Previously, when I thought of Singapore I never used to think of a paradise beach. This was until I discovered Bintan, an Indonesian island that’s just a one hour international ferry ride away from Singapore. I visited Angsana Bintan back in July, which is a part of the Banyan Tree hotel group.
The journey to the island was easy. Although note that since its an international ferry ride, you need to clear immigration borders and bring your passport. Expect to be there at least an hour before! Once you arrive there’s a free shuttle from the ferry terminal to Angsana. They will be expecting you and have their own little area at the terminal where guests can gather for pick up. If guests feel like a day trip there’s also a free shuttle into the town centre from the hotel.
The check in at the hotel was welcoming, personable and super smooth. I had a seaview suite. Whilst the interior wasn’t the most modern, the room was very homely and inviting with warm natural orange colours. The seaview suite was spacious, with a separate living room and bedroom area. A nice touch was the candles with scented oil, which came handy after a day of relaxation.
I loved waking up to this pool and beach view every day.
The best part for me was Angsana’s uncrowded private beach. Watersport and other activites are available to guests on a daily basis, ask the staff for the itinerary. Having traveled for 3 months at that point, it was the best beach I had come across. Perfectly soft and white sand. There’s also a large pool with lots of sunbeds around, offering infused water, insect repellents and towels. Because I visited during the week, I was lucky enough to avoid the crowds!
Angsana connects to it’s sister hotel, Banyan Tree. Banyan Tree guests are free to use the beach and facilities of Angsana but not the other way around, however the beautiful golf course and all restaurants are shared amongst the two hotels. I got to try a few restaurants between Angsana and Banyan Tree, and there’s absolutely no need to leave the resorts in a hunt for good food.
Treetops was my favourite restaurant at Banyan Tree. The food was delicious and really fresh. For appetisers I had rice crackers with 6 different chili pastes! The staff also helped me pick out something traditional Indonesian, Gado Gado salad and Ikan Bakar, a charcoal-grilled fish topped with a medium spicy tomato sauce. The meal was divine.
Kelong Dinner at Angsana
For a more special occasion dinner, there’s also an option to hop on a local boat and cruise over to a traditional fisherman’s boat near the hotel (pictured below). Split into 3 courses, the meal is a generous set menu which gives you a real taste of Indonesia with lots of choices for each course.
Last but not least, Banyan Tree’s signature Thai restaurant offers some great authentic cuisine. Saffron offers a very wide range of dishes for all tastes, including lots of vegetarian options. The staff at Saffron are very sweet and attentive. As a little goodbye gift, a personalized card with my photo was given to me for my memory.
What better way to end the stay than with a spa appointment. I got a treatment in a Seaview room with beautiful surroundings. Needless to say I felt relaxed and content with my stay at Angsana.
The hotel offers free Wi-fi but if I had to point out a negative, the connection wasn’t strong enough to be doing any work or decent browsing. The power in the rooms were also not the strongest for charging things. Having said that, Angsana is a place you should be disconnecting!
ANGSANA BINTAN REVIEW SUMMARY
In an island full of pricey luxury hotels, I think Bintan offers amazing value at around $130 per night. Whilst the room is of great value, the restaurants are on the pricier side. Together with Banyan Tree next door, they really win on cuisine! I was lucky to try a few of their restaurants during my visit and can say that you’ll be well taken care of in that regard. For such a large hotel the service was so personal and all the staff were lovely (A special thanks to Tom!).