Think of romance and where’s the first place that comes to mind?
Whatever image your head has just conjured up, it’s probably not Bintan…and perhaps it’s because you haven’t been to Banyan Tree Bintan.
There’s much to be charmed by at this all-villa establishment – the warm Indonesian hospitality, the talcum-white sand of the private beach, the giant trees and lush surrounds, and the beautiful villas set on hillsides overlooking the South China Sea.
Decorated in traditional Balinese-style, the property’s 64 villas are spread out through five main categories and come in one or two bedrooms. Our Ocean Villa on the Rock sits on a boulder bed right next to the water, and sports a gorgeous view of Tanjung Said Bay. The King sized four-poster bed, fluffy pillows, and the sound of waves crashing on the rocks below makes the villa a perfectly luxurious hideaway for two.
You don’t even have to leave the villa for meals – the balcony has a dining table big enough for four, located right beside the outdoor relaxation pool with Jacuzzi jets. Too hot to be outside? Lounge in the comfort of air-conditioning on the daybed inside. The bathroom is almost too extravagant, with two sinks and a sunken bath with shower also overlooking the water. We also appreciate them “his and her” batik robes and slippers.
Given that the brand is renown for their spa – all Banyan Tree Spa therapists are trained at Banyan Tree Spa Academies in Phuket, Thailand or Bintan – it’s something you should definitely give a go since all their spa villas have the same gorgeous oceanfront views. I opted for the 60-minute Nusantara massage, which is not the most relaxing since it involved loads of thumb pressure and kneading, but it did work out the kinks in my shoulder from hunching over the computer so much.
Although we had a relaxation pool at the villa, we enjoyed lounging around the main pools of the resort, with one near the beach and one next to Treetops, Banyan Tree Bintan’s all day dining restaurant and brekkie venue. Since Indonesia is a Muslim country, there’s not pork at breakfast (so no fatty bacon) but the free flow mimosas (orange juice and prosecco) more than make up for it. The Indonesian flavours – think mee goreng – are the winners here.
Other dining options at the resort include Saffron, Banyan Tree’s signature Thai restaurant, and Mediterranean dining at Cove. We dined at the former and while it’s quite pricey for Thai food (S$100 per person for a four-course degustation menu), the flavours are quite on point. If you’re looking to find food outside the resort, get the property staff to drive you to the food centre near their dormitory. There, we paid 250k rupiah (about S$26) for five dishes and rice.
A 55-minute ferry ride from Singapore, Banyan Tree Bintan is pretty much a go-to for romantic getaways close by. Try their 3D2N Sense of Romance package, which includes a private transfer between ferry terminal and resort, non-alcoholic minibar, daily spa treatments, and meals at Cove and Saffron.
Banyan Tree Bintan is located at Jalan Teluk Berembang, Laguna Bintan Resort, Lagoi 29155, Bintan Resorts, Indonesia, p. +62 770 693 100.
Top Image: destination dining