[EDIT: the hotel is now called Natra Bintan, a Tribute Portfolio Resort]
My first Marriot Bonvoy experience in Bintan, checked!
My first Tribute Portfolio experience, also checked!
The Canopi had a lot to live up to, given that its actually Glamping only 1-hr ferry from Singapore. It also had to live up to Marriot standards after being bought over and is now operating as a Tribute Portfolio property.
The below marketing spill summarizes how the resort sees itself:
Set along Southeast Asia’s largest man-made saltwater lagoon, The Canopi Bintan offers nature, adventure and luxury an hour from Singapore. The resort is Marriott’s first glamping experience, ideal for families and corporate retreats. Amid the island’s tropical greenery, 100 safari-themed tents feature private patios and gardens, outdoor rainforest showers and comforts including Wi-Fi and air-conditioning
I can see why there is much built up anticipation.
Address – Jalan Raya Haji KM 01 Kawasan Pariwisata, Teluk Sebong Lagoi, Bintan Island 29152 Indonesia. Website.
Contact – Tel: +62 770 692252. Email: email@example.com
Price – IDR 2,232,500++ per night (IDR 2,701,325) = SGD265. This is under the Member Rate Advanced Purchase with Breakfast for 2pax. Not the cheapest for Bintan but also probably just only mid tier in terms of other options in the resort island.
Location – Located in the newly developed Lagoi Bay area (more developments are happening as I write this), the location is meant to be the newer touristy part of the action, the Banyan Tree / Angsana / Club Med areas being the pioneers. As all Bintan resorts are, it is also rather standalone, requiring the hotel’s paid shuttle to anywhere else.
Getting There – If you are geting tickets from Singapore, you should be taking the ferry to Bandar Bentan Telani Terminal (BBT) in Bintan from the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal. I took the 1110am ferry on a Friday morning and already the boat was suitably crowded. Immigration queue at the BBT Terminal was snaking but we cleared in about 20mins or so. Once you clear immigration and past security, you’ll see the Canopi staff holding up the signage. It is still unclear if you need to email the hotel prior with your ferry timings and no. of pax or the shuttle is anyway available at every ferry arrival timing but to be safe, I’d suggest you email anyway. For some reason, my group of 6pax was marked as “VIP”. Yays?
Getting Around – As the resort is rather stand-alone, you either need to request for the complimentary buggy service to get you around the resort, or pay for their shuttle service to anywhere else on the island. You can also choose to hire a van (7-seater) with driver for 6hours etc to get you to the main island. Upon check in, you’ll receive the price list of the shuttles.
Check In – My group of 6pax was unfortunately split into 3 different ferry timings, with the earliest arriving on the 8am ferry. I used the Marriot Bonvoy app to “check in” for 9am and crossed my fingers. She got 1 out of 3 rooms at 10am+ which was a nice surprise. The other rooms was ready at 1pm+ or so but we settled the formalities first.
I was thanked for my loyalty which was nice.
A small glitch: at check in, I was also informed that my rooms were not yet paid for even though my card was already charged and I paid my dues prior to the trip. I was shocked, informed the front desk that I had already paid, and was asked to show proof of payment. As I fumbled to search for my payment details, the staff apologised nicely and said the rooms are indeed paid for – she couldn’t see the details as it was one payment for all 3 rooms tagged to only 1 room instead of the entire reservation. Resolved fast enough but was quite alarming.
Surroundings – more pics of how the rest of the resort looks like:
Room – I saw in-app that the resort had upgraded us to Safari Tents instead of the Garden Tent (40SqM) booked. The difference was about IDR300,000 per night but we were happy to get a better room since its free! If you are booking more than 1 room, be sure to request for them to be in the same cluster as it makes logistics a lot easier.
I’m merely a Silver member but it was nice that they had a welcome scroll and token deco on the bed for me (the other 2 rooms did not have these).
The floors of the tents can be cleaner (a little grainy) but everything seems to be okay – after all it is glamping. A/C was strong which can be a godsend for the sweltering heat. The room is really pretty especially with the quaint looking cupboards. Modern amenities and Tribute branded toiletries were provided. Outdoor showers and bathroom completed the glamping experience.
I’m not a fan of the outdoor bit of things as the partition walls are not that high and I can literally hear people walking by as I go about my stuff. Not sure how the resort looks after the safety stuff but will be good to be assured especially for ladies.
Breakfast – Available at the resort’s only restaurant, Patio from 6:30am – 11:00am, quality and quantity was sufficient and not too bad. Also had lunch on the day I arrived – @IDR180,000 I can’t really complain much but too many flies were partaking in lunch too, which is a concern especially for high end resort. Also experienced dinner and drinks here and it was terribly slow even though the place not was full – we had to ask for our orders at least 4 times. Their signature Canopi coconut was hard to resist with its pretty hot-stamped branding but it would have been better if served cold.
Facilities / Activities – The resort offers a host of activities but they come with a price. You’ll get the price list upon check in and then you can decide. The activity centre (I think they also call this Treasure Bay) is a buggy’s ride away – not walkable in the heat. The centre also offers massage (Nibbana Spa) and other dining options – HookedOn! was the best meal of the trip with its meats and seafood and a must try – even though the place was completely empty on a Sat afternoon – it is more wallet-friendly than Patio and better food.
Service – Small glitches here and there (including the concierge who told me they can’t help guests to make local calls) but overall not too bad. In particular the front desk staff who consistently remembers me and addresses me by first name, and Long the buggy / guide whom you can tell really enjoys his job and was fun and funny to chat with.
Check Out – Painlessly done and swiftly completed. It was a plus that the staff offers to print out your boarding pass for you as long as you furnish them with the confirmation number so you only need to depart from the hotel 1 hour before your ferry departure time.
**Side note for those who like massages –
The hotel does not have an in-house massage but has a partnership with D’Bintan Salon Day Spa which is not cheap and honestly not as good a place as I thought. Prices were SG prices for a foot massage (IDR320,000) and up to IDR850,000 for body massages. They provide shuttle services to pick you from Canopi and will send you back too. Would not come again though as the ambience is not conducive.
In summary, a good short trip and I have no doubt the overall service standards was raised under the Marriot branding. People who like water activities will find the place more exciting, or couples wanting a honeymoon sort of ambience. The place is really pretty though and nonetheless a unique experience.
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