According to this report, Singaporeans are getting too little sleep! Netherlands is too far a land to travel just for a weekend catch up on sleep. Batam is the nearest choice! Since there were four of us, we decided to book
the Cabana at the Harris Waterfront Resort, which is 2 adjoining rooms by the beach. The package included one night stay with breakfast and also a BBQ dinner for a total of only SGD320.00 (USD246). We took the ferry to Sekupang instead of Waterfront as there was a promo going with Majestic Ferry at $39.00 all inclusive. Great start for a budget weekend getaway! So we set off from Harbourfront to Sekupang taking the 10.10am ferry on a Sat morning!
As expected, the immigration line was long. We were in line for almost 45min! I had time to take some shots while the line was still outside the immigration building. Remember to keep your talking volume down as the immigration is strict about noise level.
The 15-min taxi ride from Sekupang to Harris Waterfront cost us 100,000rp, which is slightly more than SGD10 (USD 7.70). Arriving at about 12pm, the staff greeted us with a blast of music. They were not certain if we were new guests arrival as we came in taxi with luggage small enough to be considered shopping bags, they hesitated. Even so, check-in was a good experience with refreshing welcome drinks. The bright orange furnishing and deco gave a fun weekend vibe. Dino the mascot stood near the reception with his big welcoming smile too! We had quite a bit of the really yummy cookies in huge jars at the counter which I think were samplers for their cookie sale. Oops!
We were a little shocked by the crowded pool and later found out that a company had their family day having almost 900 people. The event ended by around 4pm so it was ok. Since I was at the Cabana room, I didn’t have the height to take a bird’s eye view of the pool but you can take a look at their website. You can do a flying fox from the top of the hotel building over the pool to the ground! The baby pool had little floating balls to entertain the little ones. You can also give a shot in trying to walk on water in an inflatable ball! Quite impressive for a more than 14 years old resort! 🙂
We got a little lost, maybe more distracted by the festivity of the family day by the pool. The hotel manager must have read our faces and personally walked us to our cabana. Before reaching our Cabana, we passed through a very pretty walkway with neatly trimmed bushes on both sides. In the photo, the cabanas are lined on the right side behind the bushes. I was rather happy to be greeted by this, a complete change in mood and atmosphere from the pool to this! I am on vacation! Our cabana is almost at the end and we passed by the others. We were pleased to find that our cabana, C11 & C12, was a stand alone and no other cabanas within the 7-10m radius. The nearer cabanas were like terrace units lined up next to each other.
Here’s the pretty entrance to our cabana that is tucked away and hidden – almost like a secret garden. We were 2hrs early for check-in and so we only got one room which we greatly appreciated. Harris’ signature refreshing orange scent is possibly one of the first things you will notice when the door opens. Harris has kept quite a number of experiences rather consistent throughout their branches, including the large day bed in every room that can be the bed for additional person. The cabana room comes with extra King-size bed! How awesome! The bathroom is open concept in every sense. Firstly there is no door, but the toilet door is tinted and there is a shower curtain for the bath. The other open that I want to rave about is the glass rooftop for the bathroom area. Natural sunlight comes right into the bathroom! This means that you can sun tan while lying in the bath tub. 😉
As mentioned, this trip was meant to catch up on sleep for me. I fell asleep in the room’s day bed but my friends who were chatting at the veranda told me I should lie down outside. So I laid on the similar day bed found at the veranda, and the breeze was better than the air-conditioning. There I fell asleep till staff brought BBQ dinner to our cabana. The BBQ dinner was a little adjustment as we expected BBQ pit with real charcoal. Instead it was table BBQ, a hot plate over a stove. Overall the food tasted ok and we expected a little more. Perhaps the resort wants us to order more from their cafe.
Talking about food at the resort, we had lunch at the resort cafe and it was very enjoyable. I had my Gurami set, which is a type of fish that is deep-fried. Perhaps it was the late lunch at almost 3pm Singapore time, 2pm Batam time, I cleaned up the fish to its bones. Haha. The buntut soup (Indo oxtail soup) at the cafe was also a hot favourite as I saw the staff bringing our many portions for their guests. When you are at Harris Waterfront, don’t forget to try their pizza! One of the best around that you will not regret! I did not have stomach space to have it this time and regretted it. The breakfast is definitely a well-worth one. They have egg station, waffle and pancake station, noodle station, and food catered for Koreans, Indians, both American and Asian breakfast! I definitely overate my breakfast that morning.
Harris Hotel New Wing
It was a really short stay and I wish I had at least an additional night. They were sweet enough to allow us a late check out at 1pm. We caught their free shuttle to Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall that is about 30min away for lunch and some quick shopping. We took a taxi from Nagoya to Sekupang ferry terminal and it cost us 120,000rp (SGD 12.30, USD9.40). Thank God that we made it to the ferry terminal within 30min even though there are some minor jams. We forgot to get our boarding pass when we arrived in Sekupang so that we did not have to arrive an hour before for our return ferry. All in all, the stay has been very pleasant and I got the sleep and eat I came for! =)