Since coming back from our relaxing getaway in Batam, I’ve literally been spammed on MSN regarding the resort we stayed in and how much we paid for the entire experience. So here’s a breakdown of the nitty-gritty details:
Name of resort: Batam View Beach Resort
Type of accommodation: One-bedroom villa
Amount paid for 3D2N package: S$230 per adult based on twin-sharing
Package deal offered by: Shortaways.com, served by Isnarti
– 2-way adult ferry ticket
– 2-way transfer from pier to resort
– 1 peak night (Saturday) & 1 off-peak night (Sunday)
– Daily buffet breakfast
Other fees necessary:
– S$20/pax seaport tax to be paid at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal
– S$4/pax seaport tax to be paid at resort during checkout
* Joshua had to pay for seaport tax as well.
Total amount paid to travel agent: S$478
Total amount of seaport taxes paid: S$72
Joshua classifies under “Infant” as he is under 2 years old. We only had to pay $18 for his 2-way ferry ticket as the resort provided a free baby cot for him to sleep in.
For the benefit of my fellow Batam-suakoos, here’s some FAQs about staying at Batam View and other general info about being in Batam. This way, I don’t have to answer your questions one by one via MSN! 😛
What’s there to do at the resort?
You want the truth? Nothing much, if you’re pregnant like me. 😆
If you want to nua indoors, the TV has 20+ channels such as our familliar local channels, as well as cable channels like HBO, Star Movies, MTV Asia, Discovery, Cartoon Network – just to name a few.
Otherwise, you can engage in seasports provided by the resort at their private beach cove. During our lazy afternoons on the breezy balcony over the sea, we’ve seen guests enjoy jetski and banana boat rides. And then we start chanting for the banana boats to flip over. 😈
You can also do laps in the pool at the resort lobby, or have drinks at the dipping pool located at the beach cove. Of course, they also provide the spa and massage services that most Singaporeans head to Batam for.
Is there anything to eat at the resort?
There is the Wangi Melati Coffee House at the lobby – which is also where you go for your buffet breakfast – and the Kelong Seafood Restaurant. I can’t comment much on the seafood because we didn’t eat seafood at all while we were there. We did, however, order a fair bit of room service.
The room service is 24 hours, but offers a very limited menu of 8 main courses and 4 desserts. Fortunately the prices are very decent for room service – S$10.90 for laksa (which was damn yummy), S$12 for Fish & Chips which had fish so fresh I almost cried when I ate it.
We also ordered the Deep Fried Banana for S$6, but the ice-cream partially melted during the delivery from the resort lobby to our villa, so I had to remove the crispy fried bananas and pop the ice-cream into the freezer. Nonetheless, it was still yummy.
How do I get to the shopping?!
A one-way taxi ride from the resort to the shopping district of Nagoya costs S$20 and takes about 30 minutes if travelling almost constantly at 100km/hr. (Yes, it’s quite damn far.)
When you’re ready to leave, most malls will have a taxi concierge at the main entrance. They will quote you around S$18 to S$20 for a ride back to the resort.
We never bothered to bargain because we know how far the resort is, and in return, we got great friendly service from the concierge and the taxi-drivers. The second time we were at Nagoya Hill, the concierge actually greeted us from afar and remembered that we’re staying at Batam View!
Alternatively, the resort also offers 2-way taxi service at S$35, but it’s limited to a 3-hour usage including the drive there and back. With the ride at 30 mins per way, it leaves you with only 2 hours to explore the malls!
Personally it had made more sense to us to pay S$40 and be allowed to take our own sweet time for shopping, dinner and resting our feet at the various coffee joints.
What’s there to buy?
Having covered four malls – Mega Mall, Nagoya Hill, Centrepoint and Lucky Plaza – I can tell you there’s nothing much to buy unless you’re into apparels similar to what’s being sold at This Fashion or fake luxury brand goods. I think the fashion sense hardly caters to us fashion-forward Singaporeans.
Personally, there was hardly any worthy cause for us to go shopping-crazy despite the ridiculously low prices of the merchandise available.
We did however purchase a Nikon D40 kit at S$650 from a small electronics store at the basement of Nagoya Hill, as well as 2 maternity/nursing nightgowns at RP76.000 (around S$10) each and a pair of maternity berms at RP89.000 (S$12) from Matahari Department Store. There’s no way we could get these at better prices in Singapore!
The groceries are uber cheap as well. A 1.5l bottle of AQUA mineral water is only RP3.500 (around S$0.50)! But then again, you’re not really in Batam to buy groceries, although you might want to stock up some mineral water and snacks for your stay. It’s definitely much cheaper than ordering room service for drinks each time you’re thirsty!
Do I have to change my currency into Rupiah?
Most resorts and hotels take SGD instead of their local currency, so if you’re into nua-ing at your selected resort/hotel, you don’t have to change any local currency at all. Most taxi drivers will also quote you in SGD.
However, it is advisable to have some Rupiah handy if you’re going shopping. Most shops will accept SGD, but they will take it at some ridiculous exchange rate.
For example, I went for a manicure and pedicure which was listed as RP50.000 (S$7) and RP47.000 (S$6.70) respectively. But because we ran low on local currency, I told them I’d pay in SGD. Instead of charging me S$14 (since they don’t take SGD coins), they actually charged me S$17. Not that I’m complaining as it’s already quite damn cheap.
But if you don’t want to get ripped off for every purchase you make and if you’re going to have your meals in the malls, you’ll usually have to pay in Rupiah, so better to have it ready.
Can I charge my purchases to my credit/debit card?
Cards are not a problem if you’re making purchases from large stores like Hypermart or Matahari, but most small shops don’t provide that service although they can “borrow” other shops’ card machines. However, be prepared to cough up a 3% charge for paying via card.
F&B outlets like Pizza Hut and other upper-class joints like Godiva Coffee accept cards, but places like A&W and other fastfood joints will only take Rupiah.
Cash is king! 😆
If you have any more questions, leave a comment!