25 July, 2014

Banyan Tree Bintan Part 2


What's there to do at the resort? There's the marine activities centre with things like jetskiing and ATV driving. You can borrow bicycles for free from Angsana. I think they have some environmental activities as well. And of course, there's golf (haha, course) - I think that's the primary attraction. We wanted to drive ATVs but when we called, they were all booked. So we took a buggy to Angsana (ATVs and marine activities are all at Angsana):
This is their breakfast restaurant.
A word about Angsana - it's the sister resort by the same company. You can use their facilities if you're staying at Banyan Tree, you can even charge purchases from Angsana to your Banyan Tree room. Angsana is more like a conventional hotel with a big building with many rooms, not villas like Banyan Tree.
Activity wall:
And borrowed bicycles:
We stopped by the activity centre and they had mini-cars available! I think some people canceled. So it's worth going there personally if you really want to ride. Mini-cars are actually easier to drive (more stable, but larger turning radius) than ATVs. View of an ATV from a mini-car:
What happens when you drive is they take you on a route through the forest. It's quite exciting and challenging. WEAR MOSQUITO REPELLENT!
The staff are actually very friendly and offered to take a picture for us, of his own initiative. I really like that about this resort, even the non-front-desk staff are so eager to help. You'll notice they provide helmets - great. It's better if you have your own pair of sunglasses.

Thai Restaurant

Saffron, their signature restaurant, serves Thai food. It's near The Cove, the Mediterranean restaurant, and their main swimming pool. It's really dark inside so it's hard to even see, let alone take pictures.
Like the other places in the resort, they'll surprise you with complimentary things like:
Biscuits/wafers and dip, cold drinks (I think it was lemongrass. Every drink there had lemongrass.) and towels.

We ordered a pad thai and a platter for 2. I can't remember exactly what the platter had now, but it had spring rolls, soft shell crab, prawn fritters with fried noodles (the noodle thing on the bottom right) and something else. I need to take pictures of the menu. Or write these posts earlier.
They also had a "rice master" (person) and unlimited servings of 4 kinds of rice: I think brown, jasmine, saffron, and er... one more.
Yes, the food was pretty good. The price was similar to other restaurants in the resort - about the same as more expensive restaurants outside. Halfway through the meal, the chef came out and asked if we liked the food.

A word of advice - throughout the resort, they have advertisements for their dining experiences on the beach, at one of the holes on the golf course, etc. In the activity wall picture above, the posts on the left are all about these. While eating at Saffron, we saw a couple actually eating on the beach:
There's a private jetty and they set up a table and have a staff to give you privacy. I thought it sounded very nice, but when you're there, you'll realise something - THERE ARE MOSQUITOES EVERYWHERE. Just standing outside Saffron, I was killing at least one mosquito a minute. So you might be better off eating indoors. If you must, definitely wear insect repellent.


I was lucky to try out their spa. It's actually not very expensive. Mandarin Oriental, Singapore's spa charges about $3 per minute. Banyan Tree's is about $2, and it's held in a private building, much like a villa, but 2 storeys. They have even cheaper promotional packages so do look for those when choosing your session.
The building is designed like the villas - an outer wall and then the actual building. There's a bridge to the building.
The first level is mostly empty. A counter for the staff, and (I suspect) a bed converted into a sofa with cushions. Once you go in, they'll ask you to store your valuables and ask for your preferences for the fragrances, oils etc.
First, they'll treat you to a foot wash/scrub. They'll actually kneel before you and dry your feet with a towel worn around their waist. I actually felt a bit embarrassed/sorry for them. They're so polite and treat you like royalty. I think we're all just equal humans.
Downstairs is 2 massage tables, at least 3 showers, and the room overlooks the sea (I couldn't see anything because it was at night). Besides massage, each session may have special treatments. Like I had a whole body scrub, and there's also something like a "water massage" with falling water. I thoroughly enjoyed the spa session and was so relaxed after that.

To Be Continued...

No comments:

Post a Comment