Saturday, October 13, 2012

Bintan Lagoon Resort Review


BINTAN LAGOON RESORT. So last Friday and Saturday I went on a fully sponsored 2D1N trip with special thanks to Nuffnang, Mozaic Hotels and Resort and Journeyful! I took over 700 photos on this short trip and I had such a hard time trying to cut them down to put on my Facebook album, and it was even harder to try and reduce the number of photos further down for this blog post. The trip was so surreal, if not magical, that I just want to show you every single corner and nook which I came across at Bintan. So, in advance this is a very pictures heavy - as well as content heavy - post. Take time to digest!

It's been almost 5 months since I returned and blogged about my family trip to Batam and surprisingly it's one of the most popular blog posts on my blog ever since! (By popular I refer to the number of views and the monthly update of my "Popular Posts" widget on my side bar.) I really do enjoy travelling - then again, who doesn't - and I like the idea of sharing with my readers what I've seen and what I wish for them to know. Just like how my mother got scammed by scheming locals right at the doorstep of a temple, which I feel are important things to let people know so they know what to take note off. I hope my travel posts would always provide helpful information for my readers!




Okay that aside, this trip was a super last minute decision where I only got the invites just 2 days before the trip itself haha! I received but only saw the invites at the wee hours on a Thursday morning, got a call from Jayne from Nuffnang on that afternoon where I was already packing for the trip by night!

I was super hyped up but apprehensive when I got the invites for this trip. We were told that we will receive the confirmation call by Thursday 12 noon where I could only fall into a fitful sleep. Where I dreamt that I had already arrived at the shores of Bintan wtf. When I woke up that afternoon I kept checking my phone for any missed calls and I gave up hope at 2pm hahahha. I may sound all cheerful now but I was quite sad that afternoon la. But who knows Jayne called me up around 3pm ++! I was over the moon and literary prancing about without being able to chuck away that stupid grin on my face wtf.

But to go along the trip was not all that. The next consideration was from my mum. My mum has been pretty strict about me myself travelling abroad with friends without her. She's constantly thinking that I'll get blown away with the passing breeze, or even being kidnapped if I boarded a taxi. In fact, other than big trips organised by school I have never travelled out of Singapore with just friends or even boyfriend alone.

So this was the reason why I said that I was apprehensive about this trip. She has never gave consent before so what makes it different this time round?!?! Boyfriend got to travel with me on the trip but we were careful not to get our hopes too high up in case we get ourselves a bigger disappointment. But who knows!!! It's like getting another whiff of freedom. So this is our first trip together!!


So this is me at Tenah Merah Ferry Terminal reading notes given provided by Journeyful where we were waiting for the ferry. I like the idea of how social media is changing the landscape of the market!

So how does Mozaic Hotels, Bintan Lagoon Resort and Journeyful comes together?

In short, Bintan Lagoon Resort is one of the hotels under the management of Mozaic Hotels & Resort, where in this picture Journeyful comes into play by providing consumers the platform to find out more about their destination, plan and book their holidays with them. In other words, Journeyful makes your journey wonderful geddit??



Getting to Bintan Island
For this trip to Bintan, it's the media launch of a direct ferry service between Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal in Singapore and the newly constructed Bintan Lagoon Terminal, located right at Bintan Lagoon Resort’s doorstep. So there you go, the closest five star resort destination off Singapore's shores is only a mere 70 minutes away. Which makes Bintan Lagoon Resort a destination itself because the hotel has their own immigration checkpoint!!!!

Instead of having to take a ferry ride to Tanjung Pinang Terminal and changing to land transport to get to the resort, you can just take the new direct ferry ride which will shorten the round trip commute by 2 hours.

It's just like having a lift that opens right to the entrance of your house. Or maybe you could also think of it as a mega airport terminal (I would like to use ferry terminal but I think an airport example would be better to relate with) where you stay, eat, and have all the fun you could have right at the terminal itself. You don't even have to worry about transport!

Nor currency because Singapore Currency is used and accepted for all the food and merchandise on the resort. The hotel has 2 of their own souvenier shops, wide range of dining options, beach activies and so on where you don't even need to travel out of the resort.

I did some research so if you are intending to travel there, check-in time is 1 hour before departure with each passenger having up to 20kg of allowed baggage. Ferry tickets could be purchased directly at the Bintan Resort Ferry at Tenah Merah Ferry Terminal or through selected travel agents. You could also purchase them through Journeyful’s online booking platform at www.journeyful.com.




Picture courtesy of: HongPeng

Felt like a VIP the moment we disembarked the ferry! Lots of staffs aligned by the side to welcome us right from the ferry docking point all the way throughout the newly constructed bridge to the immigration check point. I don't think I can handle that it's so heart warming!


There was also mascots like Donald Duck - but I think quite a lot of people can't figure out who he is without his blue shirt so fhl - and Spongebob!!



With dancers in their traditional costumes dancing to the drums. I must say the atmosphere is so good.


This is the resort's very own immigration check point which I've mentioned about. You can even avoid the long queues if you went by the public Bintan terminal.The moment we cleared the immigraton we were already stepping onto the main lawns of Bintan Lagoon Resort.

Presented with a towel and refreshing welcome drink upon reaching the lobby.


And if you must know, Bintan Lagoon Resort & Golf Club is one of the first resoirts in SouthEast Asia that has been awarded the LEED Silver Certification for Existing Buildings certification by US Green Building Council just last year, one of the most sought after green building certifications in the world

They have an established independent power plant, water treatment facility, and has installed a state-of-the-art building automation system, where direct tap water is safe for consumption too. So you practically don't have to worry about leaving too much carbon foot print when enjoying your stay here.


A glimpse of our planned Itinerary for our 2d1n trip where we made our way to the rooms to freshen up a little before heading out.


You can now go and make some 4D purchases over the weekend



We were given a Deluxe Sea Facing room and the room is so airy and spacious. I like the platform seating by the side and we manage to catch a glimpse of the sea from our view among the palm/coconut trees. There were also complimentary fruits and chocolates in the room and....

A letter with our names printed in the room! This is why I said I felt like a VIP guest.




Full length mirrors in both the room and washroom. Their washroom is very nice with a bathtub and the most important thing of all - a hair dryer. I always appreciate when hotels or resorts comes with a hair dryer. When I'm having a stay at a chalet or what not I'll always have to bring along my own hair dryer or risk spending 4 hours trying to air dry my hair. We only had about 10 minutes to get changed so we had to rush!


Changed out into smart casual wear.



Picture courtesy of :  HongPeng
We took a mini bus to RICE beach front bar and restaurant. This outlet is the latest addition and the biggest restaurant to the resort’s stable of wining and dining outlets that only began operations in May this year. Situated on a sublime stretch of white sandy beach it overlooks the sparkling waters of South China Sea and the neighbouring Riau islands.






The place was prettily done up with lots of delectable finger food for us during the press conference by Mozaic Hotels and Resort.


CEO of Mozaic Hotels and Resort talking to us and about the vision he sees for Bintan Lagoon Resort. It was a short and quick press conference where we had some photo taking thereafter. As the restaurant was arranged for a press conference with white chairs and tables, I went to look for more pictures of RICE and I think this place would look amazing by night time. I mean, take a look at these 2 pictures.



So pretty and romantic with al fresco dining! I love these kind of dining options, just that we don't have them very much in Singapore. Or even if they have I doubt I'll be able to afford hahaha.





Anyway we were brought around for a little tour around the Resort premises. There are a few types of villas at Bintan Lagoon Resort and the biggest one are the Angsoka Villas which features 4 bedrooms, cosy living room etc with a private pool and bbq area. Boyfriend jokingly asked the staff if they are selling these villas and they are actually available for sale too!




Photo courtesy of: HongPeng.









We were also brought to their Leisure Centre where you could rent electric bikes, have a go at bungee bounce, try out their paintball / laserquest adventure and so on. Not to mention they also sell hand made bamboo crafts!




Boyfriend with the CEO of Mozaic Hotels and Resort. He's such a funny guy and spent his whole day with us and giving some of us rides on his personal budgy. We had also dropped by to check out their 2 championship golf course and gosh it is so huge.



Me with HuiXian in the middle and her friend on the budgy ride! Sorry I'm just so bad with names. I could get acquainted with anyone, get their name, sit beside them and 5 minutes later I'll be praying they won't test me for their names because I can't remember a trace of it. I always try to pause and etch a name into my mind but fml I can never do it. T_T Unless someone suggests a funny pun with it then it becomes easier hahaha.


We were whisked off to the golf course by the sea side for some cocktails before dinner starts and we managed to catch the sun set too. But I have to say, the place is so gorgeously done up with an awesome DJ by the side and it feels just like an outdoor wedding dinner!   




We were served some cocktails where I asked for a fruit blend because I don't take alcohol at all and neither am I a very big fan of mocktails so I had something like a mango, orange and pineapple blend. The recommendation from the staff was the Bintan Illusion so boyfriend ordered that. He's a light drinker and having sipped on that with an empty stomach he got just a little tipsy just before dinner starts haha! But all is fine after he freshened up a bit in the washroom.








With the other gorgeous babes Ziwei and Lianne.


And Jeraldine from MyFatPocket!
She's so bubbly and I admire how she goes after her passion for journalism.




Dined with Jeraldine, Poh Ee, Ziwei, Jaslyn and Lianne for dinner!
It was buffet style and earlier on we could see the chefs hard at work just under the trees.





I love the table set up! With roses, silver ribbon sashes with candles on sand. So pretty. Not to mention how good the seafood were and macaroons for desserts! I could get used to this.


Boyfriend's plate hahaha.


And a moment of time when we did 3 yum-seng toasts in a row it was so funny! We were all seated down having dinner in a very civilised manner until one other table decided to do a toast. Poh Ee then came back running from that direction and suggested we start our own toast to outlast the other table LOL. We quickly sat down to drink after our first toast but in the end the other nuffnangers came over to join us and they suggested a second one. Ok second round that is.

But who knows after the second round the COE of Journeyful and Jezereel (from Journeyful as well) came over with the real deal of alcohol - not sure what it was - with lemons and to a long and happening toast did!! 

I don't think I am able to translate the ambience through photos and boyfriend helped to take a short video of the surroundings. This was taken when were still having our dinner in a very civilised manner before all that toasting started haha~



 


After dinner we were all invited over to the sea side to release sky laterns. I've tried it in Singapore but it just feels different if everyone did it and release the laterns together. I think it do requires some skill because some of the others had their latern burnt and ours took quite some time before it manage to float up into the sky.


I think by the time we were done it's around 8ish. We were also invited to their Silk nightclub for some after dinner drinks but by then I just wanted to have a long bath and laze in the room so we gave the club a skip. We caught lots of documentary shows on the Nat Geo Wild channel all the way until 2am plus! By the way if you're worrying about missing your local drama Channel 8 shows, don't worry they have it in the flat screen TV in the room too!



We got hungry by midnight again but all the convenience stores at the hotel lobby was closed for the night. Thank god there's room service. We had Nasi Goreng Kampung and the portion was soooo huge and the rice was very fragrant! Polished it off before we caught some beauty sleep.




The next day's itinerary was pretty much up to everyone's own time own target. Boyfriend and I decided to try out their sea sports so we woke up a little bit earlier (but still late as compared to others hahaha) for breakfast. Did I mention that the weather on both days were perfect? Lots of cloud with no scorching sun that is great for outdoors! But please always remember your sun block.  



Buffet breakfast at Kopi-O restaurant where there's al fresco dining out on the deck too.


Went back to our rooms to change into swim wear and off we go to the beach! I was looking for the seasports booth by the beach so we could book and try out the sea sports. Previously I had looked up on Youtube what Flying Fish was and we were excited to give it a go!!

But before I knew it I was lying on on the flying fish inflatable raft already T_______T. We thought of telling the person we wanted to warm up a little, get some sun before going straight for it but the person was like "no no just go and try it now" and promptly signalled for the guys in the water to do the set up.

So I had to hastily put on my sunblock with mild BB cream on my face which I applied earlier on in the morning. Thought of coming back to put on more sunblock after the flying fish but we just kept on going for more and other sports like Banana Boat and I got a sunburn on my nose at the end of the day LOL. 

So anyway, the inflatable raft is being pulled by a speedboat and when the boat speeds up the raft goes up in the air with the help of the speed + wind. On a good day it's supposed to fly up high and thank god it was an okay day where the inflatable raft drifts up vertically just above the water like this video!






So what you simply do is to lie down and hold on real tight to the handles by the side. No belt or anything wtf!! You just hang on for your dear life and if one of you drop off the other will also have to abort the flight and jump into the sea LOL. So please do choose your partner wisely.

I went for the first round with boyfriend and during the first take off I think the raft didnt took off successful and the impact from the wave hit my grip off the handle so practically for a few seconds I was only holding onto it with one arm and nothing else. My heart nearly dropped out hahahhhaa. I got onto the second round with Ziwei because Lianne and Jaslyn gave up and I accompanied Ziwei.

During the second round there wasn't much wind so we didn't really fly very high but still boyfriend managed to help capture some video on camera. I think on a good day, Flying Fish is supposed to go this high O.O


  





But anyway right after 2 rounds of flying fish the other guys were going off for a banana boat ride so I went along with it! See, this is why I had no break in between to apply sunblock hahhaa. At first I thought Banana Boat was just mehh, sightseeing. But once I got onto it I was holding onto my dear life!!

The speedboat was going at such a fast speed so we had to survive (yes survive) the impact from the waves with sea water giving us a facial wash every now and then. It doesn't even help when the two other guys (sorry I didn't got their name) kept on doing gangnam style on the banana boat where the resultant effect is that the whole boat was bouncing up and down the water wtf!! See the guy in front of me? Yes he filmed down the whole journey and I'm trying to find his blog to show you the evidence.

Seriously I wonder how he managed to hang on with just one hand. I was already holding on dearly for my life bumping into people on the right during the turns and nearly falling off but there he was, perfectly fine with one hand grip. T__T  



We were in the sun for a few good couple of hours before it decided to rain and that's when we went back to wash and head down for lunch! Initially I wanted to try other cuisine like one of the Italian restaurant but we found out that it only opened in the evening. So in the end we went to Makiyo Japanese Restaurant!

I'm not really a fan of Japanese food because I don't really take those raw sushi and etc but when I saw that they had Teppanyaki I was like okay ^~^


Poh Yee and Jeraldine joined us soon after together with Lianne and Zi wei!



Teppanyaki!!!!! It was an experience because we got to order anything we wanted and it was on the house!! We took a look at the menu and the price and we were like "are you sure???" and we had to double confirm with the staff before we dared to place orders hahaha.
From the Teppanyaki menu we tried their beansprouts, chicken, scallop and king prawns selection.





Look at the amount of scallopppps. But no not all is ours because I think this was a combined order.


The best dish that we had that afternoon had to be the King Prawns! I'm not very good with describing food but it was very succulent and when you ate it with the fried garlic pieces it's like a party in my mouth.


The rest of our other dishes which are yummy too!



And we ended our lunch with a Mango smoothie and Macca Green Tea Icecream. The macca ice cream was boyfriend's before I don't take tea too. I had smooth vanilla ice cream!

We ordered quite a lot for our table of 4, especially with double portion for the teppanyaki so what we had was not all on my blog. The total bill for 4 of us came up to about SGD 230 after service charge and tax. I was so full but extremely happy because it was such a great meal with great company!



It wasn't before long that we had to pack up, check out and leave the shores of Bintan Lagoon Resort. Again, we were drove to the resort's very own immigration check point so there wasn't any rush!


It had been a very wonderful trip at such a beautiful resort with so much convenience and hospitality provided to us. It was the first time that I got to travel with boyfriend, got to travel with a group of like minded people where photo taking comes first before enjoyment, my first time having dinner on a golf course by the sea and my very first time at trying sea sports. This trip has been a trip of my life! And if not, magical. I came back to Singapore with a sunburn and aching muscles from the sea sports over the next 3 days (LOL) but it had been a blast with so many friendships forged.

Therefore I would like to specially mention a big thanks to Nuffnang for the opportunity and of course not forgetting Mozaic Hotels and Resorts and Journeyful for this fully sponsored trip.

I have uploaded a Bintan photo album onto my Facebook page where there are more pictures of the various activities so if you are interested you could check them out! And don't forget to Like my page too!

You can click on this photo to be directed to my Bintan Trip photo album





17 comments:

  1. Wow great review!!! beautiful outfits and place!
    Want to visit as well:)

    http://myfashionfoodstyle.blogspot.co.il/

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    1. Thanks maya! Yes you should definitely consider this place for a laid back resort holiday!

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  2. Replies
    1. Yes I still can't believe I've already went and returned from this trip. Counting my blessing! ^~^

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  3. WOW! Gorgeous photos,great post! Enjoyed reading this! Following you via GFC&Bloglovin,xo

    http://devil-wears-gabbana.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you dear!! And I've followed you back!

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  4. Wow, love this photos dear!!!


    http://www.thefashionheels.com/

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  5. I have heard a lot about this place! Great review! How abt following each other? Let me know if you do and I will follow back.

    ~ Seepz
    http://that-sassy-girl.blogspot.com/

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    Replies
    1. Hi seep! Yes it's a great place! And sure I'm dropping by your blog now! xx

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  6. omg! the place is absolutely wonderful :-) and the dress fits the event perfectly

    http://carmiscaprice.blogspot.com/

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    Replies
    1. Hi dear! I have to agree with you! And thank you for your compliment! kisses

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  7. hiiiiiiii can i ask how much is the trip in total? did u get this in deals.com or any type of deals?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Aaron! Apologies for such a late reply, it was a sponsored trip for me and therefore I didn't paid any. If you would like to book your stay at Bintan Lagoon Resorts you can do so through Journeyful.com, there are always promotions going on. :)

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  8. All these pics are so amazing or also want to say something that you really looks so lovely...Nice to see this post here..It's really so good,so thanks for this..!!

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  9. Thank you very much for sharing information that will be much helpful for making coursework my effective.

    ReplyDelete