I first visited Bintan Lagoon Resort (BLR) more than 10 years ago, when I was a fresh-faced journalist barely into my 20s.
It was one of the first press junkets I had ever been on, and I was sent to cover the opening of Silk, the resort’s (then) new nightclub.
Fast forward a decade and I found myself back at the resort only this time, with a husband and a toddler in tow. And boy have things changed.
The resort recently celebrated its 20th anniversary which they marked with an intensive renovation scheme that has been taking place since 2015. This included a rebranding exercise as well as upgrades to its Silk nightclub (yes, the same one I visited some 10 years ago) and Terrace Sports Bar.
BLR also opened the 650-seat micro-restaurant concept Fiesta, a well-equipped Powerhouse Gym for adults and a Jungle Gym for kids.
The Jungle Gym, a colourful indoor gym for kids, in particular, is a fantastic addition to the resort. BLR has always been a place targeting families and already had a great kids club with a full schedule of activities to entertain young travellers (you know, so mummy and daddy can have a much-needed cocktail by the pool). But the Jungle Gym really allows BLR to stand out from the other family resorts out there. Filled with fun play accessories, slides, crawling tubes and nets, foam obstacles and even foam ball blasters, the gym is free for resort guests (already a plus) and an absolute hit with the kids.
My 20-month old daughter was a little on the young side to truly enjoy the gym and had to be accompanied by an adult but that didn’t stop her from having an absolute blast in the Jungle Gym, running through the mazes, lying around in the ball bit while practicing her movement skills. When you consider that indoor gyms in Singapore charge you around S$10 to S$30 per child to work off their excess energy, this complimentary service is a great deal.
My husband and I love going to Bintan — it’s one of those places that we often decide to visit on a whim when the weekend is coming. Just an hour or so away by boat, it’s often our go-to holiday destination when we feel we need a quick break to recharge.
BLR is a great choice for a few reasons. Couples may find that they would prefer more intimate resorts — it is, in all honesty, a huge resort with a lot of guests — but for young families like ours, it works very well.
The rooms are spacious and perfectly lovely, there are enough food concepts to ensure variety (because really, how many visitors would actually leave the resort?) and ample activities (from games to sea sports to arts and craft) to entertain both the young and old.
There is also a private beach, two fine golf courses (if daddy or mummy would like to hit some balls), and best of all, a direct ferry taking you from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal to the resort’s doorstep. Trust me, when you’re travelling with young, fidgety kids, that direct ferry saves so much time and effort, and is an absolute godsend.
My first visit to BLR as a young singleton was very fun but I think this second visit as a family really allowed me to appreciate the resort a lot more. If you’re a family looking for an easy getaway, this is definitely a place to consider.