Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Glamping in Bintan @ The Canopi

We went glamping (glamorous camping) at this newly opened resort in Bintan and the kids loved the place so much that they are already asking to go back.

It felt like we were entering a make-believe land, a Smurf village of sorts.

The wow factor is definitely there, and everything looks picture-perfect.

However, operationally, they do not seem ready although they have been running for 9 months.

Here are some tips so that you go prepared and will be able to make the most of your holiday.
Glamping - glamorous camping
From Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, it took us an hour to reach Bintan. Guests of The Canopi are ushered through the express lane and it was a short 5 minute ride to our resort.

Once we alighted from the shuttle bus and stepped into the lobby, this magnificent view awaited us.

"This is the largest swimming pool I have ever seen!" exclaimed #5.
The Lagoon
The lagoon stretched as far as the kids could see.

Right in the middle is the wake boarding section, which is run by a Singaporean.

The rest of the water and land activities are situated at the far end of the lagoon.
Little smurfette
We got the keys to our room and the kids couldn't wait to dump their stuff before heading out to do the activities.

They oohed and aahed about everything and loved the safari themed rooms. All in high spirits as though they had stepped into magical land.

Tip: There are no phones in the rooms, so you either have to walk to the lobby reception for any requests, or you can WhatsApp the number that is given when you checked-in.

Also do note that there is no mini bar, thus no fridge to chill anything you might need to chill.
#5 called it his fort
Some examples of our requests, to manage your expectations:

Bedroom slippers, please. Sorry, we don't provide.
Hand towels? Sorry, ran out.
A glass of beer? Sorry, machine broken.

The tent floor is really rough so pack bedroom slippers along if necessary. Or perhaps that's what the cute little 'well' outside each tent is for!

To wash everyone's feet AND slippers so you can wear them inside the tent. Ok, maybe it's just me who has sensitive feet, but it felt like I was walking on woven rope.

The kids quickly changed into their swim gear and headed towards the water sports centre. After realising that they had to walk one big round, they decided to swim across instead.

Thank goodness I brought Kate's pram along, because she could not swim across and it was taking her a long time to walk such a long distance.
$9 per  hour
There are a lot of activities for the kids. They started with the Water Sports Park which has giant trampolines, slides and obstacles.

Kate did not join them but was content to play with her pool toys.

The kids enjoyed the water park so much that they went again the next day. If the kids are young, they need to be accompanied by an adult.
Bumper boat - 15 min
They also had lots of fun in this Motorised Bumper Boat, with water guns to spray one another. It can go quite fast, and #5 loved spinning it around like those dizzy tea cups at theme parks!
Kayaking
Both single and double kayaks are available and it was rather idyllic kayaking around the lagoon.

The Land Sports Centre is situated right behind the water sports and it is open to public as well. As we were there over the weekend, it was very crowded with locals, especially on Sunday.

The kids were disappointed that they did not manage to do any of the land activities.

The electric scooters were all rented out, and we were told that the ATV bike adventure only commenced at 3pm. When we went over at 3pm, they told us that it was over-subscribed.
Wake-boarding
This is a nice place to learn wake-boarding and the kids were able to stand on the first few tries. #1 even managed to turn successfully!

There were several groups awaiting their turn and as most people paid for the 1 hour session, and with 2 cable lines, it was quite a wait.

If we ever do return, it will definitely be on a weekday.
Chilling
The resort has 1 giant float, which was anchored right in front of our tent.

The younger kids woke up at 7am and after breakfast, they relaxed here while waiting for the older girls to get ready to start the other activities together.
Getting around
After a few times of walking round and round under the scorching sun to get to the activities, we decided to call for a buggy.

There is Wifi throughout the resort and you can WhatsApp the reception for a buggy but they have only 2 or 3 serving all the guests so you might have to wait.

Tip: Don't forget to bring hats, sunscreen and goggles as there isn't any gift/merchandise shop.
One and only restaurant
The biggest bugbear is the lack of food options at the resort, and the fact that it is not cheap.

There is only one restaurant to serve the entire resort. No beach front cafes, no bars, no convenience stores.

There is a little kiosk right at the far end of the lagoon (at the land sports centre) selling a small assortment of drinks and ice cream.

Breakfast: The buffet breakfast was included in our stay, but the spread was very basic. It also took a long time for them to replenish the food when the crowds came in.

Lunch: We ate here again to save time, but the standard was generally below average. The only items which were slightly better were the pizzas, spaghetti bolognese and mee/nasi goreng. Rather expensive at $20 each for a simple lunch with drinks.

Dinner: We decided to venture out to one of the several kelongs around the resort. It was quite an experience for the kids, to take a powerboat out to the kelong, however the food was average. We ordered the set menu, which came up to $20 per person.
Dinner at Kelong
If you have ample time, getting out of the resort for good nasi padang or Thai food would be a much better option.

Tip: Pack along biscuits, snacks and mineral water. Or why not go all out and bring tinned food, cup noodles and portable stoves and have a picnic under the stars! I'm sure the kids would love the novelty of that.
Right in front of our door step
Choice of tents:

We booked the Lagoon View tents, which was great because of the convenience. The kids found it simply amazing to open their front door and almost literally step out into the water.

I loved the convenience as the kids could easily nip back in to use the toilets and I could still be in the room with Kate while she napped, while keeping an eye on the older kids.

However, it was really noisy with the music blasting the whole time, and if you have little children who are easily awoken, a better option would be the Safari tents at the back which are away from the lagoon.

If you are going with several families, it would be nice to book the Safari tents as they are clustered around a central pavilion and the kids can play together in a safe space while the adults sit around and chill, or prepare a BYO alfresco dinner under the stars.

We found the Jacuzzi tents a tad strange, as people were soaking in these little jacuzzis at their doorway in full view of everyone walking past to get to their Safari tents.

I was woken up in the middle of the night and sat outside my tent for awhile.

The utter silence, and fairy lights twinkling over the vast lagoon made the place feel rather mystical. Just an hour's ferry ride away from home yet it felt like we were in a distant land.
Bintan Resort Ferries
The ferry ride turned out better than the kids expected as there was a deli (hotdogs, muffins, chips, cup noodles) and Madagascar 2 was being screened, so the hour passed quickly enough.
Fun times
All in all, it was a perfect holiday for us (the kids got over their disappointment with the land activities pretty quickly) as our friends who were there a day earlier pre-empted us and we were prepared.

I'm sure the kids would hold fond memories of this spectacular resort for a long time to come.

The Canopi

Treasure Bay Bintan
Lagoi
Bintan Island
Indonesia
www.adventureglamping.com


~ www.mummyweeblog.com - a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

12 comments:

  1. Thanks for the wonderful review, when I saw the pictures, I was like wow! I am sure people would suggest more things to be updated in the resort so hope it will get better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, this place definitely has the potential to be a top notch family-friendly resort if the F&B and service standards improve!

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  2. Hi im actually wondering for the kelong, is there just 1? Or there are many.others? Are there any specific kelongs that are good that u could probably recommend it to us? Thank you :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nurul,

      There are a few around, but the one we tried wasn't great. It took us quite a long wait to get ferried over, and the food was average. Sorry but we have forgotten the name of the kelong! Perhaps you could ask reception to recommend one.

      Delete
    2. wow!nice place indeed.How many tent did u book for your whole family?

      Delete
    3. Hi Hazel,

      We booked 2 tents.

      Delete
  3. Hi, am keen to know if the tent can house more than 5 pax? 3 adults and 2 kids?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Riane,

      I'm not sure if the tent can house more than 5 pax, but it should fit 3A & 2C adequately. Best if you send them an email.

      Delete
  4. Hi, may i know the amount you put is it in rupiah or sg dollars?

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  5. Hi, can I check.. do we need to wear shoes for any activities there?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      We did not bring shoes along and managed to do all the activities mentioned. There were some dry activities which we did not manage to try but my guess is that shoes are not mandatory for those as well.

      Delete

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