Bintan Island is known for its stunning landscapes and family activities. It nestles on a secluded Island only 55 mins from the hustle and bustle of the vibrant city of Singapore.
From the moment we arrived onto the Island, after our short ferry transfer from Tanahmera Ferry Terminal (10 mins from Singapore Airport), I knew we were in good hands. Of course we were, we were staying at Club Med; famous for customer service.
Our lovely air-conditioned private car and friendly driver transported us for the 10 min journey from the ferry. As we approached the property of Club Med Bintan, several security officers greeted us.
Once cleared for entry, we continued onto the property where a dozen staff were waiving and smiling to make us feel very special. The kids were all amazed by such a warm welcome. This is how you should feel when you make your first steps onto your holiday destination! No one does it better than the Club Med brand, this is our second Club Med experience in 12 months and it seems to get better every time.
Cocktails where flowing minutes after we were escorted to reception and yes the kids were having them too (mocktails of course) which was a treat in itself for them.
A quick glance from the 4th floor of the main entrance and all we could see was manicured gardens, lagoon pools and a private beach with sailing boats and volleyball courts all ready for our families to enjoy. I can’t describe the smiles on the kid’s faces, and they hadn’t even started their holiday!
We have a world of luxury ahead of us for the next six days. It was all at our fingertips…
A quick tour of the resort and wow it was everything and more compared to what I had researched online. Treat yourself to a beautiful spa perched on the rocks, glide through the air on a flying trapeze overlooking the sea, or practice your yoga postures on a private beach reserved exclusively for Bintan guests.
And with so many water and land sports options, plus artistic and cultural activities for kids aged 2 to 17 we really are going to settle in perfectly here. I think leaving is going to be the real issue.
If it wasn’t the beach it was the watersports or simply cooling off in one of the many pools on offer within the resort. There’s no better way to find refreshment than with a cool drink at the beachside bar which we found ourselves most days.
Treating yourself to lunch, dinner or both really is a holiday thing. Club Med strive to create delicious cuisine, all served in a fantastic environment. The chefs are amazing and simply spoil you with wonderful, flavoursome food that will take your taste buds on a journey they’ll never forget.
-The Terrasse Restaurant
Located at the water’s edge, this intimate restaurant offers a magnificent view over the South China Sea or as we know it – (Bintans private little beach). It serves breakfast and late lunch, which golfers will appreciate after a morning round. It really does have a very tranquil yet peaceful setting which is far more intimate dining experience than the volume of guests who tend to use the Waterfall restaurant each day.
-The Waterfall Restaurant
Enjoy sea views from the 2nd floor of the main building while sampling local specialties and a wide selection of international dishes from this amazing buffet. A choice of low-calorie meals is also prepared every day for those who choose the healthy option. This was not me…
Refreshing drinks such as water, fruit juices for the kids, cocktails with or without alcohol for parents, and an array of hot drinks are all included in the offer. If you’re looking for a taste of local flavour, then opt for local spirits and wines to really immerse yourself in the culture.
The personalized dishes within this restaurant were amazing. Freshly cooked omelettes along with pancakes and many others dishes were all cooked to order making everything so fresh and enjoyable.
I also have to mention the desert bar which was a very popular corner for both our families who engaged many times a night to help wash down the main meals!
I now know why Bintan has the largest Sports School in the world at your doorstep… It’s to help burn off all of the naughty food you get to eat for breakfast lunch and dinner!
Here you’ll find exceptional sports and group lessons for all levels of skill. Beginners and experienced sportsmen enjoy state-of-the-art equipment and exclusive, fun teaching from G.O®s trained in their discipline. Indulge yourself to the extreme and discover new emotions with this huge range of activities at hand…
Break out box with sports inside box (- this is a note from Dean)
Snorkelling (winter only)
Weights and cardio room
Cycling/Mountain biking School
Flying Trapeze School with circus activities
The popular options for our families were Soccer at 5pm each day, Archery, Trapez School and all of the water sports. The adults even got involved with most activities however, we all excelled in the Water Sports at the beach bar drinking cocktails each day. We were commended at our level of involvement and did the Aussies proud!
The destination and surrounds are one thing, the staff and shows that are produced each night are another. They certainly take things to a whole new level. Bintan staff are the best I have experienced; each and every member were talented in their own field and devoted to making each family member feel very special.
The standout of the trip was the Saturday night show, dinner is served outside around the pool with a setting similar to any Australian wedding reception it was that good. The majority of the staff performed each night including management. It was very entertaining for the kids who loved every second and couldn’t get enough. The trapeze team performed live over the main pool with approximately 500 people who were entertained for over an hour. It just happened to be Hunters’ (Brian’s son) birthday on this night so we thought they had gone to this effort for his birthday!
In Bintan, life is good: but it just got a whole lot better when we were invited to play golf at the famous RIA Golf Club. Designed by Gary Player, it really is a class of its own and makes what we have in Australia look very basic I must say!
Set amidst lush landscapes and natural surrounds, with panoramic ocean views and greens atop magnificent cliffs, it’s no wonder it’s voted one of the best golf courses in Asia.
Ria is a 27-hole championship golf course. It’s world class with some of the holes literally backing onto the ocean and waves lapping into the sand as you putt your ball. It’s common to see monkeys hanging out in the trees and we were warned not to leave our prized possessions in the cart as they love to come and have a look through your bag and sometimes take your phone!
Bintan Sports department make things effortless and organise transfers from the hotel through to the course that’s only a few mins away. We hired some clubs which were of very high quality, however I must say we seemed to wake up all the monkeys as we sprayed the ball many times into the bushes – must have been those clubs we weren’t used to!
The Recipe for Happiness
311 rooms from club room to suite
Mini Club (ages 4-10) Juniors Club Med (11-17 years)
Golf School, Water Activities
Golf Course 2mins away
Spa by Comfort Zone onsite.
Pampering in PARADISE
By Melissa Usher
Situated on the waters edge of the sapphire-blue South China Sea and set against a breathtaking canvas of azure skies the Asmara Spa is a truly unforgettable spa experience, one Melissa Usher our Beauty Editor and Amber Hoy were thrilled to experience.
Travelling for a couple’s romantic getaway or a family fun adventure Club Med really does offer it all. During our stay we had the opportunity to visit the tranquil and relaxing Asmara Spa. Set in a luscious setting and soothing environment, it’s the perfect way to end your long day after soaking up the sunshine.
Arriving at the spa our friendly therapist offers us a refreshing lemongrass juice and guides us through long winding outdoor tropical pathways in to our treatment room.
With two massage tables facing the blue sea we sit and enjoy a soothing warm foot soak. The menu at Asmara is extensive with spa packages such as the “Tropical Java Lulur” which includes a turmeric and rice exfoliation a Nourishing yoghurt wrap followed by a invigorating floral bath and traditional massage.
There are also manicures and pedicures on the menu along with facials using luxurious Payot products.
As we’re both in the mood for relaxation, we’ve decided to sample the Asmara Traditional Massage.
This is their signature massage, which uses a traditional oil mix of spices, infused in herbal concoction. These promote and improve energy and blood circulation.
As the therapists weave their magic, I melt away to the sounds of the water lapping gently on the shore outside our open-air room.
After our treatment we are taken to a relaxation area and given a warm cup of Amara herbal tea a blend of tradition spices that aids digestion and gives you a sense of calm and peace the perfect way to finish a beautiful day.
Bintan rooms were of high standard and a pleasure to come home after a day at the beach.
Inroom amenities include TV, air-conditioning, phone, mini-fridge, kettle, WiFi broadband Internet access (also available at the restaurants and lounges), shower, personal safe, hairdryer and US electrical plugs (220 volts).
Renovated and ready for you to enjoy; Bintan has just seen an injection of money and design to make the resort even better, bringing one of the inside bars to around the outside pool. Unfortunately we didn’t experience this but I could just imagine how this would lift the lower level pool and atmosphere of a night.
Our experience and memories come to a close as we leave the island and make our way home to the Gold Coast.
I can honestly say that this was our best holiday yet and I have rated it 9.5/10. That’s a big call I know, however, our kids are hooked and have asked to return and anyone who knows me well – I have trouble saying no!
Do yourself a favour – research Bintan or talk to the team at Hope Island travel Centre and make sure you take in the magazine for a special little something offered for every Bintan booking.
Until next trip stay safe and happy travels from the Ocean Road Team…