It has taken me this long to try this property.
While I had my eyes on this spot pre-COVID, prices were hovering around SGD300+ which was too expensive for Batam. So COVID came and went (or still around) and the idea for a short family trip came up, I decided to spring for this as the prices had gone down and I would be able to utilize my Suite Night Awards (SNA) which otherwise would have expired end 2023.
Address – Harbour Bay Downtown, Jalan Duyung, Kel, Sungai Jodoh, Kec Batu Ampar, Batam, Indonesia, 29453. Website.
Contact – Tel: +62 778 5707999. Email: email@example.com.
Price – IDR2,232,000++ per night (about SGD200++) booked for a Deluxe King under the Amex Biz Member Rate which I figured was decent given that we would have club access covering breakfast and dinner with drinks.
Location – Co-located within the Habour Bay Downtown development which houses the Habour Bay Ferry Terminal and the Habourbay Mall amongst others, the property offers sheltered access to a smattering of eats and basic shopping options.
Pre-Arrival – I applied 4x SNA covering 2 rooms for 2nights and was pleasantly surprised to see the upgrade confirm 5 days prior. A 3rd room without SNA applied was upgraded to a M Club access room alongside the upgrade. I took this to assume that all 5 pax of us would have club access – my family of 2pax each in the Suites (club access is highlighted in the room description) as well as myself in the club room by status.
Getting in touch – Also useful to note that it was also really hard to get in touch with anyone in the hotel prior to the stay without incurring IDD charges – the only contact detail I could find for the property was a local number which I didn’t try obviously. Their contact the email is not listed anywhere and I reached out via all their social media pages only to be met with silence. I was only able to settle my queries when the in-app chat opened up 2 days prior. For all other Bonvoy hotels so far, I’ve had success goggling for some alternate ways to reach out and I have always been successful but this one had me stuck. So frustrating!
[the contact email in the earlier section is grabbed from the sender of the post-stay e-folio]
Getting There – Unlike other more popular Batam ferry terminals, Horizon Ferry is the only ferry operator which goes to Habour Bay which means tickets are priced a little higher @ $70+ per pax for a return ticket. So we bit the bullet and purchased business class tickets @ $113nett per pax instead heh – from Habourfront Ferry Terminal in Singapore to Habour Bay Terminal in Batam.
What a business class ferry gets you:
- A separate seating area on the upper deck of the ferry where seats are more comfortable.
- Priority disembarkation at Habour Bay upon arrival in Batam.
- Fast track through Indonesia customs at the ferry terminal upon arrival in Batam.
- Priority check in and security clearance at Habour Bay terminal in Batam for the return leg (note that they may tell you that you get priority boarding but there is actually only 1 queue to board so everyone is mixed together anyways.
- Access to their Business Lounge after clearing Indonesian customs, located prior to boarding.
- Priority disembarkation upon arrival in Singapore.
Most of the benefits only start once you board the ferry at Singapore which was fine for us. Priority check in and security clearance on our return was a godsend since we were coming back on a super peak Sunday and the cabin was completely full.
I only managed to take pics of the ferry cabin on my way there and it was indeed more comfortable and felt less chaotic than the regular cabins.
Once we exited the arrival hall, it is a short 5min walk to the hotel co-located within the same complex. But a Marriott signage was clearly lacking as we had to ask someone to help point us in the right direction before we saw a lobby – which was actually quite nice due to the natural lights.
Check In – we arrived to a sparsely populated lobby at 1030am Batam time and were quite happy to be informed that our rooms are ready. We were asked if we’d like to check in at the M Club which we accepted and were asked to wait for someone to bring us. After a short wait, a different staff came to ask if he can help and I told him we were waiting for someone to bring us to M Club for check in. A while later, the same staff who offered the M Club check in came and asked me again if I would like to check in at the club. Eh?
Anyways, while waiting, we were served a refreshing welcome drink of lemongrass something.
Check In at M Club – we were eventually escorted to level 11 to be checked in at M Club – more on the space later!
I was assisted by 2 very kind staff but the whole check in process took almost 25mins due to the fact that one of the staff was an intern in training and he was very meticulously going through the process. The experience was further slowed down by the fact that I was told that the 2x Suites successfully upgraded with SNA was room-only and does not include M Club access despite what was indicated in the room description. I was surprised and tried to negotiate as best as I could but they stuck to the principle of only myself + 1 guest for access for the night of our check in, further quoting IDR 1,000,000 (about SGD100) per pax for club access for the balance 3pax if we would like to access the club for the evening cocktail session that night.
But to their credit, they agreed to allow all 5 of us access the club from the next day onwards.
Also following the above policy, only 2pax were allowed to have breakfast at the main restaurant for each day but 5pax at M Club if we like. While the entire experience was unexpectedly bumpy, the staff remained polite and professional throughout.
Rooms – my room, 1107, was a M Club Access King and at 37SqM it was definitely more than enough space for 1pax, with the door opening up to a large squarish space with the wardrobe space to the left.
This is followed by a small luggage area + mini bar + fridge – forgot to take a close up of the minbar but it has the necessary tea bags + coffee machines + glass bottle water. I was also surprised to see that items in the fridge, which includes some chocolates, soft drinks and a local beer, is complimentary which was a nice touch.
The main space itself is all modern cosy with a cushy king bed with an ottoman at the end, accompanied with two generously-sized bedside tables facing a big TV.
I really loved the window-length daybed which has awesome views of the waters.
The bathroom area was a good space offering a small-ish bathtub, a single sink, an open-concept toilet, and a separate shower space. Toiletries are thisworks brand which I last saw at Marriott Marquis NYC which were a little drying for me.
I also hopped by my parent’s M Club Access King 1-Bedroom Executive Suite, Oceanfront – it was a very spectacular 73SqM space which can even comfortably fit 3pax I thought.
My welcome amenity of a sweets platter was also placed in this room as they assumed I’m staying here.
M Club – I really love this M Club! Located on level 11th, this spot is probably the best spot in the hotel to chill in, hot weather or not. Decked out in the brown / tones, there are plenty of seats offering comfortable seating for various group sizes and it was never crowded which was excellent – 5 of us never had issues finding a spot every time we came by.
There is also an alfresco area offering sweeping views of the waters but take note that smoking is permitted in this area. If not, it is an absolutely lovely breakfast spot to nurse your coffee.
The food area is largely empty off hours but you can get non-alcoholic drinks, nuts, dried fruits, and cookies from 10:00am – 5:00pm.
On both mornings I was there about 7am and the space as largely empty. The spread was not big but it had the quintessential selection of tomatoes, hashbrown, and an egg station which you can order from. There was also a handful of local dishes which was a nice touch though I didn’t really have a benchmark of whether they are good or not.
The cold selection was a bit more colorful (literally) with carbs, cheeses, salads, fruits, cereals, yoghurts, local kuehs etc.
One special service when you have breakfast at M Club is the staff can bring you any item from Goji Kitchen if you like – so I tried asking for some dishes but they all failed miserably – the dim sum was cold and the bakso super salty.
Hors d’oeuvre & Evening Cocktails (5:30pm-8:30pm)
The interesting thing about this session is that they offer a different theme each evening – it was ‘Healthy’ on my first evening which I swung by to take a look but did not partake due to the lounge access restriction – meatless stuff, vegeables etc.
The second night was ‘Chinese’ – a little bummed as I didn’t come all the way here to eat Chinese food but ah wells. Quality was also rather average except for the outstanding roast chicken.
Drinks were a generous affair of wines (including a sparkling option), 3 types of beers, and a count of 16 different types of spirits, accompanied by a printed cocktail menu. The team was also super sporting and made us Baileys Martini in both a vodka and a whisky variation – both of which were quite nice. Special mention to their G&T which rocked too!
The Fitness Centre (24hrs) is located on level 5 and quite well equipped in my opinion even though it has no rower – used it twice and it was suitably occupied. Very healthy all these people.
The Pool (6am-8pm) is located right next to the gym offering views of the straits – it seems long eough to clock proper laps if need be, as well as more scenic spots for those IG shots. There is also a small jacuzzi of sorts in a corner for private dipping if you like.
Service – a great experience overall thanks to the warm and efficient service delivered by the enthusiastic youthful team. Despite the lounge access restriction which was the only hiccup throughout my stay, the team still tried their best to ensure we had a great stay – and we did! When checking out, they even offered to pack some food from that night’s evening selection for us to enjoy as we were departing prior.
Special shoutout to Rena, Vinsen, Pito, and Nadif who took such great care of us!
Check Out – only 1x Suite was granted late check out of 4pm but the bills from the other 2 rooms were transferred over seamlessly and sorted out soonest.
Definitely a great stay at what I think is currently the best hotel in Batam – and what an excellent use for my Suite Night Award too! M Club access was the icing on the cake for status access – but cash rate is too expensive in my opinion and I would say no if you had to pay for it.