Like anyone, there is no such thing as too much traveling, only not enough money to do so. In need of a getaway just for the weekend (budget and all), I went ahead to search for good deals. Luckily, I came across Groupon and it is offering a stay of 2d1n at Harris Waterfront Resort Batam at only $49 and $59 with a 60-min massage. The Groupon includes 2d1n stay at the resort, ferry tickets excluding taxes to and fro Singapore, daily buffet breakfast and requires minimum 2 to go. Check in time was Batam time 2pm and check out time was Batam time 12pm.
The transaction over Groupon was fuss-free and the hotel room & ferry tickets timing are settled in a jiffy over the emails.
We opted for the ferry at Singapore time 7:20am which departs from Harbourfront ferry terminal and reached Batam at Batam time 7:20am 😂 (you see, Batam is 1 hour behind Singapore).
Once we arrived at Batam and went through the immigration, we are greeted by my name printed on an A4 paper and staff attired in the resort uniform to fetch us to the resort. It was a warm gesture and certainly gave us a good start to a weekend morning.
The check in time was supposed to be at Batam time 2pm. Fortunately for us, there are rooms available and we plonk ourselves onto the bed (I mean, we are there to relax yep).
We had a good nap and got ready for the shuttle bus at Batam time 10:30am which is bringing us to Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall where we are able to get our Internet and exchange currency.
INTERNET AND CURRENCY EXCHANGE
We went to GraPARI and got a SIM card with 1.3Gb (3G) + 5Gb (4G) at Rupiah 60,000 (approx SGD $5-6). According to the staff, 3G runs faster than 4G which is in total opposite in Singapore. In any case, we are very relieved to stay connected throughout the trip (Instagram / Snapchat etc).
We exchanged in Nagoya as the rates here is slightly better than those at Harbourfront Shopping Centre. Rate: $1 = Rupiah 9,330.
Batam City Square is a 10 min drive from Nagoya Hill Shopping Centre.
After having lunch at A&W and exploring around, we took the complimentary shuttle bus back to the resort at Batam time 1:30pm.
We took some time in the afternoon to walk about the resort and relax ourselves. There are many activities to participate in. There’s cable ski, banana boat, kayaking, ATV, fishing, go kart, wakeboarding, paintball, manicure & pedicure, archey, flat tire bike and flying fox. Of course, the flying fox is over the swimming pool and it is no-kick (not exciting) to adrenaline seekers. But it is still a fun activity for the old and the young to experience.
There is limited food at the resort and it is rather pricey and the taste of the food is just average. Hence, I would recommend to take a cab out for dinner if you are looking for more variety and at a more affordable price (last shuttle service brings guests back to the resort at Batam time 4:45pm from Nagoya Hill).
As the massage comes together with the Groupon, we went for our massage when the night falls. Probably not one of the best massages I have but a needed one as my muscles are aching. In addition, the staff are very attentive and caring to the amount of pressure they apply and whether you are comfortable.
Anyone who’ve been to Batam are probably greeted with many “Kueh Lapis” stalls, also known as Layer Cakes. Their layer cakes here are moist, fragrant and comes in many varieties. Other than the original, they have Mocha, Cinnamon and even Durian (the list goes on!).
Our departure was at Batam time 6:30pm and we arrived in Singapore at Singapore time 8:30pm. Through the immigration gates was a breeze and I’m happy to be back in my home after a short getaway.
I’m really impressed with the service by the crew at Harris Waterfront Resort Batam. Everyone carried smiles on their faces, polite and tend to your every need. Rather than just colleagues, they are like family; ensuring the guests by the pool are safe and having fun, guiding us to our destination when we are on our way to massage, the staff greeted us with the Harris dance in the morning during our breakfast. If you’re going on a weekend getaway, why not choose a happy weekend getaway ☺️