Swimming, Golfing and Dining at BINTAN LAGOON RESORT

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Planning to take a tropical holiday vacation in Indonesia but feel that Bali is a bit too far away for you? Perhaps you might want to consider something more to the north and west of the archipelago country. It’s remarkably accessible via a ferry ride from Singapore, itself a major destination for international tourism. After sightseeing at the Merlion nation, what better way to unwind than a trip to Bintan Island and its cozy getaway enclave of Bintan Resorts? And among the members of BR, your best bet for the freshest stay is none other than Bintan Lagoon Resort (BLR).

All the vacation destinations in Bintan Resorts are designed and constructed around a “green building” philosophy, the better to make themselves as one with the lush natural environment of northern Bintan Island and its lush seaside heading out into the South China Sea. But Bintan Lagoon is on another level in that it was the first Southeast Asian resort to receive an international certification for its green environmental development plan, part of its major 2009 refurbishment that has helped it maintain its edge as a frequently-patronized component of the BR area. Look for no further proof than their guest arrivals.

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It’s not for nothing that BLR has its own dedicated arrival pier for the Singapore ferry, that is open for visitors coming to the resort outside of the monsoon season (during the monsoon starting January, the ferry from Tanah Merah must dock at the shared terminal at Bandar Bintan Telani for safety reasons). While Singapore tourists make up a sizeable portion of guests that come to stay at the Bintan Lagoon, know that they are a truly international resort and ready to treat everyone that comes to stay with a memorable Indonesian-themed hospitality.

The primary attraction of BLR is their pristine white-sand beach, stretching a goodly long distance just in front of the Nelayan seaside restaurant, the water sports center and, further inland, the resort’s selection of guest villas. The water feels very much alive, changing from calm at some parts of the day to being vibrant with waves at other times. For guests who prefer a more tranquil environment to swim in, there are two pools to lounge about at, one of them furnished with water slides and the other being a sweet infinity pool that, from one viewpoint, seems to blend in with the sea a stone’s throw away; it’s perfect for photos. If you’re lucky, you can float around the pool in time to see passenger aircraft passing by overhead on a sunny day.

If land activities with view of the ocean are more your thing, Bintan Lagoon has it covered too. They offer quad-bike ATV guided tours along the beach and the woodland areas farther in from the shore. And BLR is also a golfer’s paradise with no less than two full 18-hole courses with contrasting environments. The Jack Nicklaus course hews closer to the main resort buildings and the sea for magnificent vistas, while the Ian Baker Finch course wends into the forested environs surrounding the resort, with picturesque ponds frequented by exotic waterfowl along with the occasional squirrel and Komodo dragon sightings. After a day out in the links, golf enthusiasts can retire to the clubhouse and chow down at Haskell’s restaurant.

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Of course, no major international resort is complete without superb service, especially in the line of dining. Bintan Lagoon offers a wide range of cuisine choices with their various in-resort establishments. The Nelayan boasts an Indonesian and international seafood menu. The infinity pool is serviced by Ripples, a cocktail and snack shack that serves light dishes either to swimmers at the water-level bar, or hand-delivers beverages to customers at the poolside lounge chairs. Vegetarians can get their healthy cravings fixed at Veradah, the restaurant serving the water slide pool.

More food options can be had at the main resort building. Miyako offers an indoor Japanese and pan-Asian eating experience; alternatively, guests can go for Chinese at the Chop Chop, Bintan’s Chinatown dining spot. Sports buffs can gather round in the Terreace Sports Bar to watch the latest sporting events while nursing the drink of their choice. Caffeine fiends can count on Mojo Café to serve up fresh brews and light snacks to go with them. As for dessert, the Mangia! Pizzeria specializes not just in Italiano, but pastries too. But all these choices and more are gathered together all day at Fiesta, the buffet centerpiece in the middle of them all, offering guaranteed Good Mood Food selections from all of these, for breakfast, lunch and dinner too.

There is so much more to see and experience in BLR than what I’ve listed up here. It’ll take more than a 2D1N overnight stay with them in their well-furnished and comfy deluxe rooms to explore everything that Bintan Lagoon has to offer. But even at such a short time, you’re bound to fall in love with the place, enough to make it an annual pilgrimage if you can get away with it. That’s the Bintan Lagoon guarantee; you will want to return, and they will remember you too, looking forward to make your future visits even more memorable than the last. Make it a point to visit BLR’s official website at http://www.bintanlagoon.com to read up for yourself what more you can get to experience with them. I am willing to bet you will be inspired to save up for it.

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