Being on the road for more than 10 months made me feel kind of bored of always eating out. Though I don’t always mind to eat at restaurants or cafes, a homemade meal is definitely something that I cherish. You know the ingredients in your food. Plus you can cook almost whatever dish you want to eat (or in my case, whatever dish I can actually cook).
I recently spent a relaxing weekend at Cassia Bintan and how I wish there were more options for hotels like Cassia. It is the first time I went to Bintan though I didn’t explore Bintan at all. Undoubtedly I had a great time and I’ll share with you my review of this newly open resort, which opened on 31st of August 2017.
Cassia Bintan is in the Laguna Bintan Resort complex, right next to Angsana and Banyan Tree. It’s a 45-minute ferry ride from Singapore (Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal) to Bintan (Bandar Bentan Telani Ferry Terminal). Then from the ferry terminal it’s only 10-15 minutes drive from the ferry terminal. Super convenient isn’t it?
I can imagine that Bintan can easily be a great choice for a weekend getaway for Singaporean. For Indonesian, from Jakarta to Tanjung Pinang airport, there is a direct flight. From the airport to the resort is 1-hour drive.
Cassia Bintan is a luxury hip beachfront aparthotel with touches of Indonesian artworks. Wait! Is actually aparthotel even a word? Well, I might have just made it up! Anyways, it is a hotel with apartment concept (you get what I mean right?).
Each apartment has its own kitchen, living room, bathroom, and bedroom. Though it is a small kitchen it has everything you need to cook the food you want. There’s cutlery, chopping knives, plates, bowls, frying pan, microwave, sink, and some few more. You can surely have your Master chef moment (I know I did during my stay). I’ll share more about my master chef moment in the facilities section.
I stayed for two nights in one of the Cassia Bintan one-bedroom apartments. The apartment was spacious. I liked the interior decor, which was dominated with turquoise, white and a little bit of yellow. The design and the colour scheme made everything feel so fresh and trendy. They even provided a turquoise pot and frying pan (which was super cute in my opinion).
Cassia Bintan has four types of apartments. Besides the standard one bedroom apartment there’s a one-bedroom loft apartment, the two-bedroom apartment, and the two-bedroom loft apartment. I fell in love with the Loft apartment, which had a private reading slash chill out area. I was also a big fan of the mezzanine floor.
The one-bedroom apartment has a master bedroom, a bathroom (the shower and toilet are separated), living and dining area, a small kitchen and balcony. Though it seems like a lot of rooms in a unit, it felt surprisingly spacious (I told you in the beginning). I believe this is because of the great and thoughtful design.
Speaking of the kitchen, you must have been wondering where you can get the ingredients for your homemade meals? There is Market 23, which is in the lobby area (you’ll be surprised with so many Instagrammable spots around this area). The market is open 24-hours a day and provides various ingredients for shopping.
I chose to make my own Pad Thai. Market 23 provided all the ingredients that you need for a pre-prepared Pad Thai. The box had rice noodles, vegetables, egg, salt, pepper, homemade sauce and dry chili. You could get additional ingredients like oil, soya sauce and other ingredients at Market 23.
Cassia also provided a simple recipe book in the apartment. I rarely cook, but I had a great time and laugh trying to make my own Pad Thai. It tasted a bit plain though (I should have got some more ingredients from the Market to add to the dish).
Okay you might think, Firsta, we are ok to cook our own food, but we would love to eat at the restaurants. What do they have there?
I told you earlier that Cassia is next to Angsana and Banyan Tree, so there are plenty options for restaurants. I would recommend Saffron restaurant at Banyan Tree. If you love Thai food then you’ll love Saffron (don’t miss out their dessert. I can’t remember the name but it was a lychee ice cream/sorbet with jelly. It was so good!).
Another good choice is XANA Beach Club. On the weekend, Friday and Saturday night, they have an international BBQ night. You can enjoy tasty barbeque under the stars by the beach accompanied to some good music. It’s a nice way to spend an evening.
For those who are looking for an unusual experience, you can try Kelong Restaurant and Dinner on The Rocks. Kelong Restaurant is a floating restaurant and good choice for group dinner. It’s just a short boat drive from the beach in front of Cassia Bintan.
I think Dinner on The Rocks is something for intimate and special moments. Thinking of how to propose your loved one? Maybe the perfect moment is after a tasty candlelight dinner surrounded by big rocks overlooking the views of South China Sea?
Cassia Bintan shares a lovely private beach with Angsana and Banyan Tree, which I immediately fell in love with. The beach was so well maintained (no rubbish anywhere). Plus the water was very calm and clear with great visibility, which made it nice to paddle in.
The hotel also has a swimming pool with a view of the ocean. Though having the pool overlooking the ocean did make it difficult to decide where to swim (I spoiled myself and swam in the ocean and the swimming pool). On top of all fun things above, I should really highlight this thing. You can find plenty of Board Games in Cassia Bintan and they have Wii too. Holiday with your friends or loved one can be so much fun with endless option of games to play.
The perk of staying in a resort next to Angsana Bintan, I got the chance to try the famous Angsana Spa. I had a 60-minute signature massage. The treatment started with foot cleansing, and then relaxation followed by the massage. Don’t forget to mention which area the therapist needs to focus on (mine was definitely the back and shoulders).
There were plenty of massages to choose from. They a Javanese massage (deep tissue massage), Thai massage, and some other options besides. If you stay in Cassia Bintan, I would recommend you to try the massage at Angsana because it is really relaxing. I felt so good after the massage.
During our 2-night stay at Cassia Bintan I experienced two of their CSR programs. In the garden of Cassia Bintan, there are two coconut trees surrounded by a fence with several padlocks attached. Guests can ‘buy’ a padlock for Rp 30,000. The money goes to support the local communities. Cassia Bintan also has a turtle release program, which is seasonal. I got the chance to see the turtle-feeding program (they release them at a different time in the year).
After spending three weeks exploring Thailand I was in need of a nice break. It was nice to spend a few lazy days relaxing around the resort. The apartments offer a nice place to relax at the end of a long day and the beach is beautiful (unfortunately it did rain a few times while we were there, but such is life!).
Cassia Bintan is a great place to stay if you want a relaxing holiday. There are plenty of activities for kids and adults (you can go kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling and more besides). If you are looking for an easy break from busy Singapore I’d definitely recommend checking out Cassia Bintan.