The Indonesian island of Bintan is a tranquil haven for visitors to unwind by the beach, especially if you’re taking the ferry in from the nearby shores of Singapore. But one resort just upped its game with a new offering, which is billed as the first of its kind in the region. Banyan Tree Bintan’s Kelong Villa is an homage to the traditional offshore stilted platforms used by local fishermen, and it’s the newest addition to the hotel’s all-villa accommodation options.
Debuting on July 15, the rustic villa, constructed with Indonesian timber, floats on water in the middle of the sea, about 250 meters away from the Laguna Bintan resort and its guests. Talk about complete peace and quiet.
To get to your little “island,” you’ll have to board a pokchai (motorized wooden boat) at the sandy shores for a less-than-two-minutes ride. Welcome offerings include kueh putu ayu (steamed rice flour cake with palm sugar) and a juice blend of carrot, pineapple, and ginger, followed by a foot bath in traditional herbs and pandan juice.
The solitary experience is complemented by an array of board games and books, so visitors can fully carry out their digital detox without being tempted to check their gadgets. Fishing rods and a kayak are available as well, for those who want an adventure on the water.
Facilities include an open-concept bathroom with a walk-in rain shower and double sinks, and you can get your meals delivered straight to you by a host. Breakfast features Indonesian fare or healthy eats in the villa, while lunch and afternoon tea are served at a local village or by the beach. Come evening time, you get to try a family-style Lesehan dinner with dishes such as ayam bakar (charcoal grilled chicken) and bebek betutu (roasted duck).
When it comes time to leave the luxury stay, you’ll be given a farewell drink of sweet papaya, baby spinach, and honey, along with lapis surabaya, a layered cake snack. You can also take part in the local tradition of letting loose a handmade banana leaf boat and tossing flower petals in the ocean as you make a wish.
If you’re keen to splurge on all that with your partner, the launch offer starts at US$610 per night, and includes meals, a 60-minute full body massage, and return land transfers between the ferry terminal and the resort.