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“Tired, overpriced and very average, expensive food”
Review of Banyan Tree Bintan

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Banyan Tree Bintan
Ranked #2 of 37 Hotels in Bintan Island
Reviewed 10 August 2009

I've stayed in Banyan Tree in Bangkok and was amazed so this probably increased my disappointment about this place.

I took my wife here for a long weekend treat expecting luxury, plenty of pampering and wonderful food - we ended up with a lovely room with plastic hotub outside (tacky but fun), no real papering (staff friendly and courteous but not brilliantly trained) and average food that doesn't work out at less than $100 for 2 WITHOUT wine. In fact the poolside food was dreadful - my chicken club sandwich was inedible (dried out chicken and soggy chips) and a pricey US$15 to boot!!

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank simon3435
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BanyanTreeGroup, Area General Manager at Banyan Tree Bintan, responded to this reviewResponded 4 September 2009

Dear "simon3435",

Thank you for your feedback posted in TripAdvisor regarding your stay at Banyan Tree Bintan.

It was sad to learn that your chicken club sandwich was not to your liking and we have certainly brought this issue to the attention of the Executive Chef so as to ensure improvements are made with this menu item and other comments you have made. Please be assured that the satisfaction of our guests has always been our main focus.

Thank you once again for the comments. We hope that your overall impression with our resort will enable you to stay with us once again in the not too distant future.

Kind regards,
Andrew Langston
Area General Manager

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Reviewed 9 August 2009

We have stayed at the Banyan Tree in Phuket and Bangkok (3yrs ago) and thought they were fantastic. I have to say my overall view of the Banyan Tree in Bintan is one of disappointment when compaired to the other Banyan Tree hotels or similar class hotels in Asia.

The good points are - arrivals bit at terminal (book emirates class - it makes the visa bit very easy); check-in, friendly staff, fantastic location, beach; free internet access

The not so good are:
- 3 very average (i'm being polite) restaurants;
Tree Tops is fine for breakfast;
Saffron - good (not brilliant or indeed 5*) Asian food, but no outside seating and service questionable;
and The Cove the worst 'European' resort/hotel restaurant ever - food awful, service - poor, decor has to be seen to be believed (no take my word for it)- think 70's Spain; to add any restaurant which plays James Blunt cd's in my opinion should automatically be closed down.
What annoyed me even more was that on Tuesday's they close the Saffron restaurant so you get to choose between The Cove (don't go) or Tree Tops, where in the evenings you get to hear the world's worst 3piece karoke band 'playing' very bad Beatles and Elvis.
Perhaps the Banyan Tree has moved on in 3yrs, but if this karoke band represents the new corporate brand identity, they have got it so wrong.
- Clearly not enough staff / or good chef's in the restaurants
- No proper gym; 3 bits of equipment (only 2 working) in a small non-aircon room is not a gym
- No bar or proper seating area to have pre-dinner drinks or watch the sunset
- Rooms are ok , but look a bit tired
- Expensive vs other 5* places in Asia.

It wasn't great and it definitely isn't 5*

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled with family
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1  Thank stevejfarrow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BanyanTreeGroup, Area General Manager at Banyan Tree Bintan, responded to this reviewResponded 30 August 2009

Dear "swisstoni",

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback regarding your recent stay at Banyan Tree Bintan.

It was sad to read that you were dissappointed with some of our facilities. We are fortunate in that we generally receive very positive feedback with regards to our restaurants and we continuously do our best to ensure our guests have a varied selection of cuisine from around the world.

Allow me to share with you that our Saffron restaurant now opens daily. The trio local Indonesian band is considered by the large majority of our guests as being most enjoyable and a positive addition to the resort. They are seen as an added feature and enjoy a strong following by both returning guests and in-house patrons in general, however we are sorry to read that they were not to your liking.

"swisstoni", your patronage and feedback is greatly valued and appreciated. We hope that we are given the opportunity of reinstating ourselves in your good faith by welcoming you back to our lovely resort in the not-too-distant future.

Kind regards,
Andrew Langston
Area General Manager

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Reviewed 23 July 2009

I recently traveled with my husband and some friends to Bintan to stay at the Banyan Tree and all I can say was "wow". Architecturally stunning, the villa we stayed in was set high on a hill with an infinity pool in between the 2 bedrooms (called Bayfront Villa). Very Indonesian (Bali - like) in style, the rooms were like 5-star huts with a thatch roof and black and white furnishings. I particularly liked the 4 poster bed with mosquito netting, it made me feel we were somewhere exotic. When you entered the villa, there was an asian style eating area which is set higher on a platform and allowed you to look over the pool out to the ocean. We often sat there in the evenings and had room service from one of the resorts dining facilities. As evening rolled in so did the pink sky, which we were in awe of. I have attached a photo of this. The villas are really private and can have you thinking you are the only people on the island. We had a 2 year old with us which we obviously had to keep a watch eye on the entire time ( you need to sign a disclaimer on staying with children at the hotel). To have the views we had, with the private infinity pool, means that this hotel is not a toddlers playground. We only have one child, so this didnt bother us - but I am not sure I could cope with 2 or more. The staff loved our son.. and after our 3 day stay they all knew him by name. He was very spoilt there as were we. The food was amazing fresh, we tried 2 out of the 3 restaurants. At Saffron (the thai inspired restaurant) we had a 8-course degustation. I am lactose intolerant and they were quite accommodating with what they served us. The "Tom Yum Guong" was like nothing I have ever tasted before. On the final evening of our stay we ate at the Tree Tops restaurant which is literally the highest point of the island. It was beautifully calm, with clear star-filled skies and we enjoyed some local fish and a "gado gado" dish - both excellent. We also got a little visit from a possum-like creature, but he only had a quick look and then quickly scampered down the tree - we were all sitting on the edge our seats for a second but it made for interesting conversation while we tried to work out what kind of animal it was. Breakfast had loads of choice (and soy milk for me!). The freshly made omelets were very popular. They were incredibly light and fluffy and cooked with finely chopped bacon or ham and cheese (which I couldn't have) - Our group raved about them. To get around the resort you need to call for a golf-buggy. The service for this transport is impeccable and they were literally at our doorstep with a minute or 2. Down by the beach there is another infinity pool which opens up to the beach - again some amazing views and a lovely place to have a sundowner at. I have attached another photo of this. I really couldn’t say a bad thing about our experience at the Banyan Tree. Even with a 2 year old and a husband that went off to play the champion golf courses, I came back to Singapore refreshed and revitalised. It is highly recommended!

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled with family
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2  Thank boagies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2009

An ideal first honeymoon destination, We stayed four nights in a villa on the rocks, the service was excellent, the staff extremely polite and helpful. Food and drinks weren't cheap, but for a short break and a treat this was fine, and expected at a 5 star resort. We treated ourselves to dinner on the rocks, this was incredibly expensive but really memorable and delicious food.

The view from our villa was beautiful, and the villa was well furnished. We did have a few episodes with creepy crawlies in the room, which did freak us out a bit, but considering the privacy of the villa and setting in the rainforest, it's to be expected. Would definitely recommend this resort for peace, tranquility and great service in a beautiful sea front setting.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank The_New_Mrs_S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2009

Stayed at the Banyan Tree Bintan in October 2008. Beautiful location, nice accommodation, and genuinely friendly staff who really do go out of their way to make your stay a pleasant one. But the food… Well, let’s be honest, at best the food is second rate. At worst…

Examples: meat is tough, undercooked and cold. The exception is chicken, which is tough, overcooked and cold. Tuna salad had a postage stamp sized piece of tuna atop a small pile of lettuce with no dressing & thus no flavour. In case you think I’m being hypercritical, consider this: 2 steaks and the cheapest bottle of wine on the list cost us US$135. Portions are small, so if you want to feel full at the end of the meal you’ll need a starter and a dessert as well as your main course. Guess what, this pushes the cost up to – typically - US$160 for 2. At these prices, second- or third-rate food is just not acceptable. The Bintan resort is 90 minutes by road from the nearest town, so there’s no alternative to eating on site.

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank rifran
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BanyanTreeGroup, Area Food & Beverafe Director at Banyan Tree Bintan, responded to this reviewResponded 30 July 2009

Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback in TripAdvisor regarding your stay at Banyan Tree Bintan. Your comments are highly appreciated as they assist us in improving our service and products.

It was indeed sad to read that our food selection fell short of your expectations and this has marred your stay. Please accept my apologies on this matter with the assurance that we continuously strive to improve our product based on feedback such as yours.

I would also like to take this opportunity to highlight that we have been receiving in the past months predominantly positive feedback from our guests concerning our food varieties online and through our guest feedback forms. As guest satisfaction is always our main priority, we hope that you will give us another opportunity in good faith in the near future.

Valued guest, thank you once again for your feedback. We would be delighted to have the honour of welcoming you back on your next visit to Banyan Tree Bintan.

Kind regards,

Peter Scholz
Area Food & Beverage Director
Banyan Tree Bintan

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Reviewed 18 July 2009

We stayed at the Banyan Tree for 10 nights in July.

I was initially a little reticent about going there as I had read some rather dodgy reviews but my trepidation was unfounded and we were treated like VIPs from the moment we arrived.

We were upgraded on arrival to a re-furbished villa on the rocks which had wonderful sea views.

The service throughout our stay was wonderful with the staff always being willing to help . The staff were always smiling and friendly despite the fact that some of the other guestsat the hotel were decidedly rude to them.

We had our photos taken on arrival and within 30 minutes it appeared that every staff member knew who you were. It seemed a little wierd to start with but we soon got used to it!!

The food at the restaurants was a little pricy but very well presented and delicious. I enjoyed one particular meal so much that the manager sent me the recipe when I got home! Again, the staff went out of their way to help and even tried to remember what drinks you liked if you had been in on more than one occassion.

We also tried the food at the Angsana next door in the Lotus cafe and that was also very good and a little cheaper but without the ambiance of the Banyan Tree.

The hotel grounds and pools were very well maintained. The gardeners seemed to be constantly cutting back trees and tidying up planted areas.

The ferry crossing was very smooth and professionally run.

Overall, I would recommend the Banyan Tree to anyone wanting a get away from it all relaxing holiday and it is definitely a good honeymoon destination.

Our next visit to Singapore will definitely include a trip to the Banyan Tree.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank LisaJ99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 July 2009

The Banyan Tree Bintan is a wonderful and relaxing destination - we have been twice and will go again many times.

Rooms: We have stayed in a Bungalow on the rocks on both our visits. The position and views are fantastic and you often get a pleasant sea breeze on the terrace area. We ind it relaxing just to sit on the terrace area all morning. Our friends stayed in a garden bungalow which although nice had more insects etc on the terrace area. The pool villas also look very attractive.

Food: One of the things we like is the choice available for dinner with 3 on site restaurants. The Thai restaurant is excellent, although seating is indoors. The terrace of the main restaurant is our favourite dinner location. The room service is also very good - we had the in room BBQ which is especially good.

Swimming Pool: The pool area is very relaxing and even with the hotel fully booked was never overrun.

Golf: The golf course is a good test. Condition is not perfect, but very playable. If you are willing to play early morning or late afternoon it is also very quiet. I played a number of times at 7am on my own and was finished by 9am in time for breakfast with my wife. The caddies are all very helpful and worth using. I also played with my wife in the late afternoon - she is learning and the quiet nature of the course was very helpful.

Spa: My wife tells me that the spa is excellent and the prices were very competitive with other similar level hotels.

Staff and Service: Service was always very good and efficient. If you wanted something the response was always very fast.

Access: A 45 minute ferry and 10 minute car ride from Singapore allows this hotel to be combined easily with a few days in Singapore. I would strongly recommend seas sickness tablets for the crossing even if it looks flat in the ferry marina as it is often very bumpy at sea – you can buy tablets in the shop at the ferry terminal. (Golf shop in the ferry terminal is also good value as is the duty free alcohol.)

Value: This is one of the best value Banyan Tree hotels and for the quality of hotel we think is very well priced.

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank MF14
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
Phone Number:
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 Spa Hotel in Bintan Island
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Bintan Island
#2 Luxury Hotel in Bintan Island
Price Range: £283 - £536 (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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