First off, you wouldn’t think that I would go on a holiday without my faithful little friend, JuliURS, would you? Anyway, I decided to take his girlfriend along, May May (or May Ling in my fanfic ALG). We started out the house around 6.30am. The ferry was 8.50am.
We took the Wavemaster ferry and reached Batam around 9am Indonesian time (it is 1 hour behind Singapore). The ride was about 45mins. Custom clearance was quite fast despite the weekend crowd. I must say that the clearance system is more effective than the one in our closest neighbour, and the officers are very efficient too. They do not take their own sweet time, chat among themselves and look upon us Singaporeans with distaste. In fact, there is a consensus among us that people in Batam are very friendly so that alone makes it a nice place to visit.
The Swiss Belinn is less than 10 mins drive from the Habour Bay terminal. It is a small hotel that goes up to 5-storey high but has a service apartment next to it. The hotel reception staff are friendly and accommodating and allowed us to check in even when we were very early.
We have 5 rooms and I had to pick Room 303. It was such a shock pulling open the curtain to see the opposite wall with the air-conditioner compressors. But at least the room was comfy and didn’t give me any goosebumps like some rooms do.
Anyway, hubby and I trouped over to Room 313 (Stef’s room) for a visit. Guess what? They not only have a balcony with a round table and chairs, they also have a much better view.
I lamented to Stef about our room and mentioned the fact that the balcony would be good for hubby who smokes and voila! JuliURS and May May immediately got settled in at Room 311 (edited, not 313) 😛
We went on a tour of the other 2 rooms, the 5th room being unavailable yet. Here are the views from the 2 rooms:
Then the grand tour of the hotel…
There are KTV (Karaoke) rooms on the 2nd floor of the hotel and you don’t have to book it to use it. They are just bedrooms turned into KTV rooms, but they’re big enough to consist of bedrooms and bathrooms, so you get an idea what these rooms can be used for 😉 The rooms were dirty and smelly, with cigarette butts strewn all over the place when we visited. But since it was early morning, they probably hadn’t been cleaned up yet.
It was still too early for our shopping and massage so we went for a drink in the hotel cafe, the Swiss Cafe. I love anything Swiss 😛 so this is all good for me 😉
I had Irish Coffee and I guess it would be my first and last cup 😛 It’s too bitter for me so…bad choice! But at S$6 per cup, it’s worth a try.
The men played cards as they sat in the cafe while the LZBs took a walk around the hotel premises after the drink, looking for the elusive swimming pool. It was located at the apartment building area, on the ground floor. The water was clean and inviting but since Lina and Irene didn’t bring their swimming costumes, we didn’t get to use it.
We checked out the gym too, which was a small room at one corner of the building, very warm and stuffy, but with quite a few cross trainers, treadmills and a weight-lifting machine.
Then it’s back to the cafe for lunch. And we soon realized lunch was only this:
2 pieces of fried chicken, some crackers (keropok), a bit of shredded fried eggs, a little bit of fried anchovy (ikan bilis), lettuce, cucumber, tomato, rice and a bowl of stir-fried vegetable. The chili paste was super spicy but it was good. Nothing fancy but it got us through till dinner.