Check in from 6th to 8th April 2012 for the Easter long weekend. Easy to get ferry from Tanah Merah to go to Nongsapura ferry terminal which take around 35 minutes. Clearing the immigration was surprisingly fast and when to the counter that provide land transfer to the hotel which was 10 minutes away.
Reached the hotel around 10.30am Indonesia time and was able to get our room straight after. We were given the superior room (booked thorught agoda but cancelled on the same day cause the price from the hotel website include breakfast but the one in agoda does not and is only few dollars different) located at Tirta wing on the highest floor which is on the fourth floor overlooking the beach. Heard that Tirta Wing is generally newer compared to Riani Wing which designed is more like a hut. Room was also overlooking the emerald pool and bar which is pretty nice.
We were escorted to the room by one of the staff and after that we unpack and about to head out and noticed that the safe was having some problem. Called the reception and they send a staff over to take a look after 15 minutes. An after 15 minutes of trying to rectify it for 15 minutes the staff gave up and say he cannot do another. I called back the reception and have to re-iterate what I have explained earlier and she say the solution is that we can place the items at the reception. Told her that it's okie as I can lock the items inside my friend luggage. And when we about to step out another staff came and he brought batteries to change but the safe still cannot be used and after few try the staff managed to get it working, is the door that is having the problem we have to push the door all the way in so that the lock and align with the catch in order to locked it.
We went out to look for food, at the Taming Sari Cafe breakfast (0700 -1000) just finished serving and we asked if we could ordered alar carte and the person told us they need to prepare for lunch (11.30am onwards) and advise us to go somewhere else. The Cinta Manis restaurant was not open so we went to the Yatch Club and they advise us to go to the pool bar as they have pool menu. We went to the Aqua Bar which is located at the Aqua Poolside and order two juices and one beef burger. Price are considerably reasonable, juice cost $6.50 and the beef burger cost $9, but the killer was the 21% government tax and service charge.
After our quick bite we went to walk around and it started to pour and we went back to the Taming Sari Cafe and have our lunch. We looked at the menu and noticed prices are range from $10+ and above so we opted for the lunch buffet menu that cost $18+ which i personally felt it way more reasonable compared to the ala carte menu. The staff was extremely nice and sociable which make our lunch a wonderful experience.
Went to the pool after the rain and enjoyed ourself. We could draw pool towel from any of the two pool bar. We will be issued with a voucher and failing to return the towel will result in a charge of $25 per piece.
In the evening when I went to return the towel, no staff was there so went to the spa and she called someone and we went to the bar to return and get new set of towel as we want to go back to the Emerald Pool.
One thing I need to highlight is that the pool bar closed at 6pm daily so even the pool closed much later around 7pm you will not be able to draw towel or return towel after 5.30pm. This is the policy that I don't understand, how can the towel counter closed earlier than the pool itself.
Understand that the staff that is positioned at the bar need to help up for dinner but at least the towel counter need to be mended and not expecting the hotel guest to go high and low to get or return a towel. The staff at the Yatch Club even said that the drawing of the towel is strictly till 5.30pm and swimming after that is guest responsibly as the pool is not supervised (The pool is not supervised at all in case he don't know, no lifeguard is on duty at all). After our swim, we went to freshen up and followed by dinner. The buffet dinner at the pool side cost $22++, food was acceptable but hygiene wise might have to improve. Fly was flying around the food, the tea and coffee station there was cookie for consumption but when I try to take a piece there was ants covering all the cookies. There was a band performing some oldies and some new songs but clearly she need to improve on the singing or maybe the sound system need to be improved. The crowd did not sound very appreciative in the first place.
On the next day breakfast was served at the Taming Sari cafe and was crowded and ended up we have to seat outside along the corridor. Not a bad thing thou cause is less crowded. Food wise is acceptable.
We were able to pay $8 per pax to get a return transfer from the hotel to the Mega Mall at Batam City. Bus depart 1pm from the hotel and take around half and hour to reach the mall and will pick us up at 4.30pm at the mall to send us back to the hotel by 5pm. Basically is only 3 hours and was enough for me to take a lunch at the Black Canyon Coffee which was cheap and nice (intended to go to A&W but was flooded with people and some of them was eating outside food or was jus waiting for the ferry time to be up) and went to buy some drinks and local staff before we proceed up for our one hour traditional Javanese massage at Grand Oditeus Spa at RP$175,000. Room was okie, massage was fine but the toilet was dark and lighted with only candles and could not see clearly, in the massage room the bath tub has a hole in it but fine with me cause am not using it but what was not fine was the noise that came from the event down at the main atrium and the screaming and laughing by some massage guest that was just beside my room. One thing to note if you have sensitive skin, the lotion they used might not be suitable for you as my friend was itching all over after the massage and he just want to get a shower to get rid of the lotion that was sticking to the body.
We checked out on the 8th at 1pm indonesia time and our ferry is at 2.20pm local time. We were at the ferry terminal at 1.20pm as is just 10 minutes away and the immigration is not open hence we loiter around departure hall. There is only one store selling Polo Ralph shirt, one selling drinks and tidbits and some souvenirs and another store selling some food. Overall the place is quite run down and there was queue forming to go into the immigration which was not open till around 1.45pm. Place was warm and stinky and we have to queue for around 40 minutes as only two counters were manned.
In summary, good points about the resort:
1. Nice view of the sea and pool
2. Friendly staffs
3. Two pools to choose from
4. Early check in at 10am when reached
5. Shuttle service to batam centre
Improvement recommended for the resort:
1. Should have checked everything is in order before letting out the room
2. Towel counter should be mend same hour as pool operating hours
3. Wifi should be available in room, free at public area instead of charging
Compare price between agoda and hotel website.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC