Saturday, January 3, 2009

Club Med - Ria Bintan

Last week, Melissa, Jack, Chris (Melissa's mom) and I took a long weekend and made a holiday trip to Indonesia. We stayed at the Club Med on Bintan Island in Indonesia.

On the Friday morning after Christmas, we left the house at about 9am and took a taxi to the Tanah Merah ferry terminal. After about an hour on a high speed ferry, we had made the short trip to the resort area of Bintan Island. We made it through customs very quickly because I expect that I looked quite gullible. As everyone was forming up into lines to get their passports checked, one of the Indonesian immigration officers walked up to me and smiled.

"Americans?" he said.


"Come with me."

Uh oh. What did I just get us into?

He walked us right past the line to the other side of the desk and told us to wait at the baggage claim for our suitcases. "I'll be right back," he said. He walked over to one of the immigration desks and started typing on the computer an shuffling through papers.

Our bags arrived after about 5 minutes and our immigration buddy wandered back at about the same time.

"OK, here you go. You're all done," he said as he handed our passports back.

"Um, thanks," was all I could think of.

"Maybe a little tip?" he said.

"Ahhhhhh....of course."

I handed him 30,000 rupiah (about 3 bucks) and that seemed to do the trick. We were on our way.

Still in the ferry terminal, there were desks for all of the resorts just after you left the baggage area. A nice guy with a Club Med shirt took all of our bags and got us checked into our rooms before we'd even left the terminal.

"Hop on the dark blue bus outside. It will take you to the resort."

And off we went. Half an hour later, we were in our room unpacking and looking forward to lunch.

We had two connected rooms. Melissa and I had this one, Jack and Chris were next door.

The bathroom

Our Back Patios

The food was served buffet style and we all enjoyed the selection. There are so many different people from so many different countries who visit the resort, they served all kids of food to keep everyone happy. Indian, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, American/European, there was always something good to eat. One of the definite highlights was the bread. We all raved about it. It was all baked at the resort and it was some of the best I'd ever had.

One of the reasons we chose Club Med out of all of the resorts on Bintan was because of the activities they have for kids. In the mornings, Jack would head off after breakfast to hang out with the KidsClub. He got to do archery and even got a chance to try the trapeze.

I was very proud that he climbed up there all by himself and jumped right off the board into the air. It was at least 30 feet high.

We'd all get back together for lunch and then spend the afternoon at the pool and the beach.

It was a constant struggle to save a seat a the pool.

View of the beach bar from the water.

We made a lot of sand castles.

Jack would play in the surf for hours.

After the beach, we'd head back to the room to rest, shower and get ready for dinner.

It felt good to wash all of the sand off.

Drinks before dinner in the lounge.

Even Jack had a beverage.


Most nights we'd be so tired by the end of dinner, we'd just head back to the room and read a book or watch some TV before falling asleep.

Overall, it was a very relaxing vacation. Club Med is the kind a place that's designed for a family to go and relax and have fun. We definitely enjoyed our first trip to a Club Med resort and will be going back as soon as we can.

Happy Holidays.

1 comment:

Deacon Frank Tremblay said...

A definite upgrade from Camp Lawrence. Also looks a tad more fun than trying to coral a group of 8 year old Bahamian kids for CCD. Enjoy it Mattuti, you're working hard, play hard too.