It is rare for one destination to offer so much to such diverse groups of people.
I’ll admit that before I was invited to check out Bintan Lagoon Resort (BLR), in my head, I’d always imagined it to be more of a destination for families. After a comprehensive tour of the grounds, however, I realise that it has a lot to offer to couples and groups of friends too. The wonderful part is that it’s only just over an hour’s ferry ride away from Singapore, and the ferry takes you straight to the resort itself – how convenient! Here are the many personalities that BLR caters for.
1. If … you’re a golf fanatic
The 13th (signature) hole of the Ian Baker-Finch Woodlands course
BLR is home to two golf courses: The Jack Nicklaus Seaview course, and the Ian Baker-Finch Woodlands course. The Ian Baker-Finch course has five tee locations to suit golfers of all abilities, and the elevated 8th hole tee at the 526-metre par 5 is an especially challenging part of the course as golfers must negotiate their shots past bunkers, a lot and a solitary tall tree.
On my trip to BLR, we briefly toured the Jack Nicklaus course, and while I don’t know much about golf and its courses, I enjoyed walking around the green at the 12th hole, thanks to the stunning view of the South China Sea. I’m told that the 13th hole of this course is the most difficult – it is a split green due to a stream that runs through the middle.
The 12th hole of the Jack Nicklaus course
Avid golfers might also be glad to know that the courses also offer an in-locker room massage services, using techniques customised for golfers, as well as an eatery, Haskell’s Cafe, that offers both Western and Asian cuisine.
Ladies, if you’re an avid golfer, book from now till September 30, 2016, to enjoy an attractive rate of just IDR500,000 (approx S$52), which includes green fees, as well as a direct ferry service between Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal and Bintan Lagoon Resort Ferry Terminal.
2. If … you need a getaway that’s kids-friendly
For Mums and Dads looking for some quiet time alone, or hoping to steal time away at the resort’s Kedaton Spa, you’ll be glad to know that you can leave your kids in the good hands of the nannies at The Nutty Bunch Club, which caters to children from 4 – 8. There’s also the complimentary Jungle Gym, where kids can play on slides, crawl through foam obstacles and tunnels.
3. If … you’re looking for a unique destination to host a friend’s hen or stag night
The Buganvil Villa
You can’t do better than one of the three- or four-bedroom villas at BLR. Generously sized to house a maximum of 6 (Buganvil Villa) or a minimum of 7 (Angsoka Villa), this is perfect for groups of friends looking for privacy. Each villa is equipped with a kitchenette, barbeque area, huge living area, and a personal buggy for easy access to the resort’s facilities. The larger Angsoka Villas even come with a private pool for those who really want to live it up.
The private pool at an Angsoka Villa
Book by the end of August 2016 (travel period till October 31, 2016), to enjoy 30% off a stay at the villa. The package is inclusive of a 2D1N stay, two-way direct ferry service, buffet breakfast, lunch, BBQ dinner, complimentary activities, including tennis and beach volleyball, as well as complimentary entry to the resort’s SILK nightclub from Sunday to Thursday.
Nothing gets those creative juices flowing better than being away from the office, we say. BLR is a great option as it has eight function rooms that can accommodate up to 400 people in a theatre-style setting. Make full use of the Adventure Training Centre while you’re there; professional facilitators will be on hand to organise and oversee activities of various intensity levels for those team-building workshops.
If you’re looking for a venue to host a huge event, then consider the Great Hall, a three-story conference centre that has a column-free banquet hall that can hold up to 1,300 standing guests.
5. If … you’re an adventure junkie
Crystal clear waters at the resort’s doorstep are perfect for catching a glimpse of marine life
Driving an ATV around the jungle-y areas of BLR
With over 50 land and sea activities available, there’s really no shortage of things to do if you’re looking to have some fun in the sun. While I was there, I had the opportunity to try out jetskiing, archery, and ATV. Jetskiing was quite the adrenaline rush, and I appreciated how each of the activities were supervised by members of the staff, so you don’t feel like you’re in danger even if you’re doing them for the first time.
After a day out in the sun, I enjoyed sitting by the resort’s huge pool catching up on my reading as the sun dipped below the horizon. Following that, we headed to the resort’s bar The Terrace, where I enjoyed an amazing gin cocktail. Dinner was at Nelayan Beachfront Bar & Seafood Dining, worth a visit alone for the range of amazing sambals that you can help yourself to!
Post-dinner, I headed back to my room to enjoy a relaxing Javanese massage by a masseuse from the resort’s Kedaton Spa. It was a blissful end to an enjoyable day.
Conclusion? A getaway at Bintan Lagoon Resort can really be as chilled out or action-packed as you want it to be. With over 400 rooms and suites spread over huge grounds, the resort does not feel crowded even when it plays hosts to large numbers of guests.
Go Away was invited on a press trip to Bintan Lagoon Resort and was not paid to write this review. All opinions are the author’s own.