Bintan is the largest island in the Riau Archipelago of Indonesia, a collection of over 3,000 islands which sit in the glistening waters of the South China Sea. Here you will find Banyan Tree Bintan, a tropical retreat in Tanjung Said Bay. A 55-minute boat ride from Singapore, it’s the perfect destination for a relaxing getaway after exploring the city. We spoke to Sandro Simanjuntak from Banyan Tree Bintan to find out the best of what the island and the resort has to offer.

How would you describe the island of Bintan in three words? Paradise, relaxing and romantic.

What makes Bintan unique and worth visiting?

Bintan is a rural Indonesian island which offers a completely different experience to city life. But its proximity to Singapore means you can pop over for the day or a weekend. The island is serene and tropical with fantastic beaches – the perfect place to relax after a long trip or to escape the big city. In terms of Banyan Tree resorts, it’s the sincerity of the local people who work here and the beautiful views of the China Sea which make it extra special.

Where would you go for a local breakfast?

To the local markets in Tanjung Pinang or Tanjung Uban. Here you can enjoy the sea views and experience an authentic Indonesian island lifestyle. My favourite dishes to start the day are gado gado kacang (mixed vegetables with peanut sauce) or Lontong Sayur (rice cakes with vegetables).

What would you recommend as a morning activity?

Visit a local pineapple plantation or vegetable farm and meet a few friendly locals who are more than happy to show guests around. We arrange Eco Farm tours from the resort for guests who are interested in sustainable farming practices. For early risers, I would say to go and see the fisherman in Sungai Kecil, about 30km from the resort, and see if they can bring home lunch!

Where would you go for lunch?

The Cove, our Mediterranean restaurant at Banyan Tree Bintan is perfect for lunch – my favourite dishes are the Norwegian salmon fillet and spaghetti with stone crab. The restaurant faces our main pool and is surrounded by natural rocks, with the sea just in front, so there’s always a lovely, cool breeze.

What would you do in the afternoon?

Relax on our private beach and swim in the sea, followed by a light afternoon tea. A traditional Balinese spa treatment at Banyan Tree Spa Bintan is a must – the deep tissue massage is perfect.

Where would you go to watch the sunset?

The Treetop terrace at Banyan Tree Bintan is perfect for an evening drink before dinner. In the evening there are traditional shows like the lancang kuning dance.

What would you recommend for dinner?

I suggest staying at the Treetop restaurant where you can enjoy my local favourite, nasi goreng or mie goreng (Indonesian fried rice or fried noodles). They are so delicious you may want to order both!

After dinner?

Relax in your private pool villa amongst the treetops with a bottle of our local Bintang beer.

Special Offer

Book early and save up to 20% off your next stay at Banyan Tree Bintan with the resort’s ‘Early Bird Advantage’. Visit banyantree.com to find out more.

This article was published in collaboration with Banyan Tree.

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