JACQUI YOUNG makes a return visit to a family favourite on Bintan and discovers the same welcoming atmosphere and fun activities, with a few fresh additions.
Bintan is always a popular getaway for Singapore-based folks as it’s just so easy: jump on the ferry and you’re there within the hour. For our family, Club Med Bintan Island has always been a great place to stay, especially for its all inclusive packages – ideal for the little ones’ hunger pangs, and for our G&Ts when it all gets too noisy.
On our recent visit, the ultra-convenient short hop meant we were able to leave straight from school on Friday and head directly to the ferry terminal. Returning to Singapore on Sunday evening with toasty pink cheeks, we were ready to face the challenges of the new week.
A lot has changed since we were last at Club Med; the property has undergone a major refurbishment, which was great to see. This includes upgrading of the 311 rooms, which are located in a series of three-storey buildings. Room are interconnecting – another plus for families. One thing hasn’t changed, and that’s the vibe; it’s always amazing, from the greeting to the goodbyes, and the staff (referred to at Club Meds around the world as “GO’s”, for gentils organisateurs) have so much energy; they became friends even during our short stay.
Activity-wise, there really is something for everyone. For starters, the resort has two beautiful swimming pools with daily activities set around them to keep everyone entertained – great fun. Then there are the various kids’ club, with staff who are the best at keeping little ones happy – ours loved the time they spent there. Fully supervised and open to children from the age of two years, the Petit Club Med, Mini Club Med and Teens Club Med all have action-packed programmes for kids to join in when and where they want.
In fact, everyone is welcome to join the activities at Club Med, and a full schedule means there’s always something to do, whatever the time of day – from daily power-walking and a running club, to pool aerobics sessions and daily football games on the new futsal court. Tennis, badminton, squash and archery are also offered, along with seven fitness classes a day. You can also learn to sail at the popular sailing club.
The flying trapeze school is another huge attraction, not only for the activity itself but because the acrobatic teachers appear in some of the organised evening shows. These shows are fun for all the family – we were lucky to be there for the night of the gala show, which was brilliant.
Food and drinks are plentiful, with two restaurants to choose from. The Waterfall is housed in the main building, and La Terrasse is near the beach: it requires a reservation and has a more romantic ambience. Both serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, and nightly family entertainment is provided by the staff.
As I mentioned at the start, the best thing of all is that almost everything – from the food and drink to the activities – is included in the package price. If you do want to splurge a bit, Bintan boasts one of the best golf courses in Asia at Ria Bintan Golf Club, and rounds can be organised for residents for an extra charge. Similarly, for those wanting an even more peaceful break, the in-house Club Med Spa by Asmara Lifestyle has an array of packages to choose from. We can’t wait to return!
For more information about Club Med Bintan Island, including special offers, visit clubmed.com.sg/r/Bintan-Island/y
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