Sunday, February 5, 2012

Batam - The Nitty Gritty

Here's a post about the nitty gritty details of our short Batam getaway.

Ferry Tickets
There are a number of ferry companies running almost hourly ferries to Batam. We bought our tickets from BatamFast. Cost is SGD$47 round-trip, inclusive of terminal fees. Note, there are a number of different international ferry terminals that you can alight at in Batam, so be sure to choose the ferry that is headed to terminal you would like to go to. Our hotel in Batam is closest to Sekupang terminal. Also, you can arrive at and depart from different terminals in Batam if you so choose. Ferries depart from the Cruise Center at HarborFront in Singapore, easily accessible by MRT and next to Vivocity. For early departures, Singaporean fare is available at the departure floor from 6am onwards. 

We booked the 2D1N package from Tempat Senang and stayed at the Javanese Joglo room for SGD$519, including land transfers, 3 hour spa treatments for two, breakfast for two, taxes and service charge.

Hotel Restaurant
We enjoyed our lunch of Grilled Balinese Fish for SGD$25. For dinner we had the Nasi Campur set for 2, which costs SGD$50. This set is a sampler set of Indonesian food. We felt that the Nasi Campur set was rather expensive and if we went again, we probably wouldn't order it. Stick with ordering the individual dishes would be our advice. The Beer Can Chicken set is supposedly a favorite as well.

For drinks, the beer costs $4 a can and the fruit juice costs about $4-$5. Refreshing lime juice is only $3. If you plan to drink a lot, beer or wine, buy your alcohol at the duty free shop either on the Singapore side (after immigration and security clearance, in the small departure hall) or the Indonesian side (a small shop next to a money changer after immigration). 

Hotel Spa
We really enjoyed the 3 treatments that we chose. A word of caution for those who are not very tolerant of pain, the foot reflexology session can be a bit much if you have never had foot reflexology before. Also, the therapists can seem a little bit "rehearsed" at times, meaning they are very well-trained, but probably very different from the US masseuses that pay more attention to where the knots in your bodies are and tailor the massage based on how you are feeling that day. However, we still think that Tempat Senang has a decent and clean spa with therapists that are polite and well meaning. Additionally, if you are the type that happens to always have extra demands, be sure to convey these demands upfront to the main specialist that speaks English as not all the therapists understand English.

Singaporeans do not require a visa. US citizens can get visas on arrival. DBB paid USD$10 for a 7-day visa, there is also a more costly 30-day visa if you are planning to spend more time in Indonesia.

Since we never left the hotel grounds, we paid for everything in Singapore Dollars. 

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