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A Fabulous Time Awaits: The Residence Bintan

It was ATV ride that I will never forget! My guide Henang led the way, taking me through brush fields and trees … and puddles galore. Thanks to the previous day’s rain, some of those puddles were pretty large, too! I managed not to get too dirty until I got stuck going through a particularly deep puddle. My feet were soaked through, and mud splashed everywhere. Henang managed to get my ATV out, and we were off again. I would do it again in a heartbeat! 

ATV rides are just one of the many activities available at The Residence Bintan. In addition to the usual beach activities, including snorkeling, wakeboarding, and jet skiing, the Boat House offers several more high-adrenaline activities, such as paintball, a ropes course, rock wall climbing, and archery. There’s also a kids club, where children ages three to 12 can do crafts, play chess on a giant chessboard, or feed the rabbits at Earth Basket, the resort’s organic farm. With so many activities to choose from, it would be hard to get bored.

The Residence Bintan is a quick one-hour ferry ride from Singapore. From Bandar Bintan Telani ferry terminal, The Residence provides transportation for the roughly one-hour drive across the island, which is actually pretty interesting as you can see some small towns along the way. When you turn onto the bumpy dirt road, you know you’ve almost reached your destination, and quiet luxury awaits. 

The Residence recently invited me to spend two nights at the resort and get a taste of their offerings. I took a 9 am Bintan Resorts ferry from Singapore in Emerald Class, which I highly recommend. You can avoid the lines at immigration and instead wait comfortably in a lounge offering coffee, tea, and sodas. From there, I was greeted by my driver from The Residence with a bottle of water, a cold cloth, and a delicious cookie for the ride. 

The Residence offers 127 terraces and villas in seven different room types. There are one- and two-bedroom beachfront villas with a private pool and direct access to the beach. These villas also have some partially-enclosed garden space that would be great for little ones to burn off some energy. There are also garden terraces, with connecting rooms for larger parties, and upper sea view suites, with enormous outdoor balcony space where you can opt to have a hammock hung. There are also deluxe sea view villas with a private pool built into a hill. I was surprised by how spacious all of the rooms were.

The resort has three restaurants, plus a pool bar. I enjoy sampling the local cuisine when I travel, so I tried many Indonesian dishes during my stay. One of my favorites was Pepes Udang Tahu, marinated prawns and tofu wrapped in a banana leaf. Admittedly, I had no idea what to expect, but the flavors were mild and delicious! I also particularly enjoyed a Javanese dish, Ayam Bakar. The marinated grilled chicken, served with pandan rice, was excellent. I’m not a huge fan of typical Western breakfast foods, so I was delighted to see Indian, Japanese, and Chinese options on the breakfast menu for room service. My chana masala hit the spot after a morning yoga session.

The property spreads over nearly 173 acres. That may sound intimidating, but a buggy is just a phone call away to take you from one area of the resort to another. There are also abundant bicycles scattered amongst the villas, including a few tandem bikes if you feel adventurous! I enjoyed riding them around.

For some, a visit to a resort is not complete without a visit to a spa. The Residence has a modest spa with individual spa villas. I opted for their 60-minute signature massage and appreciated the treatment starting with a foot scrub. Truth? I’ve always been a little self-conscious about how dirty my feet might be after walking around in sandals all day! The massage therapist was responsive to the areas I wanted to focus on and asked if the pressure was acceptable a few times along the way. 

 When I left The Residence, I felt refreshed and reinvigorated by my quick getaway. Before I’d even left, I started looking at the calendar to make plans to return with my family as I think it’d be an excellent vacation for families who want many activities to keep their kids busy. It’s also a terrific spot for a couple who wants to get away without going too far, with the level of privacy the villas afford and options for romantic dinners. I love that The Residence is so close and easy to reach. Who knew that a quiet reprieve from Singapore's noise and the hustle and bustle was just a quick boat ride away? 

For a limited time, AAS members receive a discount on room rates, activities, and spa treatments. Check out their member offer here.

The Residence Bintan

+62 778 6000 888

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