We live for long weekends, and Bintan is just the spot for a quick getaway. We let you in on the luxe resorts and private island paradises we keep going back to.
Will we ever tire of resort life and divine private islands? Of course not. Whenever the urge hits for a quick escape from Singapore, you know Bintan is waiting. A 50-minute ferry ride away, to be precise. Let’s be honest: most of us are there for chilling out by the pool and serious spa time, but if you’re into golf, there’s a reason why the early Sunday morning ferries are loaded with those heading out to one of the grand greens.
There’s no shortage of resorts on Bintan and its nearby private islands, but we’ve narrowed it down to the ones we’ve loved – yes we’re spoiled rotten and need that luxe factor!
We’re all about The Sanchaya, sweetie. From the enormous white pineapple, to the heritage black and white estate vibes and floating red seeds that turn the main water feature into an intriguing art installation, this property is next level. Oh, and we do enjoy the VIP lounge at the ferry terminal.
The spa at The Sanchaya is divine, and a tension-melting massage here is essential. Keep an eye out for The Sanchaya’s ongoing residence program, with guest health and wellness experts including René Roseburg, known as ‘The Passionist’, who will be at the resort from 6-9 June. René’s unique practice involves meditative and Somatic techniques to encourage guests to ‘Find Their Why,’ attune to their core values and discover their strengths.
Golf lovers, this is for you: The Sanchaya Open is a golf and gourmet experience that includes a one-night stay, round of golf for two and wine and cheese session guided by a sommelier.
The Sanchaya is high on chill-out factor: there are enticing bean bags for lounging, a white sand beach for soaking up the sun… but you know where you’ll find us: by that gorgeous pool sipping cocktails before heading back to reality.
Sanchaya Bintan, Lagoi Bay, Bintan Regency, Bintan Island 29155, Indonesia; +62 770 692200
Cempedak Private Island
Hands down the most memorable experience we’ve had in this pocket of the world is Cempedak Private Island, off Bintan. If sustainability is your thing – it’s certainly ours – this eco resort will blow you away. Co-founder Andrew Dixon has committed to a farm, composting and conservation program and sustainable design to prove that luxury travel can be carried out responsibly. The lush greenery, bamboo-themed property and tranquil, clean waters make this one of the most peaceful spots you could escape to, and most importantly for us, the food and cocktails are amazing.
It’s an entire world away from Singapore life, and absolutely necessary, as is a session or two at the Rock Spa. Trust us. Read our full review of Cempedak Private Island before you go to understand just what goes into this amazing experience.
This may be music to your ears (no judgment): Cempedak is an adults only resort. See sister island Nikoi if you’re after a family escape.
Cempedak Private Island; Air Gelubi, Bintan Pesisir, Bintan Regency, Riau Islands, Indonesia; p. +62 811-7008-040
The Residence Bintan
We’ve had several Honeycombers hop over to The Residence Bintan now (check out our full review), and it’s unanimous that this new luxury resort’s spa delivers the most divine massages. Wrapped around the coastline, The Residence is, positioned for the most spectacular sunsets – and there is one particular Estate Villa that provides the most perfect spot for catching the sky at its most beautiful moments. This is one sprawling property, so hop on one of the bikes by your villa and explore. And if you’re going with the fam, the kids’ club offers cool activities including batik painting and tie-dyeing to buy you some alone time at that spa.
We’re all about the food, so you’ll want to this hot tip: Rica Rica, the resort’s Indonesian restaurant, serves amazing pork satay and one killer soto Medan – which we still think about.
The Residence Bintan; Desa Galang Batang Bintan Kepulauan Riau Bintan 29153 Indonesia, p. +62 778 6000888
Banyan Tree is known for its lush escapes that bring you closer to nature. The Bintan property beautifully combines rainforest with rustic Balinese style and white sand beach – its 64 villas are each built on stilts to preserve the 100-year-old-trees and boulders on the site. You’ll feel completely immersed in nature here, but you’ll of course want to spend time in that famous spa too. We’ll admit it – we also spend a lot of time browsing the incredible Banyan tree Gallery, which stocks the best ethical fashion brand to come out of Singapore: Matter Prints.
Banyan Tree is actually an incredible golfing retreat too – with a championship course by the South China Sea. But if you’re after more of a gourmet getaway, keep an eye out for updates from Banyan Tree, as the resort is known to throw themed affairs and host impressive international chefs including Jérémy Desbraux and Josselin Jacquet’s of 3 Michelin Star restaurant B.Violier in Switzerland. You know we’re down for a gourmet getaway.
Pssst: Banyan Tree is celebrating its 25th anniversary with 25% savings on rooms (best available rate), food and beverage services, spa and purchases at Banyan Tree Gallery. The offer is available until 19 December, 2019.
Banyan Tree; Jalan Teluk Berembang Laguna Bintan Resorts, Lagoi 29155, p. +62 770 693100
The elder sister island to Cempedak, Nikoi private island off Bintan is the eco-luxe getaway you need in your life: designed with a driftwood theme around ancient trees, enormous boulders and rainforest, it’s a spectacular spot, and kid-friendly too. White sand beaches, nearby coral reefs for snorkelling and diving, island-hopping sessions or just pure relaxation are all on the cards. This is one of those rare unspoilt spots, where you can witness hawksbill turtle hatchlings and be blown away by brilliantly coloured coral gardens and sea life. Nikoi’s founders are, unsurprisingly, dedicated to conservation and cultural sensitivity – and their approach to responsible tourism is the real deal. Book well in advance: it’s worth the wait, we say.
Nikoi; Teluk Bakau, Gunung Kijang, Bintan Regency, Riau Islands, Indonesia, firstname.lastname@example.org
Glamping your vibe? This new desert-themed escape is dotted with deluxe tipi-style tents: think plush beds and private gardens with hammocks for swaying under the stars. Anmon is within the Treasure Bay area, with access to the Crystal lagoon – largest man-made seawater lagoon in Asia. This one’s still fresh, so watch this space…
ANMON, Jl. Raja Ali H. No.Km 1, Bintan, Tlk. Sebong, Kabupaten Bintan, Kepulauan Riau 29155, Indonesia, p. +62 770 691266.
How to get to Bintan:
Ferries to Bintan depart from Tanah Merah terminal, which we’ve got to say is less modern than Harbourfront, but far less hectic and a much more pleasant experience. Book your ferry from Singapore to either Bandar Bentan Telani or Tanjung Pinang terminal – check with your resort which is best positioned for a shorter land transfer, and the difference in travel time can be quite significant.