CHECK IT OUT THE SANCHAYA BINTAN, INDONESIA
Singapore residents and expats are making a beeline for a new colonial-chic beachfront retreat on Indonesia’s Bintan Island, 45 minutes by water from the Lion City.
Opened 10 months ago and occupying an estate of about 10ha overlooking Lagoi Bay, the hotel has its own VIP lounge at the ferry terminal to expedite immigration and Customs, making this a hassle-free stopover for travellers from Australia.
The Sanchaya is the first hotel from Singapore-based Russian entrepreneur Natalya Pavchinskaya, who plans a global network of properties. Her background in the arts and a passion for Asian antiquities informs the smart interiors of the 21 villas and nine suites, where the mood is of a grand colonial hotel complete with a team of “companions” trained by the British Butler Institute.
The suites and one and two-bedroom villas have balconies and verandas overlooking the ocean, lagoon or gardens, and the chic interiors by P49 Deesign & Associates combine Southeast Asian art and antiques with the latest technology, such as Bang & Olufsen Tvs and in-room iPads loaded with hundreds of movies. The upscale, inroom extras include a “maxi bar”, wine fridge, super-king bed dressed in linen by Singaporebased Ploh, personalised stationery and bespoke bath amenities and chocolates.
Families and groups of friends can choose from the Vanda beachfront villa with private infinity pool and four bedrooms or a trio of one-bedroom Leelawadee Villas grouped around a private pool compound.
The resort centrepiece is the gleaming white, colonial-style Great House with its salon and library, wine cellar and gentleman’s club-style bar with traditional 19th-century service. A bartender will set up a folding jack tray next to your leather armchair and mix cocktails to order. Other hotel facilities include a 50m infinity pool, day spa, beachside yoga pavilion, croquet lawn and fitness centre.
DON’T MISS: Afternoon tea on the veranda, with classic English or dainty Asian snacks and a selection of Ronnefeldt teas, including a blend made exclusively for The Sanchaya.
DINING IN: Executive chef Giacomo Turzo oversees The Dining Room, where guests can dine any time they wish. Try the caramelised Berkshire pork belly in oriental spices or the chateaubriand Rossini with foie gras and truffle caviar. The poolside Tasanee Grill serves seafood and Thai street food.
DINING OUT: Bintan Island’s Kelong Seafood Restaurant.
ASK THE CONCIERGE: The Sanchaya’s luxury yacht is available for hire for private transfers from Singapore or for half or full-day cruises plus sunset outings.
CHECKING IN: From $US560 ($785). More: thesanchaya.com.
ALSO TRY: British Colonial Hilton Nassau; Amangalla, Sri Lanka; The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur.