When the malaise and ennui of toiling on the corporate chain gang grinds you down face first, where’s the perfect getaway? One that’s convenient to get to, and yet seems to be a million miles away? Somewhere that makes you feel that your cares are far beyond the sea of clouds and the vast blue seas? The idea of far far away is always enchanting. It opens up the possibility of finding a princess, donkey, puss in boots or just Shrek.
Just 15 minutes into a 1.5 hr ferry, you’ll be reminded of the vastness of the world and the ephemeral nature of our daily concerns. Taking you directly from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal to Bintan Lagoon Resort in under 1.5 hours (SDG 60 return), you will leave Singapore and your worries in a trail of churning froth.
Bintan Lagoon Resort is a sprawling 300 hectare beachfront resort with a 1.5km stretch of powdery white sand private beach. There are 395 deluxe rooms with balcony, 18 suites and 57 villas. In keeping with its dedication to the environment, Bintan Lagoon Resort has been LEED certified since 2011 and is the first resort in South-East Asia to make the stringent efficiency rating standards. The well-appointed accommodations ensure that whether you choose to do absolutely nothing or opt to partake in the wide range of activities that range from archery to visiting a fishing kelong, you will find a way to unwind and ease your mind.
If your mind wanders far off enough to forget that you are in Indonesia, you’ll be reminded by the warm traditional welcome, Indonesian style massage and spa, and the local cuisine like Ayam Taliwang, which is a tasty chicken dish from Lombok. The in-room massage operates 24 hours and you can get a good rub down at any time you please. The in-house spa, Kedaton Spa offers an extensive range of massages that start at about SGD 30 for half an hour of foot massage.
Avid golfers will know about the 2, 18 hole golf courses. One designed by Jack Nicklaus and the other by Ian Baker. The gorgeous surroundings of verdant greens and vivid turquoise will ensure that you have a thoroughly immersive experience. For those who need a shot of adrenaline coursing through their veins, there is jet skiing, an ATV course, a fully stocked gym and snorkeling to keep you busy. Kids, too, aren’t left out with a large jungle gym, archery and various excursions to occupy them.
The grounds include 12 dining and entertainment options, including Silk Night Club which, is the only one in a hotel and sees packed crowds in the weekends, as it draws guests from hotels in the Lagoi region. Don’t miss the steaks at Nelayan, a beer at Haskells or the tasty teppanyaki at Miyako while you are here. If you are feeling particularly adventurous, a meal can be arranged at the kelongs that can be found just off the coast. With the transactional currency reverting to the Indonesian Rupiah, the value that you get by way of the exchange rate just makes a stay more attractive.
As a relaxing getaway, the beds are what matter most. From the top, the beds are from the villa, suite and deluxe room. Although a little firm, they were very presented. Those who prefer a plusher option, would have to request more pillows to get comfy. I found the Villas to be a very good deal, at about SGD 1,000 and able to accommodate 7 people in 3 bedrooms. The price also includes a gold buggy at your disposal and 1 BBQ dinner. If you can rope in your friends, I can’t think of a better way to spend a long weekend.
The waters are clean, though a little silty about 30 meters from the shore, owing to nature of the South China Sea. Marine life is present but tend to congregate amongst the scattered stands of coral at the left of the beach. Otherwise, the beach itself is very pleasant, with fine powdery sand devoid of any litter. You could easily wile away an afternoon, on a longer by the beach tapping away on your smart phone. The list of water activities include kayaking, surfing, wake boarding, banana boat rides, snorkeling, jet skiing, to name a few choices.
If you choose to just soak in the sights, you can’t be faulted. It doesn’t take much exertion or muscular strain to savour the sunset views from a deck chair or while sipping the definitive sea side cocktail – a Piña colada. The sight of the golden orb sinking slowly into the night is simply mesmerising.
The festive mood continues into the night. After dinner, you can set off fireworks to celebrate an occasion or set a sky lantern adrift with your dreams written on it. Or, perhaps you don’t have to, because if you look around, I can’t think of a prettier place than this, within such close proximity.
For more information:
Bintan Lagoon Resort
Address: Jalan Indera Segara, Site A12, Lagoi, Teluk Sebong, Bintan, Kepri, Indonesia 29155
Tel: +65 6223 3223
Email: [email protected]