The Sanchaya, Lagoi Bay, Bintan Island

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Atmosphere: Privacy, luxury and style come together at this 21 villa, nine suite beach estate resort for an exquisite fantasy escape. Modeled after colonial-style grand plantation manors, The Sanchaya transports you back to a time when the world moved at a slower pace, and people stopped to savour life’s finer things.

Owned by an elusive Singapore based Russian expatriate lady, The Sanchaya was shortlisted for the 2015 Hotel & Property Awards in the “hotel under 50 rooms” category, and was featured in Conde Nast’s 2015 list of “Best New Hotels in the World”. It’s peaceful, quiet beach setting and expansive, well-tended gardens offer the ideal remedy for claustrophobic city living.

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Rooms: Recently opened at the end of 2014, the rooms here are very new, and all tastefully furnished with thoughtfully curated furniture and artwork from Southeast Asia.

The suites in the The Great House – the resort’s main building, and some of the villas dotted around the garden come with living rooms and one or more bedrooms, making them the ideal choice for families and groups. One of the nicest rooms are the Thai-style pitched roof villas in an area called Lawan Village, which sit along on the edge of a man-made pond. Each of these villas has their own private entrance garden, a large bathroom with vintage-patterned tiles and freestanding bathub, and a spacious wooden balcony overlooking the pond with a lounging bench, a table and chairs.

Each room has an an Ipad Airplay entertainment selection with a wide selection of movie titles, an espresso maker, a complimentary mini bar with snacks, drinks and gourmet chocolates, and a wine bar, which you can help yourself to at an extra charge.

Facilities: There is a large pool, beach cabanas, changing cubicles by the beach, a gym, yoga pavilion, and a spa that offers a variety of massages and treatments. Because the resort is located some distance away from the main road, there are buggies with drivers available to take you to the main road, or from one place to another within the resort if you’re feeling lazy!

More like the residence of a wealthy bon vivant than a hotel in the conventional sense, the public areas which are located in The Great House include the anteroom ­– a reception and lobby area; The Salon and Library – a reading and recreation room reminiscent of the European salons of Victorian era; The Bar, a cosy room with a wine cellar, where you can enjoy wines, cheeses and cigars, and outdoor terraces that overlook the pool.

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Dining: There are two restaurants here. The Dining Room serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, and the alfresco Thai restaurant, Tasanee Grill next to the pool serves Bangkok-style street food inspired items for dinner.

17.jamuBreakfast begins with shots of jamu gendong – traditional Indonesian herbal tonics of rice starch and aromatic galangal, turmeric and tamarind juice, and ginger juice with palm sugar served by a jamu lady who comes around to your table in traditional Indonesian attire. Unlike other hotels, there is only a small selection of bread, pastries, homemade jams, fresh churned butter, yoghurts and muesli at the buffet table; this is accompanied by an impressive a la carte menu with innovative cereal and yogurt concoctions such as papaya and lime compote with oatmeal and churned yogurt, and gourmet hot egg dishes like soft boiled egg with crab meat, yuzu hollandaise, parsley, toasted sourdough and caviar, contemporary renditions of Indonesian breakfat favourites, and an exciting variety of cold pressed juices, teas, smoothies. The hotel also serves two types of afternoon tea sets with a range of 12 different custom blended teas from Ronnefeldt, which can be enjoyed at the terrace. Wine and cheese pairing sessions are also available at The Bar.

Location: Lagoi Bay where the resort is located in more than an hour’s drive to the city centre of Tanjung Pinang, but with the beach close by and all this luxury around you, you won’t want to venture too far from the hotel anyway. Plaza Lagoi, which has a few gift shops, eateries, and a street food market on weekends is short 10-minute walk from the property.

Service: The staff here are called Estate Artisans, and this isn’t just some marketing gimmick. The people who work here seem genuinely friendly and interested in the wellbeing of their guests. The small touches – your name typed on the stationary and resort guide in your room, mosquito repellent for the beach, bottles of water in a rattan basket by the pool, a beach bag in your closet, organic mouthwash and a loofah in your bathroom, pillow mist placed at your bedside table at night, umbrellas within easy access in case of rain, complimentary hot chocolate and cookies delivered to your room before bed, and a pair of sarong pants on loan to you during your stay for comfy lounging – make your stay here truly extraordinary. There is also a VIP lounge at the Bintan ferry terminal, where you can snack on dried fruit, have some coffee or tea or read a magazine while an Estate Artisan takes care of your immigration.

Things to do while here: Swim, nap or read a book on the beach, enjoy the culinary offerings prepared by Executive Chef Giacomo Turzo and his team, get a massage, watch a movie in bed, take long baths, enjoy afternoon tea on the terrace, browse through the books in The Library, enjoy a glass of wine on your balcony or patio. Relax and unwind!

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Room rate at time of review: Rp7,865,000 (US$569) to Rp34,965,000 (US$2,525) per night.

Address: The Sanchaya. Jalan Gurindam Duabelas, Plot 5, Lagoi Bay, Bintan, Kepulauan Riau 29155, Indonesia. Tel: (62) 770-692-200,

 

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