Me and my family last spent 4 days at Club Med Bintan, Indonesia during the last Christmas 2013 period. It was the first time we’ve tried Club Med apart from our regular experience on Royal Caribbean Cruises.
With over 40 Club Med Resorts around the world, the nearest ones within our reach from Singapore are notably Bintan, Cherating Beach, Phuket and Bali locations. We decided to give Club Med Bintan a try since it is just a ferry ride away with not much of a pre-trip preparation hassle.
I must say the logistics was perfect. All you need is the trip confirmation from the travel agency and the ferry e-ticket issued, you are all good to go. The departure from Singapore is at the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal (TMFT).
With 24hr on-site security, I presume it is relatively safe to park your car at the TMFT carpark while you head for the vacation. This will ease your return trip and avoid the fustrations of calling for a local taxi, especially when the vacation is over a relatively short period.
TMFT Parking Rates:
All Day – $1.07 per hour or part thereof (capped at $20.00 per 24 hours block).
Checking in was straightforward at the Bintan Resort Ferries booth.
To have no-frills and priority check-ins, I would recommend to upgrade to the Emerald Class. As the Emerald Class seats are very limited, it is strongly recommended to reserve in advance for both to & return journey.
Key Emerald Class benefits:
• Dedicated & Combined check-in for boarding and baggage
• Seat Assignment
• Use of Emerald Lounge
• Priority Baggage Handling on Arrival
• Expedited Immigration Clearance
• Complimentary Hot & Cold Beverages
• Reading materials
• Friendly Service Attendants
• Onboard VISA on arrival(VOA) facility
The ClubMed team was a very friendly bunch. We were warmly welcomed right at the resort entrance even before we stepped out of the land transfer bus. It is recommended to grab a copy of the resort daily activities list & the Kids Club schedule.
Below are some sample based on my last trip:
If you are into watersports (canoe, scuba, surfing etc), it is recommended to avoid the Asia monsoon season (i.e. between Oct-Feb) as those activities at the beach will be cancelled.
Personally, I would think the kids will love Club Med as there are ample activities lined up for them – all the way from 8:30am till 830pm, daily. Based on the kid’s age, he will be categorized into one of the 3 groups – PetiteClub, MiniClub & KidsClub. It is definitely a unique experience for the kid to interact with other kids from the rest of the world. For my stay, there were kids from Japan, Korea, US, Australia etc.
As for the adults, we can either hop by the activity areas at stipulated timings or rest&relax along the beautiful beach line. As usual, all the food & beverages are free to consume including house wines and standard liquors.
For the ladies, there is a Spa centre situated next to the beach. One can immerse in the calming sound of the waves while having the therapy by the professional local masseurs.
I must say the trip has allowed us to catch up our needed rest and for the kid, it was one pleasant experience she would miss for sometime till the next ClubMed vacation.
For more information, do visit ClubMed Bintan website.
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