Review: Bintan Spa Villa Beach Resort
▲ Accommodation Review
Did a last minute booking for a 2D1N stay at Bintan.
It’s our Pre-Honeymoon Trip!
Went there on the day after TL and I got married. ;)
TIP FOR HONEYMOON / NEWLYWEDS:
Years ago, when I was still single, I heard this advice from my ex-boss. Not sure why, but it’s deeply ingrained in me. Probably I totally agree with her, then and now. It used to be popular for newlyweds to go on long trips to Europe, US, etc for honeymoon. Then she said, right after wedding, the couple should just go for a short island getaway and enjoy each other’s presence *ahem*. And not tire yourself further after all the wedding preparations with tour groups or busy itinerary.
Not rushing around nor busy shopping, but to
RELAX and CHILLAX
FINDING THE ISLAND
We wanted a nice pool villa accommodation with spa services for our honeymoon in December.
But since we had air tickets flying to Bali in Jan that can’t be changed, it doesn’t make sense that we go in Dec, and then in Jan. Hence we decided Phuket is our 2nd best option. But we compared and realised that Bali’s accommodation is generally cheaper than Phuket.
Just as we were trying hard to find cheap and good resort in Phuket, we won a 3D2N Pool Villa stay at Bali! This resort is even better than our dream accommodation! More about that in January. :)
So we decided to postpone our official honeymoon to January.
But we thought it would be good to go for a short getaway nearby still. Islands which are even nearer to Singapore, that includes Bintan, Langkawi and Batam.
Chose Bintan in the end because we both haven’t been there before.
FINDING THE RESORT
Searched on Groupon and found a few deals. But we needed the accommodation in less than a week. Risky to get from deal sites because of availability. But thank God we chanced upon a travel agency at Star Vista which gave us a similar deal. Better still, they could check the availability of the accommodation and ferry for us asap.
Because of our last minute booking, we could only take the last ferry back. And we weren’t able to do a late checkout, hence we bummed around quite a bit. So moral of the story, book early!
☁☁☁ FERRY US OFF ☁☁☁
Bintan Spa Villa Beach Resort
Price? S$187 per pax for 2D1N
Price includes: 2-way ferry tickets (taxes and Sunday departure surcharge included), 2-way Land transfer, 60 mins Massage, Breakfast, weekend surcharge, upgrade from the Deluxe Room
Accommodation Type? New Ocean Suite (above sea, with private balcony)
When? 1 night in December 2014
Location: 45 minutes to 1 hour from ferry terminal
░░░ THE RESORT ░░░
✘ Location : It took us 45 minutes to 1 hour to travel from the ferry terminal to the resort, and that is with the driver speeding. And the 2-way land transfer provided by the resort is not a private one, we were grouped together with other guests from its sister resorts (Argo and Cabana). We had to wait for the ‘missing’ passengers, who turned out to be having some visa problems. Though not the resort’s fault, I just want to grumble about the time wasted waiting.☹
✔ Resort’s personality: The first impression was good. It exudes a ‘palmy trees, sunny skies, and gentle waves’ feeling. We were each given a cup of coconut milk while checking in, which was relatively fast.
I was excited, because the New Ocean Suites were marketed to be built upon water. I was expecting a stand alone room/hut, like those over water villas in Maldives.
And then I saw this:
The new oceans suites were side by side in one huge hut. Guess, it takes one more upgrade to get more privacy.
But once I entered, I forgot my initial disappointment.
░░░ THE ROOM ░░░
✔Balcony view: Right through the window, the view is awesomeeeeee! ッ
This feels like a pseudo Maldives overwater villa, or rather the ‘cheapo’ version. But who cares, at least I get a similar experience on a budget.
✘ Privacy: The view is good but the privacy is not so. Our balcony is separated from the next door’s with only a thin wall. So be sure not too speak too loudly when you are out on the balcony. And pray that your neighbours are not the loud and party sort. Our room is right at the end, hence we were not sandwiched between 2 rooms. But, with our right side exposed, we could actually see the spa room where the masseuses are massaging their patrons. Can you spot them in the above picture-perfect? :P If you like a bit more privacy, you could request for the rooms in the middle, but that would mean you might have a more restricted view.
✔ Clean and wifi-equipped room
✘ Bathroom: It’s a bit run down, but it’s just for a night, so *shrugs*
░░░ THE FOOD ░░░
✔ Nice dining area: Especially nice and romantic at night, with tealight candles. Reminded of restaurants at Sentosa, except the food prices here are not as expensive. The food we order tasted quite good too!
✘ Limited food choices: Not expensive… but it’s still not cheap! And with no other food places around the resort, our breakfast, lunch and dinner were all from the same place. Burnt a hole in the pocket.
Tip 1: If you are really tight on budget, remember to bring your own instant food, or grab some instant noodles and snacks from the supermarket at their sister resort, Bintan Argo Beach Resort (“Argo”).
Tip 2: Or if you are sick of the food at Bintan Spa Villa, you could pop by Agro to try the seafood/chinese eating restaurant, relatively cheaper than Spa Villa too. But if given a choice, don’t stay at Argo for now, review about it will be up soon!
Tip 3: In any case, be sure to try the beef stew at Spa Villa!
✘ Lousy breakfast buffet: Wonder why the food taste can differ so much for their breakfast and normal menu choices. The breakfast was really quite bad.. except for the omelette.
░░░ THE ENTERTAINMENT ░░░
✔ Skillful Massage in a not-so-private room: When we checked in, they told us they have scheduled a 4pm massage appointment for us. Our package includes 60 minutes massage. ;) Both of us went into the same room…and you could see the sea and people at the beach! Well, I guessed other patrons who got into the other spa room saw our room’s balcony (as mentioned above). Well, it’s such an open view and we were having a full body massage! We changed to sarong and I was praying that I don’t get exposed. This resort is not too big on privacy. Haha. It was quite awesome to have a massage in a room with a sea view. But once we laid flat for the massage, we practically didn’t enjoy the view after that. Only good if you are doing food massage. But I must say, their massage is super good! So relaxing I fell asleep towards the end.
✔ Private small beach: A good place for young people to play volleyball, children to play sand, or posers to pose. And of course, a perfect place for suntanning.
✔ Entertainment Provided: There’s the pool table that seemed widely popular, and then there’s darts and carom board. Their Jacuzzi seemed like those for home installation and the waters didn’t look that clean. Only once did we see a group dipped in in the morning.
Tip: If you like swimming, you can walk or hitched a ride from the resort to Argo to use their swimming pool.
✘ Paid activities: There is a list of activities that you can do with a sum of money. From snorkeling to canoeing, to mangrove and fireflies tours. They don’t come cheap… except probably canoeing for half an hour for S$5.00 (around US$3.80). But we decided to just entertain ourselves with the free activities. We’ve only got 2D1N anyway.
If you don’t mind the long travelling to and fro from the ferry terminal, and just want to chill around, stay at Spa Villa! I would definitely recommend the New Ocean Suite.
Oh, it felt a bit like club med? We did everything at Spa Villa for the whole of first day and night. Hence, we kept seeing the same few people. The place was not crowded on our first day, which was a Sunday. But it seemed more crowded on the 2nd day, a Monday. We ventured to Argo on our 2nd day, when we couldn’t do a late check out and had to bum around to wait for the last ferry.
Should have booked a 3D2N though. Haha.
If you are considering other rooms,
Picture: Left – Deluxe rooms; Right – Royal Ocean Villa
Bali, we are coming soon.
Travels During December 2014
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