I’ve always felt abit iffy about going to Batam again after my 2015 trip as most of the hotels there are old and icky. I still shudder thinking about my last choice of hotel there.
I was stoked to see the announcement of this new Accor property in 2017 and figured one day I should check it out while its still relatively new. Yays to another excuse for a quick getaway hehe.
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Should have taken some pics of the ferry too but in any case, I picked to go on a Thursday to Saturday to avoid the weekend madness. Horizon Fast Ferry was my choice as it had a nice permutation of departing SG @ 12:15pm and returning @ 3:20pm via Habour Bay Terminal, which is the closest terminal to the hotel and a much quieter one compared to Batam Centre, which I hear is quite chaotic.
Getting there from the ferry terminal is dependant on a taxi counter right outside the sad looking exit – there is nothing else feasible. So yes, bite your tongue and surrender that IDR70,000 (SGD7) to the hotel.
PRICE – A Junior Suite cost me about SGD60++ per night with the Accor app 20% off promotion. A really good deal I would say!
LOCATION – Located about 10mins taxi ride away from the terminal, you kind of meander around small roads and stuff until you pull up into a bright colorfu cheery compound. Welcome to Ibis!
That being said, there is absolutely nothing around the hotel which means you are dependant on a taxi / Grab to head out to anywhere. But the hotel does provide shuttle buses to Nagoya Hill Mall but only at 3 intervals of 11:00am (too early), 3:00pm (too late), and 6:00pm (nah). Someone please tell them to add on a 1:00pm shuttle!
CHECK IN – fuss free and room was available at 12:30pm as it was a weekday. I was asked for ‘payment’ upfront when most hotels just take a temporary charge. I clarified if it was payment and not just a holding charge and they said yes. Strange. But oooookay.
WIFI – Offered to all hotel guests and works throughout the hotel but you are sporadically logged out and needs to log back in again.
ROOM – I booked a Junior Suite with Queen bed as the lower categories were all booked out. Suite 337 was huge @ 50SqM and feels sparse (or cold) as it has a lot of wasted empty space. While the room still feels new and adorned with cheery blue colors, cleanliness left much to be desired as one of the towel, the bedsheet, and a pillow case were stained and we had to ask them to change it. We also noticed the aircon was wonky as the temperature just would not go down and made the room feel quite warm.
We noticed that the toilet cubicle floods a little everytime we flush – its not sewage water but it looked like clean water was being pushed up from underground through the drainage hole. We thought it would drain on its own. Apparently not. In the middle of the night, the flood water had made it way towards the wash basin area covering half of the floor.
We decided to ask for a change of room the next morning – they offered to move us just opposite to Suite 336. But this time round, the roof of the toilet cubicle was leaking and this time it was dirty water which was dripping onto whoever was using the toilet. This made the toilet practically un-usable.
We asked to change AGAIN. And asked them to make sure this time, the new suite is in a working condition BEFORE they moved us again.
Finally, we settled in at Suite 332, where nothing was wrong. But quite pissed at the wasted time and energy trying to get ourselves a normal usable hotel room. Took us 2 moves between 3 different rooms!
To their credit, the duty manager offered us a plate of fruits thereafter but I would much prefer they get the basics right in the first place.
STREATS – Breakfast was nothing to complain about with a smattering of usual western and Indon fare. Hot strong black coffee and an egg station is all that matters sometime. With my Accor Plus benefit of 50% for 2pax dining, dining here for other meals of the day was a steal at an average of IDR100,000 (SGD10) for 2pax. Food is surprisingly good too – so much so that I end up here after a few unsatisfactory meals outside the compound. But staff can be a little blur and service could be more attentive.
SPHERE LOUNGE (no pics) – This is a 9th floor rooftop bar located on another wing of the hotel. It looks like they have food options too but the alfresco drinks area feels quite nice to sit and nurse a few whiskys. Weather was good that day and the breeze made our 1 hour session quite comfy.
SPA (no pics) – The spa, The Beauty Symphony, is outsourced but conveniently located within the hotel compound on level 1 through a secret door with no signage. I picked some foot reflex thingy pegged at 120mins for IDR250,000 (SGD25) which I thought was a steal until I saw the set up. It was a erm hospital setting where you have individual beds separated by partitions. Ugh. So I sat on one of the beds which was not even a proper foot massage bed and was quite restless as the less than comfy ambience made the treatment feel too long. Way too long. The place also feeds mozzies based on the bites I got too. Only for those who dont mind the environment and purely looking for cheap prices.
[Something else that is relevant but not related to this hotel review]
By contrast, if you dont mind spending abit more, you can also book a 2-hour treatment at approximately IDR500,000 (SGD50) @ Spa Central Batam (yays to actual spa outlet!) and they will provide a free 2-way transfer to and from your hotel. But take note that timings can be rubber as they were 25mins late for our pick up (we had to rot at the lobby while asking them for updates via watsapp). For your return, because their Nogaya outlet is located just beside Nagoya Hill Mall, you can also let them know you are heading out for some shopping / food and let them know what time you need your return transfer back to hotel. Quite a brainless option so that works for me.
Anyways, back to the review proper….
SERVICE – Service in general feels functional but anything that is outside of what I percieve to be a SOP generates looks of uncertainty and a helpless response to your actual issue. Definitely something that can be worked on.
CHECK OUT – They granted me a late check out til 1pm and at the counter they asked for payment. Which I thought was already settled at check in. Apparently that was the holding charge which I initally thought was right all along. Sigh. Oh well.
Taking into consideration my Accor Plus membership dining privilege and the ability to earn points at this property, I actually would choose this again. Especially when their Superior rooms and Deluxe rooms are at a very reasonable SGD35-50 range. But I another part of me also dreads to think that how will this property look in another year’s time since the maintenance seems abit slipshod.
But it seems a new Marriot is coming up end of 2018 at Habour Bay Terminal soon but that could potentially set you back SGD100 a night I think. Excited nonetheless. Let’s see!