Age is but an asset at this gorgeous villa-only property in Bintan, Indonesia, where splendid sea views and a lush rainforest take centre stage.
Banyan Tree Bintan is perched on the undulating hillside of Tanjong Said Bay amidst a thriving rainforest, located just 10 minutes away from the Bandar Bentan Telani Ferry Terminal. The fastest way to get here is to catch a one-hour ferry ride from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal in Singapore, which is located just 15 minutes from Changi Airport.
Style & character
This boutique property has been built with a traditional Balinese village in mind. It is spread out on a lush and hilly rainforest overlooking the South China Sea. The nucleus of the property is the airy alang-alang thatched roof lobby that welcomes guests with a traditional Balinese setting of stone walls and tall wooden pillars, supporting a towering ceiling with whirling ceiling fans. The villas, which are built into the hillside on concrete stilts, follow a similar theme and they fan out from the lobby via winding roads. They are reached by buggy, the resort’s main mode of transport.
Service & facilities
The staff is filled entirely by the local community and no matter which function they serve, hospitality is almost always delivered with genuine warmth. There are two beautiful swimming pools and an excellent Banyan Tree Spa with four treatment rooms and five treatment villas (try the therapeutic Balinese massage with home-made massage oils).
There are other facilities, but they are located on the grounds of Banyan Tree Bintan’s nearby sister properties and can be accessed by the resort’s buggy or car. This includes the ocean-hugging Greg Norman-designed 18-hole Laguna Bintan Golf Club as well as the Fitness Centre at Angsana Bintan.
- Fitness centre
- Golf course
- Kids’ club
- Room service
There 64 villas which are all built in traditional Balinese design with thatched roofs and swing-open wooden doors. In total, there are seven room categories starting from the lead-in category of Rainforest Seaview Villa to Rainforest Oceanfront Villa, Ocean Villa on the Rock, Rainforest Oceanfront Villa (two bedrooms), Oceanview Infinity Pool Villa, Oceanview Infinity Pool Villa (two bedrooms) and the Sanctuary Spa Pool Villa.
The entry level single-room villa, i.e. the Rainforest Seaview Villa, fits two adults and one child (plus another child on a chargeable extra bed) in a tastfully appointed room with earthy tones, marble flooring, a four-poster bed with mosquito netting, a daybed and floor-to-ceiling windows framing picture-perfect views of the ocean. Some views are clearer than others, but all villas have sea view. Outdoors, you will find a relaxation tub and a sun bed. In typical Banyan Tree fashion, all made-in-Thailand bath products are available.
If you prefer your villa to come with a pool, book the Infinity Pool villa, which comes with a spacious outdoor relaxation area and a private pool. For the ultimate indulgence, checkout the 400 square-metre Oceanview Infinity Pool Villa (two bedrooms), which comes with two separate thatched roof rooms, a spacious shared relaxation area and a private infinity pool (not to mention a tiny pantry).
Food & drink
There are three restaurants: Treetops is an all-day Indonesian restaurant that serves a quality buffet breakfast of local fare (beef noodles, kuih dadar, local porridge) and western specialties complemented by a choice of chef-cooked dishes like eggs Benedict and/or noodles. At lunch/dinner, it transforms into an Indonesian restaurant with a solid menu of well-executed Indonesian dishes like nasi goreng, rawon daging (buah keluak beef broth) and beef rendang to go with six different choices of chilli paste. Saffron, open only at dinner time, serves fine-dining style Thai fare cooked with finesse (order dishes like tom yum goong, Thai green curry with chicken and wok-fried tenderloin beef with basil and chillies served with a choice of four different types of rice).
If you can’t get a seat at Saffron (it tends to be booked up), try casual Mediterranean fare at The Cove, tucked just below Saffron.
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