“A sharing on what you can expect and plan for your Banyan Tree Resort as your short break or getaway trip!”
It is the season to go Australia, that’s why I am seeing (almost) everyone travels there for vacation. If you are looking at only a short getaway for romance, or simply hope to plan for something short for the whole family during the 1-week school holiday in the coming September instead, here I will share with you my recent trip to the Banyan Tree Resort. It’s closer and more affordable than Australia, it’s in Bintan.
From Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, Banyan Tree Resort Bintan is a mere 1-hr ferry journey. Get ferry tickets at the ferry terminal counter or online booking, best do it in advance to get your desired departure timing.
Well, this is My Wok Life, and I would like to be more food-focusing. Fine.. Just a peek view of the villa here…..
Banyan Tree Resort doesn’t offer full board package. It means, meals (except breakfast in most room bookings) and sea sport activities are at your own expenses, which actually are the expenditure which may burn a hole in your pocket. Oops….
There are a few options, to order in-villa breakfast (extra charges), to have buffet breakfast at the TreeTop restaurant in Banyan Tree, or go over to Angsana Hotel. Yes, guests of Banyan Tree feel free to use the facilities and restaurants in Angsana Hotel for cheaper alternatives. In fact, they share the same marine centre for paid sea sport activities.
Since the resort is huge, if strolling is not your thing, call for buggy service to ferry you around. It wouldn’t be any long wait as their service is pretty good. Waiting time approximately 5 minutes, or call in advance to book a scheduled timing to your convenience.
For me, I am too vain not to order the signature floating breakfast (or lunch). It’s just too romantic not to do it even the food is just so common (probably served from the same buffet table) and it’s chargeable. Just want to feel special.
Extremely unique and top-of-the-world feeling to enjoy this visually pleasing full breakfast setting.
Cost of breakfast for 1 pax, S$50
Way to save cost: Order breakfast later in the morning to eat as brunch/ early lunch. 1 pax with such large serving is good for 2 moderate diners.
Dinner! Thai Restaurant – Saffron
Restaurants at Banyan Tree Resort get packed up very early, especially dinner time on the raining days. So, best to reserve your table in advance. Those guests with last minute cancellation of outdoor activities forced to stay back in the hotel and had to either wait for long hours for their turn to get a table, or simply go for buffet or in-room service. :(
Yes, it may sound ridiculous to find the best Thai food in Indonesia. And it’s happening! Trust me, trust me, it is the best Thai food ever, ever!
Small portion of delicate & delicious dishes
With choice of different colours/ flavors of steamed rice
Cost for 1 pax, approx. S$60-$80
Way to save some costs: Go for MORE rice servings. Or, get the set menus.
In-Villa BBQ Dinner
One of the best options as we get to dine in at our leisure, food was relatively good and portion was generous. We chose to grill the food on our own instead of hiring a service staff to do it, to enjoy the meal at our own leisure pace.
Cost for 1 pax, approx. S$110 for 1 set from appetiser/ salad, main cooked, raw items which include seafood to dessert. Advance booking is required.
Not all our food are shown, but the main highlights which you should not missed. And of course, there are more better dining options which we did not get to try yet but you will be able to find out some details from their website dining menu.
Sea Sports/ Outdoor Sports:
As a guest of Banyan Tree Resort, we just have to go to the front desk to do all the booking for additional activities eg sea sports, outdoor activities, spa and even third-party activities eg. fire fly / mangrove boat trip, kelong dinner, temple visit outside the resorts. However, it’s mostly subject to availability and permission of weather. Correct, we wanted to do the mangrove boat tour and the all-terrain vehicle (ATV) jungle safari ride, and too bad, the rain that came on our booking time did not allow us to do so. Really sad.
I believed most people have somehow tried this sea sport before, renting just the jet ski and go around closer to the shore on your own. Trust me, go for the safari package which will be led by their sport center local guide to bring the jet ski rider(s) out to the open sea. It was truly thrilling and fun to ride at the racing speed across the deep sea which I personally wouldn’t do it without the local guide as we felt much safer to be guided during the round trip in an open sea. Yes.
It’s Okay to share a Jet ski instead of riding alone on your own, if you feel lack confident to do it the first time. Please request 1 jet ski for 2 pax, your pillion may take over your rider seat when you feel tired throttling the handle. It is an hour long activity. Yes, unless you are so season with jet skiing, it’s a real fun event for occasional rider.
Cost: approx. S$100 per jet. Cheaper if rent just the jet ski without the guided tour.
We like snorkelling as it is less intimidating, safer (in general), and you only need to know how to swim/ float to do this. Snorkelling trip with Banyan Tree is slightly more pricey than usual as we travelled out on a speed boat in a relatively private and small group (a total of 4 guests plus 1 local guide only). Hence, we could swim and snorkel at our own pace and get back to shore pretty fast. Since we had a small group instead of a boat of over 20 participants, our accompanied guide will watch over us and allow us to take off the safety vest to swim freely, if you are confident enough.
Cost: approx. S$50 per pax
All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) Ride
We did not get to go on the jungle trail safari ride, but managed to get on it for a short 30min ride into the native village, leading by the local guide. Children above 7 years old are allowed to join as a pillion.
Cost: approx. S$100 per pax. Cheaper if just rent the ATV without guided tour.
Well, its pretty much wrap up my vacation summary. Not every detail is jotted down, but you are getting the main essence of what to expect now. Hope you will enjoy your trip as much as we did… And nope, this is not a paid advertorial, but pure sharing as I know many people will like to do this. And so, you will love me more! :)
P/S: It’s a resort, close to nature, which means…. mosquitos! Don’t want to get bitten, light up the traditional mosquito coils, apply lots of mosquitos repellents (both the coils and repellent lotion are given in the hotel), and put down the mosquito net when turn in (turn in service will be provided).