The Residence Bintan: We Review the Scenic Family-Friendly Resort in Bintan
On the hunt for a family-friendly hotel in Bintan? If you’ve been scouting scenic retreats on our neighbouring resort island, chances are you’ve considered the gorgeous property of The Residence Bintan.
A perfect scenic getaway for a short holiday, The Residence Bintan seems ideal for a family-friendly escape from Singapore. Does it live up to the hype? Read on as we review the resort and all of its facilities over a long weekend.
From dining to wellness, and a dip into Bintan’s culture and rich landscape, here’s our take on The Residence Bintan.
Getting to The Residence Bintan
Bintan makes for an easy long weekend getaway from Singapore. You can avoid the queues and expensive flights to other destinations by taking the Ferry to Bintan instead. Bintan Resort Ferries run regular boats through the week and the weekend(get booked up fast) and offer you the choice between Economy and Emerald Class tickets.
It's fairly easy once you arrive at Bintan too! Upon reaching Bandar Bentan Telani, there is a dedicated counter for The Residence Bintan, where transportation to the hotel is pre-arranged for you.
An 80-minute comfortable drive takes you to the peaceful seclusion of The Residence Bintan, a luxury resort on the shores of the largest island in Indonesia’s Riau Archipelago. Nestled amid nature with sweeping views across the South China Sea, this hidden oasis promises all the privacy to unwind and recharge.
Welcome to The Residence Bintan
The resort is reminiscent of our trips to Indonesia and Bali - complete with the cultural welcome, cold towels and healthy drinks. This is indeed the start of a tropical escape!
Quick check-in formalities are followed by a buggy tour of the hotel premises and facilities. With over 70 hectares of verdant landscape, there are plenty of complimentary family-friendly activities available for guests of every age, but more on that later.
Rooms and Villas
The Residence Bintan is home to 127 terraces and villas, including beachfront options that come with a private pool, and are a beautiful fusion of simplicity and sophistication. Paired with clean contemporary lines and touches of local Indonesian style, these are private retreats set to spoil you with space and panoramic views.
Our Deluxe Beachfront One Bedroom Villa was equipped to accommodate up to 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 kids. Offering a separate and super-spacious bedroom and living area, the villa provides direct access to the beach and panoramic water views. It also comes with a king-sized bed, sofa and daybed, a massive bathroom with a separate bathtub and shower, as well as a private outdoor area.
The private outdoor deck is perhaps where the family will spend maximum time. Complete with a private deck and infinity pool, this was one of our favourite ways to relax amongst the resort’s natural landscape.
Travelling with a big family? The Residence Bintan also boasts 4 two-bedroom villas with sea-facing bedrooms, expansive verandas with uninterrupted ocean views, direct access to the beach and private pools for maximum exclusivity.
Experiences at The Residence Bintan - Nature Earth Basket
From diving expeditions to unique culinary excursions, the Residence Bintan provides ample activities that take you through the best of Bintan’s culture, wellness, and diversity.
Prime your kids for a visit to the resort’s very own Nature Earth Basket. An informative and engaging farm experience, this afternoon activity comes with a tour of the hotel’s eco-cyle of farming. From planting the nursery, compost making and tree planting to even trying your hands at the resort’s own Kombucha Tea, you’ll be glad for this natural introduction to farms, especially if you're coming from a city like Singapore.
The highlight of this farm experience is the animal feeding lineup - bunnies, a flamboyant peacock, chickens and ducks - your little ones are going to want to return every single day!
But the fun does not end there. You’ve got other activities to enjoy such as beach volleyball, giant jenga, marine walks, kayaking, yoga sessions, table tennis and plenty more!
Another wonderful way for families to bond and enjoy each other’s company is to embark on a back-to-nature adventure on a tour of the Sunset Mangrove. Cruise along the Kawal River, and soak up the serenity while looking out for the wildlife, such as monkeys, snakes, monitor lizards and kingfishers. Add to the adventure with a Firefly tour and take in an after-hours journey to catch fireflies lighting up the river – a vision to behold both for children and adults alike.
THE SPA by ila at The Residence Bintan
If there’s one indulgence you must make the time for, it is to visit the Spa at The Residence Bintan. With eight private couple treatment rooms equipped with bathtubs, a serene reflexology room, and rooms dedicated to beauty rituals, this is exactly how spa journeys should be - peaceful and thoroughly pampering.
The Welcome Lounge features a relaxation area, where you are treated to cold towels and drinks, introduced to your therapist and undergo necessary form-filling and health check measures. The spa is also a fully-equipped salon with a designated space for manicures and pedicures and comes with male and female steam rooms, a gymnasium and yoga centre.
For treatments, look forward to natural indigenous spa therapies and ancient Ayurvedic treatments infused with contemporary techniques. And to complete your holistic experience, sign up for a yoga session and soak up the incredibly peaceful views after!
Dining at The Residence Bintan
You won’t go wanting for dining options at The Residence Bintan. From a gastronomic medley of Asian-inspired delights against stunning panoramas to gourmet explorations of traditional ingredients, the tantalising flavours are primed to whet your appetite.
The Dining Room: This is a casual setting restaurant where you can experience all-day dining and choose from a wide selection of Western and Asian comfort food. The Dining Room is also where the daily breakfast buffet is served. Choose from various delicious croissants, pastries, international food, cheese platters, fruits, egg stations and more to start your day afresh.
Rica Rica: Enjoy a truly extravagant meal at Rica Rica where you can savour the incredible flavours of authentic Indonesian cuisine spider up with a modern twist. All of the ingredients at this speciality restaurant have been sourced locally and harvested at their peak for exceptional quality and freshness. Savour authentic flavours from the Indonesian Archipelago, with recipes steeped in tradition and dishes rich in spices.
The Pool Bar: The perfect dining location after a dip in the gorgeous hotel pool, The Pool Bar offers refreshing cocktails and delicious small bites. Think pizzas, burgers, fries in various flavours and a pool-side location that’s hard to beat.
BBQ Dining: Fancy a quieter meal? Choose the BBQ Dining option at the hotel garden where you choose from a set menu of grilled meats and fresh seafood. You can also choose to have the BBQ banquet tailored for a private occasion.
Kakatu Kids Club
There’s a reason why The Residence Bintan is seen as one of the top family-friendly resorts in Bintan. Aside from a family-first policy that comes through in their friendly staff, kids' meals and activities, there’s also the Kakatu Kids Club to keep your little ones engaged through the holiday.
Look forward to daily adventures for 5–12-year-olds, all designed meticulously with experienced fun specialists. These activities include beach exploration, Bahasa language practice, local dance lessons, Batik painting DIY, kids' cooking classes, kids yoga sessions, pool playtime, treasure hunts and plenty more. Babysitting services for after-club child minding are also available at an extra charge.
For a full schedule of activities at Kakatu click here.
Pro Tips - The Residence Bintan
- Booking: We highly recommend booking directly via The Residence Bintan website. A minimum booking of 2 nights gets you 15% off and a complimentary daily one-time minibar. *Valid till 31 Dec 2023.
- Transportation to and from the Ferry Station: Make sure to inform the staff of your ferry arrival and departure timings in advance so your transportation(shared) to and from the ferry station is taken care of.
- Rooms: The Deluxe Beach-front Pool Villas have all the amenities you need for your getaway. You can request the staff to set up the room based on the number of people sharing it - in our case, 2 adults were set up to sleep in the main bedroom whilst the kids had a bed rolled out for them in the living area.
If you are wondering what the Garden Terrace rooms are like in comparison, these come with an equally large amount of space and are beautiful in design! A large living area is accompanied by a bedroom with a king-sized bed and a lavishly huge bathroom, bathtub et al. You also have access to the terrace and garden views - think of these as single-level massive villa rooms but minus the pool and ocean panoramas.
- Food: Don’t enjoy waking up for breakfast? We urge you to make the time for the wide spread at The Residence Bintan. The Dining Room converts to a bubbling epicentre every morning and serves up some of the most delicious pastries and fresh produce you can find. We also enjoyed the pizzas at the Pool Bar and the authentic Indonesian delights and a substantial variety of Sambal at RICA RICA restaurant. You can even buy some of this freshly-prepared Sambal and take it back with you! Just let the staff know a couple of hours in advance, and they’ll prepare it in time for your departure.
- Kids: You can rest assured that your kids will be treated like royalty at this Bintan resort. With so many activities, animal feedings and welcoming staff, the little ones will be spoilt on how to use their precious holiday time. Meals are easy with the Kids Menu, offered at all restaurants, and come with fish and chips, pasta, burger, ice cream and other kid-friendly usuals. Want to amp up the excitement? Request a teepee tent(chargeable at $60.50 per night) in your room!
- Mangrove Tour: Once you’ve spent enough time unwinding at the hotel grounds, and you do need a good 2-3 days to enjoy this, we recommend setting out on a Mangrove Tour. A boat tour that takes you through the lush foliage of the region, it also makes for quiet time with the family. Don’t forget to opt for the Firefly tour extension after, for moments of utter delight.
The Residence Bintan. Desa Galang Batang Bintan Kepulauan Riau Bintan 29153 Indonesia.
Phone: +62 778 6000 888 / +62 811 703 1676 (0800-2000hrs)
Email: [email protected]
Wordsmith and marketer by day, Natasha is your go-to girl on all things beauty, travel and family. This mommy to two loves her cheese, a fab read and crooning to Ping Fong (don't we all?). Natasha also heads Communications at Expatgiving and helps volunteers find their dream non-profit role! Reach her at email or via her Instagram @sonattymama
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