4 Fabulous Bintan Resorts for a Tropical Getaway
With the opening of the Singapore-Bintan travel corridor, all anyone (me) could think about is hopping on a ferry and making a beeline for the paradise next door. Before busting out our Google Calendars and ticking "apply" on that leave form, here are a few things to note.
#1 Pre-departure Test (PDT) and On-arrival Test (OAT)
Travellers are to be fully vaccinated and test polymerase chain reaction (PCR) negative 72 hours prior to departure and again upon arrival.
#2 Proof of Vaccination
Travellers must present proof of vaccination (physical or digital) that shows that they have received a complete dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to departure. The vaccine certificate must be verified on the official website of Indonesia's Ministry of Health or on e-Hac International Indonesia.
#3 Health Insurance
Travellers are required to purchase health insurance with Covid-19 coverage (min. $30,000).
#4 Return Trip
Unless you're returning to Singapore via Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) via Changi Airport, you'll be required to serve a 7-day Stay-Home-Notice upon your return. A mandatory PCR test has to be taken at the end of your stay-home-notice period.
With all the essential information out of the way, here are 4 of the best resorts for your next trip to Bintan!
Banyan Tree Bintan
Perched on a cliffside with a sweeping view of the South China Sea, Banyan Tree Bintan is a tropical hideout for modern city folks. Nestled amidst ancient rainforests and secluded beaches, the resort offers a variety of beautiful Balinese villas perfect for couples and families. From the cosy Seaview Villa for two to the Oceanview Infinity Pool Villa large enough for the entire family, Banyan Tree Bintan has villas to accommodate groups of all sizes. Set on stilts by the hillside, the fully air-conditioned villas come with charming four-poster canopied beds and outdoor relaxation pools.
When it comes to recreation, the resort is replete with activities and natural sights to help guests enjoy their time off the grid. Visit the Gurun Pasir Busung, a former mining town now resembling a Middle Eastern desert oasis with undulating slopes and crystal blue lakes. If you’re intrigued by native wildlife, hop on the Mangrove discovery tour and dive deep into the thick mangrove along Serung river where hundreds of wildlife species and faunas await.
Looking to surprise a special someone? Banyan Tree Bintan’s Kelong Villa might just be the right choice for you. Situated 250m from the Laguna Bintan Integrated resort, guests are treated to an unparalleled view of the pink cotton sky as the sun sets beyond the horizon. The villa features earthy tones of local Indonesian timber and traditional furnishings coupled with silk and buckwheat beddings for that rustic comfort. In addition, its open-concept bathroom further blurs the line between man and nature, villa and the sea.
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Tucked away in the northern coast of Pulau Bintan, the Sanchaya is a beachfront resort set against the pristine waters of Lagoi Bay. The hotel features 33 rooms and villas split across three categories. If you’re travelling as a couple, we recommend the Lawan Villa. Like the rest of the hotel, the rooms feature colonial-inspired design complete with a four-poster bed and Southeast Asian antiques. Due to its slick aesthetics and use of black wooden blinds, the Lawan Villas are darker and cozier than the rest of the rooms. For larger families, the Leelawande is our recommended pick. A private haven within the hotel, the Leelawande compound comprises three one-bedroom villas set around a private pool. The large outdoor deck is perfect for gatherings, sunbathing, and private dining that can be arranged by the hotel’s chef. All rooms come with free soft drinks and snacks, free Wi-Fi, pod coffee machines, Apple TVs, and iPad Minis loaded with movies.
When it comes to amenities, the Sanchaya boasts a full suite of facilities designed to melt your stress away. Guests craving a relaxing afternoon should block out an hour or two for a massage or spa session at Sodashi, the hotel’s on-site Balinese-inspired spa. For a taste of adventure, there is a wide range of activities such as archery, croquet, and mangrove trips. For a slow afternoon, the hotel spots an Olympic-sized pool and a poolside bar that serves up authentic Thai street food at affordable price points.
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Natra Bintan, A Tribute Portfolio Resort
Love the great outdoors but not yet ready to part with the creature comforts of a hotel? Then look no further than Natra Bintan. Nestled on the Chill Cove in Treasure Bay, Natra Bintan is a 4-star hotel that offers something different from the usual resort or overwater bungalows spotted across Southeast Asia.
The hotel features four types of rooms: Garden Tent, Safari Tent, Lagoon View Tent, and Glamping Deluxe Tent; the most popular being the Safari Tent and Lagoon View Tent. As the name suggests, the Safari Tent resembles your typical safari tent but with a lavish makeover. Divided into two main sections, the room comprises an indoor air-conditioned bedroom and an outdoor open-air bathroom with small openings near the ceiling but is completely walled off for privacy. The Lagoon View Tents are located closer to the lagoon and feature whirlpool bathtubs perfect for couples looking to spend more time indoors.
If you’re up for water sports, you’re in for a treat. Situated in Treasure Bay means that most activities are water-related, such as see-through kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, and wakeboarding. For a splashing good time, there are unicorn and flamingo floaties for rent. If you’re thinking of exploring the nearby mangroves, there are mangrove river tours available for booking.
When it comes to food, Patio Restaurant and Bar has an extensive selection of traditional Indonesian and regional pan-Asian dishes, as well as familiar items such as pasta, pizza, and burger.
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Holiday Villa Pantai Indah
If pina colada and a good book by the pool are all you need for an awesome vacation, then Holiday Villa Pantai Indah is the hotel for you. Located in Lagoi Bay, Holiday Villa Pantai Indah is a luxury resort featuring 139 pool villas set against Bintan’s idyllic seascape. Each villa is a private slice of heaven, spotting a beautiful pool, sun loungers, and tropical pavilions. The open-air dining area comes with a microwave, coffee maker, kettle, and a regular-sized refrigerator. Minimalistic and clean, the bathroom features double sinks, a spacious shower, and a ceramic bathtub perfect for soaking that stress away. The resort also provides massage, facial, and manicure services. Private in-room massage is available at an additional charge.
When it comes to activities, Hotel Villa spots a rather modest list, offering your standard fare of archery, kayaking, ATV, and stand-up paddleboarding etc. If you’re a night owl, the hotel offers a wide selection of channels such as FOX, HBO, National Geographic, and Cartoon Network that would keep boredom at bay when the sun goes down.
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