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“Gorgeous resort but a little rough round the edges”
Review of Banyan Tree Bintan

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Banyan Tree Bintan
Ranked #2 of 36 Hotels in Bintan Island
Reviewed 17 February 2009

We stayed at the BT Bintan for 5 nights at the start of Feb. We had a Villa on the Rocks along with 5 lizards and a squirel. The resort is as it looks on the website and I would have no hesitation in recommending this hotel for a romantic getaway.

The spa is excellent although not as good as some Shangri-Las.

The restraunt options are good and there is some great food available.

Only two down points... some of the finishings in the room are a bit worn and the sun deck is pretty rough. We never used it, or the jacuzzi. and secondly, this resort could be anywhere in the world. If you want to experience Indonesia, the closest you will come to this is the ferry port and the drive to the hotel.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank loveluxury1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,320 - 1,326 of 1,618 reviews

Reviewed 2 January 2009

I've stayed here, many years ago, on a company trip, which was fine (I wasn't paying!), but I dropped back recently for lunch at the Cove restaurant. So this is not about the hotel experience, but about the Cove and the staff.

First, the staff in the reception didn't know their own facility, telling us that lunch options included Mediterranean, at the Cove. Wrong. At lunchtime it's only Asian food. Never mind, the location is wonderful, high over a rocky cove, shady and catching the breeze. The staff were friendly, but they didn't have coca-cola, didn't have the sauce advertised on the menu for the Thai fried rice, and were extremely slow. The food however was quite good - not wonderful, I've had better - but good for a general hotel.

We then asked for the bill, and handed over a credit card - after noting that, unbelievably, three local dishes and three soft drinks, came to $100!!!. After a longggg wait, a supervisor who we'd not seen so far and I suspect had been called in from another part of the hotel, came over to tell us that they couldn't currently take credit cards so please could we pay cash. Luckily we could, just, but, after ferry charges, it meant that I arrived back in Singapore that evening with $4 left in my pocket.

Look, in Indonesia, I don't mind slow service, dopey staff, and no credit cards. But this place promotes itself, and charges, as international 5-star luxury. It's a joke. Save your money for resorts that WILL deliver you that. And if you want a quick beach weekend away from Singapore, stay somewhere sensible.

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Peter D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 December 2008

Villa was great, and we had a jacuzzi pool in our villa. Clean and comfortable, and the staff will drop by in the evening to set up the mosquito repellants. Very pleasant group of staff and always with a smile.

Beach was average - the sand is very fine and the waves are pretty strong. Water wasnt very clear but it was comfortable sitting on beach chairs relaxing.

Our spa experience was great - our masseuse was very professional, and I had the choice of using a massage oil that was recommended for sensitive skin. We had a relaxing massage, with great view of the beach, hanging ard the balcony after our spa sipping ginger tea.

Food was pretty good - the morning spread was great.

One point to note is that the place is severely overpriced!!! I had 2 villas and brought with me 5 other occupants, and the additional 2 occupants were charged at US$50 per head. There wasn't additional beddings/ breakfast that come with this additional fee.

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled with family
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1  Thank cryst_clear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 December 2008

When sewage backed up into the toilets and shower I couldn't get away quickly enough.
Other reviewers have commented on the decor (which is dated in parts) and the leaky pipes, unsightly concrete and detritus lying under some of the villas. The beach isn't great either with broken concrete at the edge. The rooms are musty and all our clothes smelled terrible when we left.
Pools are OK, staff really friendly but I wouldn't recommend going unless it is properly refurbished. It's pricey and the sewage event was just disgusting. Not 5* by any means.

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled with family
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4  Thank Minandguin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 November 2008

I am writing this from the Banyan Tree from the Jungle Villa (i.e., no sea view and no pool in the villa).

I was a bit skeptical before I came here because of some of the terrible reviews here... I am glad that these reviews turned out to be a bit extreme - probably cases of high expectations met with more moderate reality.

This is Indonesia after all, and you have to be used to their kind of service -- it is not all out "whatever you please" type of service you might find at Aman or Four Seasons. Rather the service here is efficient, competent, but usually never with a sincere smile. Also, I found that the English comprehension of the staff here to be a bit disappointing - the waiters and the spa therapist. They should be at the levels of the persons working the front desk.

The resort is laid out in a very unique manner -- villas on the side of a very steep hill. This makes for som strenuous walking but most people end up buggying around. The two pools look fine, but right now it is not sunny at all (the resort is on the west side of the island looking northwest) and it is the rainy season.

I tried the spa yesterday and it was quite good, though the dollar-denominated prices may catch some people off guard. All prices on the resort are in US dollars, so you can't take advantage of the volatile rupiah.

I also tried the Saffron restaurant - as a single diner I bypassed the appetizers and ordered two main dishes - the snapper and the Indonesia Chicken curry. Very good dishes. The side of mixed vegetables was mediocre. Level of food ingredients was OK. The breakfast buffet was also not great (mediocre). The scrambedled eggs (which had to be ordered from the kitchen) turned out OK, but I miss having unlimited eggs. This seems to be a trend at many resorts.

The rooms are laid out as in the brochures. I asked for the cheaper villas since I came here alone. If I was bringing my wife, I would definitely ask for a larger villa, not just for the pool but because the indoors is actually quite smallish.

I can't point to anything horrible about the resort, but I can't point to any "wow" factor about this place. In fact, given the poor selection at breakfast, and some other small items (one soap in the bathroom, one running machine in the gym, denomination in US dollars), the one word that comes to mind as I meandered through the resort was -- "cost-cutting."

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled solo
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2  Thank Mohammedyu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 November 2008

Rooms are shabby (just like what another reviewer said), desperately in need of a major overhaul renovation, furniture are MOLDY, the room smell that way too. (you may not see any mold on the table topetc, but look underneath the table, behind the legs etc and you will know what i mean) if i am in a 1 star hotel, i will forgive them, but this is a Banyan Tree property so it is unacceptable.

The service is good though, they changed us to another room, same MOLDY smell. Then they said they will upgrade us to a higher grade room, but we had already lost confidence in this hotel. We packed up our bags and went to Singapore 1 hour later.

Do not stay here, unless you do not mind unclean properties.

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled with family
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2  Thank stormriderr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 November 2008

Wonderful villa, great service, very nice staff. You get a hint of what to expect on check-in - the woman who checks you in kneels in front of you as you sit down. Food was excellent but ... only breakfast could be had in a reasonable time (I mean slow relaxed time). All other meals were painfully slow. At lunch or dinner you'd ask or chopsticks, and that would take 5 or 10 minutes to arrive, even though they had plenty of staff; meanwhile food grew cold or drinks warm. It was a very nice stay, but man, do I hope someone whips that restaurant into a semblance of a shape!

  • Stayed: October 2008
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Thank Alex_Tallinn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Banyan Tree Bintan

Address: Jl. Teluk Berembang Laguna, Bintan Regency, Riau Islands Province 29155, Indonesia
Region: Indonesia > Riau Islands Province > Riau Archipelago > Bintan Regency > Bintan Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Bintan Island
#2 Luxury Hotel in Bintan Island
#2 Spa Hotel in Bintan Island
Price Range: £270 - £487 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Banyan Tree Bintan 5*
Number of rooms: 72
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

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