dimanche, septembre 06, 2009

Club Med Ria Bintan, Indonesia

Club Med Ria Bintan

We wanted somewhere to go to for sun, sea and sex. But didn't want to take another plane for it. Desaru in Malaysia was a little disappointing the last time, so we decided to try out Bintan Island in Indonesia. And on Bintan there are a number of resorts from the Nirwana to the Banyan Tree Group, but we finally settled on Club Med as they offer all-inclusive holidays and I didn't feel like playing travel agent.

The private beach at Club Med Bintan

We (including my mom) took a ferry from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal in Singapore. It lasted less than an hour and was a smooth and comfortable journey. Before that we nearly couldn't leave as Hub had forgotten his passport. "Why didn't you remind me?"

Why don't you check!

He was really inflated, that man. He had only himself to look after and he couldn't even remember his passport. In the past, whenever I asked him if he had his passport, he would tell me that he had travelled more than me, so of course he always remembers his passport. And now it was my fault because I didn't remind him.

Thank God we were in Singapore and at the drop of a call, my dad rushed from wherever he was (i.e. buying lottery - that gambler) to pick up the passport from the flat and then bring it to us by taxi. Imagine that happening when you are at Bologna airport, it would have cost a fortune in money and in time. As it was, we were just finishing breakfast at the coffee shop when he arrived. Of course it helped that we were really in advance. Hub was wondering why we set out so early for the ferry, he should be grateful we did.

Our room


You arrived to ice lemon tea and smiling GOs (Gentil Organisateur) at Club Med Ria Bintan (4*). A Japanese and Italian GO showed us to our rooms on the ground floor of a building partially overlooking the sea and mostly facing a little hill. We had 3 rooms of which 2 were connected. They were quite lovely and warmly decorated. Small LCD TV, thick mattresses, teak furniture for the balcony...Lots of wardrobe space, emergency torchlight (we had a blackout on our 1st night), a large shower.

Late lunch with seaview

At Club Med you eat for free and for as much as you want almost all day long. They had 3 main stations i.e. Chinese, Korean and Japanese plus the usual salad, international and dessert stations. You also drink from morning till midnight - always as much as you want. The quality and taste of the drinks weren't consistent though I averaged 5 alcoholic cocktails daily when I was there in addition to coffee and the non-alcoholic ones. A bar is always somewhere near you, whether you're at the pool, near the beach or walking past reception on your way to the tennis courts. Thank God we're not rich enough to go to a Club Med all the time.

A chacun son cocktail

Most activities are also included in the stay e.g. flying trapeze, golf practice, sailing, kayaking, wind surfing, archery, yoga, aquagym, bocce ball...You also have 24-hour access to the tennis, squash and badminton courts, with free loan of the rackets and balls. And if you need someone to play with you, they'll arrange it. The children can be part of the Mini-Club where they are looked after from 9-5.30 and then again from dinnertime till 9pm. The Babies were bored after 2 days and preferred to stay with us though. Meanwhile, teenagers like Eldest Son got a GO hanging out with the group, bringing them to try out different activities. We never saw the boy from after breakfast till just before dinner. And at 9pm, he would watch a live performance (there is one every evening) with us and then disappear again till bedtime.

Robin Hood

Beach Baby

If you want to play golf in an amazing setting, you can do so at the Ria Bintan Golf Club next door - like Hub did. It is said to be one of the best in Asia. But prices are European though you also get a caddy and a buggy for it. Hub's already thinking of bringing his second set of golf clubs over to Singapore the next time and leaving it at the parents' place - so that he can play golf anytime he wants when he's there. The left-handed golf club rental there was expensive and really horrible.

Ria Bintan Golf

On the whole it was a good trip as we had a massage at the spa (good massage therapists from Bali) and I've enjoyed the archery (got lots of bruises and a medal to show for it) and golf sessions, the warm water temperatures in both pool and sea and I love the fact that the beach is private and has clean white sand. Also, unlike some other Club Meds, it was rather calm there and they didn't have music booming nor do they force you to sing and dance with them every 30 minutes.

Beach bar

Main pool

If I had a complaint, it was the lack of Frenchness in this Club Med. As most of the clients come from Asia, entertainment was mainly visual and you didn't have the usual cafe-theatres, plays or stand-up comedies in French. When you go to a Club Med, you do somehow expect it.

My bull's eye

That was our last outing before we returned to Italy. After a week of buffets and cocktails, it wasn't just my luggage that was overweight.

3 commentaires:

Punta Cana Club med a dit…

Damn, the golf looks very nice! I'd like to get there. The late lunch makes me hungry ;)

Zafirah a dit…

Hi! I stumbled on your blog while I was looking for stuff on Club Med Bintan.

I was just wondering, how much was the trip in total? I'm kinda interested in booking a holiday there. Thanks!

Beau Lotus a dit…

Hi Zafirah,

You should check the Singapore Club Med website for prices and offers since you're in Johore.

We were there in August for 4 nights, there was a promotion going on. For 3 adults and 3 children we paid around 6000 dollars for just the Club Med stay (excluding golf, spa, boutique...).

Hope this helps.

Hope this helps.