Lagoi Bay at Bintan is undergoing a huge transformation, with some of the world’s top hotels set to move there. One of the “early adopters” is The Sanchaya Bintan, a beautifully presented and independent resort consisting of 21 villas and nine suites on the Lagoi beachfront. I took some of the team there recently for a night away from children and husbands, but it’s the perfect place for a romantic night away too – if you’re not on a budget.
At first sight, the buildings look like they’ve been there forever – a blast from the past – and they are cleverly positioned in the estate’s rolling gardens so there’s a sense of independence and space. They reminded us of smaller versions of Singapore’s black-and-white homes.
Once inside, you quickly realise that everything is brand new, with designer tiles and bath-ware, and some of the best thought-out décor . I’ve ever seen in a hotel. There’s a décor theme throughout – the Hamptons meets new Asia – but each villa has different artwork from the owners’ own collections. In another area are Thai style villas set around a lake; these have more of an Asian feel, with darker tones, and, while not my preference, I could appreciate their design and how it would appeal to overseas visitors.
The Sanchaya’s main reception area, lovely dining room, library and private dining room are all created to make you feel like you’re stepping into someone’s large and luxurious beachside home. Sofas and comfy chairs are there for you to curl up on and have a cup of coffee while you read a copy of your favourite magazine. (Hint, hint!) It’s also a very quiet place, with just the sound of the small waves on the ocean in the background. Lagoi Bay is large and empty and perfect for long walks. Yoga classes are also available if you feel like doing something a bit more.
Things to do!
- The Sanchaya Spa is really lovely, with an array of treatments on offer, from Balinese massage to traditional aromatherapy, reflexology and back therapy. But there’s also plenty to do outdoors!
- Take a dip in the 50-metre-long Tasanee infinity pool.
- Coax croquet balls through hoops at The Sanchaya’s Croquet Lawn overlooking the ocean.
- Lob petanque boules on a French- style green while drinking pastis, Belgian beers or Provençal rosé.
- Try to shoot a bulls-eye on the archery field.
- Get a bird’s-eye view of Lagoi Bay by taking to the sky in an open cockpit ultralight seaplane.
- Play some golf, tour on a bicycle, hike a mountain, snorkel, scuba dive, or cruise along the Sebung River to see mangrove forests, home to macaques and silver leaf monkeys.
Like this? There are plenty more travel destinations for you to discover.