By: Michelle Wonderland
Our family tends to work hard day in, and day out, leaving little time to play. So when we get the chance to break away from our fully packed weekly schedules, we love a short break that is both relaxing and refreshing. A weekend in Bintan makes for an easy family holiday, not to mention a fun vacation, my friends.
The last time I sent out a mental S.O.S. to the universe to quell my frazzled, overworked self, we stayed at the Angsana Lang Co in Vietnam, where we were treated like royalty, so there was no question about which family resort in Bintan that we wanted to spend our R&R. We booked our stay at the five-star Angsana Bintan Resort, knowing that every aspect would be wonderful, and just what we needed.
Check out more of our trip to Bintan in the gallery above
How to get to Bintan with kids
Fly into Singapore’s Changi Airport and hop the Bintan ferry at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal. Besides being an easy jaunt across the water, travelling to this resort island in Indonesia by ferry was half the fun. An upgrade to Emerald Class gets you assigned seating, priority boarding and disembarking privileges, getting you to the Angsana with more time to enjoy your holiday.
Choosing a family hotel room in Bintan
When travelling with kids for the weekend, we recommend the upgrade to a suite, giving adults necessary alone time well after the kids have gone to bed. Check-in was a breeze. Instead of the usual king-bed room for families, it was a treat to score a one-bedroom suite for the weekend with the Live for Family Fun package – a choice of one bedroom suite or Angsana Suite and amenities such as water sports activities and massages at the Spa! Once we plonked ourselves down on the super comfy beds, our little one squealed at the sight of her own space. We immediately headed to the wraparound balcony to enjoy the views over the pool, beach, and bay waters. Ahhh, our family weekend in Bintan had started to sink in, and it was time to put on our swimsuits!
Activities for children in Bintan
We had booked our stay during a holiday weekend, where kid activity enthusiasts, Lion Adventure, were manning the outdoor adventures itinerary for kids. Their specialty programs included treasure hunts, sandcastle building, skills for survival in the tropics, and more. We especially loved the campfire session, where little ones participated in nighttime beach “Olympics” competitions, ending with sausages and s’mores (for those not in-the-know, these are marshmallows encased in chocolate and graham crackers – a delicious, and inventive, campfire treat!)
If you have a miniature adult living in a five-year-old’s body on your hands, opt for the cooking demonstration at Banyan Tree’s Saffron Restaurant, leaving the little one in awe for an hour.
The Kids Club at Angsana Bintan will also entertain your child in hour-long blocks, giving parents some much needed spa-and-watersports time! The Angsana staff were really great in engaging the interests of the children, helping them to make friends that will last beyond the holiday weekend.
The Marine Centre, open from nine am to five pm daily, gives guests the opportunity to watch hatched turtles released into the wild, a definite treat for eco-loving children!
Food, glorious food
As far as magnificent spreads go, the Angsana Bintan was a serious feasting paradise. Not only do Lotus Café and Pantai Grill offer a selection of Western and Asian choices (mmmm Thai beef salad), the nightly Indonesian barbeques were the highlight of our evenings. Night one included a traditional Indonesian dance performance and satays to-die-for, mesmerizing our little one on the food and eye-candy fronts.
Night two included the grandest beach barbeque I’ve ever attended on the sands of Tanjong Said Bay. We loved hearing the lapping of waves in the distance, and enjoying the warmth of the beach bonfires. The evening culminated in a spectacular fireworks display, making it tough to know that we would be packing up and heading back home the next morning.
But let’s not forget the jewel in every mother’s eye: an impressive morning brunch. Angsana staff thoughtfully arrange a variety of local and Western dishes, giving guests young and old the confidence to try something new, while keeping familiar delights within reach if tastes don’t quite suit what you expected.
For our next trip, we vowed to book the Kelong Dinner, where you can dine in the traditional fisherman’s hut on the sea. Thankfully, the Live for Family Fun package runs until mid-December!
For the adults: the Angsana Water Sports Club
In my mind, I’m an awesome SUP, jetskiing expert. In reality, I’m much more comfortable watching others have their go on the water. Options here include sea plane flights, windsurfing, banana boats, kayaking, surfing and more watersports to keep you occupied while you’re child-free for the afternoon.
The real reason to stay at Angsana Bintan Resort – the Spa
Although we had already enjoyed a weekend of fun-filled activities and restful lounging, it was the very last activity that sealed weekend bliss: the Spa. I chose an aromatic, 90-minute Javanese massage, perfect for relieving the tension I’d built up back in Singapore. For families who spa together, the Family packages range from Family Bonding, Girls Only, and Boys’ Hangout – something to appeal to each family member in need of some pampering.
Angsana Bintan Resorts’ Live for Family Fun package begins at US$340 per night for two nights stay in an Angsana Suite or one-bedroom suite. This package is available until December 18, 2015, and includes four water sports activities, two 90-minute spa sessions for the adults, and children dine and stay for free.