Whether you’ve already been to Bintan or thinking of going, now is the perfect time. New resorts keep opening up, making it a perfect weekend getaway spot!
Here are two to consider. (Read more about Bintan Resorts and watch a video here.)
Tucked among mangrove forests just a five-minute drive from Bintan’s Bandar Bentan Telani ferry terminal, visitors will find Treasure Bay Bintan, a new 388ha integrated resort city where luxury meets adventure and family fun.
Malaysian property developer Landmarks has spent $250 million to buy the land and $50 million on development costs so far.
The Canopi, a 41-suite resort which opened last month, offers guests a chance to go “glamping”, or camping without the hassle, dirt and sleeping bags.
The resort’s 37 sq m tents include an ensuite bathroom, air-conditioning, a four-poster bed, LCD television and Wi-Fi, and some have an outdoor jacuzzi and barbecue pit in a private, ensuite garden.
Guests can lounge in hammocks, toast marshmallows over their campfire or take part in one of the resort’s many activities, such as day and night tours of the nearby mangrove and estuary, all-terrain vehicle rides through the forest, or grab a kayak, jetski or guided boat cruise to explore Treasure Bay’s private mangrove reserve and see its exotic wildlife – including kingfishers, raptors and otters – up close.
Water sports can be found at the beach or the resort’s Crystal Lagoon, a 6.3ha, 800m-long pool of filtered seawater. It also houses an inflatable waterpark – a floating raft of obstacles, trampolines and slides – a first in Asia.
Development of the resort is expected to continue over the next 20 years, as more hotels and amenities come on board.
However, phase one of Treasure Bay’s development is expected to be completed at the end of next year, with the opening of the award-winning United States-based Canyon Ranch.
The 21ha wellness property will offer holistic health management and nutrition programmes in 64 hotel suites and 64 high-end residential villas.
Phase two, which will start in a few years, will include the development of eastern wellness resorts, water villas, private residences, the opening of Mercure and Ibis Budget hotels, and a marina which will serve as a gateway to other islands in the Riau Archipelago.
When award-winning luxury hotel The Sanchaya opened in Lagoi Bay in December 2014, there was little else in its backyard except construction and vacant land.
But the pace of development is picking up in the area. The 196-room four-star Swiss-Belhotel opened in May, as did Plaza Lagoi mall, less than 200m next door. The two-storey mall has close to 60 stores spread over 1,000 sq m of retail space. About 45 per cent of the shops are open, selling Indonesian gifts, cultural artefacts, clothes and necessities.
In the same month, Pasaraya, Indonesia’s largest department store, signed on to be Plaza Lagoi’s anchor tenant, and six new hotels – Four Points by Sheraton, Ibis Style, Novotel, Dialoog, Prime Plaza and Ambhara – signed up to manage hotels in Lagoi Bay. These range from budget to four-star accommodation.
By June next year, Pantai Indah, Bintan’s first seaside residential estate, will complete its first phase of development and 99 of its 146 pool villas will be walk-in ready.
The one-, two- and four-bedroom villas, which start at $400,000, come fully furnished and are part of an effort by Lagoi Bay’s Singaporean and Indonesian developer PT Bintan Resort Cakrawala to establish a year-round residential community within Bintan Resorts.
Bolstering the island’s roster of luxury properties, award-winning hotel and resort management company Alila is opening Alila Villas Bintan in the first half of 2017. The gated, hillside property will include beachfront residences and one- and two-bedroom guest villas. Aside from a wellness retreat, it will also feature a 4ha village with boutiques, an art gallery, cooking school, restaurants and a museum with a prized historical batik collection and one of the largest collections of Indonesian ethnic art.
Malaysian real estate developer Superboom Projects has broken ground on a 26ha beachfront property in Lagoi Bay, which will include a five-star 300-room hotel, a 1,000-seat convention centre, eight condo hotels, 32 villas, commercial space and a full range of amenities, including restaurants, sports facilities and a boardwalk. It should be completed in eight years.
The Heritage Bintan condo hotel, suites and service residences, developed by Gallant Venture but managed by Singaporean group Far East Hospitality, has laid the foundations for its 218-room property, scheduled to be completed in 2017.
And for more great beach getaways, click here.
By Lydia Vasko and Yip Wai Yee, The Straits Times, October 18, 2015
Photo: courtesy The Canopi