PUBLISHED December 2nd, 2015 01:21 am | UPDATED June 15th, 2020 10:19 pm
Have you ever reached the end of an absolutely exhausting week and wished for a quick getaway from the daily grind? At times like this, we Singaporeans are fortunate to be just an hour’s ferry ride away from Bintan Island, where I recently spent a night at the spanking new Treasure Bay Bintan.
Headed by Landmarks Berhad (the group behind several top Malaysian luxury hotels), this sprawling 338-hectare waterfront resort city is still in the first phase of its 20-year development plan. Currently, the only project ready for guests at this time is The Canopi Resort; but that’s not to say that my overall experience was compromised though, as most of the recreational facilities are already up and running.
Occupying the southeastern side of the lagoon with 41 luxury safari tents, The Canopi Resort ($190++ per night) combines the best of camping and the luxury of a hotel room, providing the perfect Glamping (yes, Glamourous Camping’s a thing now) experience.
Decorated with stylish copper fittings, hemp weave baskets, sisal carpets, and even a chandelier, each tent suite has all you need and more: from an extremely comfortable muslin-draped four-poster bed, air-conditioning, LCD TV, outdoor jacuzzi, BBQ pit, to a gorgeous outdoor bathroom! There’s nothing like having a shower with the breeze on your back.
The only downside was the erratic Wi-Fi connection in the room, which we attribute to the early stage of development in Treasure Bay Bintan itself.
The best thing about Treasure Bay Bintan, however, is the Crystal Lagoon, which is touted as Asia’s largest at 6.3 hectares (roughly 50 Olympic-sized swimming pools). Enveloped by white sandy beaches, guests can expect a wide array of water activities available like Cable Ski, Stand-up Paddling, Kayaking, Water ZOVB, Jetovator, and a Sports Waterpark (think a simple version of Wipeout). The lagoon is perfectly safe even for non-swimmers like myself and offers an alternative for those who fear the rough seas and strong currents. Daredevils will be glad to hear that there are plans to install a Bungee Jump and a Shotover Canyon Swing.
Water-activities aside, there’s plenty of stuff you can try out on land. If you’ve never ridden a Segway, Electric Scooter, Trike Bike, or a Kahuna Long Stick Paddle Board, this is your chance to do so in a guided environment. Like to get down and dirty? Jump on an ATV (All-terrain vehicle) or Motocross bike and explore Treasure Bay Bintan’s very own nature reserve, which encompasses a jungle and a Mangrove River. And if you’re wondering how long it takes to do all of this, I managed to cover almost every activity (include water-based activities) in a short 2D1N stay.
One thing that stood out at The Canopi Resort was the service and attention to detail, from the careful transportation of belongings directly to our tents to the mindful consideration of each guest’s needs. The staff on hand were especially friendly and helpful, and it helped that they spoke very good English, recognised each of us by name, and had extensive knowledge of every activity available at the resort.
Phase One of Treasure Bay Bintan is still far from its completion, but in good time it will host the renowned wellness-resort Canyon Ranch, Mercure, Ibis Budget, and Chill Cove – a vibrant, social hub that offers a a host of retail options, spas, restaurants serving local and international cuisine, and bars.
For now, it still offers guests fantastic water fun and exciting land activities. I’m definitely looking forward to head back again when more facilities are available!