When we were looking for a destination for our end year trip, our main criteria was that it had to be relaxing. We just wanted to eat, drink and sleep. We eventually decided on Bandung, Indonesia. The reason? It’s a great city for cafe-hopping and good food! So, this post will mainly be about the cafes and restaurants we visited (and how photo-worthy they are)
We all need a break sometimes, and after months of endless work and long office hours, we finally decided that it's time for a weekend getaway! We've been wanting to visit Batam together as it has been a long time since we visited the island. After some research, we decided to stay at Sijori Resort & Spa.
We've been hoping to have a weekend getaway for our anniversary, and our immediate idea was to head to either Bintan or Batam island. However, both of us have had unpleasant experiences at some of the resorts there as they were 'aging'. Just as we were about to drop the idea, we came across an article by thesmartlocal, introducing Singaporeans to a new resort hotel, Cassia Bintan!
Day 1 - Saturday
Our weekend started with a breakfast at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal. From the Killiney kopitiam where we had our breakfast, we could enjoy the sea view which wasn't too bad! The ferry terminal also had shops selling pills for motion sickness, so we got them just in case.
After an hour on the ferry, we arrived at Bintan! Took quite a bit of time to get through the customs and security checks. But soon, we were on-route towards Cassis Bintan via a shuttle mini-van, complimentary by the resort.
The lobby of Cassia Bintan, also known as the "Meeting Point", is open-air and a very inviting sight. The hotel staff were aptly named your "Friends of Cassia", as they welcomed us with bright smiles. As we arrived well ahead of the check-in time, we decided to go to the beach for our lunch!
One great thing you'll notice throughout our trip is that the beach is not crowded at all! After a short stroll on the beach, we spot an al-fresco dining place named Xana Beach club, where we had our lunch and we highly recommend the pizza and calamari!
Checked into our loft apartment! The rooms with the garden view opens up to the main garden area of Cassia, while the others, like ours, has a forest view along the main road. Not too much of a difference in our opinion! Everything was still really new, so it was sparkling clean!
Headed back to the beach after resting in our very cosy room. From here onwards, we'll let the photos do the talking. There were many comfortable sheltered seats and overall, just a really lovely beach!
There's also a nice boardwalk near the Banyan Tree Bintan Resort, which we felt was a great photo spot.
The night came along, and we've been looking forward to it as we were waiting to try the mookata! It's a pretty interesting idea as you get to bring the mookata back to your room. You can get the ingredients and drinks at Market 23, which is within Cassia Bintan.
The combo we chose comprised of chicken, beef, fish, squid, vegetables and the usual processed food like tofu and crabstick. It's more than enough for two people. Note that you will need to buy the oil though! Also based on our experience, the mookata smell will linger in the room, so it would be best that you shut the bedroom and bathroom door before starting to cook. Or you may choose to do it outdoor.
Day 2 - Sunday
Being in an enthusiastic mood, we decided to catch the sunrise! Hopped out of our bed and washed up in time. Unfortunately, it was a cloudy morning! But of course, that didn't stop us from taking photos!
Went back to the "Meeting Point" for our breakfast, where they have transformed the lobby into a dining area. Do not expect a huge international buffet, but we felt that it had everything we wanted! You'll find the usual food options on a breakfast menu, from sausages to hash browns, cereal to toasts. The egg station was a great plus point, and the thing that caught everyone's attention was the mini doughnut board!
Jumped into the pool after breakfast. Cassia has a small pool right outside the "Meeting Point", and we spent quite some time wading in there.
A huge plus of Cassia Bintan is that it is part of the resorts group that manages Banyan Tree and Angsana. This means that we could use some of the facilities and amenities in each of the three resorts! SInce they are right beside each other, so we went to the Angsana pool for a swim too.
Washed up and chilled in our apartment till check out time. We were pleasantly surprised during checkout to find out that Cassia has our ferry boarding passes ready! It is a great service to have.
As we bid goodbye, we have to say we really enjoyed the stay. A short and sweet weekend, but filled with the right amount of fun and rest. We hope to come back soon!
Tips from the trip:
1. Ferry tickets have no seat allocation, so be at the queue early if you have seating preferences.
2. Bring your own snacks/cup noodle if you're planning a late night, but not planning to spend money on expensive supper at the resorts.
3. Power plugs are the same as the ones in Singapore, so no worries!
4. Bring a tripod for awesome self-portraits.