Sunday, February 24, 2013
Bintan Lagoon Resort: Refurbished, with Direct Ferry and Own Immigration Terminal
I know the year just started but I feel like I need a holiday already! While my heart longs for exotic locales like Sikkim, Xinjiang and Samarkand, reality has me rooted here for the time being. But someday, when the kids are old enough, maybe we'll drop by and surprise my old friend in Slovenia, on a crazy overland trek across Asia to see the northern lights in Norway. Yes, I did say crazy. But one can dream, right? What a journey that would be to blog!
Meanwhile, there will always be a place for tropical resorts that let you chase the sea sport thrills or just absolutely vege out and do nothing. Last year, we had a chance to check out Bintan Lagoon Resort. I never got to see the original resort but it's been completely refurbished, and now even comes with own private high-speed ferry AND immigration terminal for convenience.
There really is nothing like having your own immigration terminal. Cuts down so much valuable time queuing and commuting. More time for holidaying!
There are over 473 rooms and villas. The Deluxe Room (from about S$140++) is big and spacious, very tastefully done in warm colours along contemporary lines. I can see from their website that the suites are lovely too, especially the Floral Suite with the four-poster bed.
I really liked the big platform bed near the floor-to-ceiling windows, and so did the kids. So nice to just laze here and read. When the kids are not bouncing up and down on it, that is.
Water balls! Jolie and Nadine had a go at these. This is the pool near the activity centre. It's more kid-friendly with shallower pools, slides, bridges and fun stuff. There's another pool complex near the lobby, probably more for adults and serious swimmers. It's a 300-hectare resort - big enough for two big sets of pools!
The two long and winding water slides - these alone kept us entertained for hours! One is slightly longer and and steeper than the other (higher excitement level)!
Seriously, I could not get the kids out of the pool, even past mealtime! Highlight of the trip for them.
Bintan Lagoon Resort is pretty famous for its two championship 18-hole golf courses - the Jack Nicklaus and the Ian Baker-Finch courses. Coaching is available at the resort's golf academy.
There is a particular part of the golf course is a popular place for weddings - I think the 13th hole? It also overlooks the beach, so it's quite romantic.
Speaking of the beach...it's endless stretches of golden sand! Loads of activities - about 50 in total! Water sports, land activities, eco-tours...go ahead and indulge.
Or just lay back and enjoy a massage.
Breakfast is the usual smorgasbord of international dishes, from Asian to Western. There are 12 dining outlets at the resort, so you certainly won't go hungry!
There are some bars and clubs for nightlife seekers too, but I didn't check those out.
We also got a peek at some of the villas. These are widely spaced apart, and some of the big ones like the Angsoka Villa come with private pool (check out the full set of Flickr photos below, to see more).
All too soon, it was time to go home. But it was a memorable vacation for the kids. I'd be quite happy to come back; we barely scratched the surface of the resort in our 2D1N stay. Need at least two nights for a fuller experience!
You can book your stay via Journeyful, which usually has the best rates.
Ferry pricing (return trip) is from S$62 (adult) and S$52 (child) for off-peak periods.
Here's the resort's intro video
Full set of 53 Flickr photos
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