It was a stressful few months, with work, business and wedding planning in tow, hence I decided to arrange a short weekend getaway in Batam's NONGSA POINT MARINA RESORT for The Beau and I - to beat the busy-ness in Singapore and just relax somewhere nearby.
I chanced upon this resort and thought it looked like one very own One Degree Fifteen Marina - okay, the less luxurious version, but the marketing photos had been fabulous, so I was bought. A short ferry ride by Batam Fast, on a drizzling morning, brought us safely to our quiet, serene destination on a weekend morning.
Anyway, the villa looked good even as we were rounding the waters to dock - nestled amongst greenery sitting on the blue waters. The almost-Colonial style houses looked so inviting, as were the rows of hotels with either tiny porch or balcony. We chose Sea View over Garden View.
Prior to checking in, we were served a welcome drink. We also took a walk around the vicinity and spotted the Pool where we spent the better part of our mornings relaxing and swimming in. It was a long, languid pool that stretched lazily from the garden-side all the way to the front of the villa, so that we could overlook the beach! The best thing was that we witnessed Monday morning pool-cleaning, so it gave us a peace of mind that their pools were at least well-maintained.
The main foyer where we waited to check in was clean, and there were electric points located at the seating areas for us to charge our devices. Overall service was not bad, in terms of efficiency, friendliness and efficiency. It helped that I spoke a little Bahasa Indonesia :)
This was the room we spent three days two nights in. While the rooms were not incredibly spacious, they served their purposes well enough - we spent most time out of the room anyway. The balcony area was also our favorite spot - where we sat for wine, cigarettes, chitchat, cool breezes and sea-watching.
I would love to share some views of the beach where our hotel was facing. The same beach surrounds the resort, and is cordoned off by the breakwaters so that the waves don't set in. There are many ships and yachts docked here, adding to the view.
At sunset, the views take on another magical form of its own, transforming the skies into a haunting hue and seducing the awe of the guests who witness it. Yes, I had the fortune to see these views - once from our balcony, and once in the pool when we were doing the late afternoon / evening swim!
Unfortunately, this beach is for relaxing in, picnics too maybe, and some photos, but there are no sea-sports.
Eh, you don't mean just playing pool and having drinks at the resort's lounge itself, right?
Haha, fret not. A short bus ride from here (chargeable) brings you to the Mega Mall, some 20 minutes away. If I recall correctly, it comes at hourly intervals, same thing for returning rides. The Mega Mall is a very huge, spacious and modern mall, far better than the other malls in Batam - and there are many big brands as well as variety of stores here to choose from.
I did not buy much because we only planned to spend a couple of hours here, and most of the brands here are available back in Singapore too. I did buy some Indonesian snacks, as well as Layers Kueh Lapis in Pandan flavour (SGD$12.00). I had it during the other trip sometime back, and remember it was quite good, albeit a little greasy.
Other than shopping, the Resort can also arrange for Spa / Massage pampering sessions (from SGD$38.00 onwards) at the nearby sister-resort, Turi Beach Resort. Oh, golf and sea-sports sessions can also be arranged at Turi Beach Resort.
I personally love Javanese and Swedish massage, because of the gentle soothe they bring about, without inflicing too much pain or pressure. After all, one of the main reasons people enjoy coming to Batam Island is for the massage, right? Do book in advance, though, because you'd be surprised that even on a Monday afternoon, the spa / massage parlour can be fully-booked!
FOOD & BEVERAGES
Worry not about food here at all. Situated at Nongsa Point Marina Resort itself is a restuarant named Selera Restaurant, and hotel guests all get to enjoy 10% off their total bill. Selera Restaurant serves Western-Indonesian fusion dishes at very affordable pricing, and offers both interior or outdoors seating at one's desire.
It was also the venue where we took two breakfasts / brunches as well as a dinner, since there was nowhere else to dine unless we head to Turi Beach or Mega Mall. The interior was quite well-maintained and bespoke of rich modern Indonesian decor.
I started with a Banana Milkshake and hoped I didn't get stomach upset - I didn't! It was rather tasty, distinctive in banana's sweetness.
For mains, The Beau and I shared a Beef Rendang Padang Style (a popular local Beef Stew, rich in flavours of local herbs and spices and a hint of coconut; served with steamed rice), and Nasi Goreng Marina (thin egg pancake wrapped up with Indonesian style fried rice and served with marinated beef, fried chicken wings, fried prawns, chicken pandan, keropok and pickles). The food was pretty all right, I thought my beef rendang was quite delicious and succulent.
As for desserts, we shared a Fruit Fritters platter with vanilla ice-cream, and were shocked when we saw it was such a huge portion, consisting of deep-fried, battered pineapple, apple and banana. It was very filling; and sad to say that we could find better "goreng pisang" here in Singapore itself. But hey, for all the items we ordered, the meal cost less than SGD$45.00 in all, so we weren't going to complain, really.
Brunch and breakfast was consumed at Selera Restaurant as well, because it came complimentary with the room, and it was convenient. While the food standard was very average, I have to give them credits for making efforts at preparing a rather hearty spread of different food items for the guests.
If one wishes to dine at Mega Mall, there are a few restaurants and cafes there to choose from, as well. We were like ditzy crazies when we spotted A&W- yes, fast food; and yes, what's there to be excited about? Oh well, let's just say the childhood love of their waffles, root beer float and curly fries came flooding back all over again.
The Curly Fries was good - we should've upsized or ordered double; as was the Root Beer Float. The Hotdog had an interesting Satay sauce to it, and the Fried Potato (looks like Begedil?) thingy were pretty good. The Waffle was much paler in comparison to the crispy, golden-brown ones that we used to enjoy. It was still quite satisfying overall.
We bade the hotel goodbye and headed back to Singapore. Overall, it was a well-spent weekend with good, tranquil location and we relaxed plenty over chilling out with wine and swimming (yes, the later is very therapeutic). The view was lovely overall, and for the price of SGD$198.00++ a night, it was value for money.
If we do come back to Batam again, we might try the sister resort Turi Beach Resort or the much-raved Montigo Resort with its luxurious infinity pool.