All You Need To Know About My Stay At The Sanchaya Bintan
Good vibes only.
I could very easily give you the facts about The Sanchaya Bintan—luxurious villas, impeccable service standards, beautiful infinity pool, great spa experience—and they would be important information for keen visitors, but they wouldn't do the property justice. Not nearly.
A mere 45-minute ferry ride away from Singapore's Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal is the location to one of the best, if not the best, weekend getaway I've ever experienced. It was an easy love affair. I have been religiously stalking the #nofilter Instagram photos of the hotel since it opened its doors in December 2014, so I knew what to expect: nirvana. To say I have high hopes and expectations is an understatement. Disappointed I was not.
What sets The Sanchaya Bintan apart from your typical island escape in say, Bali, is how comfortable everything feels. And I do mean everything. Yes, crawling out of my killer beach view suite, or more specifically, the Singaporean Ploh super king bed with 464 thread count Egyptian cotton Percale, was tough business, but the repose I'm referring to was intangible and a lot more personal.
Firstly, my arrival was as swift as it was seamless. The resort prides itself for being the only property on Bintan with its own VIP lounge in the ferry terminal, and for good reason too. Money can't always buy express immigration and customs clearance, the kind where the artisans of the estate, as they like to call them, handled the paperwork and my luggage while I sipped on my freshly brewed café au lait, touched up on my make-up and browsed the latest issue of Singapore Tatler. Yeah, it's like that.
Secondly, the staff knew not just my basic contact details, but also my food allergies (watercress), the type of chilled champagne I want waiting for me upon arrival (Billecart-Salmon Brut Rose), the music in my room (classical), how I like my bath (lukewarm with lavender scented candles, bath salts and a cup of hot chocolate prompty at 10pm) and other lifestyle inclinations down to my pillow preferences (goose down and feathers, please) well before my check-in.
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Sure, that's partly due to the comprehensive—but not too tiresome—digital form I was tasked to complete during booking but I have to give credit to the graceful staff, all of whom greeted me by name wherever I was. There's something to be said about having a gardener wish me a pleasant "good morning" as I made my way to breakfast in my pajamas. Founder Natalya Pavchinskaya calls this place her home away from home—a sentiment is shared by her guests.
Thirdly, the infinity pool is the stuff made of dreams, albeit a little deep for my 158cm—my feet could barely touch the tiles and I was waddling on the shallow end. You might want to consider bringing with you a fancy floaty. Once again, the service is noteworthy. Not a minute after I perched myself on one of the cosy day beds facing a row of palm trees lining the beach, of which there are plenty to go around, a nice man in all-white uniform came over to bring me sunscreen, towels, mosquito repellant and non-slip sandals. Something else in the rattan basket: still and sparkling water with lemon slices on the side. Now that's what I call attention to detail.
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Other notables at The Sanchaya Bintan...
- A detox menu at The Dining Room, one of its two restaurants, in conjunction with the new spa full-body treatment by Japanese skincare expert, Kazumasa Kawasaki.
- The Bar offers cigars and shisha along with bespoke cocktails made with rare spirits and liquors.
- Thematic wine tasting with the sommelier can be arranged at the wine cellar or in your villa or suite.
- Croquet, yoga, petanque, archery, golf bicycle tours, mountain hikes and water sports are available upon request.
- Private swimming pool in the four-bedroom Presidential Vanda Villa.
- Apple TV with hundreds of movies available over Bang & Olufsen TV and sound systems in all rooms.