A short getaway… 45 mins away from home

Well… dating in Singapore can be boring after a while cause there’s only so much things to do on our little island. Sometimes, I just wish I could go for a short getaway trip nearby.

And I realised that we can! We have a lovely island named Batam just 45 minutes away by Ferry. There has been some interesting development over the years and it’s definitely worth a visit for those who are looking to try new food, hotels and entertainment.

I attach a hand-drawn map below on how I remembered the place to be. If you get lost using the map below, it’s not my fault, I tried my best.



Visited Batam over the weekend to attend the opening of the new Swiss-Belhotel Harbour Bay, which is located 5 minutes away from the Harbour Bay Terminal.

We booked our ferry tickets with Prima Ferries towards Harbour Bay Terminal. (You can either book tickets online or buy them off the counter at Harbourfront Ferry Terminal.)

The ride took just 45 minutes, which was pretty fast in my opinion. After docking, we headed for a drink at an open-air pub named al Fresco’s Garden Cafe & Bar. (Heard that the cafe is opened by an Australian who came to Batam to retire)

Chicken wings with Thai chili sauce

Fried Ice Cream balls were pretty delish

My avocado-chocolate milkshake tasted pretty funky. I suggest drinking beer or juices if you’re not very adventurous.

The live band entertains you with the latest English pop songs and ballads.

If you like cafe-hopping, there’s another cafe named ‘Pounce‘ in the Harbour Bay Mall (really near the harbour where we disembark). Check out their FB page

We retired for the night to be ready for Swiss-Belhotel’s opening ceremony the next morning.

We tried out a traditional Indonesian styled breakfast which tasted surprisingly good.

Outfit of the day with #nomakeup

Here’s some info I gathered on the Swiss-Belhotel Harbour Bay:

  • It is a 4-star international hotel
  • Ideally located in the central business and commercial district
  • 30 minutes from Hang Nadim International Airport
  • 35 minutes to Singapore by high speed ferry from Harbour Bay Ferry Terminal
  • Combination of hotel, mall and trade centre

Here’s an artist impression of the facade of the hotel.
Didn’t manage to grab a photo of the facade cause it was raining the entire day.

A panorama shot of the hotel interior

The hotel registration counters greets you when you step in through the main entrance. I love the chic palm tree design on the back wall.

The decor screams contemporary chic which I can’t resist.

The cafe which is also at the hotel lobby gives off a relaxing vibe and is great for hanging out with friends/family or entertaining business partners.


Many distinguished guests were invited for the opening and everyone was really excited to check out the grand ballroom which can hold up to more than 100 tables (which is really hard to find in Singapore by the way).

The Swiss-Belhotel Harbour Bay finally opened on 19 Jan 2013 thanks to the hard work put in by these individuals.


Lunch was served and we had to try everything cause it looked so good!

My verdict is that the food is comparable with the standards of the hotels in Singapore, but some of the dishes do present more towards the local flavor.

For those who are considering to get married, Swiss-Belhotel Harbour Bay could be a viable option for your wedding dinner given it’s proximity to Singapore. A table starts from $288 which is much cheaper compared to $900 per table in Singapore. Such a good deal!
For more details, I suggest emailing the hotel to find out more about their bridal packages.


After trying the food, it’s time to tour the hotel rooms!
When choosing a hotel, other than the location and food, what matters most to me is the comfort and design of the room that we will be staying in. (Don’t you just hate small rooms with no walking spaces?)

A very spacious corridor. Don’t you just love the design of the hallway?

This is the Deluxe room. I think this is one of their most basic rooms which starts from $70.

The stylish toilet that I will spend hours in. I love rainshowers!

This is a twin deluxe room. Some rooms are adjoining, so do check with the counter if you are traveling with a group of friends and would like adjoining rooms.

Some macaroons that we received as a door gift for the opening ceremony. The dessert chef in this hotel really nailed it on the macaroons. Done to perfection.

We bade goodbye to the hotel and decided to visit some other places before going back to Singapore at night.

If you’d like to book this hotel, you can visit their website here.

We visited Kepri Mall which was located about 5-10 minutes away.

For movie enthusiasts, try out Blitz Theatre. I would have caught a movie if we had more time. Their opening promo is ‘buy a popcorn and drink’ and you get a free movie ticket! How wonderful is that?

They do screen English/Korean movies like gangster squad/Les Miserables in case you think they only screen Indonesian films.

We also visited the 5D Theatre and sat through a rollercoaster ride lasting about 10-15 minutes. The entry fees are about 15000 – 20000 rupiah (which is less than S$3).

We also went to the mega-sized Carrefour to shop before leaving. Guess what we bought?


Sus bought a whole carton of Indo Mee to bring back to Singapore. It’s a must buy when you visit Batam!

We are looking at visiting Batam over the chinese new year period again. Hopefully we’re able to visit more places the next time!



  1. I love the map that you drew! It looks very very useful! I’ll definitely use that when I go to Batam again! Thanks! =D

  2. What a beautiful trip to Batam. Evr’y thing from the food, sights, to the chic decor were absolutely stunning. I’m glad you had fun. It looks fun and I really enjoyed the awesomely immersing pics. Thank you for taking me there.

  3. You can definitely see your enthusiasm in the work
    you write. The sector hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. All the time follow your heart.

  4. hi there,
    may i ask how do you actually get to kepri mall? via taxi? I googled the location and it’s approx. 45 mins drive away.

    • Hi dear, my Indo friend drove us there :) We went from her house which is 5-10 mins away from Kepri Mall.

      Here are the directions you need to get to Kepri mall from the Harbourbay Terminal:

      Go to this link: http://bit.ly/12vkPbn and click on ‘get directions’.

      Insert A: Harbourbay Terminal
      B: Carrefour Indonesia. PT – Kepri Mall, Indonesia

      It shows the way as 15 mins by driving :) U can get a cab easily upon coming out of Harbourbay Terminal :)

      hope this helps :)

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