Re­ju­ve­na­tion Re­de­fined

A trop­i­cal par­adise with friendly faces, mod­ern com­forts and a new man­age­ment

Golf Asia - - ESCAPE INDONESIA - BY AMELIA YONG IM­AGES © BINTAN LA­GOON RE­SORT

Launched in 1997, a par­adise for many Sin­ga­pore­ans from all walks of life, Bintan La­goon Re­sort has long been the des­ti­na­tion where many families bond and strangers be­come friends. This trop­i­cal par­adise boasts 1.5 kilo­me­tres of pri­vate beach with im­mac­u­late fine sand and so much more, which pro­vides many a good op­por­tu­nity to re­lax and re­ju­ve­nate both body and mind.

Pre­sented with the Best Re­sort & Ser­vice Ex­cel­lence Award, In­done­sia in 2016, the much-loved va­ca­tion re­sort’s lat­est re­brand­ing ef­forts and change in man­age­ment as­sures more than the best to all who visit. With the re­cent ap­point­ment of Mr Ger­ald A Hen­drick, an in­dus­try veteran with an af­fa­ble per­son­al­ity, as Gen­eral Man­ager, his 25 years of ex­pe­ri­ence in the hospi­tal­ity in­dus­try is most def­i­nitely what is needed to give the largest in­te­grated re­sort on the In­done­sian is­land of Bintan the change it needs.

Re­spon­si­ble for the ad­min­is­tra­tion and op­er­a­tions of the re­sort, which has a staff strength of 500, vast im­prove­ments and changes have been hap­pen­ing and it is only the be­gin­ning. From cre­at­ing more events and cul­tural ed­u­ca­tion for guests, Mr Hen­drick has al­ready im­ple­mented nu­mer­ous changes since tak­ing the helm.

Only a 75-minute direct ferry from Sin­ga­pore, Bintan La­goon Re­sort flaunts its of­fer­ing at the shores of Sin­ga­pore with their very own ferry ser­vice, en­sur­ing greater con­ve­nience and a warm wel­come into the re­sort be­gin­ning from em­barka­tion. Guests will be greeted by a pic­ture-per­fect sight of the ma­jes­tic re­sort with the Jack Nick­laus de­signed Sea View cham­pi­onship golf course tucked along the side when ar­riv­ing di­rectly at the re­sort’s very own pri­vate ter­mi­nal hous­ing state-of-the-art im­mi­gra­tion coun­ters.

The re­sort’s 413 rooms, suites and

57 vil­las are sure to cater to ev­ery need and 393 Deluxe guest rooms have re­cently un­der­gone an ex­ten­sive facelift. Ap­pointed with mod­ern In­done­sian teak fur­ni­ture and en­hanced daybed, each room of­fers its own charm, with ev­ery view an en­dear­ing en­counter with na­ture. The bal­cony al­lows guests to en­joy a lovely drink with the gen­tle rus­tle of leaves and a breath-tak­ing view of the coast or re­lax­ing lush green­ery.

Take it up a notch and in­dulge in an es­capade you won’t for­get with friends and fam­ily at one of the re­sort’s 54 vil­las. Rang­ing from three to four-bed­room con­fig­u­ra­tions, ex­pe­ri­ence Bintan La­goon Re­sort in a more ca­sual set­ting - with kitch­enettes, bar­be­cue ar­eas, a gen­er­ous liv­ing area and a pri­vate pool.

Food op­tions at the re­sort are sec­ond to none, with a wide ar­ray of choices and a va­ri­ety of cuisines on of­fer such as In­done­sian, In­dian, Asian street food and West­ern grills, a great epi­curean ad­ven­ture awaits all guests! With­out a doubt, one of the high­lights would be the Fi­esta. A big be­liever in “Good Mood Food”, this mul­ti­cul­tural buf­fet spread awaits, from crois­sants to pratas, and ren­dang to pan­cakes; we’d rec­om­mend a strat­egy be­fore get­ting your fill.

Of­fer­ing a dif­fer­ent scenery, Haskell’s Cafe and Ne­layan Beach­front Bar & Seafood Din­ing is a must visit, promis­ing to wow with views of the cham­pi­onship golf cour­ses as well as the stun­ning 1.5km pri­vate beach.

Sim­ply take a stroll down by the beach admiring the view of sparkling azure wa­ters of the South China Sea with a mug of lo­cal Bin­tang brew in hand or en­joy the breeze cou­pled with a re­lax­ing massage by the beach. Be­side the invit­ing beach, the list of ac­tiv­i­ties on­site is catered to all and with over 50 land and sea ac­tiv­i­ties avail­able, guests can choose to get sun kissed loung­ing by the re­sort’s two swim­ming pools, or hav­ing a splash­ing good time jet-ski­ing, snorkelling or pad­dle boat­ing out at sea.

Those who pre­fer to keep their feet on dry ground can try their hand at archery, nine-bots, ten­nis and cy­cling. An ex­cit­ing ATV course of­fers 15, 30, or 60-minute rides, each pro­vid­ing a dif­fer­ent glimpse into the forests of the area, but re-emerg­ing along the coast, it is one of the many land ac­tiv­i­ties

avail­able at this pre­mium life­style des­ti­na­tion.

Chil­dren are def­i­nitely not for­got­ten at the Bintan La­goon Re­sort, the Nutty Bunch Club is spe­cially catered for kids aged 3 to 8 years old where they can en­joy play­ing on slides, take on foam ob­sta­cles and em­bark on their own ad­ven­tures at the newly opened Jun­gle Gym.

The high­light for golfers is un­doubt­edly the re­sort’s two cham­pi­onship golf cour­ses, the Ian-baker Finch Wood­lands Course and the Jack Nick­laus Sea View Course, each with their unique charm and chal­lenges for golfers of all abil­i­ties. Both cour­ses are ex­cep­tion­ally de­signed and feature each their own dis­tinc­tive char­ac­ter. The golf cour­ses have un­der­gone some re­fur­bish­ment as well, with a num­ber of shrubs and green­ery clipped to bet­ter show­case their char­ac­ter.

The Jack Nick­laus Sea View Course was de­signed by the mas­ter­ful 18-time ma­jor win­ner “The Golden Bear” and was opened in 1996. Play­ing at 6420 me­tres off the tips, this strate­gi­cally sculp­tured golf course of­fers a chal­lenge to both sea­soned play­ers as well as be­gin­ners with five tee op­tions. As com­pared to the Ian-baker Finch course, ex­pect a cool breeze blow­ing in from the South China Sea dur­ing cer­tain months, which makes club se­lec­tion for the ap­proach into some greens, a tad more in­ter­est­ing.

The front nine fea­tures na­tive, trop­i­cal jun­gle, where Nick­laus makes good use of his trade­mark bunker­ing through­out the rolling to­pog­ra­phy, while the back nine gives golfers a vis­ual treat of panoramic views of the South China Sea. The sig­na­ture 12th sees the beach on the right stretch out to the sea, while bunkers pro­tect the back left and front right of the green. A fairly straight for­ward hole, the wa­ter haz­ards and breeze can make this a chal­leng­ing hole for even the best.

Be­sides its pic­turesque view and lovely breezes, it isn’t a Jack Nick­laus course if it doesn’t re­quire some course man­age­ment. The 13th fea­tures a split green, as one of the streams on the course runs through the mid­dle - mak­ing it one of the tough­est holes on this course.

On the other hand, the Ian Baker-finch

“Of both cour­ses, I’d say I like the Jack Nick­laus course bet­ter - es­pe­cially the holes by the sea. Al­though I mostly go to Bintan La­goon Re­sort for the golf, I def­i­nitely think it is a great re­sort for families with many ac­tiv­i­ties such as pools with slides, a great beach, ta­ble ten­nis and ATV rides - cater­ing for ev­ery­one. I haven’t got­ten the chance to bring the fam­ily, but it would be great to have a hol­i­day there and spend some qual­ity time with them away from the bustling city.” Lam Chih Bing, for­mer Pro­fes­sional Golfer and only Sin­ga­porean to make the cut in the Bri­tish Open (2008 edi­tion),

Wood­lands Course is set within pris­tine rain­for­est com­ple­mented by dra­matic un­du­lat­ing ter­rain. Re­cently re-turfed to fur­ther en­hance the play­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and to aid main­te­nance, it was opened a year af­ter the Jack Nick­laus Sea View Course and is built to har­monise with its nat­u­ral land­scape. The con­cept of leav­ing the jun­gle rel­a­tively un­touched on both sides of the fair­way and keep­ing its orig­i­nal ter­rain, makes this course a work of art.

The course will test all facets of a golfer’s game, so ex­pect sev­eral nar­row land­ing zones and the “blind” shots make hav­ing a cad­die very use­ful, not for­get­ting the five tee op­tions to suit golfers of all abil­i­ties. Snaking out away from the re­sort is the front nine, deep bunkers around the of­ten-el­e­vated greens and men­ac­ing haz­ards will keep golfers on their toes. A favourite amongst many who played here, the el­e­vated 8th hole takes one down­hill into the dis­tance be­fore ris­ing to the green, a de­mand­ing hole that re­quires ab­so­lute pre­ci­sion. The back nine which routes back to the club­house, fea­tures many tees and greens sur­rounded

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