29 August 2012

10th Anniversary Celebration - Bintan August 2012 Part III

Continued from Part I and Part II.
For this last part of the trip journal, it's SPA time!
Although we stayed at Banyan Tree, our preferred spa was actually Angsana Spa. We've always loved the Outdoor (or rather Open-Air) Pavilion at Angsana Spa, as compared to the Spa Villa (air-conditioned) at Banyan Tree. Anyway, both are sister properties and free buggy service is available between the two properties.
We booked massages for both of us on Day 2 (Sat). It's highly recommended to make advance bookings as the spa is usually fully booked during weekends, and spa pavilions are highly sought after.

I chose a 120-min Angsana Signature massage which included a 90-min treatment & 30-min refreshments and relaxation session. Couldn't remember which massage hubby chose.

Choice of potpouri. You know the hole in the massage bed where you position your head during massage? Most spas typically place a bowl of water with aroma oil and some pretty flowers (some do't have anything at all). Here, they place potpouri.

The Spa Pavilions are located on second level. It started raining heavily as we walked towards our pavilion and the rain continued throughout the duration of our treatment.

Decorations remain the same as five years ago.

Didn't get to use the outdoor shower since we didn't do any scrub.

As usual, the therapist was very skilfull and I remembered snoozing off throughout the massage :p

Our pavilion overlooks the garden and sea. Luckily for us, the rain stopped at the end of our treatment and we were able to admire the scenery while enjoying our refreshment.

After massage refreshment of lemongrass tea and carrot/green apple salad with plum powder.

I felt that I didn't get enough of spa, so decided to book a facial on Day 3 morning at Banyan Tree Spa :p

My facial was scheduled at a Spa Villa. Upon entering the two-storey villa, I was ushered to a lounge sofa, where the therapist handed me a cold towel, herbal tea and gave me a foot bath. Then I was brought to the lower floor of the villa.

Choice of incense during the facial.

The massage beds.

My choice of incense was lavender :)

The facial started with a back massage first, followed by cleansing, scrub and mask. Couldn't remember the details as I dozed off once again. Oh there was head and neck massages too. It felt soooo good and relaxing!

After the treatment, I changed and went back upstairs to the lounge area.
After treatment refreshments was herbal tea and fruits with yogurt dip.

Both of us loved such rest and relax getaways, and the spas were always the highlight of every single Bintan trip! If time is limited and you are looking at a hassle free getaway, Bintan is worth considering.

28 August 2012

10th Anniversary Celebration - Bintan August 2012 Part II

Continued from here.
This post I shall talk about food at Banyan Tree Bintan. Usually if breakfast is included in our room package, we would make an effort to wake up since we don't want to "waste money". After all, the price is sort of "included" already and it is not cheap. Unless we know that the breakfast spread is blah.
That said, the breakfast selection at holiday resorts is typically quite good, especially at properties 4-stars and above, so it's actually a meal I look forward to during holidays.
Breakfast is served daily at Tree Tops Restaurant from 7am to 11am.

There are indoor seats as well as alfresco dining. The view for alfresco dining is stunning, perfect for a slow and lazy breakfast.

Unfortunately we couldn't stand the humidity and went for indoor seats with AC instead :p

The buffet area was small, but food selection was very sumptuous. This was the hot food selection which included fried rice/noodle, curries, stir-fry veggies, hot buns/dim sum, bacon & sausage, hashbrown, grilled tomato, baked beans etc.
The egg station was located outdoors, here we could order omelette, scrambled eggs, sunny-side-up etc.
Some hot soupy food like congee, soto ayam.

Cereals, dried fruits and nuts.
Good selection of bread.
And pastries.
Different types of water - distill, sparkling, mineral. Fine selection of tea as well. And even champagne! Do people drink champagne for breakfast? I wonder.

Freshly squeezed fruit juices.

Colourful selection of fruits.

Appetizers and cold selection.

This mini fruit appetizer was yummy. Tiny cubes of fruits like watermelon, dragon fruit in some citrusy juice.

Another food station where some food were prepared ala-minute, like french toast, waffles, pancakes. There was also a section on Indonesian traditional delights.

My breakfast for Day 2. The curry puff was very nice and the tofu/chicken patty too! Grilled tomato was my must-have for breakfast during vacations :)

Round 2! I love the gado-gado (under Indonesian delights). Was so full that we skipped lunch altogether.

This was not mine! Hubby's favourite sunny side-up.

My breakfast for Day 3. Hashbrown and omelette were another two of my favourite breakfast items during vacations. The pandan-leave wrapped chicken was nice!

Soto ayam soup was not bad but I thought the spices were too subtle for my liking.

Pleasant discovery of a new dish. This porridge is called Bubur Kanji Rumbi, apparently from Aceh, cooked in broth of chicken, shrimp, veggies like potato and carrot and added with several spices like star anise, cloves, cardamom etc The rice grains was cooked till very fine almost watery, with a tinge of sweetness and very fragrant because of the spices added. Love it! Have found a recipe and gonna try it one of these days!
The crepe was yummy and perfect with some whipped cream.

Lunch at Tree Tops during Day 3 (our last day). There was still an hour to go before departure so we decided to grab a small bite at Tree Tops.

The above was complimentary crackers with some condiments.

Shared a beef burger as we weren't very hungry. Thought the beef patty was a tad dry, but else not bad.

Three different sauces for pairing, mayo, chilli sauce and thai chilli sauce.

Saffron Restaurant serves Thai food and we had dinner there during Day 2.

Cozy interior.

An appetizing lemon juice was served together with warm towels.

Complimentary crackers with three different dips.

Another complimentary appetizer, small mixed fruit salad to cleanse our palate.

Deep fried calamari with squid ink sauce dip. I love this, the calamari was crispy on the outside and tender inside.

Tom yum soup which passed hubby's taste test. Very spicy and tangy.

Seabass fillet in chilli-lime sauce. I love this dish too, the fish fillet was cooked just right and the sauce complimented the fish well.

Four different types of rice for selection. Yellow tumeric rice, green pandanus rice, plain white rice and brown rice.

Stir fried morning glory aka kang kong. Not bad but a tad saltish.

I also ordered a thai honey iced tea ice-cream. It was very rich and creamy but too sweet for my liking.
Overall, the meal at Saffron was quite good.
There's another Mediterranean restaurant which we didn't try this time round.  Generally, the food at Banyan Tree was not bad at all, albeit pricey.
Stay tuned for the upcoming post which covers Banyan Tree Spa and Angsana Spa.