESOME!! The best steak I ever had in my life. The meat was melting in my mouth and the mashed potato was also very delicious. It was a big portion, I was afraid i couldn't eat them all, but in the end my plate was clear clean. It was quite cheap actually, only SGD 33 for an angus steak. Too bad I forgot to take a picture. If you ever go to Bintan Lagoon Resort, Angus Beef Rib Eye Steak with Blue Cheese Mashed Potato is a must eat food.
1 hour drive from the resort, there's a place that sell souvenirs called Pasar Oleh Oleh. Some of us decided to go to this place. We rent a car costs SGD 30. Pasar Oleh Oleh was divided into 2 units, old and new unit. When we arrived at the place, we were quite disappointed. The place, both old and new, were very quite. They only have a view shops and a view tourists visit it. Just like inside the resort, the price are all in SGD. I bought a wood bracelet and some key chains for friends. The elders had a massage, which is apparently cheaper than the one inside the resort, but of course still too expensive for me. Going around Pasar Oleh Oleh was only required 20 minutes the most. We spent 1 hour in Pasar Oleh Oleh because we have to wait for the elders got their massage done before went back to the resort.
|Old Pasar Oleh Oleh|
|New Pasar Oleh Oleh|
Overall my trip to Bintan Resort was quite a pleasure. It's a perfect place to relax and get away for a while from city hectic. The only negative thing for me is the price which is very expensive. This trip will be my only trip to Bintan. There are many other places I haven't been so I won't waste my money to go back to Bintan again. I've been to it and it was enough, BUT of course I won't say no if someone is willing to pay for me to spend a holiday in Bintan again. Who can resist a free holiday anyway?