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Vacationing in Bintan outside Bintan Resorts - Warning.

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sjcairns
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Vacationing in Bintan outside Bintan Resorts - Warning.

Postby sjcairns » Thu, 05 Jul 2012 11:28 am

Just to warn those of you who may consider being a little more adventurous with your weekend breaks to Bintan. I took up what appeared to be an offer that was too good to be true to Bintan Agro or Bintan Cabana Beach Resort (I chose the latter). It was too good to be true.

The experience is likely to be a major disappointment. Some pointers:

- Uncomfortable and very tired ferry will take 1.5 to 2 hours to reach Tanjung Pinang on the south east side of the island.
- Then, you will face another 1 hour transfer from ferry terminal to hotel.
- 2 to 3 star experience AT BEST.
- Food quality very poor.
- Comfort and amenities poor or non existent. No cafe, no bar, no play area, no fitness, no entertainment of any description.
- Beach and pool quality dreadful.
- Shuttle between sister resorts in that area are infrequent and inconvenient (a 20 min ride between hotels)
- Package deals can look enticing as they can include meals, spa treatments and sea sports. Note that these are NOT run by the resorts, but by the travel agencies. You will be taken to a local, seedy massage joint when you arrive at the ferry terminal and then a deserted kelong restaurant to be fed with tasteless cheap food. For our trip, as we returned to the car after a dreadful lunch, there was a sad little kayak sitting down near the water and we were informed that this was our opportunity for sea sports. An absolute joke.
- Value for money is open for debate. All that I will say is that you get what you pay for. If you are looking for a very cheap getaway, that is exactly what you will experience.

I have lived in the region for 20 years. 13 of those in Singapore, 5 in Indonesia and the remainder in Malaysia and Hong Kong. I am certainly not a newbie, but perhaps a little restless and wanted to explore.

If I was to book again, it would be at Bintan Resorts without a shadow of a doubt. There is no point in wasting your money on such a cheap deal.

Good luck!

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carteki
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Postby carteki » Thu, 05 Jul 2012 3:06 pm

serves you right for going for cheap! If you've lived in asia this long you should know way better than to go with a package deal as there is good value there - you just need to be a little adventerous.

I always stay at Bintan Ocean Resort (outside of Bintan Resorts) and have never had any complaints from myself or the 20+ others who were with us (mostly SG'ers), including one of the best massages (no happy ending) I've had.

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Zeenit
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Postby Zeenit » Thu, 05 Jul 2012 3:50 pm

I always go outside the Bintan Resorts and never had a problem. But I have never done a package.

Serves you right for been cheap. You pay peanuts, you get monkeys!!
Zeenit

sjcairns
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Postby sjcairns » Sun, 08 Jul 2012 9:23 pm

Hmm. Serves me right for sure.

The reason for taking a few minutes to write my post for the readers of this site, was simply to offer a little insight to those who may find themselves considering a similar interesting deal. You can't deny the increase in online promotion sites such as StreetDeals (the one that I used here), Plus!BigDeal, Groupon, etc. I wouldn't ordinarily sign up for such things, but a friend seemed happy with a discounted spa package in Singapore and I thought I'd give it a try.

I have spoken to both locals and expats who have come across such online promotion sites and have either tried, or are considering trying a package deal, cheap meal or discounted product.

Just trying to help ... having tried one of the packages and felt quite disappointed. :)

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Postby v4jr4 » Mon, 09 Jul 2012 1:25 pm

You encountered a pretty rough experience, which you could avoid if you had a friend who can speak bahasa. As the matter of fact, sadly speaking, it's important. Although Bintan is small (very small indeed), well, for the foods, I don't find it poor since I can accept it. I believe it's a matter of taste.

But staying in the resort for the whole day? Lucky I didn't do that, since they prefer SGD as the main currency. Here's what we did:
1. Rent a car from hotel for 2 days
2. Going to Tanjong Uban and Tanjong Pinang, hitting the Trikora beach for some photos
3. Looking for local cuisine like satay, nasi padang (it's different than what we can eat in Singapore), martabak (imagine a thick pancake)
4. Hitting the local stores for some snacks and instant noodles. This is fun :lol:

3 days and 2 nights. I still prefer Batam anyway.

Cheerio.


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