My Personal Club Med Bintan Island Experience

In the beginning of January 2017, I traveled with a small group of agency owners with Club Med to their picturesque Village, Club Med Bintan Island.

Before we get into it, let me start by say, if you aren’t aware of who Club Med are and what is possible with the partnership between Travel Inc and Club Med, please VISIT HERE.

This island is exquisite. Just a 40-minute ferry ride from Singapore and you’ll find yourself in the Riau Archipelago.

It’s a beach destination, just like Mauritius, the Visa is on arrival for South Africans, just like Mauritius, except it is a lot more exotic, un-like Mauritius… We love Mauritius, but the jungle here, is jungle jungle. The sand is powdery white sand, and the wildlife is dangerous, Komodo dragon dangerous!

Club Med Bintan Island Village
Club Med Bintan Island View
Club Med Bintan Island Beach

Club Med recently purchased this property and since the middle to latter part of 2016, they have been upgrading this beautiful village in stages. It currently offers an amazing main dining room, called the Waterfall, that has an incredible variety of Asian cuisine along with the standard Italian, seafood and meat kitchens along with their new healthy options which are in line with their health program at the property.

The rooms at Club Med Bintan Island feed off from the main public areas and range from their perfectly fitted out Club Rooms to Deluxe Ocean View Rooms and then Suites. There are 311 rooms in total.

There is a massive sports Centre at Club Med Bintan Island, perched high up on the top of the hill, 76 steps above the reception, to be precise, which boasts a gym with the most ridiculous views, a gymnasium with basketball, Futsal and Badminton courts, at least 6 tennis courts, archery and squash courts.

In the reception area, you’ll find the Guest Services desk, the incredible Panorama Bar which has a stunning view over the entire property and then the Golf Pro Shop. Here you’ll be able to book a round at Ria Bintan Golf Club. With a 9th hole that is rated the best in Asia, I would highly recommend that you play a round of golf here, even if your golf game is as poor as mine. I had a shocker of a round, but I played with a smile on my face the entire time as I walked in awe of the immense jungle and unforgettable scenery along the course. We hired golf clubs from Club Med Bintan Island and from the village, it took us less than 5 minutes to get to. If you don’t play a round, then at least go there for a drink and to see the view from the Bandar Ria Restaurant that overlooking this exquisite golf course!

Club Med Bintan Island - Ria Bintan - 6th Fairway
Club Med Bintan Island - Ria Bintan - 9th
Club Med Bintan Island - Ria Bintan - Golfer on 9th

Back to Club Med Bintan Island, this Club Med Village has been here since 1997, so it is really well established. Whilst we were there, the guests were mainly made up of Japanese, Chinese, South Korean, Australian, New Zealand and South Africans. This made the cultural evening a blast where all the GO’s celebrated their own culture.
Down on the beach, the water is crystal clear and oh so warm! Water sport activities are your standard Club Med options ranging from Stand-Up Paddle Boarding, kayaking, sailing and snorkeling. There are certain times during the year when the currents change and oil from the South China Sea, the busiest shipping channel in the world, brings oil onto the island, which is extremely unfortunate, but when that happens, there are so many other activities still to enjoy. Club Med Bintan Island also has a “Beach Clean Up” team who operate almost 24 hours a day when this occurs, to try and make it as least impactful on your beaching experience.

Besides the main dining room and the rooms, there is a putting green and driving range, a trapeze with highly talented GO’s, two beautiful pools, one main one and one kiddies one, a perfectly placed beach bar that doubles as a night Club when they throw parties on the beach, a Zen area with a yoga space, a specialty restaurant known as the Terrasse, situated above the ginormous boulders looking back across the bay and garden of Club Med Bintan Island, and a beautiful spa and wellness center that is hidden away amongst the boulders and the jungle.

When it comes to kids facilities, Club Med Bintan Island has a fantastic artistic and cultural activity program for children aged between 2 to 17. They have the Petit Club Med for kids between 2 and 3, as well as the Mini Club Med for children between 4 and 10. These are open from 8.30 am to 5 pm and then from 6.45 pm to 8.30 pm, every day. There is then the Junior Club Med, for teenagers between 11 and 17 which is open everyday from 9.30 am to 7 pm and from 7 pm to 8.30 pm.

We flew with Emirates which wasn’t at all bad, but I would highly recommend that you fly direct to Singapore which cuts out a lot of flying time. I also decided to catch the earlier ferry from Club Med Bintan Island, so that I could spend the day exploring Singapore, which if you haven’t seen before, is a definite must! It cost about R450 for the Citysightseeing Tour around Singapore and then another S$5 for a return rail ticket from Changi Airport into Downtown Singapore, which takes about 45 minutes each way. I left my luggage at the airport storage facility, which was a pleasure and the metro station is on Terminal 2, so it’s not a massive palaver to pull it off and it adds quite a nice adventure to the holiday, even if it is for a couple hours. As a tip that make this whole thing a lot easier, before you depart for your holiday, download the Changi Airport App. Once you have an account with the App, you will receive Free WiFi everywhere in the airport.

With Travel Inc’s already 19 years of travel expertise, having almost all of our employees visited Singapore as some point, and then of course our quite unique partnership with Club Med, we can arrange for you to have a “Stop-Over” before or after your Club Med Bintan Island stay. This can be part of your Club Med package or done tailor-made with Travel Inc.

Obviously, Singapore is a major attraction with so many sights to see, but if you don’t have the time to make it into the city, you can still have your mind blown by Changi airport. This place has kinetic rain drops, the most beautiful gardens including a butterfly garden, as well as some incredible shopping.

Destinations like Mauritius still have their place in South Africans hearts, and for an escape that is does not require a long-haul flight, it is ideal, but if you are wanting to visit an exotic island that is priced fairly similarly, then you have to consider Club Med Bintan Island!

To find out more about Club Med Bintan Island and the other incredible All-Inclusive Club Med properties around the world, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Travel Inc:

Tel: +27 (0) 31 561 2247

Email: ben@travelinc.co.za

/Ben