I will come back to Bintan (might try the Banyan Tree's sister property, Angsana, next time though). I had no idea such a beautiful, calm beach was this close to Singapore.
We loved the Banyan Tree Bintan, but it is not cheap! We booked a one bedroom pool villa and a Sea Front villa (for our daughter and my mother-in-law). The one bedroom pool villa was spectacular!!! It is sprawling and much larger than I ever imagined. The infinity pool was really big and beautiful. The one bedroom pool villa seems to be a "converted" two bedroom pool villa. It is the same floor plan and amenities (separate indoor and outdoor showers, toilet, tv, phone, etc.) as the two bedroom pool villa except the "second bedroom" has two single day beds and they called it a "living room". Maybe I was confused on occupancy when I booked our rooms(the "two bedroom" villas were sold out). Perhaps I could have paid extra for my MIL and 14 year old daughter to stay in the day beds of the so called "living room". Instead of utilizing this huge, beautiful space, it went unused (we booked a separate villa for them). The outdoor living space is where we all gathered during the day. My MIL and daughter only slept in their villa the rest of the time they were with us enjoying the expanse of our gorgeous one bedroom villa.
The best parts of Banyan Tree Bintan:
Service - Excellent.
Beach - Wow! It was beautiful. The water was clear, warm, and calm.
Spa - Awesome (we bought many of the spa items that are also used to decorate and appoint the villas)
Romance - Definitely a place for couples!! Maybe it was wise to have my MIL and daughter in a separate villa!!! At this point in our lives, my husband and I do not want to be anywhere near screaming kids, especially when we are dropping this kind of cash. The Banyan Tree Bintan seems to be more appropriate for couples. There were some families with young kids, but not many, and the ones we did encounter were quite.
Pool Villas - Beyond beautiful, I could have stayed forever.
Buggy Service - I was really worried about this, especially since we had to shuffle between two villas that were far from each other; however, the buggy service was perfect and timely. I felt like I was being chauffeured everywhere!
Water Sports - We took the snorkeling tour. It was really good. I was surprised at the quality of fish and coral. I had no idea snorkeling was this good so close to Singapore. The coral was colorful and plenty and the water was warm and calm. Saw many colorful, beautiful fish and two squid.
Check In / Check Out - Organized and accurate. We spent nearly US $7000 for two rooms for three nights. I expect the charges to be easy to understand and properly posted. The bill was perfectly accurate and easy to understand without hidden or unexpected charges. Well done!
So, why only 4* instead of 5*?
Mini-bar was never stocked. This annoyed me. When we checked in, neither villa had the mini-bar restocked from the previous guest. It is something I always check upon first entering a room even before the bellman leaves. This would have been no big deal if they would have eventually stocked it properly, but that never happened. We love the convenience of mini-bars and use them. We do not complain about the cost....we love that we always have refreshments immediately available. Our mini-bar was missing all the wine, champagne, soft drinks, and chips. The bellman called mini-bar service and we called the front desk to ensure everyone knew we were not responsible for missing items from either mini-bar. The mini-bar staff came by our villa and assured us that they knew it was not properly stocked in either villa. Later that day they brought some of the items missing to just one villa. I called many times to have the mini-bars stocked but that never happened. As I usually do, I kept my running total of items used on the mini-bar menu. Our mini-bar bills are often over $500 dollars, but we only used $113 at the Banyan Tree Bintan. This should never happen at a 5* resort - ever. Amazingly, they did have the correct mini-bar charges at check out. But the charges were not our issue, the convenience is. To make it worse, the in-villa coffee service in restocked by the mini-bar staff. I called to have at least the coffee stocked; but was told they were out of coffee "pods" for the coffee maker. For nearly $1000 bucks a night, you better not let me wake up to no coffee!!! During this phone call, the housekeeping staff heard me tell my husband that there were no coffee pods. Our housekeeper was shocked that I would get that type of response from mini-bar staff. He promptly went into action and made sure I had enough coffee to last several days. Our housekeeper saved the day - good for him (and he was handsomely rewarded by us). So management......never let this happen again...ever! The mini-bar should be properly stocked and restocked throughout a stay.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Close to Singapore lies a sweep of brilliant Indonesian islands, the most spectacular of which are found in the Riau Archipelago. Bintan Island has long been one of the region's most popular destinations. Banyan Tree Bintan occupies 240 hectares on the sea front and is comprised of 72 villas modeled on traditional Balinese architecture, all beautifully located in virgin forest. The resort's Jacuzzi villas have jacuzzis built into their sun decks whilst the two-bedroom pool villas have their own plunge or swimming pools and are particularly suitable for families. Culinary variety is the name of the game with "Crossroads" offering Western cuisine in an air-conditioned or al fresco setting while the Saffron Restaurant serves Thai and South East Asian specialties. You can also dine in your own villa - simply order from the a la carte menu or make a selection from the BBQ dinners cooked in front of your eyes. The new food and beverage outlet, "The Cove," is modern and up-tempo; Mediterranean cuisine is prepared here to perfection. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Banyan Tree Bintan Hotel Bintan
- Banyan Tree Hotel Bintan
- Bintan Banyan Tree
- Banyan Tree Bintan Bintan Island, Riau Islands