So we were at Angsana Resort & Spa in Bintan one weekend in August with both sets of parents. It was a spur of the moment trip that the parents gamely tuned into, and so were treated to a different weekend than the ones we usually have.
I didn’t think they found Bintan or Angsana terribly exciting, which is quite right because there really isn’t much to do. Other than wandering out to Pasar Oleh-Oleh (a village market where local trinkets and souvenirs may be procured) for lunch and to see the sorry excuse for a mall next door for S$5 per person, we spent all our time within the confines of the resort.
It was, however, particularly amusing to watch our parents make small talk with the locals at lunch, with brave attempts at a convoluted mix of English and Bahasa Indonesia. Like gossiping villagers. Much of the idle chit-chat had to do with the ayam penyet (a tasty indonesian dish of smashed chicken and rice) we would have liked to have for lunch (but didn’t get to eat because it was not on their menu, but available at another restaurant next door *rolls eyes*) and the discounts to be had if we had called the restaurant in advance for lunch reservations (which would have included transportation and effectively halved our costs – if only we had known earlier *double rolls eyes*).
Then surely, we would never miss an opportunity at the spa. The experience was better than what I had stored in memory. One of the masseuses was extraordinarily chatty; she made a point to get feedback about her service and mention her name every chance she got. Angsana must offer real carrots to encourage them to provide good service for recommendations in order for her to be that way. That garrulous lady must top the list rather often. They serve an interesting snack after the massage – carrots (pun not intended) with plum powder and hot tea. We usually have guava with that powder, but it is a new alternative that would appeal to most palates. A 90min aromatherapy massage like that will set you back US$70++ for one.
Just before we left for the ferry that took us home, we had a blast battling it out with table tennis. I dropped almost every ball I could, but it was the sterling performances by the Dads that took us by surprise (and made me feel so ashamed; but what I lack I made up for in ball-picking skills)! SJ reminded me to add that, despite playing against well-performing rivals, he emerged the winner. Last man standing. Heh.
Angsana recently renovated and has promotions on and off. We enjoyed good room rates with US$50 room credit when we made the trip.
[First published: 30 Sep 2011]