Bintan, a mere hour from the urban shoreline of Singapore, offers a wide range of accommodation suitable for solo, friends, and family travel. You can choose from a refined beachside resort with all of the sensibilities expected of a vacation like fine dining, kids club, activities, the all-essential air conditioning, or a laid-back colonial-style retreat with personalized service. If you prefer a back-to-nature vibe, stay in one of the breathtaking eco-friendly bamboo lodges, private island resorts, or modern-day glamping offerings. You can even discover off-the-beaten-track places to stay that come with gardening opportunities, zip lines, and archery. Many finer hotels and resorts are with the region renowned Bintan Resorts Developments. There are plentiful choices of more nature-inspired alternatives all over the island. Little Steps has rounded up a guide to take you through some of their all-time favorites and new additions.
The Residence Bintan offers a sense of respite by offering barefoot luxury with personalized service on the shores of the Riau Archipelago. Inspired by traditional small Asian communities, the village-style resort is close to nature and set in 70 hectares of verdant landscaped and jungle gardens that invite you to relax in ultimate comfort. Your family will enjoy exploring the delicious herb and veggie kitchen gardens and savoring their fresh flavors in the chef’s favorite dishes. While the kids are having fun solving treasure hunts or cooking lessons in the fully-supervised kids club, parents can enjoy the organic spa to rebalance the mind, body, and soul with British ila products. Choose from beachside or terrace villas with inimitable views of the South China Sea or a private pool for the ultimate in lounging. Be sure to visit Rica Rica and dine on some of the finest Indonesian cuisines with a creative twist using the fresh vegetables from the sustainable gardens.
Nirwana Gardens is exactly as the translation suggests 'perfect bliss’. Several Nirwana-inspired resorts are all nestled within 300 hectares of beachside and jungle land, giving you a sense of excitement and an abundance of choice. The resort is a hop, skip, and jump from the ferry terminal and just a ten-minute drive away. The resort is on a peninsular and boasts four private bays for family’s to enjoy kayaking, sailing, diving and other energetic water past times. The gardens are home to five grades of accommodation. You can choose from the rustic rooms right on the beach, Nirwana Resort Hotel, family chalets and lofts in Mayang Sari Beach Resort, the recently renovated simple thatched-roof cottages in Nirwana Beach Club, two and three-bedroom villas in Banyu Bira Villas, and extravagant villas with private pools within the Indra Maya Pool Villas complex. Jump on their resort's complimentary shuttle service and take part in some thrilling family adventure like jungle trekking, shooting in a rifle range, or driving an ATV through the forests and rivers. There are several swimming pools throughout the resort and a fun-packed kid's club that hosts all sorts of educational activities, including their turtle release program. On the shores is the spa; why not have an afternoon of pampering or chill out completely in one of their cafés, bars, or restaurants.
The Banyan Tree is where hillside rainforests meet white sandy beaches and the crystal clear waters of the South China Sea. The sunshiny resort boasts Bali-inspired villas raised on stilts and cocooned quietly in the hillside for a sense of peace and tranquillity. The newly added Kelong Villas are extraordinary, an Indonesian first that pay tribute to the offshore platforms used by local fishermen. These glorious suites afford you incredible views and a watery playground to dive, snorkel, or kayak. Enjoy the cool stillness of your suite, the resort's private beach, or be pampered in the eponymous spa with world-renowned, award-winning treatments, spoil your tastebuds on a culinary journey, or tee off on the perfectly manicured Laguna Golf Course. There are dining options for every occasion and palate, from Indonesian cuisine in Treetops, or their signature Thai restaurant, Saffron. While the adults play or pamper, the kids will be happily entertained in the Rangers Kids Club, located in neighboring Angsana Bintan.
Banyan Tree Bintan, Jalan Teluk Berembang, Sebong Lagoi, Tlk. Sebong, Kabupaten Bintan, Kepulauan Riau 29155, Indonesia, +62 770 693 100, firstname.lastname@example.org, https://www.banyantree.com/indonesia/bintan
Self-proclaimed, “A gorgeous uber luxury beachfront estate on Bintan Island, Riau Archipelago," Sanchaya really is something to behold. From the seamless journey through immigration and customs to the handpicked cocktail mixology set in your room on arrival, they’ve set the bar incredibly high. The resort is synonymous with luxury to cater for every whim of an adult or a child. Each of its suites and villas has every creature comfort imaginable, including 464 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets, sommelier-stocked wine fridges, and a private terrace for relaxing. There's even a yacht that you can charter for a lavish picnic on the South China Sea. Indulge your senses in the peaceful Balinese-inspired spa, with four treatment rooms in the lush gardens. Sanchaya is home to Tasanee Thai Grill, The Dining Room, The Bar and Decanter, and 24-hour in-villa dining. While there is no kids club, the team provides everything from archery classes, family cooking classes, croquet, boccia, pétanque, and beach kite flying. The bar team is always on hand to teach a little Congklak too.
The Sanchaya, Jalan Gurindam Duabelas, Plot 5 Lagoi Bay, P. Bintan, Kep. Riau 29155 Indonesia, +62 770 692200, www.thesanchaya.com
Natra Bintan is a gorgeous safari-style glamping retreat that nestles along the shoreline of Crystal Lagoon. Each tent boasts a roomy private terrace with garden or lagoon views, fancy outdoor rainforest showers, whirlpool tubs, and all of the amenities you'd expect from a luxury resort. There are sofa beds in each tent to accommodate the kids in comfort. The Patio Restaurant and Bar serves you indulgent sunset cocktails and delicious cuisine, or you can choose to have a tent-side barbeque with locally sourced ingredients. From the beach, you can swim through the lagoon, go jet-skiing or try a Jetovater ride. You can also take a guided tour through the private mangroves, go hiking in the Gunung Bintan hillside rainforests, or head to the Ria Bintan Golf Club for a round of golf. The ‘V’ Spa is inspired by the flower of life and celebrates the interconnectedness of life with nature and community. The pop-up spa blends innovation and indigenous healing techniques to overall wellness.
Natra Bintan, A Tribute Portfolio Resort, Jalan Raya Haji KM 01 Kawasan Pariwisata, Teluk Sebong Lagoi,Bintan Island, Indonesia, +62 77-0692252, www.marriott.com/en-us/hotels/tnjtx-natra-bintan-a-tribute-portfolio-resort
Club Med is a firm favorite for inspirational all-inclusive family offerings worldwide, and Bintan is no different. The resort welcomes family’s who want to be kept busy or enjoy the long sandy beaches and swaying palms. The all-inclusive package includes everything for you and your family. Each day, the kids can take part in golf, yoga, flying trapeze, and archery lessons and enjoy the camp-style kids club. Everything is included in your stay, from food, snacks, soft drinks, even bubbles, and adult drinks so that you can relax by the pool with a cold piña colada or two. The spa will leave you feeling recharged and ready to take on the world. Just around the corner from the resort is a golf course. So while dad plays, mom can have another spa treatment. There is a variety of accommodation, each with a sea view, balcony or terrace. Club Med has a well-curated collection of eateries, including the feet in the sand Matahari for early morning, freshly pressed juices. The Waterfall serves delicious buffet cuisine from Japan, India, China, Italy, France, and America.
LooLa is a refreshing resort that makes eco-stays interesting and fun. If your family enjoys rustic and authentic adventures, then LooLa is a perfect choice. The resort has various categories of rooms, such as the original classic overwater LooLa villa cooled by the sea breeze and the water warmed by the sun. A magnificent villa is nestled on the beach with interconnecting pavilions, making it ideal for extended families or groups of sociable friends. The villa was designed by a sustainability student and built by founder Marc van Loo. It cleverly features eco cooling systems and hand-crafted furniture. Little Steps Asia loves the Sabine Villa, also on the beach and traditionally Balinese in style with glorious open-air living accommodation under an expansive bamboo roof. LooLa has lots of activities, including crafty sessions like trash to cash. You and the kids can help the local ladies pick litter from the beach and turn it into fancy totes. There are endless opportunities to learn about the environment and get involved with the local community. Local chefs prepare primarily plant-based cuisine for you to enjoy.
Kids love Angsana. The resort forms an impressive base for kids to participate in island-inspired activities throughout their stay. They can become mini rangers as they trek across the island with a guide and explore its unique flora and fauna, snorkel the shallow waters and see the island's numerous coral reefs that teem with colorful fishes or discover local villages and natural environment on an ATV. They can even learn how to fish with a local fisherman. Angsana has various mangrove tours, including a nighttime tour to see the sky light up with thousands of fireflies. Numerous accommodation offerings include the entry-level Island Chill room and the largest Island suite with a private deck and jet pool, ideal for families. Lotus Café has many tasty all-day-dining dishes. The XANA Beach Club offers beachfront dining with Angsana culinary highlights and cocktails or perhaps a traditional seafood dinner on a Kelong. Kids under 12 dine for free with their family package, and there is a fantastic Kids Club with daily activities. Angsana is sustainability-driven and has various projects that guests can play a part in, such as tree planting and soap making for local communities. Golfers can book tee times on the immaculate Laguna Golf Course.
Cassia is part of the ever-growing Banyan Tree family. Bintan artist Adi Dharma designed the modern-vibed resort so expect a chic and funky atmosphere. The resort has a great collection of fully serviced apartments with one or two bedrooms so that new moms can cater for their babies, make food and sterilize bottles. There are also loft-style apartments with BBQ facilities for families that enjoy alfresco cooking. Pop down to the Xana Beach Club for great afternoon tunes and happy hour fun. There are fun water-based kids activities and even an annual turtle release program. Moms, don’t forget the spa! It’s got a great range of pampering treatments to reset your body, mind, and soul. Closeby is an 18-hole golf course and driving range perfect for a round or two or to practice your swing.
Cassia Bintan, Jalan Teluk Berembang Laguna Bintan Resorts, Kepulauan Riau 29155, Indonesia, +62 770 693111, email@example.com, www.cassia.com/en/ap-indonesia-bintan/about-cassia-bintan.html
Mayang Sari Beach Resort, www.nirwanagardens.com/hotel-villas/mayang-sari-beach-resort
Kamuela Lagoi Bay Villas Bintan, www.kamuelavillas.com/en/villa/view/5/kamuela-villas-lagoi-bay-bintan
ANMON - Desert Themed Glamping Resort, www.theanmon.com
The Kelong Trikora Resort Bintan Island, www.thekelongbintan.com
Pantai Indah Villa Bintan Island, www.holiday-villa-pantai-indah-bintan-island.business.site
Banyan Tree Bintan, www.banyantree.com
Bintan Agro Beach Resort & Spa, www.agrobeach.com
Grand Lagoi Hotel, www.grandlagoihotel.com
Alila Bintan, www.alilavillasbintan.com
Main Image Credit: Angsana Bintan