Tuesday, June 7, 2011

June Vacation

We just came back from vacation.

We chose a nice resort just 50 minutes away from Singapore by ferry. It was a pleasant boat ride away.

We were considering the land transfers to the hotel, and noted that they only limit 3 to a car. Not wanting to split the family up, we opted for the bus transfer. We ended up waiting for a long time for "non-existent guests" to take the bus with us!!

It was a beautiful resort. We had opted for one that cost a bit more, for a bit of exclusivity and privacy.

On the first two days, we almost had the pool and the beach exclusively to ourselves!! Of course the children had a good time, without having to worry about being a nuisance to other guests.

Food at the hotel was so-so. On the pricey side considering it is in a country where the standard of living is much cheaper. What I found funny was, they had the same kids menu for all their restaurants, but the prices were different! Why? I really dont understand. It cost more to eat at their "coffee house" then at their restaurant! And another peeve of mine was that they didnt offer the kids menu at the pool side!

Hubby and I tried out the spa. The prices we paid were similar to what we would pay at a top spa in Singapore. There goes the advantage of cheap labour in their country which I thought they should pass on to their guests. In addition a 90 minute treatment turned out to be less than 60 minutes as the first 15 minutes was spent explaining the treatment, and the last 15 minutes was spent drinking tea! In addition, there was a lot of time wasted by the therapist in between the treatments walking in and out of the room getting things that she needed - hot towels, oils, pillows, etc. You would have thought that they should have that all ready in the room. In that sense, it turned out to cost more than what we would have paid in Singapore!

Another thing that I wasnt happy about was that everything in the hotel was priced in US dollars! And upon checkout, when we were paying the bill, the bill was in their home currency. That means that everything was converted to their home currency at their "cut-throat" exchange rate, which we settled by credit card coz who carries 30 million of a currency when travelling! That means we have to bear yet another exchange loss when the credit card company bills us in Singapore dollars!!

For our return transfer, we decided to opt for the car transfer this time as we didnt fancy waiting for non-existent guests again. This time they agreed to let all 5 of us into one car, and it turned out to be cheaper than had we decided to take the bus transfer - and no waiting to boot!

Cant help but feel we were kind of ripped off during the vacation!

9 comments:

Stardust said...

Welcome home dear!

Sorry to hear that the trip wasn't good as hoped but it's still a holiday! At least you had the beach and pool private for 2 days. ;) God knows when I will have a getaway again. :P

Say do you mind telling where the resort is?

ilene said...

I don't suppose you'll want to return to this place again?! ;)

Never mind, just look at the bright side - quality time spent relaxing together with loved ones.

stay-at-home mum said...

Stardust - it was the Angsana resort on Bintan :P

Ilene - I wouldnt mind going if the trip is sponsored!! or if they revise their prices or re-look their billing policy, which I think they might, considering the number of new developments coming up there. or I may just consider another resort on that island.

stay-at-home mum said...

Stardust - it was the Angsana resort on Bintan :P

Ilene - I wouldnt mind going if the trip is sponsored!! or if they revise their prices or re-look their billing policy, which I think they might, considering the number of new developments coming up there. or I may just consider another resort on that island.

iml said...

You are right. Was there last year and found that the rates were **** for ** rooms and services.

bp said...

back so soon already? is it coz kids have school projects, etc for rest of their hols?

hmmph, the locals really know how to hike the prices! so strange that the kids' meals cost more in the cafe than restaurant, but cd that be yet another way to rip off unknowing folks who think eating at the cafe may save them some?!

i hope your children had loads of fun soaking up the sun and water still! :)

have a great rest of the hols, enjoy them altogether now b4 they head back to school!

stay-at-home mum said...

BP - N is doing his PSLE the year, and thus has to get back to working hard. The homework the school gave for the hols is phenomenal!!

JO-N said...

Bintan! I was guessing but didn't get an answer. You know, we went to Cameron Highlands without making a hotel reservation on labour day (bad choice cos we were stuck in a jam and didn't manage to go anywhere), walked in to ask and they hiked up the price there and then. Unbelievable! So, in the end, we turned and headed back to KL.

NomadicMom said...

Welcome to Indonesia.
Don't you know that everything is quoted in USD over here? The hotels,even my rental is in USD..

I'm surprised that they didn't quote in SGD in Bintan, cause it's basically developed by Singaporeans anyway. THe last time I was there, everything was in SGD.