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Batam is Indonesia's designated Free Trade Zone, part of the small Riau archipelago, which are situated close to Sumatera. Batam itself is a short ferry crossing from Singapore, and is a popular destination among Singaporeans, looking to get away for the weekend. In Batam a Singaporean dollar will buy a lot more than it does in Singapore. In fact the moment you enters Batam, you become a millionaire! REJOICE! Visitors to the island can enjoy the nightlife, the vast abundance of fresh seafood restaurants, or the numerous outlets selling heavily discounted electronics. (And some also say you can find girlfriend there. Because Batam got many pretty girls. I don't know lah. I hear say only) There are also some relatively unspoiled outdoor recreation areas, in the form of a number of beaches, a water park, and Mount Senyum for hiking enthusiasts. And don't forget all your lotion, or else chao tar then maybe not so funny already.
While Batam used to be notorious for its illicit activities such as gambling, the present governor has cracked down on illegal activity, and in recent times the city has become more suited to family vacations.
While it is a small island, it is home to a million inhabitants, so downtown area is as densely populated as any major South-East Asian city. A very large quantity of the locals are Chinese immigrants, from a variety of different Sinean ethnicities. There are invariably large numbers of Singaporeans and Malaysians on the island at any given time too, given its proximity to both countries.
Below is a shortlist of hotels in Batam that can easily be booked at Traveloka.com.
Waterfront City, Batam
Peak season rates start at S$82
The modern, spacious Harris Waterfront Resort is a perfect getaway for families on vacation, or even for the solitary business traveller, who needs to be able to spend some time relaxing in the sun now and again. It's gigantic swimming pool, and beach front location make it an ideal choice for water sports lovers, as well as travellers looking to be able to spend as much time outside as possible, working on their tans.
You can eat at the hotel poolside cafe, or go one step up in luxury, and have a meal at the onsite Italian restaurant for authentic pizzas, and pasta, with its dreamy night time views of the ocean.
If all of that is not enough, the hotel also has its very own spa, where you can go for massages and wellness treatments.
You will receive a welcome drink upon arrival (But if don't have, don't blame me hor.), and the hotel is equipped with free Wi-Fi. (which is like damn important these days.)
The resort is 29 km away from the airport and only eleven minutes walk from the harbour.
Harmoni One Convention Hotel
Batam Kota, Batam
Peak season rates start at S$57
Harmoni One Hotel was designed explicitly to cater to business travellers. It has an abundance of convention and business facilities. However, the more casual visitor is still liable to feel at home under its roof, given its modern design, and array of comforting facilities.
The hotel is conveniently located in the downtown Batam area, and many of the city's most alluring attractions can be found within easy walking distance. Such as the main shopping district, the Grand Mosque, Maha Vihara Duta Maitreya Buddhist Temple, as well as some of the main government departmental offices which could come in handy for business travellers.
The hotel has on its grounds two separate restaurants, respectively serving Chinese and international cuisine, as well as a bar. There are numerous wellness facilities; such as a gym, a reflexology centre, and a sauna. If you are lazy to move around, there are also a variety of shopping outlets within the hotel complex itself.
Free Wi-Fi is available is available throughout the entire building as well as in every room.
The hotel is 25 minutes drive from the airport, and 45 minutes drive away from the harbour front for ferry crossings to Singapore.
Batam Centre Hotel
Raffles City, Batam
Peak season rates start at S$36
Batam Centre Hotel is located in the heart of the city. It is a good choice for travellers on a budget, and its being only minutes away from Ocarina Water Park make it additionally attractive. Free Wi-Fi is available in all public areas, and cable internet is available in the rooms as well. You can dine at the restaurant, which also offers a lunch buffet. Dishes from the restaurant may also be ordered to be eaten poolside. Other facilities include a professional gym and sauna.
The hotel is 25 minutes away from the airport, and 29 minutes away from the harbour.
So now you know where to go, have fun finding
love out more about Batam!