Banyan Tree Bintan is located on the Indonesian Island of Bintan, approximately 50 minutes via ferry from Singapore’s Tanah Merah Ferry terminal. The hotel provides guests arriving at Bintan Terminal a free transfer in one of its SUVs for the easy 10-15 minute drive. The resort is located within the Laguna Resort complex, which also hosts an Angsana and the recently opened Cassia Bintan nearby, with easy access to Laguna Golf Course.
All Banyan Tree resorts are modelled on a tropical design sensitive to the country, in this instance an Indonesian villa style. The reception area is modest, with a small check in/out facility doubling as a concierge.
Upon arrival you are personally greeted with smiles all around and offered a refreshing glass of lime and ginger. Alongside the reception is also a small lounge area offering board games and a fairly good range of novels to read during your stay.
Once the formalities are completed staff will escort you to your villa on one of the resort’s electric golf carts. The majority of the villas are nestled within the forest/jungle environment overlooking the ocean.
Number of Nights Stayed: Four (4) nights
Guest Room: Two-bedroom infinity pool villa
The rooms follow the overall hotel style of Indonesian villa, with thatched roofs and Indonesian/Bali style furnishings. Banyan Tree does pride itself on its in-room facilities, with the large villa sporting a small kitchen area, should you be so inclined.
The two-bedroom villa was designed around the common area and the infinity pool, which has magnificent views over the coastline. Our particular room faced west, providing views of the golf course and then onward to Singapore in the distance and was a great spot to enjoy the sunset.
In-room amenities are all the expected niceties, including a welcome basket of fruit, well stocked mini bar (pay per use) and a more than normal range of bathroom amenities.
Both rooms were furnished with king-sized four-posted beds with mosquito netting, with the famous Banyan Tree plush pillows and doona. The beds were comfortable and on the slightly firmer side. If you really need a fix of TV, there is, of course, a large flat screen with a range of international and local cable channels available.
The common areas between the two rooms were designed to encourage you to stay in your villa with a comfortable Indonesia-style raised lounge area, two eating areas and sun lounges around the pool. The infinity pool is rightly the focal point of the overall villa design.
Our villa was high up the hill, providing beautiful views and exceptional privacy, we did overlook a few other similar villas further down the hill, and in those particular villas, the privacy might be a little less given our views of the occupants in their own pools.
Hotel Restaurants & Bars
During our stay the Tree Tops restaurant, which usually provided all day dining, was closed for renovations. However, there were two other options available, and breakfast was served at The Cove, which is usually a casual all day dining restaurant serving Modern European cuisine, with beautiful views over the beach and sea. Saffron, directly above, is a slight up-market restaurant serving ‘innovative’ Thai food. During the right season you can also book to have dinner on the barge – aptly named ‘Destination Dining’. The food in general is exceptional and rates at the level expected of a property in this range.
Room Service: Room service is available from all the restaurants, as well as from some of the adjoining properties (such as Angsana, for casual pizza). The highlight on this visit was the in-villa BBQ, ordered for a minimum of two with a range of menus available. The BBQ equipment (small electric type) is delivered to the villa about 30 minutes prior to the time you wish to eat, and all is set up for you to cook. We ordered the mainly seafood menu, which had a variety of prawns, lobster, fish and a little meat and chicken. It also came with a nice range of salads, plus extras such as roast potatoes and vegetables. Given the environment, this is one of the best ways to enjoy the villa fully.
Activities & Options
There are the usual fitness facilities, as well as a couple of pools, and as a Banyan Tree guest, you are also able to utilize and book a variety of options at the other Laguna properties nearby.
The common pools are pleasant, however the in-villa pool is hard to beat, and you don’t have to fight over the best lounge spots. A draw card for many visitors is the Laguna Golf Course, which is a few minutes’ buggy ride away, and an early morning round is extremely convenient and can almost be fit in before breakfast. Weekdays are quiet, and you can pretty much go for a round at any time, but it is best to book during the busy weekends. I prefer early morning to beat the heat and sun, which can be intense.
The beach is accessed via one of the pool areas and is actually in front of the adjoining resort, and along a little way down there is a range of activities available both on the water as well as dry land.
The staff are some of the friendliest we have ever had the pleasure to meet, many of whom have been with the resort almost their whole careers. From the moment you are checked in, everyone has a brimming smile and genuinely wants to want to do anything they can to ensure your stay is pleasant.
Hints to A Better Stay At Banyan Tree
- Request a villa that is higher on the hill side for added privacy.
- Be prepared for crowds if you stay over the weekend and go to breakfast earlier to enjoy a little more peace or sleep in and go 30-45 mins before breakfast "ends" (you will not be ushered out).
- Bintan is in Indonesia, a predominantly Muslim country, so be respectful of the local culture and aware there are no pork products served in the resort.
- If you feel like getting our for dinner try The Kelong Seafood Restaurant located at the near by Nirwana Gardens area offering wonderful Chinese style seafood (and other) cuisine. Go a little earlier to enjoy a drink at the wharf bar and enjoy the sunset.
- Enjoy Emerald Class on the ferry, providing first on, first off and fast track customs facilities in Bintan, plus lounge facilities at both ends, roughly S$50 extra for per return ticket, per adult.
- If arriving via Singapore ferry, you can pick up some beer and or wine at the ferry terminal in Bintan for in-room enjoyment.
The resort caters to a more private and exclusive stay, and most of the villas are designed to stay in and enjoy, rather than going and mixing with other guests. Although you can also do this around the pool or at the various restaurants if you wish, as well as stroll over to Angsana Resort. It is at the pricier end of the scale and well worth it given the quality, seclusion and service you will enjoy.
Wise Traveller Rating for Banyan Tree Bintan: 10/10
Disclaimer: Banyan Tree and it's staff were not aware of our intention to review the resort. The review is fully independent and the stay was undertaken on a fully paid and anonymous basis. No payments or rewards were sought or received by The Wise Traveler for this review.