Earlier this month, hubby and I celebrated our 10th Anniversary with a 3D2N getaway to Bintan. Our plan was initially a trip to Hokkaido but we decided to hold that thought till a few years later. Because a trip to Hokkaido requires more than a week and I just started work and it's kind of unfair to leave behind dear son with my MIL for too long a period.
Koh Samui is actually my preferred destination but the cheaper air tickets were all fully booked, so Bintan it was then. We went for Banyan Tree as hubby didn't like the rooms over at Angsana Resort. The last time we stayed at Banyan Tree Bintan was probably 8 years ago? Anyways, our choice of room this time was the Villa-On-The-Rocks (previously was Seaview Deluxe I think).
We took the last ferry bound for Bintan at 8pm on Friday night after dropping dear son at MIL's place. Something new this time for the ferry too, we decided to try the Emerald Class instead of the Economy Class. Best decision ever and I believe if we were to go to Bintan again, Emerald Class is the one! The price difference for each adult ticket is about $40 but the ease and convenience is definitely worth it (Economy adult ticket is $67.40, Emerald adult ticket is $109.40)! Basically after we cleared customs at the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, we proceeded directly to the exclusive lounge. Some juices, hot drinks and biscuits were provided. Then we just lounged around till all the Economy Class passengers boarded the ferry. Emerald Class seats are located at the upper deck of the ferry, with wider seats and free drinks provided. When we reached Bintan Ferry Terminal, we (Emerald Class passengers) were the first to disembark i.e. Last In First Out system! In this way, we were one of the first to clear the customs. No more time wasting at the customs! Yippee!
The return ferry trip was even more 'shiok'. When we reached the ferry terminal, all we had to do was to hand our passports and tickets to the reception staff at the Emerald lounge and they would do the necessary for us, like getting the passports stamped (i.e. clear custom for us) and picking up the boarding pass. We just relaxed till it was time to board the ferry. And we reached Singapore, likewise we were the first to disembark and therefore beating the crowd to the custom queue again =D Ok, the reason why I'm raving about this, hubby and I both hated to queue for custom clearing, especially hubby!
Anyway, back to Bintan. Upon clearing customs, we proceeded to the Banyan Tree mini lounge area while waiting for our transport. It was a short 10 mins ride and we reached Banyan Tree in no time. Check-in was a breeze and soon we were whizzed off in a buggy to our Villa-on-the-Rocks!
Photos below were all taken during daylight the next day as the night photos were too dim for my liking.
Entrance to our Villa. Room 122 is called Wa-wa. Each villa in the Banyan Tree property has a name.
Jacuzzi which we didn't use at all unfortunately. Have to call Housekeeping if we want to activate it.
We hid indoors most of the time =p
Initially we wanted to order room service and enjoy our meals here at the patio but somehow didn't manage too.
King-size comfy poster bed.
Side desk with info on the property.
Another side desk beside the bed.
This is the lounge sofa where we spent most of our time this getaway, watch TV, surf net while munching on snacks :)
The spacious bathroom is divided into 2 sections by a wardrobe. One side is a sink with sunken bath.
The other side is the toilet and another sink.
The usual bath amenities are all provided.
The TV console, with a bar fridge in the cabinet and tea/coffee making facilities.
Turn-down gift. The Kueh Lapis tasted blah unfortunately. Buy from the shops at the Bintan Ferry Terminal, very nice!
View from the villa during morning high tide.
Next up, some facilities on the property. Like I said, we hid in the villa most of the time, except for meals and spa. Didn't even swim as it rained when we wanted to swim :(
Main swimming pool, which is located next to Treetops Restaurant (breakfast place) and Banyan Tree Gallery.
The second swimming pool is near to the beach area which is shared between Angsana Resort and Banyan Tree.
The departure lounge which is also the library.
Guests could borrow games, DVDs and books during the stay.
I always love the flora displays at resorts, sort of sets the holiday mood.
View from area near the main swimming pool.
The beach is quite suitable for children, gentle gradient and waves, and most importantly very clean.
Next post, I'll share the food we had. Stay tuned!