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Thursday, April 10, 2008

BINTAN- Banyan Tree and Angsana Spa

Bintan- Day 2

going for breakfast

International breakfast buffet at Bintan Lagoon

Beach at Bintan Lagoon.
The water is clear and a nice emerald green.

Lovely sunny day, great for a tan.
i was hiding from the sun but i couldn't help taking a dip in the sea as the water seem so nice!

Banyan Tree's driver came to fetch us punctually.
Impeccable service began right here, when the driver asked if he could help us with our luggages.

We were asked to be seated at the lobby while they checked us in.

I loved the place already, even before checking in.
it was so serene and tranquil with lush vegetation surrounding us outside,

our welcome drink: Ginger and Lime.
totally refreshing! (very 'ginger' with a gush of lime)
and the towel is freezing cold!

Banyan Tree's library.
we could borrow books, DVDs, board games and use the internet all for free.
I borrowed Scrabble but didn't play it in the end :(

Finally, we were 'buggied' to our villa.

Everyone was extremely polite here and their faces were always plastered with smiles, they would always ask how our day/whatever activity we engaged in was and made small talks with us.

Room 210, amazingly beautiful.

There were 2 doors and 2 very short stony passageways to the villa.
This is the first wooden door.

It opens up to a short passgeway leading to the maindoor of the villa.

The main door/entrance to the villa.

First when we entered the villa, on the left is the bathroom:

Sunken bathtub!!
What a very cool and innovative design for a bathtub.

The other side of the bathroom, under the same partition is the toilet bowl.
You can imagine how big the bathroom is.

On the right just directly opposite the bathroom is the dressing room:

The open closet where we could hang our clothes.
Everything came in pairs, like bathrobes in the picture, bathroom slippers, bedroom slippers, toiletries bags.
black floral for the guys and yellow floral for the ladies.

*I want to rave about the toiletries bag for the ladies, i found many goodles inside like a big hair brush, bath scrub, emery board and some other stuff like colgate toothpaste etc.
What i like best is the floral bag itself!*

As we walk further down, we reach the gigantic canopy bed.
On the left of the bed is the couch area:


On the couch, these were placed thoughtfully for our usage:

To the rigt side of the bed is the work/tea area.

Work/tea area

Another angle of the work/tea area

Further down a little, we have the mini bar:

Princess Canopy Bed!!
Isn't it lovely?

a plush sea turtle lies on the princess bed, reminding us to be environmental friendly and be kind to mother nature.
USD$2 would be automatically charged to our bill upon check out as a donation to save these sea animals facing the dangers of extinction.

i simply love the canopy bed enshrouded with white dreamy, flowy, erm... mosquito nets to be exact?!

The wooden Phoenix which keeps the nets hanging in place.

The roof from below.
You see, it was just like living in a very luxurious tree house.

Right in front of princess bed is the transparent sliding door to the veranda and private jacuzzi.
Imagine waking up to lush greenery and the ocean right at your doorstep every morning, it's literally right in front of your eyes once you open them.
How blissful!

Our very own private jacuzzi right in the open space.

the side couch.

Directly beneath us is everything green.
The villa is built on strong stilts to a certain height and it's quite scary to look down like this actually.

View from the villa.
I am exhilarated even when blogging about this right now

More views of the veranda and dining area on the right as you can see.

The cute thatched roof of the villa.

After relaxing in the villa for a while, we decided to go for spa/massage therapy at Banyan Tree's sister resort, Angsana.

We called for the buggy to pick us up and they promptly arrived at our doorstep in around 5 minutes and shuttled us to Angsana.

Boy, do i really feel like a princess with such service.

Some stone sculptures we saw while on the buggy ride.

Angsana's lobby, behind me down below is the restaurant and the spa salon.

a mini fountain.

Angsana is much smaller as compared to Bintan Lagoon.

Angsana's swimming pool is also much smaller than Bintan Lagoon's but it's nicely decorated with many stone sculptures.

Angsana and Banyan Tree share the same beach.
The beach here is much cleaner and quieter than the beach at Bintan Lagoon, i saw people snorkelling nearby too!

I proceeded to walk into the waters again while Bing wanted to just lie down and bask in the sun (again).

I picked up some seashells which was scattered all over the shores and placed some on Bing's stomach while Bing was enjoying the sun.

Minutes later, one of the seashells moved and scuttled across Bing's stomach!!

Then we looked carefully and saw a little crab hiding in the seashell.
To think i was holding it with my bare hands before this!

Proceeding to Angsana Spa.

What's this?
Some aroma therapeutic stuff i guess.

After consulting the very knowledgeable and friendly therapists and choosing from an extensive selection of packages, i finally chose my spa package which is "GLOW"

"GLOW" consists of 30mins body scrub and 60 mins body massage.
for body scrub, i chose "flower petals":
A natural scrub made from soothing almond meal, cucumber juice, milk and honey is applied, followed by a sprinkling of sweet, fragrant flowers that impart natural essence to your skin.
i simply love the milky and slightly sweet scent of this body scrub, and i could feel the flower petals drizzling down my body.
After i washed this off, my skin was really soft.

for body massage, i chose 'Ibu's Secret"
Adapted from traditional Balinese technique, this deep tissue massage aids blood circulation and relieve tension. Invigorating effects are enhanced by warming properties of Turmeric and Eucalyptus extracts in the Melody Oil.
i was told this is actually Javanese massage.
it is one of the best massages i ever had, simply relaxing with the therapist exerting just the right amount of force i need at the right places.
i almost fell asleep at a certain point (i am a very light sleeper and i don't fall asleep easily)

"GLOW" costs USD90++

Bing took 60 mins of Ibu's Secret which costs USD65++

In the massage room, they started by giving cleaning our feet with hot towels and our individuals therapists introducing the stuff they will be using on us.

The mini spa room where we had a quick bath before our massage started.

what an ugly picture taken by bing!

my therapist, her name is Rina.
her skills are terrific and she is really polite, she will ask how much strength you want her to exert and ask if there's any specific areas you want her to focus more on.
She made me feel even more like a princess and my body felt so comfortable and rejuvenated.

We never regretted coming here and will definitely come back for their excellent massage and great service.

We called for the buggy again from Banyan Tree and they came and fetched us back to our villa.

We asked the buggy driver to bring us on a little tour around Banyan Tree which he happily obliged.
This is the place where people have yoga classes.
So cool to have it by the beach facing the South China Sea!

Time for jaccuzi!
The bubbling water from the jacuzzi is hot and nice!
It's simply heavenly having to soak in the jacuzzi overlooking the sea, in the open space.

i oversoaked in the jacuzzi and felt like fainting after that.
i took a very short nap after that.

and woke up in time for our private in-Villa BBQ seafood dinner!
we actually arranged for them to come prepare our dinner at 8pm but because we were famished at 7pm, we called at 7pm and asked if they could come earlier and they came within 10 minutes!
I'm impressed by their efficiency.

The butler setting up the table for us.

The table all ready with cutleries and food!!

Fruits, salad, shredded chicken and our desert- chocolate cakes.
(bread and butter behind)

Fried rice, garnished potatoes and stir fried veggies.

Condiments: BBQ sauce, garlic butter, chilli and preserved veggie.

Seafood platter and the electronic BBQ.

The seafood platter consisting of crayfish, beef, prawns, fish, chicken.
All servings came in pairs.

BBQ starts officially!

Crayfish were crazily fresh and succulent!

i was famished!

Everything was great except for the beef which were a little too tough.
The fried rice and potatoes were tasty, the prawns and fish were really fresh too!
I love the breads and butter which i think is truffle butter.

Fish and prawns

Private in-villa BBQ costs USD55++ per person.
Min. 2 person.

Bintan- Day 3

we were so comfortable in bed that we overslept and missed breakfast.

at night before sleeping i went to peer at the verenda to see if visitors like squirrels and monkeys would come and pay us a visit but no such luck :(

we were greeted by the happy but tranquil chirping of birds and rustling of leaves.

At Banyan Tree's counter (ferry terminal)

Bye bye Bintan :)

Done with short holiday, now looking ahead to the BIG holiday trip next month!

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