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)
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.
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
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.
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?)
If you’d like to book this hotel, you can visit their website here.
They do screen English/Korean movies like gangster squad/Les Miserables in case you think they only screen Indonesian films.
We are looking at visiting Batam over the chinese new year period again. Hopefully we’re able to visit more places the next time!